Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Arts Festival Review: Orchestra Baobab

Click for big version

Orchestra Baobab

Reviewed by Alison Little

Orchestra Baobab
8 March
Wellington Town Hall

Orchestra Baobab are musical magpies. Their style typifies vintage "world/folk", combining the rhythms and riffs of a dozen cultures for a lively mix. While a cruisy Afro-Cuban sound predominates, there are geographic tints from every continent, Bollywood to bluegrass.

The Senegalese group formed in the 1970s, split apart, and then reformed a few years ago. This time around the nine-member orchestra includes bongos, steel drums, saxophones, guitars, and of course voices arranged in sweet male harmonies. Musically, the group are slickly professional, with performers taking turns in the spotlight, whether to sing, play a wild drum interlude or a Jimmy Hendrixesque guitar solo.

Their show is full of moments of sweet natured humour, the band members gently mocking each other. The interaction between them was lovely, with particularly nice little dance routines by the two saxophone players and one of the guitarists.

The performers worked hard for some audience involvement, although since most of the lyrics were in languages other than English, singing along was not really an option. Sometimes the words were a little drowned by the percussion section, but I'm almost certain one song repeated the refrain "A toe sucking sip of Moussaka" over and over. Perhaps it was just the acoustics of the gallery section.

The downstairs seating in the Old Town Hall had been cleared, so those so inclined could sway and dance. However, except for those near the front, most merely did that vague shoulder-shrug thing which passes in Wellington for 'almost dancing'. One audience member was so enticed by the performance he joined the band onstage. The groups' response was one of low key amusement, no burly security guards were called, the interloper enjoyed his stolen moments and then slipped back into the crowd.

Orchestra Baobab provided a pleasant night's entertainment, wholesome, relaxed and very mellow.


NZ Arts Festival: Orchestra Baobab
Scoop Full Coverage: Festival 2006

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news