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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hugh Masekela & The Mahotellah Queens @ The Sage, Gateshead.

Hugh Masekela (flug/voice/hand perc), Randall Skippers (keys), Cameron John Ward (gtr), Abednego Fana Zulu (bs), Leroy Sauls (dms), Francis Manneh Fusters (congas).
Mahotella Queens: Hilda Tloubatla, Nobesuthu Mbadu, Mildred Mangxola.
On a bitter cold evening Hugh Masekela's Band proved to be the ideal antidote to the cold. The infectious rhythms of the Townships soon got the circulation going and it wasn't long before most of the audience were either dancing in the aisles or moving energetically in their seats.
Even the slower numbers that told of suffering and sorrow still had that sense of hope about them - that tomorrow freedom will arrive. Masekela sang and shouted, he screamed he hollered and, most of all, played some lyrical, tear your guts out, flugel horn.
No trumpet - just flugel - at times sounding just a little like Clark Terry.
The band were as tight as a fish's rhythm section with young guitarist Ward exceptional.
Of course it wasn't all music... Masekela is a legend, not only as a musician, but as a frontman - a man who connects and with humour.
He pronounced Gateshead as Gaitsheed (as taught him by Eric Burden!) He also pretended to confuse it with a favourite African delicacy - Goats head!
There was so much more but best try and catch him live.
Whoee! This was some gig!
Earlier, the Mahotellah Queens had opened up the show with a lively set that saw the three ladies (all in their sixties) produce some brilliant harmonies, a bit of choreography and some good singing. Any one of them could have held their own in the Singing Pensioners Competition although not once were they referred to as OAPS!
Yes this was some gig!
Lance.

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