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London African Music Festival

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 10:14 pm
by Philip Ryalls
Off to a great start; Mayra Andrade charmed the Purcell Room audience with her Jazz influenced music from Cape Verde, and fine band. The next night we had the long awaited return of Anouar Brahem with his beautiful "Le Voyage de Sahar" trio.

Kekele were at the QEH on Tuesday, I had been really looking forward to this one, but the sound was too loud. Next day we were treated to a superb show by Natacha Atlas complete with costume changes and belly dancing, and a terrific support act in Muntu Valdo.

So far so good, then it just got even better with the sublime Omar Pene in the QEH late night slot. Had he played all night I don't think anyone would have left. "Diaraf" has been playing in my car ever since.

I took a detour through the World Music Awards and Africa 2007 - rain, hardy Africans doing the umberella dance, Ken, rain, Miriam Makeba, very heavy rain, Misty in Roots (where it began for me 28 years ago) - first song "Judgement Coming On The Land" and the Congo All-Stars, rain stopped.

Then on to the ICA to see Simphiwe Dana. Great songs, powerful vocals and a wonderful backing vocal trio, South African music is back....

Credit to Biyi and Barbara for organising such a wonderful festival, they had some problems and there were some cancellations but they also delivered five concerts that will be hard to beat this year.

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:24 pm
by matt
Africando at the Coronet on Sunday night:
Great band and wonderful night in spite of the rain, delays, average sound (booming at the back, too much mid) and musicians frustrated with the monitor sound. Very happy to have finally heard the great Sekouba Bambino and Amadou Balake who seemed to have a permanent smile on his face. Poor turnout of close to 300 people made it a personal and relaxed atmosphere. Plenty of your Thursday night salsa class girls in attendence. Support was supposed to be a "DJ set" from Ibrahim Sylla...he only seemed to hover over the CD mix instructing his lackey/sideman. SO none of his legendary cuban vinyl collection in evidence.

Unannounced support act was Chidinma Okafor from Nigeria who managed to keep our attention with some soul/funk ala Letta Mbulu until around 11.15pm when Africando finally took the stage. Played for an hour and a half with one encore. Crowd favourites and shout outs for Yay Boy and Aisha went unfulfilled. Some pics soon at http://matsuli.blogspot.com