Wow! What a party!
I’ve been back couple of days now and am recovering well. At the moment, Shambala is a complete blur- it feels as though i lived on that field for an entire month rather than 11 days! it is definitely going to take a little while for me to process and remember everything that happened and everything that i saw or heard! But, in the mean time, i think that i should at least mention just a couple of my personal highlights. (These are not necessarily the best or the most special- just a couple that have popped into my head while writing this post.)
On saturday afternoon at 1.50, i received news that Hijak Oscar, scheduled to play on the Main Stage at 2.30pm, were actually in Gurnsey! At the last minute, after trying several dead-ends, i finally struck gold when MC Xander and Jahman Sillah both agreed to fill in. It could not have worked out better!! Although i literally introduced them to each other on stage 2 mintues before their show, they perfomed as if they have been playing together for years. The stunning beatboxing of MC Xander and the awesome drumming of Jahman quickly attracted a huge dancing crowd who were utterly rapt until the last note of Xander’s beautiful acapella of “Stand By Me.”
I love the cross pollination of talent from different musical crews that occurs more and more at Shambala and this theme was definitely one of my highlights of 2008. It was heard throughout the weekend in the Roots Yard. Jam Jah, Mungo’s Hifi, J Star, Smith and Mighty, Rankin Roger and many more all mucking in together, was really special and emphasised the musical family that Shambala is a part of. This was also demonstrated throughout Smerin’s Antisocial Club’s stunning closing set on Sunday night. Featuring guest vocalists like Nuala Honan, Xander once again, Dub FX and more Smerin’s surpassed themselves and put on the perfect closing set of Shambala.
I must , of course, mention Horace Andy on Sunday night!!
What a surprise and what a show! Arranged at the absolute last minute, to have one of my all time musical heroes was a real honour. The fact that their drummer was late even added another dimension to the show. For the first few tracks, Horace sang his heart out and performed like i had never seen him perform before. A consummate performer rising to the situation. It was a special show that will stay with me for years! (Thanks Andrew for the photo- i didn’t ask but thought you wouldn’t mind!)
Well!! I intended this to be a brief post, but it its now developing into a little essay! So, time to wrap it up. Please, please comment on this post with your musical highlights or even just random festival memories or thoughts.
I think that before i do wrap it up i must comment on how seriously impressed i was with all the Birmingham bands that performed so well all weekend. Excellent sets from Misty’s, The Beat, Destroyers, Overproof, Freindly Fire, Pritham Singh, Bright Size Gypsies, Desert Groove and so many many more. They all made me so happy and very proud to be part of the vibrant and exciting music scene of Moseley and Birmingham!!