Womex 2013, Day 2

womex 003

To think I nearly went to watch Graham Parker in Bristol instead of sampling Day 2.

No offence to Mr Parker, but it was without doubt the right choice. Another fantastic night out.

 Transglobal Underground and  Farfana Albania 

Wondering if anything would match last night and the first act provided another astounding gem.

Eight brass players from Albania kitted out as though they once formed some sort of military band, and maybe old enough to have played for former communist dictator Enver Hoxha, teamed up with London collective Transglobal Underground.womex 005

The Londoners provided a Jamaican-style rapper, keyboards, whiplash drumming and a female sitar player.

Keyboards and sitar were a little lost in the resulting mix but that didn’t stop the ensemble putting on an astounding show. womex 006

Balkan brass and London beats and percussion produced an incredible cocktail of sounds. Awe-inspiring stuff.

The CD resulting from the collaboration, Kabatronics has been nominate from a Grammy and the best world music winner will be announced on December 6.

Winston McAnuff and Fixiwomex 016

Wacky Winston proved an engaging crackpot with a shrewd mixture of livewire showboating and poignant slower numbers.

He’s twice as old as his two bandmates – he performs with a human beatbox and an uncommonly talented pianist/accordionist.

It was like no other act of the event that I witnessed. Winston cuts an unusual figure for a frontman in his (my guess) fifties.

But he was full of energy

We had middle-aged dance and soulful singing mixed in with youthful vigour from the accordionist.

Mr McAnuff, according to Wikipedia is Jamaican-born and has recorded under the name of Electric Dread. Well worth checking out.

Les Tambours de Brazza

The boys from Brazzaville. Capital of Congo. A pal who’s been there says it’s not worth the effort, as a tourist. The sort of place that could be worse than Luton.

So these guys surely provide a spark of delight in the gloom with their muscular choreographed drumming. All beguiling smiles and relentless rhythm.

The drummer boys from Brazzaville
The drummer boys from Brazzaville

The picture shows a bunch of prize-fighting pummellers who kept up a blistering beat for the 45 minutes. Seven of them, backed up by guitar bass and orthodox drummers.

They choreographed some of their arm movements in between and moved around to keep it interesting.

Incredible energy and torso physiques so staggering any watching rugby coach might have been tempted to approach them.

They’d be a useful Sevens team I fancy.

Accordion frenzy wraps up the night at Womex 2013
Accordion frenzy wraps up the night at Womex 2013

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