18 March 2013

Adelaide, Day 3

Monday, March 11

Monday was the final day of WOMADelaide. I liked that nothing started till noon, and ran till midnight, which meant I could sleep in and not miss out on anything.

Panoramic view from my upper bunk.
Good luck getting your tickets back, dude...
Monday was also the same day as the Future Music Festival. I'd seen the sign above posted on a few of the trees and pillars in Adelaide in my first two days there. If it was real, I don't think tickets lost in the city for such a festival would be showing up again.

12 - 1 pm, Stage 2
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba (Mali)
As they were the main reason I flew down to Adelaide, I saw Bassekou Kouyaté and his band every time they performed while I was there. There wasn't a huge choice of shady spots at Stage 2, so I sat towards the back and enjoyed the music from there.

The view from the back.
Festival essentials. Pocket guide, hat, water, daypack.
1 - 2 pm, Stage 1
Amparo Sánchez (Spain)
I caught a bit of this at the main stage, but headed instead to Stage 3 where I could still hear the music, while reading and resting in the shade.

So refreshing on a hot day.
There were two of these misting stations set up at the festival. In the middle of the hot sunny days, it was great to just walk through on your way from one place to another. The cool water soon evaporated, and the jets weren't strong enough to really soak any of your clothes.

People's chairs, set up at main stage in readiness for later that night.
As seen in the picture above, WOMADelaide is a festival where you can leave your gear somewhere (resting against a tree, for example) for a few hours, and it will still be there when you get back. It was a very cool vibe.

Flags, near the bar at the back between Stages 1 and 3.
2 - 3 pm, Stage 3
The Savoy Family Cajun Band (USA)
Stage 2
Illapu (Chile)
I do like country and bluegrass, and enjoy a bit of Cajun music too. So I put the book away and enjoyed the Savoy Family, a husband-wife-and-two-sons outfit playing keyboard, fiddle, accordion and guitar. And as suits a Louisiana Cajun family, they spoke English, but sang in French.

Towards the end of the set, while going for a mist-down and water bottle refill, I stopped by Stage 2 to check out Chilean folk rock band Illapu.

3 - 4 pm, Stage 1
East Journey (Australia)
Wanting to see Souad Massi at 4, I returned to my shady spot at Stage 3 with my book, while listening to the sound from main stage carrying over. East Journey are a rock band from Arnhem Land, with obvious comparisons to bands like Yothu Yindi.
4 - 5 pm, Stage 3
Souad Massi (Algeria/France)
One look through my music collection will show that I have a weakness for guitar-playing singer-songwriters. One example of those is Souad Massi, an Algerian musician now living in France after she received death threats in the 1990s. Both she and her backing band were really good live.
5 - 6 pm, Taste The World tent
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba (Mali)
The "Taste The World" tent featured interviews with members of several groups performing at the festival, but the main focus was on cooking from around the world. Each band member who participated at this tent brought recipes from their part of the world, and gave a demonstration.

In this case, Amy Sacko (Bassekou Kouyaté's wife, and singer in the group) was interviewed while she prepared Tigadeguena, or "groundnut soup" as we called it in Ghana. They only had an hour time slot, after which music would start up on the next-door Stage 7, but there were no more guests scheduled till later that evening, so the slow-cooking continued till about 6:30 or so, after which the audience members got to taste the meal for themselves.

Amy was interviewed about her family, Malian cooking, as well as the band's music.
Rice and groundnut soup.
The sauce contained water, beef, tomato paste, peanut butter, garlic, chili, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and cabbage. And it tasted awesome - it was well worth the wait.
6 - 7 pm, Stage 7
Mari Boine (Norway)
While waiting for the peanut sauce to finish cooking, and after my sample meal, I stayed to listen to Mari Boine. Mari is a Sami from the north of Norway, and was another one of many performers at WOMADelaide with an incredible voice.
7 - 8 pm, Stage 4
The Alaev Family Workshop (Tajikistan/Israel)
The Workshop set by the Alaev Family was slightly different from their set the night before. This time, they worked in some story-telling as well. Grandfather Allo wasn't there this time, but his two sons took turns telling stories from his and their lives about learning traditional instruments. They spoke in Hebrew, and Zvika translated into English for us. Between stories, they would then play percussion pieces to illustrate the instruments and techniques spoken about.

Three doyra players in action.

More drumming.

Zvika Alaev drumming on his cheeks.

There was a little bit of crowd participation. Two girls were chosen out of the crowd to dance onstage.

The didjeridu made a return.

Once again, a musical treat from the talented Alaev Family. Just like with their Sunday night performance, they were again a highlight of the day.

Recyclable fold-up cardboard seats.
These cardboard seats, rated to 120kg, were being sold at the festival store for $2 on the first day, or $1 with a $5 programme. On Sunday they'd crossed that out and they were $1. On Monday night, they were free. (And by 11.30pm that night, the programmes were free too.)

8.15 - 9.30 pm, Stage 2
The Herd (Australia)
I took my new cardboard seat and headed to find a spot at Stage 2 to check out Aussie hip-hop ensemble The Herd. I haven't heard (pun intended) much of their stuff before, but they were pretty good. Hip-hop is not one of my favourite genres, and I've got to say that after seeing them, I still prefer Hilltop Hoods and Bliss 'n' Eso.
9.30 - 10.30 pm, Stage 4
Zoë Keating (USA)

Zoë closing out the Zoo Stage on Monday night.
I took quite a few photos during this set, but it was too dark for any to turn out anywhere near as OK as the above wide shot. I did, however, take some short video to show some of the layered cello effects at work.

In the middle of the park, lights were strung through the trees, with old lampshades covering them. The effect was like having coloured lanterns, but it was also a cool recycling idea.

9.30 - 11 pm, Stage 1
Goran Bregovic With His Weddings & Funerals Orchestra (Serbia)
The bright lights of main stage.
Goran (seated). The W&FO contained a brass section, a male choir, two female backup singers, and a string section .
Balkan party music time!
I got to Stage 1 by about 10:45, hoping to catch the last fifteen minutes or so of the set. The music kept going, people kept dancing, and Goran Bregovic kept stretching the "I'll just play one more song" thing as long as the stage crew would let him. There was still a DJ playing Stage 7 until midnight, so they were in no risk of outstaying the city's noise restrictions or the festival's welcome, let alone the crowd's.

The crowd called enthusiastically for an encore, and Goran returned onstage with his drummer and a trumpeter. First up he offered to play us "A drinking song, from the First World War." That went down well with the crowd, who kept dancing. Then as he played the last notes on his guitar, Goran made another announcement. "And now I'll play one from the Second World War." So then we were treated to an Italian partisan song from the 1940s.

The extremely extended encore continued, with the full band, horns, strings and choir returning onstage for a long rendition of their final song, "Kalasnjikov". With that over, Goran and his Weddings and Funerals Orchestra took their bows and finally left the stage at just after 11:40.

With that over, I headed back to the hostel. I stopped along the way to take a few pictures of the lit-up exterior panels on a funky building in the city. The ground floor is a 24-hour Hungry Jacks, the upper floors are a parking garage, yet at night it looks like something straight out of Shibuya.

Pretty lights...

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