Friday's closing act Hanggai are the find of this year's WOMAD

WOMAD 2010 review

published: Thu 29th Jul 2010

Hanggai

Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th July 2010
Charlton Park, Upper Minety, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England MAP
early bird £120 for three days
daily capacity: 22500
last updated: Wed 24th Nov 2010

Friday starts well with the gregarious The Drummers of Burundi banging out their big beat rhythms and leaping feet in the air, dressed in traditional garb, and nice opener to WOMAD. Calypso Rose proves hugely entertaining in the Siam tent with her sassy disses, and entertaining songs about men and women. WOMAD founder Peter Gabriel gives a speach to introduce the re-named Charlie Gillett stage in memory of the DJ and world music champion. Norwegians Farmers Market, sound like Ozric Tentacles meets Jethro Tull and are one of the highlights. Nouvelle Vague have a new singer and a few new tunes, and their laid back delivery suits me more than Gabby Young and Other Animals, who just fails to connect with me, her songs seem too laboured and slow, yet the moment I walk away I hear them gather pace, too late.

Soil And Pimp Sessions
Staff Benda Bilili are made up of polio sufferers and sound terrific, as does Japan's Soil & Pimp Sessions who must be in the running for performance of the weekend. Skip 'Little Axe' McDonald plays deep soulful blues and then Chumbawamba provide an acoustic get together with their humorous social commentary and songs about nutters on facebook, eBay, domestic abuse, and the like. Good stuff. Ozomatli are as ever brilliant, a band who WOMAD has supported over the years, they deliver material from their new album 'Fire Away' alongside classic singalong (even if you don't know the exact words) favourites. As usual they climb into the crowd to play acoustically in front of the sound desk and deliver those chant and copy moments that leave us all smiling.

Ska Cubano
Ska Cubano are live on Radio 3 and bemused by the sudden appearance of a presenter speaking over the airwaves to folks back home. Their set is a brilliant flourish of the music they're named after and the performance seems to fly by.

I expect them to be the last act to excite me on the first day, but I hadn't banked on the Mongolian/Chinesee traditionally dressed Hanggai who decide to mix up everything from Jimi Hendrix, to The Doors, to Johnny Cash, and Irish folk over the occasional bit of throat signing and, traditional instruments, and dance percussion. The lead singer and left handed guitarist has an agreeable quality about him, and the lack of overt throat singing makes this much more accessible, helped by the more global rhythms. The most memorable act of the weekend for me.

Hanggai
review by: Scott Williams

photos by: Karen Williams / Phil Bull

Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th July 2010
Charlton Park, Upper Minety, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England MAP
early bird £120 for three days
daily capacity: 22500
last updated: Wed 24th Nov 2010


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