After their 'Eclipse' gigs from last year, where audiences experienced listening to the blind musicians' live sets in the dark, Amadou and Mariam have returned to our sight, this time for a show that marched mostly in the same gear for a good hour and three quarters. There was no Barbican vibe of sitting down, shutting up and taking it in, deprived of your vision, and no emphasis of their new album, Folila. It was simply a classic performance from one of Africa's most widely appreciated musical exports.

While Amadou and Mariam were the two still pillars, generating irresistable vocals and guitar rhythms, the rest of their band did the moving for them; namely the backing singers who danced like they were in a carnival version of a workout video, and the percussionist who often wondered the stage, and pounded out African drum solos. Unfortunately, Mariam eventually had to do some moving off the stage about five songs in, as it was announced later on that she felt unwell. In her absence there was no sign of disruption in the band's routine. Contrarily, there was a similar continuous rhythm for many songs to follow, making it very difficult to keep track of how much time had actually passed.

It wasn't until half-way through 'Masiteladi', egged on by the audience joining in on the choral chanting, that the pace was stepped up for a moment. The bass became much more of a thump, the air of excitement from a dancing crowd developed, and Amadou played an unrelenting series of guitar licks. This recurred with truly enthralling renditions of 'Artistiya', 'Magosa', 'Beaux Dimanches', and 'Africa', with cheers from the audience in response to the drawling utterances from Amadou in between; comical if you consider the high possibility that not a great number of people could have understood his foreign tongue.

A warm, positive finish as well, as with the information of Mariam's fatigue came the news that it was her birthday, and so the whole of Shepherd's Bush Empire was led in a chorus of 'Happy Birthday Mariam'. There were many reasons to turn up to that show, but the chance to wish a happy birthday to a musician you love, along with a massive wealth of other well-wishers, knowing that she was somewhere backstage hearing your collective voice, was more than enough.