At this year’s AIM Awards on August 12, Damon Albarn led a tribute performance to the dearly departed Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen.
For the award show’s first virtual ceremony on August 12, Albarn performed his 2014 song with Allen, “Go Back.” He was accompanied by Simon Tong, the former Verve guitarist who was also Albarn and Allen’s bandmate in The Good, the Bad & the Queen; Femi Koleoso, the Ezra Collective drummer who was Allen’s friend and student; and Seye Adelekan and Remi Kabaka Jr of Gorillaz. In May, Gorillaz released the song “How Far,” which Allen had contributed to, upon his passing.
Koleoso also curated another tribute to Allen for the AIM Awards: a medley featuring musicians from the UK jazz scene like Nubya Garcia, Mutale Chashi, Tobi Adenaike and more. Allen was also posthumously awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award, which his brother Ignatius accepted.
Watch the tribute performance of “Go Back,” as captured by fans and uploaded to YouTube: