Friday, 30 August 2013

Bhundu Boys - Glastonbury 1989

 Today would have been Uncle John's 74th birthday. In a similiar vein (well, actually there's no similiarity whatsoever, but I shall continue with the analogy regardless) to the Israelites roasting an unfortunate member of their cattle entourage as a sacrificial offering to The Gods for guiding them safely through their meandering journey towards Canaan, here is an audio offering that will hopefully reach and please the ears in the great bearded DJ booth in the sky.

Fans may have been polarised over the "Euro-friendly" production values of major label debut album Jit Jive, but live the Bhundus were still a force to be reckoned with, attracting large ecstatic dance-crazy crowds who made your average raver look like they were merely fannying about on a bouncy castle.

For a band whose music evinced unprecedented heights for highness of life it is painful and confounding to think of their well-documented tragic demise. Within five years of this performance three of the five band members were dead: two succumbing to Aids; lead singer and main songwriter Biggie Tembo, whose mental health deteriorated following his 1990 sacking, would take his own life while incarcerated in a Harare psychiatric hospital.

Peel famously shed tears upon first witnessing the Bhundus live experience on their debut UK tour of 1986. Death and poignancy looms large in this post and may bring a lump to the throat, but just one listen to this excellent quality performance is life-affirming and will eke out the last dregs of sunshine before summer fades into autumn once more.

Jit Jive

Both Bhundus Peel sessions are available on Youtube.

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