Paul Weller, Kano, Bassekou Kouyate join Damon Albarn’s Africa Express gigs

Host of new musicians join London and Glastonbury shows

Damon Albarn has announced a host of guest musicians for his Africa Express concert at London Royal Festival Hall on June 25.

Paul Weller, Julia Holter and Bassekou Kouyate are among the new names for the show by The Orchestra Of Syrian Musicians, while Kano and Bashy join the collective for a show at the Pyramid Stage of Glastonbury the day before on June 24.

Also new for the Royal Festival Hall concert are Bu Kolthoum, Eslam Jawaad, Faia Younan, Lotfi Bouchnak, Malikah, Mounir Troudi, Noura Mint Seymali, Paul Weller, Rachid Taha and TALA.

The Royal Festival Hall concert has been commissioned by Holland Festival and 14-18NOW, an arts programme marking the centenary of World War I. It’s part of the Southbank Centre’s Refugee Week 2016.

The Royal Festival Hall show is the first time Weller and Albarn have appeared on stage together since they played Blur’s ‘Tender’ at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2013 with Noel Gallagher and Graham Coxon in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.

Africa Express will move on following the Royal Festival Hall show for four more concerts around Europe, where guests will include Baaba Maal.

The shows come as Albarn continues to make the first Gorillaz album since 2011’s ‘The Fall’. Vic Mensa, Jean Michel Jarre, Liam Bailey and Massive Attack are among the reported guests on the new album.