2012 is shaping up to be a year of festivals, far and near…….

Tea plantation next to the hotel in Ooty

The season started early with a trip to India in April to perform with the Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra at the first ever MAD Festival in Ooty, Tamil Nadu. Not quite as warm as it sounds – Ooty is a hill station, and can get surprisingly chilly!

But we were warmly welcomed by the enthusiastic audience and had a great time (thanks also to the promoters, drivers and the staff at the hotel and the festival – amazing food!!). Check out some footage here:        http://new.livestream.com/themadfestival/stage2/videos/425484

With Tony Allen @ Kaya Festival 2012, Wales

Then there came a (equally unexpectedly cold, but we should’ve known really) June festival weekend in the UK, again with Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra – the  inaugural Kaya Festival  on Saturday 2nd in Bangor, Wales, with inimitable afrobeat drum superstar Tony Allen, followed the next day by the lovely Rollright Fayre near the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire. Thanks to the festival-goers for sticking out the cold and rain to dance with us into the wee small hours!

[Keep an eye on the gallery section at  Rhythm Passport for fantastic photos from both these gigs, and while you’re there have a look around – there are some great pics from past gigs with Dele!]

And taking full advantage of the extra long bank holiday weekend, Monday 4th saw another afrobeat fuelled performance , this time with The Fontanelles at Bedroom Bar in London, as part of the first ever Rivington Street Festival. We had a great response from the crowd and hopefully have a few new converts to the ways and rhythms of ‘afrobeat-dub-ethiofunk’…..someone even asked us to play at their wedding!

But the festival fun doesn’t stop there:

Tomorrow (10th June) sees me with The Fontanelles at World City Music Village, a festival taking place across London 6-17 June. We’ll be performing in the gardens of the Horniman Museum (Forest Hill) at about 3pm, and it’s free entry…..Come for the whole day, there are some great bands on!

Then Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra will be at Africa Oyé in Liverpool’s Sefton Park on 23rd June (again, free entry and lots of great music), followed by a trip to Soundwave Festival Croatia in July. All this on top of regular gigs and and a trip to Manchester as part of the We Face Forward series – it’s a busy year, in the best way!