June 23, 2021

Cowley Road Carnival Fundraiser @ Jericho Tavern

first_imgThe next Cowley Road Carnival takes place on 6 July and, for those of you unaware of the one-day event (due to its habit of falling in the summer vacation), it’s a street festival held around the Cowley Road where up to 25,000 people gather for an eclectic mix of music and stalls in an atmosphere described by one veteran as ‘a scaled-down Notting Hill.’ True to the style of the festival, the fundraiser boasted a varied line-up.Opening the bill were Joe Allen & Anghard Jenkins. Were it not for Jenkins’ violin accompaniment, Allen’s guitar and vocals would only swell the current glut of such sounds, but her strings complemented the vocals well, soaring in more relaxed sections and adding strength and body to intense crescendoes. Next up was rapper Mr. Shaodow and DJ-producer Mars. Good stage presence was on show, although it was to everyone’s detriment when an initially impressive opening display of martial arts backfired with a painful fall and nasty limp for Shaodow. Not normally a fan of rap I held out only limited hope, but largely a shift of subject matter to issues such as minimum wage jobs, racism and the state of the music industry made the music more accessible and enjoyable. Backing tracks were well produced and a real attempt to connect with the audience was made, although the crowd seemed reluctant to respond. Headlining the show was Raggasaurus, a band whose set, titled Camel in the Caribbean, aimed to combine Atlas Mountains singing with reggae. It worked, and the melodic and ululating Arabic vocals added interest to the reggae backing which created life and energy. However, after a few songs it became clear that there wasn’t enough variety in the performance to hold interest. That said, a combination of bouncy sounds and an increasingly intoxicated crowd led to the only dancing of the evening.by Chris Coolinglast_img

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