AWA BAND SINGLE LAUNCH, LIVE! Sat Dec 18 (8pm-1am) – Lagos meets London as Legendary Afro Latin House artists AWA BAND drop in to nuke the space with maximum shake foot taste over 2 live sets to launch their brilliant new single Kilode/Awade. With able support from walking encyclopaedia of world + latin music aka JOHN ARMSTRONG, we guarantee pure fire and righteous heat in the building, all eve long, free entry at The CLF Art Lounge and Roof garden.

www.clfartlounge.com/upcoming-shows

Release yourselves!

AWA BAND (performing 2 Live sets)

London-based Afro-Latin house combo Awa Band travel to Lagos for a storming homage to the ’70s Lagos Sound and its multiplicity of compulsively funky genres: Highlife, Afro-Funk, Afro-Psychedelia and, not least, perhaps the most rhythmically gigantic music of all time, Afrobeat.

Ahead of the resulting album, Story of my Land, this two-track taster features exquisite earthy-ethereal vocals from Yoruba soul diva Kayefi and contributions from some of the original creators of the iconic ’70s Lagos sound. The package is dedicated to the memory of one of the greatest of them all, the late, great Africa ’70 drummer Tony Allen, one of the true pioneers of Afrobeat.

Formed in 2001 by producer and songwriter Kayode Samuel with singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Barbara Snow, Awa Band enjoyed early success with their club classics “Together We Can Learn” and “Tudo Lindo”, working with iconic house producers Michael Gray, and Jon Pearn, plus the super-rousing “Timba”, recently covered by DJ Monki of “Yurican Soul” fame. 2010’s compulsive stomper “Baba Batteur” featured drums from the master Tony Allen himself, who Samuel managed for seven years.

These tracks are the fruit of Samuel’s previous production experience working on Allen’s classic “Lagos No Shaking” and Damon Albarn’s “The Good, the Bad and the Queen” project, which led to a determination to work with the veteran and current greats of Nigerian music. Recording took place with some of Nigeria’s finest multi-instrumentalists, against a backdrop of the global Covid Pandemic and widespread unrest in Nigeria, with the Endsars protests against police brutality leading to riots, looting, and mass destruction of property. All of which made the Awa Band even more determined to give vent to the pure joy of their music.

Both tracks here are popular Yoruba folkloric songs that evoke moonlit story-telling sessions, with Kayefi’s stirring vocals suffused with the rhythms and intonations of Ijala hunters’ chants. The driving Alu Jon Jon, which narrates the animal’s story of survival, is Awa Band’s take on a song performed in the Seventies by the great Fela Kuti. Horn arrangements here are by Biodun Batik, a member of Fela’s Egypt 80 and one of Nigeria’s best trumpeters.

Kilode/Awade with its hurtling organ-powered groove and call-and-response vocals encompasses the Afro-funk style, The horns, recorded in London with Clare Hirst baritone/tenor sax, Richard Sutton tenor sax, and Barbara Snow trumpet, add a blistering Afro-Latin touch.

So there you have it: two sides of sizzling modern pop Lagos-meets-London style, which sound a note of joyful hope in these troubled times – and provide a great foretaste of what promises to be a truly inspirational album.

Kilode/Awade cw Alu Jon Jon is released on the Awa Band’s BIK Label, with distribution by Kudos London on 10th December 2021

Mark Hudson

Chief Arts Critics Daily Telegraph

Awa Band Live In The Lounge (Single Launch Special) + DJ John Armstrong

Doors: 1pm

Live + DJ: 8pm – 1am (In The Lounge)

Entry: Free (however we recommend you book a table to guarantee your space)

www.clfartlounge.com/book

Walk Ins always welcome.

Next live In The Lounge Events: Weds Dec 22 – Slices of Soul (Live) + DJ Nik Weston, followed by Thurs Dec 23 – Acantha Lang (Live) + DJ Ali-B, both Free Entry.

See you deep inside or up on the roof

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Artists: AWA band, DJ John Armstrong

Time: 20:00 – 01:00

Additional Info

Date of Event (Leave blank if you are not listing a gig)December 18, 2021