One of my photos

King of bongo (bong)

October 3rd, 2007 · Posted by Skuds in Music · 2 Comments · Music

Just back from seeing Manu Chao at the Brixton Academy.

It was an extraordinarily good show, which was about 50% encores.  One of my friends there described him at the end as the Duracell bunny of music, and its true: the energy levels the band keep up all the way through are amazing.

The show started a bit like Stop Making Sense, with the drummers setting up a rhythm and then being joined by the other musicians one by one. I was a bit put out when it became apparent that there were only going to be 6 people on stage though – the other 4 were not there.

What we got was a show with no trumpet, trombone,  accordion or Jamaican singer, so it lacked some of the extra dimensions which the Radio Bemba Sound System normally have, but it gave the evening more of a Mano Negra atmosphere.  (Although Mano Negra used to have a horn section and accordion)

This atmosphere even extended to the encores, where one of the last saw the percussionist take centre stage to sing Sidi H Bibi while Manu Chao took over at the back.   I never expected to hear that song played live again so I was well chuffed.

The whole show was a lot more punk than before and I don't know if that was a reaction to missing the other musicians or whether the other musicians were missing because of a decision to make it more basic.

I nearly used the word 'conventional' there.  That would have been a mistake: that is the last thing a Manu Chao concert would ever be. 

Afterwards I realised that the last time I went to the same venue it was to see Kraftwerk… you could hardly get more different.  Last time there were ripples of excitement because it looked like Ralf almost tapped his foot at one point, but tonight it was all movement, chaos and sweat.

Tags: ··

2 Comments so far ↓

  • skud's sister

    Just got the album -work’s so crazy this is about the first chance we’ve had! Worked our way through HMV Leeds to get to World Music (their choice of category…) so picked up a few bits on the way only to find that we had to go all the way back down as the only stock left on a Saturday afternoon were on Chart. Number 50 but still chart….

  • Danivon

    In the US, he’s listed as ‘Latin’. Which confused me as Mano Negra were under ‘French’.