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Sidi Touré Sets Out On Tour This Week
Jacob Boswall , January 21st, 2013 10:06

Touré gets together with Bassekou Kouyaté and Tamikrest for UK and France Sahara Soul tour

Sidi Touré, along with a host of fellow Malian musicians, including Bassekou Kouyaté and Ngoni Ba and Tamikrest, will be setting out for a three-date tour beginning later this week.

The Sahara Soul tour will be stopping by the Barbican in London this Saturday, January 26, and Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall on Sunday, January 27, finishing at the Gaité Lyrique in Paris next Tuesday, January 29. Get tickets for the London date here and Glasgow here.

The tour represents the Malian creative community's stance against the Islamic militant forces that have ravaged the country's northern regions, including Gao, Touré's hometown.

We last talked to the guitarist and singer in an interview ahead of his first gig in the UK, a Quietus-sponsored date at London's Cafe Oto last November, when he spoke both about having to act as a mouthpiece for Mali's Sahel region, as well as evincing his indestructible belief in music: "Currently the people who are in the north of Mali, they think that music is Satan. In Gao, they've burned the instruments of the Gao regional orchestra [The Songhaï Stars, of which Touré was formerly leader]. It's crazy, they've entered buildings, seized instruments, taken them outside and set fire to them. But I think music is something that brings people together, because in a world without music people will eat each other alive!

"When you're asked to be spokesman for your country it is a burden, of course, because you have to also talk about your country in all its splendour as well as everything else that's happening but I do it willingly. The message I have to give to people is to believe in yourselves, to take hold of their courage with both hands. Where there's sadness there is happiness and where there is happiness there is sadness. Everything that's happening is ephemeral, it will pass and Mali will be unified and peace will triumph because hatred and war have no place here. We'll leave that in the past, the only war that matters is the war against underdevelopment."

The tour also comes off the back of his second album for Thrill Jockey, last year's Koïma, recorded in his new home of Bamako. Have a watch of the video below as a preview of what to expect from Touré's live show: