Total Refreshment Centre, London
Sunday, 24 Jun 2018 at 7:30pm - Sunday, 24 Jun 2018 at 11:00pm
|Tropicooliest Early Birds||£6.00 + £1.10 fee|
A Brazilian retro -future jungle experiençia
with rhythm and atmosphere to the fore.
Sunday 24th June at Total Refreshment Centre,
an immersive music and arts experience.
A chance to share some of the best talents and creative vibes from Rio, with those of Londoners.
Headlining straight from Brasil will be a Tropicalia collective made up of some of Rio’s finest musicians and singers; (who as well as composing and fronting their own projects) perform and record with original Tropicalista legends; Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa an more.
Bem Gil on guitar and voice, Domenico Lancellotti on drums, percussion and voice, Thomas Harres on drums and percussion , Ana Claudia Lomelino, voice, Bruno Di Lullo, bass and voice, and from London via Brasil myself, Nina Miranda on voice, and via Venezuela Luzmira Zerpa voice, percussion and Quatro.
Djing will be my vinyl selection dipped in to by the whole band, Plus Beauty and The Beat’s Cyril Cornet and Lexus Blondin of TRC
Plus surprise special guest musicians, singers and Dj’ to be announced nearer the time.
A Concert that includes classic tunes from the Tropicalia Movement in 1968 with new music of Tropicalia-esque nature… non-conformist, celabrational, colourful and inclusive, edgy and blissful.
It particularly celebrates what happened when Tropicalia came to London 50 years ago, instigating new inspiration in the contemporary scene, when The West-Indian Notting hill vibes of their new home came in full effect.
The TRC is the perfect location for this night, something between a New York Warehouse Party and a Tropicalia happening by the disused Rio docks… or the faraway beach house of ‘Os Novos Baianos’… but in Hackney!
We will project Mark Hudson’s film “Tom went to Brazil’ with original 1970’s footage.
50 years ago in Brasil a whole arts-scene was born called Tropicalia, a reaction against the brutal military dictatorship-
Visual artists and musicians, poetry and theatre combined,
Like a blender mixing together themes of resistance and oppression with freedom anarchy and joy…. Afro- samba groove with electric and acoustic guitars, swing and psychedelia, no rules, but very, very colourful, utter detailed delicacy then power and charge.
Lyrics, scripts and art-works, couldn’t be explicitly anti-government so the artists had to be subtle…
And those who weren’t subtle enough were imprisoned or exiled.
Two of those artists were Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso who went to live in London’s Notting Hill. Their sudden immersion in the country of their heroes like The Beatles, and the cultural west-Indian hub where they hung out with Bob Marley and friends, was rich new inspiration for these well-established artists.
Their ‘saudades’ (yearning and longing) for Brasil , their guilt and concern at not being able to look after their friends and families they’d left behind, made for an incredibly fertile writing and producing phase, Caetano struggling with the cold and anonimity, having to be so wrapped-up, hidden and pale, far from his loves and banished from his country… this heart-ache made for some of their best works .
Gil was happy as Larry with new surroundings and new brothers, and he’d lift Caetano’s spirits with productivity and positive energy.
Brasil from far away can become rose-tinted and exaggerated, the tropical foliage taking over, the bananas riper, the colours brighter, the bare-flesh, hot sun and sea more tantalising than ever .. all this went into their music made in exile, along with English lyrics and the observations that come from culture shock and wonder… just like starting over, naive and child-like, vulnerable yet free.
It seems an essential time to put on this event here in London , 50 years on from Tropicalias’ explosion; Brasil is going through another unofficial Dictatorship; a dirty corrupt unelected government with a 1% approval rate governs the country, taking away workers rights, womens rights and civil rights, slashing education and healthcare budgets, using bloody force, assassinating at will with the Military patrolling the streets. Ever since Brasil was colonised over 500 years ago the harsh reality to varying degrees depending on governments is of an unofficial apartheid system, if you are indigenous or black, life is cheap. It’s fucked-up.
The Tropicalistas, as with the new York art scene that had Basquiat and Jim Jarmusch , Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, , Max Roach Blondie and Warhol hanging out , was about people making their own tribes or cultural universities, through the music scenes and through the art scenes. Resistance together, creating your own families in which to grow.
The hippies, sambistas and the hip-hop crews used music to counteract despair and violence, to play the note maps to joy, freedom and other possibilities.
Step into your own ‘Tropicalia Calling’ and see where you might go…
Total Refreshment Centre , Unit 2a Foulden road , London