Four surprise pop-up gigs announced for Boro
By Rob Ten
Friday 31 Aug 2012 15:57:00
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Four more big surprises have been announced ahead of next Monday’s star-studded Africa Express gig at Middlesbrough Town Hall. (Monday 3 Sept).

Over 80 musicians in a jaw-dropping line-up include Blur & Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn, Maximo Park, former Libertine Carl Barat, Jon McClure from Reverend & The Makers, storming Brighton hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks, East London rapper Kano, chart-topping Australians The Temper Trap, Nick Zinner from New York’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs – with modern folk pioneer Rachel Unthank the latest name to join the train.

And the African contingent boasts a mouthwatering array of international stars including Senegalese legend Baaba Maal (who has sung for Nelson Mandela and worked with U2 frontman Bono), Malian duo Amadou & Mariam (who’ve worked with Coldplay, Blur, U2, and Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour amongst others), Rokia Traore, (who wowed a TV audience of millions on Later with Jools Holland), inspirational Congolese singer Baloji, previous Damon Albarn collaborators Jupiter & Okwess International, and Malian songstress Fatoumata Diawara, who was discovered by UK audiences at a clutch of storming festival gigs last year.

But, before the big gig at the Town Hall itself, four mystery collections of the star-studded line-up will be dropping off at a series of free quickfire spontaneous pop-up gigs at four hotspots around the town on Monday afternoon.

4.30pm: My Place. North Street. Middlesbrough Council’s new Lottery funded Youth Centre, a whisker away from the Transporter Bridge.

4.30pm: Gallery TS1. 57 Corporation Road. An intimate 50-capacity gig at the popular local artists gallery just opposite the Town Hall.

5pm: Middlesbrough Central Library. Another intimate gig in the grand setting of the Library, now in its Centenary year.

5pm: Middlesbrough Football Club. A spontaneous gig just outside the iconic Ayresome Park gates at the Riverside Stadium.

Iris Jenkins from My Place said: ”Someone from Africa Express came to see us earlier this week, and jumped at the chance to come and play. We won’t know who’s actually coming until they arrive, but we’re looking forward to a fantastic day.”

Charles Twist from Gallery TS1 said: “It’s the most exciting gig to hit town for years, and we’re chuffed to bits to be part of it.”

Sara Dennis from Middlesbrough Library said: “It’s a fantastic surprise for us, and we’re also really looking forward to the main gig at the Town Hall on the night.”

Anthony Emmerson from Middlesbrough Football Club said: “It's definitely not going to be a typical Monday afternoon that's for sure. People are 100% free to pop down to the Riverside and get a taste of what's going to be happening later at the Town Hall."

Graham Ramsay from promoters Ten Feet Tall said: “It’s going to be an amazing day. I love this idea of the African Express just turning up and taking the Town by storm. And the whole thing is heading for an incredible night at the Town Hall.

Tickets have been flying out for this, but there’s still chance to bag the last few handfuls if you’re quick. Get stuck in!”

The Africa Express trip is part of the London 2012 festival and is produced in association with the Barbican.

  • Africa Express: featuring (from the West) Damon Albarn, Maximo Park, Carl Barat, Jon McClure, Rizzle Kicks, Nick Zinner, and (from Africa) Baaba Maal, Rokia Traore, Amadou & Mariam, Jupiter & Okwess International & many more.

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