Review by John West
Photos by Simon
The Djanogly Theatre is situated within the Lakeside complex of
Nottingham University. A nicely intimate venue and all-seated, the
theatre hosts a variety of performing arts as well as musicians.
Tonight, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara are here to perform tracks
from their critically acclaimed album ‘Soul Science’, which won an
award at the BBC3 World music awards 2008. Justin Adams is a
talented guitarist who shares a love of both the blues and world music.
He may be more familiar to some as a regular guitarist with Robert
Plant's band Strange Sensation; forming an integral part of the overall
guitar sound therein. However, he is here tonight to perform in his own
right with a master Gambian musician and griot (poet), namely Juldeh
Camara. Together they have fused a love of the blues and just a hint of
rockabilly with the sounds of African music. It works extremely well as
these two are masters of their craft; playing with an obvious sense of
joy and respect for each other. Its wonderful to watch and totally
inspiring for me as a guitarist and as a fan of honest musicianship.
Adams plays several guitars tonight, as well as a Tamashek lute
called a ‘tehardant’, whilst Juldeh sings and plays some wonderful
traditional African instruments; namely a one string violin - a ‘ritti’, and
a superb banjo-like instrument called a ‘gologo’. The fusion of western
and African music created is held together by the percussionist Salah
Dawson Miller; a longtime collaborator of Justin Adams. A colourful
character, he keeps the whole thing together as he plays his various
percussive instruments and drums. To hear and see the interplay
between these musicians is a joy, and when you hear echoes of the
blues and a Bo Diddley riff set against an African fiddle or banjo it is
a joy to behold and is simply magnificent. It is real musicianship; very
rootsy and totally inspiring to the observer and listener. This is what is
special about seeing musicians honing their craft and thoroughly
enjoying themselves in front of their audience.
They are next on tour with the Mali desert blues band Tinariwen in May;
another inspirational group and well worth checking out. Two for the
price of one eh? Go check ‘em out. You will not be disappointed.
Recommended listening too!