Saturday, 6 February 2016
Oliver: Lucien Bokilo - Leonore (12 January 1992)
Before playing this piece of beautiful soukous music, Peel made a surprising announcement:
"Andy (Kershaw) was telling me, I must admit that I didn't hear it myself, that a track by Lucien Bokilo was played on (Dave Lee Travis's) programme yesterday on Radio One FM, this is marvellous news."
Subsequent history meant that this wasn't quite the ringing cultural endorsement it appeared at the time, though it does present a more edifying mental image of DLT than we may otherwise have of him now. "All righty, we've got Darren on the line waiting to play Snooker on the Radio after we've heard this little toe tapper from Lucien Bokilo. Come on get those hands up and sashay round your kitchen, come on now."
Thinking back it may have been around this time that I was reading the local paper, The Falmouth Packet (do teenagers read their local paper anymore?) and saw a story in it about a Falmouth resident who called DLT's show to take part in one of his quizzes. Participation in the quiz wasn't the story, but rather the fact that the bloke brought the show to a standstill for several minutes by reducing Travis to tears of laughter in response to the question, "Which American National Park is the location of the Old Faithful water geyser?" The answer being Yellowstone but the Falmothian plumped instead for Jellystone, the home of Yogi Bear. Somewhere in the UK, another local paper was running a similar story about poor Bob - we're still waiting for that book, Dave.
Travis and Peel were right to be seduced by Bokilo's artistry though. Accompanied by a charmingly low-fi video shot on someone's JVC near the Eiffel Tower and featuring crippingly of their time coloured trousers and coats, it's a track which rewards the listener's patience, once the arpeggios come in around 1:45, showcasing Bokilo's heritage as a member of Loketo. He could call on some outstanding players to accompany him.
Peel was hopeful that soukous music making it to weekend daytimes on Radio 1 gave hope for the future, saying at the end of the track, "And Dave, if you're listening, I've got loads of good records you could play next weekend."
Video courtesy of thoms903.