Samay – Dingwalls (Live Review)

Dingwalls: crap name, great venue. And so it proved to be once more with a band of nomadic northerners with feet in Leeds and others in Italy, Bangladesh, the Punjab and Tottenham. The band is called Samay

It was an unusual gig in a number of respects. First time I have ever been given sweets, and rather delicious sweets called Bafi, at a live gig. And this was no VIP thing, everyone got one. It was like your Indian aunty was trying to fatten you up. And there were floor coverings so people could sit by the stage and, amazingly, they did — braving the attentions of the intermission comedian on top of it all.
We were in an unusually quiet Camden midweek for the music but before I get to Samay I have to say how talented the support were. Fiona Bevan writes beguilingly clever lyrics backed by her sometimes rudimentary guitar technique, Apparently BBC 6 Music have picked up on her already and a slot of Jools Holland is sure to follow…
Now Samay, are blessed with not one but two unusually talented musicians in the shape of Bhupinder Singh Chaggar on tabla and Giuliano Modarelli on guitar, which is not to say that the sarod, sax and bass players are not pretty fine too but tabla and guitar are the undoubted stars of the show. And the kind of show it is, is very reminiscent of Shakti and other seventies and eighties jazz / Indian fusions, add a little flamenco and even a ska backbeat on one song and you have a pretty good idea what you are going to get at one of their shows.
I’d like to see them develop their own sound further but — hey – it’s great to see talented young musicians who are stretching themselves and actually look at and to each other as they play.

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