If you’re going to see Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Contonou at the Scala tonight, I’m well jealous but then, it’s time to review their latest album Contonou Club so I’m very happy.
It might have been the last night of the tour but as the Afrobeat message beats loud again, this was one not to be missed, as Gilles Peterson said earlier this year, “If you ever get the chance to see Seun Kuti live, you’ve got to go!”
“The late, great Charlie Gillett had a passion for music”, Mark Coles, BBC World Service, June 2010.
Spring has sprung and so once again a young (oh alright then, middle-aged) world music fan’s fancy turns to the theoretically incongruous but in practice pretty successful agglomeration of disparate artists that make up the African Soul Rebels concept.
“I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks,” I was told be my partner in the queue to get in. And I’m not surprised as when are you going to see Salif Keita and Tony Allen on the same night in Dorset?
This is a proper party mixtape dedicated to the Breakin’ Bread label artists. We’ve featured quite a few of them in the past on Fly, but this is a timely reminder of the quality they’ve been producing and what’s to come!
“Check him, check him, check him, he’s on tour” enthused Gilles Peterson on his Radio 1 show recently after playing ‘Beng, Beng, Beng’ by Femi Kuti. He certainly is on tour and rocked the Barbican on the London leg of the African Soul Rebels Tour.
Catching Ba Cissoko’s band on stage is like watching African lightning bottled in front of you. The aching beauty of the acoustic kora, the thrill of an electrified kora and the cross currents of tradition and modernity in west African music meeting in one band. The whole — as dazzling as it is — feels unstable, powerful, beguiling.
The audience bounded out into the torrential rain on a freezing Brighton night warmed by the Malian sunshine from the country’s two most unlikely musical superstars Amadou and Mariam. Their joyous set of songs ended an evening full of poignancy, humanity and, above all, great music
‘Rebel’ is a much-loved moniker in the music biz. The cred of being a ‘soul rebel’ ups the ante (e.g. Bob Marley, Dexy’s Nightnight Runners). And if you go to the next stage of being an ‘African Soul Rebel’, you’ve got the hat trick.