Drum solo, sitar solo, alternating with so much respect for each other and, watching them, very cool, not a bead of sweat.
Jasdeep Singh Degun
WOMAD at HOME
Thursday 25th March
Livestream from 8pm GMT
Would you like to preview anything from Womad’s online festival this year? he says. Probably not, I think. Womad is the only festival I ever paid to attend and the fact that it had a stall devoted entirely to selling Observers freaked me out. I’m not a festival person. I read The Observer but I like to pretend I’m too poor and obstinate to appreciate lashings of the milder classes going mild in a field. Although I’m pretty mild meself.
But anyway I looked through who is ‘on’ this year. Pass, pass, pass. Then I got to Jasdeep Singh Degun. OK, very familiar although I couldn’t sing it back, drones, twangs, the sitar doing what a sitar does. I just don’t know anything about Indian classical music apart from that it’s hard to play and needs dedication but seems a little more fun than British classical music. I listened and the drones and the twanging and then the tablas, talking, nudging, repeating. The two seeming to interlock and groove and, if it was the Jefferson Airplane using the same basic principle I’d be pulling out the hair of my hippy wig by now and chewing it, desperate for Marty Balin to do his sexy songwriter bit and relieve us of all this groovy head nodding. But, it’s not a hippy band nicking the scales. It’s something more hypnotic and just brilliantly played. Immaculate. The timing, the groove.
Drum solo, sitar solo, alternating with so much respect for each other and, watching them, very cool, not a bead of sweat. The drums aren’t the tabla players bad memories and the sitar isn’t a cock. Perhaps that’s what makes it ‘classical’ - the decorum. Fascinating.
My preview is a recommendation, zone out to Jasdeep.