Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Vicentine Coast around the island of Pessegueiro, Portugal - the 28th of July 2013

We decided to spend the last part of our trip to the Vicentine coast around the island of Pessegueiro on a small and rather cosy beach among rocks right in front of the island's fort, which was built in 1588 as a supplementary fortification to the one that stood behind us in the mainland, both of which are said to have been designed to protect the coast from the English pirate ships.

We finally  decided to drive back home in the early afternoon though none of us made any special effort to. Had we not had obligations back in Lisbon the following day and I am sure we wouldn't have "abandoned"  the Vicentine coast and its beaches so abruptly as we did.   

Having trusted Mia and Filipa to drive the car I went to sleep on most of the way back to Lisbon. The moment we reached home none of us felt like saying anything except that we feel we'll go back some other time (why not this year!...)

World Music Festival of Sines (still) - The 27th of July 2013


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.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

World Music Festival of Sines (cont.), Portugal - The 27th of July 2013


After having slept for about four hours and soon after having had a copious breakfast at the hotel restaurant we decided to venture towards the Vicentine coastline so as to be able to sunbathe in one of the many small isolated beaches which are spread along it, once the concerts wouldn't be starting before half past eight.

The beaches were rather "appealing" and we had a tremendous difficulty in selecting the one we would be spending our next hours on. We finally decided for the Samouqueiro beach, which is closer to Porto Covo.

By then we basically had the beach for ourselves and it wasn't much later that people finally started arriving.

By noon the heat was too strong so we decided to drive into the village and find ourselves a small restaurant where we could have some fresh fish. We soon walked into the pedestrian area by the small church and had a typical buzio rice meal and some very tasty grilled sardines with a jar of red wine "sangria" to go with.

Having got back to the hotel by three we still had time to lie down in the veranda and have an "afternoon" nap until around seven when we got ready for the last night of the festival which started once more at the bay stage with a group from China.

We were a bit far from the stage but the voice of the Dawanggang group singer (and author of most of the songs of the group) did catch our attention. The produced sound is melodically speaking  a "savage-like" musical approach similar to a vagrant rhythm according to music experts which incorporates traditional Chinese opera and a renovated structural jazzy approach.

Before the Castle performances started we still had time to visit the Chapel of Misericordia which housed a rather special and very well organised fair on World Music and therewith related books.

Prior to walking into the Castle grounds we sat down at a close by café restaurant to have some typical Portuguese meal that would sustain us through the long evening and were unexpectedly surprised by a group of musicians playing with recycled -like instruments ... and what a great street performance it was!...

(To be continued)