Songhoy Blues

Songhoy Blues

Described by The Guardian as “Joyful and eclectic” Songhoy Blues live shows are jam-packed with energy and we’re thrilled they’ll be joining us at Larmer Tree Festival for the very first time. 

Their music combines elements of reggae (Voter) and even country (Hometown) with their own brand of blistering, compelling West African rock – they are often described as desert blues, but they are far more than that. Make no mistake, Songhoy Blues do not make “world music”. As band member Aliou puts it: “We find it very hard to describe the music we make. Some tracks on the new album, sound really, really rock. Some tracks sound blues. Some tracks sound folk. To us, world music doesn’t make sense. African artists play rock as well!”

Songhoy Blues were formed in 2012, when three musicians from northern Mali – Aliou, Garba, and Oumar fled to the capital, Bamako. They recruited drummer Nathanael and a band began. “The band was born from war and sent into exile,” Aliou says, “so the second album is called Résistance, That’s the word to describe us keeping going, and building on what we said on the first album.” Songhoy Blues paint a picture of their part of the world with humour and defiance. 

“Their original influences were desert blues and traditional Songhai styles, but here these are transformed by tight, attacking riffs, jangling funk guitar work and the addition of brass and keyboards.” The Guardian review of their new album Résistance.


Fri 7.30pm
Main Stage