A rare chance to see an entire live performance with the most popular band (it must be) to emerge from the Middle East in the past ten years.
Mashrou’ Leila’s latest release, Ibn El Leil, made it to the Billboard world album chart, and a recent performance at the Barbican received a raving review in the Guardian, where Maddy Costa wrote:
They charge the stage with electricity, sensuality and a dazzling aura of resistance.
That resistance, in an Arab context, registers in Sinno’s authority-baiting lyrics, his references to checkpoint thuggery, shootings, club culture and gay desire. In a western context, it surfaces in his refusal to sing in English. At this gig, he also mostly speaks in Arabic between songs, mindful of the audience watching a simulcast on MTV Lebanon. It’s a mark of his magnetism that, as a film of Beirut floods a screen at the back of the stage, this split focus creates a thrilling sense of cross-cultural togetherness.
Luckily, here’s your chance to see the full live performance.