BLOG Gwen Davies

NWR Issue 101

Wales at Womex


Fresh back from WOMEX, held this weekend in Cardiff's Millennium Centre, where Wales were host country. The only comparison I can make is to a trade book fair with music, more fun and cleaner toilets. Conference and delegate showcases were elsewhere in the city; the evening 40-minute slots from 9pm to 4 am were open to the public and held in WMC and the Bay's Glee Club. Missed the opening night but from clips seen on TV last night, not sure I mind that much, and am certain that Welsh hats, body stockings and clogs should not be seen together on stage.

The stars for me of the whole event were the last night's performers, the energetic & charismatic Swedish combo Navarra who made the perfect choice of upbeat numbers for their exhibition set (while their CD, 'picked up' from their stand, proves they can also do reflective mode). Think Capercaillie set further north, dont think Wallander (far too cheerful & lets dump the stereotypes shall we?), be prepared to translate if you really want to know about Swedish real estate, but really, just let Navarra put you in a good mood.

Second favourite, Thurs evening, was Bosnia-Herzegovina based Amira, also headed by female vocals, and delivering gorgeous sweet love songs (CD also 'picked up'!).

Third fave: more romantic lyrics from Indian-Wales project Ghazalaw with Gwyneth Glyn, Georgia Ruth, Tauseef Akhtar & other Indian musicians; beautiful new fusion versions of 'Hen Ferchetan' & 'Moliannwn (...Mae'r gwanwyn wedi dod)'. Spillers on Saturday reported that this one doesn't have a label yet but that may have changed post-Womex. ED


previous blog: Blinc Digidol Conwy's Digital Arts Festival
next blog: Cerys Matthews sings ‘Happy Birthday, Dear Dylan….’


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