Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Little-known bands, Part VII:

Mango Mache

Beloved 'Mama of soul', born around 79 in the poor outskirts of Forquanesian (ERO) as Bisou Mukelele Machéba. After a troubled childhood and youth, during which she lived on the street most of the time, she started to become the symbol for those struggling for their existence in the unfavoured neighborhoods of Forquanesian, by singing with different soul folk groups in cafés and clubs from a mature age.

As this suburban music style became popular with a wider audience both geographically and in terms of society class, she was considered a pioneer, and her amazing and powerful voice soon echoed from radios all over Central Alouang.

Without ever having aimed for it, she suddenly began earning even very good money. Donating a major part of it to the groups of people sharing her background, Mango Mache has never left her roots behind. While frequenting parts of the intellectuals' higher layers, she still lives in a suburb of Forquanesian.

In recent years, Mango Mache has not only given concerts but also recorded with a wide range of musicians known from other genres.


Fusion project from Forquanesian (ERO), combining most everything from jazz and funk via classical elements to pop and new wave, and consisting of sometimes up to 30 musicians and singers.

As forerunners for this kind of musical collective, where the values are peace, love and no drugs, Muzicq gained enormous popularity in Alouang and beyond already with their first release, their self-titled EP from 32. Especially the songs Zabou Et La Détente [Zabou And Relaxation] and Danse Vers La Lumière [Dance Towards The Light] got a whole lot of airplay and were both included in new, more profesionally recorded versions on the full album Écoute [Listen], released the year after.

Currently Muzicq are working on a new album sung in Savanese, incorporating musicians playing traditional instruments as well as tribe singers from Southwestern Alouang.

The Porridgeheads

Speedrock band formed in Westwimpton (LTL). With what one music critic called 'melodic noise', this band of wild youngsters gained cult status.

Though The Porridgeheads released no less than five regular studio albums in just three years, its lineup changed constantly ― the band has been everything from a quartet to a septet, with keyboarder and occasional singer Mark Boling and bass player Rich(ard) Coolman being the only ones featuring on all albums.

The debut Green Porridge was released in May 32 and was followed by White Porridge only four(!) months later. May 33 saw the release of Pink Porridge, a surprising experiment with strong psychedelic influences, just as courageously remixed on Pink Pudding, released two months later.

The changing band members' obvious alcohol and drug abuse ― on a couple of recordings, assumed rhythm guitar player Sandy Sawker is credited with doing nothing but 'providing and utilising dope' ― laid The Porridgeheads still for a while before they suddenly re-emerged on what became their biggest success: Red Porridge, which hit the stores in June 34 and was followed up by the Xmas release of a highly-praised live album, Served With Sugar.

Whether the success or the drugs was the main factor will remain subject for discussion, but the band completely flopped musically and commercially on the March 35 release Black Porridge. Trying to compensate for the cult rockers' fading status, their record company released a B side collection titled Pooridge, which sarcastically did not do the trick, and The Porridgeheads officially dissolved in August the same year, although in reality it had happened months before. One last breath was the Xmas release of Headful Of Porridge, a 'best of' compilation.

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