The 10-minute review – 3. Algiers

The challenge once more: to be entertaining and informative within 10 minutes. An edit would be nice too.

The Guardian had me sold with its quickfire name-drops of Fela Kuti, The Pop Group and Nina Simone frankly. Try resisting that. If I hadn’t enjoyed this experimental Atlanta band’s video – a merging of gospel cultural appropriation and a little post-punk scuzz although why this is termed experimental is beyond me – then the writer should have been fired. Immediately rather than tomorrow.

  1. Political (you should not need telling that: the reference points give it away).
  2. Spiritual (reminiscent of oi, Kendrick Lamar! and that other geezer).
  3. Saw The Pop Group perform once. They dislocated my ankle bone. This band actually sound nothing like, but whatever. Let the babies have their cradles.
  4. Anti-colonial. There again so is the remainder of my social network.
  5. Post-punk… uh, can we skip over this description as meaningless except to the most rarified of 50-something and Pitchfork reader. Not sure they convince enough. Maybe there is nothing to convince.
  6. ‘The Underside of Power’ is a great title for a song questioning the allocation of authority.
  7. I feel an urge to quote a good critic on Nina Simone:

Turn on the sound. How can you bear to be doing anything while Nina Simone sings? How can you bear to be doing ANYTHING? Listen to that sweet gospel organ sound, attempting to heal a hurt that still feels raw and open nearly 40 years on (and that often feels as if it has nothing to do with Martin Luther King, Jr at all). The names change, but the hurt remains.

Look at her face.

Look at her.


That’s it. Showtime over. Playing tonight in London. You’ve missed them.

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