All Aboard The Africa Express: UK Tour Update
An audience of 80 artists filled the busy platform at Euston station on the 3rd of September for a musical celebration of the Africa Express UK Tour. Congolese musician Jupiter Bokondji and his Owkwess International band were one of many to perform in front of notable artists such as Blur and Damon Albarn from the Gorillaz. The vintage Class 47 diesel-electric locomotive is decked with rehearsal spaces, chill-out spaces and a Moroccan tea room. This train is specially customized to be a home for some of the world’s finest musicians as they tour the UK for a week of workshops and gigs.
The train will be calling at several cities starting at Middlesborough and culminating at London’s Kings Cross on Saturday. Among those on board include Damon Albarn - the co-founder of the project - as well as artists Amadou and Mariam, Rokia Traore, Baaba Maal and Rizzle Kicks.
This large-scale, London 2012-sponsored package tour of collaborating UK and African musicians sold itself in accessible form, right down to the specially commandeered train-come-rehearsal space which is carrying the crew around the country, and which pulled into Glasgow Central station earlier in the day amidst much media fanfare.
Do not miss this chance to see Krar Collective, London's most excellently energetic Ethiopian band, alongside legends like Toumani Diabate, Baaba Maal and Bassekou Kouyate and newcomers like Spoek Mathambo, Nneka and more.
Krar Collective serve up mind-blowing Ethiopian grooves on this excellent debut. Armed with their krar, kebero drums and stunning vocals, they have createdEthiopia Super Krar – an album rooted in tradition, and soaked with attitude.
September 3 - Town Hall, Middlesbrough, UK
September 4 - The Arches, Glasgow, UK
September 5 - The Ritz, Manchester, UK
September 6 - Solus ( Cardiff University), Cardiff, UK
September 7 - The Big Top @ Creative Common, Bristol, UK
September 8 - Granary Square at King's Cross, London, UK
Check out some of these photographs of the Africa Express and see the artists in rehearsal on the train:
The British Rail diesel train called Africa Express is decorated with 37 different flags from across the world.
Amadou and Romeo Stodart from The Magic Numbers - Official sharing a jamming sesion on the train.
Africa Express travelling to Middlesbrough: Amadou and Mariam with Romeo Stodart from The Magic Numbers - Official and Diabel Cissokho in the train's rehearsal carriage.
Africa Express artists performing in Middlesbrough.
Check out this video to see the Africa Express train and the artists performing at Euston Station to get an idea of the just how exciting this event is.
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