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B2 Club 
By Erik Jansma
“There’s not enough peace, there is to much f***ing war”, front man Aki Nawaz shouts during an interlude, just after showing a Stars & Stripes flag with “No 1 Terrorist” written on it, while singing that “faith is a weapon of mass destruction”. This pretty sums up the political message that Fun*Da*Mental was out to send to the world on Friday April 14th. Fun*Da*Mental is not happy with war, and blames the usual suspects Blair and Bush for it. And they’re not sending this message across through subtle and ironic references, no, they put it right in your face.

With militant bands like Rage Against The Machine and Public Enemy doing God knows what and punk song lyrics being mostly about post-modern problems like an overdraft on your debit card, it is nice to see a band that is politically engaged and not afraid to show that they are. Why? Because it adds passion to the performance! Engaged bands utilise music to bring across a message and they will go at lengths to do so in the most effective way: by trying to put down an unforgettable show. From Fun*Da*Mental’s latest album “There Shall Be Peace” one won’t get the idea that a live show by this ever-changing musical collective is going to be that energetic and interesting. The album is good, but doesn’t leave a lasting impression. The show, however, is really something special.

B2 is almost deserted when Fun*Da*Mental kicks off their concert. It is so empty, that even the expat guy trying to impress his Russian girlfriend with a VIP seat looks silly. We’re all having VIP seats, no problem to watch every detail of what is taking place on stage. The best place is actually on the dance floor, close to the stage, where there is at least some sort of a crowd. It is really amazing how a rather famous act like Fun*Da*Mental can attract so little audience, certainly if you look at the publicity around it. Too militant? Too ethnic? I don’t know…

Well, for all those who missed out on this one: you missed something for sure. The Qawalli singer Rizwan-Muazzam’s song about peace is impressive. His voice is enormously powerful and balanced and he gets the crowd to cheer along with the mantra that is the chorus. And this is a guy who is probably in his fifties, sitting behind a traditional type of harmonica. No effects, no gimmicks, just singing and playing. Same goes for the six feet tall traditional drum player who can take out any drum computer and amplifier with steady, versatile and surprising beats. Countless more examples show that traditional music can be very danceable and entertaining. Of course, Fun*Da*Mental have brought their modern pieces of equipment as well. The concert is therefore an interesting and highly enjoyable mix of Qawalli, Punk, Rock, Hip Hop, and Aboriginal and African dance music. Sorry that you missed it.

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