Just one of the bizarre sports at this year’s Shambala Festival
Two dancers face off to see who will win this dance level. Zany goings on at Shambala
Sustainability is an important part of Shambala, which is why they are partnered with Sustrans. This is a little shot of their huge bike garage and repair shop.
I would be the first to admit that I am not a connoisseur of Syrian music, or, for that matter, any Middle Eastern music. Nor, I imagine, were very many of the audience at Omar Souleyman’s gig at Barn Nova.
In the band: a keyboard player with two keyboards layered in front of him, and a player of the electric ‘baglama saz’. These two rendered exhilaratingly rapid and complex melodies and rhythms. Omar himself, the vocalist, looked as if he had stepped straight out of the arid climate of Syria in a long white robe and a red and white headdress. Most importantly he wore sunglasses inside a dark tent at nighttime.
In between lines of Arabic lyrics, he strode about the stage calling out ‘heeeeey’. Occasionally a mysterious tall man whispered in his ear and retreated back to the edge of the stage. During the performance, despite Souleyman’s microphone twice breaking, the trio did not break a sweat, and were utterly cool. Allegedly, back stage Omar rarely spoke and his rider included a small tent to be constructed especially for him. Souleyman frequently approached the front of the stage and beckoned to the audience, who, eager and enthusiastic as can be if mildly confused, would comply by dancing more vigorously, calling ‘heeeeey’ back at him or clapping. Omar and his accomplices had the whole Barn dancing energetically and with a wide disparity of styles. The music was hugely exciting and different to anything I had ever heard (in a good way); it effervesced and rippled, drenching the audience in its awesomeness.
Some sights I saw whilst walking around the site.
Having been a fan of Doctor P’s work for a few years now I was optimistic his live set would deliver some quality dubstep. The end product was something far different. After taking almost half an hour to set up the stage Doctor P finally started playing. The hit record Sweet Shop was played and of course the crowd went wild, however the effort and quality of his music went far downhill following this. The speakers in the Kamikaze tent really didn’t do any justice to his music as they were far too quiet and the bass was not nearly deep enough to feel the wobbles. A disappointing and short set all together.