Womadelaide 2010 Sounds of the Planet Wrap up

Posted: March 9, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Despite the best intentions of updating this Blog every day of Womad it didn’t happen as there just arent enough hours in the day. Working a day Job during the week to pay for my Photographic indulgences, meant leaving a bit early on Friday Afternoon to get home to grab the Camera bag ( pre packed the night before ) and the family and head down on Friday night to get a park and then scramble there for the opening at 6pm. BIG thanks to my friend Michelle who works close by and offered her work Car park over the weekend which was within walking distance.

As a Photographer you get the first 10 minutes to shoot the band from the front of stage so you need to have a schedule or you’ll miss the start of a band and opportunities. I did my best over the weekend to catch as many bands as I could and was there from the start of each day to the last act on the main stage each day. Its damn tiring work lugging around a backpack full of camera bodies, lenses, Memory cards, batteries etc. When you get home in the evening you then have to START the process of dumping the photos off your memory cards and recharging batteries ready for the next day.

Of course its not quite that simple because as well as just dumping the images off your camera you also want to see what you’ve managed to capture during the day/evening, so as the images are being imported off your memory card into your software package ( Adobe Lightroom for me ) you are looking through them and doing some rough sorts/rating. I only shoot RAW images these days so with each image taking up 25-30 Meg of card space there is a lot of importing that occurs.  Even with the tools available and lots of experience post processing images I was up until 2am every evening going through photos and preparing for the next day. After selecting a batch of images for uploading I kicked off the upload to my webhost in the early hours of the evening and then went to bed leving the camera batteries charging.

Got to sleep in until 9:30 am most days – except Sunday when it was the only opportunity over the weekend to pick up some furniture they were giving away.

For those who are stat crazy

1869 Photos taken in total ( Friday night – Monday Night )

43.2 Gb of images

12.1 Gb of Video Footage ( Camera takes HD Video also – Dont even think about asking when you will see this !! )

I had spare Batteries for both the 50D and 5D Mk2 but suprisingly didnt need to use them. The 5DMk2 battery was amazing and still had over half charge left at the end of each days shooting and that included some video footage also

You can now see why the Blog wasn’t updated every day during Womad as every waking minute was spent at Womad or preparing photos for you guys to look at. It’s a thankless excercise for the most part as most people just look at them and dont comment, but if you like the photos please leave  comment as it means a lot to me.

All said and done I wouldnt do anything different. I love my Music and particularly the diverse range of music I get to experience at Womadelaide and I love Photography. To be able to combine the two passions is for me Bliss.

What next  Mondays Photos are going up as I write this and there are some RIPPERS. I will be going back over the Photos from Friday and Saturday especially and casting a more critical eye over them. Expect a few more to appear and some to get moved to the CROWD gallery ( this will be in Chronological Order ).

EDIT: The Highlights Best of Gallery is now ready to go ( There might be some minor changes additions/subtractions but essentially it is a collection of my favourite photos /memories from the weekend. Some are technically great photos,others I think capture the spirit of Womad.

Highlights Gallery .. some teasers from the 80 photos it contains below ( make sure you check it out )

Full Gallery of  photos from the weekend can be found here LINK

I’ve had a few people ask about my favourite acts during the weekend. Well there were No duds but special mention goes to

  • Babylon Circus – The sheer energy of this group was amazing and had the crowd absolutely pumping and great photo opportunities
  • Yamato Drummers – The have played here before but their energy and enthusiasm is very catchy
  • The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra – Will have to check these guys out again given they are from AUS.. Huge stage presence and great fun to watch
  • Hypnotic Brass ensemble – Saw these guys twice.. Full Brass sound as you’d expect and a lot of crowd interaction
  • Ravi and Anoushka Shankar – Whilst I’m not a huge fan of lengthy Indian Sitar music,  I can appreciate the strong connection he has to Indian Music and having his daughter play with him on stage was quite moving. Its amazing that he is 90 years old and still performing.
  • La Compagnie Transe Express – I thought overall this perfomance was a bit lengthy but it was pretty awesome and I dont think anyone in the crowd really knew what to expect. They were like the pied piper mving through the crowd in no particular order with people following them until they went aerial. Given the Rain and gusty winds on Monday it was a BIG effort for them
  • Kathakali Dance Ensemble – Doing three hours of intense make up prior to the show is a feat on its own. The costumes and makeup were mindblowingly amazing. The performances themselves I think would really require the audience not to be distracted by getting to their next show. The presenter said that sometimes that perfomance can go ALL night… wow

    There were Solid performances by other artists such as Calexico, Fyah walk, Ethiopiques, Mariem Hassan and many others too numerous to mention.

    Some performances I completely missed due to clashes or didnt even know about. I caught the end of Grilla Step ( Krump group ) and the Crowd energy was amazing. Frank Yama I didnt catch until the All star Gala on Monday but I wished I’d caught him earlier. Likewise I didnt see the perfomances by Noriko Tadano and wished I had.

    Hope you enjoy looking at the photos as much as I did taking them

    Bring on Womad 2011 – Cant wait to see who the line up has

    1. Ian McPhail says:

      Michael, great pics!

      some of my highlights:

      Nortec Collective: loved their visuals

      the men in black, those hats! Tongue in cheek Kraftwerk/Yello/full on techno rave hybrid done brilliantly with added Mexican spice

      We caught them again, rather fitting as our last act on Monday night, their workshop didn’t last long before they were back into full tilt “techno boogie” loved ’em!

      Mightily impressed by Public Opinion Afro Orchestra at their first gig, the harder the rain fell, the harder the crowd partied, the band were really firing off their enthusiasm (and that’s what it’s all about, the electricity flowing to and fro, man, music IS my religion!)

      Ojos de Brujo, frenetic precision or what!! They were capable of stop/starting on a dime, exhausting, awesome!

      Besh o droM, I’m getting a little weary of the gypsy genre, unless they really good, these guys were! Loved the Akai sax?/synth, his playing was masterly, at the workshop session, milk can percussionist “milking it” for all its worth!

      Eliades Ochoa: from that first high pitched blast from twin trumpets, the audience took a collective stunned step back, whoah!!! If you aren’t moved to dance to this Cuban groove you’re dead! Superb!

      Los Amigos Invisibles: fun pop sound but ultra infectious

      Kamel el Harrachi: pick the tune his father wrote that Rachid Taha made famous?

      Arrebato Ensemble: a Melbourne act, where have these talented guys been hiding?

      Lepisto & Lehti: tango with more than a touch of quirkiness from those crazy Finns (think of fellow Finn film maker Aki Karusmaki)

      Babylon Circus: lots of fun

      Dub Colossus: took me a little while to warm to them, an interesting hybrid, jazz piano meets dub…. and they pulled it off, singers were mesmerizing.

      Calexico: their first appearance OK, but suffered from a muddy overbearing bass mix

      Grilla Step; definitely a crowd favourite, krump meets Pacific Is? What next??

      VulgarGrad; only caught a couple of tunes, must see them locally, great quip from the lead singer as someone yelled out from the audience “We love Russia” “Mind your language” he replied!

      Ravi Shankar: 90? What can you say?

      Skatalites: hmmm, well they are legendary but… (what’s left of them) very good for a few tunes but then a little samey

      Hypnotic Brass Ensemble: “hyp” Chicagoans with plenty of street cred, tight as…

      regards Ian

      ps: requests for 2011? Mine, Les Triaboliques, (Justin Adams’
      latest project)

    2. joeM says:

      What can I say, you’ve given me the opportunity to get up close (and personal) with many of the acts I saw and some I didn’t. The highlights section are all great ! WOMADelaide is my Mecca and I’ve only missed one session, the Friday night it rained. As for the rain on Saturday this year, I was in the Taste the World tent with Mariem Hassan cooking camel meat. Ha, she was singing for the rain! A highlight as where her performances. Other memories, 7 sisters Inma, Ethiopiques, Calexico (the second set), Babylon Circus, Jane Siberry, Ross Daly, Nortec Collective, Vulgagrad (have seen in Melbourne, also Grilla Step and Public Opinion Orchestra)…I’m pretty satisfied with all that I did and completely understand your passion and commitment ! Well Done.

    3. craftypics says:

      Thanks for the Comments Ian and Joe

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