Live review

Tinariwen + Jose Gonzalez 

Shepherds Bush Empire

added: 6 May 2012 // gig date: 3 May 2012
reviewer: Jeremy Laks

Tinariwen + Jose Gonzalez - Shepherds Bush Empire - Printable version
Jose Gonzalez was the opening act for this extraordinary evening and performed a modestly short set which included 3 cover songs. ‘Hand on your hear’ by Kylie Minogue, ‘Heartbeats’ by the knife which is undoubtedly Jose Gonzalez’s most popular song, and to end his set, ‘Teardrop’ by Massive Attack. Gonzalez, who is renowned for his folk/acoustic style, did not disappoint in front of a fairly large crowd in West London.

After a warm opening by Jose Gonzalez, it was time for Tinariwen to take centre stage. Despite a slight lack of English and a few missing members because of problems back in Africa, Tinariwen still managed to delight the audience. Tinawarin were formed within the Libyan refugee camps in the late 70’s and have reached incredible heights ever since.

International album of the year winners Tinawarin performed a strong set, which allowed the crowd to really get into the music. The surprise of the evening was when Jose Gonzalez accompanied Tinawarin on stage to perform collaboration. Gonzalez would provide the ‘translation’ with his English vocals and support Tinawarin by adding another guitar to the performance. The guitaring was a little heavier than the norm for Gonzalez who is usually more mellow and calm with his hands.

The spectacle at the end of the evening came when Tinawarin were presented with the 2 awards they rightly deserved. The award from Songlines and the Grammy for International Album of the year topped off a wonderful night. Even the most stubborn or uncultured music fan couldn’t deny how mesmerising both Jose Gonzalez and Tinawarin’s performances were throughout the show….

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4 stars

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