© 2013 Womad Ltd
Company Reg. No. 2734599
Place of registration : England
Registered address :
From Sierra Leone
Impossibly upbeat sounds born out of the worst suffering
When musicians talk about hardship, it rarely goes beyond having dressing-room towels that are anything less than whiter than white. Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars know all about hardship, suffering and division. Forced to flee the country during its brutal civil war (where one infamous rebel attack on the capital Freetown was codenamed Operation Kill Every Living Thing), the band formed in the refugee camps across the border in Guinea. Having entertained their fellow residents for several years, they were brought to the attention of the wider world through the excellent 2006 documentary Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. But this is a band that doesn't have to rely on a humbling back-story to get people's attention. Their impossibly upbeat sound, drawing heavily on highlife and reggae, is simply irresistible, a life-affirming riposte to life under the gun and the grenade. It's also won the ears of Keith Richards, Paul McCartney and, slightly implausibly, Aerosmith. This star-studded fan club awaits your membership application.
(Biography by Nige Tassell 2010)