We went to the WOMAD festival at the weekend and had a lovely time. I only got to see 3 out of my 7 “must sees” (see last entry), didn’t think there was as much music I wanted to see or really grabbed me, compared to last year, and the weather wasn’t great (Saturday was gloriously sunny most of the day, but it started raining on Saturday evening and basically didn’t stop till we were packing up on Monday morning, so it ended up being a bit of a mudbath by the end of the festival). But, it was still a lovely weekend, we had fun with the family and the kids, and it was good to be away. I’ve put photos on facebook, but won’t have time to put them on flickr (and from there to here) till the weekend probably.
Must sees whom I did see were Eliades Ochoa (wonderful, though he had awful problems with one of his guitar strings which kept going out of tune, he had to keep tuning it which must have been really frustrating for him). If you’ve seen the Buena Vista Social Club film, he’s the singer who wears the stetson with the beautiful voice. I also saw Jim Moray (I liked him, HD wasn’t so keen. I think I preferred Seth Lakeman though), and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (I don’t think it would ever have occurred to me that the sousaphone could be funky!) who were amazing, and definitely not Grimethorpe Colliery Band, that’s for sure!
I missed the Skatalites (who were playing on the Thursday night, the day before we got there), Besh o droM (who were playing quite late on Friday night and we were too tired after 2 long days – though actually I could hear quite a bit of their set even from inside the tent, they sounded good so I shall check them out some other time), and Youssou N’Dour and Johnny Kalsi were playing at the same time. I had decided that I’d see Youssou N’Dour (as I’d seen Johnny Kalsi before), but he was on the Open Air stage on Sunday and it was absolutely chucking it down with rain, and in the end even though I did really want to see him I just couldn’t face another drenching.
I also saw a set by a band called 17 Hippies that I really liked, the end of a workshop by Andy Young (who is the A in ALT for those of you who know that band – Andy Young, Liam from Hothouse Flowers and Tim Finn from Crowded House), and a brilliant Scottish band called Deaf Shepherd who play traditional Scottish music. Unfortunately HD wasn’t feeling at all well so we didn’t stay for the whole of their set, but I’ll definitely be looking out for them again.
Despite the rain I managed to get sunburnt – I have a very attractive red nose now! We were talking about sunburn as our little step-niece (who is 5) also got red shoulders, and I told her that HD had called me Rudolph because of my nose. She started telling us about a book she’s got about Father Christmas, and doors you open and behind one of them is Rudolph. HD asked her if Rudolph looked like me. She looked at me, smiled, and said “Well, Rudolph doesn’t have glasses”.
Tomorrow I’m away again for a job interview somewhere exotic (will tell you about it when I get back at the end of the week). I’m getting rather anxious about it, not the job so much but the location as it would be a big big and rather scary move (and did I mention it would be big?). I’m also getting anxious about my thesis, which due to job applications and interviews and things isn’t getting written, and in the meantime HD also has an interview soon, somewhere totally different to where mine is. Having spent one night at Womad not sleeping because of worrying about the interview and the scariness of it all, I spent last night having very vivid interview-and-thesis-anxiety dreams (though they weren’t as psychedelic as rosamundi’s Tamiflu-inspired dreams seem to be!). I was talking to my brother-in-law at the weekend at Womad, and telling him about how we have spent pretty much the entire year thinking that maybe a job for HD and/or me is just round the corner, then it doesn’t work out but there’s something else to apply for and give us hope, and then that doesn’t work out, but something else tantalises us, and on and on and on it goes, so that we seem to be always in this sense of heightened anticipation that never quite works out. No wonder we’re both so stressed. I’m finding it really difficult to pray, so if anyone would like to pray for us I’d appreciate that very much. I’ll be back on Friday so will be able to tell you how it all went then.