Staff Benda Bilili - from the streets of the Congo to the UK this November, 2009
Congolese band Staff Benda Bilili [that's easy for you to say! - Ed] are to make their debut appearance in the UK this November, with a brace of dates, kicking-off at the prestigious Barbican in London on 10th November, ending at Oxford's O2 Academy ten days later.
The band are all disabled - contracting polio as children - and get about in home-made motorized tricycles in their "homes": the grounds of the Kinshasha zoo. These guys literally give you the sounds of the streets of the Congo, blending roots music, blues and Cuban-esque rhythms. The name 'Staff Benda Bilili ' means 'look beyond appearances', and that's what the band force you to do with their infectious music. Their acclaimed debut album 'Très Très Fort' was recorded in the open - when a nearby bar was deserted, allowing them to hookup a MacBook and a few microphones - with the guys going at it on their chosen acoustic instruments/ voices.
The Independent had this to say about the album:
Heart-tugging melodies ride on sweetly ragged vocal harmonies; the rhythm section and guitar work sway between rumba, soul, funk and blues. Extraordinary story, extraordinary music.
I'd say a date on Jools Holland's 'Later...' beckons....
Tickets for their November UK tour are on sale now, starting at £10 (£20 for the Barbican date).
You may be interested in
- Fri 25th May 2018 and Fri 8th Jun 2018 Dele SosimiBuy Tickets
- Sat 26th May 2018 AfroRepublik: Wizkid, Maleek Berry, Mr Eazi, Not3s, Tiwa Savage, Yxng BaneThe O2 Arena (Greenwich)Buy Tickets
- Mon 28th May 2018 and Tue 29th May 2018 Femi KutiBuy Tickets
- Wed 30th May 2018 Femi Kuti & the Positive Force, Femi KutiIslington Assembly Hall [Town Hall] (Islington)Buy Tickets
- Fri 1st Jun 2018 Field Day, Erykah Badu, Children of Zeus, The Comet is Comin...Brockwell Park (Brixton)Buy Tickets
- Sat 2nd Jun 2018 Field Day, Four Tet, Nils Frahm, Floating Points, Thundercat...Brockwell Park (Brixton)Buy Tickets
- Sat 2nd Jun 2018 One Africa Music FestWembley SSE Arena (Wembley)Buy Tickets
- Fri 8th Jun 2018 and Sat 9th Jun 2018 Angelique KidjoBuy Tickets
- Thu 14th Jun 2018 and Mon 18th Jun 2018 Sona JobartehBuy Tickets
- Sat 16th Jun 2018 London Afrobeat Collective, DJ FormatThe Blues Kitchen (Shoreditch)Buy Tickets
- Wed 20th Jun 2018 Jubilee [Aga Khan], Kronos Quartet, Bassekou KouyateRoyal Albert Hall (Kensington)Buy Tickets
- Sat 23rd Jun 2018 AfroCubismJazz Cafe (Camden)Buy Tickets
- Sat 30th Jun 2018 Love Supreme Festival, Elvis Costello, Pharoah Sanders, Leve...Glynde Place (Lewes)Buy Tickets
- Mon 9th Jul 2018 Innervisions Festival, Rokia TraoreBarbican (City of London)Buy Tickets
- Sun 15th Jul 2018 Folk by the Oak, Amy MacDonald, Eliza Carthy, Julie Fowlis, ...Hatfield House (Hatfield)Buy Tickets
- Thu 19th Jul 2018 and Fri 20th Jul 2018 Amadou & MariamBuy Tickets
- Thu 2nd Aug 2018 and Fri 3rd Aug 2018 Ata KakBuy Tickets
- Fri 24th Aug 2018 Tiwa Savage: The Savage TourIndigo at the O2 (Greenwich)Buy Tickets
- Mon 27th Aug 2018 to Tue 20th Nov 2018 Seun Kuti & Fela's Egypt 80Buy Tickets
- Thu 6th Sep 2018 Tony Allen, Amp FiddlerJazz Cafe (Camden)Buy Tickets
- Sat 8th Sep 2018 1Sound 1Music FestivalWembley SSE Arena (Wembley)Buy Tickets
- Wed 19th Sep 2018 Mulatu AstatkeVicar Street (Dublin)Buy Tickets
- Tue 16th Oct 2018 BalojiJazz Cafe (Camden)Buy Tickets
- Tue 20th Nov 2018 Fatoumata DiawaraHackney Arts Centre (Stoke Newington)Buy Tickets
- Tue 11th Dec 2018 Boubacar TraoréNells Jazz and Blues (Kensington and Chelsea)Buy Tickets