Amadou and Mariam, gig review
Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
Thursday 23 January 2014
Originally billed as being an instalment of their new Eclipse series of concerts, in which the hall is plunged into complete darkness and the entire audience find themselves experiencing the conditions in which blind Malian duo Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia perform one of their concerts, the associated logistics and health and safety concerns saw their regular show come to Celtic Connections instead.
Played by a backing quartet alongside Amadou on chiming afropop guitar, the set built in power across its ninety-minute running time, from the strident afrogroove of Africa Mon Afrique to Wily Kataso’s easy funk. La Realite was wonderful, its urgent rhythm reminding of disco, while Beaux Dimanche strutted by on a rhythm most reminiscent of house music.
The pair fit together easily and naturally, with Amadou’s light but sonorous tone melding with Mariam’s fluttering falsetto, which was put to soaring use on the encore medley of Je Pense a Toi and Sabali, two of their signature songs.
“Kiss me,” says Mariam towards the end of the latter song, breaking into spoken English and out of the French employed in most of her lyrics, “kiss me, I love you.” As she says it, she reaches out a hand and runs her fingers affectionately through Amadou’s short-cropped hair, a beautiful gesture of warmth and affection we would have missed in the dark.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food