Womad: Bristol Zoo – 9/10
THE Womad festival roared into Bristol Zoo with an evening of world music and dance against the backdrop of the zoological gardens complete with very noisy dinosaurs.
The evening began with the Jaipur Kawa Brass band dressed in traditional Indian costumes, firstly on the main stage and then they took their music around the grounds blending popular themes from Bollywood films and traditional music which got the audience in the party mood.
Spiro then joined the party; this four-piece acoustic band played an interesting mix of traditional folk with a modern style, playing violin, mandolin, accordion and guitar.
Although they were an instrumental band the lack of a vocalist did not detract from the audiences enjoyment. Every piece of music that they played held your attention and was unique.
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Moving through the grounds by the very cute prairie dogs, we entered the acoustic stage area and enjoyed the energy and exuberance of Ballet Nimba, a West African dance band, featuring many athletic dancers. Binta Suso's vocals provided the perfect accompaniment to the beat of the drums.
A heavy downpour didn't dampen the mood particularly as a double rainbow appeared above the acoustic stage and then the Perunika Trio performed their Bulgarian, Russian and Macedonian folk music with superb storytelling, describing the events as they unfolded.
Meanwhile at the main stage the Boxettes, an all female vocal group, thrilled the crowd with their beatboxing skills and fine acapella voices.
Finally as the shadows in the sky lengthened lending to the already atmospheric aura of the zoo gardens at dusk, Ska Cubano with their mix of traditional Jamaican rhythms interspersed with Cuban brass warmed the temperature of the evening considerably. The irresistible rhythm combined with the brass instrumentation had the crowd up on its feet and dancing.
So Womad at the zoo was a great event for young and old alike.