Day 4: Colours of Ostrava

... and the Beat Goes On

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.

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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.


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