Larmer Tree Festival is in its 22nd year and looks set to be another corker. From 11th-15th July this intimate and kooky gathering will take place near Salisbury with a line up that warrants drooling over and some excellent workshops, comedy and food to boot.
Set in the beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens, six stages will host over 70 artists. The talent is diverse and draws on musical traditions from near and far. Here at Musika, we’re particularly looking forward to the Malian sounds of Amadou & Mariam and Fatoumata Diawara, the hard-to-define Levellers, the super talented Urban Folk Quartet along with Caravan Palace, Punch Brothers, Raghu Dixit, Shlomo and Trio Tekke, to name but a few.
Samuel Yirga – Guzo. The fabulous debut from the young Ethiopian pianist features funky bass lines, traditional Ethiopian classics, reworked psychedelic soul, upbeat Latin and painfully beautiful piano solos.
‘The Sicilian’ by Bonobo is still one of my favourite tracks to listen to when the sun is shining.
Amadou & Mariam – Folila (Because/ April 2 2012)
By Olivia Haughton
I can’t quite get to grips with Folila, the latest album from Malian couple Amadou & Mariam. Unquestionable is the musical talent of this pair, sweethearts of the ‘world music’ scene, trying, and largely succeeding, in breaking free from the shackles of this heavily debated so-called genre. Amadou’s dry and dexterous guitar lines wend through the album with unfaltering strength. Mariam’s voice is as strong as ever and brings light and warmth to this motley collection of tracks.
The Urban Folk Quartet live at The Slaughtered Lamb, London, March 22 2012
By Olivia Haughton
The first time I saw The Urban Folk Quartet, it was a chance encounter. There was no chance involved this time though; I made sure I caught The UFQ as they passed through London for their only gig in the capital this year.
Packing out The Slaughtered Lamb, they didn’t disappoint with another stella set. Following on from melancholy support act Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker, the quartet launched in with their own brand of urban folk. Made up of Paloma Trigás (fiddle), Joe Broughton (fiddle, guitar and mandolin), Frank Moon (guitar and oud) and Tom Chapman (percussion) The UFQ is becoming known for their rip-roaring sets showcasing their combined virtuosity, seemingly endless stamina and huge smiles. Yes, smiles… their happiness on stage is infectious and very much a part of their music.
I kick started my Monday morning with Radiokijada‘s album Nuevos Sonidos Afro Peruanos, to ease me into my day’s work. This album is full of Peruvian rhythms. For me, the highlight on the album is ‘Que Lindo Suena’.