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From Congo Dem. Rep.
All hail the kwassa-kwassa king!
Let's be honest. Kanda Bongo Man was how many of us learned to listen to African music, his shimmering take on Congolese soukous gushing out of our radios' speakers in the late '80s thanks to tireless championing by John Peel and Andy Kershaw. It made for an irresistible entry-point into the continent's sounds, a dizzying headrush induced by the spiralling guitar of the man's then First Lieutenant, one Diblo Dibala. Kanda Bongo Man clearly knew exactly what he had alongside him and reshaped the soukous mould, often adding a guitar solo at the end of each verse - sometimes even kicking off a song with one! Nearly 30 years on from his show at the first-ever WOMAD, KBM remains a colossus of Congolese music - the sweet-voiced showman with a nifty way with those kwassa-kwassa dance moves. And, if the band play the mighty Zing Zong on their Charlton Park visit, expect a crowd of Peel's old acolytes trying to remember the steps.
(Biography written by Nige Tassell 2010)
|WOMAD Charlton Park 2010||BBC Radio 3 Stage||25th July||23:00|