Di got there Friday and tells me that the pick of the day were Chicha Libra's Cumbian surf guitar riffs and moogs and the New Orleans swampy jazz funk of Trombone Shorty.
I arrived on Saturday and met up with Kathryn Williams who played a great set. Youssou N'Dour was reliably excellent as were Snarky Puppy, jazz/funkbutnotshite. Fat Freddy's Drop were workmanlike but fun, Alice Russel (cabaret soul but fantastic raspy voice!) Dakha Brakha were unclassifiable, Ukrain 'ethno chaos' with a little bit of Sigor Ros' icy beauty thrown in… Also I really liked Francois and the Atlas Mountains who are a bit fey on record but were stunning live. Nitin Sawney was at his usual humorless brilliant best. A Sunday highspot was Fatoumata Diawara and Buena Vista's Roberto Fonesca (Mali meets Cuba) which had all of the vibrancy of Africa with some subtle jazz shadings that allowed Fatoumata's voice flight and fancy.
We ran for the carpark as soon as we saw Sinead O'Connor but it was a grand weekend; food was fabulous, people chilled, children kept to a minimum… Di danced her ass off whilst I did that pointy fingered 'I've got some chewing gum stuck on my foot' strut that awaits all doomed middle aged men. And all of this after sleeping rough in an 'L' shape in a Mini in the car park. If anyone tells you that they are 'like a Tardis on the inside' they are either a liar or double jointed. Di won the battle of the blanket!
The only real disappointment (apart from the untimely tragic death of planned Sunday headliner Bobby Womack) was that I overlooked seeing a current favorite of mine Vinicio Capossela whose Tom Waits' collection must be as big as mine.
Here's a taste of what we missed…