Tinariwen also manage to do something truely amazing. They manage to un-do all the evil Jenny Valid and her whayt flute have managed to do to the image of that essentially rocking instrument. Are they prancing around in their silk pyjamas playing flute concertos in the corridor like my flatmate? um methinks not. Do they play the piano? obviously not, i mean what kind of self-respecting nomad plays the piano? As if their music wasn't enough on it's own they have to have a rocking story behind their formation as well. obviously.
They were all in Algeria in the 70s where they were seeing refuge from persecution in their homeland. They met in Gadhafi's camps where they had gone to train to fight the scurge of the nation-state that was the central government of Mali. My peeps the Tuaregs want autonomy from the government and more equal distribution of resources across the country, including the north where the Tuareg and Maur are the majority. In Algeria they sung about political stuff and about living in exile. They were also heavily influence by the American Blues they came accross during those years and when they trekked back to Mali rather than carrying guns they were toting guitars. doesn't get much better than that does it?!
Not only are they rocking musicians, they also reinforce the mulberry bush principle. People are not very bright, this we know, but in addition to this the worst things happen when people are in big groups. The mulberry bush principle states that people should not live in groups that are too big to be supported by a mulberry bush. This is why football matches are very bad, cities are evil and Italy needs not to exist.