Haiha Evening: Hoba Hoba Spirit

Having completed a new draft of my novel, I am finally re-emerging from my apartment and going out on the town a bit. Last Saturday, for instance, I saw Hoba Hoba Spirit in a small concert in Casablanca. If you’re unfamiliar with this band, you can check out some of their music here, or, better yet, visit their website. They mix traditional instruments like the bendir or the qraqeb with electric guitar and bass, and the music they play fuses gnawa with rock, or ska with chaabi. One of the highlights of the evening was their cover of Nass El Ghiwane‘s “Fin Ghadi Biyya Khoya,” which they managed to modernize without losing anything of its spirit. Mostly, though, Hoba Hoba played original music, and what strikes me about those songs is that they have that rare quality of capturing a particular moment in Moroccan history, with lyrics that speak of life as we know it, of a country in the middle of great changes.

Photo credit: Hoba Hoba Spirit