Sunday, 28 August 2011


This set took place on Saturday, 24 June at Scene Meditel on the beach and I found it an absolutely dynamic performance despite the difficulties detailed further down this post.

Darga is a young group from Casablanca with a charismatic lead vocalist who, like Errol of Jazz-Racines Hiati, reminded me of Freddie Mercury because of his energy and the way he not only used the stage but climbed up some of the side rigging as he kept on singing. And at one stage he took off his top and sang bare chested.

The audience, which was spread right along the beach on both sides and towards the sea, went wild with enthusiasm.

The music itself was a fusion of a whole range of styles: reggae, ragga, funk, jazz and trad jazz. It was all very exciting and this is a group that I'd like to learn more about.

BUT the area in front of the stage, for VIPs and press ( a large stretch of concrete in-between the stage and the beach wall) was highly dangerous and the guard's identification machine wasn't working so there was no vetting of entrants.

To get to this area we had to walk down an unlit sloping, narrow sidewalk of rough ground, which was tricky to navigate.

The raised sections for photographers in front of the stage consisted of two shabby sets of two steps which were so insecure that John and I had to hang on to each other from time to time to prevent ourselves from falling. Anyone taking photographs or a film of us trying to do our work would have ended up with very amusing photos/films.

To add to this, there was a long drop between the top of the steps (which were very difficult to manoeuvre along) and the stage. There was nothing to get hold of except each other.

And, the only way to get onto the beach wall in order to sit down was via a number of high, rough steps with lots of cables in the middle and a piece of cloth roughly covering the steps which was loose and flopping over the side.

It would take a lot of persuading to get me to photograph at this stage again unless safety was significantly improved.

BUT Dargo were fantastic!

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