Super Mama Djombo - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Super Mama Djombo

Super Mama Djombo

Published June 20, 2008

Photos by
Björn Árnason

A week prior to the concert I received the Super Mama Djombo CD Ar Puro, and as soon as the notes hit my ear drums I was hooked. The positive vibe, the beautiful vocals and instruments and the way the album seems to transport you to someplace warm and vibrant – preferably somewhere with palm trees. Super Mama Djombo is much more than just feel good music however. The beautiful Creole lyrics are mostly about the hardships and political strife that have plagued their homeland of Guinea-Bissau. This is the music of people who have seen how ugly the world can get and know that although problems are inevitable, moping and complaining won’t help but rather give people something to be happy about.

The second I walked through the door at Nasa I knew I was in for a treat. Other than the obvious fact that the band started on time, which is practically unheard of in Reykjavík, they are one of those rare bands that sound even better live than on their records. The energy and way they riled the crowd was breathtaking and I doubt if I’ve been as swept up by any band in a long time. I was slightly disappointed by what I felt was the lack of young people (not that there’s anything wrong with being middle-aged), because the audience seemed rather more subdued than a band like this deserves. Although somewhat closed and rigid at first, the Icelandic crowd soon melted and swayed, danced and sang along incoherently.

All in all I would have to say that this might be the best performance I’ve seen since DJ Mehdi blessed us with his presence a year ago. So my advice is, pour yourself some rum, smoke a cigar, wear a fedora, put Super Mama Djombo on and let them take you away from the cold and isolation of the north to the tropical paradise which is Ar Puro.


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