World music fans unite, your new saviours are here.
If you choose Womad before Reading Festival (actually, I would these days..) and you know what an Oud is, then French/Algerian band Speed Caravan will be right up your field playing in your Yurt.
Speed Caravan play a modern form Arabic music (played on the aforementioned Oud) with an electronic rock backing. Think Ozric Tentacles with a dash less hippy and a tad more eastern promise.
Most tracks are upbeat and have a good groove that I could get down to it at a festival. Highlights include the cover of the Chemical Brothers “Galvanise” which is a great version with added raps from an ex-member of Asian Dub Foundation and the cover of the Cure’s “Killing An Arab” is tongue in cheek, but surpasses the original by a few miles. It’s a shame that the highlights are covers, even if they are interesting versions.
The song “Dubai” sounds like something Kasabian are about to record on their next album, if they ever go on a hippy retreat. I’ve just read that “old scary eyes” from Hard Fi is on this track....pretending to be Maxi Jazz. Shame...
The music is fine, not really my thing, but to be honest the tracks are very samey and wouldn’t sound out of place on a holiday show. If you have ageing hippy parents, they will love this. Put it on and wait until they’re dancing round the living room pretending its 1968 again, then go and steal their weed.