I am a relatively recent convert to some of the “desert rock/desert blues” that has come to notice in increasing amounts in Western countries over the past 5 years or so. Bands such as Songhoy Blues, Tinariwen and Mdou Moctar along with Ali Farka Touré and son Vieux Farka Touré come to mind.
Given that, it was with great delight that I got the opportunity to see Tamikrest at Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) on their inaugural visit to the shores of Australia (and Tasmania in particular in this instance).
The music that this trio performed, began with a few songs which totally hypnotized the audience with the intricate, and mesmeric acoustic guitar lines and Malian vocals from Ousmane Ag Mossa which were delicately played over the trance-like percussion & looped synthesizer, as played by Cedric “Momo” Maurel and the beautifully snaking basslines of bass player, Cheikh Ag Tiglia.
The seated audience remained transfixed throughout the ‘acoustic’ first half of the show before Ag Mossa added his electric Gibson Les Paul to the mix, and “Momo” Maurel shifted to the full drum kit; and whilst there was a noticeable shift towards a more rock-oriented psychedelic sound, the trance-like direction of the music became one which almost compelled people to get up and start moving to the rhythm.
Following a standing ovation, their encore song was a genuine mash up of all of their styles and influences, and ensured, for me at least, that the hype about their (Pink) Floydian abilities was fully realised.
This band are the sum of their parts – part traditional, part psychedelic, and part Western-influenced rock. Fused together, they are Tamikrest.
The tour continues at the following Australian venues before the band head off to Europe for further dates –
Fri 28th – Strawberry Fields Festival, Tocumwal
Sat 29th – Meeniyan Town Hall
Sun 30th – Street Theatre, Canberra
Mon 31st – Sydney Opera House