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Image for Iran - Axis of Evil

Play now 105 mins

Iran - Axis of Evil

Duration:
1 hour, 45 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 05 September 2004

Andy and his production team were granted unprecedented freedom to travel the length of Iran without minders or official translators. The result is a surprisingly truthful account of musical life in Iran.

Andy uncovers the underground music scene and describes the programme as "putting the fun into fundamentalism". He discovers underground heavy metal, rock, and attends an illegal rave in North Tehran. He records music all over the country including the self-mutilating Sufis of Kurdistan, a classical band in Esfahan, and African-influenced rap in the searing heat of the Persian Gulf .

He gets to grip with the appalling traffic in Tehran and has a go at crossing the road. He meets an urban planner who's just released Iran's first legal rap cassette, and, in a bored moment, discovers that the real reason for Persian music is to "stop old people being grumpy."

Andy also discovers a country full of young people desperate to perform and listen to music of whatever style, whenever and wherever they like. This programme is a unique mixture of professionally made, and extremely rare music recordings, as well as frank discussion with Iranians eager for change.

Music and featured items

35 items
  • Andy Kershaw in Tehran

    Andy Kershaw visits the island of Hormuz before travelling to Tehran.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Mr Ahmadi, Mr Kamal, Mr Mohammed, Mr Mostafa

      Mr Ahmadi, Mr Kamal, Mr Mohammed, Mr Mostafa Shoor

      Composer: Trad

      BBC Recording

    • Image for Hasan Payghan

      Hasan Payghan Drop by Drop

    • Image for Hasan Payghan

      Hasan Payghan The Las Moment

  • Beethoven’s Music Shop

    In a music shop, Andy learns about the strict censorship rules governing pop music.

  • Music Played

  • Andy goes in search of Ohum.

    Andy goes in search of one of the best bands in Tehran – Ohum.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Ohum

      Ohum no title

      White label

    • Image for Ohum

      Ohum no title

      White label

    • Image for Ohum

      Ohum no title

      White label

  • Islamic Revolution of Iran.

    Andy explains the historical background to the Islamic Revolution of Iran.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Mr Ahmadi, Mr Kamal, Mr Mohammed, Mr Mostafa

      Mr Ahmadi, Mr Kamal, Mr Mohammed, Mr Mostafa Dashti

      Composer: Trad

      BBC Recording

  • The secret police.

    Andy has been told that he’s being followed by the secret police.

  • Iran’s first professional rapper.

    Andy meets Iran’s first professional rapper – Shakar.

  • Music Played

  • Image for Shakar

    Shakar Khannande

  • Imam Khomeini mosque

    Andy visits the Imam Khomeini mosque in Esfahan.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Mr Ahmadi, Mr Kamal, Mr Mohammed, Mr Mostafa

      Mr Ahmadi, Mr Kamal, Mr Mohammed, Mr Mostafa Bayate Esfahan

      BBC Recording

  • Andy has a haircut.

    Andy has a haircut in Esfahan and discusses the previous night’s music with his guide.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Adel Kamaly & Fareidoon Kamaly

      Adel Kamaly & Fareidoon Kamaly Sartarz

      Composer: Trad

      BBC Recording

  • The Kurdish area of Iran.

    Andy is in the Kurdish area of Iran with a musician from the Kurdish community.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Grooh-e-Erfan-e-Ghaderi-ye-Kurdistan

      Grooh-e-Erfan-e-Ghaderi-ye-Kurdistan Rafighan-e-Taright

    • Image for Grooh-e-Erfan-e-Ghaderi-ye-Kurdistan

      Grooh-e-Erfan-e-Ghaderi-ye-Kurdistan Allah-o-Labeik

  • Kurdistan Province

    Andy Kershaw is in Kurdistan Province where Sufi dervishes gather during the week.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Grooh-e-Erfan-e-Ghaderi-ye-Kurdistan

      Grooh-e-Erfan-e-Ghaderi-ye-Kurdistan Allah-o-Labeik

      BBC Recording

    • Image for Jahlé

      Jahlé Gol e Bostan

      BBC Recording

  • The straits of Hormuz

    Andy arrives at a small village on the straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.

  • Underground Heavy Metal

    Andy meets an underground Heavy Metal group who play in the attic of a house.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Jahlé

      Jahlé Sharji o garma (hot and humid)

      BBC Recording

  • Iranians having having fun.

    Andy reflects on what Iranians do to have fun.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Maj Noon

      Maj Noon Mine

    • Image for Penhan Cho Del

      Penhan Cho Del Sham

      BBC Recording

  • Andy visits a secret party.

    Andy visits a secret party - despite the clerics banning these.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Lullaby

      Lullaby Jahle

      BBC Recording

  • Propaganda

    Propaganda

    Propaganda for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

  • Jahle

    Jahle

    The group Jahle with pots and double flutes in Bander-Abbas on the Persian Gulf.

  • Esfahan

    Esfahan

  • The Island of Hormuz

    The Island of Hormuz

Broadcasts

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