Susheela Raman at the LIAF Festival
If a band gets up and says “We are only going to be playing songs from our new album, not actually released here yet” normally most audiences would groan mightily. But somehow Susheela Raman has educated her audience to expect the unexpected. Her somewhat wayward musical path has included Indo-jazz, rock covers, Tamil voodoo music and introspective songs. It has not been one that a manager or record company would have recommended. They tend to like more of the same.
Susheela and her band did all the songs from the new album The Queen Between, only officially released in France I believe so far (although it was temporarily available through Songlines Magazine in this country) a powerful and varied selection. The strongest song on immediate impact being the title track and an Afrobeat-tinged work-out “Sharabi”, which means “alcoholic , one of those ambiguous Sufi words which could be about intoxication of the divine or simply getting drunk. Susheela dedicated the song to anyone who has an addiction – thus appealing to nearly everyone in the audience.