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 (South Africa), 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)
It might have been the last night of the tour but as the Afrobeat message beats loud again, this was one not to be missed, as Gilles Peterson said earlier this year, “If you ever get the chance to see Seun Kuti live, you’ve got to go!”
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Hot on the heals of the Love And Death, Strut have sensibly dug deep into the back catalogue for a fantastic double CD compilation which is a must have ‘Best Of’ his Highlife & Afrobeat Classics 1973-1980
The album of the week without a doubt is Ebo Taylor’s Love And Death which isn’t bad for the guitarist, composer, arranger and producer from born in 1936 – be prepared to see it in all good ‘Best of 2010′ lists very soon!