Cliff Furnald talks with
WOMAD, Helsinki, 1993
"I chose to move from Kenya to London because there's a scene, so to speak. I also knew the language. I never could get my head around the grammar (of French) so Paris wasn't an option.... I also knew other friends and musicians who could show me what was happening.
"After I moved to London, I played for about a year with Taxi Pata Pata, then I decided I had had enough of the band situation, and I wanted to concentrate on the solo instrument and that was quite difficult. I found myself busking in the underground for about two years. Then I met up with the WOMAD crew, and have been playing solo gigs at their festivals and doing support for Peter Gabriel's tours. It has always been solo until this last year, when I was playing on Gabriel's tour as the support band.... Now I am hoping to build a steady trio of bass, guitar and percussion, but the trick is to get paid enough, and this takes time to filter through.
"My ideas are from Kenyan tradition, there are a few traditional songs, but I use this as a base. I am extending the tradition... making the music up to date. That is what we were trying to do with the new record, En Mana Kuoyo [RealWorld]. Now I am hoping to get the band started in rehearsals. After this trip, I will be settling down to work for a while."
photo and text ©1993, 1994 Cliff Furnald