with special guests Chikchika

  • Music
  • Standing
  • Forum Melbourne

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Buy tickets$87*Licensed venue, 18+
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A group of men wearing white and blue robes and head coverings, in the desert.


Tuareg rock pioneers bring guitar-driven grooves of hope, struggle and exile from the mountains of Azawad to the desert plains and beyond.

In 1963 Tinariwen’s founder Ibrahim Ag Alhabib saw his father, a Turang rebel, executed by the Azawad government. Growing up between deserts and refugee camps of Algeria, Ibrahim was regarded as a wanderer. One day—inspired by a western at a makeshift cinema—he built his own guitar out of an oil can, a stick and bicycle brake wire. Ibrahim learned to play by practicing old Tuareg melodies, Arabic pop and Azawad blues. By the late ‘70s he was performing alongside friends at the weddings and parties of the exiled Tarang community—songs of homesickness, longing, love and resistance. This was the beginning of Tinariwen (or ‘The Desert Boys’).

Over the decades Tinariwen honed their own desert sound. Hypnotic, languid jams that build to feverish grooves and blistering blues. They’ve toured with the Rolling Stones and recorded with the likes of Nels Cline, TV on the Radio and Kurt Vile. From campfires to stadiums, they unite and mesmerise. 

Tinariwen will be supported by the Melbourne/Naarm-based Chikchika. Chikchika features renowned Oromo singer-songwriter Muluu Baqqalaa with Tigrinya vocalists Anbessa Gebrehiwot and Haftu Reda. Accompanied by traditional Eritrean and Ethiopian stringed instruments, the krar and masinko, Chikchika weave important stories of culture, love and peace into percussion heavy and up-tempo tunes. Multi-instrumentalist Dale Gorfinkel, and Michael McNab on the drum kit round out this new voice in Australian music