It’s funny what you can find right under your nose sometimes. I live around the corner from a little DIY venue called Stoke Newington International Airport, and some friends invited me to a gig there last night.
I walked in past the sign for baggage reclaim and headed straight for flight connections. Here I was charged an airport tax of £3 to gain access to a whole new country of music. As I arrived in the departure lounge, a sweet sound came drifting to my ears. It was the sound of faraway lands of hot climes and distant, romantic idylls. There in front of me were a quartet of shaggy bearded musicians, pied pipers leading a hot throng of revellers on a merry dance.
The sounds emanating from those 8 hands were magical. There were hints of African high life, guiro-led percussion, an organ playing Arabic sounds that I couldn’t quite place and a fabulously swinging latin rhythm section. We danced and danced some more… we drank spirits from hexagonal glass pots that might have been fashioned for chutney. Certainly someone had eaten their way through a substantial amount of the stuff to make way for our rum and gingers!
The band were called L’Orchetre du Montplaisant. I bought their album and chatted to them after the gig – hopefully with a view to having them come and perform for the Home Spun Session (keep your eyes posted for that one. Brother, it’ll be a doozie if we can arrange it!). We talked about how music travels around the world and how peculiar it is that British people often need someone in authority to tell them that it’s OK to like something. Well Cerys Matthews has had L’Orchetre du Montplaisant play for her on BBC6 music so it’s OK to like this band peeps…
I often buy LPs from bands at gigs ‘cos the money goes straight into the hands of the musicians as it should rightly do. Sometimes they are disappointing but that wasn’t the case here. From the outset the album was captivating. I’ve had it on constantly all afternoon and it’s still thrilling me. I’ve been travelling in my mind from darkest Peru to Mexico and beyond, visiting ancient fanciful souks and living the high life.
I liked it so much that I’ve also bought some more LPs from their little label. Some really interesting cross pollination going on here, very innovative.
You can check them out and buy their album on vinyl MP3 or CD for £9.99 at http://catapulterecords.com and I strongly recommend that you do. Buy a vinyl copy as the graphics are stunning.
That was the last we’ll see of Stoke Newington International Airport. The flights from that particlular hub will only be flights of imagination from now as the venue is closing down for redevelopment. I won’t forget the voyage of discovery I made there though. RIP Stoke Newington International Airport…
Other LPs available on Catapulte Records are shown below.