Saturday, 25 October 2008
Festival New Orleans/O2
To O2, or the Millennium Dome if you prefer. Far from being the large cavernous space I always thought it was, the Dome is in fact a huge shopping mall teeming with every chain food outlet you can shake a stick at. Its very American feel lent itself nicely to the first Festival New Orleans that took place today and yesterday. It features some of that city's best known musicians. I caught most of Marcia Ball's set in Matter, the O2's smaller music venue. Sat crossed-legged behind her keyboard, she and her band socked home some fabulous rhythm and blues, my favourite 'Peace Love and BBQ'. Allen Toussaint had already started his set by the time I'd relocated to the Louisiana Pavilion, a large outdoor area (although indoor if you see what I mean) complete with phony grass. All that was missing was a cool summer breeze and the smell of portaloos. Great music all round but I wanted some other reminders of New Orleans - where was the gumbo?