4th June saw The Garage in Highbury and Islington play host to Fuse ODG’s first ever London show supported by live band The Compozers. After witnessing Fuse’s MOBO award and 1xtra Live performances I was keen to see if Fuse’s energy would be able to last a whole set as this was not only an important show for Fuse, but an important moment for Afrobeats in the UK.
The party started with Fuse’s DJ Naija Boy taking centre stage and warming up the crowd with current club classics. As I walked in it felt like one giant club night instead of a live show, people were dancing, drinking and just enjoying the moment. As time went on the show began and out jumped comedian Eddie Kadi with all his energy going back to back with Naija Boy on popular Afrobeats tracks and introducing the diverse crowd to African dance moves including the Al Kaida and Kukere.
Opening acts of the night were Mikel Ameen who came out bouncing with so much energy (Literally) that there was no chance for patrons to stand with their backs to the wall with his standout track being “Fall in love” featuring Selasi. Rapper Dun D took it home with an acoustic version of his catchy single “Living in London” featuring Jamie Roche. UK Afrobeats star Moelogo hit the stage and continued the party but it was his new single “The Baddest” that stood out and really got the crowd moving.
Running surprisingly on time live band The Compozers kicked off the set and FuseODG opened with single “T.I.N.A Let me love you”. With the crowd filled with energy Fuse seemed a little overwhelmed when opening with this track as if he didn’t expect the turn out to be so grand. Interacting with the crowd, Fuse then went on to highlight how important the show was to the Afrobeats genre and why he is so passionate about being African and letting this transpire through his music and brand This.Is.New.Africa (T.I.N.A). As if to get that out the way the party began and the set went straight into Sarkodie & Fuse’s “Down On One” followed by Wande Cole’s “Come Closer” and the ladies favourite “Million Pound Girl”. As if to continue his crowd interaction Fuse dove into popular dance track Azonto and invited two crowd participants on the stage to show their best Azonto moves. I must say this came as a surprise to me considering how diverse the crowd was, seeing people from different backgrounds embracing a dance that started on the streets of Accra. Taking a moment to remind the crowd of how passionate he is Fuse went into single “Bucket Full of Sunshine” in which he emphasized the importance of drive in order to achieve what you want, quite sentimental. Kicking the show back into high gear Fuse delved into current single “Dangerous Love” and then into a surprise performance with R&B vocalist Angel off the upcoming album. Going out with a bang the show ended with top ten single “Antenna” with The Compozers sealing the package with an extravagant ending.
Overall the show was great, energetic and exciting! Fuse used the platform to cement his position as an artist within the music scene. As Afrobeats is still a baby in the music industry the genre needs key figures to really establish a presence and show that the genre has great potential, Fuse has put himself forward as a great leader. Considering this was his first full London show the standing room space of The Garage was filled with enthusiastic fans that did not stop dancing until the show was finished, even when it came to songs they had never heard before. Dj Naija Boy, Host Eddie Kadi, the opening acts and live band The Compozers done a superb job keeping the momentum high throughout the show and I think this energy along with Fuse is what made the show fantastic. Fuse has laid the foundation and opened the door for other Afrobeats artists lets only hope that this show is just the beginning of something great!