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<title> Womad Singapore 2005 | Divya Manian</title>
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<time datetime="2005-08-27T00:00:00-07:00" pubdate><span class='month'>Aug</span> <span class='day'>27</span> <span class='year'>2005</span></time>
<h1 class="entry-title"><a href="/womad-singapore-2005.html"> Womad Singapore 2005</a></h1>
<div class="entry-content"><p><a href="" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="" width="400" height="300" alt="Fort Green Stage" /></a></p>
<p>I went with Aparna, Anupama and Kanags to pay my first visit to the WOMAD festival in Singapore. Bumped into several friends, known and unknown faces all pouring into the green fields of Fort Canning. I was four dollars short of the requisite S$35 to get in (I didnt realise it was cash payment ONLY -which just simply shows bad management). Fortunately, I chanced upon Himanshu walking up the road and begged enough to get the requisite four dollars to get my magic ticket to nirvana.</p>
<p>The first stop was at <a href="">Asere</a> where I sat down to give my tired legs some rest, only to get up and dancing for the cool cuban music the band was belting out. Chanced upon some of my juniors and friends from NTU -seemed like an offline version of orkut or friendster with some cool music thrown in!</p>
<p><a href="" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="" width="240" height="180" alt="Asere" /></a></p>
<p>Found Aparna finally and managed to get front grass patch for <a href="">Bill Cobham&#8217;s</a> drums. And man, can that guy roll! Whew! I havent heard of solo drumming performances, but he really took my breath away. But as a person with less of an ear for drums and more for string instruments, I got bored and wandered off to Les Yeux Noirs.</p>
<p><a href="" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="" width="240" height="164" alt="Bill Cobham 2" /></a></p>
<p><a href="">Les Yeux Noirs</a> is a french band that is committed to popularising gypsy music. And has two cooote brothers as the violinists/vocalists with drums, cello (pronounced by the lead as <em>&#8220;chello&#8221;</em>) and a santoor successor <a href="">Cimbalom</a>(it did sound like Santoor but slightly arabic).</p>
<p><a href="" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="" width="240" height="180" alt="Santoor's Successor" /></a></p>
<p>The lead singer/violinist (Eric Slablak) sounded annoyed when he asked us why we didnt tell him that they were going offtune =D That just KILLED ME! Where in the world can you get to see such committed musicians! That alone made my S$35 well spent! They were performing songs from their new album which was mostly romanian gypsy songs with a few russian ones. The russian gypsy songs are more nostalgic and slow. I remembered thinking when they were singing the russian number that this is the song that will play in the background of my funeral when I die, so that even the small spots of joy that creep in will run away scared to death of sadness!</p>
<p>The next stop was at this Argentinean guy with a french band who was singing in arabic (or so it seemed), forgot the name of the band but his voice was similar to Cheb Mami and Khalid. He instantly created rapport with the crowds making htem swing to his tunes right from the start!</p>
<p><a href="" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="" width="240" height="180" alt="Argentenian Band" /></a></p>
<p>The Sri Lankan troup under Ravibandhu Vidhyapathy was exceptional. They had interesting drums and cymbals which on the whole created an environment of rhythm. It was an amazing fusion of the folk and carnatic strains of Indian music and what touched me was how identical we people from the Indian Sub continent are!</p>
<p><a href="" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="" width="240" height="195" alt="Ravi Bandhu's Troupe" /></a></p>
<p>The finale was at the Main stage (or so I think) where <a href="">Apache Indian</a> made a grand entry with the audience already swinging to his troupe memebers. He was infectious with his energy to dance and his reggae music. He belted some of his old numbers which brought a wave of nostalgia first. By that time it was already 11.30 and I had to leave to catch the last few trains on the MRT -knowing that my legs were beyond any hopes of redemption. And just then, the Apache party started =( <a href="">The Dhol Foundation</a> made an entrance with an awesome Bhangra number which I could hear with growing faintness as I walked by.</p>
<p><a href="" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="" width="400" height="300" alt="Apache Indian" /></a></p>
<p>Chanced upon <a href="">Preetam</a> making his entry at 11.30! Also got to exchange notes with the <a href="">two</a> <a href="">other</a> reporters who had gone to Bruce Sterling&#8217;s talk and thanked heavens for making the exciting choice of going to WOMAD than attending the talk!</p>
<p>Today&#8217;s PoA: <a href="">Tarun Tejpal</a>&#8217;s <em>Alchemy of Desires</em> Book Reading</p>
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<time datetime="2005-08-27T00:00:00-07:00" pubdate><span class='month'>Aug</span> <span class='day'>27</span> <span class='year'>2005</span></time> in
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<p><img class="avatar" src="/assets/divya.png" height=50> <a href="">Divya Manian</a> is a Web Developer in Seattle. <a href="/about.html">More about me ❭</a></p>
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