Damon Albarn ready for Africa Exprez collaborations

Gorillaz man expecting the unexpected at Liverpool gig on Thursday (Mar 6)

Damon Albarn has spoken to NME.COM about his first gig of 2008 – and has admitted he hasn’t got a clue what will happen.

The Blur and Gorillaz frontman is taking part in Africa Exprez, a loose collective that pairs up African and western artists, which is staging a gig in Liverpool on Thursday (March 6).

However, Albarn explained that it will not be a usual show, as the collaborations will be arranged on the day and he genuinely believes anything can happen.

“To be honest I don’t know what’s going on with the gig, and that’s the exciting thing about it,” he explained. “Africa Exprez must never become anything too established and must never have a setlit. Basically no setlist, but maximum belief that you can create a setlist out of nothing.”

Africa Exprez first came to prominence when it took over the Parks Stage at last year’s Glastonbury festival, and will now take over Liverpool’s Olympia Theatre will see the the likes of Franz Ferdinand, The Reverend And The Makers and Hard-Fi performing with artists who will fly in from around the world for the show.

“The beauty of the show is its unpredictability, as you never know who is going to come up on stage with you next,” explained Algerian singer Souad Massi who has taken part before. “It is breaking down the barriers where people have tried to categorise musicians according to where they come from or what language they sing in. In Africa Exprez, we are all the same, we are just musicians enjoying playing music.”

For the full, exclusive interview get this week’s issue of NME – on UK newsstands from March 5.

For more on the gig and tickets go to Africaexpress.co.uk/.