Date: June 13, 2010
Venue: Highline Ballroom (NY)
Text by Sohrab Saadt Ladjevardi and Jim Hoey
Rachid Taha rolls his rrrrrrr’s, and lets his husky sound build song after song, crescendoing to climax, and the effect of him and his band recently at the Highline Ballroom show was one of exultation, celebration, rebelliousness, and ultimately, exchange. He’s an Algerian from a small village in North Africa, but was raised in his adolescence in France under discriminatory conditions, influenced by Arabic traditions and the best of Western music like Zeppelin and the Clash that floated in and out of Paris in the early ’80’s, when he was trudging away in a factory and first forming his own band and running a nightclub called “Les Refoules” (The Rejects).