What they say…
London Evening Standard
London Afrobeat Collective is a 9-piece afro-funk noise bomb that is fast becoming a household name in every European town who claims to know anything about a good party. Their live show can be a truly extraordinary experience for the audience who is ready to let go and surrender to the unstoppable force of the groove, and people leave feeling they’ve run a marathon and had a spiritual awakening at the same time. The band is a guaranteed party-starter – any stage, anywhere, delivering afrolicious party music born of their truly global DNA.
At the heart of LAC is a tight, funky, rhythm section, beating as hard and as fast as the music demands. Bassist John Matthews, guitarists Alex Farrell and Alex Szyjanowicz, conga player Lee Crisp and drummer Giuliano Osella form a powerful quintet. With such a strong and savvy rhythm section in place, the horns — Andy Watts on trumpet, Edmund Swinburn and Klibens Michelet on tenor and baritone saxophones — need to be confident and assertive. Collectively and individually, they are. As a section, the trio bursts out with immediately catchy riffs: the occasional solos are crisp and melodic. Vocalist Juanita Euka has a strong personality and an equally strong voice. They enable her to stamp her authority on the songs, delivering the strident and direct lyrics with conviction and with a vocal power that heightens the impact of the music laid down by her bandmates.
Collectively, LAC has risen the ranks to become a regular feature at many of the major UK festivals such as Glastonbury, Bestival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Secret Garden Party, Boomtown Fair, Green Man, Standon Calling, Wilderness, Shambala, as well as festivals and clubs across Europe. They even made it to Africa, having garnered a participation at Felabration, Nigeria’s annual festival to celebrate the legacy of Fela Kuti – the pinnacle of LAC’s 2015 tour there being a landmark performance at the New Africa Shrine in Lagos State to over 10,000 people.
But London Afrobeat Collective are not just an incredible live show. The band released their self-titled debut album in 2012, which they produced and published independently. The band was still very much in the building process and only beginning to realize there was some potential. Fast forward to 2015 and follow-up “Food Chain” is released, once again entirely self-produced. Full of dancefloor-filling beats and politically-aware lyrics, this album put London Afrobeat Collective firmly on the global musical map as a formation to look out for. “Food Chain” received widespread radio support on stations such as BBC 6 Music, Radio X and BBC Radio 2, as well as glowing reviews in The Sunday Times, London Evening Standard, Blues & Soul and Songlines Magazine to name just a few.
In 2019 the band celebrated 10 years of existence by releasing their third album “Humans“, which channels the energy of their incendiary live show and captures the wide range of influences that make up their unique sound. Bringing Fela Kuti, Parliament-Funkadelic and Frank Zappa into the 21st century is their mission, and one that will keep them writing and developing their sound for many years yet!