Apostles – Banko Woman

Apostles – Banko Woman

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Heaven sent from Nigeria’s tumultuous east, The Apostles have been preaching a particular blend of funky psychedelic soul/rock fusion for over forty years. On Banko Woman they threw a little Afrobeat into the mix, creating an Afro-Funk disco bomb that has been energising dance floors ever since. The title track finds the band at the height of their powers. Stung by the acclaim Felix ‘Feladay’ Odey got for the searing guitar lead on ‘Never Too Late’, Walton Arungwa is a man possessed, trading licks with keyboardist Benjamin Nnamdi Davidson and sounding all the world like a Nigerian Carlos Santana. The players in the rhythm section, Henry Asu Tandu, Chicago Nwoha and Harrison Mba, are tight and relentless, keeping their heads so everyone else can lose theirs. Of course, you don’t stay successful as long as The Apostles without giving the audience what they want. On Banko Woman, that’s a country song for mum and dad (‘Mr Too Know’) and a couple of earnest, plaintive tracks for emotional challenged chaps to dedicate to their girlfriends (‘Yours Sincerely’ and ‘Friend Today, Enemy Tomorrow’). You also finish on a high. ‘Disciple Funk’, is almost a religious experience, an 8-minute long instrumental wig that will have you flipping the record back to side one and starting all over again. – Peter Moore