Mosaïques Festival – London

mosaicques Mosaïques Festival   London

The 14th edition of the Mosaïques Festival in London is happening on Friday 28th November at Rich Mix. It starts with a rising star of Malian griot music, followed by North African rock from Marseille and a DJ set that fuses Arabic folk trance with House and Techno.

Tickets are £10 for the evening and include free access to a screening of the acclaimed film Benda Bilili! which will be shown at 1pm on Saturday 29th November. Fusion foods and fresh mint tea will be available at the venue.


Kaveri Special – Kaveri Special

Kerveri Special Kaveri Special   Kaveri Special

“Kaveri Special, they do afro beat in a sort of Scandinavian, Jimi Tenor post weird psychedelic way; you’re going to love it ” Gilles Peterson

Continue reading Kaveri Special – Kaveri Special

WOMAD – Charlton Park 2014

womad 640x480 WOMAD – Charlton Park 2014

After she was forced to pull out from last year’s event, WOMAD are delighted to announce that Alice Russell, one of the UK’s greatest soul singers of this – or any other – time, will be treading the festival’s boards this summer, offering an excellent opportunity to witness a woman whose vocal range is matched by the gamut of emotions that underpin her performances. Also from these shores, Nitin Sawhney ONEZERO is the live incarnation of the polymath’s ONEZERO album, a cut-straight-to-vinyl retrospective that revisited key moments from his extensive back catalogue.

Jetting in from the other side of the planet are evergreen WOMAD favourites Fat Freddy’s Drop, the seven-piece New Zealand crew whose heady brew of dub and soul (plus a smidgeon of techno) never fails to fire the festival vibe. Another multi-membered band flying in – albeit from the somewhat closer Balkans – is Goran Bregovic whose Wedding & Funeral Orchestra marry their leader’s rock-star past with the exuberance of the gypsy brass band tradition.

Africa, of course, is always well represented at WOMAD – and Mali, in particular. Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni ba represent the musically rich country this year. Having graduated from Toumani Diabate’s band to become a star in his own right, Bassekou is the world’s most celebrated player of the ngoni, the ancient harp lute of West Africa. From the other side of the continent comes the mighty Mulatu Astatke. If you’ve ever cupped an ear in the direction of the Ethiopiques reissue series (or to the soundtrack of Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers), you’ll be familiar with this bandleader/composer’s lithe and sensual Ethio-jazz. Mulatu’s performance promises to be a very special one indeed.

Another venerable elder statesman from the top table of African music makes a hugely welcome return to the WOMAD stage when Oliver Mtukudzi – and his excellent band The Black Spirits – remind us of what a joyful sound those shimmering Zimbabwean guitars can be. Also returning to Charlton Park is the Norwegian singer Mari Boine who melds elements of folk, rock and jazz to joik, the traditional music of her Sami homeland. Mari’s records have previously been released on the Real World label, WOMAD’s sister organisation; new Real World signings The Gloaming are also Wiltshire-bound, a five-strong folk super-group that, in the words of The New Yorker, “moves the music of Ireland in captivating new directions”.

Once again, this summer’s festival includes some intriguing new, transnational collaborations. These include the mouthwatering partnership between Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca and Malian songbird Fatoumata Diawara that aims to explore shared traditions, despite their respective homelands being divided by the Atlantic Ocean. Another attractive teaming-up features former Carolina Chocolate Drops songster Dom Flemons and Martin Simpson, one of the finest folk and blues guitarists these shores have ever produced. Both are impeccable players, making this collaboration a must-see.


Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 9DG

24 July –27 July 2014

BOOKING LINE: +44 (0)118 960 6060  


  • Adult Weekend £160
  • Disabled Adult Weekend £160
  • SN16 Resident Weekend £115
  • Adult Weekend + 1 year’s subscription to Songlines £184.75

Further Ticket Pricing for WOMAD 2014

  • Teenage (aged 14-17yrs) Weekend £80 (Don’t forget to fill out the teenage registration form)
  • Child (aged 0-13yrs) Weekend FREE (suggested donation of £5 to the WOMAD Foundation)


  • Thursday £30
  • Campervan £55
  • Meadow Campervans £55
  • Meadow Park & Camp £65
  • Park & Camp £65
  • La-Di-Dah Loos £16
  • Weekend Spa Ticket £115 (17 years and over only plus backstage bar access)


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Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin – Mynd

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A gently astonishing concentration of musical ability and a wide compositional net brought together with a lightness of touch.

Continue reading Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin – Mynd

They Will Have to Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile

A promising new project has appeared on Kickstarter seeking the funds to tell the story of the attempt to kill the music in Mali.

“They want to ban music? They will have to kill us first.
Fadimata Disco Walet Oumar

Help the filmmakers get the story out there for as  little as a quid.


Buika at Union Chapel (Live Review)

image006 640x439 Buika at Union Chapel (Live Review)

The music tears through Buika with such violence you cannot wrestle your eyes away from her for fear of missing the last precious moment of beauty before catastrophe strikes. Continue reading Buika at Union Chapel (Live Review)

We Love Record Shop Day

IMG 0038 640x480 We Love Record Shop Day

Modern British culture was shaped by three things – DJs, radio (especially pirate radio), and clubs. And record shops are the thread between all three. Sanjiv takes a break from his global tour of record shops for his upcoming book to sing their praises on their special day. Continue reading We Love Record Shop Day

Original Album Series: Gilberto Gil, Milton Nascimento and Elis Regina

51Lhr9X1dOL. SL500  298x300 Original Album Series: Gilberto Gil, Milton Nascimento and Elis Regina

Not one but three whopping great collections of classic albums from three titans of Brazilian music are coming out on Warner Jazz. Each multiple album pack costs about the same as a single CD.

Starting with Gilberto Gil: RefazendaRefavela and Realce from the 1970s as well as 1984’s Raca Humana and the 2002 live recording Kaya N’Gan Daya are bundled together in simple but pleasing cardboard sleeves. These five LPs are a mere drop in the ocean of this highly prolific musical force but they are a great place to start.

The Milton Nascimento five data mainly from the 1990s and while fine, miss out on such classics as Clube da Esquina or Milton but nevertheless contain many fine tunes and Elis Regina’s tragically short career is pretty comprehensively catalogued too.

Amazon UK


Fela Kuti – Best of the Black President 2

 Fela Kuti – Best of the Black President 2

Another Fela Kuti compilation, no, wait, this is worth a look. Coming in a 2 CD version and Deluxe version with DVD, this compilation pulls in what, in my opinion, are the very best tunes of his output. And teams it up with a rare live performance (his 1984 Glastonbury set).

Continue reading Fela Kuti – Best of the Black President 2

Melt Yourself Down – 27 Feb 2013 at The Shacklewell Arms

A fabulous beast composed of various members of Acoustic Ladyland, Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics and Transglobal Underground in Dalston, where else? Should be great or a spectacular mess.

Melt Yourself Down describes itself as “the sound of Cairo ’57, Cologne ’72, New York ’78, London 2013. A riot of colour and noise, they rip the heart from the remains of Acoustic Ladyland and deliver it to the party, still beating. Reanimated with intense, sweaty funk, uplifting horns and blistering Nubian drums, this tightly drilled unit return for their second ever show after selling out the Queen of Hoxton late 2012.”

Note: the show will now take place at The Shacklewell Arms, not the Sebright Arms as had been announced.


Sahara Soul – featuring Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba, Tamikrest and Sidi Touré

One of Africa’s richest musical heartlands, Mali today is sorely afflicted by internal conflict, an ongoing state of adversity from which this defiantly inspiring collaboration, uniting artists from three of Mali’s different musical cultures, arose to demonstrate their shared homeland’s strength, diversity, and its music’s power to bring people together.
26 January 2013 – Barbican, London
27 January 2013 – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (as part of Celtic Connections) Continue reading Sahara Soul – featuring Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba, Tamikrest and Sidi Touré

Meshell Ndegeocello – Pour une âme souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone

Meshell Ndegeocello returns with an album of songs dedicated to that rarest of souls Nina Simone.

Continue reading Meshell Ndegeocello – Pour une âme souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone

Dingwalls Returns with Dr Bob Jones – November 25, 2012

dingwalls 2012 w Dingwalls Returns with Dr Bob Jones   November 25, 2012

The Sunday Service is back for the people who feel J-A-Z-Z! At the pulpit as ever will be Gilles Peterson and Patrick Forge.

Another Sunday Afternoon At Dingwalls with Gilles Peterson & Patrick Forge

  • Sunday 25th November 2012
  • Dingwalls
  • Camden Lock
  • 12.30- 7pmish
  • Early Arrivial recommended. No guaranteed Entry after 2pm
  • Tickets £16
  • Limited tickets on the door
  • Advance Tickets from


Doug Carn and Jean Carne, Band on the Wall and Ronnie Scott’s

Reunions are becoming increasingly frequent, often with mixed results. For every success, such as The Specials, there is many a disappointment.

The Doug Carn and Jean Carne reunion gives hope of something special. Though Jean Carne recorded successfully in her own right for both Motown and Philadelphia International, it is their work as a duo (and then as husband and wife) which brings the most expectancy.

Their albums from the Seventies recorded for the renowned Black Jazz album hit a nerve with its mix of Coltrane type spirituality and earthy soul. The duo found an audience in the Eighties with the Jazz Dance/Acid Jazz crowd, who revelled in tracks like ‘Higher Ground’ , ‘Power and Glory’ and ‘Moon Dance’.

Over two sets Doug Carn and Jean Carne will include tracks from both their work as a duo and Jean Carne’s solo career. There is one Manchester date at Band in the Wall (20th June) and three London dates at Ronnie Scotts (21st-23rd June).

Look out for a full review from the Ronnie Scott’s show.

Love, death and money. La Bohème / Abanxaxhi

In its new production of La Bohème, South African company Isango Ensemble re-imagines Puccini’s Paris in Cape Town, and brings it to Hackney. Does it work? Continue reading Love, death and money. La Bohème / Abanxaxhi