“A terrific 12 piece band who intensify the music’s seductively repetitive rhythms” The Independent
“The on stage band works up a storm as they pound through Fela Kuti’s hits to electrifying effect” The Metro
In 2011 the groundbreaking Broadway production, FELA! arrived at London’s National Theatre. Telling the life story of the Nigerian icon Fela Kuti, the show was embraced by London crowds and completed a sell out run with rave reviews. At the heart of the story was an onstage band that pumped out Fela’s music with an authenticity and class that was essential to the show’s success.
This was the birth of The Fontanelles. The natural step was to keep the flame burning once the curtain fell for the last time at The National as the band were asked to perform countless shows in their own right.
Fela’s music was a musical launch pad and common for a group of players whose experience and influences spread far and wide. In the spirit of Fela , the band have forged their own identity with original music that takes in influences from the Nigerian master to dub , Ethio funk , jazz , film scores and beyond.
Collectively the band have played with the likes of Tony Allen , Africa Express, Plan B, Soothsayers, Johnny Clarke, Courtney Pine and Adele, John Legend, Tom Jones, Keziah Jones, Soothsayers, Jazz Jamaica, McCoy Tyner, Barry White, Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA, Massive Attack , Keziah Jones, Grace Jones, The Mighty Diamonds, Bob Andy, Joss Stone to name but a few.