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Orits Willike (l), Omoruyi (m) and the man of the moment, Edmund Spice
Having sojourned in Italy for over a decade now, singer Edmund Spice just hit Nigeria to conjoin with his friends and colleagues penultimate Saturday. In a cozy atmosphere of conviviality Spice and old time friends spiced it all up at the six months old Hunters Night Club on Abule – Odu bus Stop, Idimu Road, Egbeda Lagos.
And the event was the reunion of Edmund Spice of the Tracy Chapman rehearsed ‘Baby Can I Hold You Tonite?’ fame with some ‘old school musicians,’ journalists and the owner of the nightclub.
And the roll call was incredible; starting with the man the entertainment world refers to as Pupa Orits Williki to Nollywood’s don, Emeka Ossai, ageless beauty, Maureen Ejezie of the Palmwine fame and her very delectable dancing female pal.
Zubi Enebili of ‘If You See Me Today’ was there too; so also were Eddie Okri, Romeo Otega and late Ras Kimono’s ex back up singer, Toyin.
It was a moderate crowd but they succeeded in shaking the table, as the saying goes in Nigeria, with their instant rendition of good old days popular songs that ruled the airwaves and dominated the dance floor of nightclubs in the early 1980s/90s.
Okri opened the floodgate of the unplanned performances with assistance from the club’s in-house band, followed by the scintillating and lovers’ rock performance of Romeo Otega. Otega, with his performance showed the crowd that ‘the thing still dey bodi’ and that retirement is not tiredness, even as he hinted this reporter that soon, the entertainment world will hear from him again.
And in between Toyin, who was there in active days of late Kimono was adding spices with her superb chorus. Toyin, who decked in a bowler hat all through the evening was simply good. She can at best be described as an old but mature wine in a new bottle as she swung to the old reggae and pop music beats of yore.
Edmund Spice, the man on whose instance the personalities gathered, gave some traces of his good old self with songs from his ‘I love, love…’ album released then on PolyGram Records, now known as Premier Music, just as he regaled us with the story of his humble beginnings with his then manager, Mr. Ejiro Roman Adigbo, now the publisher of an online newspaper known as Top Celebrity, in a room somewhere in downtown Ketu area of Lagos State. Roman Adigbo, incidentally was sitting right in front of him savouring the gist with others. What an evening!
The story as told by Spice, brought some nostalgic feelings on all present in the spacious club.
Williki’s time on the stage could be described as the real icing on the cake. He had initially resisted all effort to bring him on stage until Spice narrated how he almost carried gun against the then military regimes in the country after listening to the lyrics of Williki’s album, ‘Give Me Little Time I will fight The Fire’ and he could not resist the temptation not to perform.
And in an acapela form, he belted out the song and the roof almost came ‘crashing down’ while he also told a story of how he was seized and made to drive around the campus for some hours by students of University of Lagos after performing the song in their campus.
The performances, eating and drinking done, Williki flagged off the speech making segment of the get together and counseled the owner of the club on what he must do to return the good old era of NightShift Coliseum.
And everyone in the audience took turn to agree with the suggestions made by Williki which the boss of Hunters swallowed hook line and sinker while promising to deliver on it.
Watch out for the detail story of Hunters, the profile of the owner and what led to its establishment. It is a must read.