Group Doueh @ Johnny Brenda’s

Group Doueh performed to a sold out crowd @ Johnny Brenda’s on 7/2/11 at 10pm.

Group Doueh played guitar music from the Dakhla, Western Sahara. They are a muslim group from Africa on Sublime Frequencies records, which is based out of Seattle. Introducing the set was a rep from Sublime Frequencies. It is unknown at this time if members of the group are english speaking as throughout the set they just focused on performing, I’d guess they speak arabic however.  Very Loud but not ear splitting. There were 5 members onstage upstairs at Johnny Brenda’s. 3 women and 2 men in Hijab. The women took care of most of the vocals, which were strong and deep, and also the movements, which were very seductive at points and calculated, not just some random shimmying here. Lots of robe flirtations. They also had a few harp type instruments with them down on the floor (when they weren’t up and moving about.) The older man, Doueh aka Bamaar Salmou, played an African banjo, name unknown, for the first portion. The younger Doueh was on the keyboard/synth, a Yamaha model with beats preprogrammed and very danceable. The second portion had Doueh wailing away on an electric guitar. In typical African fashion the men made little to no facial movements, though the younger Doueh did move a bit rhythmically. The women however, surprised me in how much they carried the show. What with the disco ball rotating and the strobe light occasionally flashing the robe’s fabrics carried me away to another world, far away from Fishtown and the body odor of the man in front of me. I know I was drunk because I was asking for dogfish instead of lion’s head at the bar. but we can’t all be perfect. I am very much into psychedelic sounds and studied guitar playing, so when Doeuh played that solo where he threw the guitar up in front of him like Hendrix I was well pleased. The women cavorted with the audience and bellydanced their way into our hearts, grasping hands of the multitude of ecstatic followers in the front, all of whom seemed to be near albino. I know the audience sure loved them with lots of applause and whooping, had a brief encore and then waves goodbye…

For $15 I was very much so entertained, and thankful also that many recent shows I’ve attended were free. I wish them the best on their first US tour. I encourage anyone who went out there tonight or anyone interested in African music to pursue said interest. I am very into Western African music, mostly featuring Kora, another instrument, but really any African music I’ve heard has been incredibly soothing and fulfilling on a basic level.


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