at FMM Sines World Music Festival this weekend.
Just a clip, but hopefully enough to encourage a few people to look them up. They were awesome, and well worth a night sleeping in a tiny Fiat Panda (our motor caravan still being indefinitely off the road)!
This following information from the FMM Sines website:
With a core formation of street musicians victim of polio, Staff Benda Bilili is the most awarded world music band in 2010 and one of the greatest discoveries of African music in the last decade.
A group of paraplegic street musicians who live in and around the grounds of the zoo in Kinshasa, Congo, Staff Benda Bilili make music of astonishing power and beauty. The band’s mesmerising rumba-rooted grooves, overlaid with vibrant vocals, remind you at times of Cuban nonchalance, at other times of the Godfather of Soul himself. You can hear echoes of old-school rhythm and blues, then reggae, then no-holds barred funk.
Four senior singer/guitarists sitting on customized tricycles, occasionally dancing on the floor of the stage, arms raised in joyful supplication, are the core of the band, backed by a younger, all-acoustic, rhythm section pounding out tight beats. The lyrics of the Staff Benda Bilili are wise, ironical advice to the people who live in the streets. In Lingala, “Benda Billi” means “look beyond appearances”.
Entitled “Très Très Fort”, their astonishing first album was produced by Vincent Kenis (already responsible for the Congotronics series). Among many other awards, Staff Benda Bilili won the category “Best Group” in Songlines World Music Awards 2010.
Léon Ricky Likabu Makodu: vocals
Roger Landu Satonge: vocals
Djunana Tanga Suele: vocals
Coco Ngambali Yakala: vocals, guitar
Kabose Kabamba Kasongo: vocals
Théophile Nsituvuidi Nzonza: vocals, guitar
Montana Kinunu Ntunu: drums
Cavalier Kiara Mayingi: bass