Welcome to the Musicport Festival Blog

As tickets go on sale for Musicport 2011 – the 12th festival, the 4th year at Bridlington and aiming to be the biggest yet - we’ll blog our way through the Musicport year, bringing you news of bookings, ideas and developments as the line-up takes shape, and a glimpse of the lives and minds of the Musicport staff and crew. We’ll be looking for thoughts and comments from you too – please join in, wherever you are!

You may have noticed that this blog was rather neglected during last year's festival. This was because we took it upon ourselves to 'live tweet' the event. Follow us @musicportfest or on #musicport you can also find us on facebook

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Musicport Memories

So the tenth festival is nearly upon us and I am drinking coffee and thinking vaguely about packing which seems as good a time as any to reflect on some of the amazing things I've been lucky enough to see and hear at Musicport over the last ten years.

I think the one moment that stands above everything for me in terms of intensity and significance was introducing 'Ustad Mahwash and Ensemble Kaboul' in 2003. The journey Mahwash and her musicians had taken from conservative Afghanistan, via poisoning, exile and asylum to our stage was inconcievable to most of us and a mere 'ladies and gentlemen please welcome...' was always going to be inadequate.

I'm going to list the rest of my stand out moments below, it would be great to hear everyone elses top moments, so do add your comments!
  • Talvin Singh - not a universal choice, but right up there in my memories
  • Buena Vista Social Club and being kissed on the cheek by the sadly missed Cachaito Lopez
  • Mostar Sevdah Reunion and Ljiljana Buttler
  • Danny Thompson in the green room 'it's good 'ere innit'
  • The countless late bands ringing up 'oh, I thought it was in Whitley Bay'
  • Sansaar the definite highlight of the first festival, bhangra, duffel coats and vodka!
  • Los De Abajo taking Musicport by storm in 2002 and 2005
  • My compering from a shrubbery for the UK Chinese Ensemble
  • Sidi Goma, surely the best opening yet?
  • Norma Waterson's beautiful and moving speech in 2001
  • Nuru Kane and the Bayefall Gnawa: I think everyone was a little bit in love with him.
  • Breakfast at The Royal Hotel, Whitby with The McGarrigles and Liljiana Buttler
  • Deckchairs on the roof in Bridlington.
I could go on and on and on, so I shall stop now and wait to hear your Musicport memories and moments.

See you Friday, don't forget to book your tickets!

Kate x


Joe Grint said...

You've mentioned two of mine Kate, Los D'Abajos & Mostar Sevdah Reunion. The others are Blowzabella, Reen Kelani with her band, both times I saw Warsaw Village Band, Asere with Billy Cobham. Sure there are lots more but enough for now! See you next week

Anonymous said...

What about the very first gospel breakfast - as the first note rang out through the cafe, Jo Downie and I looked at each other and burst into tears ...

Fi said...

We've only been to one Musicport! But; Blowzabella were outstanding, and I remember being moved to tears by Reem Kelani (this is not a bad thing) and I loved Yasmin Levy's set too.

The Invisible Mice said...

Blimey, anonymous you're right! How could I forget the gospel breakfast(s)... firstly the challenge of getting up and out that early on a Sunday after a big festival Saturday night and then the amazing moving beauty of beautiful gospel music set against the backdrop of boats pootling out through the piers of Whitby harbour... lovely!

Richard Kensington said...

Playing with Mas Y Mas to warm up the crowd before The Buena Vista Social Club came on, was about one of the most exciting gigs of my life.

It was hearing those guys and other records involving Ry Cooder, Nick Gold and many other fantastic Cuban musicians that changed the direction of my life, led me to study percussion, took me to Havana on many occasions and is about to culminate in the release of our third album.

We recorded it in Havana last year and I can honestly say I don't think it would have existed had I never heard the Buena Vista social club. So playing before them and then getting to meet loads of them was amazing and will live with me for ever... I have the bass drum skin that I got them all to sign hanging on my wall. So thank you Music Port for that amazing memory!!!