Preview: Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou @ Band on the Wall (Manchester, 21st June 2018)
Alongside Fela Kuti and Africa ‘70, Ali Farka Touré and Angélique Kidjo, Orchestre Poly-Rythmoare one of West Africa’s most cherished and ground-breaking acts. The afro-funk outfit, who formed fifty years ago in Benin, will play their first ever Manchester show at Band on the Wall on 21st June.
The group hadn’t performed outside of Africa until 2009, but since reforming they have more than compensated for lost time. They’re recognised internationally for their joyous and deeply rhythmic fusion of Vodun ritual music, U.S. funk, Ghanaian highlife and Nigerian afrobeat. Having delivered captivating performances in many of Europe’s cultural hotspots in recent years, original members Vincent Ahehehinnou, Gustave Bentho and Loko Pierre continue to lead today’s powerhouse ensemble. They assemble live sets from a catalogue of more than 500 original songs, with a zest for music as strong as during their formative years.
Originally formed in 1966 in the coastal town of Cotonou, Orchestre Poly Rythmo became one of Benin’s finest exports and, consequently, a flagbearer for African music. With their exuberant brand of afro-funk and party fuelled soukous, their sound and their on-stage energy defy their advancing years. Thanks in no small…