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Live Reviews

“De jimbe showed great professionalism and a perfect mastery of certain African instruments.... a perfect symbiosis of traditional African, Caribbean and Irish rhythms”
Ousmane Mbaye, Scoop, Senegal

“Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, De jimbe lured curious onlookers to the steps of the National Concert Hall with loud rhythmic beating of drums. The distinctive Afro-Celtic sounds could be heard as far off as St Stephen’s Green, enticing evening strollers..... proving very popular with the audience.”
Sue Carter, Irish Times

“Two opposite sides of the Celtic music coin - the experimental by mixing traditions and the cerebral in tapping into the music's rhythmic forces were on show tonight at Dolan's Warehouse in Limerick's Dock Road Following Grada's excellent opening set, my thoughts for De Jimbe were that their work was cut out for them.

However the Irish/African outfit had a trick up their sleeves and opened in style with Brian Fleming and Bisi Adigun entering the hall from the back entrances on dueling dejembes - the cris-cross rhythms setting up a percussive dialogue while the remaining band members ambled on stage. 6/8 (Lagos to Lacken) laid down the tone for the night with superlative interaction. The similarities with Kila are in the line up lay out but the resultant sound is different as De Jimbe works its own unique spell. On stage Breton flautist Gwen Frin, her tall statuesque frame wrapped in PVC trousers and a De Jimbe t-shirt (as all the others bar bassist Brian 'toolbox' O'Toole wore) cut a commanding figure. The remaining De jimbes Hugh O'Byrne on drum kit, djoun djoun, kenkeni, sang ban, bells, maracas, timbales. Mayo born uilleann piper Pádhraic Ó Láimhín also a member of Osna, bassist Brian 'Toolbox' O' Toole and guitarist/vocalist Joe Brennan completed the line up.

New member Joe Brennan is something of a discovery a passionate vocalist with a rugged voice ably suited to traditional and contemporary material. A refreshingly different version of Richard Thompson's 'Galway to Graceland' deserves recording and their epic 'Cogadh' featuring 'Paddy's Lamentation' was hammered out angrily by Joe Brennan beating seven shades of pulp from his guitar. Meanwhile Bisi, Gwen and Brian exited stage left to arrive back in authentic 18th century Civil War outfits proving that theatricality and music go hand in hand in the De Jimbe camp. Percussion duels also like Kumpo (Gurrier in Guinnea) and Senkrofleming outlined the inherent tribal nature of De Jimbe's music while O'Carolan's Welcome to Am Lima transported Turlough O'Carolan to Nigeria while the closing 9/8 " An Phis Fhliuch Ghorm showcased all aspects of the story - pulsating jungle rhythms and Irish traditional expertise in full flight. Inviting Grada back on stage a wild uninhibited two-encore long jam session ensued with thirteen musicians on stage flaking out tunes like their lives depended on it and also improvising at a moments notice flying off in all directions going everywhere from Dakaar to Dublin and back again.

Traditional Ireland and traditional Africa met with high-octane results and cris-cross rhythms exploding with happiness. It was hot, sweaty and heady- a great gig no questions about it."
John O'Regan, May 2002.
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