Quick post on Womad so far. Easily the highlight was Omar Souleyman. The crowd was a bit slow to get going, while there were clearly qutie a few fans there (who like me would be familiar with him through his releases on the Sublime Frequencies label), there were also plenty who didn’t really seem to know what to expect – i.e. full-on, over the top dance music. After a while everyone got the idea, those not up for dancing moved back and all the enthusiatic people were left at the front and there was a fantastic atmosphere … really fun music. I’ll have to keep this short since I’ll have to go to see him do a workshop shortly.
Runner up for me was Dereb the Ambassador – quality Ethiopian Jazz (in the style of lots of stuff on the Ethiopiques compilations). The band are from Sydney, but lead by Dereb from Ethiopia. Really great stuff but why the hell were people sitting down?
Also can recommend Natalie Natiembé and Wildbirds & Peacedrums.