Tomorrow, I head to Groningen for Eurosonic Noorderslag 2018. Needless to say, I’m very excited. My mailbox is creaking from artists, agents and PR companies who are keen to get their acts on my radar. With so many artists playing, it’s easy to overlook things without getting those prompts.
I thought it the right time to do another of my entirely random ESNS searches (here’s the previous one) to identify another band to quickly preview. The random word generator gave me ‘Waves’ and the random number generator ’16’. I’m taken right to the alphabetical end of the Eurosonic line up for ‘Zulu Zulu’ – this might be interesting!
The ESNS website describes them thus:-
“Delivering some much needed mediterranean vibes to cold Groningen, Zulu Zulu is a project born in Mallorca in 2015. Their proposal, African music based on onomatopoeia, does not leave anyone indifferent. Bright landscapes, ancestral rhythms and an impeccable staging are some of its virtues. Their first record Defense Zebra came out in January 2017, and they have quickly been picked up by many venues and festivals.”
I was in Mallorca for the lovely Fira B showcase back in September (I wrote a small bit about it here). One criticism that might have been levelled against many of the bands I saw playing was that they lacked originality. I saw some cool stuff and met some lovely people but band-wise, the level of derivation often felt clumsy. There were exceptions to that rule; bands that had gone beyond direct copycat mimicry of their heroes to add something new and vibrant. It would appear that Zulu Zulu had made great strides at Fira B in 2016, the year before I was there.
A quick listen to ‘Defense Zebra’ and a watch of their YouTube videos leaves one in little doubt; Zulu Zulu are an exciting, unique proposition. I’m a sucker for visuals, especially when it involves masks, costumes and mystery. Zulu Zulu are a band who’ve raised themselves above the humdrum and the obvious by employing a tribal theatricality of their own. They’ve overcome the barriers of language by creating one of their own.
Most of all, and the reason why they’re now on my list to watch on Friday night at the Huis De Beurs (00:15 – 01:00), they look like one hell of a live proposition.
See you in Groningen.