WOMAD 2009 Feature Artist Speed Caravan (Algeria/France)
Brooklands Park & TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth
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If you've never regarded the oud - that fretless lute at the core of so much traditional Arabic music - as a rock 'n'
roll instrument, then you've clearly never heard Speed Caravan or the joyous playing of Mehdi Haddab.
In just a few short years, Haddab, of Algerian descent, has managed to radically transform the image of the oud. With
bassist Pascal Teillet and electro musician Hermione Franck they create music that puts the oud, a symbol of oriental
music, straight into the heart of the urban scene.
Careful and respectful of one another the three musicians blend together in order to thrust us into a world where the
music encompasses the five continents and creates a cutting edge sound. Decompartmentalising styles and breaking down
barriers they cite The Cure or The Chemical Brothers as influences as well as welcoming the old vocalists of Algerian
hip hop collective MBS thereby creating an incredible sound which encompasses the spirit and soul of the cities of
Istanbul, London, Algiers, New York, Tokyo, Kinshasa or Paris.
Speed Caravan creates a glorious collision of global sounds and styles.