From Nigeria, there’s the heavy, heavy sound of Afrobeat, delivered here by Seun Kuti, son of the incomparable Fela whose band Egypt 80 are now under the commanding leadership of Kuti Jr. If Afrobeat is a timeless music, so too is the soulful reggae of Toots & The Maytals. We’re delighted that the still-effusive ‘Toots’ Hibbert will be leading his charges through all those hits – Monkey Man, Funky Kingston, Pressure Drop, Do The Reggay… Continue reading WOMAD 2013 announces Seun Kuti and Toots & The Maytals to join the line-up
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
In the hot glove of a sticky East African night, the last act of the annual Sauti za Busara festival takes place. ‘Local’ outfit FM Academia – with over twenty members in the band – are rocking the open-air venue (an old walled fort in the centre of Zanzibar Town) with their unique ‘muziki da dansa’ rumba style, when, suddenly, on stage come literally dozens of the festival’s crew. The now over-crowded hugely enthusiastic stage dances out the last number of the 2012 event. Mark Stewart reports… Continue reading Busara Festival to leave its Zanzibar home?
OK so it’s not just Ayanna Witter-Johnson and Robert Mitchell over the 4 days (there’s actually 100 performances by many different acts) but they were the highlight of the opening day at this high spec venue near Kings Cross.
The 02 London Mela – Europe’s largest outdoor Asian festival – returns to Gunnersbury Park, Ealing, on Sunday 4 September. Last year’s Mela attracted a record-breaking 92,000 people, and this year the festival is set to be even bigger and better than ever, with nine zones including The Main Stage, Mix Tent, BBC Introducing, The Classical stage, Community & Kids zone, Outdoor arts and ‘In conversation with’, not to mention the food markets and funfair.
Check it out live
This year’s programme is packed with docs about musicians and subjects ranging from Hole drummer Patty Schemel, to A Tribe Called Quest, to Genesis P-Orridge, to a record shop in Newcastle Upon Tyne, to Roma gypsies and Slovakians, to 2 men who shout a lot at each other (not so much music as a cult phenomenon), to Queen, to Justin Bieber, to Miriam Makeba, to Michael Nyman, to Siddheswari Devi to more
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!”
As much as the mention of Futuristica’s Jazz Chronicle’s session in the Guardian’s Guide on Saturday as their ‘Pick of the Week’ was appreciated, they missed out that Manchester’s finest Matthew Halsall was a special guest DJ!
Quite an interesting statement of intention calling your debut album Same Girl with all but two tracks being covers of mostly well known songs; if she is the same, she’s always been uniquely fantastic on this evidence.