Preview: Songhoy Blues @ Koko (London, 4th November 2015)

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Songhoy Blues are a music mystery: the more they become popular and people listen to their music, the more they defy any definition.

There are those who say that the four musicians from Gao are the last true desert blues interpreters, then there are critics affirming that they sound psychedelic, while others are persuaded they are clearly traditionally Malian and finally there’re people who define them as punk.

Actually, that’s one of the greatest qualities of the band strikes, being convincing and expressing themselves no matter what music style they play.

Songhoy Blues is indeed an ensemble that was formed and based in Bamako and its members grown up listening to the great Malian slow-blues masters like Ali Farka Touré and Bassekou Kouyate.

At the same time, the musicians delved into more Western-oriented listenings feasting their ears with music from the 1960s and ‘70s like Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, BB King and John Lee Hooker but also more contemporary genres like hip-hop and R&B.

That’s why their next gig in London will be another unique show.

Back on the Koko stage, where they performed a sold-out concert little more than six months ago, they’ll surely revive their tradition and be keen to update their audience on the current troubles their country faces.

But they will also express themselves using some punk, rock and psychedelic accents to enthral and puzzle their fans even more.

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