REVIEW: Baka Beyond, Colston Hall, 8/10, by Pete Taberner
BAKA Beyond are the band that has successfully created a most unlikely marriage between the West African traditional music and dance of the Baka, the native inhabitants of the rain forest of Cameroon, with Celtic folk harmonies and singing.
It is a marriage that has lasted 20 years. Seeing and listening to their current live performance (Beyond the Forest) transports you right into the village life of the people whose music they celebrate.
Projected onto a large oval screen behind the musicians scenes of village life provide the perfect backdrop to the music.
Gentle percussion and reedy sounds are used to evoke the dawn and the awakening insect and bird life. Vocalists Su and Ellie recreate the wordless sounds of the forest creatures.
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It was impossible to resist the relentlessly upbeat nature of the music. There were big smiles on screen, on stage, and in the audience as the music progressed to a final grand dance with everyone standing and moving to the intoxicating rhythm.