Thursday, November 27, 2014

Another Hamadcha Marathon ~ Photo Essay

(Click on all images to enlarge)

In preparation for their tour in Australia, the Fez Hamadcha have been hard at work rehearsing. This week they took a break and travelled to Casablanca to take part in the pre-recording of a television show to be shown on the first week of January on TV1. The trip was intended to be a quick in and out of the studio. The reality was something different
Preparing the Hamadcha turban filled in some time - as did getting makeup for the cameras

Arriving at the studio mid-afternoon the group were informed that they should be ready by 6pm for an initial interview with the Hamadcha leader Abderrahim Amrani Marrakchi to be recorded. However things did not go as planned as the TV1 studio was recording a number of performances and were running well behind the schedule.

Rachida El Jokh with popular Moroccan singer Khalid Bennani who was also waiting to record
Abderrahim Amrani Marrakchi was interviewed prior to the performance

The next timeslot, they were told was at around 9pm for fifteen minutes of recording. We would, they assured us, be ready to return to Fez at about 9.30pm.

The impromptu concert in the waiting room lasted several hours

As the hours went by, the Hamadcha put on an impromptu concert in the waiting room. Dancing, singing and drumming for four hours, much to the appreciation of television crews during breaks in filming.

Once in the studio Abderrahim Amrani Marrakchi was in top form

Eventually the call to came to come into the studio. It was 1 am. Despite the extremely long wait, the filming went without a hitch and after fifteen minutes or so the audience gave the Hamadcha and Master Abderrahim Amrani Marrakchi a much deserved standing ovation.

Hassania and Rachida (right) letting their hair down was a hit with the audience

The actual performance went well and the group were more than ready to head home. However, what the group hand not factored in were the number of fans who insisted on being photographed with the Hamadcha members. It was interesting to see so many younger audience members showing an appreciation of traditional music and the musicians, though exhausted, were happy to spend time with them.

In the end the group left the TV complex at 1.52 am and arrived back in Fez at 7.15 in the morning.

When asked about the amount of time waiting in order to record just fifteen minutes of music one Hamadcha member responded with a shrug. "Ah but it was a great fifteen minutes."

The TV1 concert will be shown on February 2nd 2015
Story and photographs: Sandy McCutcheon

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