11.26am: Good morning, and welcome back to Womad. This is Caspar Llewellyn Smith here, feeling just a little bleary after a 4am finish last night. In a minute I'll need to go and get some coffee, but first, here's what some others made of yesterday (including our own Kieran Yates, who's down here to record a Music Weekly podcast with Alexis Petridis, who should be reappearing on site today, too):
Dutty whined to some brazilian funk while you were all watching the opening ceremoney last night. #womad lockerz.com/s/228953409
— kieran yates (@kieran_yates) July 28, 2012
Camped, fed and now taking in the delights of the legendary Jimmy Cliff...FANTASTIC! #WOMAD— Judy Dawes (@AmythystThistle) July 27, 2012
Loved watching opening ceremony at #Womad music festival, with people singing along, cheering, gasping & even standing for national anthem— Ian Birrell (@ianbirrell) July 28, 2012
That sweet smell of falafel and incense, g'morning #WOMAD— Elizabeth Ward (@elizabethmward) July 28, 2012
And over on our open thread, which folk at the festival are writing (after being yanked into a tent the Guardian has here, equipped with various Blackberry devices on which to write):
I thought that this year's womad has been with great with good music good weather and an extraordinary environment I will hope to come back next year. Rich.A age13 and Jeremy. 46
Such an exciting and eclectic mix of artists from jimmy to the correspondents. Very much enjoyed the mellow sounds of Seth lakeman yesterday. Sian, 45
As for me, I only managed to get a glimpse of The Manganiyar Seduction in the Siam Tent, but it did look amazing: this being 40-odd Rajasthani musicians arrayed in a four-storey bank of small boxes, each one framed by lightbulbs, and looking like something from Alice in Wonderland (or even Amsterdam's red light district, which impresario Roysten Abel said also inspired him). The Finnish accordion player Kimmo Pohjonen on the same stage later was equally extraordinary; it wasn't just him but also a female vocal trio from Ukraine, who could compete with Grace Jones in a millinery competition.
The only other act I saw last night was Lo'Jo, which makes it sound as if I stayed in that same tent all night, but actually there were a couple of trips to Molly's Bar on the fringes of the site as well: first to watch the Olympics opening ceremony on a big outdoor screen (which had the crowd of a couple of thousand cheering and applauding at key moments: the arrival of the suffragettes, also Her Maj and Bond), then just to stumble around looking for more sounds. Alas, Lo'Jo themselves, by that time of proceedings, just felt a bit too ... serious? Right, coffee.
12.51pm: Good afternoon, it's Kieran Yates here, ripe from dancing to the beat of my heart last night at my first Womad festival. As expected, I can report that there are djembes, diablo and dreadlocks as far as the eye can see and on the way over to the showers I was informed about the dangers of dairy (full of chemicals), fish (endangered) and mobile phones (radiation) so am getting a real education. Last night I avoided the mass sing-a-long and deep ska nostalgia of Jimmy Cliff and instead dutty whined with the teenagers to some Brazilian funk, finding world music from one man and his mac, Maga Bo, who played a mix of beats influenced by dubstep, samba and jazz.
The other act I saw was Ukranian four piece DakhaBrakha which included accordians, furious drumming and deeply emotive nasal harmonies from three women dressed in black lace and huge headdresses, who roused a few tears in the crowd. They were incredible but more amazing still was being witnessing a live gig with a complete absence of mobile phones in the air taking pictures. Probably wise, bearing in mind the radiation.
3.08pm: Over in the Blackberry tent, more festival-goers have been sharing their views on the festival so far.
Totally loving Womad. Glorious weather, fabulous music and delicious food. Jimmy Cliff's rendition of wild world is a highlight for me so far.
The Manganiyar Seduction were mind-blowing
Highlights were the wilderness of Manertoba. Fantastic sound and really intimate and really funny. Carloud do was brilliant and was really cool. The song he dedicated to his mum was really gorgeous. Jimmy cliff was great and was great bouncing around.
Karen and Chris, 42 and 49
Jimmy Cliff was fantastic, sang beautifully. Silky voice. Really respectful with the audience coming on early and played for ages! Lovely, beautiful. So tired but couldn't stop moving.
It's my 24th WOMAD in a row,I mustn't break the spell! Shame I missed the first six years... It's still fabulous experience of international music. This year I am looking forward to Nuba Noor from Egypt and Spiro who I missed a couple of years ago.
Yvonne, 51 today!!
3.28pm: Caspar here again. Raghu Dixit seemed to whip up a storm in the Siam tent earlier, but more of a surprise was Patrick Wolf in the same venue later: all I'm saying for now is that I really enjoyed him. Who says a world music festival can't open your ears? Now should aim to try and catch the end of Portico Quartet.
5.48pm: Hello all! Becky Barnicoat here. It's been a glorious Saturday at Womad so far. Impossibly, the sun has kept on shining and it's definitely created an added buzz among the punters. The novelty of lying in the sun, then scurrying out of the sun sweating and panting, hasn't worn off yet. My afternoon started with the slightly incongruous pairing of sunbathing and a set by Patrick Wolf. I sort of feel that Wolf's impassioned music demands a purple dusk and a rising moon, but actually his lunchtime session of "depressing ballads" (his words) and stirring strings, was a real pleasure.
There was just time after to grab a Goan fish curry, before we wandered into the woods for a lesson in the history of Malagasy music from Paddy Bush (yes, Kate's brother). My programme tells me that Paddy has been obsessed with Malagasy music for over 40 years, and today he played with the Malagasy music legend Justin Vali. "Come in to the forest," said Paddy, in his lovely soft voice, sounding like an enthusiastic primary school teacher. With the crowd sat cross legged on the grass in front of him, he sort of looked like one too. "We're going to go past all the animals. Past the lemurs, past the frogs, past all the insects." And up in the wooded glade by the BBC Radio 3 stage it wasn't hard to imagine we were really there, deep in the forest of Madagascar listening to Justin Vali play his beautiful ancestral valiha. The valiha is carved from an ancient bamboo, Paddy informed us, and only very few people in the world can play it. The crowd were lulled into an afternoon half-dream by its twinkly sound. I think we all wished it could have gone on longer than an hour. You can hear more from Paddy and Justin over on the BBC Radio 3 website.
Finally, I caught the last few songs from whacky Finnish accordion player Kimmo Pohjonen. Pohjonen is the sort of gothic Scandinavian I imagine you might bump in to at Roskilde festival, and he brandished his accordion with terrifying ferocity. The crowd were delighted, clamouring for more when he finished. It was a real spectacle, although I'm not sure I'd put it on at a dinner party.
Right, I'm going to head back into the evening sun for some churros and chocolate and maybe a bit of Cornershop – although I can't remember if I even liked them the first time round. Time will tell. For now, adieu.
7.15pm: And Caspar here again, feeling slightly refreshed after heading to a stage known as Lauren's dad's stage - or Taste the World - which hosts cookery demonstrations by artists ... they cook; they sing; they sing for your supper, because at the end you get to try a bit. It's a ridiculously Womad concept, and yet one you could easily imagine taking over the Channel 4 schedules, particularly when the show is in the hands of Lauren's dad, as MC, and the artist in this instance, the young Cameroonian singer Kareyce Fotso. She and her sister (Anne?) made a hilarious double act; she indeed sang beautifully, meriting a comparison with Fatoumata Diawara; and at the end up served up some beans and plantain.
On which note, having succumbed to the festival to this extent, it's probably time to wrap up for today. Time for a beer - oh, and a gawp at Prince Harry, who is apparently here somewhere - and then Batida, then Khaled. Such is the plan.
Meanwhile, others reckon:
Really loved the crowd surfing, singing performance the singer in the correspondence group refreshing get surprise..
Wonderful day.with glorious weather, to enhance the whole experience. Julia 50
Julie, kids world is wonderful! Lots of arts and crafts - we had to drag the children away!
WOMAD was ab fab!!!! Drunk shopping and messy reggae boogying was the highlight! Love it! Xxx
Isobel Watson aka Eddie 20
Emily heseltine aka patsy 20
I absolutely love womad and this is the fifth time I've been. I've been on the octopus, the big lizzie, but the dive bomber is my favorite. I have watched jimmy cliff and he is amazing. And I have eaten lots of delicious crepes and had loads of fun with my best friend.