The Bluebird Nightclub (Bloomington, Ind.)
Thursday, Jan. 17, 10 p.m., $7, 21+
You’ll drive yourself nuts if you try to describe the sound of Toubab Krewe (literally, “crew of foreigners”), the North Carolina-based Afrobeat band playing the Bluebird in Bloomington this Thursday. Just in the first few songs I’ve listened to, I could hear influences from Cajun, Appalachian, classic rock and surf music. Here’s what talented multi-instrumentalist Cecil Perkins had to say.
NUVO: What kind of reaction do you get from people to this sound?
Perkins: It’s a little shock; it’s a very different sound, a lot of different elements involved. But we get good reactions. It’s a lot of music that people have never head before, but it’s brought to them in a way that they can relate to it. It’s not totally foreign. It’s kind of between worlds.
NUVO: How exactly did a bunch of guys from North Carolina end up doing Afrobeat in the first place?
Perkins: We all got involved and fell in love with the drumming and the dance from West Africa, and just wanted to really get to the core of it, so we decided to take a trip over there in 2001. We went to the Ivory Coast, and that really triggered a lot of different feelings. The guitar culture is extremely thick and rich; it goes back generations and generations.
NUVO: How do you bring together all these disparate elements into one sound?
Perkins: We don’t allow ourselves to leave anything out. It’s not intentional the way it comes together. It’s just allowing yourself to go there and let it be what it is. Everything comes out, every influence you’ve ever had in your life is there. It’s pretty effortless, actually.