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Monday, 12 November, 2001, 15:34 GMT
Joe Strummer greets Gran Canaria
Joe Strummer sang some old Clash songs as well as new material
Joe Strummer fronted his latest band The Mescaleros
By BBC News Online Martin Vennard at the World of Music Arts and Dance festival in Gran Canaria.

They may be called Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, but it was The Clash who were at the forefront of everyone's minds when they took to the stage on Sunday night.

Headlining the final day of Womad Canarias, the former Clash front man and his latest band did not disappoint his fans in terms of repertoire or entertainment.

They played Clash hits such as Police and Thieves, I Fought the Law and London's Burning. The Las Palmas crowd loved it.

The folk-like instrumental that opened the concert, and closes their album Global a Go-Go, was no indication of the rocking and reggae to come.

The band played mostly traditional instruments
Farafina did a salsa for their finale
The three guitars, bass, drums, violin and keyboards soon had Santa Catalina park pogoing to sounds of the 70s and 80s as well as their latest offerings.

Dressed all in black, Mr Strummer did even more to get the public on his side by speaking in Spanish to the crowd of several thousand.

Farafina from Burkina Faso took to the stage next and underlined the eclectic nature of the festival.

Playing mostly traditional percussion instruments, their hypnotic rhythms and haunting voices took us the short distance across the Atlantic to the African mainland.

Leader Souleymane Sanou's men danced athletically in their yellow and brown robes, while Fatoumata Dembele threw wooden rattles into the air when she wasn't singing.

The appearance of their stringed instruments, with long thin necks and huge ball-shaped bodies, just added to the spectacle. They even managed to add a bit of salsa to their finale.

The Blind Boys of Alabama
The Blind Boys of Alabama did a Nat King Cole tribute
The Blind Boys of Alabama are exactly what their name suggests, and they looked the part in their white suits and black glasses for a journey to America's Deep South.

They have been performing their gospel blues for decades and they know how to work an audience.

They built up from a cappella to a Nat King Cole tribute and an uplifting climax when one of the two lead singers literally had to be held back from falling off the edge of the stage.

Estrella Morente and her group did a fine job representing the host nation. The young flamenco singer proved her musical pedigree by hitting the high notes and undulating her voice for an authentic Andalusian experience.

The daughter of a famous musician and dancer, she was backed up by two guitarists and three singers, while the audience stamped their feet and clapped their hands in approval.

As Womad Canarias said adios for another year, there was more than one person in the crowd thinking hasta luego.

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