"Well, if Rachid Taha feels invisible in France [BBC Radio 4 Today Programme interview] he’s certainly very, and frequently, visible here in the UK. The Astoria was heaving to the rafters last night [Sunday] for the Stop the War Coalition concert.
The whimsical Imogen Heap and the aesthetic Nitin Sawhney barely prepared the way for the blast, the wall of sound that is theRachid Taha Band, as they were billed. Standing at the crash barrier in front of the stage was injurious to health in more ways than one ~ but I don’t mind my health being seriously threatened by Monsieur Taha once in a while! Anyone expecting, or even wanting a Taha concert to be a reprise of the genteel Diwan, forget it, he’s moved on ~ retreat to a safe distance, preferably leave the building, if you can’t take it! Last night would knock more than your socks off. As per usual, he belted out, numbers fromTekitoi? and his back catalogue, with an incredible energy that makes younger men look comatose. The audience were with him all the way, for most of the time it was sing-along-a-Rachid. The charisma and magnetism of the man is phenomenom to behold ~ we met up with five fans from Spain who had flown in purely for this concert and certainly didn’t regret it. Brian Eno on his Kaoss drums and as chorus was obviously loving every minute of it ~ his first appearance on the UK stage since 1979.
Now if that doesn’t tell you something about the respect and support that Rachid Taha is attracting from the great and good what will? Mick Jones, to the delight of the crowd and looking wonderfully be mused and blokey, strolled on mid-way to join Rachid et al in Habina and remained for the rest of the performance including the two encores, culminating in the frenetic Garab.
Rock on Monsieur Taha!!
I’m going back to bed now!!
Yvonne Mitton (all rights reserved)."
N.B: exclusive pics will follow in the next days!!!!!!!!!!!! kelma