WOMAD Best Of: DakhaBrakha

On July 30, 2014 by Tim Newman

WOMAD - DakhaBrakha Ukraine

I just got back from WOMAD the other day. For those of you who aren’t in the know, WOMAD is a festival that celebrates so called “world music”. You might argue that all music comes from the world, and you’d be right, but you know what they mean. They showcase a variety of sounds from countries you may never visit. Talented musicians from every corner of the globe.

The festival is relaxed and never too hectic which is good for someone who hates crowds and humans as passionately as I do. There may be a few too many GROLIES (Guardian Reading Overweight Ladies In Ethnic Skirts) but at least there aren’t any 12-year-old chavs rushing their teeth off and flashing a blade.

One of the stand out performances for me this year was from DakhaBrakha. Originating from Kyiv, Ukraine they consist of three ladies with massive hats and a nice beardy looking fella. They use traditional Ukrainian instruments alongside Arabic, Russian, African and Australian instruments.

WOMAD - DakhaBrakha Ukraine snow

DakhaBrakha weave a relaxing a scenic soundscape and at times allow it to whip up into a ball of gentle fury. The vocals from the ladies sit so neatly together I must admit I was stunned at how accurate they were in a live setting. And, although the fella gets less of a mention than the oddly hatted femmes, he had a good voice on him too and even let out a touch of shouting for the metallers in the crowd. Thanks.

WOMAD - DakhaBrakha Ukraine 2

Music is always better when you’re stood in a sunny field with a pint in your hand, but these guys stand up to a bit of sobre, indoor listening too. Since the band’s formation in 2004 they’ve played in tens of countries and by the sounds of things they are well received wherever they roam. At their gentlest moments they sweep from drone to trip-hop and at their rare heights of passion almost scrape the undercarriage of Isis and their ilk.

Here’s a stream to DakhaBrakha’s BandCamp site…. I just love the harmonies…

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