Staff Benda Bilili

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The Congolese super-band, Staff Benda Bilili come to Town Hall following their electrifying UK debut in 2009.

One of the hottest African acts on the scene right now, their name translates to ‘look beyond appearances’. The mesmerising rumba-rooted grooves, overlaid with vibrant vocals, are sometimes reminiscent of Cuban swing, at other times of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.

The band’s core members are street-musicians, who live in the grounds of Kinshasa Zoo in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are backed by a younger rhythm section pounding out tight beats. Over the top of this are infectious guitar-like solos, performed by a 17 year-old prodigy on a one-string electric lute, which he designed and built himself – out of a tin can.

‘In the crowd, jaws drop, as well they should in the presence of such an extraordinary band.’ ***** The Guardian

‘Pure adrenaline from start to finish.’ Rock ‘N’ Reel

‘Staff Benda Bilili say they are ‘the best handicapped band in Africa’. Scratch out the word ‘handicapped’ and you’re not far from the truth.’ The Guardian

£15
20% discount for full and part-time students


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