Saturday, 24 September 2016
Oliver: Zimbabwe Cha Cha Cha Kings - Vimbiso (22 February 1992)
When I listened to John Peel's radio show, I experienced many different emotions ranging from excitement and amusement through to irritation and boredom. It is to my lasting regret that the negative emotions won out on me (combined with a defective tape player) and caused me to ignore his last two years of broadcasts until I was too late to effect a rapprochement. This blog remains, among many other things, an ongoing act of contrition for that period of small-minded idiocy.
One negative emotion that all Peel listeners must have succumbed to over the years would be envy. How many great records by bands/artists you had never heard of would be followed by Peel talking about how it had come in on an import or that listeners may have to go to mail order catalogue in order to add the record to their own collections. Not to mention the fact that he had access to as many major or independent label records as he wanted. When I was taping Peel shows in 2002, I remember him playing a track by Brendan Benson and genuinely feeling riven with envy that he had that record. I've never listened to a Brendan Benson song since, but it was the fact that he could and I couldn't that made me rage at the injustice of it. Ridiculous really, since Peel was always very candid about records he had never got his hands on or which record companies had by-passed him in order to send them for first plays to younger disc jockeys at Radio 1.
When it came to African music, he had to be as patient as the rest of us, with the exception of Andy Kershaw. This delightful piece of jit music by Zimbabwe Cha Cha Cha Kings came from an album released in 1989. Vimbiso translates as the Shona girl's name, Promise and its presence makes up for the fact that I've not been able to share their superior track, Abamwe.
Video courtesy of Tadie Wacho.