A Review: Toubab Krewe (Ithaca)

Toubab Krewe @ Castaways, Ithaca, NY

We arrived at Castaways in Ithaca to see little to no action out front of the venue. If I hadn't seen Toubab's bus parked out front I would have questioned if we were in the right place. We entered the venue, to see a decent crowd already in attendance. We walked outside to a deck located behind the venue, on a canal. There were a decent amount of people out drinking, smoking and enjoying the mild New York evening, probably the reason for the lack of lot loitering out front of the venue. Toubab was the opener for this show, opening for John Brown's Body. As Toubab took the stage, I glanced over my shoulder to see a packed house.

The energy that Toubab brought set me back... It was almost overwhelming. I've seen Toubab a hand full of times, but all at festivals. To see them in a small bar such as castaways, and playing as hard as they were was an amazing experience. The band was extremely into it and genuinely enjoying the groove. It always takes the show to another level, when a band is throwing down and you can tell that they are having a blast doing it.

The instrumentation was very tight. The drums were really well played both on the set and the djembe. It was great to hear the two percussionists play off of each other, and the intensity of the hand drummer along with his drum face commanded my attention several times. The guitar playing was spacey and fluid, the bass heavy and groovin' and the Kamel Ngoni and Kora are always a treat to hear. The way they are blended and incorporated with the almost funk psychedelic music is truly unique. As compared to the previous few times I have seen Toubab; I thought this set was more intense and driving with an impressive amount of melodic structure and peaks... And of course, if you give wookies peaks, you know their going to wook-out; as they did.

All in all it was a great show. The set was just over an hour long, but an awesome set it was. It was totally worth the hour drive to and from the show. I talked to the guitarist, Drew after the show; thanking him for the guestlist spot and giving him a Family Funktion & Sitar Jams press kit. There has been some discussion of some Family Funktion/Toubab Krewe shows, which has me pretty excited.



Toubab Krewe Live at The Ark on March 26, 2008.


  1. Toubab! I've only seen Toubab inside twice (both times at the Ark in A2), but both shows were the heat! I agree with the point that the members really do enjoy the music they are playing. This passion definetely inspires Toubab Krewe to give energetic performances night after night.

    Awesome work J!

    Greg M.

  2. YES! My first time seeing them was at the Ark on March 26. They are stellar inside because of the way their instruments complement the acoustics. That and the Ark is just badass. At Rothbury, I though their show was rockin' but the sound was not as complete as indoors.

  3. The March 26th show is posted above. Indoors or out; they bring it.



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