This bears a lot of significance for us who haven’t watched mortal soul live. I watched them on their last performance in 2015. David Mburu of Last Years Tragedy was starting to the right side of me, while Mortal soul did their tuning. The stage was dimly lit and I could hardly get a look at them properly. But even in that dimness, it was pretty clear to me who was who. Young Mwanzia was in a sleeveless t-shirt, Blue I think was the colour. Peter Kinyanjui was in trainers and baggy jeans. Leon was in his signature long hair. On the drums was the awe inspiring Lesti Masiga. You will remember him in the solace play through, drumming to a small white dog that I have been told belongs to Young. I can’t tell you how much I’d waited for this show which also featured Rash, when they still had their old bassist Sebastian Filardi. Last Years Tragedy were also set to play but they didn’t. On the decks was Hueskillz who before the show began had played a couple of Murfys fLaw and Lust of a Dying Breed songs in his mix. Hueskillz also plays and teachers guitar and is also proficient with the drums and keyboard and is a member of the Kikuyu rock band Kanyeki.
My arriving at this place was by complete accident. This is probably one of those times that I could point to a strong belief in miracles. I had no money with me, at least not for paying the entrance fee and a beer (beers at Hypnotica, are really expensive. Two things happened that day that were strange. I was in town running errands and I decided to head to school. I sat there for an hour just taking a soda and watching tv. I decided to leave at around 5.30, and I began to walk out. On the gravel walkway, something grabbed my attention. I’d stumbled upon an unfolded 1000 ksh note. There was no one of the walkway with me. I checked the hostel windows but couldn’t see anyone searching for money. I picked it and walked out of the gate. This now meant that I had enough cash for a beer and the entrance fee and I headed out to west lands.
I arrived on time. It was a small club. At the door, something else happened. Entrance wasn’t being charged as I’d imagined and I walked in just like that. Of course, this now meant that I could spend more on beer and now, a chance to stay around longer and watch all the acts.
Filmmaker Olivier Richard was setting up his cameras and lights because this show would be part of the documentary series ‘Un Monde du Metal” and also later come to learn that the footage would be used in a Rash song “Let it be rock”. The music video came out a month or two later and the footage was there but it was too brief to show everyone who was at the gig, including me. 😔
But then there were incredible experiences that didn’t get captured. I was there to witness what might end up being Mortal souls last ever show. There is no guarantee that we may ever see them on stage. So for someone who has experienced them live, the prospects of them coming back bears weighty significance. But there is also a way we romanticise past experiences. We see them through some sort of kaleidoscope and we imagine that those must have been the most important times of our lives and we wish to relive those experiences. I wish I could relive the moment I felt a great surging of excitement and a rush of bravery and fulfilment when Mortal soul was closing their set with the song Bankai. I want perhaps even to a greater degree see them play Solace and feel as Lestie held the crowd together with his blast beat technique. This is where I first met Bizzaro. He spilt my drink and I will never forget that.
But to the person who has never experienced them, there is perhaps the feeling of being left out of a true legacy. If the band doesn’t come back then they lose that privilege to have been part of something greater than themselves.
Since that year I don’t attend as much of shows as I would want to. I also don’t know if I think going to shows is something I think is worth doing? A lot of the bands I cared about don’t do shows anymore. And even when they do something happens that makes that night much less of an experience that it would have been. Maybe if Mortal soul came back I will regain some of my resolve. I want to imagine that would galvanise other people’s spirit too. So that they wouldn’t miss out on significant moments in their lives. But I suppose that is life. Less of an experience and more of missing out and less involvement.
For more on Mortal Soul: https://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Mortal_Soul/3540370688