Songlines Music Awards 2021 Winners’ Concert, Barbican, London

4.00

 

Songlines magazine hosts the only World Music awards in the UK, its winners chosen not by critics or industry professionals, but by readers and listeners. Its editor in chief Simon Broughton introduced the Best Newcomer, Album and Group award winners from the stage of a sold-out Barbican Hall.

Best Newcomer, Fatoumata Diawara, has been a regular concert presence since releasing Fatou last year. Here she was with a new band – sadly minus guitarist Moh Kouyate, and replaced by a loud, indifferent French player, though she rose to the occasion with an impassioned Kele (War), presaged by a speech imploring peace in her native Mali torn by political, ethnic and religious schisms.

Anoushka Shankar’s set was drawn from Traveller, an exploration of the shared routes and shoots of Indian and Flamenco music, with a seven-piece band featuring her sitar with guitarist El Melon, piercing shannai pipe and tanpura lute, Flamenco and Indian percussion and Spanish singer Sandra Carrasco.

It’s an enthralling, mesmerising music with Shankar’s rapid fingers letting loose a torrent of sounds from her centre-stage platform, the musicians ranged either side, and the confluences of Spanish and Indian forms rising and falling through a strong eight-song set. Highlights included a Farsi love song dating from the 13th century, the electrifying palmas and shinnai of Ishq, and a beautiful melding of Flamenco song and raga on guitar and sitar.

Tinariwen were the headliners and remain the most iconic of world music acts. The storm of violence hanging over their Saharan homelands means that music of any kind is now banned there, a fact which made their hypnotic and compelling performance all the more powerful.

Six of the band travelled from the Sahara up through Algeria to get to London and, in their Tuareg robes, speaking little beyond, ‘is okay?’, their compacted ten-song set was the first and last word in lean, unencumbered power, a masterclass in the ancient art of weaving that matches Ronnie and Keef.

They tune and stroke their songs into life, breaking them open from lean, probing single notes into gigantic, accumulating riffs. It’s as they’re following a faint desert path that builds into a spirit road, an exodus. It’s stuff for a standing ovation, which they get and deserve.

Afterwards, one of them’s out on Silk Street smoking impassively in his stage clothes as audience members stop to snatch photos and give thanks; a car blasts their music amidst the choking line-up of taxis down Beech Street. One must hope the nightmares engulfing their homeland will end, just as their music continues to reverberate.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum