It was a great gig – a pretty special gig. I had liked a lot of the music by Tinariwen, was first turned onto them by reading MOJO (I think it was). And this was an Arts Festival show; a mini-scandal was the fact that a couple of the members were unable to get visas. Due to political unrest. I loved the gig – but what had been big, and important for me (a real challenge) was doing an interview with one of the members live on stage at the festival tent earlier in the day. The interview was one of the first I’ve done live in front of an audience and this was through a translator (I’m a sucker for putting my hand up for things like this, then hitting the panic-button almost immediately after). I’m not used to ‘scripted’ interviews and sticking to questions. So it really was a great challenge.
I remember asking the guy – Alhousseini ag Abdoulahi – something about how the band would sound. Would they sound a lot different without two key players? He told me that we would not notice any difference. And we didn’t. He was so calm and collected for a jetlagged musician who had left a warzoned country and political hotbed. He was being paraded around the world to play festivals and shows for 40 odd days with seeing his family. It was his job. And he did it. Did it so very well.
It was quite an honour to talk to him and to see the show. I wrote a bit more about it here.
Stubs is an occasional feature here at Off The Tracks – looking back through the ticket-stub box and remembering how the show went down.