Brand new album, Flight – with major UK tour – November 2018
With album sales now topping one and a half million and two Grammy nominations to date, Afro Celt Sound System celebrated their 20th Anniversary in 2016 with an acclaimed album, The Source.
ECC Records are now delighted to announce the release of Flight, the eighth studio album by this ground-breaking collective. Flight, released on 23rd November, will be supported by a major ten day UK wide tour (November 2018, including London’s Barbican Centre on 21st) and will explore themes of migration – both human and avian – with a dazzling cast of stellar musicians from around the globe.
Afro Celt Sound System have invited three other large collectives to join them on this album and by doing so, shine a spotlight on migration, with a particular focus on refugees. These include the Amani Choir from the Democratic Republic of Congo with music director Emmanuela Yogolelo, who has a refugee background. The album also features Stone Flowers, the band supported by Music Action International, a charity who helps transform lives affected by war, torture & armed conflict through music and song, alongside the Johannesburg based African Gospel Singers.
The album also references the environment and is in part inspired by ECC Records owner’s Simon Emmerson and Mark Constantine’s shared passion for bird-watching. Flight is perhaps Afro Celt Sound System’s most overtly political album and draws from Armagh-born vocalist and flautist Ríoghnach Connolly and Emmanuela’s work within the refugee community of Manchester and across the north west of England.
Formed by Grammy-nominated musician and record producer Simon Emmerson, Afro Celt Sound System are a European and African based collective who have forged a reputation for their energetic, uplifting shows. Winners of the Songlines 2017 Best Group award, they combine folk traditions of different cultures in a unique and innovative way.
Thirteen self-penned tracks on Flight introduce moving devotional songs alongside Afro Celt Sound System’s trademark driving afro house, with drum and bass beats, bold west African brass and exuberant electronic rhythms and bass lines. Central to the album is a 4-part ‘migration’ medley’ drawing parallels between bird and human migration and ending with Ríoghnach’s embracing lament. Recorded for the 1st time in the band’s career as a live studio performance, it’s the closest they’ve got to capturing the dynamic of the gigging band in a studio; gone are the loops and samples that used to provide the backdrop to the band’s sound, now replaced by the passionate performances which make the bands live shows so exhilarating and distinctive.
Simon Emmerson is joined by long-term members’ vocalist, kora and balafon player N’faly Kouyaté and Dhol Foundation drummer Johnny Kalsi but both album and tour will feature contributions from more than seventeen musicians and at selected gigs will also include the Amani Choir. This host of outstanding musicians include Ríoghnach Connolly; off-grid Highland Crofter, Griogair (vocals and highland pipes); Amani Choir MD Emmanuela Yogoelo; bodhrán player and percussionist Robbie Harris and Malian master drummer and percussionist Kalifa Knoé. Bass is provided by Mass, Simon ‘Palmy’ Richmond, Richard Evans and Simon Emmerson. The pipe, fiddle and flute tunes are all original and performed and written by Scottish Fiddler, Ewen Henderson, County Mayo Piper, Emer Mayock and flautist, Ríoghnach Connolly. As well as the Amani choir, the band are also joined on Flight by very special guests, Stone Flowers, The Kick Horns and the African Gospel Singers
Flight was recorded in more than thirteen studios in Africa and Europe and is written, arranged, engineered and mixed by Afro Celt Sound System collective. The executive producer is Mark Constantine and the album is released on his and Emmerson’s label, ECC Records. Label artwork has been produced by Jamie Reid, legendary punk artist, cultural activist and ACSS founding member.
Artists’ website: http://www.afroceltsoundsystem.org.uk/
Afro Celt Sound System live:
Wed 14 November TORQUAY Princess Theatre, Torbay Road, Torquay TQ2 5EZ
Box Office 0844 871 7615 / Tickets £26.00 / https://bit.ly/2MYk1s3
Thu 15 November FROME Cheese & Grain, Market Yard, Justice Ln, Frome BA11 1BE
Box Office 01373 455420 / Tickets £27.50 / cheeseandgrain.com
Fri 16 November POOLE Lighthouse
Poole’s Centre For The Arts, 21 Kingland Rd, Poole BH15 1UG
Box Office 01202 280000 / Tickets £25.00 / lighthousepoole.co.uk
Sat 17 November NEWCASTLE Tyne Theatre, 117 Westgate Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4AG
Box Office 0844 2491 000 / Tickets £25.50 / tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk
Sun 18 November LEEDS Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 3AD
Box Office 0113 376 0318 / Tickets £26.50 / leedstownhall.co.uk
Tue 20 November BRIGHTON The Dome, Church St, Brighton BN1 1UE
Box Office 01273 709709 / Tickets £27.00 / brightondome.org
Wed 21 November LONDON Barbican, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS
Box Office 020 7638 8891 / Tickets £27.50 – 29.50 / barbican.org.uk
Thu 22 November CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange, 2 Wheeler St, Cambridge CB2 3QB
Box Office 01223 357851 /Tickets £25.00 / cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/cornex
Fri 23 November MANCHESTER RNCM (Concert Hall), 124 Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9RD
Box Office 0161 907 5555 / Tickets £25.00 / rncm.ac.uk
Sat 24 November WARWICK Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
Box Office 024 7652 4524 / Tickets £27.00 / warwickartscentre.co.uk