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2007 week 29, from 21 July - previewing WOMAD UK

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:36 pm
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Cesaria Evora - Angola - Miss Perfumado - Cape Verde - Lusafrica - 79540-2

2 - Calexico - Across the Wire - Feast of Wire - USA - City Slang - 581312-2

3 - Toumast - Ezeref - Ishumar (Identity) - The Sahara - Village Vert/Wagram - Vive 141

4 - Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba - Ngonifola - Segu Blue - Mali - Out There - OH 007

5 - Marie Boine - Gula Gula - Gula Gula - Norway - Real World - CDRW 13

6 - Balkan Beat Box - Habibi Min Zaman (feat Dunia) - Nu Med - USA/Syria/Israel - Crammed Discs - CRAW 38P

7 - Massukos - Niassa - Bumping - Mozambique - Poo Productions - PPLCD001


This week’s show anticipates the feast of music at this year’s WOMAD Festival, to be held for the first time in Charlton Park, just west of Swindon and not far from Bristol. The range is wide as ever, well-established favourites alongside names unknown to me.

Cesaria Evora

Cesaria Evora has more or less single-handedly made the music of Cape Verde instantly recognisable, and her album Miss Perfumado still holds up as the one to own if you don’t yet have anything by her.


When Calexico played the Shepherds Bush Empire a few years ago, the first half of their set featured the Tucson band’s two main musicians, Joey Burns and John Convertino, displaying an impressive virtuosity on several apparently unrelated instruments including guitar, accordion and vibraphone. But the place only really came to life when they were joined by a full mariachi band towards the end. I don’t know if this band will be with them at WOMAD, but trumpets play a vital part in the arrangement of ‘Across the Wire’, about two Mexican brothers trying to make it across the desert and into the promised land of America.

photo of Toumast (c) Alain G

When I played a song from the debut album by the Touareg group Toumast a few months ago, it was hard to find. It is now internationally available on Real World. I still favour the same track, the acoustic ‘Ezeref’.


Bassekou Kouyate and his group Ngoni Ba reach the end of their month-long tour of Europe, having thrilled audiences and impressed promoters with an intense, involving set that is reportedly more lively than their restful album. Surely here is the favourite to be voted African Artist of the Year at this year’s BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music.

photo of Marie Boine (c)

It’s good to see Marie Boine billed for WOMAD. Her 1989 debut album Gula Gula was full of promise, and she was among the last people I met in air during my eleven-year run at Capital Radio. That album was an intriguing blend of her own Sami musical traditions with African and even Peruvian flavours. Since then Marie moved into jazz and improv, although her most recent album is the closest she has come to her initial style. But I go back to the title track of her debut, ‘Gula Gula’.

Balkan Beat Box

The New York combo Balkan Beat Box arouse disagreement in the forum at, with Howard Male and Garth Cartwright for once finding themselves on the same side of the fence in not liking it at all, while I find ‘Habibi Min Zaman’ infectious and enjoyable.


The Mozambique group Massukos includes plumbers and electricians in the line-up, and leader Feliciano dos Santos is director of a project responsible for installing water supplies and raising awareness about hygiene. Feliciano doubles up as a charismatic singer and excellent songwriter, while the rest of the band support him with energy and expertise.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:57 pm
by judith
Thank you, Charlie. It's nice to get an idea of what goes on at Womad. Its life was so brief over here. I guess everyone knows, beyond the internal problems, or maybe even ticket sales (though it was beginning to catch on), the visa thing killed it.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:27 am
by Charlie
emails from:

1, from DJ Scratchy in New York City

Hey Charlie

Was riding downtown around 1 or 2 in the morning, heading from the Gogol gig to the after party at the Bulgarian bar. There was a great track playing. I asked the Nepalese driver what he was listening to. Turned out to be the radio. Next on was Balkan Beat Box, followed by the familar voice of yourself . Now that's what it's all about!

PS Think it must have been the Mari Boine you were playing that caught my attention

Currently on tour with GOGOL BORDELLO

2. Jeremy Aubrey, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Dear Charlie Gillet

Enjoyed your program enormously. Why don't you check out some of the latest Ethiopian music; quite good this year.

Best Regards

Jeremy Aubrey