I only saw them play in London in February this year as part of their tour promoting new album “A history of now”, but it’s good to see them in my hometown as it’s been a while.
In addition to this, the gig is part of the opening weekend of the 45th Brighton Festival and the guest director is Burmese pro democracy leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi, so they’re an appropriate band to be asked to kick things off.
Support comes from Romany singer Kerieva, who sings in her native language and gives a stirring performance that’s full of passion.
The ADF show tonight is called “Music of resistance”, and it opens with a remix of one of their songs “The Power Of Ten” which now includes a speech by Aung San Suu Kyi together with footage of her delivering the speech projected onto a backdrop.
It’s a good way to open the show and from there they go into the rest of their set in front of an enthusiastic crowd who don’t stop moving for the rest of the set. The new album deals with topics like democracy, revolution and the effects of globalisation and climate change on the world as a whole. It’s a rousing set and is matched my the intensity of the visuals – the Al Jazeera documentary called “The Music of Resistance”.
I’ve seen ADF a few times now but this is the first time I’ve seen them with a female string section. It’s a nice touch that complements the music.
Stand out songs were the classics “Naxalite” and “Fortress Europe”, although the energetic tabla and dhol playing of Prithpal Rajpu aka ‘Cyber’ went down a storm for the whole of the gig. Cyber also founded and runs the The Ministry of Dhol, an academy to train musicians in the art of dhol drumming, and he brought some of these drummers onstage to play a fast percussive instrumental that got the crowd moving. A real highlight of the show.
All in all, their danceable mix of dub, hip hop and punky Indian agit-pop is a great mix that guarantees a crowd-rocking party. This, coupled with the neat visuals of Jimmy Cauty – formerly of The KLF and The Orb, added up to a great show. Hard to believe that their first album “Fact and Fictions” came out in 1995 but good to see their still going strong and are as committed to what they do as ever.
February’s gig reviewed here: