Gig Review: M’beewan schools us in reggae at Ginkgo
I’ve been hearing about Reggae man extraordinaire, Moussa Boudra aka M’beewan, since his last summer when he spent a substancial amount of time hanging and gigging around Beijing. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to catch him play even once! he’s been back in Beijing again and playing for a while but yet again, I was afraid i might not catch him… until this past saturday that is! I had my eyes set on one hell of a lineup at 2 Kolegas but decided to change plans and head out to ginkgo for some Reggae. I’m glad I did!
I kinda was aware that Marie Claude played with M’beewan but i was quite surprised to see once i got that that managed to assemble a crew of local musicians into one of the best little reggae bands we’ve ever seen in Beijing, like an all-star lineup: Marie Claude of Mademoiselle, Kamila of Chimera, Adam of GAWTMY were just some of the members from his backing band! So in total, we had Moussa + 6 musicians on the tiny stage at Ginkgo which looked a bit crowded but the band seemed to make the most of it.
The band sounded pretty darn good considering both the drummer and the guitar player were playing reggae for the first time in their lives. As Mouss explained later, he had spent the afternoon teaching reggae to a heavy metal drummer and rock guitarist! The songs were uptempo, mostly in French with quite interesting lyrics…. think Bob Marley’s War and you’ll get my drift.
Mouss has a clear voice with decent harmonies and he’s pretty good at working a crowd, something we don’t get often in Beijing where musicians just sit in a bubble on stage and they’re in a zone of their own. He played 2 sets of about 30 mn each while i was there. Most of the songs were from previously recorded materials with the iRieTeam but he also played some teasers from new songs that will be on an upcoming special-for-China record. He closed things up with a reggae version of “Hit the Road Jack” that had the audience on their feet dancing and singing along!
Big big ups to him for a great show with limited space and all! he had ginkgo jamming and stirring for almost 2 hours! There’s always something about watching a pro at work and this was just like that! Mouss has worked with likes of Alpha Blondy and you can see why!
Check M’beewan out on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mbeewanirieteam
Download his Album with Irie Team for Free over at http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/iRieTEAM
or Catch him tonight for one of his last performances in China this Spring @ 2 Kolegas tonight, Friday April 30th