Last night a bunch of us hit up the Festival Gardens in Northbridge and caught an act from Congo called Staff Benda Bilili. Wikipedia describes them best...
Staff Benda Bilili are a group of street musicians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They live around the grounds of the zoo in the country's capital city, Kinshasa, and play music which is rooted in rumba, with elements of old-school rhythm 'n' blues and reggae. The core of the band consists of four senior singers/guitarist, who are all disabled (they had poliomyelitis when they were young) and move around in spectacularly customized tricycles. They are backed by a younger rhythm section consisting of abandoned street children who were taken under the protection of the older members of the band. The soloist is an 18 year-old boy (2009) who plays guitar-like solos on an electrified one-stringed lute he designed and built himself out of a tin can.
Fantastic infectious show, by the end you wanted to get up and hug everyone of them. Definitely one of the best Festival of Perth gigs I've seen in a long while.

Staff Benda Bilili 02

Staff Benda Bilili 01

The new venue, Festival gardens, which replaces the Becks Music Box is really good too. The only criticism is the bar service. It's confusing and mostly so for the staff. You have to go to one line to order and pay and then move to the side and collect your drink, only when it's busy the staff have no idea who ordered what and drinks just pile up until someone tells somebody else which drink is what and then they try to figure out who ordered what and in what order. Fix that disaster and you have a great venue.

Festival Gardens 01

Festival Gardens 03Festival Gardens 02

Dave ponders the tiny chair


time to head home

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