In July 2016 I had the pleasure of seeing France-based, Cameroonian singer & guitarist Blick Bassy perform at WOMAD. He was accompanied by two incredibly accomplished musicians: Clément Petit on cello and Fidel Fourneyron on trombone. Bassy was happy to give his supporting musicians the limelight as he took up post towards the back of the stage which, incidentally, made him no less impressive – especially when performing his tribute to the influential delta bluesman Skip James. Watch him performing with them again with the addition of Dominique Miletti on steel guitar. Together they work up a fine magical potion on One Love.
Since the release of his album ‘Akö’ on French label Nø Førmat, which was released in June 2015, Blick Bassy has supported Baaba Maal on his 2015 UK tour and has performed with his own trio at the Royal Festival Hall as part of Africa Utopia. In 2016, Blick graced the stages of WOMAD and Shambala festivals and performed at The Great Escape and King’s Place Festival in London. This month, Blick returns to the UK for a 7 date run of headline shows, including London’s Union Chapel on November 17, 2017. He will be joined by Johan Blanc on trombone and Clément Petit on cello, alongside his own distinctive falsetto, guitar and banjo.
Now based in Southern France, Blick recorded ‘Akö’ in his own native Cameroonian language of Bassa (one of over 260 languages native to Cameroon) to highlight a mother tongue that is no longer taught in schools in his homeland and is on the brink of dying out.
He describes the album – inspired by 1920s American bluesman Skip James – as detailing “the transmissions between the old and the new generations.” The track ‘Ndjè Yèm’ explores the mass exodus of Africa’s young to cities. He is now sharing a new live version.
If you’ve yet to see Blick Bassy perform then make every effort to catch him on this upcoming tour.
Blick Bassy November 2017 UK Tour Dates
Fri 17 Nov Union Chapel, London
Sat 18 Nov Headrow House, Leeds
Sun 19 Nov Catstrand, Galloway
Mon 20 Nov The Hug and Pint, Glasgow
Tues 21 Nov Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich
Fri 24 Nov Left Bank, Bristol
Sat 25 Nov Philharmonic, Liverpool