World Cup of Music June 23

Final Games; Groups C & D

Review of Matches June 22; Tuesdays games were slightly more predictable than Mondays but at least South Africa ended their World Cup with a terrific win demolishing Domenech’s donkeys. Without Zidane to cover for his incompetence Domenech has revealed his true colours, whereas South Africa ended with a rainbow win. Argentina were seriously frustrated by Rehhagel’s disciplined Greece before taking them apart. Can’t see Argentina winning the Cup but they are much more fun to watch then when Maradona played for them in their ugly 1990 team. Uruguay eased their way past Mexico but both qualified and both will be difficult to beat. With Nigeria also going out and with Ghana and the Ivory Coast under threat Algeria might become Africa’s best bet, so todays Theme Tune is Africa Unite, the Bob Marley classic re-interpreted by the great Youssor N’Dour, giz’s a goal! Africa Unite;

Group C Preview; Wide open, perm any two to go through! If you are a Brit you will have shared the hysteria the national media has indulged in after we repeated, with slightly more footballing quality, our start to the 1990 World Cup. We hired an Italian and England played like Italy in the group stage; perfunctory. On balance we can beat Slovenia, but the Jabulani ball causes touch players, like Rooney, problems and well-organised teams, like Switzerland, have been getting results. The USA must be confident of repeating their Confederations Cup success but Algeria ranked 30 were semi-finalists in the African Cup of Nations so could nick it from the USA. On the other hand if they “win” 1-1 again the USA will become the first team to win 3 matches and go out at the group stage.

Slovenia; Slovenia’s geographic position has meant it has been influenced by German Austrian and Italian music as well as having a range of mountain and shepherds music. For forty years the Oberkrainer ensemble were seen as being the only authentic Slovenian musical ensemble, but sang in German. The key musician was composer Slavko Avsenik who played the Accordian and broadcast the Slovenian Hour from Austria from 1953 and kept the culture going. This is the entire Oberkrainer Ensemble standing in front of a fake Slovenia with the tasty Musik ist mein Gluck

England; Apart from New Order England haven’t produced good World Cup anthems, but English club crowds are very good at creating chants. We used to sing Bergkamp Wonderland at Highbury and most crowd favourites get their song.  England need two goals, so woo-whoo! we could go with Song 2, but instead we will go on a long walk to freedom with Verve as we know John Terry’s mantra is ” I can change, I can change,” that’s England’s, Bitter Sweet Symphony;

USA; USA’s multiple music styles meant we could pick anything we want, but with a key game ahead I think a big chant song that the crowd loves singing along to is just what is needed. Bruce Springsteen thrives on producing stadium anthems that you can sing on Glory Days when your team is on fire. So wishing all their fans success here is the much misunderstood Born in the RSA;

Algeria; Here is a real treasure, Kabylian music from the Algerian Berber, desert people, which is the basis of the wonderful Rai we have already featured with Khaled & Rachid Taha. Although developed in the 1930s the real breakthrough song was A Vava Inouva by Idir in 1973. Peter Gabriel helped promote more modern Kabylian artists like Takfarinas but here is the original with Idir singing live on A Vava Inouva

Group D Preview; Almost any combination is possible especially if Germany beat Ghana when both Australia and Serbia have a chance. Ghana may regret not scoring enough goals against Australia if Germany catch fire, which I think they will. Serbia are well organised and skilful so should just qualify if Germany win. If Germany lose Serbia can go through with Ghana, unlikely but quite possible. Australia have to score lots of goals so their match with Serbia could be a classic.

Australia; The music scene in Australia is really diverse, like most Western economies, with a wide-range of modern music styles played professionally. Electro House is popular in the South with active scenes around Melbourne and Adelaide, with the University of Adelaide playing an important cultural role in Electronic Music . Emerging from this scene The Presets became the first electronic act to win Australian album of the year in 2009. This is the track they played at the awards ceremony My People;

Serbia; The Balkan regions have some terrific gypsy bands, featuring brass and in Serbia Boban Markovic are amongst the best. I particularly like the Rumanian bands like Taraf de Haidouks but in Serbia the focus is on the trumpet. The town of Guca has a trumpet festival each year to celebrate this obsession, washed down with beer. Here is some sample Serbian street Trumpet Madness;

Ghana I’ve seen very few Ghanaian musicians but one group that I did see in the seventies and who were tremendous live were Osibisa, who are now touring again. They seemed like a West African Santana at the time but with a brass front line and African Rhythms rather than Latin, appropriately for this World Cup. Osibisa were seen as one of the successes of the Ghanaian Pop that developed in the seventies. Definitely better live so this is a video of them playing the self-explanatory Music for Gong Gong;

Germany Two of my all time favourite groups are German, Kraftwerk and Can, both great live, but not from Berlin. Berlin has traditionally been the German cultural centre and supports a fantastically wide range of arts and music, great for jazz but perhaps not a Vuvezela Orchestra. In fact there is an inhabitant of Berlin who really dislikes the vuvuzela. On the other hand Nena, from Hagen, saw her song 99 Red Balloons, a great chant song, symbolically help bring down the Berlin wall. 99 Red Balloons;

If you want a graphical action replay of every match using Twitter just look at this amazing website. And just in case England don’t make it through to the knock-out stages here are the world-famous LEGO players recreating the wonderful 1966 final when England beat Germany by 4-2. No penalties were involved;    


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