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Wednesday 31 August 2011

Of Admirals and Duchesses

On the way to the Vortex Jazz Bar in Dalston on Monday night, Mister F and I popped into a Nigerian grocers round the corner in Bradbury St. On the back wall were hundreds of bootleg Nigerian CDs going for £2 each. Inevitably I snapped a few up in a half-crazed frenzy.

When I got them home I found that the number of tracks on the CD often bore little resemblance to the track listing on the sleeve. And in some cases the sound quality is pretty rough where it has obviously been ripped from a battered vinyl copy. But at £2 each you can't really complain, and the music is pretty good.

As a sample, here is some juju music from Admiral Dele Abiodun and His Top Hitters Band. This is from their album "Abanije" and it may be the title track. Then again it may not. The album cover lists ten tracks, but their are only two on the CD. Any help identifying it will be gratefully received.

"Track 1 on Abanije" - Admiral Dele Abiodun and His Top Hitters Band

Dele is in the news in Nigeria at the moment, but sadly not for his music. He is currently standing trial on charges of fraud relating to his Presidency of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria.

We had gone to the Vortex to see Mike Heron and the Trembing Bells (yet again), and a very enjoyable evening it was too. The Bells in particular were in fine form, although I do wish they would drop the overly wordy acapella number about the inebriated children of the Mediterranean. They performed some songs I had not heard them do before, including a track from a forthcoming album with Bonnie Prince Billy which sounds highly promising. Another "new" song was a cover of Scott Walker's "Duchess". It occurred to me about half way through that I could video it to share with you all, and here are the results - sorry it is not complete.

As a bonus, here is the original and a very nice rendition by Neko Case.

"Duchess" - Scott Walker

"Duchess" - Neko Case

We wrap things up with a seamless move from Duchesses to Dukes.

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