The Coventry trio's fourth album is sometimes ham-fisted, but always heartfelt
The Arches, Glasgow, September 4
ever be construed as ‘good’.
Obviously, with so many musicians involved, you have to allow for a small margin of chaos. There are good bits and bad bits, but the only bits that’ll have you checking your watch are the changeovers, when the crew frantically tries to set up the stage for whoever is on next. On the whole, however, you have to marvel at how smoothly everything runs, and at Africa Express’ ability to surprise and delight you. Ethiopian hip-hoppers Krar Collective share a stage with Baltimorean up-and-comer Rye Rye; Jon McClure, Carl Barât and blind guitar virtuoso Amadou Bagayoko collaborate on an afrobeat version of The Clash’s ‘Train In Vain’.
Amid all this chaos and creativity, it’s hard to see how anyone could fail to be won over. This is music made for music’s sake: an idea that sounds straightforward, but which, after witnessing tonight’s show, you realise is something altogether too rare. More power to the elbows shovelling at this train’s furnace.
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