The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
ENO's production of La Boheme is a triumph,
There are many redundant labels bandied around in a vain attempt to describe "foreign" music.
"World" is about the worst descriptor imaginable but Afrobeat, which seemingly best describes this eponymous debut album by Malian artist Ben Zabo, is not much better.
Yes, it's lively, it's camp, it's got jazz funk - cue saxophone - but its pop sensibilities leave it far removed from the potentially rootsier sound expected from an African group.
The outcome is closer in execution to Jools Holland than some exotic collective from the west African state.
The album will certainly satisfy the eardrums of some.
But more discerning music lovers will note that it lacks true soul.
That's because it's awash with the kind of commercial production you'd expect to find from a group enjoying novelty fame on the now defunct Top Of The Pops.
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