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75 f


Barrister with some of his Fuji Commanders in Tollington Park, Islington, 26th September 1990.


to choose from. Attitudes guaranteed to make feminists cringe. But then Nigeria is still in the Stone Age where sexual politics are concerned (pace Fela “female circumci- sion is a good thing” Kuti).


Meanwhile, back at the Town Hall, it’s 5.30 a.m. and the music comes to an abrupt halt. There is no applause. The band climb down from the stage and min- gle with the audience. There has been vir- tually no dancing, but plenty of eating, drinking and making merry and, of course, non-stop dashing. Incredibly, the band look as fresh as when they began; you get the feeling they could rattle off another seven hours, no problem, if the Chief Com- mander asked them to. But he doesn’t. It’s been a good night, musically, financially. And the Doctor (a.k.a. Barry Wonder: dur- ing his 1986 U.S. tour his fans would shout:


“Barry, you are wonderful!” and like ‘bar- rister’ the name just stuck) has been singing for over five hours straight. How does he do it? Fuji’s senior Boy Wonder shrugs. “The spirit in me, when I’m on stage, just takes me to a different level.”


toured Europe. He’s toured the U.S.A. And now he’s here in London, recording his first ever British release. Things are going well, and he’s sure we’re going to like his music a lot. “I’ve introduced a lot of west- ern instruments into the music, now,” he enthuses, “synthesiser, keyboards, which I play myself, Hawaiian guitar, conga, jazz (kit) drum. Fuji Garbage, for instance,


T


wo months later, relaxing in the recording studio hospitality room. Barrister reflects on the next stage of his assault on the international music scene. He’s


that’s the song that made me, but I’ve changed it quite a bit, it’s a new arrange- ment and the sound is different, the sound is richer.”


“I’m not playing for Nigerians, I’m playing for an audience of black and white; that is why, when I compose my music, I write some words in English. So they (white people) are going to like it, because they like a lot of drums in their music, and I make sure we play a lot of drums, and they will, by the grace of God, accept it.”


“I know I can trust Ace Records (GlobeStyle), because they have done a lot of research into this music. It is a record that makes an artist, and by the grace of God, this record is going to make me.”


Ladies and gentlemen, rise up to dance to the new Fuji Garbage…


F


Photo: Jak Kilby


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