Music from far and wide – 130 countries to be precise – descended on WOMAD Festival (World of Music, Art & Dance) to turn the Earl of Suffolk’s beautiful Charlton Park estate in Wiltshire into a musical Mecca. Now in its 36th year, the four-day event holds a reputation for being one of the politest, most relaxed and feel-good festivals out there.
Having been nominated for Grammys, French Victoires de la Musique prizes, supported bands such as Blur, Coldplay and U2, as well as performing at the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, there’s no denying that Malian duo Amadou & Mariam are musical icons. With a back-catalogue of 20 years, they brought an effervescent, empowering and thought-provoking set to Concorde 2, made up of their brilliant fusion of disco, funk and traditional Mali music. A Friday night at Concorde 2 usually looks a lot different to this, so this was a pleasant surprise and a wonderfully unique evening.