Rainforest World Music Festival

Kuching Travel Blog

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Travbuddy makes it to the Rainforest World Music Festival 2007

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Robin (England), Marcus (Finland), Hannes (Sweden)

Sunday was the final day of the Rainforest World Music Festival, so Julia and I decided to buy tickets and see what was on offer. We rocked up around 16.00 after encountering problems getting to the event, situated about an hours bus ride out of Kuching. It seemed everyone was trying to get there at the same time and we had to wait for 3 buses before we eventually scored a seat.

The festival had a wicked location set in amongst the mountains and surrounded by trees with a nice lake to chill out by. During the year it is set up to host cultural events with permanent longhouses taking centre stage. We were just in time to enter the longhouses and watch 2 workshops that were taking place.

Who said one beer can't get you drunk?
The first workshop was led by the Zimbabwean band, the Black Umfolosi, who were getting spectators involved and dancing and singing to their mystical chanting. The second workshop was a combination of bands playing music together on a range of instruments. The former was certainly most to my liking.

We grabbed a kebab and some soft drinks whilst we waited for the main programme to begin at 19.30 and met up with Hannes, Robin and Marcus. The first 2 acts only lasted 15 minutes each before Kha Chi from Vietnam entered the stage. The most interesting thing within their performance was the way that the guy played his instruments. He often would produce a home made contraption and insert the sections that produced the sounds into his armpits, between his ear and shoulder, you name it, he had a place for it! The show went on for an hour and half way through, we decided that it was time make our own fun and to start drinking :)

By the time Inka Marka came on at 9.

Packed crowd witness Inka Marka
20, we were well into the swing of things and their Andean music brought happy memories of South America flooding back to me. The group are composed of Enrique from Argentina, Bolivian Jose and 2 Chileans Jaime and Michel, playing an assortment of instruments including a guitar, pipes, drum, flute and by far my favourite the cherango (i have one at home). After entertaining the crowd and getting them shaking their asses for 45 minutes, they closed by playing a couple of classics including the lambarda.

Huun Huur Tu from Tuva, an autonomous Russian state, had their work cut out following Inka Marka and i found their throat singing a little dull in comparison. It reminded me of Mongolia, but i much prefered the solo act we were treated to when we were there! Next up were a wacky English band from Hull, called Doghouse Skiffle Group.

Me and the awesome Inka Marka
They played a washboard amongst their instruments and also played a few well known songs, which raised the crowd again.

On one of our many beer runs/toilet breaks, we got interviewed by a Malaysian magazine and a photo taken - i had my travbuddy t-shirt on, so maybe we will get some more Malay members soon :) Straight afterwards we bumped into Kha Chi and got a photo with them, then all of a sudden we spotted Inka Marka and they kindly obliged to having their photo with us. I was well chuffed and went back to watch the last act really buzzing.

Polish band Shannon were last to perform their Celtic music, with the main emphasis been on a violin and flute, although a keyboard and guitar were also prominent. It was a really good performance although it only came in as my second favourite, behind you guessed it, INKA MARKA! To round the day off, i met one of the guys from the Black Umfolosi and then we ran into Inka Marka again, just as they were about to go on stage for the final farewell.

2 of the guys from Shannon
The lead singer Enrique was a really nice bloke and knew about my football team Leeds United, which makes him even more of a legend in my book! We chatted about how it has all gone wrong at Leeds before he had to shoot off onto stage. This rounded off an awesome event and has transformed me into a dedicated Inka Marka fan! Check them out at http://www.inkamarka.com/html/inkaworld.html and see what im going on about!

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Travbuddy makes it to the Rainfore…
Travbuddy makes it to the Rainfor…
Who said one beer cant get you dr…
Who said one beer can't get you d…
Packed crowd witness Inka Marka
Packed crowd witness Inka Marka
Me and the awesome Inka Marka
Me and the awesome Inka Marka
2 of the guys from Shannon
2 of the guys from Shannon
Black Umfolosi perform at the work…
Black Umfolosi perform at the wor…
Many different bands combine to pl…
Many different bands combine to p…
Traditional stilt house
Traditional stilt house
Traditional stilt house and totem …
Traditional stilt house and totem…
Totem Pole
Totem Pole
Inka Marka get the crowd going
Inka Marka get the crowd going
Inka Marka, the evenings star perf…
Inka Marka, the evenings star per…
Julia and me... getting drunk i su…
Julia and me... getting drunk i s…
Me with the Vietnamese act of Khac…
Me with the Vietnamese act of Kha…
One wasnt enough for Julia
One wasn't enough for Julia
One of the acts backstage
One of the acts backstage
Polish act Shannon get the crowd g…
Polish act Shannon get the crowd …
Lead man of Shannon
Lead man of Shannon
Me with a member of the Balck Umfo…
Me with a member of the Balck Umf…
All the bands take a bow
All the bands take a bow
The closing ticker tape farewell
The closing ticker tape farewell
Kuching
photo by: aotw