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07 juin 2008

Angelique Kidjo Comes to the Harmony Festival

I first wrote about Angelique Kidjo in May of '04, having first heard her during one of my visits to Montreal's annual Festival d'Afrique. Here musicians from Africa, the Carribean, and the Americas, converge and for one week, every style imaginable, from Techno to Morroco can be heard. Kidjo, a fabulous singer from Benin, has attempted to prove that the world is "much smaller and far more culturally connected than it may appear". Her music has been said to "glorify individual cultures while also underlining their universal similarities". Kidjo returns to the Bay area this Sunday, along with incredible line-ups like Mickey Hart, Parliament Funkadelic, Jefferson Starship, Paula Cole, Sol Horizon, among others at the 30th Harmony Festival, June 6th-8th in Santa Rosa.

With Djin Djin, her new release on Razor & Tie/Starbucks Entertainment, Kidjo comes home. The four-time Grammy-nominated, much-celebrated singer, composer, and performer began in the Beninese port village of Cotonou, where she launched her career at the age of six. The political turmoil in her country led her to relocate to Paris, the capital of world music, and then ultimately to New York City, where she now resides. Her striking voice, stage presence and her fluency in multiple cultures and languages won respect from her peers and expanded her following across national borders. It also earned her access to humanitarians who sensed the passion in the words of her songs, resulting in her long-term dedication to global charity work.

Kidjo has traveled far and mesmerized audiences on countless stages, speaking out on behalf of the children in her capacity as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. Now with Djin Djin and the return to her musical roots, Kidjo has truly closed the circle in her life as she brings international artists to the musical world of her native country. As a child, Kidjo was mesmerized by an iconic album cover of Jimi Hendrix, which led her to follow the African roots of music from the United States, Brazil and the Carribean. The results were the Grammy-nominated trilogy of albums, OREMI, BLACK IVORY SOUL and OYAYA. With Djin Djin (pronounced “gin gin”), Angelique Kidjo returns to the soul of Benin – and, for the first time, shares it with a cast of all-star guests, in a marriage of cultures that has significance far beyond music alone. Inspired by the traditions and culture of Kidjo’s native Benin in West Africa, the title of the album refers to the sound of the bell that greets the beginning of a new day for Africa.

The diversity represented by Alicia Keys, Peter Gabriel, Josh Groban, Carlos Santana, Joss Stone, Branford Marsalis, producer Tony Visconti, and the others who contribute to Djin Djin speaks to the lesson of this project: For all the differences in the music of our time, the river of Africa flows through it all. The key was to build Djin Djin on a Beninese foundation. The heartbeat, then, comes from percussionists Crespin Kpitiki and Benoit Avihoue, both members of Benin’s Gangbé Brass Band. Details of their country’s rhythmic heritage, specific in some cases to individual villages, feed the rhythms they lay down throughout the album.

To this mix Kidjo welcomes players whose backgrounds complement the idea of Djin Djin: drummer Poogie Bell, known for his work with Erykah Badu and Chaka Khan; funk keyboard wizard Amp Fiddler, whose credits include Prince and George Clinton; Larry Campbell, whose multi-instrumental work has adorned the music of Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, and Paul Simon; Senegalese bass giant Habib Faye, a fixture with Youssou N’Dour; guitarists Lionel Loueke, from jazz legend Herbie Hancock’s band; Romero Lubambo, a Brazilian wonder whose credits include Diana Krall and Dianne Reeves; Joao Mota, from Guinea-Bissau and kora master Mamadou Diabate.

Each player is a virtuoso but, more important, is open to taking creative chances. “It was important to me that all of these great musicians come with me back to my roots,” Kidjo says. “I’ve never compromised those roots because I know my identity, and I’ve learned that in order to give through music, you have to position yourself among other individuals who may be from different cultures and background and then find ways to discover that we’re actually not different at all "

Kidjo set some of the new material on Djin Djin into the languages of Benin, Nigeria, and Togo. She has written and sung extensively in French and English as well, but for this mission the lyrics came to her from further back in her history. The title track, “Djin Djin,” is a reminder to live each fleeting moment as fully as possible. Her songs embrace the joys and sorrows of life: the magic of birth (“Salala”), the uniqueness of each person even on this crowded planet (“Arouna”), the temptations of violence (“Mama Golo Papa”), the healing and learning potential of music (“Awan N’La”), the lessons offered as youth yields to age (“Sedjedo”) and isolation deepens in modern society (“Emma”).

But Kidjo doesn’t hold back her anger, expressed here toward wealthy classes enslaved by love of money (“Senamou (C’Est L’amour)”). She also looks forward to the day when leaving Africa to seek fortune far from home won't be the only solution for a desperate youth (“AE AE”). On her rendition of Sade’s “Pearls,” she extols women who are strong, yet suppressed and unable to escape the pain of existence. On another cover, a brilliant a cappella arrangement of Ravel’s Bolero entitled “Lonlon”, she illuminates the bridge that stretches from European classical music to the wellspring of northern Africa. And on “Gimme Shelter,” Kidjo transforms the Stones classic into an exuberant pan-national performance that nonetheless translates into a warning.

“This song means a lot to me,” she says. “Look at what’s going on: Fire is burning in our streets. Terrorists, in the name of God, are coming to destroy what we’ve worked for. If you don’t give shelter to the people who most need it, if you don’t treat them as your brothers and sisters, then what hope do we have?” The contributions of stellar guest artists illuminate Kidjo’s concept. By finding a place for their distinctive talents within the marriage of African and Western influences, Djin Djin celebrates the beauty of diversity as well as the unity of cultures that Kidjo achieves through her music.

These giants include Peter Gabriel on “Salala” (“He’s done so much for African music; in fact, there’s something African in his way of singing, moving, and writing his songs”); Alicia Keys on “Djin Djin” (“When she heard the Beninese drums in the studio, she said, ‘Wow, this is hip-hop!’ She understood it perfectly – and she sang so beautifully”); Joss Stone on “Gimme Shelter” (“We’re friends, so when I played her what we were doing in the studio, and she insisted on being a part of it, I was so happy that we could make this happen”); Josh Groban on “Pearls” (“He sings so effortlessly,” Kidjo says, “and yet you know that it isn’t easy to sing at that level of virtuosity”); Ziggy Marley on “Sedjedo” (“He understands so well the connections between the music of Jamaica and the rhythm of Africa – especially the gogbahoun rhythm that comes from my village”), Carlos Santana on “Pearls” (“He’s not only a guitar player: With his guitar he sings, he dances, he swings, he cries – and he has huge respect for Africa”); Branford Marsalis on “Djin Djin” (“He’s my brother! When he plays, you never know what you’re going to hear or where his wonderful ideas will take the music”); and Amadou and Mariam on “Senamou” (“We go so far back as friends; it was a special blessing and a gift to have them on the album.”)

Producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie, Morrissey) helps to bring each track on Djin Djin to full sonic bloom. Recorded at Electric Lady Studio in New York, with participants gathered in a studio made intimate by carpets, couches, and home-like accoutrements, these performances testify to the power of music to simultaneously unify and free those who make it and hear it.

“When we had finished our recording, we were all so sad because we had come together as a family, all within just two weeks,” Kidjo recalls. “Music brings us together, but after the music is over, you go back to your home, to your neighborhood, knowing that you can make a difference. You have to be proud of who you are. Whether you were born in America or Africa, you can celebrate life.”

Kidjo’s point is as simple as it is profound: The celebration only begins with Djin Djin and will last as long as you want it to after that.

The 30th Annual Harmony Festival
Santa Rosa, Sonoma County Fairgrounds
June 6th-8th

E. "Doc" Smith is a musician and recording engineer who has worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Madonna, Warren Zevon, Mickey Hart, Jack DeJohnette, and John Mayall among others. He is also the inventor of the musical instrument, the Drummstick. He can be reached at

Site review: The Filter

On E-consultancy :

The Filter
, Peter Gabriel's new online music, movies and video recommendation service launched this week. As with, it aims to provide users with recommendations based on their preferences and listening habits, but is it as good?


Users need to sign up and give some basic information on their tastes before they can get started. In the case of music, you are asked to tick your three favourite music genres from the list. Then you need to rate a number of artists/bands from the music styles you have selected, and repeat the procedure for your favourite movies

This isn't much information to be able to determine your musical preferences, but The Filter does have some other ways to improve this. You can import information on your listening habits from your account, and the service will use this to build up your profile. Also, you can download The Filter for Windows. This is an application that tracks what you listen to through Windows Media Player, WinAmp or iTunes, and uses this to improve the accuracy of its recommendations.


The approach to recommending music is interesting, combining the preferences you enter manually, with your listening and purchasing habits. The Filter recommends six albums at a time, and users can click on the album covers and listen to excerpts from a number of tracks on the album before asking you to rate it

If you already own an album you can mark it and it will not be recommended to you again, which is useful, while you can ask for more albums if you don't find one you like. Having used the service for a day or so, the recommendations were pretty relevant, and improved once I had imported my information from Once you have a recommendation you like, you can choose to buy it from Amazon, We7, Nokia, or the iTunes Store. The site uses the same process for rating movies and videos though, since it cannot plugin to iTunes or, the recommendations aren't as accurate as with music so far.

Social features

There is a social network element to the site, you can see other users that are listening to the music you like and ask them to be your friend, Once you have done this, you can email people via the site, as well as writing on their wall, Facebook-style.


The Filter is an appealing and easy to use website which provides some very good recommendations, which will surely improve over time once it has had time to learn your tasted via iTunes and The main problem for me is that already does much of this while offering more for users. For example, you can only listen to short extracts of tracks on The Filter, via a player at the bottom of the page

The Filter music player

This is useful to get a quick idea of songs, but is no match for, which will recommend and play you whole tracks. In addition, once you have set up and linked it to iTunes, it makes recommendations and slips songs into your radio without you having to make the effort, whereas with The Filter you need to put more work in to get results.

06 juin 2008

New Ideas New Nominations

Peter Gabriel's Filter Hall Of Fame nominees

Since Genesis, Peter Gabriel has been an innovator and pioneer, utilising the then-clumsy and expensive Fairlight computer on his solo albums; he was one of the first to utilise digital recording, established WOMAD, Real World studios and Real World record label, developed CD ROM technology, (creating the acclaimed Xplora, the world's largest selling music CD-ROM), invested in online advertising-supported free music download site (, was one of the founders of On Demand Distribution (OD2) one of the first online music download services, as well as numerous humanitarian projects.

Peter's latest venture is the newly launched The Filter. It's been said that the internet needs a good editor, the amount of information available can often be overwhelming, finding what you know is out there can be difficult, but finding relevant material that you don't even know exists can be time-consuming and frustrating. As an avid user of the internet Peter feels the same way, his new enterprise narrows the choices of music and makes suggestions based on your personal music preferences. The user can filter music based on mood and interest and find music unknown or forgotten by them. "The internet, which I think is an amazing creation, provides access to an ocean of limitless information, but without filtering it's easy to drown," Gabriel, 58, told The Press Association. "But if you have this little friend on your shoulder, that can pick out music to listen to and films to look it, it's something I would use provided I could steer it a little." It is a bold experiment that may make music that is seen as too obscure, or fringe, by current search engines more accessible and user-access friendly, which can only be a good thing, especially for the time poor punter.

Former Sudan child soldier Emmanuel Jal raps his message of peace

NEW YORK - After spending his youth mired in harrowing brutality and poverty as a child soldier in Sudan's ethnic conflict, Emmanuel Jal was rescued by aid workers who pushed to give him a new start at life in a different country.

But there were times when he didn't want it.

"When I was in Kenya I hated myself, I even cursed the day I was born. I hated it. I wanted to commit suicide. I went to England, when there was a car coming I would want to stop and the car to hit me," says Jal, a slight, soft-spoken man whose gentle demeanour belies his past. "I was trying to look for death."

Inspiration for a better life would come in an unusual form - the violent, crime-plagued rhymes of rappers in the United States.

"What made me brave is American hip-hop," says Jal in his heavily accented English. "Someone come and say to me, 'They have to rob for them to eat. So I would try and picture, how does America look like because I've never been there. So for me when I look at it and look at my situation - I was a child soldier, we never had food, we raid villages and we take the food and we eat . . . So I said, 'OK, let me testify.' "

Jal's testimony came in the form of his own raps - and now, through his music, he is hoping to heal not only the wounds of his own people but to promote peace while inspiring others.

"I lost my childhood, yes. My country is a war. People are dying now. What could I do with what I have?" asks Jal, who last month released his third international CD, "WARchild," and is the subject of a new documentary of the same name.

"It cause me nothing if I just go and talk about my story, but the impact that will do will be amazing, so let me sacrifice my pride. Because before I used to hide, I didn't even want to be called a Sudanese because of what I see on TV. . . . But I say this country, this is me, this is my responsibility, I have survived, I'm here, let me use it."

Karim Chrobog, the director of the award-winning "War Child" film, says Jal's story shows that "you can really survive horrible, horrible things and come out of them and really make a difference . . . he has put all the bitter things in life aside, his sense of revenge, his sense of the war and how it's affected him personally."

The dreadlocked Jal, who doesn't know his age but believes he is in his twenties, was about seven when the Sudanese civil war, which pitted Muslims against non-Muslims, tore apart his family and led to his life as a child warrior for the Sudanese People's Liberation Army.

His pregnant mother was killed, and his father, a member of the SPLA, allowed his son to be trained as a soldier for the anti-Muslim faction. Bands of children were taught how to use machine guns and put on the front lines as the militia carried out attacks against government loyalists.

One of the more sombre parts of the "War Child" film shows video of Jal as a young boy carrying a weapon, while another features the now-adult Jal talking to school children and solemnly acknowledging that he took part in killings as a child.

Jal and hundreds of other children were forced to fend for themselves. At one point, they were so hungry Jal admits he considered eating the flesh of a dying child comrade. After an attempted escape, he and 150 others were rescued by aid worker Emma McCune and taken to Kenya. McCune adopted Jal, but she died in a car accident a year later. Her friends helped bring Jal to London to start anew.

He managed to finish high school in England, but when he tried to extend his visa to stay for college he was rejected, and sent to Kenya.

"My life crushed, I had no hope. So that's when I started doing music. I was just doing it to encourage myself and have fun," he says.

Jal, who says he is still growing as a rapper, recalls participating in verbal battles in the Sudan before the violence, much like playing the dozens in the United States, though he says he was never any good: "(It's like) maybe telling somebody like, your sister is so skinny that she can shoot through a straw," he says, laughing.

But as he grew older and started writing lyrics, his music struck a chord not only in Kenya, where his song "Gua" (which means peace) became a hit, but internationally. He was invited to perform at 2005's Live Aid concert in London, collaborated with the likes of Peter Gabriel and Moby, and realized that his rhymes were not only therapeutic for himself but others as well.

The lyrics on "WARchild" are not only inspirational and spiritual, but also political. One song talks about Africa being financially raped by the outside world, while "Forced to Sin" talks about his life as a soldier.

And while he was once inspired by American rap, he uses the CD to also criticize some rappers' glorification of violence, sex and crime, most notably on the song "50 Cent," which urges the multiplatinum rapper to stop promoting songs that might encourage black-on-black crime. The chorus: "Now 50 Cent I ain't hating on you, still I think it's my civic duty to warn you, you're being played brother man, you're being played by the man."

"I sometimes ask myself, you say you're a gangster, you deal drugs, you kill people," Jal says of 50 and other rappers of his ilk. "If you're a real killer, it's not fun talking about killing people. It's hard ... participating in killing someone is hard because human life; it doesn't matter who you are, there's no one can say, 'I'm hardcore, I kill people.' Somehow, someday it will burst in you."

"You can't be a gangster until you die," adds Jal. "(50) should do something different, and maybe going back to the community because if we don't do that, if we don't save this generation then it's going to be a genocide, especially on black people."

Jal is trying to help those afflicted by the violence with the Gua Africa foundation, designed to aid war survivors rebuild their lives. With Sudan still in turmoil with the violent Darfur conflict, Jal is trying to solve the problem the best way he can: with his musical contributions.

"For any person who struggle in something, (this is) to show that if you are in this world you are here for a reason, and every person has a purpose," he says. "It took me long time to actually say I believe that I survived for a reason."

On the Net:

from Brandon Sun

Peter Gabriel launches taste-making guide for entertainment

While the internet may be a great place for entertainment, not everyone has the tech savvy - or the patience - to search seemingly infinite websites to discover something new.

But rocker Peter Gabriel thinks he has found a way to help with his site, appropriately titled The Filter.

"The internet, which I think is an amazing creation, provides access to an ocean of limitless information, but without filtering it's easy to drown," Gabriel, 58, said. "But if you have this little friend on your shoulder, that can pick out music to listen to and films to look it, it's something I would use provided I could steer it a little."

The site, which will provide users with daily recommendations, was founded by Gabriel and Martin Hopkins, a huge jazz fan. Hopkins first came up with the notion of filtering content to discover new or forgotten music according to one's individual mood.

Users who visit The Filter will initially be asked to fill out basic information and rate different genres of music and film, and also different acts and movies as well. The filter uses that information to figure out what kind of suggestions to make, and the more a fan uses the site, the more accurate the recommendations, according to the site's developers.

Gabriel recently had soul music and Nick Drake on his own Filter page. He also likes Radiohead and Icelandic band Sigur Ros.

"It's the attraction of being still in touch with interesting and new things without having to make the effort to research them all the time," said Gabriel, laughingly pointing out the "inherent laziness in my nature."

"I'm a tired thumb person, I'm a channel clicker. Maybe it's a male thing. I know there's good stuff I'd love to watch out there but I don't want to search all the time," Gabriel added.

He also doesn't have the time, in general.

The singer has a 6-year-old son and another son on the way with his second wife. He also has two adult daughters.

"I'm very fascist about family time nowadays. I don't work weekends. That's very important," Gabriel said. "Being a dad is still the thing that has given me the most pleasure in life."

Gabriel has also been multitasking projects, from a song for the Pixar-Disney animation movie Wall-E to recording at his expansive Real World Studios a few hours from London. He has also been working on a web site to be called that he dubs "the first social network for the dead," a way to store memories and remember loved ones.

But he still loves touring, although he says he won't do yearlong tours anymore because of family.

"It's balancing life with any other life. Nothing beats the experience of playing live music with great musicians," Gabriel said.

The Filter is not the former Genesis frontman's first foray into technology. He also founded Real World, a group of companies including a multimedia outlet. In 2000, he co-founded online British music distributor On Demand Distribution (OD2), which sold for millions to a Seattle company in 2004.

Peter Gabriel, Unfiltered

Back in the day, I was a rabid Peter Gabriel fan. Through his Genesis days and his first five solo albums, he ruled; his concerts were a transcendent experience. His music tailed off after that, as did my interest, though his Oscar-nominated collaboration with Randy (I Write A Song For Every Second Movie) Newman on That’ll Do still gives me chills. Look, I’m a big enough fan to absolve him of the responsibility in the creation of the tribute to the paucity of taste in the world that is Phil Collins.

So I was thrilled to get an excuse to write about him in the form of the launch of The Filter, his online project that uses complex algorithms and your input to recommend music, movies and television programs that’ll appeal to your taste.

(Although, I’m sure an interview would have gone badly:

“Peter Gabriel here.”
“Peter Gabriel? You’re really Peter Gabriel?”
“Yes. Mr. Webb, I understand you wanted to learn a little more ab-”
“Yes. Now, let me tell you a little bit about Bayesian mathe-”

The Filter, as Mr. Gabriel was tring to tell us before he was so rudely interrupted, uses Bayesian mathematics to sort through the tripe and find the stuff you’ll like. According to the Web site, “the engine uses an evidence model (which includes purchase, consumption and browsing data) to derive the similarity of items.” Given an item of interest, it produces a pick-list of that are relevant.

As you rate the recommendations, the engine has more and more information from which to derive its lists, ultimately, in theory, knowing what you’ll like before you even know it exists. Once you’re signed up, you can fine-tune by rating other genres and artists.

All good in theory (even if the theory is a little beyond me). In practice, though …

The sign-up process is quick and painless (although the simulated parquet background on the home page shocked my monkey): Choose three genres of music. You’re then presented with three artists in each genre to rate; a handy preview function lets you have a listen if you’re not familiar. Do the same for movies (or don’t). And you’re away.

The recommendations, on the whole, were spot-on to a degree. I’m a picky eater when it comes to music (no Phil Collins, please; I’m allergic). Many of the CDs recommended were already in my collection. Most of the preview music I heard suited me fine. And over time, one supposes, as I rated more and more tracks, the recommendation would have been even more finely honed. With the optional downloadable program that tracks what you’ve played in iTunes or Windows Media Player, the results should be even more relevant, unless you like listening to music that you don’t, um, like.

But then what? The Filter has no record company deals, so it can’t sell you music online. The previews are 15- to 20-second clips; by the time you’ve heard enough to rate the song, it’s moved on to the next. The streaming quality was iffy (probably high traffic in the wake of the launch) and the sound quality and volume varied wildly (but then again, you have to use the volume control on any stereo when switching from Bill Evans to The Killers). And I can’t abide the privacy implications of the download — though the company promises they don’t do anything else with the information, that’s no promise that a court order couldn’t break.

If it actually functioned as a streaming radio player that tunes itself to your taste, it would be worth the buzz. But as it stands right now, it’s not terribly useful. While it’s a different (and arguably more accurate) engine to play arbiter of your musical taste from the “other-people-who-like-what-you-like-liked-this) model of, say, Yahoo Radio, at least that plays full songs.

Sorry, Mr. Gabriel. I wanted to like it.

But to be fair, it is in beta, and surely more features are coming. Keep it on the radar.

Peter Gabriel Unveils Plans To Cover Vampire Weekend

He likes their stuff... Peter Gabriel Unveils Plans To Cover Vampire Weekend

Former Genesis vocalist Peter Gabriel has unveiled plans to cover a song by New York’s Vampire Weekend. Speaking to BBC 6Music, Gabriel said that he was introduced to the band by someone from Vampire Weekend’s record label. When asked what song he would like to cover, Gabriel said he was a fan of ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’, which also includes a reference to him.

"I actually do like that song a lot and they've asked me to sing a version of it now which I may well do," he said. However, Gabriel joked that, if he was to cover the song, he might have to change his own lyric. "Well I haven't quite worked that out whether I should be doing that or substituting it with a name that might be appropriate to me - I think playing with yourself makes you go blind after a while,” he said.

by Jason Gregory / Gigwise

The Filter - le choix de Peter Gabriel...

Jusque-là en beta test privé, The Filter, moteur de recommandations musicales et vidéo sous la houlette de Peter Gabriel, vient d'ouvrir ses portes. Le but de ce site web gratuit est de proposer aux utilisateurs des contenus correspondant à leurs goûts. Pour cela, le moteur utilise les renseignements que vous fournirez au travers de votre profil.

Mais ce n'est pas tout, un autre outil sous la forme d'un utilitaire à installer dans la barre des menus est également proposé. Ce dernier va analyser votre bibliothèque musicale afin de ne pas vous proposer les morceaux que vous possédez déjà, puis dans un second temps l'observation de vos habitudes d'écoute servira à affiner le contenu suggéré.

A essayer...

En savoir plus...

par Nantho / Pc

Tout sur le chiffre “ 46664 ”

Grand concert pour les 90 ans de Mandela

Nelson Mandela serait sans doute l’homme qui a marqué le 20e siècle. Ayant mené une lutte contre le racisme en Afrique du Sud, l’histoire de cet homme titulaire d’un prix Nobel de la Paix aurait marqué tout un siècle. Atteignant actuellement ses 90 ans, un grand concert sera organisé, pour lui rendre hommage, le 27 Juin à Hyde Park à Londres. Dénommé le « concert du 46664 », cet évènement verra la participation d’une panoplie de « stars internationaux ». L’on annonce même des dernières « retrouvailles » avec les « Spice Girls » afin de marquer l’évènement.

033 56 466 64

Le chiffre 46664 est un « tout » pour Nelson Mandela. C’était son numéro d’identification lors de sa détention en prison depuis 1964 jusqu’à sa libération en 1990. C’est aussi le titre donné à une série de concert organisé par la Fondation Nelson-Mandela en faveur de la lutte contre le SIDA ayant comme slogan : « Aids is no longer just a disease, it is a human rights issue » (Le sida n’est plus une simple maladie, c’est un enjeux des droits de l’Homme).

Le numéro 46664 est encore utilisé comme référence honorifique à l’ancien prisonnier Nelson Mandela, victime du système de l’Apartheid. La Fondation Nelson-Mandela a choisie pour l’adresse de son site internet. Ce numéro n’est pas une simple référence, Mandela était le 466e prisonnier incarcéré à la prison de Robben Island en 1964.


Les concerts 46664

Une série de concerts est déjà organisée depuis 2003 par la fondation Nelson Mandela. Le premier a eu lieu le 29 novembre 2003 au Cap, en Afrique du Sud au « Green Point Stadium ». Il fut organisé par Nelson Mandela et avait pour but de récolter des fonds pour que sa fondation puisse faire de la prévention et lutter contre l’augmentation du nombre de personnes séropositives au VIH en Afrique-du-Sud. C’est pour cela que ce premier concert portait le nom du « concert 46664 ».

Les artistes suivants y ont participé. Entre autres, Beyoncé Knowles , Queen (Brian May et Roger Taylor), Youssou N’Dour , Yusuf Islam (anciennement connu sous le pseudonyme de Cat Stevens) Peter Gabriel , Angélique Kidjo , Bono et The Edge du groupe U2 , Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Johnny Clegg, Jimmy Cliff , The Corrs , Ladysmith Black Mambazo , Eurythmics , Zucchero, Ms Dynamite , Anastacia , Soweto Gospel Choir. A la suite de ce concert, trois « CD live » et un DVD intitulés « 46664 : The Event » ont étés commercialisés.

Le 19 mars 2005, un autre concert “ 46664 anniversaire « a eu lieu à George en Afrique-du-Sud avec des participants tels que Katie Melua, Annie Lennox, et Queen (avec Paul Rodgers). Will Smith fut le parrain de ce second concert.

Le premier concert 46664 en Europe s’est déroulé du 29 avril au 1er mai 2005 à Madrid, en Espagne. Le concert fut nommé « 46664 Festival Madrid », avec des artistes principalement hispaniques, dont Zucchero.

Le 11 juin 2005 a été organisé le « 46664 Arctic Concert » (" concert arctique 46664 ") à Tromso, en Norvège. Un concert qui à duré plus de 5h sans interruption (de 19h00 le 11 juin jusqu’à 1h15 le lendemain). Cette année, un concert se tiendra à Londres, le 27 Juin prochain. Will Smith, Johnny Clegg et bien d’autres « stars internationaux » seront à l’affiche de ce concert pour les 90 ans de Nelson Mandela. Et 46 664 personnes sont attendus à ce grand rendez-vous.

Recueilli par Daddy Ramanankasina

04 juin 2008

Eddy and Finley to play Womad

Eddy Grant and Finley Quaye are among the line-up at this year's Womad Festival.

The world music festival - founded by Peter Gabriel in 1982 - will be held in Wiltshire's Charlton Park from July 25 to July 27.

Eddy said: "I'm delighted to be playing Womad... Womad is still about real people from all over the world coming together to play real music. I'm thrilled, it's going to be a great event, to be going back on the road after 25 years and play Womad is something very special for me."

As well as featuring live music from bands from all over the world, this year's Womad will also feature a summer school with lessons from some of the acts.

The festival, in the grounds of Lord Suffolk's magnificent stately home, will also feature luxurious boutique camping for the first time.

Campers can hire Royal Maharaja Tents, containing a double bedroom and a smaller bedroom, with access to private showers and a dining area serving breakfast and the morning papers.

Think you've got good taste in music? Sell it

The Filter, a website backed by Peter Gabriel, analyses taste in entertainment and uses the data to make recommendations. An ambitious new website backed by Peter Gabriel, the Genesis singer and music entrepreneur, aims to give people the option to sell their taste in music and film.

The Filter will attempt to do for other forms of entertainment such as movies, music and television what Amazon has done for books, namely make recommendations to users based on the purchases of others.

Unlike other sites like it, however, the goal of the Filter will effectively be to create a blueprint of a person's taste across a whole range of entertainment genres and, ultimately, allow that person to sell their recommendations to others.

The site works by analysing the songs that someone listens to through iTunes, the tracks he or she buys from digital music stores, and how he or shes rates songs on itself. That data is then compared with similar lists gathered from other users, and used to draw up a list of recommended songs, artists and music news stories.

The same is done for films, using software that synchronises with existing online movie rental sites such as, web video, through monitoring of a person's use of YouTube, and television shows, again through purchasing on iTunes. does not sell music tracks - this it leaves to existing digital music retailers such as iTunes, to which it links. (Those who sign up can, however, click on a 30-second 'taster' clip of a song that has been recommended.) The aim is rather to help people navigate the vast quantities of entertainment that are available on the web and make recommendations to them based on their existing preferences.

"People are drowning in choice," Mr Gabriel told Times Online. "The web has brought us freedom of choice but once people get that, they realise they want freedom from choice. This lets them take control over who is giving them recommendations about things like music and film, so they can make better choices."

Existing music sites such as have long enabled users to tap into the collective taste of a large, music community and have songs recommended, but allows a greater degree of control over the recommendation process.

Users can elect, for instance, to have their movie suggestions 'filtered' through a film-buff friend, or choose a blend of two friends' tastes to recommend music.

There is also scope for 'cross-genre' recommendations, so a person will be able to put an artist like U2 into the site, and ask the engine to suggest films that are admired by U2 fans. When Times Online tried this, the site came back with Brideshead Revisited, though this was likely a product of the site not yet having a critical mass of users, its founders said.

The service is free, and the site, which goes live today, aims to make money through advertising, referrals to retailers such as iTunes, and by selling its platform to media companies keen to understand more about their audience.

It also plans to expand into other areas of taste, such as food, wine and travel.

Importantly, the site will not rely on becoming known as an independent social networking site, and will instead be able to be incorporated into existing platforms such as Facebook, personalised home pages like iGoogle, and on mobiles.

Mr Gabriel, who has been involved in several digital ventures - including We7, an advertising-funded online music store, said that "in principle" the site was in favour of allowing people to get paid for their recommendations, but added that the model for calculating compensation had not been wholly thought through.

He said the artists whose taste he would be most interested to tap were Tom Waits, for music, Martin Scorsese for film, and J J Abrams, the co-creator of Lost, for TV.

The Filter, which is based in Bath and has a staff of 18 - mostly software engineers - is backed by Mr Gabriel's Real World Group, and Eden Ventures, the Bath-based venture firm. It has attracted $8.5 million worth of investment so far.

Jonathan Richards /The Times

Father and son behind new Thomastown music festival

Thomastown will host Ireland's newest boutique festival in August, with headline performances from Jools Holland and his 19-piece rhythm and blues orchestra and guests, the Blind Boys of Alabama, John Martyn and a host of the best new Irish bands and singers.

The event is being hosted by Kilkenny artist Ramie Leahy and his son Enda at Dysart Castle, one kilometre from the town. The one-day festival will take place on August 9, during the Kilkenny Arts Festival, which Ramie helped found with a group of local artists in 1974.

The venue, Dysart castle is the birthplace and home of the enlightenment philosopher George Berkeley. One third of any proceeds from the event will go to saving the castle, which is a listed heritage site and close to collapse.

The castle sits in the woodlands outside Thomastown in the middle of a huge natural amphitheatre which locals in Thomastown are now calling "baby-Slane".

A second stage, the "Glade Arena", is also a natural bowl-shaped amphitheatre, surrounded by trees which will be lit with festoons of lights for the event. The event will also have a comedy tent.

Artists are still being added to the bill ahead of the launch of the event next week, but a confirmed list of acts already playing the event has been released. In addition to the three headliners the festival will showcase the best of young Irish acts, from indie-rockers Ham Sandwich, the Dirty Epics and Dali, to singer songwriters Clive Barnes, Luan Parle and Gemma Hayes and funk-driven Dublin act Hoarsebox.

"We've been working on this for almost two years now and everyone, from local politicians and the gardai to the entirety of Thomastown have given us such great encouragement and support. It'll be a really great show. We've hired in a production team from the UK who are event managers for Robert Plant and Peter Gabriel for the past 20 years, so if they don't know how to put on a good show no-one does.

"And we're really happy Jools has agreed to play for our first year, he represents exactly the kind of quality music that spans the generations, and his role in encouraging and showcasing hot new talent is exactly what we're trying to do at Dysart.This is an event that will appeal to people of all ages, to anyone who likes good music and art and having a bit of craic."

"The venue is amazing too, with 125 acres and three naturally sloping amphitheatres, all the production guys and bands we've had out keep telling us it'll be the best show of the year. The site could easily hold 40,000 people but this first event will be nothing like that kind of scale. "We're working with the fire service on ensuring the safety of everyone who comes and at this stage we're just really looking forward to the day," added Enda.

For more information on the festival or to book tickets see

Mary Cody /kilkenny Peopple

Talent search still on

The closing date for one of the biggest ever talent searches in the UK has been extended.

Due to high demand, budding music stars and bands in the Bridgwater area now have until June 19 to submit their entries for Rockstar 08.

It now gives even more unsigned bands and artists the chance to enter the Peter Gabriel and Michael Eavis-backed competition.

The winners will be treated to a two-week recording session in Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios to record a debut album and perform at next year's Glastonbury Festival.

Organiser Kelly Sumner said: "We have received an overwhelming amount of entries so far and we are extending the deadline after the exciting new offer of a two-week recording session.
"There are so many unsigned bands and artists out there wanting to get their big break and there are few greater breaks than the prizes up for grabs."

Winners will also secure a headline slot at the Pilton Party alongside Scouting For Girls at the end of August.

The competition is open to all unsigned artists, young or old, groups or soloists. To enter, click on the link below.

By Rory McKeown / Bridgewater Mercury


Sur le blog d'Intruder :

Et voilà le résultat.

Le code ISBN ayant été attribué, la production de "REAL WORLD, UNE BIOGRAPHIE DE PETER GABRIEL" va pouvoir être lancée.

A ce sujet, une bonne nouvelle pour les fans.

Lundi j'ai envoyé un mail aux REAL WORLD STUDIOS à Box, informant la maison de disques de Peter GABRIEL, de la sortie de cette biographie. Rachel PEARCE, attachée de presse du Maître, m'a répondu et m'a demandé de lui en expédier une copie. Elle m'a dit qu'elle informerait Peter GABRIEL de la sortie imminente du bouquin, mais que celui ci était affairé pleinement par l'enregistrement de son ... nouvel album! "I/O" ne sera donc bientôt plus l'Arlésienne. En tous les cas, sa réponse fut très rapide et très courtoise, moins de 24 heures, un modèle du genre. Je n'en attendais pas tant !

Il existera plusieurs moyens de se procurer le bouquin: directement par Internet (paiement sécurisé), en me le demandant sur mes diverses adresses email, et dans quelques bonnes librairies. Ceux qui veulent une dédicace n'auront qu'à me le demander, je me soumettrais !

Bientôt tous les renseignements pour se la procurer. Et bientôt aussi, en ligne, les bobines de tous les héros de l'affaire : Chloé, Guylaine, Jean Phiippe et Grégoire ...

03 juin 2008

Gabriel knows what you like in your wardrobe

Musician Peter Gabriel has launched two new Web services aimed principally at music lovers. The Filter, a personalised entertainment content filtering system, went live today at offering to help users discover new music, film and web video, based on their individual tastes and moods.

Gabriel, former lead singer with UK prog rock outfit Genesis, and latterly a champion of World music, has also teamed up with audiophile Hi-Fi maker Bowers & Wilkins to offer high quality downloads of selected albums from his state-of-the-art Real World Studios.
Peter Gabriel
The Filter aims to provide a guide not only to music, but to other content areas such as books, TV and podcasts to enable technology to supply users with entertainment tailored to their specific tastes.

"The first freedom the Internet brought was the possibility of access to any content, at any time, or anywhere,” says Gabriel. “Now that many of us are drowning in choice, we need good tools to help us make smart decisions. Traditionally, we have had help from people who are more knowledgeable than ourselves, or whose taste we trust, and today we have expert systems to help guide us.

The Filter integrates the best of both approaches, man and machine, and takes data learned in one area to help guide in another. For example, data about musical taste can help produce better selections in film, or someone else's tastes - friend, celebrity, whatever - can be mashed up with your own to provide new and interesting discoveries. As well as being fantastically useful, this thing is real fun too.”

Users who visit The Filter and undertake a brief taste profiling exercise will receive a daily homepage of music, film, and web video recommendations, all personalised to their taste. Further usage of the site will enable The Filter to learn and therefore improve the levels of personalisation.

This sounds excellent in theory and sadly must remain theoretical for the time being as our repeated attempts to sign up to the site resulted in abject failure. It may be that the initial load on the site was the cause of the problem, although the pages still being labelled 'beta' did not instil confidence.

One excellent facility that we were sadly unable to test for ourselves was the ability of the site to import user preferences from other sites such as which also suggest content based on a user's entertainment tastes.

The Filter is operational in 164 countries and its database currently includes over five million songs, 330,000 movies and more than 50 million individual purchases and playlists.
We look forward to it working properly. It sounds like a good idea.

CD quality

Gabriel's venture with Bowers & Wilkins is less adventurous, but promises members who sign up CD-quality downloads and an album of the month.

B&W's Society of Sound music club promises an exclusive album every month, specially recorded and downloadable in a 'lossless' file format to provide CD-quality sound.

Each album is recorded in Gabriel's Real World studios and can be played on an Ipod or burnt to CD. The club promises albums spanning many different genres and styles, some well-known, some undiscovered. "The only common factor is quality. This is a chance to hear truly brilliant, original music by outstanding musicians working at the peak of their powers," says B&W.

he company is offering a free trial of the service giving access to the subscribers' area and the opportunity to download a shortened version of each album for three months from the sign-up date. X

Check out
The Filter
Society of Sound

By Andrew Thomas IT

Tom Diakité : Les nobles couleurs du Mali

Après avoir accompagné de nombreux artistes aux univers très divers et participé à cinq albums, depuis les années 1990, Tom Diakité s’est enfin décidé à signer un premier enregistrement sous son nom. Intitulé Fala, cet opus élégant écrit une nouvelle page de la musique mandingue. Rencontre avec ce noble malien.

RFI Musique : Vous venez de signer votre premier album sous votre nom, intitulé Fala qui signifie "orphelins". D’où vient cet intérêt particulier pour les enfants sans parents ?

Tom Diakité : Je suis issu d’une grande famille et j’ai eu la chance de grandir entouré de nombreux gamins, puisque nous sommes une vingtaine de mômes nés de même père ! Donc, je ne peux pas être insensible à la cause des enfants. En particulier ceux des rues, livrés à eux-mêmes, que ce soit en Afrique, ou ailleurs. Si on prend l’exemple de notre continent, la population est majoritairement très jeune. Par conséquent, j’ai senti le besoin d’envoyer un message à toutes les bonnes volontés et à tous ceux qui veulent m’entendre, afin d’éradiquer ce fléau. Les orphelins, comme les autres enfants, ont droit à une éducation même s’ils ont été abandonnés. Je pense qu’il faut donner une chance à toute la jeunesse. Car bien éduquée, elle aura un avenir meilleur.

Globalement, vous écrivez des chansons qui font enseignement. Quels sont les autres sujets que vous abordez dans vos textes en bambara ?

Je parle de pas mal de thèmes qui touchent le quotidien des gens. Il y a une chanson titrée que je dédie au peuple malien en dénonçant ce qu’il subit. Par exemple, le problème du pouvoir d’achat chez nous et le coût des produits manufacturés, qui deviennent difficilement supportables. A Bamako, le secteur du bâtiment est en pleine essor et le prix du sac de ciment a explosé ! Il est passé à plus de 7500 Francs CFA, alors qu’en Côte-d’Ivoire ou au Sénégal, l’unité attend à peine 5000 francs CFA. Tout cela, à cause des taxes douanières, puisque nous sommes obligés d’importer les sacs de ciment des pays voisins, depuis que nous n’avons plus de cimenterie au Mali. Sur ce même titre, je parle également de la pollution à laquelle nous sommes aujourd’hui confrontés à Bamako. Franchement, cela devient infernal ! Dans MaliKiramando, une autre chanson, je rappelle d’ailleurs que nous devons respecter l’environnement car c’est Dieu qui a fait la nature. A l’heure actuelle, nous sommes tous responsables des catastrophes naturelles que nous connaissons !

Musicalement, vous proposez un alliage entre les instruments traditionnels mandingues, comme le donzo n’goni, petit luth des chasseurs bambara, et les guitares électriques au groove pop. Pour vous, c’est une manière de proposer un nouveau son pour le Mali ?

Avec à mes grands frères -de redoutables chasseurs-, j’ai approché tout jeune le donzo n’goni à l’occasion des fêtes de village. Je joue également de la kora, que j’ai appris seulement à la fin des années 1990 aux cotés d’Ousmane Kouyaté, ce grand guitariste malien grâce à qui je suis venu m’installer en France. Bien que je m’appuie sur cette base instrumentale ancestrale, je ne joue pas dans un registre authentique, comme on peut l’entendre au Mali. Et puis, j’ai accompagné beaucoup d’artistes de différentes cultures et d’univers variés. Mise à part mes collaborations avec Salif Keita, les Gypsy Kings et Johnny Hallyday, ou encore mon aventure dans le domaine théâtral avec Sotigui Kouyaté et le metteur en scène Peter Brook, il y a eu la belle histoire avec le trio Tama. Une rencontre qui a donné naissance à deux albums sortis sur le label Real World de Peter Gabriel. Avec ce groupe, j’ai côtoyé Djanuno Dabo, le percussionniste bissau-guinéen et Sam Mills, le guitariste anglais marié avec Susheela Rahman. Toutes ces expériences m’ont enrichi, car elles m’ont permis de trouver les voies de la complémentarité. L’échange est toujours positif. Pour réaliser cet album, j’ai fais appel à l’excellent guitariste français Yves Mesnil qui l’a coproduit. Et j’avoue que je suis assez fier du résultat. C’est un disque d’empreinte mandingue, mais d’aujourd’hui.

Vous êtes issu d’une lignée de nobles peulhs. Par conséquent vous n’auriez jamais dû chanter. Comment avez-vous réussi à transgresser cette règle ?
Ça n’a pas été évident, j’avoue avoir connu énormément de problèmes. J’ai été élevé par ma tante installée en Côte-d’Ivoire. Elle était très gentille avec moi et j’ai eu une enfance tout à fait agréable à Abidjan, cette ville qui m’a vu grandir. Mais le jour où ma tante a reconnu ma voix à la radio alors que j’interprétais une chanson, elle a jeté violemment le transistor par terre. C’était en 1982. Le lendemain, elle est partie voir mon oncle, à l’époque, ambassadeur du Mali en Côte-d’Ivoire, pour que je puisse travailler avec lui au consulat. Mais, très vite, je me suis rendu compte que je n’étais pas fait pour ce genre de boulot. En me cachant, je suis de nouveau retourné à la musique. A force de faire des séances d’enregistrement, par-ci par-là, dans la capitale ivoirienne, j’ai commencé à gagner de l’argent. Un soir, je suis venu donner tout ce que j’avais gagné à ma tante. Cela représentait un bon paquet de francs CFA. En voyant tout cet argent, elle m’a jeté tous les billets à la figure, croyant que j’avais braqué une banque ! En tant que noble, c’était un déshonneur pour la famille d’avoir un enfant qui se mettait à la place d’un griot. J’étais considéré comme un amuseur public. Cela a été un véritable défi pour moi d’embrasser une carrière artistique. Au fil des années, les choses se sont arrangées. Personnellement, je crois que chacun a son destin. J’avais envie de faire ce métier. Et le fait d’être musicien me procure beaucoup de bonheur.

Ecoutez un extrait de Fala

Tom Diakité Fala (Safoul Productions/Iroko Sound) 2008

En tournée française en juin : le 3 au Zèbre de Belleville, le 4 à L’Alimentation Générale, le 6 au Pavillon de l’Eau, à Paris ; le 8 au Café de la plage à Maurepas ; le 14 à Brunoy ; le 18 au festiv’Eté à Vélizy ; le 21 à la Fnac des Termes, à Paris

Daniel Lieuze / RFI Musique

The Filter Launches, With A Message From Peter Gabriel

The Filter, the media recommendation engine that we covered last April, has opened its doors to the public. The Peter Gabriel-backed company offers an entertainment start page that provides recommendations on movies, music, and online video (it is mostly focused on perfecting its music recommendations for the time being).

In the following video Peter Gabriel explains why we need sites like The Filter to reduce the overwhelming abundance of information available online down to a manageable level.

The Filter image
Location: Bath, United Kingdom
Funding: $8.5M

The Filter is a personalized discovery engine for digital entertainment content. Its aim is to make sense of the overwhelming amount of digital content available on the web by filtering out the stuff that an individual probably wouldn’t be interested… Learn More

B&W Starts Music Club

E-Gear: Bowers & Wilkins announced last week that it has launched a new music club, in association with Real World Studios, which is owned by recording artist Peter Gabriel.

The B&W Music Club, which describes itself as “an online community for audiophiles and music fans,” and offers a special album for download each month, always recorded live at the studio in Bath, England. The music will come from many different genres and styles.

The club’s membership costs $39.95 for six months and $59.95 for a full year. For more information on the club, visit

Rocker Gabriel launches The Filter

Peter Gabriel has launched The Filter for his website fans

While the internet may be a great place for entertainment, not everyone has the tech savvy - or the patience - to search seemingly infinite websites to discover something new.

But British rocker Peter Gabriel thinks he has found a way to help with his site, appropriately titled The Filter, which debuts on Tuesday.

"The internet, which I think is an amazing creation, provides access to an ocean of limitless information, but without filtering it's easy to drown," Gabriel, 58, said. "But if you have this little friend on your shoulder, that can pick out music to listen to and films to look it, it's something I would use provided I could steer it a little."

The site, which will provide users with daily recommendations, was founded by Gabriel and Martin Hopkins, a jazz fan.

Hopkins first came up with the idea of filtering content to discover new or forgotten music according to one's individual mood.

Users who visit The Filter will initially be asked to fill out basic information and rate different genres of music and film, and also different acts and movies. The filter uses that information to work out what kind of suggestions to make, and the more a fan uses the site, the more accurate the recommendations become, according to the site's developers.

Gabriel recently had soul music and Nick Drake on his own Filter page. He also likes Radiohead and Icelandic band Sigur Ros.

"It's the attraction of being still in touch with interesting and new things without having to make the effort to research them all the time," said Gabriel, pointing out the "inherent laziness in my nature".

"I'm a tired thumb person, I'm a channel clicker. Maybe it's a male thing. I know there's good stuff I'd love to watch out there but I don't want to search all the time," he added.

He also does not have the time. The singer has a six-year-old son and another son on the way with his second wife. He also has two adult daughters.

The Press Association

The Filter lancé officiellement

Par Marc-André Brouillard, BRANCHEZ-VOUS.

L'initiative web du chanteur britannique Peter Gabriel verra officiellement le jour mardi.

Le nouveau site de recommandation musicale et cinématographique se donnant pour objectif de faire découvrir à ses membres, films, musiques et clips vidéo, sera officiellement lancé mardi en version publique.

«L'Internet, qui je pense est une création étonnante, donne accès à un océan d'information, mais sans filtre, il est facile de s'y noyer», a expliqué, à propos de son site, Peter Gabriel à l'Associated Press. «Mais si vous avez ce petit ami sur votre épaule, qui peut choisir pour vous de la musique à écouter et des films à regarder, c'est quelque chose qui peut être utile, à condition de pouvoir le guider un peu», ajoute l'ex-chanteur de Genesis, âgé de 58 ans.

Rappelons que The Filter, lancé en partenariat avec OD2 et Exabre, une société spécialisée dans les technologies de recommandations, utilise l'intelligence artificielle pour suggérer aux utilisateurs des œuvres similaires à leurs œuvres favorites. Pour ce faire, la base de données du site contient 4,5 millions de chansons et 330 000 titres de films. La base de données tiendra compte des goûts des utilisateurs et s'enrichira en fonction du nombre d'adhérents.

The Filter permet notamment d'intégrer des profils déjà créés sur Flixter et

02 juin 2008

Dengue Fever

Article by Robin Denselow The Guardian

3 stars, Borderline, London

Dengue Fever will be hard to avoid this summer. Already booked for a fistful of major festivals, including Glastonbury and Womad, this "Cambodian pop band" are the most unlikely multicultural fusion exponents. They are, in fact, mostly American and were formed by Los Angeles guitarist Zac Holtzman, who has a beard worthy of ZZ Top and became fascinated by the local pop styles while backpacking in Cambodia more than a decade ago. He then began to explore the extraordinary history of Cambodia's pop scene, which flourished in the 1960s, when local musicians mixed western styles with folk melodies. It was brutally crushed in the 70s by the Khmer Rouge.

Holtzman set out to revive 60s Cambodian pop and create a new American-Cambodian style. In Dengue Fever, he is joined by his brother Ethan on keyboards, along with bass, drums, saxophone, and one Cambodian - Chhom Nimol - once a star back home, but discovered by Holtzman while singing for the California Cambodian community in Long Beach.

Making their first British appearance at the Borderline, they proved to be a highly entertaining pop band who were surely capable of even more. Most of the songs were in Khmer and sounded as if they would be too jolly and straightforward if not dressed up by the classy arrangements, with eastern influences mixed with echoes of surf guitar, or transformed by the sheer enthusiasm of the petite and charismatic Nimol, who easily matched the musicians with the power of her singing.

It was enormous fun, if at times lacking in variety. The Khmer pop was matched with the occasional duet in English, such as the witty Tiger Phone Card (about a long-distance call between Phnom Penh and New York), and the final Mr Orange was an inspired guitar-and- brass rock workout. A band to watch.