A gentle rumble of anticipation shivered into the corners of the tiny Lantern room as the awaiting audience prepared themselves for an evening of African rhythms and dancing. Set against the effervescent ambience of The Lantern’s famous lighting backline, the eager attendees settled themselves on the floor for a quick drink and chat in the ruby glow, to the gentle backing of the supporting DJs.
With a slightly rustic feel and a DIY-style pop-up bar hotly attended in The Lantern’s new facilities, the evening emitted a laid-back, festival vibe matched only by the keenly anticipated African melodies of the Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Contou soon to erupt onto the stage.
Stemming from Benin, the many-membered ensemble play foot-tapping ‘good vibes’ tunes inspired by traditional African music, as well as infusing their tunes with inspirations adapted from Latin, funk, afrobeat and Congolese Soukous music. A popular festival band, the group is able to whip up any audience with their delicious melodies and frantic rhythmic percussion.
the cheerful frontman stirred up a soulful call-and-response amongst the audience with not a single soul spared from the contagious groove
As an international act, they rely solely on communicating with their audience through the medium of music and dance, and yet the cheerful frontman stirred up a soulful call-and-response amongst the audience with not a single soul spared from the contagious groove.
Dressed in traditional costume and perfectly executing the contemporary sound of traditional Africa, the group filled the corners of The Lantern with their feel-good vibes and summer-sounding melodies. Entertaining an audience of all divisions, the floor trembled with the catchy riffs and shuffling feet of the dancing spectators, spreading the positive energy of the Orchestre’s music.
Entertaining an audience of all divisions, the floor trembled with the catchy riffs and shuffling feet of the dancing spectators
Incorporating some Latin influences into their tunes and fusing the traditional sound of Africa with other-worldly sounds, the band demanded the waving hands and swaying hips of the spectators into faster and faster movement until there was a frantic sea of gleeful dancing erupting inside The Lantern’s four walls.
the band demanded the waving hands and swaying hips of the spectators into faster and faster movemen
Playing through the tracks on their 2016 album, the band will be working their way through Europe promoting the material until the end of the summer season. A must-see band and one that will inspire your smile and wet your world-music palette.
Photography by Dominika Scheibinger