Thank you to everyone who helped ensure 2010 festival was the best attended yet(and in many other ways the best) with some totally amazing performances spearheaded by Dobet Gnahoré , Richard Hawley, Norma Waterson & Eliza Carthy, Marta Sebestyen, Jah Wobble's Japanese Dub, The Imagined Village, Anxo Lorenzo, Martha Tilston, The New Rope String Band, Hassan Erraji, Guo Yue, Xova, Surahata Susso, Alejandro & The Magic Tombolinos, Hut People, Maia, Danto Aya, Maalstroom & Jo Freya, Muntu Valdo, .......we could go on and on.
What a brilliant team of people we have working throughout the weekend ... from the sound guys to comperes, stage managers through to the stewards... thank you all !!!
From the opening when Samay took to the stage with the pupils of Headlands School through to the last act on main stage The Imagined Village there were some wonderful performances and magical moments. On Friday night after Ian Clayton's moving opening speech Richard Hawley and his band created an astonishing wall of sound , Norma Waterson held a full house wrapt as her and Eliza Carthy performed songs from their from their award winning album The Gift & Birmingham reggae outfit Xova gave a knock out performance whilst on the smaller stages the impromptu combination of Tuareg musician Danto Aya , Paul Daly & Tim O'Connor created one of those magical performances that people will talk of for years to come.Surahata Suso also won many fans with his magical solo kora performance on the North Sea Stage. Local artist Holly Tamar & Liverpools political songster Alun Parry also hit the mark & were mentioned by many on the feedback forms.
Saturday was full of diverse and interesting acts notable amongst which were the truly astonishing Anxo Lorenzo Band from Galicia who lived up to their reputation delivering dizzyingly accomplished Celtic instrumental music .Guitarist Erik Mongrain was spellbinding in the theatre & showed why he has become an internet phenomenon. Hassan Erraji's Moroccan Rollers & Soznak got things rocking on main stage. Into the evening poet/comic John Cooper Clarke showed himself to be back to his acerbic best (whilst maybe stepping on a few too many peoples sensibilities at times) Alejandro Toledo & the Magic Tombolinos got everyone in party mood with their crazy Balkan beats and their great way with an audience and then the absolute highlight of the weekend for most of us was Dobet Gnahoré who having stepped in at late notice to replace Angelique Kidjo kept everyone absolutely entranced with a superlative display of pan African musical styles backed up by a great band and her sisters magical dancing. Despite being 7 months pregnant Dobet still managed to dance herself on her incredibly high heeled shoes..a true star. On the smaller stages special mention must go to Hull's Zagros Band, West Yorkshire's quirky , up-and- coming folk act Maia, the enchanting Emma & The Professor, Jesse Bannister & Bhupinder Singh & Kwame D. Oh and some great workshops including Mim Suleiman's cookery workshop that went down a a storm.
Sunday got off to a fine start with Mr Tooleys Travelling Gospel Jukebox, the choreographed fainting children of Scunthorpe Cooperative Junior Choir, an outstanding solo performance by Muntu Valdo, the brilliantly funny antics of The New Rope String Band and two glorious theatre performances by the legendary Marta Sebestyen . Guo Yue was as brilliant playing his flute as he was holding the Chinese cookery workshop... .Quinteto Mambo Jambo & The Hut People both showed the strength of local musicianship with the Huts fast becoming our resident band!. Malinky played a beautiful theatre set despite having to replace their guitarist at short notice and we were not surprised to hear of their success at Scottish Music Awards a few weeks later. Jah Wobble as is his wont then threw in a knock-out set to finish the afternoon session which as well as his excellent Japanese dub set included a brilliant PIL set complete with Johnny Lydon lookalike ! Martha Tilston was one of the most talked about acts of the weekend .I think many people would have been happy for her to perform all night . With Lava getting everyone up and dancing the scene was set for The Imagined Village who did not disappoint and played a remarkable set with everyone swaying to their treatment of Slade's Cum On Feel The Noize....and then Robert Maseko's band played a blinder to wrap up the evening and another festival was over....