The Brother Moves On // Batsumi & Malombo Songbook // CoS
St James the Great, London
Sunday, 26 May 2019
19:30 – 23:50
On May 26th we welcome Johannesburg's The Brother Moves On to play 2 sets, one covering a series of songs by 60s/70s South African acts Batsumi & Malombo, the other digging into TBMO’s own catalogue.
The Brother Moves On’s sound is a trans-Atlantic Afro-centric fusion that jackknifes between offworld spectral dub-metal, hyper-rhythmic rock psychedelia and astro-afro-free-jazz. A collective of young black South African artists who are politically astute and do not shy away from creating socially conscious art, the quartet display a deep love of music as an art form and performance as its vital extension.
Recorded in 1974 in Soweto, Batsumi’s debut album is an intriguing, rousing reminder of the inventive styles that flourished in apartheid-era South Africa. Batsumi were an Afro-jazz outfit led by a blind guitarist, Johnny Mothopeng, along with his keyboard-playing brother Lancelot and bassist Zulu Bidi, each of them working in the sprawling Johannesburg township in the early 70s. Slinky riffs are matched against wailing, often psychedelic effects, with saxophone and flute woven throughout.
In the early ‘60s, Julian Bahula created a unique synthesis of Western jazz and the rhythms of his home country South Africa, spreading his culture to an international audience as well as creating awareness for political issues affecting his homeland. Joining forces with musicians Lucky Ranku and Abie Cindi as Malombo Jazz Makers, Bahula & band placed themselves bravely on the frontline of anti-apartheid activism, even touring with Steve Biko as part of the ‘Into The Heart of Negritude’ theatre production.
On the night we will have CoS resident Lex Blondin spinning records whilst Kiran of The People’s Kitchen serves up some serious curry.
Artwork, as ever, comes courtesy of www.raimundwong.com
See you soon,
ps The beady-eyed amongst you may notice that we have increased the final release ticket price to £16. Since our very first gig in April 2016 we have managed to keep it to £15. Many things change over the course of time, and unfortunately the time has come for us to ask just a little more of you on the ticket price. Our apologies for putting this pressure on you, your continued support is deeply appreciated by all of us.
St James the Great , St James Clapton , London