12th November | Trinity

Formed in the Algerian oasis city of Tamanrasset, this group of musicians have been creating music from inside Mali since 1979. Following a couple of well-received festival performances in Denmark and Mali in the early 00s, Tinariwen began to release albums and gain a following outside of Northern Africa. Now in 2019, with their eighth studio album Amadjar still new to the world, this Grammy-winning band of forty years are coming to Bristol to deliver their unique sound to the city.

Tinariwen is comprised of Tuareg musicians, a traditionally nomadic people who inhabit the Sahara Desert and are found throughout Libya, Mali, and Niger and other places in Northern Africa. The sound of the desert permeates their music and is a clear influence on their imagery; their name translates directly as “deserts” too.

Tinariwen’s music has been called many things, from folk to blues, world music and rock, and all are fairly accurate. What Tinariwen creates is an African sounding, sand-washed rock and folk with a blues atmosphere. The music often feels solemn and yet full of optimism, fed by undulating vocals leading over frequent use of call-and-response choir backing. The sound palette is diverse too, with hard rock guitars and distortion alongside traditional African percussion and instrumentation. What results is a sound that is at once folksy and traditional, whilst also sounding cinematic in scope.

See the video for ‘Kel Tinawen’ (feat. Cass McCombs) here: