Page 50 - Fyne SUMMER2012-proof

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1982 marked something of a watershed for
music. Madonna released her debut single.
Abba released their last. And it was the year
that we first heard Michael Jackson’s Thriller,
the record that would go on to become the
biggest-selling album in history.
Meanwhile, in a field in deepest Somerset,
something else was afoot – the first-ever
WOMAD Festival. And, like Madonna,
Abba and Michael Jackson, the WOMAD
name is somewhat culturally iconic. Indeed,
30 years later, the organisation is in the
strongest form and rudest health it’s ever
Ever since that first gathering in 1982, the
spirit of collaboration and cross-pollination
has been WOMAD’s fuel. Back then, it was
Echo & The Bunnymen sharing the stage
with The Drummers Of Burundi. In the three
decades since, it’s always been conspicuous
and, this year, that spirit takes many forms.
There’s the rather awesome prospect of
Robert Plant’s new project, the Sensational
Space Shifters – a heady brew of blues,
gospel and psychedelia inspired by the roots
music of Mississippi, Appalachia, Gambia,
Bristol and the foothills of Wolverhampton.
Longtime WOMAD face Justin Adams lines
up on lead guitar.
Another Adams-associated act, the much-
loved French collective Lo’Jo, will also
joined the bill this July. As well as blowing
out their own 30 candles this year, the
collective return to treat all-comers with
their hybrid of chanson, folk and Berber
It’s always best to approach a WOMAD
event by expecting the unexpected, by
banishing those preconceptions about
how music should sound
from a particular
corner of the globe. Want Latin funk
with a Texan postmark? Then give
yourself over to Grupo Fantasma, the
‘funk orchestra’ who’ve often been the
support band of choice for Prince. Fancy a
singer-songwriter who blends ancient and
modern, Indian traditions and Western
rock and pop? Then lend your ears to
Bangalore’s celebrated Raghu Dixit.
Attendance is comulsory!1
First performers
unveiled for