Once one of the most prominent and powerful of Mali’s many ethnic groups, the Songhoy have suffered a slow decline in recent times, yet retain a fierce pride in their history, beliefs and music.
Singer Aliou Touré and his fellow band-members Oumar Touré (guitar - no relation), Garba Touré (bass - still no relation) and Nathaniel Dembélé (drums - definitely no relation) fled the troubled North after armend jihadists forced them into exile. They baptised their band Songhoy Blues in celebration of their displaced people and culture.
Handpicked by Damon Albarn for his Africa Express project, before connecting with Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) who produced debut LP ‘Music In Exile’, their music is a triumph of modernism and tradition, wrapped in feel good wonder.
Forget about any ‘world music’ prejudices here, as Songhoy Blues are modern, relevant and if you can find a better smile in music today, we’ll eat our hats. Hell, we’ll go to the nearest hat shop and eat all their hats too.
A bonafide top tip for your new favourite band of the Clockenflap weekend!