Paradise in Augustines
Aug 19-20 (19:20)
The amazing Kooch graced the stage at Paradise in Augustine’s in the form of a four piece band (guitar, drums, bass and saxophone) with the wonderfully dressed vocalist, Shirin Majd, at the centre. They played as they took their places, drawing us in to what felt like an exotic world of beauty, unfamiliar yet so natural. The genres seemed to range from western opera to Italian tragedy, mixed with a kind of fusion jazz, mixed with folk and they played new and old songs in Farsi, Turkish, Spanish and English. The folklore spoke of a love so endearing as to climb to the angels and announce it.
Shirin would touch the air gently, swaying her hips as she sang, a voice I have never heard the like of before. The music would stop mid song and start again seemingly out of beat, in constant free motion, creating a stunning vision of love and passion. Accompanying the melodies they played videos on a large screen, depicting images of hardship, war, displacement, suffering, so that the music took on the meaning of all the things that displaced people’s hope for – peace, love, belonging. Until the pictures eventually became more light-hearted and echoed the great emotions that the lyrics spoke of.
The ensemble’s final embellishment was the appearance of a belly dancer in full jingling garb of beautiful, original design, expressively telling the stories through dance and making several costume changes where each new garment was even more spectacular than the last. You could feel that this plush space had found the perfect show to live up to the surroundings – a truly magical masterpiece which raised beauty to such a height as to make it hard to believe that it came from the simple act of singing and playing and dancing. Ancient, modern, brilliant, passionate, honest, beautiful, amazing in every nuance. In fact a master class.
Reviewer: Daniel Donnelly