23 May 2020
Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany (Boggamasta III)
29 May 2020
Cc De kern, Wilrijk, Belgium (Boggamasta III)
20-05 Music Meeting Nijmegen, The Netherlands
25-05 N9, Eeklo, Belgium
26-05 AB, Brussels Jazz Weekend, Brussels, Belgium
18-07 Gentse Feesten, St Jacobs, Belgium
20-07 Zappanale, Bad Doberan, Germany
29-11 Club El Anónimo, Bogotá, Colombia
30-11 Ciclo Nova, Comfama San Ignacio, Medellin, Colombia
02-12 Ciclo Nova, Espacios Revelados, Bucaramanga, Colombia
05-12 Teatro Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, Bogota, Colombia
09-12 La Usina del Arte, Buenos Aires, Argentina
03-03 Handelsbeurs, Ghent, Belgium (premiere)
04-03 LantarenVenster, Rotterdam, The Nehterlands
05-03 De Kern, Wilrijk, Belgium
08-06 Nosta, Opwijk, Belgium
09-06 SWTC, De Singel, Antwerp, Belgium
10-06 JazzBoz in Gebouw T, Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands
11-11 STORM! Festival, De Grote Post, Oostende, Belgium
16-11 Willem Twee, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Nehterlands
19-11 Botanique, Brussels, Belgium
22-11 De Roma, Antwerp, Belgium
23-11 De Kreun, Kortrijk, Belgium
IGLOO records IGL288
CD - € 15
Vinyl - € 25
David Bovée was the first FES guitarist from 1999 till 2003. After four years he left the band to develop his own project "Think of One" (BBC Radio 3 World Music Award in 2004 and 2007). Whether they worked with throat singers from Greenland, Gnawa musicians from Morocco or Brazilian virtuosos, they achieved an exciting melting pot of music. David knows the Maracutu, Frevo, Ciranda and Coco music through and through.
World music was never really Vermeersch' thing, but when ‘Theater aan Zee’ (TAZ) invited both men to embark on a project with an ensemble of Gambian musicians in 2013, the experimental urge couldn’t be ignored. They traveled to The Gambia where they lived and worked with local musicians for several weeks.
They didn’t have to look hard for inspiration. In The Gambia, they saw the country leader Yahya Jammeh parading the streets of Banjul. The escort consisted of a number of hummers and majorettes, in uniform and with batons. As a proper dictator, he literally sprinkled money on the streets from one of the hummers open roof. The "Boggamasta" (a corruption of the Dutch word ‘burgemeester’, which means mayor) considered himself almighty, would rule for a billion years, and did not shy away from killing political opponents or prosecuting homosexuals.
It would be unfair to focus the Boggamasta story only on African countries or The Gambia; Boggamasta’s are everywhere, In politics, in crime, at the petanque club, in the music world, in the economy and let’s face it, also deep inside ourselves.
Bovée and Vermeersch went to work, wrote numbers and came up with raw and critical lyrics, instruments and cast were adapted: An exuberant repertoire, direct, energetic and frenzied music: feverish, delirious and groovy, and lots of electro!
David Bovée (electric guitar, vocals & electronics), Peter Vermeersch (bassclarinet, vocals & electronics), Mirko Banovic (electric bass), Kristof Roseeuw (double bass &violin), Peter Vandenberghe (keyboards & piano), Teun Verbruggen (drums & drumpads), Wim Segers (percussion), Berlinde Deman (tuba & vocals), Benjamin Boutreur (alto sax), Michel Mast (tenor sax), Bruno Vansina (baritone sax & flute), Bart Maris (trumpet), Thomas Mayade (trumpet), Peter Delannoye (trombone), Marc Meeuwissen (trombone), Marti Melià (tenor sax)
Boggamasta boogie on down at Brussels Jazz Weekend
(by Martin Longley, jazzwisemagazine.com, 20/06/18)
The UK equivalent to the Brussels Jazz Weekend would be to hold a jazz festival in Trafalgar Square, something that's not too likely a prospect. The BJW has its heart in the Grand Place, right in the centre of Brussels, but its massive freebie programme also operates around three main zones, both indoors and outdoors. Uptown, downtown and the 'European district' are blessed with three days of open air gigs, shifting into an extreme infestation of clubs, bars and cafés during each of its three nights. This 2018 edition was the second, but the weekend has a two-decade history in a previous incarnation, as the Brussels Jazz Marathon. The event represents a massive jazz takeover of the capital. Even those attuned to the Belgian jazz scene would find a multitude of unfamiliar acts, so vast is the programme. Besides the majority jazz quotient, there are also many artists arriving from global-ethnic quarters, or from alternative rock/pop, hip hop and electronic music zones.
A highlight of the Saturday evening was the strange beast named Boggamasta, at Ancienne Belgique, one of the city's prime multi-genre music venues. This was the large ensemble usually known as Flat Earth Society, but acting under a special name, to signify the inclusion of guitarist David Bovée. He was an early member of FES, and also the central figure of Antwerpian global mulchers Think Of One. The repertoire for Boggamasta resides at the funkier end, incorporating a strong hip hop element, as if Frank Zappa had moved into avant rap music. Led by bass clarinettist Peter Vermeersch, FES have been together for over two decades, their deep rapport immediately visible, the line-up still including the likes of Bart Maris (trumpet), Michel Mast (tenor saxophone), Berlinde Deman (tuba/vocals) and Teun Verbruggen (drums).
The gig was only the second (or possibly third) occasion that this Vermeersch/Bovée music was performed, the latter impressing equally on lead guitar extremity and forceful frontman freestyling, complete with monsterised bass-flooded voice effects. Bovée was often partnered by Vermeersch, in a perverted manifestation of Run DMC's verbal ping-ponging. Humour and funk co-existed with power and complexity, while the big band's carefully woven layers were clearly discernible via the PA system's sharp mix. Twisted effects cloaked ensemble vocals, as most of the group tackled chorus refrains, as if in the midst of some twisted hip-hopera. Twinned drums kicked beneath charged horn parts, as Bovée battled with Peter Vandenberghe, vying for Cecil Taylor-esque freedom on a shared keyboard. ￼
A chief pleasure during this weekend was its variety of locations: to stroll from a big show like Boggamasta's, down an alleyway into the Théâtre Royal De Toone, just off the Grand Place. It's a marionette performance space and a bar, where De Braave Joenges could be found, after the witching hour, playing downhome blues, but sung in the Brusselois Dutch-French dialect (and sometimes English), with acoustic guitar, harmonica, simple percussion and joint vocals. Complete intimacy, to close the Saturday night, with not a spare chair in sight.