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photo: Renphotographie

Tramshed, Cardiff

Wed 25 Oct
The Ibibio are a people from south-east Nigeria with a long and rich history. Ibibio Sound Machine take that history and culture and intertwine it with fresh electro, funk and disco sounds to produce something that fits comfortably in the domain of afrobeat but also proves to be quite genre-defying.
There’s certainly an electrifying energy and catchiness to their music and if you recall the golden era of afrobeat – Fela Kuti and his ilk – you can clearly hear those West African influences and how the group has combined them with more modern elements (synths and the like) to produce a natural progression of this sound. Their critically acclaimed second album Uyai dropped earlier this year and the eight-piece band have taken it to the stage ever since.

This is arguably where ISM shine the most, as a live band they boast an impressive cast of musicians who are extremely versatile and inventive with their instruments and the arrangements of the songs; songs that are systematically designed for dancing. Frontwoman Eno Williams wields evocative and dynamic imagery in her words, spoken and sang in part-English, part-Ibibio (Nigerian) and is a commanding, awe-inspiring presence on stage pushing the rhythms and melodies to the fore. Together, they’re a force to be reckoned with and will without doubt be one of the feature performances of 2017.

Tickets: £14. Info: 029 2023 5555 (CPI)

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