Continuing the music theme, I watched a small part of the Birmingham ArtsFest last night, in Centenary Square, and particularly enjoyed the drumming from Handsworth's Dhol Blasters, the excellent guitar work of Slowburner's Mike Bannister and an acoustic set from Gabbidon. The latter was my main reason for attending this year's event, which regrettably doesn't include ReggaeRockz, though I'm reliably informed that part of ArtsFest will return in 2007. The set from Gabbidon contained six songs including Satta Massagana, Respect For Jah and Exodus, with Basil Gabbidon and Faisal on guitars, Colin on conga drum and Leonie Smith (pictured) and Sonia on backing vocals. Much later in the evening, at the after-show party at The Drum, Gabbidon re-appeared after a nice reggae set from Rockstone and the Y2K band. Joining the acoustic line-up was Paul Beckford on bass with Gabbidon belting out the same set as earlier in the evening but with a real reggae-rock kick. Don't forget that Gabbidon will be appearing at the Jam House in Birmingham on Wednesday 27 September - its well worth making the effort to get along and enjoy this top-notch band. And you can read more about Leonie Smith here.