Vieux Farka Toure
All photographs by Andy Morgan
TalkingGigs is delighted to present a not-to-be-missed opportunity to hear the internationally acclaimed Songhoy Blues talking about their music and culture and playing raw unplugged versions of their unique songs which mix the spirit of blues and R&B with the energy and soul of traditional musics of Mali … AND to see the brilliant documentary “They Will Have to Kill Us First” which traces the impact of the 2012 jihadist takeover of Northern Mali on musicians in the country, including the band themselves.
The British Library ran a similar event at the start of November as part of its dazzling exhibition of West African literature and music. The event sold out well in advance and received hugely positive audience reaction … this Sheffield event is likely to be the only other opportunity to catch such a fascinating, entertaining and insightful evening.
They Will Have to Kill Us First (Showing 7.00 – 8.40pm)
They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian music in exile is a feature-length documentary following musicians in Mali in the wake of a jihadist takeover and subsequent banning of music. Music, one of the most important forms of communication in Mali, disappeared overnight in 2012 when Islamic extremists groups rose up to capture an area the size of the UK and France combined. But rather than lay down their instruments, Mali’s musicians fought back.
The documentary traces the impact on 4 groups of very different musicians musicians: Songhoy Blues; Disco and Jimmy; Mussa Sidi; and Khaira Arby.
Declared “Essential viewing” (Dazed & Confused), “Social journalism of the highest order … vibrantly shot and masterfully edited” (Austin Chronicle) and “One of the season’s top documentaries” (The Guardian)
More information at: http://www.theywillhavetokillusfirst.com/
TalkingGig with Songhoy Blues (9.00pm – 10.30pm)
Songhoy Blues are one of the most exciting new band to have emerged from Mali in recent years. Though their music bears elements of contemporary rock and hip hop, at its heart is their deep attachment to the homegrown songs and dances of Mali’s Songhoy people as well as such iconic West African guitar heroes as Baba Salah and Ali Farka Touré. The band were picked up by Africa Express during the making of the documentary and their song “Soubar” was one of the outstanding tracks of the “Maison des Jeunes” released by Africa Express in 2013. Since then the band have released their highly acclaimed debut album “Music in Exile” and most recently a 12” single “Recovered” featuring cover versions of the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go”. The past 2 years have seen a meteoric rise in their international fame and reputation, gigging in the US and across Europe and the UK, including festival appearances at Glastonbury and Latitude.
The TalkingGig will feature the band in conversation with Andy Morgan (who co-wrote the “They Will Have to Kill Us First” documentary) and playing acoustic versions of several of their unique songs.
More information on the band at: http://songhoy-blues.com/