Atomic Bomb - Who is William Onyeabor?
A stellar cast of artists will gather at the Barbican to celebrate the mystery and the infectious genius of William Onyeabor’s electro-funk, and will play his music live for the first time – ever. Guest artists in this special concert date include Damon Albarn, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Kele Okereke (Bloc Party) and LCD Soundsystem’s drummer Pat Mahoney, with more special guest artists to be announced. The house band for this extravaganza comprises of NYC’s Sinkane, featuring main man Ahmed Gallab (guitar, vocals), Ish Montgomery (bass), Jonny Lam (guitar) and Jaytram ‘Jason Trammell’ (drums) who will team up with musician and Beastie Boys producer Money Mark (keyboard).
Born out of the heat of Nigeria’s 1970s funk scene, William Onyeabor is the great synth pioneer who self-released eight nearly impossible-to-find albums between 1978 and 1985 in South-Eastern Nigeria, and then became a Born-Again Christian, refusing to ever speak about himself or his music again.
Only recently musicians and audiences have been waking up to Onyeabor’s formidable force, after Luaka Bop, the label founded by David Byrne, tracked down the man – a process which took about five years – and released one of the most acclaimed reissues of 2013, World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who is William Onyeabor?.
Onyeabor is already becoming a major influence on musicians today, and this Barbican date sees an eclectic mix of artists reinterpreting his music in a world premiere live performance.
Tickets £17.50 – £25.00, Box Office: 020 7638 8891 or visit www.barbican.org.uk