By the time we managed to walk into the Castle grounds Tamikrest, a Tuareg blues band had already initiated their performance. I do particularly like the desert blues type of musical approach and the more I listened to the sound of this recent band, which presented themselves for the first time in 2010 I felt I'll have to make it to the "Blues of the Desert" Festival one day (hopefully). There is an attraction that does come from within, as if my whole senses were unexpectedly taken by this sound ...
Their performance was highly appreciated and the band was forced to come back on stage a few seconds after having left it because the audience kept on calling them back.
Akua Naru's voice could easily be taken for a male voice ..., in fact it took us quite a while to realise the performing character was a lady singer - born in the USA despite being of Ghanian origin she brought a special "touch" to the hip-hop culture she so well represented, because of the dense poetry it was "embedded" in, but I think that what also made this lady so special was her capacity to communicate with the public and almost make us fall in love with her.
Prior to the last performance on the Castle stage the audience was unexpectedly surprised and honoured with a series of fireworks.
When Femi Kuti and the Positive Force band walked on stage I was already extremely tired to thoroughly appreciate his performance. His rhythmic tandem of jazz, funk and African tradition is something I could fall for, maybe under different circumstances. Despite the extreme tiredness Mia and I stayed through to the end, as Filipa and some of the people we gathered with within the fortress seemed to be appreciating his performance.
If I have to be honest about this first "live" experience of mine I'll have to say I enjoyed every moment of it, with some high moments I will certainly remember for sometime, but if ever I come back I'll have to come for the whole festival, because having looked at the schedule of performances throughout the whole fortnight we did miss some we shouldn't have - Asif Ali Khan, Rokia Traoré, Hassan El Gadiri, Tcheka, Jon Luz, Reijseger Fraanje Sylla, Bassekou Kouaté and Ngoni Ba, not to mention other groups from Bosnia Herzegovina, Ukraine and Norway I have never heard of.