Tag Archives: Boomtown

Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Song of the Week

Amadou & Mariam feat. Santigold – Dougou Badia

This week sees the return of Amadou and Mariam to the Hub, after they returned to the UK earlier this summer as a part of their European festival tour. Playing at Boomtown Festival in August, the Financial Times – of all places – put together a fantastic review of their set. As Toumani and Sidiki a couple of weekends ago, Amadou and Mariam left their audience “enchanted” – a wholly appopriate word to describe the effects of mesmerising guitar riffs and those charateristically “hypnotic rhythms”.

The diversity of Amadou and Mariam’s music is possibility their greatest defining feature. Honigmann, the Financial Times reviewer, picks up on this too; spotting elements of reggae, rock,  and Pink Floyd-y ‘space rock’ in their set. The deployment of drumming, keys, vocals, guitars, even their stage presence and choreography are always being tinkered, integrated added to the party. For example, this week’s Song of the Week features American singer Santigold – herself being cited as having everyone from M.I.A to Fela Kuti as influences. Sitting perfectly on top of a heavier-than-usual guitar track they make it work. Just like magic.

Another wonderful part of what makes Amadou and Mariam is their keen sence of moral and political leadership. Their music does not stand alone from the vibrant society they stirred from. The day after their stupendous Boomtown Concert their Facebook page posted another set of photos in their #SHAREHUMANITY campaign – bringing the good work of humaniatarians to their fans attention. This leadership and sense of societal responsibility is found through all Malian music and is just another reason we find it so special.



Amadou & Mariam feat. Santigold – Dougou Badia

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.