BEEN AROUND THE WORLD – By the time you read this I will have been to Spain and back. Off on my travels for a little break, I love Spain, love the laid back culture, the climate, the food and their language. What’s not to love about it? One of the many enjoyment’s I have while I’m there is hearing some live musicians at local pubs and venues. Everything from Flamenco to a Motown singer at the local pub, our local area has a wide variety of entertainment. The Spanish love nothing better than dancing and singing into the late hours and I have enjoyed many a late night, dancing salsa with total strangers. The majority of music played is British or British influenced apart from the Flamenco of course. I’m sure there must be some Spanish music out there of high standard that I would like or maybe even love, however I’ve never heard it yet. In total fairness we have been spoilt in the UK, our charts and music history is worldwide famous, decades and decades of famous bands and artist’s that have also found fame beyond our isle. We have a high standard to live up to.
We need to broaden our listening horizons and embrace world music. The term “world music” has been used since the 1980’s to describe various forms of music originating outside the Anglo-American pop mainstream, yet having an appeal to a segment of the worldwide popular music audience. In Britain, world music became an accepted definition following a meeting in London in 1987, which brought together a group of music industry figures who were seeking a more efficient way of marketing and selling records of music from various parts of the world. I was recently recommended some African music by a reader of True Faith, which I really enjoyed and I would never have got the chance to have found if it hadn’t been for his recommendations. I’m always open to hearing any genre of music and I love a recommendation from a fellow music lover. So this week I’m playing some tracks of music that may fall into the ‘world music’ bracket. Some you might know, but they are all tracks I like.
MAGIC SYSTEM – 1ER GAOU
Magic System is an Ivorian music group from Abidjan. They were founded in 1996 and record in the Zouglou dance style which have featured in the charts throughout Africa. They have sold over 1.5millions CDs
1er GAOU is a single by Magic System for the album of the same name. The title literally means ‘first fool’ in Ivorian slang. Originally recorded in 1999 it became a smash indie hit in France 3 years later and was the bands break through song.
A true faith reader recommended this song to me/us and I instantly liked it. Nothing like anything I listen to but I enjoyed it and would like to hear more.
THE GYPSY KINGS – BAMBOLEO
The Gypsy Kings music extends through generations, to the sound of their ancestors. The Gitanos are Spanish Romani people who fled the Catalonia region during the Spanish Civil War, the music reflects his eclectic culture. The bands up changing line up consists of 2 bands off brothers. The brothers Reyes (Nicholas, Canut, Paul, Patchai and Andre) and the Baliardos brothers (Tonino, Paco and Diego).
The band started by busking on the streets of Cannes in the South of France, playing weddings, parties and festivals. Having adopted the gypsy lifestyle they also adopted the name. The gypsy kings cross all borders of world music from rumba music to the traditional attack of flamenco guitars. They have incorporated Cuban influence, Arabic music, jazz and reggae into their performances. This broad cultural mix has led the gypsy kings to be embraced wherever they go worldwide. They have spent 25 years at the top and are still touring. They still live in the same area in the south of France which has defined their identity and sound and long may it continue until they pass down the baton to the next generation.
Bamboleo is a famous Spanish language song by the Gypsy Kings released in 1987. The iconic song has been covered by numerous artists and translated into a great number of languages. Bamboleo means sway in Spanish. I love the Gypsy Kings and my years of travelling in Spain I have become more and more familiar with their music. They are everywhere in Spain as you can imagine. I first heard this song a long time ago played as part of a Flamenco show and it was amazing and still remains one of my favourites.
EDITH PIAF – NON, JE NE REGRETTE
Piaf was born in France 1915 and died 1963. Edith was a French cabaret singer who became widely regarded as a national treasure. Her music was often autobiographical, singing about her life, love, loss and sorrow. Edith was discovered in the Pigalle area of Paris by a nightclub owner. He persuaded her to sing at his club which was frequented by a mix of classes. Standing at only 4ft 8” she was nicknamed ‘little sparrow’ Piaf is Parisian slang for small bird. Piaf’s career and fame gained momentum during the German occupation of France. Piaf was deemed to be a traitor and collaborator. However evidence after the war showed her to be involved in helping the resistance.
Non, Je ne regrette rien, meaning “no, I regret nothing” it was written in 1956 and was released by Edith Piaf in 1960. It spent 7 weeks at the top of the French singles and airplay reviews chart.
I had heard this song many times before, but about 4 months ago a follower on Twitter who is a Parisian was asking me about Northern Soul and its history. Anyway he told me about his love for Edith Piaf through his granny and shared a few songs with me. This was the one I loved the most. Edith’s voice tells a story, it sounds pleading and full of sorrow but I love it.
ANOUSHKA SHANKAR – TRACES OF YOU ft. NORAH JONES
Anoushka Shankar was born in London 1981 and is a Bengali/Tamil sitar player and composer. She is the Daughter of the world famous sitar player Ravi Shankar who worked with George Harrison after the Beatles split up and half-sister of Norah Jones. As a teenager ANOUSHKA lived in California and attended San Dieguito high school academy. A 1999 honours graduate, she them decided to pursue a career in music rather than college. She started training on the sitar at the age of 7 and gave her first public performance at the age of 13. By the age of 14 she was accompanying her father at concerts all over the world and signed her first recording contract at 16 with EMI.
‘Traces Of You’, was released as a single in 2013 from the album of the same name it features vocals by Norah Jones, Shankar’s half-sister, on three tracks. I love the sound the sitar makes. I think it’s very relaxing and mesmerising and the huge instrument must be rather exhausting to play. Norah’s vocals on this song compliment the music beautifully.
MY DRUNKEN HAZE – PAPER PLANES
A five piece band, from Athens, Greece. My Drunken Haze, mix psychedelic with modern day sounds to allow the listener to slip into a 60s beatnik vibe. Electronica, guitar switches and a flowing backdrop of percussion the audience can chill with this mellow sound.
Paper Planes has just been released this month, love, love this bands haunting vocals and sound. I will be checking their music out.
HONEYMILK – DON’T SHINE YOUR LIGHT
HONEYMILK are an indie band from Stockholm, Sweden. Over the last few years they have had various problems with their set up and existence. They have released an album ‘Lean In The Sun’ followed up by an EP ‘Sanguine Skies’, which is set for release imminently. They have managed to keep a steady flow of singles. Definitely a band to watch out for, they have a great Indie sound and I love them.
This is a great website for finding new Indie bands from Europe, well worth a look