Friday, November 02, 2007

Baba Salah in Listowel

No better way to chase away the Autumnal blues than letting great music into your soul, and that's what a large crowd at St. Johns, Listowel decided to do on the evening of Wednesday October 10th. Advertised as the Jimi Hendrix of West Africa, Baba was much more than that, infusing virtuouso guitar playing with superb rhythms (kudos to the drummer, one of the most amazing performances I ever witnessed), and singing about issues ranging from the poverty in Mali, the status of women in that country, and European immigration policies.
Baba, assisted by his translator Elizabeth Healy(who was instrumental in bringing Baba to Ireland), gently addressed the crowd in French before most of the pieces, but it was really a night for the music to speak, and a taster of the possibilities of music from Mali (his full band couldn't travel due to the cost involved).
A share of the crowd got up to dance, and the only disappointment at the end of the night was that all the CDs of the group had been sold out at the last gig in Galway. Nevertheless, the memory of a fantastic night was embedded in everyones mind, and the hope lingered for a return gig at some stage in the future.
So off to Christies in the square for a pint after the gig. A group at the bar were extolling the virtues of Joe 'the Vicar' Murphy (who runs St. Johns). The sentiment couldn't have been more appropriate, and kept up the positive vibe in spite of the dodgy Mel Gibson film on the TV.

No comments: