WOMAD – A review

If you have met me in the past 3 days, or seen my MSN nick, you probabaly know how this is gonna start! :p

WOMAD was amazing! I am very sure all who were there would agree. Just like last year, it absolutely rocked! I guess there are three things which make WOMAD such a great event. The atmosphere, the music and the spirit of WOMAD.

The atmosphere was really nice. No rain!. Both the evenings were really beautiful and cool! Everybody had come with the intention of having a picnic while listening to some great music. Though I really wonder why there are always so many ang mohs for such concerts in Singapore. Not that I mind, actually it more fun with ang mohs since they are generally chatty and I ended up striking conversations with quite a few.

Also, very incidentally this year, I met so many people there. As usual many people had said they would come, but I did not expect many to actually come down. But all of them came down, and so did many more. It was really nice to meet so many people in one evening.

The music of course was great. There were so many genres of music that were played throughout the two days that I can’t even remember everything. There was latin music, reggae, ska, jazz, soul, funk. Not to forget the various types of ethnic music. I feel that WOMAD has opened my perspective to so many different forms of music and through that, to different cultures of the world!

Saturday was the more ‘action-packed’. Started with amazing Korean drumming, went on to some serious reggae/ska. Then took a turn for a short burst of some great latino. But the highlight of the day was surely the clubset at the end. Those who left early (hehe :P) really missed the best part of WOMAD.

The clubset was originally planned for Risenga Makondo (from North of South Africa) with DJ Adrian (Rojak-Boy). But soon enough they invited Stevie and Jamie Goldsmith (Australian aboriginal artists) and the Musafir Gypsies of Rajasthan (from India!) to jam with them. The session was absolutely unrehearsed, and totally improvised. But that was best part. I have never seen this much energy in the artists or the crowd at a live concert before. People went absolutely crazy. And I was among the first few!! Of course my love of ‘fusionist’ music did help a lot. That was possibly the craziest it (and I) ever got.

Sunday was more relaxed. There was some really nice jazz saxophone at the start. The Thai band T-Bone had some interesting sounds, with ska, reggae and rockn’roll. There was not much of a crowd. And the finale was really nice. It played on the same idea as the clubset, but with a lot more artists. But this time they did not match up as nicely as the clubset.

The final point was the spirit. I felt that WOMAD personifies our interest in other cultures and other people of the world. All artists sang songs of peace and love. That was a spirit of the concert. It was about understanding each other and appreciating what others have. The jamming sessions showed that people from different backgrounds can work together to produce something great, something amazing. People don’t need much to do this, just the drive to really understand one another and make a better world!.

Viva l’WOMAD.