Eclectic mix of music provides Quay moments

June 11, 2014

Afro Tawallah

RHYTHM KINGS: Afro Tallawah perform live at the Cellar Bar in Boscombe.


A MULTI-national and culturally diverse group of musicians in east Dorset are playing to packed-out dance floors full of folks jigging with joy.

Some friends and I caught up with Afro Tallawah after my flat mate told me they were playing at Chaplins and the Cellar Bar  in Boscombe, Bournemouth, on Thursday 29 May. Having not gone to a live gig in ages and following them on social media, how could I pass up this opportunity?

It was a busy few days after that as they went off to the well-known concert venue Mr Kyps in Lower Parkstone and then the Saxo Bar in Charminster. They also are regulars at The Winchester Pub at Poole Hill, Bournemouth. They have also played at the Lakeside Yacht Club in Hamworthy and outside Café Flirt in Bournemouth Triangle.

The band consists of Almamy Camara (Equatorial Guinea) the djembe, Jorge Eversley (Cuba) on the congers and lead vocals, Asher Osmundsen of Bournemouth (via Norway and the Caribbean) on bass; Ebi Sosseh (Gambia) on keyboards, Rod Adams (Devon) on the cuatro and Benson Mumbamarwo (Zimbabwe) on guitar.

This cultural infusion gives an eclectic mix of Salsa, reggae, Hip Hop and traditional West African rhythms and is enhanced by the addition of the cuatro.

I loved The Graceland-style guitar riffs by Benson and Asher’s melodic bass lines.  As a former percussionist, these both caught my attention immediately. Almamy hit those djembes so hard I thought he would need to put his hands in an ice bucket in the end of the gig – his solos were exceptional.

The sextet had everyone tapping their feet for at least two hours and at least two encores were played following requests. Their version of Chan Chan is something worth playing over and over again and does grow on the listener each time.

Posting on Afro-Tallawah’s Facebook page, fan Richard Oldridge, spoke for many and said: “Just seen Afro-Tallawah at Poole Quay – awesome. You really have talent. They way you have fused Cuban/reggae/marimba/Afro is very special. I lived in Harare and spent three weeks in Havana so know what I am talking about.”

Another fan, Karen Harvey, was inspired to write up in support having seen them play at the same venue on one of the previous Bank Holidays in May.

She said: “An awesome gig on Poole Quay and thanks so much for the wonderful entertainment. You guys made our weekend perfect.”

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