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Taken from London Tourdates Magazine (June 19, 2009)

News - Michael Franti

Following sell-out shows at V-Festival and the Electric
Picnic, Michael Franti and his band Spearhead are back in the UK for a big date
at the Shepherd's Bush Empire this month.


by LTD Staff Writer


Michael Franti"We have always been a live band," says Franti of his reggae / funk fusion big band-style ensemble. "For our band, the hit that most people are taking in sales has actually helped us. People say 'the internet is fucking up my sales' but we looked at it precisely the opposite way."

Coming from anybody else, we'd probably scoff at these words. But the frontman of Spearhead knows what he's talking about. Both Franti and his group (he used to be in a band known as the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, but apparently that wasn't catchy enough) have got big off their mix of funk and reggae and have won themselves a major live reputation – even if they've only recently had their first Top 40 single in the US. It's the first in Franti's twenty-year career, and he says he's not all that bothered about it.

For a guy who has toured in Iraq, Palestine and across Africa, and who shot one of his videos in a grimy Rio de Janeiro favela, Franti has a lot of love for British crowds – and London crowds in particular. "Everybody tells me that Londoners fold their arms, look at the stage and say, 'Entertain me'. I haven't found that! Every time I play in London, it's incredible. And it feels great playing festivals, too. Europe is like the birthplace of festivals for the rest of the world."

You won't have to brave festival conditions to catch Franti this time around. The gig at the Empire is on 27 June.

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