Saturday, 15 March 2008

A Day in the Life of UCS & Nayo @ Soho Revue Bar (13th March 2008)


I went to a wedding today. An old University friend from the Old Country got hitched today. I'd arranged to meet up with some other friends somewhere along the way and then travel down together, but made a detour into the shopping hell that is Oxford Street! Don't get me wrong, i love Oxford Street. I love shopping....no actually, i love window shopping better than the act itself. It's funny, i've never been one of those females who gets up one day and decides to go shopping for the sake of it, and still manages to come home with bags and bags of stuff. No. I'm more calculated. I take mental notes while out window shopping and then decide if i want to get the thing(s), so when i go back to the shops, i go with a purpose.

I remember taking a trip to Rome a couple of years ago with 3 shopaholic friends (big mistake!). I mean these girls were hard core!!! We'd already planned our itinery ahead of time i.e. hit one of those out of town shopping outlets on the first day and then spend the rest of the weekend sight-seeing (i.e the part i was looking forward to). So we get to the Outlet (eventually), only to find out their Sale started the following day. My friends decided it wouldn't be prudent to shop then, but to come back the next day and you really couldn't fault their logic. To cut a long story short, we spent the whole of the next day shopping. Or at least they did. I spent the whole day scowling and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

We'd agreed to get a taxi back to Rome after the shopping trip, but having spent all their money SHOPPING, we now had to cross express roads and catch buses and trains and anyway, it wasn't funny at all! We finally made it back into Rome late afternoon and i insisted on seeing some sights. Well, the Colliseum has shut for the day by the time we got there, and we got to cast a cursory glance over the Trevi fountain. That was it. What a waste! I was so annoyed. I digress though.

So i dashed down to Oxford Street to get a card and gift. 'Cutting it a bit fine', i hear you say, given that the wedding was this afternoon? Well, i only heard about the wedding earlier this week...and from another friend back in Naija! I was a bit miffed and almost didn't go, but i soon got over myself. After all 'Rejoice with those who rejoice..' the bible says. Not 'Rejoice with those who rejoice and also send you invitations well in advance of the wedding day'...

I also took advantage of being in that vicinity and had a look round in a couple of shops for a skirt to complete my choir uniform for tomorrow. I finally found something in Zara, and as i stood in line to pay, i caught the Manager-type guy (well, he was in a suit) who was serving at the counter, checking me out in my wedding finery as his customer input her PIN. He smiled when our eyes met and i smiled back. It was very refreshing, seeing as how i'm used to 'franking' Naija men (see here. Maybe it's about time we reopened that debate. Naija men, why do you like to frank ya faces at people you don't know? Would it kill you to smile? Would your face crack, perhaps? The funny thing is that when you actually, on the off chance, get to meet some of these same franking (frowning) guys, some of them turn out to be quite decent. So why, oh why, can't your faces reflect this?).

Anyway, back to my manager dude. He was kinda cute (ehn, so what would i have done if he was 'ugly'? Scowled? Lol!). He was also, i'm guessing, Spanish. All Zara staff seem to be. Now, do they ship them over from Spain to work in their branches here in the UK? Or do they advertise in Spanish? Answers on a postcard, please. The mere fact that he smiles rules out the option of him being English! Unfortunately, there's one person in front of me and as he finishes with his current customer, she goes over to his till and i have to go over to the girl beside him (also Spanish). Ah well...c'est la vie.

The wedding was great. But i love weddings, period. I also reconnected with some other old friends, which is always good.


Earlier in the week, i went to see new Nigerian singing sensation, Nayo, perform live. Hailed as the new Sade, Nayo is starting to generate a buzz over here in the UK. I went to see her at the Soho Revue bar. Men, Soho at night is scary! Well, maybe scary's a strong word. Perhaps seedy and sleazy describes it better, what with the women standing in doorways inviting men in to come and check out the girls on offer, and the punters (perverts, in my book) trooping into sex shops with impunity! But this is not a post on the moral decadence prevalent in today's society, now is it?!

Minor rant: Nigerians are so --- (you fill in the blanks).
I rocked up to the venue and was waved in by the bouncers. The naija chic at the desk asked for my name and now consulted the list in front of her. 'No, you're not on the list' she says finally. As i try to process this info, someone mentions the words 'guest list'. I'm like 'Excusez moi! Do i look like some kind of groupie/hanger on? I paid for my ticket fair and square online. Capiche?'. The girl now goes 'oh, do i have a reference number'. I tell her, Noooo because the website only said to bring along the credit card with which you made the booking. Then ensues frantic mobile phone conversation explaining situation to faceless person on other side of line. No list had been produced of people who had bought tickets online. I'm like 'Duh-uh!!!'. I wait about 15mins while they get their act together. The sad thing is that i'm not surprised!

I finally get my hand stamped with what a friend refers to as 'the mark of the beast' and am allowed to go up the stairs and into the venue. After the support act does his thing, Nayo finally comes out.



Looking good, sounding good...Nayo is an undeniable talent. Great voice, great presence, charming and engaging. My only issue is that all her songs seem to sound 'samey'. I'd be willing to hazard a guess they were all produced by the same person. She also needs to work on the smoothness of her segues between songs. I believe all that will come with time, and all in all, i really was impressed. My best bit was when she did a bit of improv, asking the audience to shout out words or phrases which she then weaves into a song. Enjoy (Don't say i never do anything for y'all, my faithful readers :))



43 comments:

Naapali said...

First?

Naapali said...

I never thought I would engage in the juvenile yet joyful game of position staking.

Naapali said...

But I am enjoying it.

Pink-satin said...

i love oxford street men!i heard Nayo is good

Naapali said...

Now I can comment on your multiple posts.

First: I love your free form, stream of consciousness post. Reveals an underlying kolomental state. But let the sane one amongst us bring us our pills :-)

Second: Why do we frank our faces? Because you make us do so. I could not agree more with Anon on your original post and admire the way he weaved the evolution concept of fitness into economic free market theory. Naijas sabi book no be small. Anyway, I was raised to frank my face. I got into a LOT of trouble in military school because I had a permanent smile on my face (they thought it was a smile but it likely was more a smirk as I always thought the whole thing was ridiculous and I was laughing with the voices inside me). We were told a soldier smiles only once a month, on payday (some agbaya NCOs said that was because that was the only day he could pay for his Ashewos) (see the type of people my childhood was entrusted to). Anyway in Unilag, everyone boned for everyone else, if you smiled on campus, you were either a Jambite or an impostor from Yabatech).

Thirdly: That Naijaness and the shoddy quality that seems to come with it bothers me. Beloved and I drove 40 miles out of our way to the only decent Naija restaurant in Chitown yesterday to pick up an order we called ahead for. The swegbe at the cash register kept us waiting 15 minutes looking for food that was in front of him, simply because someone forgot to label the order.

Fourthly: I do enjoy this your blog.

Naapali said...

I decided I would not be too hard on him after all I once lost a whole house that was in front of me all the time :-)

UndaCovaSista said...

@naapali - Anh anh! How can you just be stomping around all over my blog like that now?!

Ok. Let me try and address each of your points
1 - I went back and read the post after reading this and have to admit it was all over the place! Well...ain't nothing wrong with that, i guess. Kolomental? Takes one to know one, she says as she pops the lid on her Prozac bottle.

2 - Lol @ 'laughing with the voices inside me' (not surprised!). Lol @ 'impostors from Yabatech'

3 - I rest my case, sadly!

4 - Why, thank you very much. I do enjoy writing it too...

@pink-satin - Nayo is good. I think her album is out now if you're inclined to get it. Oxford Street? I think i have a love hate relationship with it...Maybe if it's pedestrianised and they ban tourists from the area....:)

Jaycee said...

Lolll @ the "frowning Nigerian guys." It's so hilarious when u find someone that thinks just like you. I'm always wondering why some Naija guys can't just smile at people. They like to "bone" face too much! Lol. Even if they smile, it'd prob be scary...

There are exceptions sha...

Nayo isn't bad (like her voice)...yeah, she'll improve as time goes on...(thanks for the videos)

30+ said...

@Naapali, you are obviously enjoying too much of the juvenile game.

Nayo, she sounds alright. Shame about the Zara guy mehn. Pray do tell would you have given him your digits or the pleasure of him swiping your card would have sufficed.

Atutupoyoyo said...

Tope (Nayo) is an old friend from back in the day and you are absolutely spot on when you say her beats are produced by the same guy. You seem to have a very good musical ear.

I think with greater exposure she will begin to expolre other collaborations but it is good to see her natural talent is simply shining through at the moment. The Sade comparisons are wide of the mark in my opinion. There is the inescapable media need to constantly herald a new protege but I feel that whilst she may posesss the same light, jazzy vocals as Sade she has a very different musical edge to. Only time will tell I guess.

UndaCovaSista said...

@Jaycee - Lol! At the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses...Glad you enjoyed the videos

@30+ - Because i've come to know you, i'm not going to read any double entendre into your last sentence! (lol). No digits would have been exchanged o! I'd probably just have smiled sheepishly some more and if he got lucky, fluttered my lashes...

@Atutupoyo- Have i not mentioned i'm also an undacovasongstress? Lol..
I agree, she sounds nothing like Sade. I wonder if the same comparisons would be made if they both werent nigerian. Having said that, if she has half the success Sade did (she don retire now abi?), she'll be very blessed indeed...

Enjoy your road trip!

Afrobabe said...

lol...u look like u had loads of fun babes....I love soho at night..lol..I can be the bush girl and stare open mouthed at everything and everybody...lol...

which naija men do u meet? I get them smiling sheepishly at me...

Naapali plenty here oh...hmmmmm...ok now...let the dramma unfold!!!

Nyemoni said...

This Nayo sef! Everywhere Nayo, nayo, nayo...I really have to get my act together and listen to her! Nice to hear that you had fun and reconnected at your friends wedding!

UndaCovaSista said...

@Afrobabe - It's impossible not to stare in Soho!

And what? They ALL smile at you sheepishly? Hmmn....

And your last comment (within the comment) is just such an Afrobabe-ish thing to say, now isn't it? :)

@Nyemoni - Yes o! She must have a really impressive PR machine behind her...And yep, i think i've exhausted my fun quota for the next few weeks!

Afrobabe said...

lmao....I have to change....help me....

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

lol@ Naapali. It happens to the best of us.

@ Undacovasista: I laughed at your experience in Rome. Lol! Oh And i'm off to listen to nayo's performance.

NIGERIAN CURIOSITY
IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER WHEN I ONLY HAD ONE...

Arewa said...

lol...Talk about last minute shopper.. in that case ur invitation will be in the post ASAP and dont even try ur last minute bull on me or else the whole of camden will hear about it oooh...lol
Tell me abt soho..all those alleys with the odd sex shop here and there and the gay guys on cloud nine....but it is still a hit with the celebrities.
Nayo has a really nice voice she kinda reminds me of Corrine Bailey Raye.
Dont mind those Zara people employing 90% spanish staff...proper discrimination..yeye shop...but they always stock the best trousers for my 36inc....lol

soupasexy said...

i'm glad u were able to get in...she sounds and look nice..

AlooFar said...

Thanks for stopping by. What is it about this Nayo sef? I heard she's got LYRICS. I'll go listen. And help tell Afrobabe, again, to take it easy with my post ;)

Cheers.

guerreiranigeriana said...

*mouth agape @ naapali*...hmmnnn...

...i heard about nayo courtesy of catwalq...the comparison to sade piqued my interest [i love sade...think she's top-of-the-line...no one compares to her]...i do like nayo, although i wouldn't fix my mouth to compare to sade...

....happy to see all the talent coming out of naija these days...truly inspiring...

UndaCovaSista said...

@Afrobabe - prayer and fasting...

@Solomonsydelle - I refer to it as the Trip from Hell to this day!

@Arewa - do you mean 36 inch inside leg? What are you? A giant?!

@Soupasexy - She wasn't bad at all...thanks for stopping by.

@Aloofar - afrobabe should take it easy, full stop. Lol!

@Guerreira - I see you've taken over from where your PIC (partner-in-crime) left off, enh?

You're right about Sade tho'. I've personally always liked her, but she's much more revered in the US than in the UK. They seem to think she's a bit of a musical lightweight - go figure.

Queen of My Castle said...

LOL @ Naapali. Someone has clearly become 'bloggerized' LOL. Most of the Nigerian men I have met here in The States happened to be smiling when we met. I, too, loved the randomness of this post, and you flowed effortlessly from one topic to the next totally unrelated topic. LOL.

UndaCovaSista said...

@Queen - It's the time between the spotting and the meeting (if it happens)i'm refering to. If the meeting doesnt happen, they just carry on frowning! And thanks. Yep, there is a method to my madness :)

Fo said...

long time sis...mice post...looks like u had fun *winks...

Uzezi said...

u had fun. yes. good.

Olamild said...

sounds like a lot of fun

Queen of My Castle said...

Okay, now I feel you in reference to the frowning. You know, I have never in my life met such a group of painfully honest men. LOL. They hold no punches!

pink gloves said...

Shopping in Italy can be considered sightseeing now. lol.
Good thing you got to the wedding and enjoyed Nayo's show.

UndaCovaSista said...

@Fo - Yeah, it's been a while, sweetie. How are you?

@Uzezi - I sure did :)

@Olamild -Yes it was, now please go and update. I really cant wait for your yoruba version of No One....:)

@Queen - You said it, girl!

@Pink gloves - No, no, no, no, no. Two entirely different things. No comparison...:)

Miss Kiki said...

Undacovasis I'm a bit miffed now oh, you didnt tell me you were posting videos of Nayo else i'd have been here first, look now i'm number 20something.
ook, that aside, thanks for posting the Nayo vids, loved it and I agree with you about the 'samey' feel of her songs,I'm sure it'll improve with time.
Now, to the issue of Nig guys and their ever-frank faces, I'm glad i'm not the only one who finds is strange, there are some that even after you've been introduced to them through a mutual acquaintance or some such, they still 'frank' their face at you when next they see you like they don't know you. I'm not one to generally look for acknowledgement don't get me wrong but it is the decent thing to do I believe. Plus, you know how they say it takes less work/stress on the face muscles to smile than it takes to frown.
Plus have they never heard of premature wrinkling that frowning causes (at least I think it does).

Miss Kiki said...

Oops..sorry for long comment, I do tend to go on sometimes.

UndaCovaSista said...

@Miss kiki - you're number 30, actually...lol! Nayo does have lots of potential. And i agree on the franking face tip...It's not about wanting acknowledgment, it's only good manners!!! Is that too much to ask for...!

Anonymous said...

Y'all need to stop hating on Nayo, damn! A nigerian sista trying to do something for herself and all you can do is be negative.. I was at the joint and thought it was cool. FYI - If you bought the album, you'd see in the credits that the songs aren't produced by the same person. Personally, I don't think she sounds anything like Sade, but Sade's songs have been samey for about 20 years, which is probably why everyone still loves Sade. I think your blogs cool - but I'm so tired of we Nigerians bringing others down

UndaCovaSista said...

@anonymous - you call expressing an honest opinion 'bringing others down'? If you read the post calmly and thoroughly, you'll actually notice the words 'talented', and 'impressed' among other positive words. So i suggest you take a deep breath and stop bandying your negativity about here. Thank you.

Miss Kiki said...

Go Sista!!! I was just about to jump to your defense (about that anon comment) but you seem to be handling it perfectly....

UndaCovaSista said...

@miss kiki - thanks jare! Maybe i would even have a smidgen of respect for such commentators if they had the guts to reveal their identities!!!

ProjectMgr said...

Hi UCS, Thanks so much for the spread on Nayo. I work for the label and was alerted about your write up on the show. We would like to express our sincere apologies for any problems that may have been caused prior to the start of the show. We are pleased that you are a supporter of Nayo and have decided to offer you and a guest free passes for Nayo's next show. If this is something of interest, please kindly send us an email at info@fyromusic.com and we will keep you posted.

UndaCovaSista said...

@projectmgr - Thanks for your gesture. it's appreciated but not necessary. I wish Nayo all the best with her career.

Florida of Free Spirit said...

I so get upset wen bloggers attach youtube features cos i can't open it!!!!

anyways, love oxford. during my bring visit 2 jand, i was mandated 2 shop there. I was not disappointed, particularly since some mugu man was paying 4 it. he he

Miss Kiki said...

UCS, did you do what I think you did to that jobless person's comment?? Well, if you did, that was so necessary..HEHEHEE

Miss Kiki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Kiki said...

Oh and 1 more thing: Was it just me or did prjctmgr sound an awful lot like that anon...? Probably just my overactive imagination

UndaCovaSista said...

@miss kiki - Lol! The whole thing stinks of a conspiracy. I did delete the second comment cos it was irritating me...