Sefo Kanuteh & Meriya at The Blueberry pub, Norwich, 5 January 2014, review and photos.
One of the highlights of the October Magdalen-Augustine Celebrations was the climax of Sefo Kanuteh’s world music stage in The Blueberry where Sefo and Meriya got the whole pub dancing and swaying to these West African rhythms which also had a hint of Cuban too – giving it a slight resemblance to the excellent AfroCubism. Today with a slightly smaller band they played two sets, eventually even running out of songs and so it became an absolutely beautiful jam, highlighting just how good these musicians are. The audience was begging for more and were delighted to be rewarded so richly.
Sefo Kanuteh has quickly made a name for himself in Norwich as an accomplished kora player, in a similar style to his countryman Toumani Diabate. He also sings and plays balafon, and tonight as Meriya the sound was augmented by the excellent Jesse Barrett of Mammal Hands on percussion, Adam Clark of Nobodaddy on guitar, and the Kevster from the Sweetbeats on bass.
At times I found myself drawn into the kora, then the percussion, bass, guitar all of them absolutely pivotal to the glorious overall sound and each sounding individually exquisite.
The Blueberry is ideally suited to live music with a good size stage, lighting, and an excellent sound. A marvellous range of real ales at good prices at the bar too!
This Sunday session was another delight with a wonderfully positive and inclusive atmosphere – a little bit of African spirit and music is thriving in Norwich in a big way. In much the same way as described in one of Sefo’s songs, a few groups of friends all got together and later caught some more live music, some beautiful blues by Norwich’s own, excellent Dave Thomas, at The Plasterers just down the road. Another wonderful pub.
words and photos, richard shashamane 2014