Friday, May 05, 2006


Recently Steakout (my favourite Friday hangout) introduced a Thursday rock night, which was a novel idea because Steakout is known mostly for Friday’s old school soul and the East African jams on its Utake Saturdays.

I hadn’t come round to checking it out because Thursday’s are not really good days to hang out (depleting the batteries for Friday and all that), but due to the incessant and random power cuts these days I decided that there was no point in going straight home to a dark flat in Bugolobi yet there was a rock night to check out in Steakout, which is pretty close to where I get paid to blog on company time.

I was sceptical about the kind of rock music I would find there because, in my opinion, rock and Steakout were as incompatible as raggaeton and intelligent lyrics. However, I was pleasantly surprised because the DJ went the distance and really played music that sent me back and forth from my days as a nascent rock fan to the stuff I spend idle Saturdays listening to.

The year was 1994. FM stations were less than a year old in Uganda and only 2 existed, Radio Sanyu and Capital Radio. The weekly American Top 40 show, hosted by Shadoe Stevens, made its debut on the airwaves and hence a teenaged Jay was introduced to rock music (alternative and soft rock specifically). Soon Shadoe show was replaced by Casey Kasem’s Top 40 which later competed with Rick Dees’ show for a while until Casey was dropped and Rick remained solo.

I was taken back to the days when I first bobbed my head to songs like Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Deep Blue Something), I only wanna be with you (Hootie and the Blowfish), Basket Case (Green day), What’s the frequency Kenneth (REM), Smells like teen spirit (Nirvana), Two Princes (Spin Doctors), Mrs Jones (Counting Crows) etc etc.

In ‘95 Capital Radio made its way to Mbarara where I was studying and by then me and my main man G had garnered enough clout in school to have a radio in dorm without being bothered by the authorities (I wonder is it still against the rules to have a radio in school). Finally we could listen to the Top 40 live, as opposed to listening to the same old shows recorded on tape everytime we came back to Kampala during the holidays.

Back then we were viewed as oddities because we listened to “weird music” when everyone else was listening to Montell Jordan’s This is how we do it, Soul for Reel’s Candy Rain or Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise. But while moving about on Thursday I saw that a lot had changed. More and more Kampalans are as familiar with Ngoni and Ragga Dee as they are with Nickleback, Coldplay and Matchbox 20. Rock lovers like myself are no longer oddities and thankfully it is becoming easier to access rock music regularly around town.

So for now I think I will be going home a little bit late on Thursdays after getting my fix of rock music.

‘Til next time. ROCK ON.


savage said...

I hear you Brotha when it comes to others not appreciating having a diverse and ecclectic taste in music. My principle is that I listen to good music, irrespsctive of genre.

There is a kenyan friend of mine who is only into gangsta rap.And thinks 50 cent and Young Jeezy are the greatest entertainers who ever lived.
Once he got a home made mix CD in my car and ever since he heard songs from the soundtrack of GREASE, he calls me a lost brotha.He said that I miss being white and that Had I been white I seem like I would have been very racist.

Lovely Amphibian said...

Move over Lucky Dube and "Nobody can stop reggae." Somebody tell them peeps who dont feel rock, "We built this city on rock and roll."

jkb said...


We built that city on rock and roll? Are U kidding me? Today, i'll kill 4 that Ugandan/Rwandese music I resented then, for I care less 4 this crap here anymore.

inktus said...

HEY! i'm almost offended! reggaeton can be intelligent... sometimes.. like in that one song... um... yah, i'll get back to u on that. but dude, rock ROCKS!

savage said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
savage said...

Intelligent or not, I am gonna keep shaking it to;

-Burn it up- R.Kelly

-Drop it on me- Ricky Martin$ dADDY Yankee

Rompe(remix)- Daddy Yankee $Young Buck

I will just shake it, I won't break it.

baz said...

If the deejay ever fires up Born To Run call me.

Everything you need to know in life can be found in a Bruce Springsteen song.

savage said...

I heard it from Baz.It must be true.
After all he is the BOSS.

Jay said...

@Savage. I feel you if u like the music you like it. The genre doesn't matter.

@JKB. Jean Paul Samputu and the other lady ( she had a lovely song)are alright but if your taste in music is as eccelectic as mine anything goes.

@Baz. Whats up with springsteen. Admittedly the only songs of his I like are soundtracks- Born in the USA (Rocky 3 or 4, i forget), Streets of Philadelphia (Philadelphia), Secret Garden (Jerry maguire). BTW why is/was he called the boss?
For "burn it up" , its a firm jam after I have been somewhat inebriated by half a dozen club pilseners and i am all up in the club.

CountryBoyi said...

The thing i like about rock music is when that 'possessed' cat fondles his guitar & jumps up & down like a woman in labour. In short, i prefer watching rocksters do their thing to listening to the brain hammering package they unleash out to the world now and then.

Degstar said...

Breakfast at Tiffany's, kryptonite, Dont Wanna Miss a Thing, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Numb, Clocks, wake me up when september ends, In d End, Mr. Hahn, Hangnail, Jesus of Surburbia, Dont Turn Your back on me...mmph mmph! may i get seconds please