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Taken from Undertheradar (Sep 01, 2008)

Michael Franti + Spearhead to play NZ

by Undertheradar

Michael Franti
Michael Franti + Spearhead to play NZ

One of the most moving and politically charged writers, Michael Franti and his band Spearhead, return to Australia and New Zealand for a concert tour to celebrate the release of their latest album, All Rebel Rockers.

Californian-born poet, musician and composer, Franti blends hip hop, funk and reggae together with his outspoken political and progressive lyrics and has gone on to become renowned as not only a worldwide million-selling recording artist, but also a leader in the peace and social justice movement. Franti continues to influence people with his speaking engagements at Universities, panels at W.H.O./U.N. in Geneva and his work with organisations such as Oxfam and Amnesty International. Most notably is the international message and expansion of Franti's own "Power to the Peaceful" festival which has drawn more than 50,000 people for one day to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco annually for the last 9 years.

Historically, Franti has toured non-stop worldwide, from his early days with the Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy supporting U2, followed by his band Spearhead performing with the likes of Ben Harper, The Fugees, Dave Mathews, Cypress Hill, Billy Bragg, Matisyahu and at countless international music festivals such at Glastonbury, V-Fest and Japan's Fuji Rock., Australia's East Coast Blues Festival and the Falls Festivals.

In 1999, Franti began a more soulful and deeper exploration of his musical sound and politics. His writing with The Beatnigs and Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy delivered a more aggressive format for controversial themes inspired by current affairs while Franti's albums with Spearhead carries a more compassionate delivery with a few hell raisers thrown in. "Stay Human" touched upon the unjust nature of the death penalty and corporate globalization; "Everyone Deserves Music" promotes unity and personal empowerment. In 2006, inspired by a journey into the war zones of Iraq, Palestine and Israel Franti released the album "Yell Fire!" and his directorial debut and award-winning film titled "I Know I'm Not Alone". The documentary explores the human cost of war through poignant imagery and narrative with a dose of humor to break the tension. The film garnered support and critical acclaim from Anthony Minghella, Chris Blackwell, Serj Tankian, the documentary also earned for itself the Amnesty International "Audience Award Winner" and the Harlem International Film Festival "Best International Documentary".

All Rebel Rockers was recorded in Kingston, Jamaica, with reggae's most prolific production teams, Sly & Robbie. For those yet to hear this album, they will find that this new release deviates from Franti & Spearhead's previous sound and comprises a hybrid dub-infused soul flavour with some hard-hitting dub rock production.

Michael Franti and Spearhead's last tour of Australia got rave reviews in the Australian press: "with his band in extraordinary form, Michael Franti hit the ground running and kept spirits high from the first to the last note", Sunday Mail Adelaide

'a truly amazing Sunday night of entertainment', Db Magazine Adelaide

Australia and New Zealand once more welcome with open arms Michael Franti and Spearhead performing at the following venues.



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