mandag den 30. april 2012

Micheal Kiwanuka is worth the hype

My review of Friday's show: original article at:

(or in this week's physical copy of The Copenhagen Post)

Micheal Kiwanuka is worth the hype

Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk
**** (4 stars out of 6); April 27 at Lille Vega
Kiwanuka's voice was the clear star of the evening (Photo: Søren Bo Basselbjerg /
I first heard of Michael Kiwanuka late last year when he appeared on Jools Holland's  show, performing a mellow version of 'Tell Me A Tale’, the first track off his only studio album.  What struck me more than anything else about the London-born musician was the sheer weight and power of his voice, which led me to draw immediate comparisons with ‘60s sensation Otis Reading. Kiwanuka has come a long way since that performance, winning the prestigious BBC Sound of 2012 award earlier this year on the basis of a solitary album, the highly-hyped Home Again, joining the likes of Adele, Ellie Goulding and Mika, all of whom have previously won the award. His debut on Danish soil on Friday night was a show to remember, an experience that makes it easy to see why he is so highly revered within music circles at the moment.
Kiwanuka and his backing band stepped cooly and confidently onto the stage at Lille Vega on Friday, opening the proceedings with several mellifluous tracks off Home Again. His vocals are well and truly the stuff of legend and blended seamlessly with his toned-down instrumentation, which amplified his stage presence in the traditional singer-songwriter fashion. Conversely, more dance-friendly grooves, such as the jazzy 'Bones’,  featured a lot more instrumentation and a lot less of Kiwanuka's poignant, slow-paced vocals, giving more of a Friday-night feel to things.  What followed was an intense blend of compelling, emotional moments for the better part of the show, punctuated by breaks of soulful brilliance.
Whilst songs off Home Again were pretty much the order of the day, Kiwanuka did do a Jimi Hendrix cover towards the end of the show, citing him as one of his boyhood inspirations. As expected, the highlight of Friday night's entertainment came right before the close of the proceedings, as Kiwanuka performed ‘Home Again’, the eponymous single off his album that has captured the hearts and souls of many music lovers the world over. This track alone is a sheer revelation, though Friday's show proved that there's a lot more to Michael Kiwanuka. This is a young man with tremendous potential, endearing humility and a very bright future. His best work is surely still to come and one can only look forward to his future releases.

søndag den 29. april 2012

"Nigger" Steals Car From 80 Year Old- The absurdity of Danish Journalism

Imagine a country where the word "nigger" is still used freely and openly in the course of everyday parlance. Denmark, often heralded as a liberal haven that propagates democracy and freedom for all, irrespective of race is rapidly becoming a state that is increasingly anti-immigrant and pro- Dane. Examples of this happening are numerous; the advertising boards that are filled by pro-Danish peoples party propaganda, the innumerable cases of improperly handled immigration cases, and of course, the vermin of all societies, the press.

Roskilde's Dagbladet, a widely read newspaper in the city of Roskilde recently circulated an article entitled "Nigger steals car From 80 Year Old," a shoddy piece of journalism that was staunchly defended by the editor of the daily in what any rational individual can only look upon as a completely disrespectful and racist piece. The audacity of it all is mind-blowing - Imagine a such-like article being written in the U.K or The U.S.A or anywhere in the world for that matter, let alone a nation with one of  the highest rates of adult education worldwide. It's little wonder that Anders Breivik holds Denmark in such high regard. I have never seen anything more pathetic in my time here.

Late Night Colour Inversion

torsdag den 26. april 2012

Tinariwen offer a refreshingly different take on music

My article from Monday's show at Vega: Also available in this week's version of The Copenhagen Post (or online at:

Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk
**** (4 stars out of 6); April 23 at Lille Vega
Not your typical Vega show (Photo: Søren Bo Basselbjerg /
At a time when the airwaves are populated by tune upon tune of commercially-motivated music whose objectives are not always the most noble of causes, it was a relief to go out and see a band with a story unlike any other, a group of musicians who perform with the specific purpose of triggering social change.
Tinariwen are a Tuareg-Berber band from the barren desert lands south of the Sahara. Forced into military service and detached from their traditionally nomadic lifestyle, the band formed in the rebel camps of the late Colonel Gadaffi. The group traded their traditional instruments for rock guitars and drums and single-handedly formed Tishoumaren (music for the unemployed), a rebellious form of music that voiced the concerns of the working class and the oppressed, calling for solidarity and  unity in the face of the political and social problems of the Sahel/Sahara region. Some of their politically charged music has since been banned by the governments of Algeria and Mali on account of  its seditionary character, though this hasn't stopped them from performing to an international audience.  
Clad in traditional Tuareg attire and armed with three electric guitars, a bongo drum and the enchanting voice of their lead singer, Tinariwen took to the stage at a packed Lille Vega and immediately wooed the crowd with a spellbinding entree that vibrated with the passionate overtones of rebellion. Two songs in, and the band shifted to a more upbeat tone, altering their setup to accommodate a mix of acoustic as well as electric guitars, exhibiting a more dance-friendly side to their music, one that teemed with hair-raising ululations whilst at the same time maintaining the spellbinding feel of their unique blend of music.
Performing songs off  both their latest album Tassili, a masterpiece that won accolades for the best world music album of 2011, as well as other past albums, Tinawiren performed emphatically for the better part of their show. While the music was at times a tad monotonous,  the band became more accessible towards the end of their show as they used the full breadth of the stage and interacted more freely with the crowd. Unlike many other shows at Vega, Tinawiren's performance was a show  that managed to attract a blend of the old and the young, complimenting the accessibility of their rebellion-ridden music.

onsdag den 18. april 2012

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

A. Follow The Yellow Brick Road You Say ?

B. Yes, the lingering cookie trail that leads to....

A. Where ?

B. Why the source of course !

A. I'm lured and curious

B. You take the red pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the blue pill, and I'll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

tirsdag den 17. april 2012

Norwegian duo's show a cut above simple Convenience

Original Article available at :

Or in this weeks version of The Copenhagen Post 

Norwegian duo's show a cut above simple Convenience

Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk
***** (5 stars out of 6); April 15 at Store Vega
The Norwegian duo Kings of Convenience called Sunday night's Vega show a homecoming of sorts
Bergen-based Kings of Convenience gave the crowd at Store Vega on Sunday night a concert to remember with a virtuoso performance that saw them play some of their more well-known tunes off their three studio albums. The first of two sold-out concerts in Vega saw the cheery Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe (also of indie band The Whitest Boy Alive) set the stage alight with their flamboyant intermeshing of intricate acoustic guitar melodies and soothing, ethereal vocals, set off by light-hearted, comical moments between songs.
It was evident from the onset that the indie-pop duo were performing with the rather specific purpose of enjoying themselves and spreading this enjoyment to those present. Tunes such as ‘Toxic Girl’, ‘Homesick’ and the contemplative ‘Cayman Islands’ were hammered home to one of the most responsive audiences this reviewer has had the pleasure of being a part of at Vega.
The direct result of this were several uplifting sing-along sequences, the most poignant of which was the free-spirited ‘Boat Behind’ tune off their Declaration of Independence album from 2009.  Such responsiveness was no doubt stoked somewhat by the long,  cheery bits of banter between songs, during which both musicians managed to get themselves and the crowd into lively bouts of laughter, a testament to just how comfortable they were on stage.
Teetering on the brink of ethereal genius at times and sheer elation at others, the duo added a rather surprising element to their show by jamming with Danish indie-electro boys WhoMadeWho for a couple of songs, joking about how the Danes had left their drum kit on stage after their performance the previous night before inviting them onto the stage. Both bands complemented each other well and gave the show a welcome twist of fate. Despite the unexpected guest appearance, however, Kings of Convenience were the unquestioned stars of the evening.
A spontaneous remake of of their ‘Rule The World’ after the curtain call added a disco element to the night, as the lights dimmed and the stage was cast in flashes of lavender and blunt red. Kings of Convenience left the show all smiles to rapturous applause, a job well done on what they themselves wittily described as one of their homecoming sho

mandag den 16. april 2012

Brideshead Revisited

So reality wasn't all that after all ? 
No, I figured that I didn't want to be here after all.
Ah I see, back to the comatose of the monochromatic world then?
Indeed, back to longing for greener grass. My perennial shadow. 

lørdag den 14. april 2012

Thank you From Project Fable

Project Fable's debut Performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde yesterday was one of the best days of my life. Thank you so much to everyone who turned up, and to my family and my friends for all the support.  Project Fable will be working on some new material over the course of the next few weeks so stay tuned- we'll also post some videos of yesterday's show as soon as they've been processed. For now though, thanks again and enjoy the sunshine !

You're free to check out and download my free book, Synesthetic Dreams, containing many of the poems i've written at :

mandag den 9. april 2012

Birds and Nature

Revisiting some of my pictures from 2010, now that the spring is here.