Wednesday, June 10

Rebel Muzik Click for more info

This evening's Rebel Muzik was a pretty special and unique affair and one we would have missed had we not planned on meeting for dinner at Makan down the road beforehand. Rebel Muzik had actually been cancelled tonight due to a Tube-strikeful lack of showing; the thirteen or so of us we were oblivious to this as we merrily munched away on our Green Curries, until Mohammad Yahya, Poetic Pilgrimage and a few other acts from tonight's show walked through the door. We thought that they were there for a pre-show dinner but it turned out that Rebel was no more, well for this month anyway.

Perhaps it was our visible disappointment, or perhaps the pent up creative energy of the acts that did turn up needed to be vented, but Mohammad suggested that we have a bit of a jam anyway. No audience? We didn't need one. No stage or venue? Ditto. What could have been a massive let down, especially for the six in our group who hadn't been to Rebel Muzik before turned out to be a special treat that even the most ardent Rebellers weren't around to be a part of, exclusive to a select few who happened to be in the right place at the right time.

So there we were outside, on the street, jamming away. Those who were scheduled to appear tonight did their bits including some beautiful readings from Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak, a new book brought to us by the U.S Female Spoken Word Collective, while Brother Dash ripped up the floor with his words. Ethel Cee was gracious enough to do a bit (and she was good too), but it was Mekka who really contributed the most tonight, not counting the bro on the drums whom I unfortunately can't quite remember the name of.

But this wasn't just about us watching them. The intimacy of the situation meant that we were also a big part of it, whether than meant clapping in time (we failed miserably at some points) or just generally participating with our positive energies. Whatever it was we really felt a big part of what was spontaneously happening. We only had drums at first until someone (whom some of you may or may not know) pulled out their guitar and added some strings to the mix. Sweet.

So it was a banging evening, just how these spontaneous, intimate and free flowing things usually are. My only regret is how most of today's line-up were internationally sourced and possibly only touring here for a while; it's unlikely that we'll see them in a more professional setting which is a shame. But otherwise it was a wonderful thing to have witnessed, and I'm pretty honoured to have been a part of it.

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