The Lexington is a legendary little venue on Pentonville Road, and although kind of small, has seen many many a star through it’s doors.
This Saturday evening we were to be treated to the Sahara sounds of Kel Assouff - having just released his latest album ‘Black Tenere’ with prestigious Glitterbeat Records.
I approached the room sad as it was rather empty, I knew there were many music events on on this particular evening, but for me, there is nearly no sound I’d prefer than that from the Sahel.
Anana Harouna mirrors many of the Tuareg (from here to to be referred to as Key Tamasheq) story: born in Niger, a short stay in Libya - but then unlike his fellow musicians, he went to Brussels and from there he forged this new fused Kel Tamasheq rock and roll.
Distinctly different in sound to the standard Sahara blues, this has more Euro-influenced riffs, and a real western ‘rock’n’roll’ grit to it.
Tony Njoku opened the evening with an amazing blur of all things keys and sythns electro style. I must say with the vocals and live ambience, I very much enjoyed seeing him play, and very much preferred it to listing to his music online.
It must be said that the room certainly filled largely when Kel Assouf came to the stage in a trio, drums, keys and of course, Anana on ripping guitar.
Th evening moulded from long minimal melodic compositions strung with emotions resonating from Ananas notable Gibson Flying V guitar. Then at the upbeat moments, with the grooves thundering through the audience as not one person could remain still without the characteristic clapping that so often accompanies Kel Tamasheq music.
The evening felt somewhat nostalgic, the tons of the desert resonating through Kel Assouf. I enjoyed every moment, as it seemed did everyone around me, from rock n roll face melting guitar licks, to romantically plucked acoustic tracks - the music was of brilliant standard.
Pictures by: Ilka. http://www.ilkamedia.com/