blogging WOMAD – friday is here

It’s friday, the rain has stopped, hopefully for good.

There are a load of exciting acts lined up here at WOMAD today, including the king of drummers, the one and only Tony Allen, who plays the main Siam Tent tonight at 8.15.

Tony was the drummer with Fela Kuti, and helped to pioneer the whole concept of Afrobeat, he has since gone on to be the go-to drummer for some of the biggest names in music.

These days he rattles his sticks with The Good The Bad and the Queen, Paul Simonon’s outfit, and we all know how much I love Paul Simonon.

Tony is on at the same time as Chumbawumba, who are bound to put on a great show. I’ll see if I can catch a bit of their act, if I’m not too enthralled by the rhythmic explosions of Mr Allen.

Also playing today are Nouvelle Vague, Ozomatli, Hanggai, Ska Cubano and many more. I’m basically spoiled for choice, in fact I think today is a very strong line up indeed.

One of the acts I’m particularly looking forward to is Zoo For You, a British act who were personally recomended by the late great Charlie Gillett. Apparently their sound is a fusion of Afrobeat, ska, funk, jazz and dub, with plenty of horns and according to Charlie: “both rhythmically original and lyrically distinctive.” Can’t be bad. They are the first act to appear on the newly christened Charlie Gillett stage, which will remain a lasting annual tribute to the great man.

There’s so much musical goodness on offer at WOMAD this year, I’m really impressed by the line up. Still to come over the weekend are the likes of Don Letts, Salif Keita, Angelique Kidjo, Imogen Heap, Ty, Cerys Matthews, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara, Rolf Harris, Imelda May, Afro Celt Sound System, Gil Scott Heron and many many more.

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