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).


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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