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A connection to the last post from last year, in the video playlist two live recordings from these four and now two radio sessions.
|The Four Brothers 2000.Dec.29 in London (source: flickr album)|
In 1977 four musicians from Zimbabwe, Alex Chipaika-Phiri (guitar), Marshal Munhumumwe (drums, vocals and a nephew of Thomas Mapfumo), Edward Matigasi-Ulaya (guitar) and Never Mutare (bass) formed a band and, though not related at all, called themselves The Four Brothers for their first recording. That name was meant to be temporary, but as that first recording, "Mandega", made such an impact, they decided to keep it.
In the following years they made many recordings, many became big hits in Zimbabwe, especially the after independence in 1980. In 1986 the band was approached by Stern's Africa from London to tour Europe, contracts were signed and between 1987 and 1990 the Four Brothers had performed in over ten countries in Europe and even in Canada.
In the UK they became favourites of BBC radio DJs Andy Kershaw and John Peel, who started playing their music regularly and recorded several sessions with them. John Peel and his wife had enjoyed the Four Brothers when visiting Zimbabwe, Peel himself wished that they could play at his birthday party. So his wife secretly organised that to happen on his 50th birthday in 1989 in the garden behind his own house.
In the early 1990s ill fate hit the Brothers, first Chipaika-Phiri and Matigasi-Ulaya died and later Munhumumwe, following a car crash, suffered a stroke and was unable to continue to perform with the band. Replacements were found in Frank Sibanda, Robrum Chauraya and Albert Ruwizhi, so Never Mutare, as the only original bandmamber, could continue to play and succesfully going on international tours as The Four Brothers.
Finally in 2001 Munhumumwe died at the age of 49 and the following year bass guitarist Never Mutare did his very last breath.
In 2016, Marshall Munhumumwe Jr., the son of the founder, decided to join the new Four Brothers/Makombe Brothers band as their manager, to maintain his father's legacy. However, this new band has struggled to gain traction in the music industry due to scepticism from promoters and the public.
summarised from https://www.herald.co.zw/four-brothers-lost-musical-heroes/
Listen to Mberko Yakaramba from the 1994 session
FOUR BROTHERS 1994-2000 - Peel Sessions #3/4
Peel Session #3 - rec.1994.Oct.27 - bc.1994.Dec.09
tracklist: 1.Mbereko Yakaramba* / 2.Takabva Neko* / 3.Tsvaga Hunhu* / [missing 4.Wachiveiko]
line-up: Marshall Ticharwe Munhumumwe - drums / Never Mutare - bass / Robrum Chauraya - rhythm guitar / Frank Sibanda - guitar
source: repeat 1995.Jul.29 in John Peel Show
Peel Sesssion #4 - rec.2000.Sep.06 - bc.2000.Sep.28
tracklist: 1.Vamwene* / 2.Ndibvubamire* / 3.Ndateterera* / 4.Regai Nditaure*
source: broadcast 2000.Sep.28 in John Peel Show
More from and about the Four Brothers
- Peel Sessions #1/2 from 1988/1989 at maggotcaviar
- Several Four Brothers' albums at Global Groovers
- Zimbabwe compilation incl.Four Brothers at likembe
- Good articles by Fred Zindi in the Zimbabwean media through google [best included in download]
- John Peel's Desert Island Disc incl.The Four Brothers - johnpeelarchive [audio of Peel about The Four Brothers in download]
- The Four Brothers ca.1990 live in London: Vimbai / Uchandifunga [with subtitles!]
- Photos of The Four Brothers 2000.Dec.29 at the Africa Centre in London - flickr album
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