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A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:58 pm
by will vine
By all accounts this year's WOMAD festival was a gem. Yet here on Sound of the World none of us has even mentioned it. I had my reasons for not going to it and you'll have had yours but it seems sad if we've all run out on it and on that which we call world music.

Re: A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:41 pm
by alister prince
Not run out on it Will,it ran out on me! Moving to Wiltshire made it inaccessible. I can no longer drive - imagine me behind the wheel!! I don't do camping so Reading meant I could commute. And the weather... Also, I've been a little less excited by the line-ups in recent years tho' this years seems a bit of return to form. Maybe somebody out there who went could feed back. As for the music genre we love, bring it on.
Aly

Re: A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:12 pm
by Jamie Renton
Aly sums up my thoughts entirely (apart from the fact that I couldn't drive in the 1st place).

I'd also add, as I've already said elsewhere on this forum, I'm finding a lot of the bigger current world music releases a bit too bland for my ears. Fortunately there's a whole world of music out there and I'm particularly digging Ghanaian and Nigerian funk, East Med folk and Latin American tropical twang.

There's still great sounds out there Will, they're just not necessarily getting written about in the broadsheets nowadays.

Re: A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:54 am
by Garth Cartwright
I was offered press tix and considered going but the lineup was far too predictable for me - OK if Bobby Womack had not died and Hot 8 Brass Band had not cancelled I would have definitely gone for Sunday tho neither are what we call "world". Look at the headliners - Friday was the dire Bregovic (I saw him at Womad NZ 2013 as Saturday night headliner and it was as exciting as, um, Richard Clayderman), Richard Thompson (never done anything for me), Yossou N'Dour (seen him plenty of times and his best days are way behind him), Sinead (no thanks), Fat Freddys (seen them so many times in London), Les Ambassadeurs (I've seen Salif so many times and went and saw these guys at the Barbican on Sat and was underwhelmed), Kobo Town (great band but have seen them a few times in london including last Thursday). I know, I'm spoiled cos i largely get free tix but Womad needs a good deal more imagination if it wants to be anything but a World Music Greatest Hits. I've argues for years that it is top heavy with West African acts and lacks balance when it comes to Arabic and East European and Central Asian and such. And nothing about this year's lineup convinced me I needed to pay an expensive train fare to hear what I've heard before.

Re: A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:40 am
by Adam Blake
That's a shame. Womad was always the nicest festival by far. Both to play at and to wander about in. Field full of music lovers. Very fond memories. But I am afraid I don't go to festivals anymore unless I am playing so it may be that those days are over for me. Cornershop are closed for business - at least as a live band. Errol played Womad two years running so they are unlikely to book him again. Hey-ho...

Re: A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:16 am
by NormanD
I went to Shrewsbury Folk Fest the last couple of years. I really enjoyed those - smallish, manageable for physical disability, opportunities for making music with others, and going to workshops - but got a bit deprived of syncopation, and the need to listen to a wider variety of non-English speaking performers.

Thought of going to WOMAD, but never got it together in time to book accommodation (we don't camp any more). By some accounts - esp fbook postings from Ian Anderson - it's been a great festival: he reckons the best he's been to in 30 years. Maybe next year?

Re: A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:00 am
by will vine
"You've got what you wanted, but you've lost what you had." So often that line comes back to me in different areas of life.

There's the bit where it's all small, new, and not too well understood, the bit that needs energetic checking out, the voyage of discovery. Then there's the bit where you are more consumer than explorer. Everything has got bigger and better and just slightly too familiar. And then there's the bit where you despise yourself for having got lazy and cynical about it all.

I'm going to troll along to Rhythms of the World in Hitchin this weekend. It's not a stellar line up and a lot of it is likely to be poor to so-so, but I travel in hope for a bright moment or two to treasure.

Re: A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:57 am
by Adam Blake
I'd go to if I didn't have gigs, Will. I am so impressed that Arthur Brown is still doing gigs like this in his 70s. I last saw him about three years ago and the voice was still there. Vibrato a little bit wobblier than heretofore but still strong.

Re: A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:26 pm
by AndyM
I have never been to a festival. I like to sit on comfortable upholstery and to know where my next flush is coming from. I cannot conceive of any music that is worth subjecting myself to grave discomfort for. I even choose which theatres to visit based on their legroom offerings.

Re: A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:28 pm
by David Flower
WOMAD isn't usually about the headliners. They've always mixed veterans with new stuff. It's more about the huge array of global choice on offer, miles ahead of any comparable UK festival. Maybe record crowds this year but it feels spacious and there is always somewhere to sit, eat, get away from it. A great edition. Aly I'll drive you down there next year. And back!

Robin Denselow mentions some of the best in today's Guardian, including Fatoumata Diawara and Roberto Fonseca, a Mali-Cuba project that didn't exist a month ago, so it's coming on pretty well:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xjfw2vu07Yw

Some good stuff in the Big Red Tent which went up a few years back for all that young hip-hop malarky. I like Hamzit Modine from NY with sousaphone instead of a bass.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-uLG_i23LI

and Snarky Puppy might have been students out of jazz-funk music college but they had that muscular rhythm and soloing confidence Americans have that we don't seem to. Don't know how they came to be at WOMAD but they stormed it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuhHU_BZXSk

Star turn from Ukraine's Dakha Brakha who are something else.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxmCVEGpKyw

Even the headliners delivered. I had low expectations for Youssou but he was back with that voice and a band that just flew. As good as 1984!
Missed Les Ambassadeurs but did catch Salif Keita in passing to ask the question that's puzzled me for ages. Is it really true Pink Floyd are your favourite ever band? He confirmed that, yes, they are!

Mulatu Astatke, Alice Russell, lots of good folk from Orkney, Ireland , Wales (9bach good) , shamanic samis, turks, greeks… It's worth going.

Re: A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:57 pm
by Rob Hall
Thanks for that Snarky Puppy clip David. I'm quite a fan of theirs, and it's good to hear they went down well at Womad. You know what I love about that clip? The smiles on the faces of both the players and the audience: music you can smile to! Imagine...

Re: A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:12 pm
by will vine
Yes, thanks for the report David. Glad you enjoyed it. Now, in the light of recent posts hereabouts....what to make of Salif Keita's declaration that Pink Floyd is his favorite band ?

Re: A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:37 pm
by David Flower
Well it might explain those occasional leather trouser moments he's been guilty of

Armchair WOMAD

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:01 am
by Jamie Renton
Radio 3 have done their usual sterling job of broadcasting WOMAD highlights, all up on the i-Player.

I listened to the first programme this morning and was especially impressed by some hot Polish fiddle action from Caci Forba (a new name to me), Norwegian Sami trance-out queen Mari Boine, one tune from SANS (could have done with more) and personal favourites of mine, Cyprus's Monsieur Doumani.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04bf3w8

Re: A Sign of the Times.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:55 pm
by alister prince
Thanks for that David, good to read a review of some of the acts. Will, it would be great to read your feedback on this weekend. May not be WOMAD, but small is very often beautiful. Main stages can often be a drag, (the noise and the people!);I've always been one for checking out behind the bike shed, it's often were the naughty and interesting folk are ding their stuff.
Aly