Bumbershoot 2012: Debo BandPosted by Lindsey Scully
One of Sub Pop’s new additions to their roster is Boston-based Debo Band who played Bumbershoot on Monday. The band plays what is being dubbed as “swinging Addis”, music from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia during their Golden Age of music in the 60′s and 70′s before military ruling put a halt to it. Debo Band doesn’t simply cover songs that were popularized during that era, instead the band reinvents the sounds and gains inspiration from Golden Age works. While the music is political in nature, Debo Band never once brought any political banter on the stage and only brought the funk. Debo Band reinvention of the Addis sound brought in new elements not native to Ethiopia, like a sousaphone, trumpet, violins and accordion. Between the accordion, brass section, and guitars there was a definite gypsy jazz vibe being tossed into the air. The ten-piece ensemble took up the entire Sub Pop stage leaving just enough room for lead singer Bruck Tesfaye to dance, jump around. Tesfaye was quite energetic throughout the entire set, including jumping on amps in front of the stage which riled up the crowd. Despite not knowing the language or words to songs, people were constantly dancing around at the front of the stage and throughout the lawn of the Sub Pop stage.