Date(s): 12th - 21st May 2011
Venue: Various UK Venues
“Havana cantina, Kinshasa slum, or psychedelic club – this outfit would tear the roof off anywhere.” THE INDEPENDENT
After selling out weeks in advance of their London date at the Union Chapel in March, Congolese super-band, Staff Benda Bilili, return to the UK this May to play a special run of dates in just a handful of cities. This will include a concert at London's Roundhouse on Sunday 15 May. Press release and tour dates in full article.
The excitement about this band has been building up since the release of the documentary feature film, Benda Bilili, telling the story about their life in Kinshasa and the recording of their debut album, ‘Tres Tres Fort’. Directed by Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye ‘Benda Bilili’ triumphed at the Cannes Film Festival 2010, receiving rave reviews in the press and a number of awards. The film is released nationwide on 18th March.
Staff Benda Bilili exploded onto the scene in 2009, performing inspirational and electric shows at Glastonbury, Womad and various festivals worldwide. Their story is extraordinary - a group of paraplegic street musicians who live in and around Kinshasa zoo in the Democratic Republic of Congo, their songs document and comment on events relating to their everyday experiences, whilst resonating with the pulse of Congolese rumba, Cuban swing and James Brown-inspired funk. They are made up of four singer/guitarists, backed by an energetic rhythm section and topped off with the infectious guitar-like sounds of a teenage prodigy, who plays a one-stringed electric lute he designed and built himself out of a tin can.
Thu 12 May GATESHEAD The Sage Gateshead
0191 443 4661 thesagegateshead.org
Sat 14 May BIRMINGHAM Town Hall
0121 780 3333 thsh.co.uk
Sun 15 May LONDON Roundhouse
0844 482 8008 roundhouse.org.uk
Wed 18 May NORWICH Theatre Royal
01603 630 000 nnfestival.org.uk ** on sale this Wednesday **
Part of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival
Thu 19 May BURY ST EDMUNDS Apex
01284 758 000 the-apex.co.uk
Part of the Bury St Edmunds Festival
Fri 20 May BRISTOL Colston Hall
0117 922 3686 colstonhall.org
Sat 21 May MANCHESTER Bridgewater Hall
0161 907 9000 bridgewater-hall.co.uk
Tres Tres Fort is out now on Crammed Discs. Benda Bilili is released in 40 independent UK cinemas on 18th March. This is a Black Routes tour, produced by Serious.
Supported by Arts Council England.
Staff Benda Bilili on Myspace