It seems so very fitting that The Long Road EP by The British Red Cross would open with a song by Tinariwen – whose founding member was raised in a refugee camp.
The Grammy Award winning band whose name loosely translates to ‘People of the desert’, wrote the song ‘Kek Algahalam Mas Tasossam’ (Why Is The World Silent). Whilst I don’t understand the words of the song, I get an uplifting feeling through the tempo of the drum. The fact that the group sing the chorus in harmony, sounds like they’re a united force, singing of their trouble and lack of understanding at other people’s attitudes in the world.
It’s interesting and a rather powerful thing that the first two songs of the EP should be in a different language. The sympathetic ear wants to learn and understand the struggles which the singers sing of, whilst the ignorant will switch off at the slightest barrier.
Listening to Didier Kisala with his guitar on ‘Who Are You?’ you really can hear the plight in his voice, the pleading, the heavy burden, further reaffirmed by spoken word artist Scroobius Pip as he tells a story of struggle.
I love ‘World Peace’ by Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars with its reggae influence as they preach a message of wanting peace, help and love.
Robert Plant CBE reworks Elbow‘s track ‘The Blanket of Night’ and Kindness end the EP with ‘A Retelling’ a sad real life story of a refugee called Ayman, reflecting on the things that he misses about his home and the huge challenge of knowing that his family and friends are living in danger.
I would say The Long Road ep is well worth the £3.99 asking price, with all money raised from the album going to the British Red Cross refugee services in the UK.
Download the album now via