You heard it before you saw it, pulsing from inside the whopping great tent that –even at WOMAD, with its seven stages and eclectic wish-list line-up – has become the place to be.
The Bowers & Wilkins Sound System: four gleaming, seriously sexy, 3.5metre high speaker stacks developed to transform the live festival experience, gifting revellers a sound quality so rich and detailed, so clean and open, that it brings the music closer; as close, really, as music can possibly get.
The arrival of a stage in 2014 devoted to sound was cause for celebration, the fact that it also featured (and has continued to feature) a range of singular acts made it a talking point.
Last year was the fourth time Sound System had been at WOMAD and a selection of the live performances by the artists who appeared on the stage are celebrated in this month’s Society of Sound release: Bowers & Wilkins Live: WOMAD 2017. Many of the artists featured on this compilation such as Tom Hickox, Blue Lab Beats, Ofeliadorme, Speech Debelle, Portico Quartet and Loney dear will be familiar to the Society of Sound audience, having been the focus of monthly releases in their own right in the past year or so. For this release they are joined by Atau Tanaka’s electronic sound sculpture, Addictive TV’s orchestra of samples, the jazzy electronica of Anchorsong and the unique sound of the NY Theremin Society’s Charlie Draper.
Whether you’re discovering this music for the first time or re-living the weekend one more time, Bowers & Wilkins Live: WOMAD 2017 will place you right at the heart of the Sound System live experience.