Lebanese alt-rock four-piece Mashrou’ Leila have found a huge following combining electro-pop and alt-rock anthems with political commentary on freedom, LGBT rights, race, religion and Arabic identity in the modern world. The band started life in 2008 as the result of late-night jam sessions at the American University of Beirut, gradually transforming into a an ambitious, fiercely articulate quartet. Spring 2019 will see the band head out on their biggest European tour to date, performing at Gorilla on 9th March, fresh from an appearance at Wasla Festival.
The band’s work has drawn controversy in their native Lebanon, often due to their calls for self-expression and a judgment-free culture, a notion often stifled in a conservative society. Through their relevant and charged lyrics, their music has resonated with fans all over the globe, gaining international recognition for the band. The band have recently completed their third tour of America, where they have also found a huge following, dubbed “the voice of their generation” by CNN, whilst the Financial Times have named them “the Arab world’s most influential independent band”. The band will be making their first appearance in Manchester since playing Club Academy in June 2014, returning in support of their “soon to be announced” fifth studio album.
Mashrou’ Leila perform at Gorilla on Saturday 9th March 2019. Tickets are available here.
Photo by Tarek Moukaddem.