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Thursday, April 7, 2011

WOMAD 2011

I think I have figured out what it takes to keep me entertained as far as world music goes: drums. I went to the opening night of the three-day WOMAD (World Of Music, Arts & Dance) in Abu Dhabi. As with last year, it is a 15 minute walk from my apartment and has two large stages set on either end of a beach. I took my daughter to see group called The Dhol Foundation from the UK and India. There was lots of drumming so I thought it was pretty good even though they brought local schoolkids on stage. I took my daughter home and by the time I came back, I caught the end of a pretty good group whose name I don't remember.

After that I went to see a Samba band that a lot of people liked, but there weren't as many drums so I found boring. Next, I saw a woman from the UK named Paloma Faith who had a nice voice, a good enthusiasm onstage and a female bassist in fishnet stockings so that was all right.

Even though it was past my bedtime, I went to see a group from India called "The Manganiyar Seduction by Roysten Abel" that a lot of people had been talking about. They were all in a tiered structure with light bulbs around it. Have a look at the picture to get an idea. There was a lot of drumming, but they took a long time to get to it. The set was basically one long song. Each time a new musician joined in, they opened some new curtains and lit up some more lights. The singing was all right, but a little repetitive. A lot of people in the audience were cheering for one singer in particular, but that might have been for his fantastic handlebar mustache. The whole thing was a pretty good spectacle with the conductor going mental during the upbeat parts. I was tired so I left at a part with no drums without seeing what was waiting for me on the top row.

And that sums up my feelings about world music.

1 comment:

  1. It was Gonzo, who was going to blow his trumpet.

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