WOMAD Caceras and The Raghu Dixit Project
Last year, when we played WOMAD in Charlton Park, it was much too quick for us to fully savour the experience, but the gig itself was something we would never forget. WOMAD, the festival, is like that! you can’t forget your WOMAD experience in a hurry.
This time round, WOMAD Caceras, was our tour opener. And what a way to start a tour! In Spain for the first time ever, playing at one of the most beautiful concert venues in the world, to thousands of people who don’t speak our language! Perfect
We landed up in Caceras after a quick flight into Madrid and a 4 hour bus journey along Spain’s scenic country side. Quickly checked into the hotel and went out exploring the town. After what must be 4 hours of walking, we ended up at the Main Stage for WOMAD Caceras to catch the local act and a electro – ska – rap – beatbox band close day 1.
It was quite a party for us, five of us in what must have been atleast 25,000 people who had come out to party on the streets of Caceras. We had a jolly good time, being the “novelty items”, the only Indians (as far as we were told) in a kilometer’s radius, we did not spare a single opportunity to tell everyone we could about coming over to our show the next day.
We had a workshop planned early in the evening on the 7th and then a couple of hours before our show at 11 PM local time! The good thing with festivals is that there is always a floating crowd and word of mouth / the sound travels quickly and people land up filling the venue before you can even think about it!
Our workshop was quite interesting because it was largely planned as a talk + explain + demonstrate session where we realized very quickly that the first two parts of the plan were not possible! We did have a translator but the crowd was clearly not in the mood to listen to us explaining things and especially not when we spoke in English!
So demonstrate it was! and we demonstrated as much as we could about our music, the culture, our influences, the arrangements, the “Indianness” of it and what made our music special. And the crowd loved it! The workshop also served as a good curtain raiser for our performance later in the night.
By the time the workshop was done, we were seeing the best of the Spanish unpredictable weather where there were rains lashing around and the production crew had to arrange a makeshift shelter on stage for the equipment and at one point, it got so bad that the workshop after us had to be cut off half way!
But all spirits were high for when we returned, after a set by a local opening band, we were on stage, making real what had been a dream till one moment before! The crowd did not disappoint either. People poured in from all corners and we had quite a few people ready to party – Indian Folk Style!
A tight one hour set in which Raghu’s guitar string snapped only once was most joyously played out by the band and we could see much dancing and revelry from on stage which made things much better for us, pushing up the performance a notch or two higher!
Like Raghu said, “We froze the clouds, stopped the rains and moved the crowd”, it was a crazy night and we loved every moment of it and with it, another WOMAD chapter is etched in our memories, not to be forgotten in a hurry!
Muchas Gracias to Team WOMAD, Caceras for getting us there and having us play. Too many to thank by name, but you know who you are!
PS: Happy Birthday to Vijay whose birthday we celebrated on stage in Spain! Don’t think we can give you a better gift