EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

Transglobal Underground

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Friday 22 nd November 2019

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

There are few acts in the UK with as strong an influence, as complex a legacy, and as mysteriously legendary as Transglobal Underground ; even trying to describe what it was has defeated the most eloquent of journalists, and those involved in TGU itself have made no effort to help, refusing to define themselves on the grounds that it wasn’t their job to do so, while rejecting any signs anyone attempted to hang on them.

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"Full of life and heart and drama, it’s good to have that TGU ethos in the here and now"

Songlines 2018

So what is Transglobal Underground? Well, over 25 years it’s been a DJ/musical collective, a working band famous for it’s scorching live shows, a techno soundsystem, a folk festival rabble rouser, a pop group, a club night, a Middle Eastern hit production team, an improvised study group for Indian classical music, an Albanian brass band, a duo..or was it an octet?...a seminar, a medicine show and several things no one involved would admit to if they could even remember them.

Starting out in the 90s as a heady blend of dub, funk and bhangra with a strong Madchester vibe, TGU have taken in a huge mixture of influences and style from around the world, a world they have always seen from the viewpoint of their London base. By the time the word multiculturalism was being bandied about as a buzz word TGU had long moved on , sticking to only two rules; it’s got to be funky and if you hear the warning sound of a barrier ahead, smash it down with bass.

It’s rare that Transglobal Underground get the chance to play a more intimate show beyond the festival and club sets that they’ve been long loved for. As a result their performance at the Pizza Express will be a special chance to see some other sides of the collective, focussing on their dub, rare groove and Indian flavoured roots and showcasing Sheema Mukherjee, the best known British born sitarist working in the country today, multi percussionist Rav Neiyyar, Carribean storyteller and shamanic poet Tuup, rhythm demon Hami ManTu and digital trickster Tim Whelan. Expect a a joyful and unpredictable journey into the bottomless vaults of the Transglobal catalogue and a whole lot of new surprises….better still, expect nothing because the only predictable thing about Transglobal Underground is their unpredictability.