What a treat to wake up to Katherine Wood’s third day of photographs shot at this year’s WOMAD festival.
…especially so when it includes a shot of my friend Justin Adams whom I met when introducing Karen Ruimy to him with a view to Justin becoming the producer of her new album, and who is headlining on Sunday evening with the legendary Robert Plant. Anyway, here’s Katherine’s accompanying diary notes here: My WOMAD festival ended late yesterday evening with a fabulous breathtaking barnstorming set performed by Robert Plant and his Sensational Shape Shifters band, which comprised the supremely talented guitarist Justin Adams and Justin’s regular cohort, Juldeh Camara.
If any act at this year’s WOMAD might be labelled ‘essential’, this is it – boy, does it ever rock (and if you’ve loved Led Zeppelin a long time, then for you this music needs to be out there… …soon!).
The day began though with torrential rain at home and a small sense of dread that WOMAD might become slightly less enjoyable than it had been for the past two days, and while the skies were still portentous when we returned to the Festival’s Charlton Park venue, it was soon warm again and the perfect weather to re-engage with this altogether self-set mission of photographing great rock bands (hard work!) and all the attractive people (pure pleasure) that might catch my eye enjoying the ambience of the occasion.
Upon arrival we immediately caught Irish singer Damien Dempsey’s rousing set of Irish folk-tinged protest songs. To be honest, the guy sings with such passion – and writes such amazing lyrics – that, for me, Damien and then Robert Plant could have between them topped-and-tailed my day any better. (The Irish fiddle playing accompanying Damien Dempsey really seemed to strike that perfect Celtic chord).
Then, just incase it’s all music that’s a little close to home for a world music festival, we drifted across to the Open Air Stage to catch Congolese rhythm group Jupiter & Okress International who soon had me bopping in the balmy afternoon sun.
Anyway, back to my personal pretty people portrait challenge:
It’s always someone dancing in the crowd that catches my attention and points my lens towards portraits again.
The girl in glasses looked so elegant, almost regal, and the very young girl looked truly full full of attitude for one quite so young (but, yep, she had surely captured the festival vibe – perhaps just like her mother 30 years ago… …or am I adding narrative that just doesn’t exist).
Then what about my sixties vibe shooting into the sun Lolita image? …wow!, what a beauty!, I’d so like to photograph her again.
Then, back to spa for an hour and another massage to recharge my energies for my third evening outdoors listening to great music and what do I find there?
…only Lydia, the most chic woman at this years WOMAD perhaps… …so so effortlessly stylish. At this point, I’m aware that a lot of my portraits from the Festival are of people of different ethnicities – only appropriate for a festival of world music of course – so, if you like redheads (and I know someone that does!) my last two portraits are just for you.
Firstly there’s the sublime English rose looks of my second Lydia of the day, and then the breathtaking, cool, captivating and very very sexy Isabel.
…she can email me any time if she’d like me to photograph her in rather less ad hoc circumstances.
Then, time to catch a few more acts before the big Robert Plant finale.
Firstly we watched a fabulous and exuberant set by Cajun musicians Pine Leaf Boys (I’ve included a couple of shots here of singer/songwriter Wilson Savoy and also his ‘too-cool-for-cats’ guitarist), and then there was just time too to catch the legendary Orquesta Beuna Vista Social Club who look as cool as perhaps only increasing older Cuban musicians can do – and, again, boy, don’t they ever give such a wonderful sound.
Ah well, until next year…
Also, you can see some other self-portraits of Katherine here that have also proven to be popular within this blog.