Afro Celt Sound System

by Ted Mahon

Twenty years since their debut album Volume 1: Sound Magic, Afro Celt Sound System return with their eight studio album, The Source. To accompany this release, the band have announced a UK and Irish tour, including a night at the prestigious Phoenix club in the heart of Exeter. At £23.50 a ticket it is somewhat of a bargain for the group who promise to deliver an exhilarating live performance with a wide variety of musical sounds and styles.

Afro Celt Sound System fuse modern electronic dance music with traditional Irish and West African music, thus generating a unique European-African mix. A whole host of musicians have contributed to their sound over the years, including the likes of Peter Gabriel and and Sinead O’Connor. But the mainstay of the group has been Simon Emmerson (producer and guitar) N’Faly Kouyate (vocals), and Johnny Kalsi (dhol drummer),  Eòghann MacEanruig (fiddle), Ged Lynch (drums), Simon ‘Palmskin’ Richmond (keyboard), Val Etienne (backing vocals) and Griogair (rapper).  The diverse nature of the roles of the band is apparent and creates an energetic and encompassing live show. Expect to hear classics such as Release and When You’re Falling, as well as new tracks such as Cascade and Honey Bee. It promises to be an invigorating performance, but it will be interesting to see whether Afro Celt Sound System miss the expertise of Russell and McNally following their split from the band earlier this year.