Having achieved global success and performed at a World Cup opening ceremony, the a cappella five piece Africa Entsha make their seventh appearance at St. John’s church in front of an audience with high expectations. Tightly together throughout and entertaining us with traditional gospel music and modern R&B, Africa Entsha definitely impressive.
It feels like a great privilege to be able to listen to five performers who are so in tune with each other. As exciting as the introduction is, it is the subtleties of the performance that make it seem more exceptional. At times, Africa Entsha genuinely sound like one voice and even when they part completely their voices always manage to complement each other. I can only spot one obviously out of tune note in the entire performance, which has clearly been rehearsed meticulously. Their tight sense of rhythm also drives every single song, including the more melancholy ones. There is no doubt that all five members are amazing vocally, each with a different depth to their voice; no one overshadows but no one fades away.
In between heavier songs and laments Africa Entsha also add an exciting amount of theatre to their work. They can all dance and often use a percussive board, which basically acts as a drum, to stamp their feet on. There is beatboxing, air guitar, air trumpet and even steam train impressions, all undertaken with complete confidence. In a modern twist they also sing ‘Fever’ whilst serenading a delighted member of the audience, who gets to dance along with two of them. The group are consistently energetic throughout. Sadly, for whatever reason, there wasn’t too much clapping and singing along, even though this is really what Africa Entsha are all about and they did encourage others to join in as much as possible.
Dedicated to their music and to enlightening others about their culture, it is easy to see why Africa Entsha have achieved international acclaim. They are musically talented, witty and charming, and I would recommend their show to anyone who wants to listen to something uplifting. My biggest complaint is that I would really like to have heard the rest of their walk-out song, ‘In the Jungle’ – everything else was fairly excellent.