Friday, July 11, 2014

Review: Baka Beyond At The Crown, Bathford 10/7/2014.

 I had a wonderful evening at The Crown in Bathford last night. This is what happened. It was one of my internet friends Brian who told me about the gig. He is friends with Baka Beyond. I had heard the name but never heard the music. However i have always liked the Afro Celt style of music so I really wanted to go. I told my friend Jacquie about it and she said she would drive. As soon as Jacquie finished work we set off. It was a nice warm evening and as we drove through Sally In The Woods towards Bath the countryside looked really lush and green. How lucky we are to live in such a nice area. Soon we arrived at The Crown. I have passed this pub countless times but never been in. The staff were charming and our waitress had dressed up for the occasion. We both opted for the stuffed mushroom tartlettes and salad which was delicious. I think the pub gave some of the proceeds from the evening to Baka Beyond's charity which is good of them. After eating we chilled out for a while in the bucolic surroundings of the garden until the music began. Eventually we could hear the band starting up so we went inside. The bar was crowded by now with the cream of Bath's bohemian intelligentsia some of whom had cycled out from Bath which isn't far away. I'll just tell you a little bit about Baka Beyond. The band were formed after the singer Su Hart and guitarist Martin Cradick visited the Baka people in Cameroon in 1992. They founded a charity called The Global Music Exchange and the royalties from the music are used for projects to support the Baka culture and way of life.(Click on  picture at the base of the page for more details).

I think there were six musicians in the band tonight of various nationalities. Su on vocals, also drums, bass, guitar, violin and a cool dude on bongos and other drums.There were other instruments as well but I don't know what they are called. The music was great, really happy and infectious. As well as being a great singer Su is a great little dancer as well and encouraged the audience to join in. The place was jumping. Some of the songs were in French which is the official language of Cameroon.I really liked the African style guitar sound which reminded me of a band I used to like years ago called the Bhundu Boys from Zimbabwe.I can't tell you the names of the songs because this was the first time I had ever heard this group but I hope it won't be the last.I did film one song but sadly it came out a bit dark and didn't really do the group justice but the sound is good and you can see it below.
 During the interval I introduced myself to Su and said hello from Brian and she immediately knew who I was talking about.She said to say hi to Brian and tell him about the Canadian tour in August. She was really nice and I asked her for a photo and she obliged.I bought a CD from her called 'After The Tempest' which I am playing at this very moment and really enjoying. Highly recommended. Jacquie and I left before the end of the performance because it was getting late and I thought Jacquie deserved a well earned drink back in her pub The Ludlow Arms in Westbury after a long day and being kind enough to take me to Bathford. So thank you very much indeed to Baka Beyond, The Crown at Bathford, Brian for telling me about it and Jacquie for a most enjoyable evening.Lets do it all again soon.

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