Monday, March 05, 2007

Femi Kuti

Vicky and I went to see Femi Kuti (Fela's son) and his 13-piece band "The Positive Force" (appropriately named) last night at The Phoenix. Mighty!! They played about two hours I think - had it been in Africa, I expect they would have played all night (and I would certainly have stuck around).

Before going out, Vicky introduced me to a few weird and wonderful new bands she's been getting into: Psapp, Tunng, Notwist, Six Organs of Admittance (I knew about them). She and Claudia are even going to see Tunng in London next Friday.

The Femi Kuti gig was part of the local Vibraphonic Festival. On Saturday, it's Zoe Rahman, a jazz pianist who I saw guesting with her brother's Fela-inspired Afrobeat collective The Soothsayers at The Phoenix last year. That was one of the best gigs I'd ever been to, and it would have been worth the ticket price just to hear her extraordinary keyboard parts.

There's also the temporary festival station Vibraphonic FM. Have heard some excellent stuff, as in previous years - The Majestic reggae soundsystem (more dancehall than roots, but about as good as dancehall gets), Jelly Jazz (Plymouth's amazing funk/soul/jazz soundsystem who I'm glad to see have a program). I was part of a Children of the Drone contingent who appeared briefly on the first Monday "Future Sound of Exeter Show" - they played a couple of our recordings, which led to a local electronic sound artist called Ben Goldstone getting in touch...and it looks like they might be booking Dub Magnitude to support Baka Beyond on May 19th (a proper auditorium slot at The Phoenix, nice). Vicky's teenage son Tom managed to secure a slot for two 2-hour programmes (Tuesday lunchtime) - I sat in on the first, "producing" (coordinating the spoken bits and generally helping things run smoothly), as it was Tom's first time on the radio - and it went very well, we both thought, despite a bit of nervousness on the mic. His selection was impeccable (I might reproduce the playlist at some point) and I even got Digable Planets' "Pacifics" played for me, as he'd not quite got enough material worked out in advance to fill the two hours. And Simon Drone got a birthday shout-out (it being his 40th that day). Looks like I'll be playing a similar role in his program tomorrow.


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