Posts Tagged ‘Monsieur Doumani’

Album Review | Top of the World | Monsieur Doumani – Sikoses

Posted on May 18th, 2015 in Recent posts, Reviews by .


Monsieur Doumani will be performing at Songlines Encounters Festival on June 4.

Monsieur-Doumani---SikosesThat difficult second album proves a doddle for Doumani

The Nicosia-based trio Monsieur Doumani have returned with a truly sterling effort on their second album. It features reworkings of traditional Cypriot folk songs and new compositions; an ambitious and altogether rewarding project. Clocking in at just under an hour, this album covers a vast amount of ground. From the wistful opener ‘Gongs’ to the serene closer ‘Good Tidings’, Sikoses never once loses your interest and is consistently strong, both lyrically and sonically. The title-track is based on a traditional melody, and its music complements the sentiments of the lyrical content perfectly: lilting brass and mystical harmonies conjure up the sense of loss following the end of a carnival.

The couplet ‘sycophants and zombies would scheme all day/ and drink hot blood from sundown to dawn’ is not the kind you hear every day, and the astute social criticism throughout – notably on ‘That’s What the Kitten Wants’ – helps make this an outstanding work. The centrepiece, an eight-minute opus named ‘Black-Eyed Girl’, showcases the musical talents of the trio, with magnificent slide work by Antonis Antoniou on the tzouras (lute), a beauteous flute refrain from Demetris Yiasemides, and haunting vocals from Angelos Ionas. This is a wonderfully conceived album, from a masterfully accomplished trio.

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Songlines Encounters Festival goes on tour

Posted on February 20th, 2015 in Live, News, Recent posts by .


For the first time in its five-year history, Songlines Encounters will tour venues around the UK

This years Songlines Encounters Festival at London’s Kings Place (June 4-6) features musicians from Portugal, Cyprus, Iran, the UK and Bangladesh. There are some UK premieres, some first-time collaborations and lots of supremely inspirational music. As ever with Songlines Encounters, the idea is to discover something new and memorable. Visit the Encounters website to find out more. The festival is co-curated by Songlines magazine and Ikon Arts Management.

Portugal’s rising fado star Gisela João, Iranian sisters Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat and progressive Cypriot trio Monsieur Doumani will tour as part of Songlines Encounters On Tour.

Gisela João

June 2 RNCM, Manchester
June 3 The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
June 4 Songlines Encounters Festival at Kings Place, London
June 5 Turner Sims, Southampton


Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat

June 3 Salisbury International Arts Festival
June 5 Songlines Encounters Festival at Kings Place, London
June 6 NCEM, York
June 7 Nottingham Lakeside Arts
June 8 Norwich Arts Centre


Monsieur Doumani

May 30 Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham
May 31 Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea
June 1  MWLDAN, Cardigan
June 3 The Met, Bury
June 4 Songlines Encounters Festival at Kings Place, London
June 5 The Hothouse, Morecambe
June 6 Unity Works, Wakefield


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Line-up announced for Songlines Encounters Festival 2015, June 4-6

Posted on January 31st, 2015 in Live, News, Recent posts by .


Photography by Mário Pires

Celebrating its fifth year Songlines Encounters Festival features musicians from Portugal, Cyprus, Iran, the UK and Bangladesh.

Taking place from June 4-6 at London’s Kings Place, Songlines Encounters Festival will feature UK premieres, first-time collaborations and lots of supremely inspirational music. There will also be film screenings, talks and free foyer performances. The festival is co-curated by Songlines magazine and Ikon Arts Management.

We are also delighted to announce that for the first time Songlines Encounters will be going on tour throughout the country. Visit Ikon Arts to find out where we will be travelling to.


Thursday June 4, Hall 1, 8:00pm

Monsieur Doumani (on tour)
The trio Monsieur Doumani play Cypriot music – both their own and traditional – with humour and panache. This show launches their new album Sikoses.

Gisela João (on tour)
The new fado singer that Portugal is raving about. Her debut recording was an album of the year in Portugal. Expect traditional fado at its very best in this UK premiere.

Friday June 5, Hall 1, 7:30pm

Duncan Chisholm
With six solo albums behind him, Chisholm is one of Scotland’s great fiddlers (read more in the March #106 issue). Traditional and contemporary music from the Highland glens.

Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat (on tour)
These sisters are like no other singing duo you’ve heard. Their voices interweave so beautifully, you’d never guess they’re forbidden to sing publicly back home in Iran. They will also do a special Songlines Encounters collaboration with Duncan Chisholm.

Friday June 5, Hall 2, 9:30pm

One of Britain’s great electro-African dance bands with live vocals, kora, guitar and percussion with electronics drawing on house, dubstep and hip-hop.

Saturday June 6, Hall 1, 2:00pm

She’Koyokh: Kids Concert
Join Britain’s best klezmer band She’Koyokh for a participatory concert for children, introducing music from Eastern Europe with stories, singing and dancing!

Saturday June 6, Hall 1, 7:30PM

Shikor Bangladesh All Stars & Lokkhi Terra
The Shikor Bangladesh All Stars feature seven of the best traditional musicians from Bangladesh, including folk singer Baby Akhtar, dhol drummer Nazrul Islam and maestro of Baul music Rob Fakir. In part two of this concert, the All Stars join together with the Anglo-Bangladeshi group Lokkhi Terra. This UK premiere brings Songlines Encounters Festival a danceable finale as the roots of Bangladesh meet Latin dance rhythms and the urban jungle.


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Songlines Music Awards 2014 Nominees: Newcomer

Posted on March 19th, 2014 in News, Recent posts by .


Now in their sixth year, the Songlines Music Awards celebrate the wealth of musical talent from around the world. Here are the four nominees in the Newcomer category, as voted by you.

facircleFamily Atlantica for Family Atlantica on Soundway Records

Fronted by Venezuelan Luzmira Zerpa, Londoner Jack Yglesias and Nigerian/Ghanaian Kwame Crentsil, Family Atlantica ambitiously delve into the wealth of the music on either side of the Atlantic with their Latin/African fusion. Very much a product of multicultural London, they unite with music of the African diaspora with unparalleled joy, enthusiasm and charisma.

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mdcircleMonsieur Doumani for Grippy Grappa on Monsieur Doumani

This trio of Cypriot musicians – Antonis Antoniou on the bouzouki-like tzouras, Angelos Ionas on guitar and Demetris Yiasemides on wind instruments – have been updating the local repertoire since they formed in 2011. Their debut features confident reworkings of local songs, providing a fresh and inventive take on tradition. Peppered among the traditional songs are a few excellent originals.

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wpcircleWill Pound for A Cut Above on Lulubug Records

Harmonica virtuoso Will Pound shows off his stuff on his solo debut. Taking the instrument on an epic journey through varied repertoire, Pound’s playing ranges from delicate to frenzied. For A Cut Above, he taps into the bluegrass repertoire, morris dance tunes and even a bit of gospel. But this isn’t just an exercise in range, it’s his consistent musicality that makes this album something truly special.

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wb3circleWe Banjo 3 for Roots of the Banjo Tree on We Banjo 3

Just as the album’s title implies, We Banjo 3 – Enda Scahill with brother Fergal, plus brothers Martin and David Howley – explore the journey of this often under-appreciated instrument, from bluegrass to traditional Irish music. Joined by several guests including five-string banjo whizz Leon Hunt, they offer an homage to the great players of the past with some top-notch playing.

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