3 Mustaphas 3 (thing)
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World Music Band
One listen to Friends, Fiends and Fronds was all it took. Fresh anarchic genius, sometimes haunting, sometimes punk, the Mustaphas entertained royally, with an eclectic world music mix of Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Irish and whatnot.
It is said that in 1982 they were smuggled out of the backwater Balkans town of Szegerely in refrigerators, to London. The Crazy Loquat Club must miss them. The band's lineup was Hijaz Mustapha, and Uncle Patrel, with nephews Houzam, Isfa'ani, Oussack and Niaveti III. The term "world music" did not exist, but they had it down.
They never looked back.
They were discovered by the inimitable John Peel, himself an eclecticist. Ben Mandelson, Colin Bass and others wove a crazy carpet of sounds from all over, paying homage to styles and forms from many cultures and modern genres.
They were truly catholic in drawing from musical influences; nothing was sacred. No, it was all sacred, woven in the wondrous loom of a band that appealled to hippies, jazz fiends, punks and purists. Once the word was out they took off, touring and recording, riding the wave along a new frontier. When Paul Simon's album Graceland hit the pop music streets, everyone wanted more, and the Mustaphas were right there, bright, eager and pushing the boat out further and further.
Of course, all good things come to an end, and by the early 2000s they were waning. The wave was spent, but their work was done.
They encouraged the audience to bring cheeses to concerts, and would attempt to identify them, and they had a fruit-filled 'fridge on stage for themselves and their audience. Finally, no-one really knows who all the band members were, as they played under assumed names.
Genius. Hear them.