Songhoy Blues are a desert-punk band from Bamako, Mali. In 2013, having been scouted by Marc-Antoine Moreau to be part of the African Express ‘Maison Des Jeunes’ album project, the band recorded a track with Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The track in question was ‘Soubour’ and would go on to become the standout track of the album.
Following the success of ‘Soubour’, Songhoy Blues headed back into the studio with Zinner, this time to record their full-length debut, ‘Music In Exile’.
Quickly snapped up by Transgressive Records and Atlantic Records, the last 18 months has seen the release of ‘Music in Exile’ to critical acclaim, an extensive touring plot including support slots with Damon Albarn, Julian Casablancas and Alabama Shakes, appearances on national TV and Radio in the UK, Europe and America, including notably a performance on ‘Later…with Jools Holland’ and sessions on BBC 6Music, XFM and NPR, and a coveted slot on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival.
With their reputation for electric live performances growing each day, the remainder of 2015 will see the band touring Europe extensively as well as taking in Asia for the first time. Beyond that is a mystery but one thing is certain, the band’s trajectory is pointed stoically skywards.
Having made their first appearance in London in July 2014 at the Servants Jazz Quarters, the band play The Roundhouse in London on Saturday 21st May 2016 – a staggering ascent for any band.
Special guest on the night will be acclaimed Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara.
Blick Bassy formed his first band in Cameroon at the age of 17. They were called The Jazz Crew and would later develop into Macase, an inventive jazz fusion group inspired by local rhythms with three singers, all singing a different Cameroonian language. It was here that Blick began to reinvigorate Bassa as a language that could be used in modern music, a language that he felt the younger generations should appreciate.
After 10 years of performing with Macase – in which the group toured around Africa and played a number of festivals in Europe – Blick grew frustrated with the lack of infrastructure for an artist in Cameroon and decided to move to Paris. It was there, in 2005, that Blick started his solo career, at first collaborating with a wide range of artists, before eventually releasing his debut album Léman (a record that fused West African and Central African rhythms) in 2009, and following it up with Hongo Calling (which was recorded in Brazil following Blick's research into the musical link – mainly through slavery – between Cameroon and Brazil) in 2011. After the release of this album he moved to Cantin, a small village in the North of France, which is where you'll find Skip James' photo hanging on his wall.
Born in Londinium some time during the late 20th century, United Vibrations are messengers from Inner Space. They travel the globe seeking those who are ready to rediscover the Golden Ratio.
DAVE OKUMU (THE INVISIBLE) DJ SET
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