Can you hear the drums?
While rummaging through my archives this week I came across some old footage I shot a few years ago of Duchess, a brilliant band from Wantage which took percussion to a new level. Most bands have a drummer, some bands have two, Duchess had three and a half, which meant Joal sure had his work cut out that night setting up mics for all those instruments.
If you never had the chance to see Duchess, this video gives a flavour of their relentless energy and samba rhythms. And if you were lucky enough to have seen them that night, I'm sure you'll enjoy reliving the moment.
The line up on this video consisted of Katie on vocals and drum, Will on drums, Dan on drums, Thomas on drums, Steve on bass, and Pete Hughes from Brightworks standing-in on guitar for them. These days Katie runs her own local business, Tribe Zero Waste, selling organic foods wth an ethos of never using plastic in packaging [http://www.tribezerowaste.co.uk]
Djela lon zaouli (the daughter of the lion)
What do you get if you cross a shuffle dancer with a Morris dancer, a moonwalker with Riverdance? You get one of the most intricate and demanding dances you will ever see, the Zaouli mask dance of the Gouru region of Cote d'Ivoire. The Zaouli is performed at tribal ceremonies and funerals. The dance is always performed by a male dancer, dressed in a colourful costume and leggings, and wearing the mask of a woman, representing Zaouli, the daughter of the lion. Drummers summon the villagers who encourage the spirit of Zaouli into the dancer. When the drums find the correct rhythm, the spirit takes over and the high-energy dance begins.
World Order in a chaotic New York
In contrast to the high-energy of Zaouli, the dancing of Japanese group New World Order is possibly the slowest you will see, and yet it is just as fascinating and requires just as much intricate planning and discipline. This was their performance of New York performed in, where else, New York.
Marching on the spot with your own personal Jesus
Personal Jesus was a song originally by Depeche Mode back in 1989 and has been covered by numerous artists including Johnny Cash, Nina Hagen, and perhaps most famously, Marilyn Manson. I've even heard a few of our local bands cover it, such as Seven O'clock Junkies. But my favourite is this version by the covers band, Broken Peach, from northern Spain. The amount of theatre that goes into this short video is magnificent. Performers amongst you should observe the power of eye-contact with the audience, and the audience in this case is the lens of the camera.
Reach out and touch me
Except no, don't reach out and touch me. We still have a corona crisis on our hands. I really thought we were on the verge of getting gigs going again, but this week's legislation restricting social events to six people or less scuppers that pipedream. We'll keep working at it though, and when we can revive our real live gigs with drums and dancing, you'll be the first to know.