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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2009 11:07:36 AM
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I only caught their first set which was great, but I got the impression that a few of the guys up on stage were only there for the ride and didn’t seem to be contributing much. As one other poster noted, they all looked a bit bewildered for their first few numbers.

The two who seemed to be doing all the musical work were the bass (guitar) player and the guy on percussion

We had a big debate at Chez Hipgrave after the night closed as to whether the guy with the shaggy hairdo who is up front in all their photos (and who I assume is singer and guitarist Ibrahim Ag Alhabib) actually made the trip to Byron Bay. (Their website says their are 30 plus members in the band which implies they draw from a large pool when they travel)

See him here http://www.tinariwen.com

Does anyone have an opinion on this?? Maybe someone took some photos which will confirm one way or another??
Posted: Sunday, April 26, 2009 9:47:25 AM
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Couldn't make the fest this year due to a slipped disc in my back, but I've seen Tinariwen live a few times. The band is formed around the core group of guitars, bass and percussion. There always seems to be a few extra bodies on stage - dancing, hanging out, back-ups, clapping. While I think the communal background of the group means there might be a pool of travelling companions, I have never seen them play without the basic line-up of Ibrahim, Hassan and Said. I would never describe their shows as a tight, Western style performance. The music comes from out of the desert and the somewhat chaotic, informal and communal approach to making music is a part of their charm. For me, its about the percussion grooves, the hypnotic guitar riffs and the ambient space left in the music - kind of makes it ancient and modern simultaneously. Their WOMAD performance from a few years ago took a while to warm up as well, before they locked into their groove and just blew the crowd away.

Their myspace page features current line-up and some photos if this helps anyone solve the mystery....


Posted: Sunday, April 26, 2009 9:54:26 AM
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as i recall,the promo photos had the lead with darker skin.

I don't want to hang up my rock n roll shoes
I get a good time feeling every time I hear those blues.
Posted: Sunday, April 26, 2009 9:01:19 PM
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I thought these guys were ok, without being exceptional. For those that liked them, you might also enjoy Etran Finatawa. It's hard to say who I liked best - difficult to compare EF at the lovely Bowl of Brooklands with Tinariwen in Mojo at Mudfest. Tinariwen is, I think, all Tuareg, whereas EF is half Tuareg and half Wodaabe people. Cruisy, bluesy stuff with interesting vocals. Again, not exceptional, but nice to listen to and interesting to watch in their traditional Tuareg and Wodaabe garb (which is quite different from each other).

Posted: Friday, May 15, 2009 3:26:49 AM
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I have just stumbled across this review from a San Francisco gig shortly after Bluesfest - http://www.jambase.com/Articles/17608/Tinariwen-04.16-San-Francisco

For what its worth it seems Ibrahim wasn't on stage there (see second para)
Posted: Friday, May 22, 2009 10:56:54 PM

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