This attracted the attention of DJ's John Peel and Andy Kershaw who tirelessly promoted the band. Their album Shabini was released in 1986 and was one of the major independent sellers of the year, and one of Peel's all time favourite albums. 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. The Bhundu Boys signed to Warner Brothers International, but 1987's Robin Millar produced True Jit was unfavourably received and the band began to fall apart. Leader Biggie 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. Biggie Tembo hanged himself in 1995 after a spell in psychiatric hospital. Guitarist Rise Kagona currently lives in Scotland and plays in Culture Clash with Champion Doug Veitch. Visit http://www.bhunduboy.co.uk to read his story and listen to his new music. Read more on Last.fm.
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