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AWIL 157 - Namlo & Jhuma Limbu

 Namlo & Jhuma Limbu on this A World in London! Click:

Our radio session with London’s unique Nepalese band Namlo and special guest singer Jhuma Limbu extended into an unforgettable three day East-West musical trek, beginning on Wednesday at Resonance FM! This South London session was an ear-opener to the voyage of discovery that Namlo & Jhuma are also on, exploring regional and ethnic differences that they weren’t aware of before. Nepal may be a tiny country but it has remote areas divided by mountains & valleys, and Jhuma comes from the East which neighbours Bhutan. Southerners are more influenced by India and the Northerners Tibet. It takes a rendezvous in London for these crossovers to happen, and Jhuma Limbu has been in town since November, recording her second album – ‘Sounds of Mundhum’ - with Namlo producer/guitarist Bishwo Shahi. Nepal’s Night Band introduced Jhuma to Namlo founder & composer, Ganga Thapa, who hails from western Nepal but has lived in South London for ten years and is our most talented torch bearer for Nepalese folk songs. AWIL was the first radio show to champion Namlo, four years ago, and with enormous pride we’ve watched the band evolve into the versatile, confident, cosmopolitan collective they are now. The other Namlonians include Welsh double-bassist Robyn Hemmings, Turkish multi-percussionist Gizem Altinordu, Lucie Treacher on clarinet, Californian cellist Eileen O’Neall, and divine singer Shreya Rai whose duets with Ganga have matured into perfect harmony. Together, Ganga & Shreya have developed a Kishore/Lata vocal partnership, and if you know your Bollywood playback singers and how much skill goes into achieving that level of quality then no praise could be higher. Ganga is a gifted master of melodic songwriting too, so let this be your primary focus beyond where the band’s repertoire originates from. Our second date with Namlo was on Thursday, when DJ Ritu co-hosted their concert along with Tina Tamang, out in the wilds of Essex at The Thameside Theatre. It took numerous hours to get there, almost requiring a passport to the East, but the effort was rewarded by such an appreciative crowd hungry for a taste of ‘back home’. A sizeable chunk of the Gurkha community settled in Thurrock ten years ago after actress Joanna Lumley appealed for these brave soldiers to have the right to remain in the UK after years of dedicated service to the British Army. Hence, it was a dignified audience, with ex-military men and their families, but a few guys broke ranks and couldn’t resist the urge to bop on stage compelled by Namlo’s songs and Yak Bites’ spicy food! We completed our mini-tour with Namlo on Friday at North London’s hottest night-spot, Balabam, where predominantly young, non-Nepalese but globally-minded revellers danced their socks off to an epic Himalayan rock set by the band. Wherever the compass points - North, South, East, West - all routes lead upwards to Namlo’s magnificent musical mountain peaks! See them at Tuned-In London, Sands Films on April 18th! 

ARTIST                                  TRACK                    COUNTRY

Joji Hirota                   Hiten Ryu II    Japan/UK

Funmi Olawumi         Mo Dupe         Nigeria

Namlo                         Aadhi Khola   Nepal/UK

Jhuma Limbu             Mering            Nepal

Jhuma Limbu             Palaam           Nepal

Namlo                         Tamang Selo  Nepal/UK                         

14/3/18 – AWIL 157  Online: Production & pics by Sofia Gaetani-Morris, Norman Druker, Sophie Darling, and sketches by Alban Low. In support of the UCC university strikes there was no AWIL at SOAS Radio, but next week we’ll be chatting with the Blood Tub Orchestra, and singer/musician Roger Grech joins us at Resonance FM!

#AWorldinLondon – IN ITS TWELFTH YEAR! Live on Wednesdays 6.30pm Resonance 104.4 & 4pm SOAS Radio