Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Headliner:Vieux Farka Toure
Support: Zeep
venue: The Arches, Glasgow, 25th November 2007

Zeep are introduced as being a Brazilian band, though it is also suggested that they are made up of musicians from London. Mike the keyboard player seems to be the core of the band, backed up by a bassist, guitarist, drummer and a girl singer in her colourful Brazilian dress. Their performance is well received, though really not to my taste at all. I am looking for something a bit different, and this strikes me as being cliched and nostalgic music. The kind of world music that makes world music seem a little cringe worthy and dull to an outsider like me. The highlight of their set is when they are joined by Vieux, but even then they don't do anything interesting.

Ali Farka Toure was probably the most well known African musician of his generation, his son Vieux follows in his footsteps, even if Ali did have initial reservations. I admit, I don't really know Ali or Vieux's music. But having seen and enjoyed Tinariwen earlier in the year, when I read that Vieux is from Mali as well, I thought that he might also be worth seeing.
On stage Vieux plays guitar, backed by a young bassist and drummer, backed by an old percussionist and guitarist. The sound is a kind of blues influenced rock, Vieux's guitar work dominating the pieces. The older guys get into the groove of the sound, eyes closed and caught in deep concentration, dancing around at times along with the music. As does much of the audience. At several points the band are joined by members of Zeep, who drag the sound down from that charged blues, to dated hippy rock again. In the end Vieux offers a different Mali from that conjured by Tinariwen, though he and I both wear their t-shirt this night. Not quite what I am looking for, but of much more interest than the support band.

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