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'Broadcast One' - Dandelion Radio's 1st compilation album

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Artist Info

The Bhundu Boys

Powered by Audioscrobbler™The Bhundu Boys were a Zimbabwean band that played a mixture of chimurenga music with American rock and roll, disco, country, and pop influences. Their style became known as jit, and is quite popular across Africa, with some international success.

The name came from bhundu (meaning "Bush" or "jungle"), in reference to the young boys who used to aid the nationalist guerrilla fighters in the 1970s war against the white minority government of what was then Rhodesia. Lead singer Biggie Tembo (Biggie Rodwell Tembo Marasha) was just such a Bhundu boy.

The Bhundu Boys recorded their first 7" vinyl single at Shed Studios in Harare on 1 February 1983, as part of the Studio's drive to sponsor more local music. They were one of a number of more adventurous bands that had not been contracted by the 2 record companies. Shed Studios was a collaboration between Steve Roskilly, Martin Norris and Bothwell Nyamhondera. The Bhundu Boys reached the top of the Zimbabwean music scene on Shed Studio's Rugare Label, with four number one hits ("Baba munini Francis", "Wenhamo Haaneti", "Hatisitose", and "Tsvimbodzemoto") between 1981 and 1984. They attracted the attention of Owen Elias and his colleague, musician Champion Doug Veitch, who released an EP by the band in the UK under licence from Shed Studios in 1985. This attracted the attention of DJ's John Peel and Andy Kershaw who tirelessly promoted the band. Under further licence from Shed Studios, their first UK album Shabhini was released on the Discafrique label in 1986 and was one of the major independent sellers of the year, and one of Peel's all time favourite albums. The band travelled to UK in 1986 for a live tour organised by Elias, and Scottish graphic artist Gordon Muir became their manager.

After touring the UK for a year, the band appeared to be on the brink of a major commercial breakthrough. They were feted by Eric Clapton and Elvis Costello and Madonna asked them to be her support act at Wembley Stadium where they played to 240,000 people over three nights.

In 1987, just as their second UK album "Tsvimbodzemoto" was released by Elias, again under licence from Shed Studios on the Discafrique label, The Bhundu Boys broke their contract with Shed Studios and signed to Warner Brothers International. Their first album "True Jit", produced by Robin Millar was considered too far a jump in style from their original recordings and was unfavourably received. The band began a long period of further live appearances, releasing other independent CDs but started to fall apart. Leader Biggie Tembo achieved some celebrity on TV and in the press, which irritated the rest of the band, especially the leader Rise Kagona, and Tembo was asked to leave the band in 1990. The band continued in the 1990s but David Mankaba, his replacement Shepherd Munyama, and Shakespeare Kangwena, all died of AIDS.

Without the writing and vocal talents of Biggie Tembo, the band never again produced the same enthusiastic reception by the music press or by the public. Biggie Tembo tried a comeback by collaborating with a Bristol band called "Startled Insects", without success. Returning to Zimbabwe, he tried to produce some more music at Shed Studios, but hanged himself in 1995 in a psychiatric hospital.[1] The band soldiered on, recording two more albums, before calling it quits in 2000 after bassist Washington Kavhai was jailed on an aggravated assault conviction.

Guitarist Rise Kagona currently lives in Scotland and plays in Culture Clash with Champion Doug Veitch. Kuda Matimba lives in London and plays with Harare, a group he started in 2005 together with Kenny Chitsvatsva.

In 2001 Shed Studios issued a fresh compilation of all Bhundu Boys recordings ever made in Zimbabwe, entitled "The Shed Sessions", for release in UK on a double CD, under licence to Gordon Muir.
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Artist biography from last.fm




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