Even though rock music formally doesn’t have a rulebook, more often than not it feels like it does. The rigid structures, the themes and the poses can appear mandatory. For prodigious guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar rock or desert blues is an expression of freedom and with that mindset he is boldly reforging not only Saharan music, but rock music itself. Mdou Moctar, a Tuareq living in Niger, has worked so hard to convey the spirit of the families and communities in Niger to the rest of the world and for anyone that came across his music, that is truly a gift. There is a sense of absolute urgency in the way that Mdou Moctar and his band plays and whether he sings about women’s rights, colonialism, inequality, or reflections on love the music is always adrenalizing and hypnotic.


With his latest, hugely celebrated album ‘Afrique Victime’ Mdou Moctor has reached an even bigger audience. Pitchfork gave it the coveted ‘Best New Music’ tag and other influential platforms such as The Guardian and Rolling Stone joined in on the praise. This summer Mdou Moctor and the member of his band – Ahmoudou Madassane, Michael “Mikey” Coltun and Souleymane Ibrahim – will be taking their unforgettable live show to Way Out West and trust us, you have never seen anything quite like it.


Mdou Moctor will be playing at Stay Out West, Thursday August 11th.