Róisín Gadelrab’s music news: DAM; Club de Fromage; Calva Louise; Nettie Baker
28 February, 2019 — By Róisín Gadelrab
SPEAKING to DAM rapper Tamer Nafar on Sunday night brought back memories of a family holiday in Sharm el Sheikh nearly 20 years ago where we met a group of young men handing out CDs. They told us they were this new rap group from Palestine and that they were going to be something worth listening to. Their name? DAM. When I reminded Tamer about this, he told me that was back in the day when they had to pay for their own flights, pressed 100 CDs themselves and managed to talk their way onto a bus of Arabic musicians they admired to try and promote themselves. Sadly they were not treated too well at the time. These days DAM’s flights are paid for and they don’t have to Photoshop their CD covers. Their music and influence has reached millions.
• Those mischievous trolls at Club de Fromage are experts at capturing the essence of our times, so we shouldn’t be surprised at their special Where’s Dave? night on Saturday (March 2) – an evening questioning the whereabouts of David Cameron, who melted away post the referendum. As we lead up to the March 29 Brexit deadline, Fromage DJs at Islington Academy will be playing Cameron/Brexit-related tracks – think Eton Rifles, Should I Stay Or Should I Go and With or Without EU (Fromage artistic licence added), holding a referendum to decide which song to play at midnight, with Danny Dyer’s Cameron rant up on the big screens and free entry before midnight to anyone dressed as David Cameron, Where’s Wally, a pig or a husky.
• Self-managed musician Saskia Griffiths-Moore successfully crowdfunded for her third studio album, Ocean of Stars, reaching its target in five hours thanks to the following she has gathered. Hear her at the Water Rats on March 3 for her worldwide album launch concert. The album features a full, six-piece alt-acoustic band and draws from roots, Americana and folk music.
The Afro-Cuban All Stars
• Originating in the mid-1990s, the Afro-Cuban All Stars (the group responsible for the Buena Vista Social Club album) were founded by Juan de Marcos González to celebrate the heritage of pre-revolutionary Cuban music. In a rare London appearance, they will perform songs old and new at the Jazz Cafe on March 4 and 5, as music from the golden era of Cuban music is revived and refreshed with the incorporation of contemporary sounds and rhythms.
• To celebrate the release of her third album, GREY Area, featuring collaborations with the likes of Chronixx, Little Dragon, Cleo Sol and Michael Kiwanuka, and out on March 1, Little Simz will play an intimate show at the Courtyard Theatre in Old Street on March 6. New single Selfish is all over the radio.
• Nettie Baker, eldest daughter of Ginger Baker, legendary “wild man” and drummer with the Graham Bond Organisation, Cream, Blind Faith and Airforce, will be the focus of next week’s Dublin Castle Rock ‘n’ Roll book club. Nettie’s Tales of a Rock Star’s Daughter is a collection of sharp, funny recollections of the world she grew up in. She will be reading extracts from the book, and joining a Q&A with hosts Tony Gleed and Julie Hamill, followed by a specially tailored DJ set from the night’s hosts. Also expect a full set from The Cesarians.
• Lebanese group Mashrou’ Leila have attracted controversy in the Middle East for their outspoken lyrics and politically charged electro-pop anthems about LGBT rights, race, religion and modern Arabic identity. They play the Roundhouse on March 7.
• Power pop trio Calva Louise bring their bubblegum garage-rock to The Lexington on March 7.
While She Sleeps
• While She Sleeps play a sold-out show at the Roundhouse on March 1, the release date of their fourth studio album, together with a special guest appearance from a live choir.
• San Diego quartet P.O.D. take their tour with Alien Ant Farm to The Forum on March 2.
• Notable gigs this week: Sean McGowan, Borderline (March 2); Homeshake, The Forum; Indira May, Ronnie Scott’s (March 5); Ensemble Modern Orchestra, Roundhouse (March 6).