Wednesday 1 July 2009

Essaouira 2009 playlist with music and video

I am slowly building a playlist on YouTube with music that I recorded at last week's Essaouira 2009 Gnaoua and World Music festival. There are only a few numbers there so far, but don't worry, there will be more to come.

So far I have three numbers from Hassan Boussou and Sewarye's great closing set in Place Moulay Hassan. It was really great. You should have been there, if if you couldn't make it, or if you did and you want to hear it again, just press the button on the playlist below.

Monday 8 June 2009

Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival 2009 - Lineup

News - 8th June 2009

At last, the festival home page now has a link to download the program, so we now know some of the artists who will be playing. Here's a link to the program - look for Télécharger le Programme 2009 just below the flash panel on the homepage. I've been looking at the festival site for weeks, and the menu options once yo enter the site are still only showing the arttsts and program from 2008 (the 11th festival), so be careful that you don't get confused.

For more details about the festival, as and when they post them, visit the official site. There is also a Facebook group for the event, where you can talk with some of the 187 (last count) people who have confirmed they will be attending.

Here's the list:

Residents groups
- The prestigious orchestra of the WDR (thoough it might actually be the WDR Big Band)& the king of raï, Cheb Khaled and Maâlem Hamid El Kasri, with the participation of festival artistic director, Karim Ziad and the celebrated percussionist, Rhani Krija.
- Maâlem Abdeslam Alikane's group, with the musicians of the group Jouala and the kora player, Albaye Cissoko.
- Maâlem Mohamed Kouyou his musicians, with the celebrated New Orleans group, Donald Harrison & Congo Nation.
- Maâlem Abdenbi El Gadari, Unes & Hak’x.

Fusion concerts
- Maâlem Mahmoud Guinea, Afoxe Loni et Stephane Belmondo
- Maâlem Mustapha Bakbou and Sixun
- Maâlem Abderrahim Benthami, the trio Amrat Hussain and Foulane
- Maâlem Mahmoud Guinea, Martin Vassilev, Stephane Belmondo and the Brazilian group Afoxe Loni
- Maâlem Kbiber, Meddy Gerville, Laatabi Diouani and Rachid El Guerrab

Invited groups
- Babani Kone
- Blue Mogador
- Rais Brahim
- Arrested Development
- Mazagan
- Sewarye & Maâlem Hassan Boussou

Acoustic concerts
- Fusion between Agadir Gnaoua and Congo Nation
- Fusion between Maâlem Omar Hayat, Meddy Gerville, Laatabi Diouani and Lindigo
- Fusion between Maâlem Abdenbi El Gadari, Ablaye Cissoko and Foulane
- Sidi Ali Lasmar Stambali
- Maâlem Abdelkebir Merchane
- Trio Amrat Hussain

Looks like we've got a great festival ahead of us. I hope to meet lots of you there. John

Sunday 5 April 2009

New DaftNotStupid logo?

Which one do you like as the new DaftNotStupid logo? Feel free to comment. Stamps bought at De Posthumuswinkel, Amsterdam. Printing all mine.


Sunday 15 March 2009

Save Barton Farm - protest march - Winchester

A short video documenting the march held in Winchester to protest against the proposed building of 2000 houses on farmland on the edge of Winchester. It's a long story, best understood by going to

The proposal needs to be understood in the context that the land was formerly owned by Winchester College, who sold it for development to Cala Homes, so that the College could continue to 'educate' the sons of the wealthy upper class (OK - there might also be a few girls, and a few scholarships, and the kids of a few working class people) - but largely its a class thing. They don't mind sending there kids to Winchester, but they usually don't live here themselves so they don't car if they f%&ck it up for us residents.

Thanks to Rob Berry (who just happened to be busking on the High Street as the march went past) for supplying the musical background to the second half of the film. Films work so much better with music, and, as many of my regular viewers know, it's what mainly motivates me. It's really appropriate that the lyrics he's singing is "You've got to help me - I can't do this all by myself". I'm sure that's just how Gavin Blackman (the chairman of the Save Barton Farm Group) feels sometimes.

Thanks also to the lovely lady from the CPRE whose name I forget to get. Passion will out!

Thursday 5 February 2009

earport Amsterdam, 2009

I'd planned a short week-end in Amsterdam, and on the Thursday evening googled for some live music while I was in town. I stumbled upon earport, billed as a post fusion symphony , created by Paul Oomen. Fusion it was, but not like I'm used to in Essaouira. This was altogether more refined, more planned, but just as joyous and just as fulfilling. I recorded the whole evening - some four hours or so of music - from the balcony of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. My thanks to Maartje from earport, for making it all happen.

I don't have time to list all of the musicians now, but I will be posting lots of the music, and will have a mp3 player available here pretty soon.

Here's a piece written and played by Jan Wouter Oostenrijk with his Maghreb Jazz formation. It's called Feel cha' aby (Track 2),named after the Moroccan chaaby rhythm, according to JWO.

I'm in the process of building an mp3 player, but it will take a little while to get everything posted.

Artist details
Track 1a - Diego Nicolas group
Fra Fra Sound on MySpace

In England, one tends to think of the recorder as a child's instrument, so, be prepared to be disabused of any such preconceptions, when you listen to Raphaela Danksagmuller playing with Jalliya Ensemble and them with Nello Mirando and co. Not on the palylist yet, but will be there soon. In the meantime, take a listen to her on her MySpace profile

Eboman - the human mixer / splicer - maybe not how he would describe himself. I'll be adding one of his pieces to the mp3 player, but you really need to watch him in action to get the whole picture. So, take a look at some of his videos on his MySpace profile: Eboman at MySpace

Who would have thought it. DaftNotStupid is an old romantic. Something about the group that closed earport on Saturday afternoon really got to me. If you've listened to any music that I've recorded and talked about, you wouldn't have thought that this was my style at all. Anyway, take a listen to the final track on the mp3 player and see what you think. Amsterdamse Zeedijkkoor - the Amsterdam Zeedijk Choir - put on a great show - visually and aurally.

I've been going to Amsterdam, off and on, for nearly 40 years now, since my early days as a Dam-slaper, so maybe I'm starting to think like a native. Zeedijk is just around the corner (or across the gracht) from the Dam, so maybe that's got something to do with it. Whatever, take a listen and enjoy. Learn more about this well-hatted choral group on their web-site.

More info at,,

All music copyright of earport and / or its owners.

Musicians and composers will be credited. Write to

Friday 23 January 2009

Essaouira 2009

I've just seen that they have posted the dates for this year's Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival - 2009