Revere and Toumani Diabate tour diary: The last night – Brighton

It was with heavy hearts that we headed down the motorway to Brighton for the last night of the tour, and the sense that something wonderful was coming to an end hung tangibly between us all.

However, this was slightly alleviated by the BEST LOAD-IN EVER. It may seem trivial to you, but after two decades of gigging  it was an absolute dream to be able to park right opposite the stage door and trundle the harp a few feet to the back of the stage. I even took a photo for posterity:

Outside Brighton Corn Exchange

The venue was amazing too – we were playing in the Corn Exchange – part of the venue complex by the Pavilion:

Brighton Dome

Team photo!

Team photo!

Kath checks out the dressing room:

Our dressing room in Brighton

And I check out the rider – they had Montezuma dark chocolate buttons!!

Best rider yet

We went to an amazing toastie shop in the South Lanes for a late lunch:

Stephen, Ryan and Kath waiting for toasties

Awesome hot chocolate!

Hot chocolate!

Unfortunately Stephen came a cropper right before we went on stage, falling down a carelessly opened hatch backstage in the dark and badly grazing and bruising his leg.

Stephen comes a cropper

Like the true professional he is, he carried on regardless and we played really well. Toumani joined us for our last song – the Be Mankan/Love Will Tear Us Apart medley, and our harp/kora duet was probably the best of the tour.

Revere on stage in Brighton

Yet again, Toumani played a corking set:

Toumani Diabate onstage in Brighton

As an encore he was joined on stage by another kora player – Baboucar Konte – and a fantastic singer (who also plays kora), Jali Fily Cissokho. The two harps blended seamlessly together, and the singer’s voice was magical:

Toumani Diabate and his guests

Here’s some Youtube footage of their performance (It’s a bit shakey, mind):

But that wasn’t enough for the last night, so as a final encore Toumani was joined by Stephen for a performance of “their” song:

Toumani Diabate and Stephen in Brighton

And then it was over. All that remained was to head backstage for some sad goodbyes (though we hope they’re more ‘au revoir’ than farewell forever) and take a few photos for posterity:

Revere and Toumani Diabate with his band

Here’s me and the main man: Toumani Diabate – kora maestro and one of the most amazing musicians I’ve ever had the privilege to meet and perform with. And he was *lovely*:

Me and Toumani

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