‘This is music which is about more than ‘just the music,’ it’s a whole cultural experience’
Bringing Sofar Sounds at Bianca Road Brew Co to a close, Ganda Boys took us on an altogether different musical journey. One which focused heavily on the spiritual and cultural importance that music has in their country of origin, Uganda. Between them – Daniel Sewagudde and Denis Mugagga – had an immediate sense of charm which, even without their instruments, made for an enticing listen in itself.
Having introduced themselves – and beautifully underplayed Grammy Award nominations – they opened with Forgotten People. Focusing on the displaced, the homeless and the refugees, this was a track which made an immediate impact. Whether it was their warm harmonic vocals, the immensely delicate combination of acoustic guitar and the Adungu, or a combination I’m not sure, but it certainly made for an incredibly touching opening track.
Continuing to wonderfully emphasise that their music is about more than ‘just the music,’ Daniel and Denis took us on a quick tour of the impact it has on their culture. While artists generally say things best through their music, Ganda Boys proved to be just as engaging in between and with them finding the perfect balance of truth about acceptance and how their music connects them to their ancestors, you too felt a connection. Equally, in their praise for both Chisara and Martin, they showed an incredibly unrestricted acceptance of music in the UK and Europe.
Moving toward the end of their set, this emphasis on tradition really shone through with Kagutema being full of life and celebration. Filled with more powerful vocals, it demonstrated a different side to the sound Ganda Boys have and with the Adungu providing traditional accompaniment, it was an immersive listen. However, while this was certainly the most impassioned of their tracks, Tyenda – which followed – brought a more light-hearted sound where you simply couldn’t say no to the encouraged audience participation as you travelled with them along the Nile.
To find out more about the artists and their performances, choose a review below and start discovering:
Chisara Agor: ‘It felt heavily intimate and we hung on to every last syllable.’
Martin Piehlmeier: ‘You felt, heard and saw every pick, strum and percussive hit of musicality’