Tag Archives: Africa Oyé

A week to myself

IMG_0107IMG_0082This week I’m away from Liverpool, at Laugharne in South Wales. A week on my own, away from my work and my laptop. To walk, read, maybe write and on the whole do not much of anything. A retreat. I’ve brought some music, some poetry, some t-shirts and not much else.

As the week goes by I’ll add some words and photos to this blog of my week.

Before I leave some time with my family at Africa Oyé in Sefton Park. Then I finish packing, and leave home early Monday morning.

My daughter Clare Melhuish with 2 of her children, Finn and Ellie.

 

Continue reading

2016: A year in 30 photographs

A selection from the several thousand photographs I’ve taken this year for this blog. Taken all together they tell one story of the year. Not a definitive one, more of a meander as you might expect.

In a year that’s been turbulent in so many ways it’s been good to have this blog to come home to. A quiet place to reflect and to tell some stories. Stories of ordinary days and determined people, trying to make our part of the world a better and fairer place.

A frame round the sky. At Rotunda in Kirkdale

A frame round the sky. At Rotunda in Kirkdale

The new stand at Anfield rising in the January fog.

The new stand at Anfield rising in the January fog.

Reflection of the new Royal.

Reflection of the new Royal.

Continue reading

Africa Oyé 2016

DSC03725

“Just a perfect day
Drink Sangria in the park
And then later
When it gets dark, we go home”

Day One of this year’s 24th Africa Oyé is truly one of those. Joyous music, good friends and Liverpool at our very best. So thank you all the musicians, sound engineers and organisers of Africa Oyé, Liverpool’s greatest gift to itself. And thank you Jennifer, Jayne, Jim, Clare, Simon, Ellie, Theo, Finn and everyone who stops to say hello.

Here’s how it looks.

Someone has to be on first. Rimka wakes up the still sleeping field.

Someone has to be on first. Rimka wakes up the still sleeping field.

A Nigerian lunch before the queues build up from Flavors of Africa.

A Nigerian lunch before the queues build up from Flavors of Africa.

Recommended if you’re going on Sunday.

Xam Volo. Easy like Sunday morning, on Saturday.

Xam Volo. Easy like Sunday morning, on Saturday.

Then the whole field is brought to its feet and to smiles and tears by a group of children. Continue reading

Getting Ready for Africa Oyé

DSC03663On this day every year I walk through Sefton Park to see it being made ready for our greatest cultural festival, Africa Oyé. Where we celebrate each other, our place, where we came from and where we’re going next.

Leaving a home currently being worked on by the builders of Coming Home Liverpool.

Leaving a home currently being worked on by the builders of Coming Home Liverpool.

And ultimately on my way to a meet up of the Coming Home board.

Here we are then.

Here we are then.

Appearing every mid-summer's days.

Appearing every mid-summer’s days.

The magical village of Oyé.

The magical village of Oyé.

Continue reading

It’s Heaven Up Here – LIMF 2015

LIMF - 27This year’s Liverpool International Music Festival, we’re up to Year 3 of these already, happened in Sefton Park, and I was there keeping an eye on things. The Park itself as much as the music. Three perfect Liverpool days. Here’s what they looked like to me. Three days in fields full of friends. Good to meet you all.

MondayLIMF3 - 34

The whole thing was to end with Bunnymen, the Liverpool Philharmonic and fireworks. But I arrived mid-afternoon in the rain.LIMF3 - 1

And to the strangest sight the Liverpool Stage has seen since the Bonnacons of Doom a couple of years back. Meet Barberos. ‘Electro-noise’ they call it. Well I was on my way to somewhere else before the noise started and it drew me right in. Think Van Der Graff Generator and then get a bit tougher. Continue reading

Listening to Africa: Africa Oyé 2015

Africa Oye - 1As you can see, our irrepressible Tommy Calderbank did eventually bring the sun out with the sheer force of his optimistic personality, but for the first couple of hours of today’s Africa Oye in Sefton Park it was a different and wetter story.

I needed Africa Oyé today. For various reasons to do with this being a blog and not a diary I needed the healing joy that this free festival has been bringing to my life for well over 20 years now. These have been tough weeks and it was time for some time for me.

To celebrate Liverpool in the best way I know.

To celebrate Liverpool in the best way I know.

Enthusiastically welcomed as ever.

Enthusiastically welcomed as ever.

A team of signers helping out this year too.

A team of signers helping out this year too.

But I arrived for lunch in heavy rain.

But I arrived for lunch in heavy rain.

Continue reading

In Liverpool: On my birthday

On my birthday02Due to some oversight at the Meteorological Office my birthday dawns brightly blue, and so the two friends are able to set out on a walk together.

We're walking into town, through the parks.

We’re walking into town, through the parks.

And though it's brightly sunny, it's fiercely cold.

And though it’s brightly sunny, it’s fiercely cold.

Continue reading