Friday, February 01, 2019

Bokanté at Ronnie Scott's

Soho, London. Friday 01-February-2019.

Another visit to Ronnie's for another band we knew nothing about but the write-ups sounded interesting. And another surprise support act.

The support act was Vula Viel with the lead musician, Bex Burch, playing a giant wooden xylophone, I assume a Ghanaian instrument since she trained there. She seemed to be thoroughly enjoying herself with a permanent smile on her face. Even when the xylophone fell off its stand she reassembled the kit and carried on. Very hypnotic and reminded me a little of Balinese Gamelan.

Vinyl duly purchased from the front desk.

The main stage got pretty busy when the main act came on with, in effect, two groups on the stage at the same time. Fortunately not the full Metropole Orkest.

Neil Spence in the Guardian writes: World music Bokanté and Metropole Orkest: What Heat review - righteous and clever:
There is commendable ambition and skill behind this collaboration between Bokanté, the self-styled “super group” founded by Michael League of the New York jazz-funk outfit Snarky Puppy, and the renowned Dutch big band Metropole Orkest (active since 1945). [...] For this second album, League has added cinematic heft to Bokanté’s melange of Caribbean, Middle Eastern and jazz influences, helped by the arrangements of the Orkest’s Jules Buckley. Full review...

As always the acid test is do we rush to buy the CD. And we did.

Both acts had a definite world music vibe with and Bokante's lead singer, Malika Tivolien, from Guadalupe and Vula Viel's lead having trained in Ghana. An interesting and enjoyable evening.

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