Rhythms of the World Festival Feature
Rhythms of the World Festival Feature
by Steve Conley
Yesterday along with my good friend Dave, I attended Rhythms of the World festival in Hitchin, Hertfordshire UK. Mainly to see three artists perform, but also just to hear some fantastic music and have a lovely day out.
We got there later than expected thanks to an exceptionally long and slow entrance queue so unfortunately, I only just caught the end of Gemma Aguilar performing on the Icehouse Stage. She had a great crowd and got a huge applause at the end so she’d obviously made a great impression on those that got there in time to see the full performance!
I just had enough time to say a hello to Gemma and manager Glenn before they had to dash off to the BBC area, so then it was off to St. Mary’s Stage to get ready to see Lu Cozma and Steve Askew perform.
St. Mary’s Stage was a nice place to be, it was covered up and had rows of benches to sit on which was great! We took our places on the front row of seats and watched as Steve had a sound check. Soon to be joined by Lu for further sound checking.
The duo went on to make a fantastic performance and were extremely well received by the crowd. I’ve recorded four tracks for your viewing pleasure, starting off the superb ‘Dancer’.
Right after that, another track from ‘Red’ was played and this was ‘Sanctuary’.
The next track up that I recorded was ‘Building a Mystery’.
This is the first time I’ve seen Lu & Steve play live (apart from the gig where I saw them via webcam) so I was surprised and very pleased to hear them do their own version of ‘White Rabbit’. I’ve long loved the Jefferson Airplane version and enjoyed this version hugely. I only managed to record half of this and rather than share that, I’d just strongly advise you to see them live!
The last track I recorded was their final track of the set, the truly brilliant ‘Runaway’. We all know Steve is handy with a guitar but this performance really was something to see.
Lu & Steve appearing live is a real performance. Lu has a very distinctive vocal, what you hear on the album is exactly what you hear live. She sings so effortlessly, from the low notes to the high, even in a busy festival type environment you can’t help but be captivated by her voice and her good looks.
Watching Steve perform is quite incredible. For me, this is Steve at his absolute best, just Steve and an acoustic guitar. You can see the passion in every note he plays, maximum effort is delivered throughout. I think in a band there are certain constraints which will not allow a musician to truly show their full talent. With Lu Cozma, Steve is able to express himself and from the applause throughout, I’m sure the crowd were feeling that. His technique really is something to be seen.
Right after the performance, we went over to try and get some photos and were quickly invited into the backstage area by Glenn which was really nice and hugely appreciated.
Gemma is very charming, hugely talented and really deserves to have big success. She plays guitar so well and as we all know, to play and sing at the same time is really quite something.
Glenn with Gemma:
Then for the very first time, I met up with Lu Cozma. It’s difficult to lay down in words how very lovely Lu Cozma is, you’d just have to meet her to appreciate that. Very lovely and strikingly beautiful!
Whilst chatting to Lu, the one and only Steve Askew came across and we had a great chat about all things musical, Lu & Steve, KajaGooGoo, things Steve had planned himself, it was great to see Steve again.
Whilst watching the soundcheck, I must have been on another planet as Steve told me afterwards that he’d been playing a bit of ‘The Garden’!! I’d completely missed that and Steve said he’d looked over at me to see if I’d notice or not!! Throwing a bit of KajaGooGoo into the soundcheck, top work!
Steve with Lu:
All KajaGooGoo fans will of course want to know if I asked THE question. Well, of course I did. Would KajaGooGoo ever play another gig? The answer was exactly what I thought it would be, never say never. So many factors make it difficult but there’s no reason to say a firm no. Keep the faith Kajafans!
After a performance like this though, the question should be when are Lu & Steve playing again!!
It’s all very busy for Steve right now, another album is planned with Lu which I’m personally really excited about. Steve is also working on a solo album when time allows, again this sounds like an amazing project which we eagerly await.
Steve and Lu with myself , I’m pulling a rather strange expression!
I think it’s my best ‘look at me with my arm around Lu Cozma woohooo’ expression!!
And so after a great chat with everyone, I was furnished with some lovely products!
First up is the ‘Red’ album signed by Lu and Steve:
And this superb Lu Cozma promo CD:
Also now in my collection is the new EP from Gemma Aguilar, ‘It’s My Life’. I’ve been listening to this on my iPhone since it came out and it’s fantastic, if you don’t already have it, buy it, seriously go and buy it!
As you’ve noticed there are two, look out for a competition soon to win a copy of the EP.
Glenn also gifted us with this promo CD:
I must say a huge thanks to Glenn who came to meet us, pulled us in for photos and chats, was highly complimentary of KajaFax and being very aware of the sort of material I’d be wanting to take back to the site and helping me achieve that.
It was truly lovely to chat to everyone at length and in a relaxed vibe, that chance doesn’t come up often so thanks to everyone for that. Having two hugs with Lu Cozma certainly helped top off a fantastic day. Smitten? Me?!
On leaving the stage area I bumped into Anna Conti who is of course, Steve’s wife. I haven’t seen her since 2009 at the Stables so very lovely to say hello!
All in all I believe we spent around six and a half hours in the festival compared with over eight hours on the road but it was massively worth it, we had a great time!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the footage and the photos and if you get a chance to attend ROTW 2012, go for it!