Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara – Live

Band on the Wall 15/01/2010
By Ursula Cooper

Walking into what 20 years ago would have been a smoky club to watch bands through a layer of smog, the newly refurbished Band On The Wall creates the same kind of atmosphere without the bleary eyes.

This three-piece band consists of Justin Adams, long time music partner of Robert Plant, drummer Roy Dawes and finally the exceptional Juldeh Camara, reputed as the best one string fiddle, two string banjo player in the world.

The first thing that strikes me is Camara’s sweeping lime green dress, elegant stance and grasp of his one string fiddle, all of which starkly contrast the slick, suited Adams, stood next to him.

As soon as they begin, I immediately fall head over heels for the music, and know this will be a show I shall never forget. The sounds that come from Camara are beautiful and haunting, his fiddle producing light violin-esque sounds, and his voice – as smooth as cream – reverberating around the room, creating a sense of awe amongst the audience. I am instantly whisked away to a distant, hot and sunny place, far from the dark, damp, Manchester night.

People are immediately enthusiastic and after the second song, Adams encourages the audience to “swing their hips to the sounds of the music”. This is instantly followed by a middle-aged couple who take to the floor, bopping and gyrating cheerfully.

Nearing the end, a swift change of instruments brings with it something new as Camara and Adams mixed it up a bit. A combination of Camara’s dreamy voice and sunny banjo with Adams’ grungy guitar riffs create something unique, which produces a large crowd of people dancing enthusiastically. Camara reacts to this sudden thrust of love from the audience and takes centre stage for the first time, getting on his knees to do an impressive banjo solo.

They have taken me to the Sahara desert, and back again, and I loved every second of it.

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