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Damon Albarn brings Africa Express to Middlesbrough

Africa Express is the name of the group - Albarn said he never imagined it as an actual train Photo: ITV

The Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn brought his music collective Africa Express to Middlesbrough for a day of free gigs and workshops with local musicians and buskers.

Africa Express is made up of 80 musicians from around the world, including Amadou and Mariam, Rizzle Kicks, and members of Bombay Bicycle Club. They usually get together to play events like Glastonbury festival but instead, they were busking around the town and playing a one-off concert at Middlesbrough Town Hall.

Damon Albarn is one of the founders of the Africa Express Credit: ITV

The group arrived on a specially-commissioned train to Middlesbrough from London Euston and on their arrival they were mobbed by fans.

Albarn found fame with Blur but is known for his unusual side projects Credit: ITV

The week-long tour around the country is part of the London 2012 Festival, a series of cultural events running alongside the Olympics and Paralympics. Middlesbrough was the first stop outside London. Later stations include Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol and London's Kings Cross.

Middlesbrough is the first stop outside London for the train, bursting with world-famous musicians Credit: ITV