17 March 2013

Adelaide, Day 2

Sunday, 10 March

Sunday morning I slept in. The day before, I'd seen so many of the food stalls that were operating in the park, but unfortunately they were out of my price range. I hope to go to WOMADelaide again next year, but next time I will save up for it well in advance so that I can try some different foods from around the world - at festival prices, eg 1 curry meat dish and rice $12, or 2 meat dishes for $15.

So my first stop for the day was Woolworths, in the main city mall. For $11 I got all my meals for the next two days - some fresh fruit, salami, cheese, and hamburger rolls. So perhaps not all the flavours of the world I could've had, but I definitely saved on money.

A sign posted in the mall.

Architecture on North Terrace on the way to Botanic Park.

The trees lining Frome Road, on the way to the Park.

Gates opened at 11 am each day, with the first acts on at noon, but there was nothing I was keen on until 2 pm on Sunday, so I didn't have to rush to get to the festival grounds.

2 - 3 pm, Stage 2
Vieux Farka Touré (Mali)
Guitar blues, Mali style.

Vieux playing guitar.

Panoramic view of the stage and the crowd. A bright and sunny day!
Once again, Vieux Farka Touré and his band were amazing. I braved the sun for a little bit to get close enough to the stage to get decent photos like the ones above.

Giant coloured letters spelling "WOMAD" near the children's zone of the festival.

3 - 4 pm, Stage 4
Parade Musicians Rehearsal
For the last few years, the festival has had the tradition of a parade on the Sunday evening that goes from one end of the park to the other. The rehearsal, similar to other "Workshops" run by bands on Stage 4, consisted of sections of the parade music being performed by high school drumlines and a horns section. The composers of the drum/brass piece that we would hear later that evening explained some of their inspirations and ideas, and performed snippets of the music as illustrations.

Drumline performing to show the transition between two time signatures in different sections of the parade.
4 - 5 pm, Stage 5
Golonka (Australia)
Golonka perform gypsy and Eastern European folk music. I didn't stay for the full set, as all the shady spaces at this stage were pretty well packed out. So instead I headed over to the main stage to find some shade before the gospel choir started.
5 - 6 pm, Stage 1
Soweto Gospel Choir (South Africa)
Colourful costumes, dancing, and awesome harmonies. I was in a shady spot with obstructed views, hence no photos.
6.20 - 7.30 pm, Stage 5
Shunsuke Kimura & Etsuro Ono (Japan)
Stage 7
Zoë Keating (USA)
From the main stage I headed back to Stage 5, where I stood and listened to a few more shamisen songs from the Japanese duo. I'd heard the songs before, though, so continued on to Stage 7, to catch the latter half of Zoë Keating's set.

Look her up on YouTube - absolutely amazing sounds. With the help of a magic electronic box at her feet for recording and looping, Zoë creates multi-layered cello instrumentals that just have to be heard.
7.30 - 9 pm, Stage 1
Salif Keita (Mali)
Salif Keita is the "Golden Voice of Africa". That epithet is well-deserved. I've got a couple of his albums, as well as a Best Of, but nothing compares to actually hearing an awesome singer live.
9 - 10 pm, Stage 3
The Alaev Family (Tajikistan/Israel)
All I knew about the Alaev Family (from reading the program) was that they were a multi-generational family of mostly percussionists. That was enough to spark my interest and head over to Stage 3. And what a show it was!

Allo Alaev on the doyra (frame drum) and his grandson Zvika on Turkish clarinet.

Three generations at the front of stage. Allo (doyra), grandson Zvika (clarinet), son Ariel (accordion), granddaughter Aviva (violin) and son Amin (drums).

Zvika switches clarinet for didjeridu.

The crowd dancing to the Central Asian beats.

The Alaev Family take a bow.
Spanning three generations, from teenagers up to the patriarch of the family Allo Alaev, the Alaev Family are Bukharian Jews, originally from Tajikistan and having migrated to Israel in the early 1990s. Their hour-long set was a full-on assault of colourful costumes, dancing, energetic drumming, and Central Asian rhythms.

This group was the highlight of Sunday's festival program for me, and one of the absolute highlights of the entire festival.
10 - 11.30 pm, Stage 1
Jimmy Cliff (Jamaica)
The house lights up on main stage before Jimmy Cliff.

The view from the back of the crowd.
I like reggae. I have to confess, I didn't know a whole lot of Jimmy Cliff's stuff, despite his long career. Having said that, even from the far back of the crowd this was a great show. His rendition of "I Can See Clearly Now" (as done for the "Cool Runnings" soundtrack) was a hit with the crowd.
11.30 - 12.30 am, Stage 3
Dhafer Youssef (Tunisia)
At 11.30, I moved over to Stage 3, and found a good place to sit near the stage. There was a delay before Dhafer and his band could make it onto stage, however, as Jimmy Cliff played an encore of a couple songs, which we could hear rather well.

Finally Jimmy finished and Dhafer Youssef was introduced. Blending Middle Eastern rhythms with European jazz, he is an amazing oud player, and an incredible singer - his initial training as a youngster was to be a muezzin. This is another guy to look up on YouTube. His soulful voice hits some incredible high notes when he shifts into his nasal vocals.

Now, it was midnight, and jazz isn't always a get-up-and-dance genre. While lying on my back on the grass, enjoying the music, I admit I did doze off a few times during the set. Even so, it was a fantastic way to end the night.

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