— WOMAD: Day Two (An Update)

Here’s photographer Katherine Wood’s musings from day two of Peter Gabriel’s 2012 WOMAD festival (you can jump back to her Day One article here):

Arriving back into the main WOMAD festival areas offers an immediate assault on one’s senses; the smell of food, colour, and of course the beats of exuberant world music – and Fema Kuti on stage with his Positive Force band in my first photo perfectly communicates the atmosphere here.


My new favourite WOMAD artist – both for her passionate  stories about her own country and for her music – Cameroonian singer song writer Kareyce Fotso. While her songs are lovely, her stories about young people in Cameroon and even her own friends suffering (and dying) from AIDS are just quite heart rendering.


We went straight from Kareyce to watch English folkie Patrick Wolf – who seems to be creating quite a buzz at the moment – and while his musicianship is quite wonderful (especially when playing the Appalachian Dulcimer – the signature sound of Joni Mitchell’s early albums), he didn’t quite get my foot tapping to the same degree of some other artists performing here.


Three groups in already and feeling hungry, so in honour of Karen, we decide to eat Moroccan today and the food is fabulous.


…and check out the happy pretty girl that caught my eye while waiting in the queue for food!


Following food it was time for another fruit smoothy – an Immune Booster for me (watermelon, orange, pineapple, lemon) and a Detox Special for Marc (beetroot, apple and carrot) – we have indulged so so many smoothies all weekend; all served by delightful Juicy Girl Catherine from Albuquerque, New Mexico. There’s a snap of her too in honour of her unflagging service to the cause.


One thing that has caught my attention all weekend so far is all the spaces and activities set aside for kids; including of course music workshops and both Issi, the pretty little guitar player, shown here – well focussed towards earning a living from music (she demanded all my change for the photographs – £0.90!) and the two much younger kids busking with their clarinets (to whom I gave a £5.00 note instead!).


With regards to good causes here at WOMAD, yesterday I pointed my camera towards ‘Pants For Poverty‘ (well, who wouldn’t), and today we’ll stay much closer to home and focus towards the always wonderful Bottletop charity (that concerns itself with issues of education and sexual health awareness in both Brazil and Africa) – which both Karen and my partner Marc support. As well as a close-up of the bags, here’s founder Cameron Saul’s partner at Bottletop Oliver Wayman.


You can find out more about Bottletop here.


Before what will be our last performance of today, I decided that I needed to relieve stress with some physical force of my own (even though I’d only just had another full body massage at the luxury spa tent), and so I’ve also slipped in here a snapshot of myself showing my all to evident – ! –  strength and muscles on this fairground test of strength.


As we have to slip away from the festival today for another engagement, our last group to watch was – unexpected and unannounced arrivals – Cornershop. On a purely personal level I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t even realise it was them at first until the first few bars of Brimful Of Asha were played. Here’s a couple of photos of both Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayres and Adam Blake (I think I’ve managed to capture Adam and Ben when they were taking a snooze mid-performance!).


As we walked back to our car, there were forbidding clouds gaathering and I find myself hoping that the good weather holds for one more day – and that all the campers don’t find themselves awakening awash…


…so, in my mood of optimism for tomorrow, I’ll sign off with a couple of the tags hanging on the Hope Tree that’s being wheeled around the festival everyday. (The charity offering us the Hope Tree is ‘Band4Hope’ and you can check them out here).


Hopefully more tomorrow from Day Three.


Again, you can our WOMAD: Day One article here and, also, you can see Katherine’s double exposure portraits of Karen Ruimy (for her new book ‘The Voice Of The Angel’) here, and some other self-portraits of Katherine here that have also proven to be popular within this blog.


I shall look forward to seeing any new photography of WOMAD over the next few days.

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