Event Preview: WOMAD Festival @ Charlton Park (Malmesbury, Wiltshire; Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st July 2022)

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A world of music, arts and dance awaits at the world’s festival this year. Charlton Park will once again be visited by artists and performers from round the globe, for an extra special celebration in honour of the festival’s 40th birthday.

Six stages will host over 150 acts across the weekend, a unifying explosion of world music that signifies the festival’s mission to ‘build bridges not walls’.

Headliners have been named as Angelique Kidjo, bringing an African reimagining of Talking Heads’ Remain in Light, an album originally inspired by Fela Kuti and the music of the continent (watch out for the ‘brass heavy salsa re-rub’ of “Once in a Lifetime”); Mali’s socially-progressive singer and Gorillaz collaborator Fatoumata Diawara; ‘psychedelic oddballs’ The Flaming Lips; friend of Prince, Lianne La Havas; Gilberto Gil, the godfather of Brazilian Tropicalia, and family with the Nós a Gente (We the People) show; and spoken word artist Kae Tempest.

The line-up features a mix of old-school festive favourites and rising stars. Pauline Black of classic ska dissenters The Selecter rubs shoulders with London’s newest gritty R&B sensation Greentea Peng; highly acclaimed polymath Nitin Sawhney CBE stalks the same stage as extravagant nu-blues sensation Fantastic Negrito. Instruments from the weird to the wonderful are represented, from Abel Selaocoe’s pioneering adventures with cello, to the 3-stringed Gnawa guembri bass lute of Bab L’Bluz and Son Rompe Pera’s punk marimba; from the harmonium featured in Barmer Boys’ zero-gravity Sufi folk to the thundering, joyful sound of Joji Hirota’s Japanese Taiko drummers.

Elsewhere, global beats reign supreme. A dynamic mix of electronica, heavy bass, groove, moogs and space-disco keeps dancers happy in the sunshine and after dark. Electric Jalaba presents intoxicating bass-heavy Moroccan Gnawa for a new generation; The Mauskovic Dance Band mixes psych-tinged tropical rhythms with no-wave dance punk. Taxi Kebab forges a pulsing, disorientating electronic blend of psych and krautrock with added synths and fuzzed-up buzuq. From the Ugandan underground, leading lights of Nyege Nyege and Nihiloxica combine traditional Bugandan drums with techno-sensibilities; and the dance-driven Afrofuturist garbage punk Fulu Miziki will be worth seeing not only for the uplifting hypnotic grooves and incredible moves, but also their DIY instruments and outstanding outfits.

 

You can buy your WOMAD Festival pass/es or single day ticket/s HERE

 

 

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