Africa Express to headline Fiesta des Suds. Marseille, Sat 19th October
We’re excited to announce that Africa Express will be playing at the fantastic Doc des Suds venue in Marseille, south of France on Saturday October 19th.
If you missed the finale of the train tour hop a flight and join us for the best of African and Western musical collaborations. There are some Africa Express favourites, new faces, and downright legends.
For info, lineup and tickets, go here: http://www.dock-des-suds.org/fiesta2013/africa-express.html
See you in the south of France
M.anifest and M3nsa on the mic at Africa Express, Creative Commons, Bristol. Photo by Brian Okello
Mid-Morning on Sunday 2 September, I sauntered towards Euston in London with Jupiter Bokondji from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and about 15 other musicians from Mali and Senegal. Most of us had only just met. It was a colourful group that drew curious stares. Among us I would guess at least eight languages were spoken. We all had only just a vague idea of where the station was, yet if we were anxious about finding it or getting there on time none of us wore that anxiety visibly. As we walked, other musicians on the tour joined us and we all got to Euston without making a wrong turn and without any one to shepherd us there.
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Spoek Mathambo, Jack Steadman and Peter Hook play ‘Control’ at Africa Express, The Ritz, Manchester. Photo by Simon Phipps
“This is the best project I’ve ever been involved in in my whole career” – Baaba Maal
“Making music in Mali with Africa Express was amazing, humbling, life changing experience, a time in my life I will never forget. I’m just so happy I went with my gut extinct and got involved. Being on the album is just an added bonus really” – Ghostpoet
‘The Africa Express was one of the most worthwhile and enjoyable projects I have ever been involved in… A true reminder of why I started playing music in the first place… I’d do it again in a heartbeat.” – Carl Barat (The Libertines)
“Africa and its’ friends were there on the train around the UK, the music was beautiful, the audience amazed..! I was elated by this extraordinary and unique adventure, which also happened to be an opportunity for me to spend time with artists that I love and I do not often get to see. I thank all the organizers for their concern about our comfort and our serenity. I miss you all!” – Rokia Traore
“I was a pleasure for me to live through this train experience. Never has a train been so musical. I loved the sense of togetherness and complicity between the artists, and I also really appreciated the ‘pop ups’ when I had the opportunity to play in hospitals and schools. Africa Express is magical every time. Thanks to everyone.” – Amadou Bagayoko (Amadou & Mariam)
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Bombay Bicycle Club’s Jack Steadman gives the inside track on what it was like to be one of the performers on Damon Albarn’s magical mystery tour of the UK
Jack Steadman – Saturday, 15 September 2012
“You’re on next Jack,” I was told. I had arrived in Glasgow just hours before, joining up with this mad circus they called Africa Express. With five minutes to go I quickly approached two Congolese percussionists and, in broken French, asked if they could join me.
Above the noise of Carl Barât’s Afro-tinged “Don’t Look Back into the Sun” on stage, I sang the melody to them as they worked out their parts. With the very talented Seye on bass, who was fortunately already familiar with my song, we took to the stage. This is it, I thought, the moment I have been anticipating all day, nervously knocking back beers on the train from London.
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There’s no silent coach on the Africa Express – and these passengers know how to make sweet music.
By Arwa Haider – 8th September, 2012
Musicians get ready to board Africa Express (Picture: Simon Phipps)
‘People get ready, there’s a train coming…’ It’s midday at Jumbo Records in Leeds, and an Africa Express pop-up in-store gig has drawn a rapt crowd. The Magic Numbers’ Romeo Stodart leads a singalong through a classic 1960s cover, Malian chanteuse Rokia Traore brings gloriously soulful West African roots and Ghanaian rapper Manifest adds freestyle wordplay – all backed with acoustic kora and ngoni strings. The set is just part of the most ambitious excursion yet from Africa Express: the cross-continental music exchange sparked by Damon Albarn in 2006. Since then, Africa Express has hosted multi-genre, multi-generationa gigs around the world. This week, it charters its own railroad tour of Britain: what Manifest calls ‘a train of thought’.
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