Friday, 13 April 2018

Let Drum Beat: an all-female musical powerhouse

Two Brazilians, a Beninese, a Scot and an Italian walk into a bar and…

No, this is not the beginning of a bad, Jeremy-Clarkson-flavoured joke, but the all-female, musical set-up that has been lighting up London’s stages of late. Let Drum Beat is Alba Cabral, Béa Shantifa, Lizzie Ogle, Marta Riccardi and Tuca Milan. These superb musicians use a wide range of Afro-Brazilian percussion instruments to create their unique, fusion-powered style. Singing at times in Portuguese, French and Tupi-Guarani, Let Drum Beat uses vocal harmonies to establish a connection to their homelands, transporting their audience there in the process.

This link was much needed recently when they played to a very receptive and welcoming crowd at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, in Tottenham, north London. Rain-soaked and cold weather has pretty much been spring’s main contribution so far. Yet, in just over an hour-long set, Let Drum Beat brought the temperature in the room up to Brazilian-summer levels. I was impressed not only with the musicianship and compactness of the ensemble but also with their use of non-percussive instruments, like the rabeca, a north-eastern-Brazil-rooted, violin-like, stringed instrument that, unlike its close European relative, is supported either on the chest or left shoulder.


In a diverse, multicultural city like London, where world music aficionados have plenty of options available to them, Let Drum Beat stands out as a musical powerhouse in their own right. Energetic, innovative and risk-taking, these five women have already blazed a trail. The launch of their debut album this summer (announced on the night) heralds a new era, not just for Let Drum Beat but also for London’s music scene.



© 2018

20 comments:

  1. That beat is really catchy. Like those ghungroos on their feet.

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  2. Smiling (and wincing) at Jeremy-Clarkson-flavoured jokes.
    And loving the vibrancy of these talented women's work. Thank you.

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  3. I wish I had been there. It sounds wonderful.

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  4. Such a funny word: ghungroos! I love your header with iconic bicycle

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  5. Hi Mario - so pleased you were able to get to hear them play and interact with them ... beautiful music ... just what one needs on a wet cold day in London or Canada ... loved it - cheers Hilary

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  6. I think Cyndi Lauper said/sang it first: Girls just want to have fun .... and these girls certainly are doing that. By the way, Cyndi will be performing in Saint Paul in August .... see you there?

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  7. I really enjoyed that! I might have to look for more from this talented group. Thanks for bringing them to my attention!

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  8. Aren’t they wonderful! I might have to make a special trip to London!

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  9. Ghungroos, that's a new one on me. Loved the variety of sounds, most enjoyable. Thanks.

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  10. Un buen conjunto, me gusta la música con buen ritmo.
    Que tengas un feliz fin de semana.

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  11. This music was just the right thing for this morning. I'm leaving for work with a swing in my step. Thank you for introducing us to this great women band.

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  12. Excellent sound. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. It's always so good to read your words, Cuban. Keep them coming -- and the music, too!

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  14. Thanks for sharing their lovely sound.

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  15. Thank you! Such lovely music!

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  16. Wow! That music is energizing. (Thanks! I needed that!)

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  17. Many thanks for sharing the sound, great beat.

    All the best Jan

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  18. I bet they have a lot of fun, performing together!!! London must be such an interesting place to live, in spite of some of it's recent security issues. But that's not just there of course.

    Hope you have an excellent weekend! :-)

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