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JuJu announce live dates

JuJu announce live dates

WOMAD (with Robert Plant) plus the Borderline, BT River of Music more

“Spectacular … They are gripping to watch and thrilling to listen to with the music always sounding rough, ready and right.”

Evening Standard

JuJu is Justin Adams (electric guitar, bendir, backing vocals), Juldeh Camara (lead vocals, ritti, talking drum), Billy Fuller (bass) and Dave Smith (drums, percussion).  Their latest album ‘In Trance‘ (out now on Real World Records) has been recorded live to capture the spirit of JuJu’s electric performances on stage – channelling trancey rhythms from traditional Africa, leftfield jazz and the wilder end of rock.

JuJu have been busy breaking new territories with their live shows (including Reunion Islands, Benelux and Spain), whilst Justin Adams has also been producing new albums by Terakaft and Rachid Taha this year. They have now announced new live UK dates in May, June and July, including a date at The Borderline in London on 17 May, the BT River of Music event and the WOMAD Charlton park festival.

12 May – Norfolk & Norwich Festival

17 May – The Borderline

19 May – Pontardawe Arts Centre, Neath Port Talbot

8 June – Hay on Wye Festival

9 June – Wychwood Festival

23 June – Rosita Trust Midsummer Festival, Lewes

13 July – Frome Festival

14 July – Rhythms of the World Festival, Hitchin

21 July – BT River of Music Festival, London Pleasure Gardens, Royal Victoria Docks

29 July – WOMAD Charlton Park

(full listings info below)


On 21 July, JuJu will be taking part in the BT River of Music event. A spectacular global summit of rhythm and song, the two-day free event will act as a curtain-raiser for the sporting celebrations to follow and will feature artists representing all Olympic and Paralympic nations, from the largest nations to the tiniest ocean island speck. Arguably the most ambitious musical event ever staged in the capital, BT River of Music will present the city’s residents and visitors with a unique opportunity to sample a kaleidoscope of the world’s most vibrant contemporary music. Established, award-winning and emerging artists from every part of the globe will be performing on stages at six iconic sites along the length of the River Thames each hosting music from a different continent.

JuJu will be representing Africa at the event, with Justin curating their set, entitled’The Invisible republic of Juju’.  He explains: “History teaches us an unremitting story of domination and conquest – but music points to another story where cultures have been in dialogue for thousands of years. “The Invisible Republic of Juju” presents a show beyond borders , where the trance connections between Africa, the Arab world, and the spirit of Rock and Roll are riotously celebrated. Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara’s 21st Century psychedelic griot groove is augmented by seven of North Africa’s finest musicians, taking deep tradition and infusing it with the energy of the Arab Spring.”


At this year’s WOMAD Charlton Park festival, on 29 July,  JuJu will perform with Robert Plant (vocals) and Patty Griffin (vocals, guitar) as part of The Sensational Space Shifters, a unique collaborative line-up drawing inspiration from the roots music of Mississippi, Appalachia, Gambia, Bristol and the foothills of Wolverhampton. (The Sensational Space Shifters will also perform at The Sunflower Blues & Gospel Festival in Mississippi, USA, 10 – 12 August.)


(Full dates, album press release and press quotes below.)




Videos, audio, social media etc.


“Nightwalk” music video:


Listen to “Nightwalk” on SoundCloud:


Watch JuJu live: (“Nightwalk”, live in Paris, Kham Meslien on bass) (“Nightwalk”, AVO Sessions in Basel) (“Mariama”, AVO Sessions in Basel) (“Deep Sahara”, AVO Sessions in Basel) (Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara with Robert Plant at WOMAD Abu Dhabi)


Twitter: @juju_band



JuJu live in the UK 

May/ June/ July 2012

(all dates are dates with JuJu’s 4 piece line-up unless otherwise indicated)


Saturday, 12 May, 7.30pm

Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Spiegel Tent, Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich NR1 3BF

Tickets: £15

Box office: 01603 766 400 1930

(JuJu with John Blease on drums)


Thursday, 17 May, 7pm

The Borderline, Orange Yard, Manette Street, London W1D 4JB

Tickets: £14

Box office: 0843 221 0100  1900


Saturday, 19 May, 7.30pm

Pontardawe Arts Centre, 54 Herbert Street, Pontardawe, Neath Port Talbot SA8 4ED

Tickets: £9

Box office: 01639 686868

Friday, 8 June, 10pm

Hay on Wye Festival, Cymru Stage, Dairy Meadows, Hay HR3 5PJ

Tickets: £12.25

Box office: 01497 822 629 2200


Saturday, 9 June

Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse, Prestbury Park, Cheltenham GL50 4SH

Tickets: £115

Box office: 01993 772580

Other acts include James, Hawkwind, Sharon Shannon etc.


Saturday, 23 June

Rosita Trust Midsummer Festival, Mount Harry House, Offham, Lewes BN7 3QW

Tickets: £70

(JuJu with Kham Meslien on bass)


Friday, 13 July, 8pm

Frome Festival, Cheese & Grain, Market Yard, Frome BA11 1BE

Tickets: £14

Box office: 01373 455420 2000


Saturday, 14 July

Rhythms of the World Festival, Hitchin Priory, Tilehouse Street, Hitchin SG5 2DL

Tickets: £10

Other acts include The Damned, Young Knives etc.


Saturday, 21 July

BT River of Music Festival, London Pleasure Gardens, Royal Victoria Docks, London E16 2BS


Sunday, 29 July

WOMAD Charlton Park, Malmesbury SN16 9DG

The Sensational Space Shifters (Robert Plant, Patty Griffin and JuJu)

Tickets: £135


For more info and the international dates:



Album press release


JuJu – ‘In Trance’


Not long ago, on a night lit up by a fat golden moon, JuJu took a trip. Fuelled by rocking guitar and one-string swing, by backseat bass and Afro-jazz beats, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara travelled to the place where tradition meets psychedelia – and then teetered, out there, on the edge. Theirs was a journey of rhythmic circles and open spaces, a journey over age-old grooves and along futuristic highways: a journey where the destination – with its whirling spirals and other kaleidoscopic motifs – counted as much as the journey.


“We just came together, plugged in and played,” says Adams of ‘In Trance’, a one-take marvel that begs repeated listening. “We played it exactly as we play it live. It was a bit like controlling a runaway horse – that is completely spooked!”


If JuJu’s chemistry was evident on their acclaimed 2007 debut ‘Soul Science’ and its equally praised follow up ‘Tell No Lies’, it is almost palpable here. ‘In Trance’ is precisely that: an album that sees Adams’ Les Paul goldtop vying and blending with Camara’s keening bittersweet vocals and fiery ritti playing, and embracing dub reggae and avant-garde jazz en route. Tracks build and circle, layer and knit. Melodies interlock, rhythms cross and the drone guitar builds a web of sound with an African aesthetic and heavy rock fervour.


The two men’s spooky musical empathy is evident to anyone who has ever seen them tear the roof off live. “Justin’s playing gets inside my body, and I can hear the music in his head,” insists Camara. “Justin plays African style.” It’s no secret that the roots of rock (and indeed, blues and reggae) are earthed firmly in the Motherland. Calling on the griot skills he honed in childhood Camara peels off riffs on his ritti like some be-robed Gambian Hendrix, his Fulani-language lyrics only adding to the hallucinogenic feel.


The recording magic took place at Real World Studios, where new band members, Dave Smith and Billy Fuller, brought their own unique strengths to the mix. In the studio, JuJu have created five new tracks that make your body pulsate – music that is raw and swinging and has that slightly distorted sheet-of-sound vibe that Moroccan artists like The Musicians of Jajouka have, where everyone is doing their own little pushes and pulls and twists and twiddles and weaving an incredible sonic web. Two tracks, “Mariama Trance” and “Deep Sahara” have previously appeared on the EP ‘The Trance Sessions’.


Juldeh Camara is a Gambian singer and ritti maestro who was taught to play the single-string West African fiddle by his blind father, who himself was taught directly by the djinn. Having lived and worked in traditional Fula society as a griot – the hereditary poets, praise singers and musicians who carry the cultural knowledge of their people – the UK-based Camara is used to vibing in ways that draw people in then send them somewhere else – to a consciousness-expanding, often mind-blowing state.


Justin Adams is widely regarded as one of England’s most innovative and original guitarists and a child of punk whose long and varied CV includes producing albums by Saharan desert bluesmen Tinariwen and collaborating with the iconic likes of Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel and Jah Wobble.


Bassist Billy Fuller has collaborated with everyone from fellow Bristolians Massive Attack and out-there triphoppers Malachai to Robert Plant and The Strange Sensation (in which Adams plays lead guitar); he’s a member of cult indie industrialists Beak (alongside Portishead’s Geoff Barrow) and does a whole lot more besides.


Dave Smith is one of the finest and most versatile young drummers in Britain. Both influenced by and steeped in West African percussion and classic jazz drumming his explosive style and musical sensitivity has won him shed loads of respect, regardless of genre. As co-leader of Outhouse, a group founded under the aegis of London jazz cooperative Loop Collective, Smith has collaborated with numerous international experimentalists; his group Outhouse Ruhabi – which he developed in the Gambia with five sabar drummers – explore the parallels between jazz improvisation and traditional West African music.


Ex-Shriekback rhythmist Martyn Barker features on the two tracks from ‘The Trance Sessions’.


“The whole album evolved in a very fast and spontaneous manner,” says Adams. “We just went into the studio and did five live takes without headphones or overdubbing. We set out to make swing music, dance music, trance music; we got all those things.”


All those things and more: “It’s still brutal, basic, rough rock’n’roll with one string solos,” says Adams, as Camara looks on and laughs. “Call it what you want but there was definitely something in the air that night.”


We call it JuJu.


‘In Trance’ (CD + Digital / CDRW185) is out now on Real World Records (distributed by Proper) and features seven extended tracks: five are previously unreleased, two come from the EP ‘The Trance Sessions’.


- iTunes Best World Albums of 2011

- #1 Mojo’s Top 50 World Albums of 2011

- #4 fRoots Critics Poll 2011

- Best Group nomination Songlines Music Awards 2012

- Best Albums of 2011 Guitar and Bass magazine

- The African Report’s album pick of 2011

- Les Inrocks best World music album of 2011

- Telerama best World Music album of 2011

- KPFK-FM/Berkeley, Sandy Miranda’s “Best of 2011″ list

- #1 Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Non Western Music Album 2011




UK media reactions to ‘In Trance’:


“Their clearest influences are anything on the Sun and Chess labels, Led Zeppelin, a little Lee Perry and, in the African’s extraordinary fiddle solos, a measure of Hendrix-style firepower.” **** Mojo


“The energy levels are raised.” The Sunday Times


“Avant-jazz dub-trance grooves.” **** The Independent


“Rock music in all but name … JuJu will blow all the competition away.” ***** Songlines (Top of the World album)


“Pushes the sound to the edges of psychedelia and jazz improv.” fRoots


“Amazing what you can do with a string.” The Word


“It’s a heady brew of hard bop, wild folk thunder, invigorating drumming and super-tooled rock dynamics. A culture clash masterclass.” Daily Mirror


“This album gets deep into trance-like grooves with Camara’s ritti winding like a snake over rattling percussion on Djanta Moja and the guitar licks driving Deep Sahara evoking the Touareg sandscape of the Festival in the Desert. Hot stuff.” ***** Evening Standard


“Furious, improvised fusion of African styles, blues and rock … Adams and Camara interact with extraordinary intuition.” **** The Guardian


“An intense, at times crazed live-in-studio session … On “Nightwalk” Adams alternates African-style picking with rock thunder while Camara sends his fiddle on a dervish dance, punctuated by wailing vocals, the rhythm section crashing along.” Uncut


“JuJu combines fat African grooves and driving blues-rock in an impulsive live set.” Jazzwise


“In Trance is the third and most cohesive album of an enduring partnership that seems to have reached a new level of alchemy.” BBC Music


“The result of this unlikely pairing is this furiously syncopated, no-holds-barred rock made marvellously strange by Camara’s squawking fiddle and invocatory singing.” **** The Daily Telegraph


“This is the closest that JuJu have yet come to recreating their ecstatic concert performances.” **** Financial Times


“More rock as a full-on force of nature than rock as a posturing and stolid anachronism. Simultaneously grounded and spiralling off into the stratosphere, this is urgent, epic stuff that doesn’t let up for a moment.” The Independent on Sunday


“What they’re doing here is not a million miles from some of the progressive/psychedelic rock you might have heard in the early 1970s (in a good way, I hasten to add).” The Arts Desk


“Fusing Adams’s lightning-strike of Gibson with Camara’s magical one-string ritti violin.” The Independent (The Information)


“The music has a mesmeric and almost chemical effect.” ***** Music-News


“The combination of Adams’ rugged but regal pitch bends and the unforced hypnosis of the repeating motifs really makes this an interesting outgrowth of rock and folk impulses that equally embrace western and non-western populism with no compromises of artistry.” Echoes


“A riotous, joyful affair … Think trancey rhythms from traditional Africa meeting Led Zeppelin, The Doors and The Prodigy.” The Epoch Times


“This really is trance music, as in scrambling your synapses and taking you somewhere other.”


“Prepare to become firmly entrenched in being entranced.” Extra! Extra!


“Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara have a telepathic connection that seems to transcend the differences between their musical homelands.” Think Africa Press


“JuJu is as wildly raw as it is soothingly entrancing.” The Africa Report

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