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Had a brill time and wanted to heap praise and thanks on all concerned. As usual, came away exhausted but besotted - this year by Darkha Brakha (Ukrainian folk meets minimalism via Macbeth? You couldn't make it up!)
Gripes: Molly's bar keeps a few hundred happy but keeps thousands awake. Late night venue should be in the arena so the rest of us can get some rest. Friday night seemed particularly riotous from my sleeping bag - did it all kick off?
Sound crew at CG stage repeatedly took several numbers to get balance right. Maybe it seems OK on stage or right back at the mixing desk but not elsewhere. At one point during Mama Rosin there was a guy running back and forth between backstage and the mosh pit to check things out; surely there's a role for sound monitors placed in the audience?
Big Red balance was awful - despite being a huge Damo fan, I nearly had to leave at one point as the vocals and everything else were being drowned out by the 2 afro bass drums. Unfathomable.
Write ups in the prog/app were fairly random - some accurate, some not - and generally uninformative. We need info to choose from, not journo promo spiel!
Having said that, the app was a fantastic boon (provided you could keep life in your phone battery!) enabling those rapid recalculations part-way through a gig that you decide to abandon. Nice one.
Lastly, the beer seemed to have galloped ahead of inflation - which forced me, sadly, to stay more sober. Was this Bath Ales being greedy or have their charges from Womad shot up?
Loos were fantastic - bought my wife a la-di-la ticket as a teat but she mainly used the camping/site loos loos because they were just as clean and the queues were shorter - things got so bad at the la-di-las that they needed security to control the irrate customers.
I drank Frank dry..... The dodgems were exceptionally good value for money (good long time for each 'go'), unlike the chips, for which I have had to re-mortgage my house..... I hated the bleak, 'prisoner-of-war camp', tented community & all the new fencing..... I loved the free wi-fi (despitre the constant need to 'log on') and the iPod app..... I could not BELIEVE the amount of audience hubbub during the Manganiyar Seduction last night, which totally ruined it for me..... But, oh please, tell me where I can have more & more of the Portico Quartet..... The weather was perfect; maybe Redleg should've turned his air conditioning up....?! Oh, & erm, sorry, I think the smell at Frankley Services this afternoon might have been me....!!
The la-di-la ticket was a treat not a teat - kids are old enough now thank God.
Excellent food, stages, loos, staff, stewards, security, smiling policemen & all round peace & love.
Hated Robert Plant tho' . I like Rock etc, but go to WOMAD for something different & to get away from the hyped celebrity vibe of the UK music scene. He can play Glastonbury. There are planty of International headline acts - why go trawling the for washed up UK rockers trying to be cleverer than they are. Robert Plant - Gambia? It's like Paul McArtney doing swing - yuk!
Taste the World stage was fantastic - don't change that at all.
Red Tent too much bass spillage, Cornershop were really poor. Other than that - a truly brilliant & excellent festival!
I had a damn good time and saw a lot of bands that I really enjoyed but I have my gripes and they're mostly that same as last year and the year before, and the year before that.
The sound quality in the Big Red and Siam tents was dire at times.
I found the Tokyo Ska guys to be so distorted that they were almost unlistenable - luckily they were so much fun I could still enjoy it. Batida on the other hand sounded good but the base was so loud I thought my ears were going to start bleeding. I gave up on Big Red after that.
Cornershop and Carlou D were close to being unlistenable too, but the Manganiyar Seduction sounded great and so did Boubacar Traore.
The other stages had a decent enough sound so why do the usual culprits sound so bad again. I'm no expert but I think they're overloading the systems by playing them louder than they're designed for. I hope Womad listen and sort out the sound issues for next year because it's starting to get on my nerves.
Oh, and they should have kept all the standing urinals for the men.
Fireworks would have been nice too.
This is a pesponse to Ed and his coment abouit security and Young people. Ed you are way off the mark, about security been a bit to arsy with young people. I whitnessed a 17 yr old boy getting assulted by a groupb of 5 members of the security team. when i stopped to interveen and film the assult initially i was told to "move away Because I was contaminating An incident scene". At this point no crime had been proved against the boy, just assertians by security that he was a drug dealer. NB nothing was found. after refusing to leave I was assulted and a failed attempt made to take my phone on which I had recording the incident. I have reported this incident to the police and I am in the process of transfering the video footage to disk so that it can be used as prosecution evidence
Re sound for Boubacar Traore...he'd DID sound great I agree but we were in the front row and he was getting very cross because he couldn't hear himself from the stage facing speakers. He even stopped playing atonetime because he was getting so frustrated. There seemed to be some disagreement between him and his fellow musicians who thought all was well. In the end the drummer ran off the set and when he came back Boubacar was happy. Not sure quite what there problem was. It was a bit distracting as I love his music so much.
Yes, quite a few gigs were just too loud - worst for us, surprisingly, was the Lo'Jo workshop (really a performance, and very welcome since their main gig was in the wee hours). Loud, almost painful and quite a harsh sound quality just about ruined it for us. Other gigs were also unnecessarily loud (notably open-air and Siam stages), and badly balanced - drums drowning out the more delicate instruments.
Well, my first music festival, and can only really say thank you to the organisers for making it such a wonderful experience. I had no idea what to expect, not knowing many of the artists.
Radio 3 Stage - my absolute favourite, in such a lovely setting with wonderful music.
Loos - THANK YOU, and phew.
Great food, with reasonable prices.
Clean and litter free for the most part.
More showers (but I guess they're not really important in the great scheme of things.
Thanks, thanks, thanks
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