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2023 Womex Award winners BCUC head to Wales

21 Feb 2024 3 minute read
BCUC. Image: BCUC Facebook

An award-winning group that perform indigenous hedonistic trance in all eleven official languages of South Africa will be heading to Wales for two special gigs this March.

From humble beginnings rehearsing in a shipping container a stone’s throw from the church where Desmond Tutu organised the escape of the most wanted anti-Apartheid activists of Soweto, BCUC have grown to become one of the world’s most celebrated bands.

Ancient and contemporary

They have played some of the biggest stages at many of the most important festivals in the world: Glastonbury West Holts, Roskilde,  Afropunk Brooklyn, Dour, Worldwide, Womad, Fusion, Sziget, FMM Sines, Beaches Brew, Boomtown, Colours of Ostrava, Couleur Café.

Having shaken up the South African music scene with a sound that mixes the ancient and the contemporary, this septet is headed for the Swansea Valley on 15 March, following a gig at Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach earlier that week on 12 March.

Like their elders, Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness see their music as a hedonistic trance, but also as a weapon of political and spiritual liberation.

2023 even saw them win the prestigious Womex Artist Award, an accolade usually reserved for much older artists, in recognition of their fearless work ethic and prodigiously transformational live shows.

The seven-piece band has been mesmerising audiences both locally and globally with its indigenous funk and high-energy performances that have fast made it one of South Africa’s most successful musical exports.

Artistic heirs to Philip “Malombo” Tabane and Batsumi, they give contemporary voice to the ancestral traditions of indigenous peoples. Jazz sounds of 1970s and ‘80s productions replaced by hip-hop influences and punk-rock energy, taking the listener on an intriguing epic journey, sharing their controversial yet interesting views on modern Africa.

“Harsh realities of the voiceless”

Singing in all eleven official languages of South Africa, they tackle the harsh realities of the voiceless, especially the plight of the uneducated workers at the bottom of the social food chain. BCUC taps into the elusiveness of the spirit world of ancestors by which they are inspired. The Africa portrayed by BCUC is not poor, but rich in tradition, rituals and beliefs.

“We bring fun and emo-indigenous Afro psychedelic fire from the hood,” says vocalist Kgomotso Mokone.

Tickets for the band’s performance at The Welfare on 15 March are available from the venue’s website, in person or by calling 01639 843163.

Clwb Ifor Bach performance tickets for 12 March can be purchased here.

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