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18 août 2008

Sun shines on Womad

ITN Jul 28 2008

Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation
were among the first performers on stage

Festival fans at the World of Music, Arts and Dance festival, or Womad, have enjoyed a weekend of sunshine in Wiltshire. Among the acts at Charlton Park near Malmesbury were Eddy Grant, Martha Wainwright, Squeeze and 70s New York funk/R&B outfit Chic. Around 25,000 music fans watched some 70 acts at the festival which was established by Grammy-winning musician Peter Gabriel.

Maverick producer and Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers said: "I've never had to play music to make a living ever since we made our first hits. After I wrote We Are Family, I now play music because I love being in front of people playing music, and if they understand the essence of our soul, that's all that counts."

Meanwhile, Mercury Prize-winner Roni Size Reprazent said: "What makes this festival different from every other festival that I've been to is when you walk into the tent. It's filled up with kids and buggies and their mothers and their fathers. Now that is an unbelievable sight."

Canadian singer-songwriter Wainwright, the sister of Rufus Wainwright, and who took to the stage in six-inch heels, said she loved playing outdoors. "I think it is important to get into the spirit of it and not worry too much about your hair and outfit," she said, adding: "But, at the same time, I'm more of a city person so when I get on stage I like to wear high heels and a dress, so I have to be myself too. I don't mind all of it, I don't mind being outdoors. It's sort of like my summer vacation."

Grant, who provided one the most powerful performances of the whole weekend, said he did not agree with the categorisation of non-Western music as "World Music". He said: "I think music is music and there should just be music festivals and people should just be able to play. But as I said, the world is built how the world is built, so therefore there is need for further definition of what should have already been defined. It's great the Womad festival exists, and it's not what they are called but what they do that counts."

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