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As performed Live at WOMAD on the Radio 3 Stage

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:07 pm
by Charlie
Miraculously, from my point of view, there was another two-hour session on the Radio 3 Stage at WOMAD on Sunday 26 July, presenting three artists live, and filling in the gaps with records. Today and next Friday, we broadcast all the live music, and many of the records, in consecutive instalments of World on 3.

Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Imam Baildi - De Thelo Pia Na Xanarthis - Imam Baildi - Greece - Capitol - 509992 3680425

2 - Cimmarón - Pajarillo - Quitapesares - Colombia - Astar - promo

3 - Victor Démé - Burkina Mousso - Victor Démé - Burkina Faso - Chapa Blues - CPCD01

4 - Mec Yek - Parni Luludji - Antikrisis - Belgium/Slovakia - Choux de Bruxelles - Choux 0802

Live from WOMAD:

5 - Ethiopiques - Bemen Sebeb Letlash featuring Mahmoud Ahmed - Live at Womad - Ethiopia - -

6 - Ethiopiques - Addis Ababa Bete featuring Alèmayèhu Eshèté - Live at Womad - Ethiopia - -

7 - Ethiopiques - Shellela featuring Gétatchèw Mèkurya - Live at Womad - Ethiopia - -

8 - Ethiopiques - Hulum Bager New featuring Eric Menneteau & Badume's Band - Live at Womad - Frrance - -

9 - K'naan - Fatima - Troubadour - Somalia/Canada - A&M/Octone - B0012479-02

10 - The Very Best - Warm Heart of Africa featuring Ezra Koenig - Warm Heart Of Africa - Malawi/Congo/US - Moshi Moshi - Promo

11 - Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba - Torin Torin ft Harouna Samake - I Speak Fula - Mali - Out Here - OH 013

12 - Dub Colossus - Tizita Dub - A Town Called Addis - UK/ Ethiopia - Real World - CDRW155

Live from WOMAD:

13 The Black Arm Band Swept Away featuring Shellie Morris and Lou Bennett Live at Womad Australia

14 - The Black Arm Band - Our Home Our Land featuring Lou Bennett with Shellie Morris and Mark Atkins - Live at Womad - Australia - -

15 - The Black Arm Band - Chin Wag feat Mark Atkins - Live at Womad - Australia - -

16 - Les Triaboliques - Gulaguajira (I, The Dissolute Prisoner) - rivermudtwilight - UK - World Village - 468088

17 - DVA - Dua Dua - Fonok - Czech Republic - Indies - MAM435-2

18 - Ba Cissoko - Séno - Séno - Guinea Conakry - Sterns - STCD1108

19 - Rokia Traore - Kounandi - Tchamantché - Mali - Nonesuch - 530 785 7

20 - 17 Hippies - Son Mystère - Heimlich - Germany - Hipster - HIP 012 LTD


The Ethiopiques package was due to play on the main stage at 9.40 later that evening and we had an anxious few weeks wondering if they would be able to accommodate the interruption of this request. On the one hand, it could be seen as offering a taster of what was to come, but on the other it could interfere with the sound check on the main stage. But we were accommodated and rewarded with a song each from Mahmoud Ahmed and Alèmayèhu Eshètè and an instrumental from saxophonist Gètatchèw Mèkurya. (By the way, in the Ethiopian Amharic language, that grave accent makes the ‘e’ sound short, so that ‘Eshètè’ more or less rhymes with ‘Exeter’ but with the stress in the middle of the word).

Mahmoud Ahmed and Gètatchèw Mèkurya [photo by Alan Finkel]

The entire project has been conceived, initiated and instigated by the Frenchman, Francis Falceto, a long-time fan of Ethiopian music who persuaded a couple of European record companies to re-release 1970s recordings by Mahmoud Ahmed back in the 1980s, but who really got the ball rolling when he compiled the first volume of Ethiopiques back in 1997, having persuaded a local Ethiopian record label founder to license unavailable and long-forgotten catalogue via the French label Buda. I was intrigued from the start, but did not really fall hook line and sinker for this strange swirling sound until Francis reached vol 8, titled Swinging Addis. This was my introduction to Alèmayèhu Eshètè, who had six of the 21 tracks. The sleeve note explained that he had at various times been billed as both the Ethiopian Elvis and the Ethiopian James Brown, but such comparisons were based on his stage presentation and did not do justice to his unique vocal delivery.

Soon after it reached volume 22, the Ethiopiques series was given an unexpected boost when the British Union Square label arranged to licence over 20 tracks for a compilation titled The Very Best of Ethiopiques. Improbably, this has since become one of the best selling compilations in the UK ever since, endorsed by Elvis Costello and able to boast tracks featured on the soundtracks of Jim Jarmusch films.

Just before we went on stage, Francis asked if he could request a favour. Since he had been so co-operative in enabling the whole thing to happen, we were liable to agree to whatever he asked. But there was a little foreboding when he explained that he would like us to include a song performed by the singer of the Badume’s Band from Brittany which was backing up the Ethiopians. Recognising the scepticism in my eyes, Francis reassured me that the singer had learned to sing in Amharic and was excellent, outstanding even. So it proved, as Eric Menneteau sang with surprising passion and conviction. With my eyes closed, I tried to imagine whether I could have guessed what nationality he might be, and was sure I would not have been able to. By then the band had already shown how well they play the unusual melodies and chords of Ethiopian music. According to Francis, there are dozens of groups around the world who have taken on the challenge of playing this difficult music, a far tougher challenge than Fela’s Afrobeat, for instance, and it is safe to take his word that Badume’s Band must be one of the best.

The Black Arm Band (Shellie Morris, Lou Bennett, Mark Atkins) [photo by Alan Finkel]

There was time for only three CD tracks before our next guests were ready to perform. I knew very little about Shellie Morris and Lou Bennett, singer songwriters drafted in at the last moment to replace Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter, who had both fallen ill since playing on Friday night. Good humoured and communicative, Shellie and Lou delivered the goods, sounding like gospel singers at times, especially when they embellished the didgeridoo playing of Mark Atkins.

Most of the tracks played in the rest of this programme were also played on stage, and the rest will appear next week when we bring you the entire set by 17 Hippies.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:54 pm
by liz molony
PHEW ...Thought we were never going to hear you on WOMAD Charlie.... Had a first time brief glimpse on u-tube of your warm welcome there to players.
Then endured a teasing intermittent computer collapse. But last night woke to your intro to the marvellous Ethiopiques – having heard them once on a Late Night Junction it was brilliant to be personally introduced ...... Mahmoud Ahmed’s huge earthy sounds, touching the soul of Africa; and Getatchew Mekurya – imagine all he has seen in his life and how his music must have sustained him.
I am glad you reintroduce musicians –like Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba - slowly the pieces of a puzzle of unknowing are fitted into place. I see we will be treated to more of 17 Hippies – this piece Son Mystere was full of ‘space’.. and its melancholy was beautiful
I missed it in the night, falling asleep, but have just heard it on Listen Live.
Thank you.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:12 pm
by howard male
Charlie - that Les Triaboliques track you played this week sounded uncannily like something off Mark Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos 2000 album 'Muy Divertido' to me. But, having said that, it is one of about four tracks I really like on the album.

And The Ethiopiques sounded great!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:44 pm
by Charlie
howard male wrote:Charlie - that Les Triaboliques track you played this week sounded uncannily like something off Mark Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos 2000 album 'Muy Divertido' to me. But, having said that, it is one of about four tracks I really like on the album.

Yes, I thought it sounds like it could have been on Marc's album, but had not considered that it might literally be a copy of one that's already there.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:26 pm
by howard male
It was fun to play Ribot's album again for the first time in years yesterday just to make sure it wasn't a cover. But although tracks 4, 6 and 9 have an uncannily similar overall sound to the one that Justin and Co have created on 'Gulaguajira' it would seem that it's just an affectionate tribute to Ribot's jagged Cuban/rock template.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:36 pm
by David Flower
'Gulaguajira' is actually an old Russian gulag prisoner song sung by Lu Edmonds in the original Russian, arranged in guajira style by the trio

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:26 pm
by mike gavin
Just to point out that rivermudtwilight (World Village) will be released on September 21st 2009 and for those interested in such things, there'll be a 7" single available too.