Bringing Vieux Farka Toure to Paisley to be billed on this year’s Spree Festival was really something special, converting the sounds and sights of the town to something diversely rich and layered, fusing cultures and folk music. Son of the renowned Ali Farka Toure, it did not take a genius to understand that this gig would be one for the diary, the music of Mali lighting up the town for the evening, the audience moved and affected by the music, so much so, two got up to dance nearing the end of the set.

Supporting Vieux was local, Glasgow-based lad Calum Ingram, performing his first gig since his Oxjam performance at The Blue Arrow in Glasgow. A John-Martyn inspired, lo-fi, acoustic cellist, there was a sense of awe and admiration for Calum from the audience, as he perfected and professionally played out his set, before Vieux Farka Toure hit the stage, and this was certainly not the last we were to see of Calum for the remainder of the evening.

Vieux from Mali, sported a wonderfully acoustic and sound, spot on for a Tuesday night at The Spree Festival. Stripped down, purely one man’s vocals and his guitar, performing Malian blues, rock and reggae (combined), showcasing interesting guitar fingering, Paisley was immersed into an African vibe. The intensity of the set combined with the sheer talent silenced the room, wondrous for a weekday gig and more of what I would like to see at The Spree.

Headliner, Vieux Farka Toure pulled the support, Calum, back up on stage, who were richly textured in their duet and improvised performance. There was a mutual respect there for each, for both culture, technique and aptitude, as they proved they were performers of a high calibre, versatile and listening. As the night concluded with a standing ovation from a roused crowd, it was evident that Vieux Farka Toure excelled as a highlight on an eclectic Spree bill that has differed greatly from previous years.

Photos courtesy of Kieran Chambers.

For more on The Spree Festival, Paisley, click here.