Cech closes in on Arsenal move

first_img0Shares0000Petr Cech has all but completed a move to Arsenal. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images LONDON, June 23 – Petr Cech is edging closer to a transfer from Chelsea to Arsenal in a move to be sanctioned reluctantly by the Premier League champions as acknowledgment of his glittering career at Stamford Bridge.The Czech international, who has kept 162 Premier League clean sheets for Chelsea, has a year to run on his contract but had indicated a reluctance to play second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois for another season. The 33-year-old was displaced by the Belgian last term and made only seven league appearances, in which he conceded two goals with all those games won, as José Mourinho’s side claimed the fourth title of the player’s 11-season career at the club.Chelsea praised Cech’s professionalism last season but feared frustration at life spent largely on the sidelines would prompt him to request a move and talks were held last week after his return from international duty.They would have been more comfortable selling Cech abroad, particularly as Paris Saint-Germain had expressed interest but the player is reluctant to uproot his family back to France where he had played at Rennes.He made clear his priority was to remain in London, further encouraging Arsenal’s conviction he will be secured this summer.While personal terms have effectively been agreed between Cech and Arsenal, at improved terms of around Sh15.5m (£100,000) a week but talks between the clubs continue over the fee.Chelsea are seeking up to Sh2.3bn ( £15m) for a player who has also claimed four FA Cups, three League Cups, a European Cup and a Europa League during his time at Stamford Bridge, while Arsenal hope to pay nearer Sh1.6bn ( £10m).Cech’s first game for Arsenal is likely to be the Community Shield against his former club at Wembley on 2 August.He may be followed to the Emirates by his goalkeeping coach, Christophe Lollichon, who could replace Swansea City-bound Tony Roberts.Mourinho already has Silvino Louro, one of his assistant first-team coaches, on his staff, though Chelsea could still recruit from outside.The decision to allow Cech to leave is considered exceptional by the Chelsea hierarchy and was effectively sanctioned by Roman Abramovich despite Mourinho’s reluctance, expressed publicly towards the end of last season, to lose him to rivals and title challengers.John Terry echoed those sentiments on Monday. “There is obviously talk of Arsenal signing Petr and, if they do get Pete, that will strengthen them for sure,” the Chelsea captain told TalkSport.“He will save them 12 to 15 points a season. I am sure if he does leave the club, which nobody wants to see even if we understand he wants to play football, he is going to be sorely missed. He will improve whatever side he goes to.”Arsenal finished 12 points behind Chelsea last season, when their goalkeeping duties were shared by Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina.The latter may leave if Cech arrives and Fenerbahce are keen to take the Colombian to Istanbul.The champions, too, would have to enter the market to purchase a replacement and have expressed interest in Stoke’s Asmir Begovic and Rob Green at QPR.Cech lost his starting place at Chelsea at the beginning of last season after Courtois’ three-year spell on loan at Atlético Madrid was curtailed.Cech still went on to make 16 appearances, including in the Capital One Cup final and on the last afternoon of the season when the title was celebrated, but the club consider the Belgian first-choice for the foreseeable future.“Petr and Thibaut are up there with the best goalkeepers in the world,” Terry said. “Big Petr’s career has been at the very top.“To take Pete out of the team, you have to be a great talent. Thibaut has done that. Petr has been very good as well because when you are a professional it is difficult to accept. He has been an unbelievable professional.”– The Guardian-0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Championship: Brentford 1-0 QPR – Bees get first win in fixture since 1965

first_img Marco Djuricin scored the only goal of the game 1 Brentford ended a 50 year wait to beat QPR in the Championship’s west London derby at Griffin Park on Friday night.QPR were unlucky not to find themselves in front after the first 45 minutes after Massimo Luongo hit the post twice in the space of five minutes.But it was Brentford who took the lead through Marco Djuricin ten minutes into the second half.And that was how the game finished meaning the Bees leapfrog their local rivals in the Championship table with their fourth consecutive victory.It was a slow start by both sides but it was Brentford who had the most control of possession in the early exchanges.Despite the lack of clear-cut chances, there was a sense the game could boil over at any moment and it nearly did after 22 minutes when Alan McCormack kicked out at Clint Hill, something the defender took exception to, with both men receiving yellow cards.QPR’s Daniel Toszer then suffered the same fate when he cynically cut down McCormack as a Brentford tried to breakaway.Rangers continued to grow into the game as Matt Phillips and Tjaronn Chery having efforts on the Bees’ goal.Luongo then struck the Brentford goalframe twice in five minutes, first when his header from Phillips’ cross hit the bar, and then again just before half time when he cut inside before unleashing a low, curling shot against the post.Rob Green made a great save from Alan Judge between Luongo’s bad luck but still it somehow remained goalless at the break.Brentford stormed out of the blocks after the break as Djuricin was denied by Green from point-blank range.However, not to be deterred Djuricin got his goal on 56 minutes when he got in front of his marker to score from six yards after a low cross from Alan Judge to send Griffin Park into overdrive.Charlie Austin was immediately brought onto the pitch following a spell out injured and was straight into the action as quick thinking from Brentford goalkeeper David Button stopped the England international in his tracks.But that was the closest Austin got to a sniff at goal as the game petered out and Brentford recorded their first win in the fixture since August 21, 1965, when they won 6-1.last_img read more

3 shot in cemetery gunfight

first_imgInvestigators believe the six people arrested were at Rose Hills for a funeral of a gang member. Officials had been concerned about possible gang violence and were monitoring the funeral, Chavez said. The men were arrested as they left the cemetery. After witnessing Friday’s shootings, Rainey said he followed the silver car into Whittier, then onto the northbound 605 freeway. “I chased the car, but every time I got close it would cut in and out of traffic,” he said. “I was weaving in and out of traffic and people weren’t allowing me to get in front of them. By the time other police units caught up with me at the 605-60 freeway split, I had lost them.” The wounded victims were taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, said Chavez. The men were listed in stable condition and the woman was undergoing surgery Friday evening, said Chavez. None of them were cooperating with investigators, he said. Detectives did not release the names of the victims. sandy.mazza@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2At that point, “everybody started shooting,” he said. The silver car sped off and Rainey eventually pursued it onto the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway. Police later found the two wounded men in Pico Rivera, about a mile from the cemetery. The woman also was found in Pico Rivera, about 3miles from where the shootings occurred, said sheriff’s Lt. Joe Chavez. Chavez said the shooting was likely gang related and might be connected to an incident near the cemetery Wednesday in which six suspected Los Angeles gang members were arrested. Deputies confiscated an AK-47 assault rifle, a handgun and marijuana from the group. WHITTIER – Two men and a woman were wounded in a daylight gun battle at Rose Hills cemetery Friday that police believe was gang related and likely tied to an earlier incident there in which gang members were caught with automatic weapons. “It was very surprising to see that in broad daylight,” said sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station Cpt. Kenton Rainey, who was driving past Rose Hills Mortuary and Memorial Park on his way home when the shooting began. “It’s something you don’t expect to see,” he said. Rainey said he saw people inside a silver car parked near two other cars on Rose Hill Road, near Workman Mill Road. One man got out of the silver car and began firing into the two other vehicles, he said. last_img read more

‘Bottled it’ – Napoli star’s Liverpool comments come back to bite him

first_img BEST OF Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Night night Mertens love.Sleep well. 🛌 pic.twitter.com/7ySUrVGFrX— Fields Of Anfield Road (@FOARsite) December 12, 2018 Liverpool supporters had the last laugh on Tuesday night following Dries Mertens’ pre-match comments about the ‘This is Anfield’ sign.The world famous wall adornment did not impress the Belgian international when he visited Merseyside for the first time as a player. Wake up Mertens, it’s all over. pic.twitter.com/nFjyWUEjHZ— bubbles (@bubbIxs) December 11, 2018 Funny that, I was at the match last night and I was watching a small Dries Mertens and thinking he’d be better off in the Europa League!#LiverpoolNapoli #YNWA https://t.co/gfF2ISqdR6— Jay Hutch (@jayhutch_LFC) December 12, 2018 REVEALED Ancelotti and Mertens have been told. Can now believe Anfield— DesDan (@OseiDanso510) December 12, 2018 REVEALED 1 Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Mertens giving it the big one before the match and then absolutely bottling it, enjoy the Europa League x— Tanya (@_tanyawarwick) December 11, 2018 ADVICE Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Latest Football Stories Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ huge blow And before Napoli and Liverpool met in their vital Champions League match he recalled the time at Utrecht where he missed the sign altogether.Speaking to The Times, Mertens said: “My strongest memory is that they have a sign saying ‘This is Anfield’ and everyone was talking about it, so I was thinking it’s very big, you know.“I came through the tunnel and I asked, ‘Where is the thing?’ and they said you missed it and I hadn’t noticed it.“So, in the second half, I’m looking at this small thing and asking, ‘Is this so special?’”And after Liverpool ran out 1-0 winners in the match with Napoli, their supporters weren’t going to let Mertens forget what he had said before hand, as you can see below…center_img Hey Dries Mertens im gonna be busy on Tuesdays and Wednesdays up until about May how you fixed for Thursday’s… #YNWA #NotSoSpecial— Ian…… (@redian77) December 12, 2018 RANKED REPLY Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card #LFC Mertens bro, you good @dries_mertens14 pic.twitter.com/VQJvtLzugk— Luke (@UppaReds1) December 12, 2018 🎶 Oh what a night….early December back in 2018 Alisson saves oh.. what night… Oh what a nightAnfield erupts when Salah bangs one in Oh what a night.. Oh what a night Dries Mertens learns not to disrespect,This is AnfieldWe are Liverpool…. Oh what a night— We Röhlin Lucky 🎰 🍀⚖️🤞🏽 18/19⚽ (@Rohlin_LFC) December 12, 2018 Me watching Mertens play pic.twitter.com/CCDH9l6jzr— Sabah (@Sabah07) December 11, 2018 shining Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Dries Mertens forgot to touch the Anfield sign his first time here, he forgot to touch the ball his second time here.— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) December 11, 2018 Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won MONEY no dice Carlo Ancelotti and Dries Mertens you are just victims of your poor yapping. YNWA— Johnie Ndwiga (@McJohnieNdwiga) December 12, 2018 Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Napoli forward Dries Mertens last_img read more

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke charged over Steven McLean comments

first_img shining REVEALED Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke has been charged over comments he made about referee Steven McLean in the wake of Aberdeen’s 1-0 defeat of his side last weekend.Three Killie players were sent off by McLean throughout the game, which was decided by Scott McKenna’s 66th-minute strike. REVEALED REPLY Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury gameday cracker Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City 1 Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won huge blow center_img Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ tense Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card no dice Clarke called McLean’s performance the ‘worst he had ever seen’, and suggested the 38-year-old should not be allowed to oversee KIlmarnock matches given his father used to play for the Rugby Park club.Stuart McLean made over 550 appearances for Killie throughout a 16-year career, and he was inducted into their Hall of Fame three years ago for his services to the club.“Since I’ve been here, he’s always seemed to struggle with Kilmarnock games,” Clarke said of the younger McLean after last weekend’s match. BEST OF Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move ADVICE McLean dismissed Kirk Broadfoot, Stuart Findlay and Rory McKenzie during last weekend’s fixture Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT “Maybe, or definitely, that’s because his father was a player here for so many years. Whether he feels the pressure of that, it seems to affect his performance.“I have mentioned privately that maybe Steven shouldn’t referee Kilmarnock games just to take that burden, that extra pressure, off him. Now I’m saying it publicly.“I think it would be better for Steven as a referee and for Kilmarnock as club.”He has since been charged for his comments, with a hearing to take place on May 9.Killie currently sit fourth in the Premiership, three points behind third place Aberdeen, ahead of Saturday’s visit of Celtic to Rugby Park.last_img read more

‘Keep him away from the squad’ – Pochettino told he must banish Spurs star

first_img Eriksen is keen to leave Tottenham Mauricio Pochettino has been told to keep Christian Eriksen away from the squad if he is not committed to Tottenham.The Danish playmaker, who is out of contract next summer, has been on the bench for the past two games having revealed ahead of the season that he is keen on a new challenge. Eriksen came on against Newcastle on Sunday but was unable to make an impact as Spurs slipped to a surprise 1-0 home defeat.After the match Pochettino described his squad as ‘unsettled’ and conceded he had little idea whether Eriksen would stay or go, with the transfer window still open across numerous European leagues.Mauricio Pochettino unsure of Christian Eriksen future and says squad are ‘unsettled’ by transfer rumoursAccording to Tony Cascarino, the saga over the 27-year-old’s future is a huge distraction and is partly to blame for Spurs’ stuttering start to the campaign.“Their new stadium is incredible but the players are not deserving of such a stage at the moment” Cascarino wrote in his Times column.“They look disjointed and lacking in ideas on the pitch. Players such as Lucas Moura only seem to perform when they come off the bench, Davinson Sánchez looked all over the place in defence and the situation with Christian Eriksen must be troubling for the squad.“If Mauricio Pochettino thinks he’s really going to lose his star player, then keep him away from the squad.“Having him on the bench sends the wrong message to his starting XI that they’re not good enough. I know he came off the bench to change the game against Aston Villa on the opening weekend but until his future is sorted Eriksen shouldn’t be around on match days, no matter how good he is. “There is so much that doesn’t seem right at Spurs at the moment and Pochettino needs to get his group united for the north London derby this weekend.” Getty Images – Getty 1last_img read more

How Rashford compares to Ronaldo, Messi, Rooney, Lukaku and Kane at the same age

first_imgIt is worth taking into consideration how many of Kane’s 52 goals before the age of 22 were scored in the lower leagues, with the England captain spending time on loan from Tottenham Hotspur at a number of clubs.Rashford scored twice on the opening day of the season as the Red Devils thrashed Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford in a clinical display.However, he has failed to score since then and even missed a crucial penalty during the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at home. 2 The England international scored a brace against Chelsea on the opening day of the season 🎯“Rashford can’t finish!”🔺 “Everybody goes on about his potential, yes he has potential.”🤷‍♂️ “How many chances does he fluff?”#MUFC fan tells @AndyGoldstein05 he is fed up with Rashford missing chances pic.twitter.com/HkypVFSPPb— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) August 20, 2019While it is evident the 21-year-old has a penchant for the spectacular, he still has displayed a ruthless side in front of goal which means he has more goals than Raheem Sterling had before reaching the age of 22.In fact, he is level with Cristiano Ronaldo as well, although some way behind the likes of Harry Kane and Lionel Messi.Former teammate Romelu Lukaku, whose departure to Inter Milan perhaps placed more pressure on Rashford’s young shoulders, has almost double the number of goals.The forward does not turn 22 until Halloween of this year, so still has time to catch up with England colleague Kane and current teammate Anthony Martial. CLUB GOALS BEFORE THE AGE OF 22 AFP or licensors Getty Images – Getty center_img 2 Romelu Lukaku – 93Wayne Rooney – 81Lionel Messi – 80Harry Kane – 52Anthony Martial – 48Marcus Rashford – 47Cristiano Ronaldo – 47Raheem Sterling – 39 Given the responsibility placed upon his young shoulders, Rashford has continued to develop his game and has the ability to play either on the wing or up front.However, as the responsibility grew, so did the pressure.Questions about Rashford’s consistency and his decision-making began to be asked, with fans slowly but surely losing patience.However, when compared with some of the world’s best strikers, it seems as though the criticisms are unfair. Marcus Rashford burst onto the scene at Manchester United in 2016 as a fresh-faced teenager and tore through some of the best defences on the continent.Arsenal and Manchester City found out the hard way just how talented the striker was, with former England boss Roy Hodgson taking the raw talent to Euro 2016. Marcus Rashford missed a crucial penalty against Crystal Palace last_img read more

Auburndale girls basketball snags nonconference win at Iola-Scandinavia

first_imgApaches 47, Thunderbirds 36Auburndale 6 11 17 13 – 47Iola-Scandinavia 3 11 6 16 – 36AUBURNDALE (47): Statistics not provided. Record: 16-4.IOLA-SCANDINAVIA (36): Kaylin Ellioff 4, Kylie Johnson 11, Brooke Phillips 6, Lexi Hitchcock 0, Jane Oligney 8, Leighten Fischer 7, Baleigh Fuhs 0. FG: 14-44. FT: 3-9. 3-pointers: 5-16 (Johnson 2, Oligney 2, Fischer 1). Record: 12-9. By Paul LeckerSports ReporterIOLA – The Auburndale girls basketball team pulled away with a big third quarter and defeated Iola-Scandinavia 47-36 in a nonconference game Saturday afternoon at Iola-Scandinavia High School.The Apaches led 17-14 at halftime before outscoring I-S 17-6 in the third quarter to open up a double-digit lead and they held on from there.Auburndale improves to 16-4 and will wrap up its regular-season schedule with a nonconference game against Athens at home on Tuesday and a Marawood South-North crossover game on Friday against an opponent to be determined. The WIAA playoffs start Feb. 24.Complete game statistics were not provided.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)last_img read more

SA all the way at Big Wave Africa

first_img28 July 2006South African surfers came up trumps in the Red Bull Big Wave Africa, claiming a 1-2-3 finish as John Whittle captured the honours, becoming only the third winner of the event in its eight-year history.The reason for Whittle being only the third winner of the competition was that it requires certain conditions to be run – very special conditions, in fact. They don’t call it a big wave contest for nothing.Thankfully, this year Mother Nature complied with the wishes of the organizers and a huge storm that started off the Antarctic ice-shelf delivered the conditions sought at Dungeons off Hout Bay: waves of at least 15 feet.On Tuesday, the amber alert was given, warning the contestants that conditions with the potential for competition were approaching. On Thursday, it was green for go!Semi-finalsThe four surfers to advance from heat one to the semi-finals were Carlos Burle of Brazil and the South African trio of Sean Holmes – the champion in 2000 – Jason Ribbink, and Andrew Marr.Californian Greg Long, the champion in 2003, failed to make it beyond heat two. Emerging from that encounter with places in the semi-finals were South Africans Chris Bertish and David Smith, Australian Ross Clarke-Jones and and Grant Washburn of the US.Hawaiian star Jamie Sterling progressed from heat three, along with a trio of South Africans: John Whittle, Mickey Duffus and Thomas King Kleynhans.Holmes, Clarke-Jones and Andrew Marr won through from the first semi-final to face Whittle, Bertish and Sterling for the title.SA 1-2-3It proved to be SA all the way with the title on the line as they kept the international surfers at bay to finish first, second and third. John Whittle grabbed victory and glory, Andy Marr took second and Chris Bertish third.Whittle’s first prize was worth a cool R100 000.The Von Zipper Biggest Tube award (worth R5 000), for taking on the biggest barrel, went to another South African, Jason Ribbink, while Andy Marr added to the country’s list of titles by claiming the R25 000 Sensi Threads Biggest Wave award.Jamie Sterling was awarded the R10 000 Billabong Deep Throat Award for pushing the limits the most during the contest.DungeonsThe Dungeons reef, the first sea bottom that the ocean swells hit on their path shore-wards, has the ability to produce the biggest waves in Africa.The swells, generated across the South Atlantic Ocean, hit the Dungeon Reefs and rear up into giant right-hand breaking waves for brave souls to attempt to ride.Apart from the enormous waves, a few other elements to add to the mix of bravery needed to tackle Dungeons: ice-cold water, thick undulating kelp beds that cover the inside waters, and abundant sea life – including a few sharks that prey on the local seal colony. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Tinariwen sings the story of the vanishing Tuareg

first_imgTinariwen describe their music as assouf, which translates from Tasheq as nostalgia. (Image: Marie Planeille/ Tinariwen)• David FlowerJob positionSASA Music Promotionsrab@sasa.demon.co.uk• From Daveyton to New York, Lira’s still singing her heart out • McGregor’s music captures the African village • Songbird Abigail Kubeka remembers songs for Mandela • The joy of music reigns in Kinshasa’s veins • Voodoo Funk: Ambassador of Afrobeat Sulaiman PhilipAt the southern end of the Tanzerouft plain in the Sahara, west of the rocky Adrar des Ifoghas Mountains, sits the town of Tessalit. Tanzerouft is a place so barren and vast, a National Geographic wit once put it: “It is said that migrating birds land beside people just for company.”For decades it has been the stronghold of rebels, first those fighting French colonial forces, later al-Qaeda fighters battling the Malian army. The presence of the Islamist rebels prevented Tessalit’s most famous sons from recording their latest CD, Emmaar, in the Sahara Desert, as they did with their previous release, Tassili.Tinariwen, Tuareg tribesmen from Mali, have been producing their own brand of African-influenced rock music for 30 years. Their bluesy, graceful daydream music is built on a skeletal framework of electric and acoustic guitar, and poetry sung in Tamasheq, the language spoken by the Tuareg, and specific to the North African desert area spread across Mali, Algeria and Libya. It explores longing, revolution and awareness, and wields extraordinary power.Emmaar, released in February, was recorded away from the desert around Tessalit. The band decamped to Joshua Tree, California but retained the sounds of the Sahara. Influenced by the Mojave Desert, best known for inspiring country rockers like Gram Parsons, they fleshed out their mix of traditional Malian music and rock.Bassist Eyadou Ag Leche explained: “Deserts are places where we feel good to live and create. The air is different, the moods are different. Recording in the America brought us a special mood: the landscape, the big space, the South. We watched western movies during the recording and ate burritos and the engineer was from Nashville, so I suppose it changed the way our music was captured.” The tranquillity of the desert is at the heart of Tinariwen’s music, influenced as it is by the experiences and poetry of the Tuareg ishumar – the unemployed Saharan Generation X – who crossed the desert to flee persecution in Mali or to find work in Libya. It is the sound of a group of friends sitting around a campfire, sharing a cigarette and telling stories under the blanket of a starry desert night.But more than that, it is the anger and hope of a generation of youngsters like bandleader, vocalist and guitarist Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, who received military training in Libya and returned to fight in the Tuareg rebellion of the 1990s. Alhabib took up arms after his father was executed by the Malian government. He told The Guardian in 2011: “It was hard during the rebellion for me. But it healed me. I forgot everything, even the death of my father. It was like therapy.”Tinariwen was formed in a Libyan refugee camp by Alhabib, Alhassane Ag Touhami and the Inteyeden brothers, Ag Ablil and Liya Ag Ablil. Alhabib built his first guitar with bicycle wire, a stick and a tin can and taught himself to play Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix songs. Influenced by rock and American Blues, the band’s first audiences were fellow refugees. Their soulful re-interpretation of the blues mixed with North African pop made them pied pipers to the ishumar and bootleg cassettes of their impromptu performances were traded throughout the Sahara. Tinariwen’s music doesn’t really bloom to full intensity until the band plays live. (Image: Mário Pires)In 1990, the Tuareg rebels began an insurgency against the Malian government, fighting for their own homeland. The members of Tinariwen put down their instruments and took up arms for the yearlong insurrection.When Alhabib sings Ikyadarh Dim – “my lips fall silent, but my heart still speaks of you” – he could be speaking of a lover or the desert around Tessalit. It’s a song that best expresses what Tinariwen are about. Ag Leche describes it as being “between happiness and sadness”. It is the sound of survival, he explains. “It is about basking in the complex joy of having survived, even though further hardships lie ahead. It is a simple as being heartbroken, recovering and knowing there is likely more heartbreak to come.”The Tuareg rebellion has burst into life sporadically, but now Tinariwen and the Malian government face a far more insidious enemy – al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. They have banned music in the areas they control. This has endangered the lives of all musicians and is a denial of the political, social and cultural force that is music in Mali.Mali has a griot tradition that predates the modern country; post-independence music was used to build a nation and heal the fissures between the Arab and African communities. As successful, globe-spanning musicians, the band have been able to escape the worst of the tyranny but they continue to choose to live in the desert, in the border towns of Algeria and Niger. Their global success serves only to give them money to support extended families and a megaphone to highlight the plight of their homeland and the dying Tuareg culture.The new sound of Tinariwen is born out of nostalgia, but it comes from a stubborn resistance to forgetting, to adapt the music they make to an ever-changing world. As long as they are given a stage Tinariwen will continue to celebrate an overlooked, oppressed culture. Alhabib explains: “The Tamasheq language uses a lot of metaphors. It comes from the old traditional Tuareg poetry that tells about the Tuareg tribes, their adventures in the desert, the wars, but also the beauty of the desert, the sky, the lands and the Assouf, our blues and nostalgia of an old time.”last_img read more