The momentum of the last 3 days held strong on the finale of Colours. Glorious weather conditions prevailed as beloved czech group, Vojtěch Dyk & B-Side Band bandleader Josef Buchta, belted out covers of classics such as Sinatra’s My Way. Over on the Agrofert stage, Botanica played a dynamic and eclectic mix of gypsy and punk-cabaret infused chamber rock to a rapt audience. Somewhat out of sync with the program of the 4 days, Tomahawk’s harsher sounds, a blend of experimental alternative metal and hard-rock, disturbed a bit, making me wonder whether they might not have had a more appreciative audience were they playing at a different festival. But this is the beauty of Colours – there is room for every genre, and they were all represented.
The day traversed a range of music ranging from Dhafer Youssef’s meditative sounds to Hayseed Dixie’s unique blend of bluegrass and rock style. I cannot say that day 4 of the Colours held any sort of climatic ending, nor was there a sense of a build-up. Rather, the program sustained itself with its consistent diversity of entertainment. Ending earlier than last year, the festival closed out at 9:45 with a 2 hour performance by Jamie Cullum. Heartfelt and delightful, Cullum won the hearts of Ostravians with his sincerity and talent. Accompanied by a superbly gifted group of musicians, the artist displayed an endearing modesty in the way he engaged the audience and shared the spotlight with fellow band members.
Compared to the previous 2 years, this year’s festival departed from norm in that it didn’t feature major “stars” like Alanis Morisette or Nick Cave. It’s not a question of Sigur Ros and Jamie Cullum being any less popular, but that they are perhaps not as internationally renowned as their counterparts. Ask any Ostravian – and I did – hardly any had heard of either acts, only a small minority. And if they did recognize the names, it did not generate excitement or enthusiasm.
Bringing me back to the same point about why Colours works as well as it does – its intimate and joyful atmosphere. And drawing attention to the obvious – that its 12 years of consistent hard work can and does bring together a community. Even if Ostravians have a tendency to indulge in a sense of inferiority, Colours gives them a reason to hold their heads up high.