Posts Tagged ‘Sounds of the planet’

Well one day down and three to go. The opening act on Stage one ( ICS Stage ) after the Kuarna welcome was Mokoomba who performed catchy tunes to a crowd that was still pouring in after the working week. Next up I managed to catch Bulka – Wow what a unique voice. I stayed for most of her set but did pop out to check out a young local AUS act Sitara briefly playing on the Moreton Bay stage.

The highlight for me was Hanggai with their lead singer trying to look “impersonate Meatloaf” but in his own unique style with Frontless leather top. I think pictures speak 1000 words here.

Hanggai

It was a mic of traditional instruments and Western and it just worked. I then trundled down to see Neko Case on stage 3. I have only seen her previously when she toured with The New Pornographers, a band that she has been heavily involved with. It was a good solid show but I didnt know much of her material which didnt help.

Fat Freddys drop was the last act on the ICS stage. I found thew sound mix excessively bassy but then again that appears to be their style and it was lapped up by the generally younger crowd up front. Headed hope after an hour of them to catch some sleep and prepare for the first full day – Saturday

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The weather didn’t cool down on Sunday so we delayed getting down to Botanic park by a few hours arriving just after 2pm.

Caught part of Mia Dysons set on the Stage 3 then headed off to Stage 1 to watch

Alim Qasimov Ensemble which was much more listening music than dancing which is a good thing in the middle of the day with full sun and 35 degree + heat.
Then off to Stage 3 again to watch the start of the set by Psarantonis which was also quite a laid back performance. I couldn’t stay for the whole set as it clashed with another band that was only doing a single performance so off to the Moreton bay stage for Golonka. This grassy area in front of this stage was popular and quite shaded.
Soweto Gospel Choir then took to Stage 1 in the most colourful atire of any of the weekend performers with great singing voices. I stayed for the whole set at the end trying to decide whether to catch Novalima or The Correspondants. Most of the photographers were going to the Correspondants even though it was just 2 guys on stage. I decided I would try and fit in both !!
Novalima first up and their sound was great but the photo ops were limited but a quite cluttered stage so after a few songs I fast walked to Stage 2 and managed to get into the pit area for only about 1 minute before being kicked out ( 3 song rule ). I wish I had been there for the start as photographically the lead singer of the Correspondants was full of movement and excitement. He must have been REALLY hot doing all the dancing he did with the full force of the sun bearing down on him which you get on stage 2 late afternoon.
Back to stage 1 then for Salif Keita whom I have seen at previous Womadelaide evens and he doesn’t disappoint. Next on to Tim Rogers and the Bamboos on Stage 2 with both Tim and the Bamboos being well respected as separate performers but together they worked really well. A definite chemistry at work.
Finally another performer that has been at Womad previously – Jimmy Cliff. I’d like to have the energy and enthusiasm that he does at his age as he twirled around the stage kicking his legs up. There were some things he performed that I didnt like such as his “partidge family” song that he told us was screened as a superbowl commercial and had so many million hits << I didnt care…. I want to hear his songs. The whole family was pretty tired so didn’t stay for the encore which I was told was pretty awesome but we heard quite a bit as we walked back to the car to end Day 3

What I really love about Womadelaide is experiencing and being exposed to Music and dance that I otherwise would never have even heard of or seen and this year is no exception.

Midfestival is no time for a full writeup but here is a list of some of the acts Ive so far enjoyed seeing

From Fridays sessions

  • The Alaev Family
  • Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba
I didnt have a chance to stay and see the Cat empire although reports from others said it was a great show they put on.
Saturday – we got there early before the first band even started
An early highlight was

  • Mari Boine who originates from Norway – what a voice. Some really haunting inflections
  • Circolumbia – this was listed as a Mystery Surprise and indeed it was. Performing amazing acrobatic stunts with singing and Drama/tension between the warring gangs made a hugely entertaining show that had everyone on their feet. Do perform with the energy they did in the middle of a hot and humid 35 degree today would have been exhausting
  • Dhafer Youssef – renowned for his Oud playing as well as his voice he didnt dissapoint.
  • Vieux Farka Touré – I felt he started off a bit slow but the pace picked up and I ended up hearing most of his set
  • Antibalas – Listened to these guys whilst having tea
  • Nidi d’Arac – Sparse stage but great night lighting for their set. So many photos of the Violinist whom I thought was key to their sound. Big thumbs up for this one
  • Compagnie Luc Amoros  “Blank Page” – I’d heard good reports from the Friday session so I went prepared to sit down and watch the whole show. Extremely clever and entertaining although a touch heavy at times, but that is their message. I’m not going to spoil it for anyone but if you havent already seen it get early , get a good seat and watch it on Monday evening – just WOW
  • Hugh Masekela – He might be gettiing old but he hasn’t lost it.  Top performance from this South African Trumpet player.
The Full Gallerys for each day can be found here.. CLICK

Nid d’Arac

Hugh Masekela