Oh, I missed the La Reunion act then - I'll ask Arts Desk to correct that! A pity I didn't see them - were they good? I saw the same Alev Family as you Ian - funny, you loathe Gogol Bordello (as do I) but their act was very much based on GB (the Balkan Beat Box guy who produced them used to play in GB). Wonder what old Granddad thought with grandson and Uncle pulling all those rock star moves and the thumping bass and drums? Sad to see the only Central Asian music reduced to such cack. A couple of years ago my Womad highlight was the wonderful father-daughter duo from Azeribijan in the Siam tent. Name escapes me right now but you know who they are. They were so powerful,just perfect, and didn't need to add a heavy rock rhythm section.
As for mixed race couples - agreed there are some but not many. I'd arranged to meet reggae writer David Katz at Holly Cook's gig and as he has a black partner I said to my friend (who didn''t know Dave) "he should be easy to find as his wife is black". A minute later he said "there's a black woman over there". Lo and behold it was Claudia with Dave at her side.
Point taken.....I did hear lots of different European languages this year. I guess I'm really talking about real 'fans' supporting a particular artist (in the way that 'real' fans do) rather than those of us who like to hear and appreciate unfamiliar music. I do believe the Charlton Park setting is a great improvement over Reading, but one or two minor benefits have been lost.
Thanks for posting this, Jon. I really enjoyed reading comments by the artists themselves. Your 'bewildering array of performances...', is reminiscent of, to me, a bewildering array of reviews which by the end of my reading, I cannot remember to whom they referred.By your review, I now have a clearer picture and memory of those you wrote about.