Preview: Benjamin Zephaniah & The Revolutionary Minds @ EartH (London; Wednesday 25th September 2019)

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Catch Benjamin Zephaniah and The Revolutionary Minds playing Hackney venue EartH on Wednesday 25th September as part of the seventeenth London African Music Festival!

Dr Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is best known as a “dub poet”, but he’s worked across lots of genres, from poetry to music and from novels to plays. The evolution of Zephaniah’s famous poetry performances into music gigs is extremely logical – he is all about taking poetry and bringing it to the masses. He wants to reach those who might not expect to like poetry at all; perhaps people like himself who finished formal education at 13 and went on to join a gang in Birmingham.

Zephaniah says, “One of the things I’m really good at is talking about politics and ideas to people who are not interested in it for one reason or another. They don’t think it’s for them, but usually I can explain why it is.” He feels his poetry does the same – “I started writing poetry, because I don’t like poetry. Of course, I liked using words, but I wanted to change the image of poetry. I wanted to bring it to life and talk about now and what was happening to us.”

So, he loves to bring poetry to a diverse audience, and these gigs with his band are no exception, with him rapping and chanting his poems over the sounds of a talented reggae band. In his own words, “As anyone who has seen us live knows, we don’t just play a few tunes and watch the audience dance; we make connections. We chant together, we rise up together, we talk together, and we feel the love together.” His 2017 album, Revolutionary Minds, might have been his first music album in a decade, but Zephaniah has been rapping in clubs and performing since he was a teenager, and it shows!

This show features support from the Afrocentrics, who play an upbeat blend of jazz, funk, Afrobeat and reggae. Get your tickets for this London show now before they sell out!

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