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Sifaka’s Culture Clash

By April 4, 2017

Music. Leeds.

image1-2After the hugely successful launch of the Sifaka Sessions on St 17th March at Hyde Park Book Club, we’re back with Sifaka Sessions #002 on April 21stSifaka Sessions is our new monthly night at Hyde Park Book Club. We’ve been digging up the best bands from Leeds and beyond to present a cocktail of musical styles that cuts across genres and reflects our love of rock, blues, soul, African music and much more!

Sifaka Sessions #002 will feature Maggie8, a group that deliciously fuse western folk and indie with Hindi raags and elements of Bollywood. Following them are a band that are making an indelible imprint on the Leeds scene: ENGINE. Combining an unashamedly baggy groove with woozily modern psychedelicisms, they’re simultaneously a welcome throwback and utterly in tune with the zeitgeist: a familiar formula refined to the point of perfection. We will headline the night.

This month’s featured artist… Mike Winnard

Mike has done most of Sifaka’s artwork including our latest ‘Sifaka EP’. With a wonderfully intricate and imaginative style and a political voice to be heard, his work has been catching eyes all around Leeds for years. A founder of the talented Snake Oil artists’ collective and curator of the Assembly House studios, he is an artist with a big presence on the art and music scene. To find out more visit: www.mikewinnard.co.uk.


Wallflower notes… 

We were blown away by the turnout at Sifaka Session #001 on 17th March. After months of work, the night came together beautifully, with over a hundred people rocking to amazing performances from Kumiko and The Seagulls! Read TSOTA’s review of the night here. Heading down to The Old Red Bus Station, we saw singer-songwriter MAEVE at Live at the Hive—definitely one to watch.

Then we hit to road to Glasgow for the BBC 6 Music Festival. Strolling through the sunlit streets in a happy haze of high quality single malts we settled in to watch Thundercat tear apart the Barrowland Ballroom, with a skankable headline set from Bonobo. But the show was stolen by Songhoy Blues. Rocking hard, with scintillating guitar riffs and a dangerously infectious groove, this band is waking up the world to the brilliance of the music of Mali.

Finally, back in Leeds’ Howard Assembly Room we enjoyed a masterful exhibition of folk balladry from John Smith. A wonderful acoustic guitarist with a honey-gravel voice, drawing inspiration from Richard Thompson and Townes Van Zandt, he showed that it is still possible for one man and a guitar to hold an audience in the palm of his hand.

Sifaka Session #001

Recommended gigs in April… 

7th April Sierra Leone’s Refugee Allstars Howard Assembly Room

13th April Hot 8 Brass Band The Wardrobe

21st April Sifaka Sessions #002 Hyde Park Book Club

22nd April Seasick Steve O2 Academy

23rd April Electric Six Brudenell Social Club

28th April Nubiyan Twist The Wardrobe

29th April Live at Leeds Festival Around town

If you have any events you would like us to feature drop us a message at [email protected]!

Sifaka is a 7-piece band from Leeds, setting stages alight with their fusion of Soul, Rock and African Blues. In 2016, following a string of UK Festivals, Sifaka’s EP Launch was covered in the New York Times and named BBC Introducing’s Gig of the Week. Growing up on the music of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, now they believe the spirit and sound of the blues is to be found where it first came from: Africa. Found out more on their website and facebook

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