Distant Drums

Whispered Tales
Distant Drums at Basingstoke Festival

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Distant Drums, written by Madu Messenger, tells the story of Reggae Sound System culture through music, visuals, and dance. It charts the music culture from the original tribal drums, to the beats that accompanied slavery, through to the ghettos of Jamaica, and across the ocean on the Windrush to Britain.

The scene is set with stacks of speakers, through which the music and narration are pumped. Out front, two dancers bring the story to life through their dance. The musical backdrop starts off with a drum beat and progresses through different eras of interpretation, with plenty of amazing bass and backbeat rhythms.

Eight of the speakers in the set turn out to be screens that show images that visualise the narrative, a neat addition that helps transport the crowd into the story. Some of the tragic events and struggles are highlighted, with a message of hope stitching it all together.

The distant drums performance is part of Basingstoke Festival, which runs from 24th June – 10th July 2022 at London Street, Cross Street, Eastrop Park, and Basingstoke Town Center.

Watch a sample of Distant Drums.

The Creators of Distant Drums

Written by: Madu Messenger

Narrated by: Macka B

Soundtrack by: Vibronics

Choreography by: Donald Edwards

Written by Fenton on

Steve Fenton writes in our music, words, and culture categories. He was Editor in Chief for The Mag and covered live music for DV8 Magazine and Spill Magazine. He was often found in venues throughout the UK alongside ace-photographer, Mark Holloway. Steve is also a technical writer and programmer and writes gothic fiction. Steve studied Psychology at OSC, and Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-1978 at the University of Reading.

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