26 July 2015

sun in mud

E V E N T || WOMAD Festival 2015, day two

Do you trust these colourful smiley people? I certainly did, so naturally had to grab a quick snap with them. How could you not, just look at those suits. It's amazing the difference a bit of sun can make to a whole festival - the number of people on site near tripled vs. rainy day one, smiles were everywhere [as well as a lot more flesh on show] and I consumed not one but two ice creams in one day [I decided to call the second a palette cleanser to balance the universe out so don't panic]. Therefore, I've decided that festivals should always just be sunny because you see a lot more, feel relatively more free to explore [limit the mudmageddon] and get to eat ice cream [the latter is of course the most important]. Day Two included watching a couple of legends [Cheikh Lô and Aurelio] as well as discovering some super talented new favourites [Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp]. Thanks again WOMAD, you legend - until tomorrow!

big shout out to these super fly dudes for adding some cheer into my day.

Cheikh Lô Senegal - 'effortlessly cool West African troubadour'

Cathia: An accident on the route into WOMAD meant that we missed most of Cheikh's set which I was gutted about. However, the last bit I heard was just fab - he just creates a relaxed yet electric atmosphere. Plus, Cheikh is just a legend - his positive attitude constantly shines through his smiles, words and style. An artist I would always recommend you to see. To put into context how good he is - I said I enjoyed the last few songs and a friend said the start was actually even better!

Ellie: Having been caught in traffic all morning, I only a song and a half of this set. However, that was enough to see the fantastic grooves of Cheikh Lô and his band - his talent as a front man and also a drummer was vibrant and infectious to behold.

L'Hijâz'Car France - 'intriguing exploration of the Mediterranean'

Cathia: A really talented group of musicians, bringing together some classic traditional instruments to make one beautiful sound. This was a genuinely captivating performance from the professionals - impressive yet hugely accessible sounds to immerse our Saturday afternoon in.

Ellie: I loved this band. The haunting melodies were almost reminiscent of Peter & the Wolf each element of the song taking you somewhere totally different. Their calm performance added to its beauty, their immense talent spoke for itself.

Mbongwana Star Democratic Republic of Congo - 'the futuristic sound of now'

Cathia: I knew I'd enjoy the style of this group but I wasn't expecting the dance / rave element which caught me by surprise. These guys really got the audience moving and there were very impressive wheel chair dance moves too. High energy and a full on party attitude!

Ellie: You haven't lived until you've seen someone lift themselves out of their wheel chair to booty-shake! The crazy fun party feeling had the whole crowd dancing as the songs and performance were just great.

Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp Switzerland - 'experimental pop with moments of psychedelia'

Cathia: This group came off of recommendations and boy was I in for a real treat. I loved the overall vibe of this band - not only are they clearly all super talented but their energy and attitude on stage was infectious. Everyone was bouncing off the [non-existing] walls to some of the more unique and highly inventive grooves I've heard so far at this year's festival.

Ellie: There was something really genuine and playful about the Orchestre. The way they played together was really cool and different - this is what set them apart as well as the trombonist's super tight leggings!

Atomic Bomb! The Music of William Onyeabor USA - 'star-encrusted salute to the Nigerian psych-funk legend'

Cathia: I loved the saxophonist who kicked off this show [aka the legendary Charles Lloyd] - clear, crisp and groovy sounds to entice the audience in. Then, it got a bit confusing. Overall, I enjoyed the set [had a little dance around with my fellow WOMADers] but it didn't really quite click throughout. It might have helped if I knew the performers / songs better but ultimately it felt a little disjointed with various artists coming up and doing their bit with the main band - I didn't feel there was a strong enough theme in the background to bring it all together as a show.

Ellie: It's clear that the headline set by Atomic Bomb! was brilliant fun for the performers [true that says Cathia]. They were very enthusiastic and they really got a lot of the crowd on side, boogying away. It was more of a jam than a performance but they had some truly fantastic guests. [Nod to Cheik Lô and Charles Lloyd].

Aurelio Honduras - 'Real World-signed Garifuna troubadour'

Cathia: I wasn't really aware of Garifuna until the music of Andy Palacio was shared with me, and from there I've realised that I really enjoy this style - the rhythms are relaxed yet strong, hypnotic yet persuasive. It was clear from the start of the performance that Aurelio is a very talented musician and guitarist [and dancer - he busted out some great moves mid set which was an excellent surprise]. He really brought the audience with him and fully into the beautiful melodies of Garifuna music.

bring on sunday world music vibes - hopefully without too much rain!


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