Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara
The Arches
18th May

Ok. Totally behind on gig commentary. On 18th May I saw Tinariwen for the second time, first time was something like February last year. At that time I had heard a track on the radio here, a compilation track there. This time I had two albums, and as such their unique sound of African blues was much more familiar. And I say unique because I now have more to compare it to, support from Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara was ok, they had a sort of rock blues hybrid thing going on, which was ok, but not really engaging. Similar with Vieux Farka Toure who I saw a few months ago, who even shares a Malian background with Tinariwen. There are several guitarists and most of the members of Tinariwen sing, so the roles within the band change from song to song live. But it is the voice of Ibrahim Ag Alhabib one of the founding members, composers, singers, and guitarists who really marks the band as different. There is something about his delivery that is so soulful and so deep that the band's music really comes to life, much more than when any of the other singers takes lead. Though in saying that, the entire sound and combination of guitars, vocals and percussion is distinctive, mellow and down beat, weary and sunbeaten, political and impassioned. Formed from war Tinwariwen are Taureg, African nomads who find themselves increasingly restricted to the lands of Mali, of the Sahara desert. In the langauge of the Taureg "tinariwen" means empty spaces, and their music is full of this idea of the empty space. This time round their live set up includes a big screen, onto which some of the lyrics are projected, covering aspects of being a nomad and living in the desert, mixed with pictures of the band and the Taureg people.

Juldeh Camara

Justin Adams







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