Like father, like son. Femi Kuti is the undisputed inheritor of the genius of Nigerian Afrobeat superstar Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. His version of Afrobeat has been the most exciting new sound to emerge from Nigeria for years, borrowing the best elements from his father’s powerfully polyrhythmic prototype of funk, jazz, and a sound that took James Brown’s beat back to Africa. Femi adds to that winning formula with the freshness and exuberance of Lagos and its taste for the new R&B and dance music of America and Europe while keeping the same lyrical concerns for justice and peace in Nigeria and beyond.
Alongside Femi are 2 fresh talents from the African continent who are making waves with their new UK releases.
Guinean kora master and Griot (hereditary caste of musicians), Ba Cissoko’s, Electric Griot Land CD has been praised far and wide and the live band have been tearing it up worldwide with their unique twin Kora frontline – backed by a sinuous and funky rhythm section – forming a power-house quartet of urban griots. Their aim is to do what Jimi Hendrix did for the blues with their own West African Mandinka tradition: take it forward without forgetting the music’s deep, traditional roots. The title of their album pays homage to their 6-string virtuoso hero and his timeless Electric Ladyland album.
“A delight, and a marker for 21st century African Music” The Observer
**** Top Of The World Songlines
Akli D is an Algerian-born Berber singer-songwriter on Because Music, the same record label as BBC Radio 3 Award Winners Amadou & Mariam. The one and only Manu Chao sprinkled fairy dust on the duo’s ‘Dimanche à Bamako’ album and he has performed the same service on Alki D’s ‘Ma Yela’ (‘If There Was’). Akli’s rootsy Berber blues incorporates trance-like North African rhythms as well as traces of reggae and Senegalese Mbalax. His gentle brand of protest sees him singing of his own experience as an immigrant in Paris, the plight of Chechen orphans, and in support of Algerian women in their struggle for self-determination. Akli’s social commitment and unique new Algerian music mark him out as an important artist to watch.
“Rootsy, poetic and political – Akli’s future looks rosy indeed”. **** Top Of The World Songlines
It was once the case that artists such as these found it difficult to find an audience outside of the capital. Previous African Soul Rebels tours have led the way and new possibilities now exist for the musicians as well as giving audiences around the country a better idea of the embarrassment of musical riches emanating from Africa. African Soul Rebels 2007 proves yet again that Africa’s musical treasures are plentiful with fresh discoveries coming to the fore and making their mark thoughout the world. Not to be missed…..
14 Leicester De Montfort Hall 0116 233 3111 www.demontforthall.co.uk
15 London Barbican Centre 020 7638 8891 www.barbican.org.uk
16 Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 0151 709 3789 www.liverpoolphil.com
18 Edinburgh Usher Hall 0131 228 1155 www.usherhall.co.uk
19 Manchester Bridgewater Hall 0161 907 9000 www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk
20 Gateshead The Sage Gateshead 0191 443 4661 www.thesagegateshead.org
21 Northampton Royal & Derngate 01604 624811 www.royalandderngate.com
22 Coventry Warwick Arts Centre 024 7652 4524 www.warwickartscentre.co.uk
23 Poole Lighthouse 08700 668 701 www.lighthousepoole.co.uk
24 Basingstoke The Anvil 01256 844244 www.theanvil.org.uk
26 Brighton Dome Concert Hall 01273 709 709 www.brighton-dome.org.uk
27 Bristol Colston Hall 0117 922 3686 www.colstonhall.org.uk
*Music Beyond Mainstream (MBM) is a consortium of leading UK concert venues supporting and championing the best in offbeat entertainment.