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WOMAD memories 3: The Portico Quartet

The first time I saw The Portico Quartet was at WOMAD a few years ago. They were amazing and made a really big impression. Of course, now they’re no longer the Portico Quartet, and they’re just Portico, which is fine. Their music is quite different now, but I still like it. However, for me I think it lacks the impact of the first time I saw them live at WOMAD. That was amazing.

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WOMAD memories 2: Nouvelle Vague

Another great memory from WOMAD days was of Nouvelle Vague. I went to see them in the Big Red Tent and thought they were amazingly good fun. I subsequently bought quite a lot of their tracks. I say their tracks, of course for the most part they are covers, but what excellent covers they are. Truly inspired.

I’d like to see them again, I think they had a good stage presence, but I need seem to see them on anywhere. I think I’d go if I had the chance.

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WOMAD memories 1: Mitsoura

As I was thinking about WOMAD I started remembering some of the high points over the years and I thought I’d share them. One such high point was when WOMAD was back in Reading, before it moved to Charlton Park in Wiltshire. I remember seeing Mitsoura for the very first time there. They were amazing. Something truly new and completely different from anything I’d heard before.

I went to see them again after that and bought their only two albums. I was disappointed that they didn’t do more. It was a shame that they only made those two albums, but that’s how it is. Even so, I’m glad I know their music. Glad I had the chance to see them live a couple of times. That was all down to WOMAD.

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A day at WOMAD

Obligatory WOMAD flag picture
Obligatory WOMAD flag picture

I wasn’t able to spend the whole weekend at WOMAD this year, I was only able to go for the day this year. Which was ok. The weather was pretty awful on the Friday, so the Saturday was a good option in the end.

So as always here’s the obligatory photo of the flags. I think you have to take one as part of the terms and conditions of the ticket. I heard a few interesting things on Saturday. Possibly the most interesting was Hannah Peel, who I’ll be listening to some more of soon enough.

It was also good to see Hossam Ramsay doing a workshop at WOMAD this year. Quite a while ago I did a workshop where Hossam taught for a day, and that was excellent. I really enjoyed it.

Hossam Ramsay at WOMAD
Hossam Ramsay at WOMAD

So I’m glad I went. It was good to meet up with some old friends and see how the festival has come on in a year. I’ve been going for a long time now, not as long as some of my friends though, and it’s sort of become an annual tradition.

I like WOMAD, but this year it felt a little crowded. I’m not sure why. It was good to go for the day, this year that was enough for me.

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Considering going to WOMAD this year

Obligatory flag shot
Obligatory flag shot

I think I’ve been going for about 10 years now, so in some ways it would be a shame not to go, but the line up isn’t inspiring me this year, which is a shame. I’m thinking about it, but not convinced as yet. I may just go for the day. I’ve done that a few times before and it’s ok. Not the same as being there for the weekend, but if the weather forecast is bad then it’s a viable alternative to a damp weekend.

I’ll keep thinking about it for now.

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What started me thinking about it was listening to this box set from last year, which has got some excellent tracks on it.

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I miss Mitsoura

They only released two albums and the last was a long time ago. Dura Dura Dura (their last album) was excellent as was their first album but it’s been years since they did anything. It’s a shame. I wish they’d done more. I’ve checked their site occasionally and there’s never anything new. I suppose it’s a good thing that the site is even still there. It’s something.

I’m glad I got to see them at least a couple of times. I would have liked to see them more, but they didn’t do much in the UK sadly. So I guess I just have to resign myself to the fact that there isn’t a huge chance of getting any new music from Mitsoura. Never mind.