Friday, November 17, 2006


Youssou N’Dour - In Your Eye's

Ahh… its Friday. And that is always a good thing! It’s not like people are going to say – damn… wish it was Monday! Though the Springbok fans among us are probably hoping for Saturday to pass quickly, and we’re becoming as rare as pre-1994 National Party voters – so few to be found these days…

Someone who sounds great every day of the week – whether live or from my Blue Room speakers – is one of Africa’s greatest… Senegal’s Youssou N’Dour.

I have seen him live a couple of times; the first time at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Hague, and then quite a lot during the first 46664 concert in Cape Town. We’ve also had the pleasure of dealing with his management, and are excited to be able to offer an artist of him calibre.

When I first saw him at the NSJF, he had the audience eating out of his hand; even getting everyone to sit down on the floor, as is custom in his home village, while he sang a traditional song normally sung at the fireside… As one man, everyone crunched themselves down in a tangle of arms and legs onto the floor. Very cool.

Youssou has really made a mark on the world music scene. As an African he has gone where very few artists have gone before, and it’s his associations with artists like Peter Gabriel (Picture right taken by Bob Gruen) over more than 20 years that really brought him into Western homes.

That’s not to say he isn’t big back home in Senegal, where he is still based. Youssou’s album SET, in which he makes urgent moral appeals to his people, caused a groundswell of action – by the people and not government – under a sort of urban ecological movement known as “Set-Setaal” (“Be Clean”), where the ghetto’s were painted and cleaned up, getting water to more people and where communities helped each other to make their lives better. He has done much more, which is why there have long been calls for him to enter politics as the people want him to be President.

So, looking back, but ahead to a good weekend, here is a classic Peter Gabriel track (yes, that is what he looked like 20 years ago!) filmed at a WOMAD Festival in which he features Youssou N’Dour – In Your Eye’s. Enjoy.

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