Music review: Hugh Masekela at the Barbican Centre

12:16 15 March 2012

Hugh Masekela brought the Barbican audience to its feet

Hugh Masekela brought the Barbican audience to its feet

Archant

Legendary South African trumpeter and singer Hugh Masekela brought the Barbican audience to its feet with a joyful show

South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela has been no stranger to the Barbican in recent years and his latest triumphant appearance showed just why they keep having him back.

The 72-year-old trumpeter and singer certainly seemed at home throughout a joyous set that brought the initially reserved Barbican Hall audience to its feet.

The sold-out gig, which celebrated the start of Commonwealth Week, follows the release of Jabulani, an album of traditional South African wedding songs.

Yet the set was packed with Masekela classics, from soppy yet painfully catchy ballad Mama - which displayed some impressive vocal chops - to the epic tale of exploited miners, Stimela (The Coal Train).

He switched between his hoarse but majestic vocals and strident flugelhorn solos, backed by a phenomenal quintet of keys, bass, drums, percussion and mesmerising young guitarist Cameron Ward.

The audience was slowly drawn out of its shell, both by the music and his easy sense of humour – a high point was when he adopted an English accent to tell how he was actually born in Yorkshire – until almost everyone was out of their seats. He danced with us, moving like a man half his age.

The former anti-apartheid campaigner spoke at one point of the suffering in the world, saying how fortunate we all were to be there in the comfort and safety of the Barbican. With him on the stage, how right he was.

* Hugh Masekela performed at the Barbican Centre in Silk Street, EC2, on Saturday March 10, 2012

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Ello is the new social network on everyone’s lips, but the question is, why?

Read more

Here are some tips from an expert on how to create the tricky Middle Eastern dessert.

Read more

The man in the moon may have been caused by a long plume of magma deep inside the moon coming to the surface.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Top Stories

Quizzes

Andy Johnson pictured during his first stint at Crystal Palace (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Test your knowledge of Crystal Palace with our fun quiz on the Eagles’ history.

Read more
(Photo by Ben Horton/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds Hollywood)

If there’s one thing that can change Londoners from nice, normal people into superhumans capable of extreme levels of rage and passive aggression, it’s the descent below-ground.

Read more
Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more