Songhoy Blues were formed in 2012, when three musicians from northern Mali – Aliou Touré, Garba Touré and Oumar Touré (not related) – fled to the capital, Bamako, after the Islamist group Ansar Dine took control of the region, banning music among many other things. In September 2013, their music caught the attention of the Africa Express project, led by Damon Albarn, and was subsequently released on the Africa Express compilation.
Nominated for “Best New Act” at the 2015 Q Awards and as “Independent Breakthrough Act” at the 2015 AIM Awards, over the last 3 years Songhoy Blues have cultivated their own legendary status as contemporary ambassadors of West African music and have appeared at numerous festivals including Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, Body & Soul, Latitude and Green Man.
DuoZouk are Bouzouki players Nikos Petsakos (Greece) and Martin Coyle (Ireland) exploring the musical journey of the bouzouki from early 1900’s Greece to Ireland.
They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile is a documentary following Malian musicians including Songhoy Blues in the wake of a jihadist takeover and subsequent banning of music. A special free screening of the documentary will take place at 4pm at the Regional Cultural Centre on Saturday 14th July.
“a masterpiece of desert blues; blending American guitar licks with Malian groove” NME