Nuru Kane and the BFG, with Andy Kirkham at The Bicycle Shop, Norwich. Photos and video by Richard Shashamane
Quite an act to get at the Bicycle Shop, so well done to Dreams Music for bringing Nuru Kane and the BFG to Norwich. With support from local guitar genius Andy Kirkham. Andy it was starting the evening off in an especially hot and dark Bicycle Shop, playing largely by candlelight he enthralled us with his intricate and seemingly effortless playing. Folk, classical, and African all featured, as well as his beautiful composition about his daughter growing up “Little Shoes” (video below) and closing his set with an Ali Farka Toure cover.
Nuru Kane played with great energy and enthusiasm, getting the audience standing, dancing, singing and clapping along on the pacier songs. The set featured traditional Senegalese, West African blues and some funk, North African, as well as some Afrobeat and a few hints of reggae, all played with a glorious spirit and enthusiasm which was clearly infectious.
Towering well over six feet tall in trademark headgear and 24 hour sunglasses and playing his three stringed Moroccan bass – guimbri – he is, in style and music, the missing link between Youssou N’Dour and Bootsy Collins.
Originally from Dakar, Senegal, Nuru Kane moved to Paris in the 1990’s and is now internationally famous on the world music scene in France, North Africa and Japan. In Paris, his vocal and multi-instrumental abilities found him in demand both fronting his own band and guesting with others. Yet Kane did not truly find his musical direction until a trip to Morocco left him captivated by the rhythms of Gnawa.
While his music is loosely described as Afrobeat, Nuru’s influences take in blues, jazz, reggae and funk. All his music is laced with a persuasive dance rhythm and Nuru’s infectious sense of humour. A Nuru Kane gig takes the audience on a journey from mellow Desert Blues to a foot-stomping dance party
Many thanks to Andy Kirkham, Nuru Kane and the BFG, Ian Hudson, Dreams Music, Matt Watson, and The Bicycle Shop.
words and photos, richard shashamane 2014