Global Beats in association with Shades of Soul Ltd


Nu Afro Beat & Dub

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Friday 5 th July 2019

PizzaExpress Live (Holborn)

Soothsayers’ music contains deep, hypnotic grooves, punctuated by emotive horn lines and sublime vocal harmonies featuring the spell-binding voice of Julia Biel plus Idris Rahman and Robin Hopcraft. Lyrically conscious, Soothsayers create a deep and spiritual
musical experience, and have built up a loyal fan base through their consistently high quality live performances around the world and their expanding catalogue of vinyl and cd releases on their own Red Earth label.
Comparisons to the work of the Wailers and Fela Kuti go some way to describing the Soothsayers’ sound but originality is the key to the continuing success and longevity of the

Read more ...

“Soothsayers offer politically-engaged, cliche-free lyrical sentiment delivered in spine- tingling three part harmony. Human Nature is timeless, offering a fresh, contemporary approach to vintage 70s roots-reggae and afrobeat which will please purists at the same time as engaging new audiences” - “

“ precise, melodic vocals with intricate horn led arrangements ...the mood is defiant and joyous .... delightful" - UncutMagazine

In July 2018 Soothsayers released their 7th Studio album “Tradition” (Wah Wah 45s), widely acclaimed by the critics to be “their best yet”. The secret of Soothsayers’ longevity is down to the band’s evolution, keeping them relevant in changing times. Top quality song writing that exudes a joy of music and life that lyrically reflects on social problems and political pitfalls. Radio support for “Tradition” has come from Gideon Coe (BBC R6), David Rodigan (BBC 1xtra ), Steve Lamaq (BBC R6), Craig Charles (BBC Radio 2), Don Letts (BBC R6), Robert Elms (BBC Radio London) plus a host of international radio play and significant Spotify playlists.

Soothsayers’ live performances are where the band take their organic unique and universally uplifting afro - dub sound to the next level combining high quality musicianship with a lyrical message, warm sonics and irresistible dance grooves. Soothsayers have performed at an impressive list of festivals, venues and theatres including Rototom Festival (Spain), The North Sea Jazz Festival, Dhaka World Music Festival, London Jazz Festival, Glastonbury, Barbados World Music Festival.

Live radio sessions include BBC Radio 3, BBC radio London, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service. Soothsayers’ reputation as a great live band and innovative studio producers has led to collaborations with top quality artists including a host of world famous Jamaicans like Johnny Clarke, Cornel Campbell, Michael Prophet, Little Roy as well as great work with UK based artists Mad Professor, Dennis Bovell, Earl 16 and Manasseh. Soothsayers’ band leaders Idris Rahman and Robin Hopcraft have also lent their skills to an array of other projects including Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA, Arun Ghosh, Aswad, Anoushka Shankar, “Fela” The Musical and the National Theatre and many more.

Soothsayers are deeply involved in education and community action and in 2016 started a new project called Youthsayers engaging young musicians in Brixton, South London. This highly successful project has performed at such as The Barbican, Royal Festival Hall , Freedom Sounds Festival - Cologne Germany, The Place Dance Theatre. Up and coming shows for 2019 include London International Ska Festival and Africa in The Square.

Riddim magazine.‘The best thing about Soothsayers is that their sound constantly evolves...the defining element is now threepart vocal harmony, which sweetens much of the work...the album’s overall feeling is oneof optimism, and a belief that love conquers all.’

The Guardian: **** " One of the finest slices of a Anglo Caribbean fusion since The Specials in their prime......artfully mixing in funk and Afrobeat to their deep dub"

Clash Magazine: "a truly intoxicating dub experience... featuring a galaxy of reggae and dub the best jambalaya it’s hot and spicy and will leave you grinning from ear to ear"  

Idris Rahman (vocals/saxophone)
Robin Hopcraft  (vocals/trumpet)
Julia Biel (vocals)
Emmanuel Affram (bass)
Joseph Agyeman (drums)
Andrew Gibson (guitar)