iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for 01/11/2009

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio


2 hours
First broadcast:
Sunday 01 November 2009

The thirty-year musical and social history of Tinariwen is a fascinating and inspiring tale. Initially a loose collection of displaced Touareg musicians centred around Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, who, although born in Mali, grew up in the refugee camps near the Malian border in Algeria and later around the southern Algerian city of Tamanrasset.

Coming together in the late 1970s with a shared passion for everything from traditional Touareg music & poetry to western rock and pop artists such as Hendrix, Santana, Bob Marley and Led Zeppelin, the collective steadily built their reputation in and around the Sahara desert.

By the end of the 1990s Tinariwen's reputation had begun to spread beyond their Saharan stronghold - in 1999 the band played a few gigs in France and in 2001 they played at the first 'Festival in the Desert' in Mali where they were heralded as the stars of the show and arguably, at this point, set out on the path that would see them celebrated in Europe as one of the most instantly recognizable and loved bands from Africa.

Success came swiftly after this point - by the end of 2001 the band had performed at WOMAD and the South Bank in London and released their 'debut' album The Radio Tisdas Sessions.

In the past eight years the band have played over 700 concerts in Europe as well as releasing a further two albums, Amassakoul in 2004 and Aman Iman in 2007. Along the way they have picked up a number of awards (including the BBC Award for World Music in 2005) and a raft of 'legendary' fans including the likes of Robert Plant, Carlos Santana, Brian Eno, Thom Yorke, TV on the Radio and Bono & the Edge.

They'll be playing Bob selections from their latest album Imidiwan: Companions.

Music Played

23 items
  • Image for Steve Miller

    Steve Miller Rock 'N' Me

    Greatest Hits, POLYGRAM TV

  • Image for Roy Hall

    Roy Hall Three Alley Cats

    Foot Tappin' and Dance at the Screamin F BEAR FAMILY

  • Image for Bill Mack

    Bill Mack Cat Just Got Into Town

    Classic Rockabilly, Proper

  • Image for Marybeth D'Amico

    Marybeth D'Amico A Love Story

    A Love Story, COP CIN

  • Image for Scapegoat Wax

    Scapegoat Wax Space To Share

    Okeeblow, Grand Royal

  • Image for St. Spirit

    St. Spirit Prelude Nothing To Hide

    Okeeblow, Grand Royal Records

  • Image for Jefferson Airplane

    Jefferson Airplane Martha

    The Essential Jefferson Airplane, RCA/Legacy

  • Image for James Yuill

    James Yuill This Sweet Love


  • Image for Ana Egge

    Ana Egge Quitting Early

    Road To My Love, Grace/Parkingsong

  • Image for Betty Soo

    Betty Soo Get Clean

    Heat Sin Water Skin, BettySoo.com

  • Image for Tinariwen

    Tinariwen Arawan

    Amassakoul, Independent Records Ltd

  • Image for Led Zeppelin

    Led Zeppelin Kashmir

    The Life We Chose, Atlantic

  • Image for Mark Germino

    Mark Germino Rex Bob Lowenstein

    Radartown, RCA

  • Image for Silversun Pickups

    Silversun Pickups Substitution

    Swoon, Sire

  • Image for Kasabian

    Kasabian Secret Alphabets

    West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, Sony

  • Image for Ibrahim Ag Alhabib

    Ibrahim Ag Alhabib Assouf Ag Assouf

    Eyadou Leche;, Elaga Hamid;

  • Image for Ibrahim Ag Alhabib

    Ibrahim Ag Alhabib Tenalle Chegret

    Eyadou Leche;, Elaga Hamid;

  • Image for John Lee Hooker

    John Lee Hooker Boogie Chillin

    The History of Rhythm and Blues 1942-52, Rhythm and Blues Records

  • Image for Jimi Hendrix

    Jimi Hendrix And The Wind Cries Mary

    Experience Hendrix, EXPERIENCE HENDRIX

  • Image for Ibrahim Ag Alhabib

    Ibrahim Ag Alhabib Chabiba

    Eyadou Leche;, Elaga Hamid;

  • Image for Tinariwen

    Tinariwen Imidiwan Afrik Tendam

    Imidiwan : Companions, Independiente

  • Image for Seasick Steve

    Seasick Steve Diddley Bo

    Man From Another Time, Atlantic

  • Image for Bo Diddley

    Bo Diddley Bo Diddley

    The Chess Box 1, MCA

  • Tinariwen



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss