Music Monday - Takht Al Emarat

Last night I went to Artscape RSTW, an evening of film screenings, spoken word and music. I was looking forward to hearing Takht Al Emarat, a band from the United Arab Emirates that I've not heard of before. Traditional music from the Gulf is hardly played to a mainstream audience, so I was also curious to see their performance and the crowd's reaction.

I really enjoyed their music, their gentle melodies felt like a very old school performance, something that would work well in a majlis, a salon. They played to a packed crowd of all ages and nationalities and it was great to see the audience drawn to their music.

The band members aren't "performers", they're just happy to play their musical instruments. The also lack PR saviness, as they didn't introduce the band members or informed us where we can find their music. Maybe over time they will brush up on their PR skills.

In the meantime, we need to see and hear more music like this. It should be part of other music events  in the United Arab Emirates that promote locally based bands and musicians. We shouldn't see an Emirati band making an appearance  only at special events, it should be brought to a wider audience. It's about time.

I found these clips of their performance at WOMAD Charlton Park on the Charlie Gillett Stage from last July. If you have 25 minutes to spare, sit back and enjoy.