Round up: despite a wobbly moment with the weather on Friday morning, the festival was flawless in every other way. Some great bands, clearly enjoying playing to audiences free to dance and enjoy the non-auditorium experience, strutted the various stages. My favourites were probably Alpha Blondy (I didn’t even know I liked his music that much before), Baaba Maal of course and Faiz Ali Faiz among the bigger names. The dynamo Nomfusi was a refreshing blast of energy and the reflexive Samuel Yirga caught my attention among the newer names.
It was great to see the festival so well organised. Almost no litter at all thanks to enterprising children getting money back on empty plastic glasses, the beautiful arboretum to wander through, great indian food and some damn fine coffee made it a real pleasure to be there. Continue reading WOMAD 2011
Notes:Abigail Washburn and The Village (USA), Afrocubism (Mali/Cuba), Alejandro Toledo and The Magic Tombolinos (UK), Alpha Blondy (Cote D’Ivoire), Aurelio (Honduras), Axel Krygier (Argentina), Baaba Maal (Senegal), Bajah and the Dry-Eye Crew (Sierra Leone), Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal (France/Mali), Bellowhead (UK), Bomba Estéreo (Colombia), Booker T Jones (USA), Brassroots (UK), The Boxettes (UK), CW Stoneking (Australia), Danyel Waro (Reunion Island), Dhol Foundation (UK), Dhols of Jaipur (India), Donso (Mali/France), Dub Colossus (Ethiopia/UK), Easy Star All-Stars (USA), Ebo Taylor (Ghana), Gogol Bordello (USA), The Gotipuas, young dancers and acrobats from Orissa (India), Hassan Erraji’s MoRoccan Rollers (Morocco/UK), I Am Kloot (UK), Jamie Smith’s Mabon (Wales), Khaira Arby (Mali), Lau (UK), Le Trio Joubran (Palestine), Mahala Rai Banda (Romania), Majorstuen (Norway), Mungo’s Hi-fi (UK), Nathalie Natiembe (Reunion Island), The Nextmen & MC Wrec (UK), Nidi D’Arac (Italy), Nomfusi & The Lucky Charms (SouthAfrica), Pacific Curls (New Zealand), Penguin Café (UK), Rodrigo y Gabriela (Mexico), Samuel Yirga (Ethiopia), Shunsuke Kimura & Etsuro Ono (Japan), Submotion Orchestra (UK), Susheela Raman (UK), Taraf de Haidouks (Romania), 9Bach (Wales)
Spring has sprung and so once again a young (oh alright then, middle-aged) world music fan’s fancy turns to the theoretically incongruous but in practice pretty successful agglomeration of disparate artists that make up the African Soul Rebels concept.
If you have ever been swept up in a chorus of drums, lost yourself swirling in a field or suddenly realised how much more interesting the world can be after hearing something alien, this is the compilation for you
Catching Ba Cissoko’s band on stage is like watching African lightning bottled in front of you. The aching beauty of the acoustic kora, the thrill of an electrified kora and the cross currents of tradition and modernity in west African music meeting in one band. The whole — as dazzling as it is — feels unstable, powerful, beguiling.
This is not the first afrobeatcompilation, nor is it even the first to feature remixes by well-known DJs but you do get an eclectic selection of afrobeat classics and there are big guns aplenty on the remix CD including Paul Oakenfold
Baaba Maal is Africa’s most important musician. He is unmatched in the most traditional or in the hippest of projects. He’s as highly regarded at home as he is abroad and he’s a tireless spokesperson for ordinary Africans. He gave Fly one of the few interviews he did during his recent visit to London
Andy Sheppard makes himself out to be a bit of a hired gun, one day working with Massive Attack, the next playing a gig in Italy, the next recording a version of ‘New York, New York’ for an advert, and all the while touring a series of gospel and spiritual improvisations around the UK.