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Amadou & Mariam: Roundhouse, London

Nick Hasted, The Independent, 30 July 2009

THIS IS A STRIKINGLY, INHERENTLY VISUAL and rock-infused show, turning what you might expect from a duo once bluntly dubbed "the blind couple from Mali" upside-down. Amadou and Mariam work with Manu Chao and Damon Albarn these days, of course, and have just supported Coldplay in the US, and Blur at Hyde Park. They have been ever-present at Albarn's culture-mashing, night-long Africa Express extravaganzas too, a project inspired, Amadou thinks, by seeing them play with Chao at a Timbuktu festival. Dimanche à Bamako (2005), co-produced by Chao with their French collaborator and manager Marc-Antoine Moreau, sold half a million, and last year's successor, Welcome to Mali, advances their march into the mainstream.

Total word count of piece: 598


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