Highlights of Saturday @ Womad 2015

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The sun came out – and so did the WOMAD crowd, to enjoy some truly spectacular and brilliant performances from musicians from Honduras to Tibet! Our top favourites of the day, only a fraction of what was on offer began in the Siam tent, which sprang into action with some dazzling musicianship from Egyptian percussionist Hossam Ramzy with his Mahivishnu-influenced band with beautiful, swirling Egyptian melodies on violin and accordion, plus an amazing guest slot from dynamic Japanese percussionist Joji Hirota.. Meanwhile the Kakatsitsi Master Drummers from Ghana were making the crowd jump at the BBC stage with their energetic drumming, singing and dancing. The day continued in a blur as band after band wowed happy festival-goers.

So to a quick name-check of wonderful acts to look out for: Ezza blew us away – a Toureg band on steroids (lead singer/guitarist Omar from Niger wins the prize for the most spectacular headwear so far). Then to Côte D’Ivoire and the Open Air stage for some full-on message reggae from Tiken Jah Fakoly. In striking baifal style and long locks Cheikh Lô from Senégal took the crowd on an incredible journey across West Africa with his drumming, rich voice and multi-faceted set from a top-notch band. From the Latin quarter we had Criolo, hugely popular in his homeland of Brazil did a wonderful show with everyone enjoying themselves in the sunshine.

Mbongwana Star, an offshoot of Congo’s Staff Benda Belili, blew the Siam Tent crowd away with a new wave of Central African dynamism, and later we took a step back to the early 90s for a banging set in the Big Red tent from Daddy G & MC Demas J. After that it was back to the Siam for the Garifuna songs of Aurelio from San Vicente, in the Caribbean. An of course there was the late night party spot, The Lunched Out Lizards – big up to the DJs, brothers Adam & Steve and Pete with Racubah Sound System, who kept us up partying late into the night with some excellent party music!

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