Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara — the Brewery Arts Centre

Reviewed by Kev McVeigh

Having really enjoyed Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara on their previous visit to the Brewery Arts Centre and subsequently become a fan of both their CDs I was excited to see them listed as part of this year’s gateway Festival.

The Malt Room was quite full on the night, though the table layout was perhaps not the most suitable format for a night like this. Within a couple of tunes people were up and dancing and most didn’t stop all night. That is the magic of what Juldeh Camara does. As Adams warned us, ‘he is capable of making you do things you didn’t expect’. And most of that magic comes, incredibly, from a single string, the taut leather string of the Gambian violin-like instrument the ritti.

Accompanied by the incredible barehanded percussion skills of Roy Dodds, Adams carves out a delta blues groove on electric guitar whilst Camara’s melodies slide along and his chanting vocals (in Fula mostly) add to the trance-like effect. Adams explained that they start with a groove, a song-base, but responding to the dancing, whooping and clapping of the audience they take it on and on and on so that some pieces were 15 minutes or so long. How they found the energy I don’t know, but theaudience seemed to draw from the rythms and just not stop moving.

If you get chance you really must go see Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara play, but whatever you do, take your dancing shoes.

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