Vancouver's Community-Driven Concert Calendar

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Event Archive - Staff Benda Bilili

Mon. September 19th 2011 The Vogue Theatre (All Ages)
8 pm - 11 pm doors at 7 pm
Cancelled $35

A group of street musicians from the Congo, they were discovered living in poverty in Kinshasa performing songs about the polio that afflicted them, and about life on the streets using, among other things, an instrument made out of rubbish. This is a remarkable band regardless of their background. Not only do they sound incredible, they exude an inscrutable cool: four middle-aged men in wheelchairs and one man on crutches perform startling, precarious dance moves, while another able-bodied band member drops to his knees in a manner even Jimi Hendrix might have considered showy and florid, performing squealing solos on an empty can with a piece of wire stretched across it (a satonge, apparently).

Pitched somewhere between reggae, old-fashioned R&B and the African variant of rumba called soukous, their music is explosively funky and vibrant.


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