A gravel pit parking lot, home to cars of patrons of the famous Charly’s Bakery and The Fugard Theatre, played host to the first ever Cape Town World Music Festival. Aside from the political fluff brought on due to the partial funding of the festival by the Israeli Arts and Culture Department, this baby festival managed to turn Cape Town’s mildly dodgy Fringe District into a buzzing oasis of music and wonder, proving that Cape Town’s inner city has got what it takes to be a festival venue
Friday saw a small crowd of Zimbabwean ‘Tuku’ fans fill up the audience armed with flags and die hard support for their man, Oliver Mtukudzi, who didn’t disappoint. Just before he came on the crowd was treated to the eclectic sounds of Spoek Mathambo with a guest appearance by the soulful Miss Lindiwe Suttle. We wish we hadn’t arrived at the festival on African time because it meant that we had missed the Frenchman, DJ Click. The reviews that followed his performance suggested that we should never be late again.
After the festivities on the main stage we slowly made our way to the Assembly to let our hair loose to the balkan beats of Toby2shoes and although the dance floor wasn’t as full as an average night at the Assembly, we weren’t alone for too long. We were shortly joined by the rest of the crowd that we had left the main stage. Everyone was in good spirits and soon we were all bobbing about to DJ Mighty’s awesome afro swing tunes. DJ Mighty is truly awesome and sure knows how to start a party, he even had a Copacabana style train weaving its way through the crowd. After a long night of ass shaking we decided to head home and recharge for another day of music that awaited us the next day.
Saturday, the second and final leg of the festival sees what can be described as gypsy up-tempo folk bands playing at the Lions Head Stage to a mass of dread-locked, barefoot, high-jumping folk. The songs are catchy, the people are inviting, and soon we find ourselves jumping up and about. The Brother Moves On, sure did move us with their serene, experimental afro-ambient-rock vibes. They were able to switch between two styles, prayer and party. Even if their music may not be to your taste, you’ll appreciate their skill, these Johannesburg brothers are hot hot hot.
Zaki Ibrahim surprised us with a new image. It was more edgy, sexier and vamped up. If I were to liken this change I would compare her previous image to Solange and now she’s more Beyonce. I’m still not sure if I like it. Her music also took on a more electronic, space age vibe and carried less depth.
Saturday night found us in the Assembly for the last round of dancing where we got hypnotised by the two handsome scholars named Christian Tiger school. Easy listening and this swagged out duo had us on our feet for a while. We somehow managed to miss Freshlyground – who we understand introduced the crowd to their new sound as well as lead singer Zolani’s new trimmer look.
Kimon came on and the cyclical drone of his new age house had us ready for bed. It had been a long weekend. While we did have a jam at this year’s CTWMF, we’re saddened by the fact that for a gig that sells itself as worldly there were hardly any international acts. We also felt that attendance was low because of competition with other summer festivals, even though it was such a great festival in a venue with such potential. We’ll put it down to CTWMF being so new. CTWMF, we hope to see you again next year.