Omar Souleyman for The National
I was lucky enough to meet Syrian pop superstar Omar Souleyman when he toured the UK recently, and interview him on The Scala's tiled mezzanine floor. Here's the piece.
The crowd soon realises that a lack of knowledge of the right steps is not a problem, and begin to make up their own: a mixture of naive attempts at dabke, flamenco, Bollywood hand-flourishes, fist-pumping, foot-stomping, rock moshing, even the festive footwork of an Irish ceilidh. It’s a mess, but a glorious one. Denuded of context or comparative experience, shorn of the arch judgements normally made by music lovers in a city with a lot of music to judge, the only option left is to enjoy.