Tony Allen and Rizzle Kicks join Damon Albarn's Africa Express

Artists will cross the UK by train in September for a concert series featuring music from Europe, America and Africa

Tony Allen, Rizzle Kicks, Carl Barât and electronic wunderkind Nicolas Jaar are among the acts to have now climbed aboard the Africa Express, a concert series that will crisscross Britain in early September. The musicians will travel by train with Damon Albarn, Amadou & Mariam and many more, with performances that combine music from Europe, America and across Africa.

The expanding lineup, announced on Tuesday, embraces everyone from Malian kora legend Toumani Diabaté to the rapper M1, from Dead Prez, and Barât, a former Libertine. Departing London on 2 September, the railroad caravan will make stops for official concerts as well as pop-up surprises, including gigs at schools, factories, shopping centres and homes. Each show is different, DJs and MCs knocking against traditional musicians and Afropop vets.

Africa Express was launched in 2006, when Albarn flew south with artists such as Fatboy Slim and Martha Wainwright, meeting with some of Africa's biggest names, including Diabaté, Salif Keita and Bassekou Kouyaté. There have since been gigs in Liverpool, Nairobi, Paris and even Glastonbury, always anchored by Albarn, with an ever-changing group of collaborators. Flea, following a 2008 concert in Lagos, declared it "without a doubt, the craziest show I have ever played in my life".

After leaving the station, the Africa Express will chug north through Middlesbrough to Glasgow, down past Manchester to Cardiff, and then to Bristol, before returning to London for a concert on 8 September. As previously reported, the grand finale will take place at Granary Square, behind King's Cross station. The concerts are produced in association with the Barbican, as part of the London 2012 festival.

Tickets are on sale now, starting at £15.

Tuesday's lineup additions: Tony Allen, Carl Barât, Hatim Bensalha (H-Kayne), Afel Bocoum, Toumani Diabaté, Nicolas Jaar, Krar Collective, Kyla La Grange, M1 (Dead Prez), M.anifest, Spoek Mathambo, John McClure (Reverend and the Makers), Nneka, Marques Toliver, the Temper Trap, the Very Best (Soundsystem) and Rizzle Kicks.

Previously announced Africa Express participants: Amadou & Mariam, Damon Albarn, Baloji, Charli XCX, Fatoumata Diawara, Jupiter & Okwess International, Kano, Bassekou Kouyaté, Baaba Maal, Noisettes, Jack Steadman (Bombay Bicycle Club), Rokia Traoré and Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs).

Contributor

Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Africa Express – review

It's not every day Damon Albarn, Baaba Maal, Tony Allen, Carl Barât, Rokia Traoré and Joy Division's Peter Hook play a gig together, writes Caspar Llewellyn Smith

Caspar Llewellyn Smith

06, Sep, 2012 @10:36 AM

Article image
Africa Express: a magical mystery tour

Eighty musicians, one train and a string of stops across Britain. This could be the most extraordinary tour of the year, says Caspar Llewellyn Smith

Caspar Llewellyn Smith

25, Aug, 2012 @11:05 PM

Article image
Tony Allen: Fela Kuti, Damon Albarn and me
Tony Allen: He was the drummer for Fela Kuti throughout the master’s groundbreaking years and has helped shape Afrobeat ever since. He chooses five top moments from his 55-year career

Tony Allen

09, Oct, 2014 @4:24 PM

Article image
A week in Mali with Africa Express – Olugbenga Adelekan's diary

Metronomy's Olugbenga Adelekan and this diary of his week in Mali recording an album with the likes of Damon Albarn and Brian Eno, and local musicians

18, Oct, 2013 @3:17 PM

Africa Express: Paul McCartney and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage part two - video

The Africa Express tour, featuring over 80 musicians including Damon Albarn and Baaba Maal, finished its epic tour of the UK by train with a gig at Granary Square in King's Cross in London. Among the special guests on the night was Sir Paul McCartney, who joined the collective to play two old Wings songs – and you can see footage here in this exclusive film

Renaud Barret and Florent de La Tullaye

15, Sep, 2012 @11:00 AM

Baaba Maal among leading musicians to board the Africa Express

Baaba Maal, Damon Albarn and Bombay Bicycle are among the lineup of musicians who will tour the UK by train in September

Caspar Llewellyn Smith

31, Jul, 2012 @3:34 PM

Article image
Africa Express: The Circus review – Albarn's multi-artist Brexit show has stop-start feel
Some great performances - including a surprise appearance by Blur - are marred by too long watching roadies milling around

Ian Gittins

30, Mar, 2019 @11:56 AM

Africa Express: its past in pictures

Africa Express starts making its way round the UK next week – in a train packed with musicians both African and British that departs from London on Sunday. Previous tours have been accompanied by photographer Simon Phipps – here's his pick of images from gigs in Ethiopia, Nigeria and France, taken between 2008 and 2010

30, Aug, 2012 @11:26 AM

Africa Express: Maison des Jeunes – review
Africa Express's week-long trip to Mali yields some gems, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

08, Dec, 2013 @12:07 AM

Article image
Rizzle Kicks – review
With their cartoon rap-pop and self-mocking goofing, Brit School alumni Rizzle Kicks had the audience in a frenzy even before Ed Sheeran showed up, writes Ian Gittins

Ian Gittins

16, Dec, 2011 @7:08 PM