First, we had the Big Easy Express, which just made it's debut on the silver screen in Milwaukee last Thursday at Turner Hall, but it turns out this isn't the last documentary of its type for the year. In what is turning out to be a big summer for "train tours," Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) has just anounced that he and his Africa Express collective has their own train tour.
The destination isn't New Orleans, its performers aren't the indie stars du jour and the show might not make it to Turner on film it is looking like another intriguing train-centered audio/visual experience. Africa Express is instead a collective of African musicians partially funded by David Albarn and they've got their own train tour taking place at various spots in the UK this fall.
The Africa Express train journey will feature the eclectic lineup of Bamon Albarn, Amadou & Mariam, Charli XCX, Fatoumata Diawara, Noisettes, Rokia Traoré, Kano, Baloji, Jupiter & Okwess International, and Bombay Bicycle Club's Jack Steadman with more artists to be announced. Many on this list have been featured on Sound Travels, artists I like lots and makes this tour just another event for me to be jealous of (not bitter really, thanks for forgetting me again Damon).
Fortunately, there will likely be a documentary of the event as it makes stops all over the UK. The schedule looks like this…
09/03 Middlesbrough, England – Town Hall
09/04 Glasgow, Scotland – The Arches
09/05 Manchester, England – The Ritz
09/06 Cardiff, Wales – Solus (Cardiff University)
09/07 Bristol, England – The Big Top at Creative Common
09/08 London, England – Granary Square at King's Cross
Not familiar with Africa Express?
Don't know who Fatoumata Diawara is?