Thoughts Aboard the Africa Express #5
2009 AND 2010 UK BEATBOX CHAMPION : Reeps One
The Africa Express was Inspiring, tiring and wonderfully challenging, I played in the early hours of the day I was due to board the express from Euston. So little sleep just added to the dream-like nature of turning up and being surrounded by hand selected, talented musicians. I’ll be honest I think that feeling was the closest anyone will ever get to leaving for Hogwarts…
My instrument being so different and having so many musical places within a sound meant the whole trip I could weave in and out of different jams and vibes and it was amazing to focus on individual sounds as opposed to creating a whole sound scape like I’m used too, I even picked up some knew African percussion sounds like the talking drum. It was definitely the most musically healthy week of my life.
I think my off-stage highlight was the night after the Cardiff show. The hotel had a huge entrance hall with a bar and I remember walking in and it looking like a Greek philosophers amphitheatre. All sorts of talented individuals with arms round eachother bonding, sharing and challenging each others ideas. We had had a few nights to settle and gel but not near enough the end to feel it’s was nearly over. I said that on that night we were the most varied and resourceful band in the world. It was not about individuals anymore.
In Bristol I was sent down to a cafe in Bristol with Jupiter. They played, I played and then we collaborated. The moment that stood out for me was one of the percussionists could not speak a word of English, I could not speak any french, but when we were playing there was a moment we both made the exact same unplanned decision at the same time and we locked in to the exact same groove. His face lit up and he was looking at me with a massive grin. From then we still never had a convocation but we were definitely friends. Oh and on that Jam John Paul Jones from Led Zeplin joined us. No biggie…
What does ‘freedom’ mean to you
To be able to express anything in any way without restraint or persecution … And to be able to take in and have access to any expression without Judgement or consequence… Owning a jet pack also comes to mind.