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Nothing But The Magnificent & Agadez

Start: 16 May 2011 8:30 pm

Venue: The Horse Hospital

16 May 2011 8:30 pm
The Horse Hospital
30 Colonnade, London, United Kingdom, WC1N 1JD

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Nothing But The Magnificent

Sara Cook | | 6 mins

‘Nothing But The Magnificent’ explores the disappearance, re-emergence and ultimate path to redemption of Graham Simpson, the enigmatic former bassist and original co-founder of Roxy Music. Following his recording of ‘Roxy Music’ in 1972, Simpson pre-maturely left the band. Rumours of breakdowns drug taking and religious quests fuelled his departure only a year before Brian Eno left.

Back on the scene in London's Ladbroke Grove in 2010, after having been unwittingly discovered by artist and neighbour Sara Cook, Graham starts to fill in the years since his disappearance from the band. Reflecting on the ‘embryonic’ early days of Roxy Music, Graham slowly begins to unravel the mysteries and re-write the history books in what will be Roxy Music’s 40th Anniversary.

From Moroccan prisons to Sufism to Don Juan to heavy doses of Nepalese Oil, Simpson was the one that got away. Myths and legends have followed this man, a modern Lord Lucan who has left the world somewhat quiet as to the whereabouts of his elusive musical genius, who to this day has still not been replaced by Ferry. We visit the man who leaves more of a legacy from one seminal album than a bassist with a career spanning fifty years.
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Agadez: The Music and the Rebellion

World Premiere Watch trailer
Ron Wyman | | 1:06:37 mins

Almost four years in the making, the film follows the rise of Omara Moctar known as "Bombino", a twenty nine year old Tuareg musician from Niger. Bombino has become a cult hero in Niger and represents a new generation of Tuareg. He is becoming known as one of the great guitar players of West Africa, influenced by the legendary Ali Farka Toure, Tinariwen and Jimi Hendrix.

The film also tells the story of the Tuareg, an ancient Saharan nomadic tribe who, since the 12th century, have linked North Africa and West Africa, guiding their camel caravans across the desert, spreading art and music from Egypt to Mali. The Tuareg guard their independence and personal freedoms fiercely and have taken up arms against the government three times in the past two decades. They are also a very moderate and independent Muslim culture that cherishes the right to worship in their own way, as well as the rights of women. In fact, in Tuareg culture, the men cover their faces, the women do not.

During the most recent Tuareg rebellion many Tuareg lost their lives and the Nigerien military executed two of Bombino’s musicians, driving him into exile for several years.

The film follows Bambino over the past several years as he was exiled to Burkina Faso, his travels to the US to begin recording a new CD, and his return to Niger in 2010 with the peace agreement which ended the rebellion. He has now returned home to Agadez, a remote and storied city at the edge of the Sahara. On his return to Agadez, he finished recording the CD titled “Agadez”.

With the Sultan's blessing, he recently held a concert outside the Grande Mosque of Agadez which was attended by over a thousand people. His triumphant and exhilarating concert reminded the Tuareg of their magnificent culture, giving them new hope and setting an example for the rest of Africa for adapting to the modern world.

Many of the scenes in the film were shot just before the latest rebellion in some of the most beautiful and remote regions of the Sahara which are now inaccessible due to bandit kidnappings and al Qaeda activity.

Bombino has now signed with Cumbancha Records, the top world music label in the business. His CD has just been released worldwide with critical acclaim by Cumbancha Records who are promoting him as the next great musician from Africa.

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