Filed under Reviews

Beirut & Beyond, December 7-10 2017

Beirut & Beyond, December 7-10 2017

This festival dedicated to promoting the most exciting independent music of the Arab region celebrated its fifth edition this year with a line-up curated by Egyptian musician and composer Maurice Louca (whose Lekhfa album was a Top of the World in #134). It was clear from the ten bands on offer that Louca’s tastes are … Continue reading

WOMAD Las Palmas, November 10-11 2017

WOMAD Las Palmas, November 10-11 2017

It has been a few years since this capital city in the Canary Islands has hosted WOMAD; the festival has been on a six-year break in neighbouring Fuerteventura. But with an estimated audience of 40,000 at the concerts this year, there was a genuine sense of joy as Las Palmas welcomed its return. The line-up … Continue reading

Shambala, August 24-27 2017

Shambala, August 24-27 2017

It’s hard not to think that the sun came out specifically for this festival of dreamers and colour fiends. Forecast to be grey and dreary, the weekend was instead warm and bright, echoing Shambala’s vibe with the sun reflecting brilliantly off the endless sparkles that clothed the punters. As always, the festival offered a veritable … Continue reading

Belem, May 19

Belem, May 19

Belem Brighton Festival, All Saints Church, Brighton, May 19 The dark, vaulted interior of Brighton’s All Saint’s Church proved to be a very different setting than where I mostly found myself on this particular weekend. Flitting between dingy basements and bars packed with bearded hipsters, I welcomed an excuse to take a break from the … Continue reading

DakhaBrakha, October 1

DakhaBrakha, October 1

DakhaBrakha Village Underground, London, October 1 I’m always a bit apprehensive when finally seeing a band everyone’s been raving about – will they really live up to the hype? I missed the Ukrainian ‘ethno-chaos’ quartet DakhaBrakha at last year’s WOMAD, a performance that seemed to be the highlight of the festival for many. And now, … Continue reading

Rainforest World  Music Festival, August 7-9

Rainforest World Music Festival, August 7-9

Rainforest World Music Festival Sarawak Cultural Village, Borneo, Malaysia, August 7-9 This festival, tucked within the lush surroundings of the Sarawak Cultural Village in Borneo, has been well written about in these pages, but this year I finally had the chance to experience it myself. And there’s a reason the Rainforest World Music Festival has … Continue reading

AR Rahman Greatest Hits, August 15

AR Rahman Greatest Hits, August 15

This review originally appeared on the Songlines website.  AR Rahman returned to London to perform his Greatest Hits Photos by Nicky Kelvin London’s O2 Arena was abuzz with anticipation – it was Indian Independence Day and one of the country’s most prolific composers was in town for the first time in five years to perform … Continue reading

Gerardo Núñez with Carmen Cortés and  Eva Yerbabuena, London Flamenco Festival, February 22 & 23

Gerardo Núñez with Carmen Cortés and Eva Yerbabuena, London Flamenco Festival, February 22 & 23

This review originally appeared in Songlines #107 (April/May 2015) p85. Photo: Fotohuta These two shows, which were part of the London Flamenco Festival at Sadler’s Wells, showcased opposite sides of the flamenco spectrum. The Sunday night show featured Gerardo Núñez, a leading flamenco guitarist with guest Gypsy dancer, Carmen Cortés. His playing was technically masterful and … Continue reading

Alsarah & The Nubatones – Silt

Alsarah & The Nubatones – Silt

Alsarah & The Nubatones Silt Wonderwheel Recordings (47 mins) **** Sudanese soul sister sings songs of return While US-based Sudanese singer Alsarah appeared on our radar last year with her work as part of the Nile Project, as well as her duo album with French producer Débruit, Silt is her debut with her own band, … Continue reading

Jaron Freeman-Fox and The Opposite of Everything

Jaron Freeman-Fox and The Opposite of Everything

Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything Jaron Freeman-Fox (54 mins)  **** You’ll be well and truly foxed What do Indian raga, bluegrass, klezmer and Mongolian throat singing have in common? Nothing. And maybe that’s exactly what Canadian fiddle virtuoso Jaron Freeman-Fox had in mind when naming his … Continue reading