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Botanic Park/Tainmundilla, Adelaide, Sun 11 Mar.
It’s a beautiful Sunday, if not a particularly lazy one. Adelaide’s Botanic Park plays host to Day Three of WOMADelaide 2018, “The World’s Festival”. At 1.00pm there is not a lot of music going on, so it is quite easy to hear the beguiling sounds of Noura Mint Seymali as the music wafts through the park. On stage, she and her band serve as a most beautiful opening to the day. Over on the Zoo Stage, Cie Pernette provide a taste of their full show, while audience members dance cheek-to-cheek under the trees. A little later, Quebec’s Le Vent du Nord’s intoxicating French-Nordic rhythms and harmonies coax people out from the rare and closely-guarded areas of shade, and a good crowd forms to listen to the francophone folk sounds. They have some marvellous looking instruments, the likes of which are rarely seen in Adelaide’s guitar shops.
The Global Village is filled with the usual range of interesting looking trinkets, opportunities for henna-based body enhancements, and stalls encouraging a greater level of social awareness/engagement. And, of course, the food vendors offer a most lip-smacking variety of victuals in various degrees of exoticism.
Hana & Jessie-Lee’s Bad Habits have managed to get decent numbers out to see and hear them on the Moreton Bay Stage. There looks to be a posse of about a dozen people, mostly clad in Johnny Cash black, on the stage at one point; a real country ensemble.
The line-up for the Arboria is huge; and is likely to stay that way all day; at least until sunset. KidZone also appears to be a popular distraction.
Back on the Foundation Stage, Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band put on a fabulous show. The band members are obviously having a lot of fun, and Thomas’ vocals are augmented by some wonderfully eccentric guitar playing and the magnificent rhythm and horn sections. The audience buys into the performance and becomes part of the highlife experience.
At 4.00pm, 28 members of Dustyesky arrive on Stage 2 and provide a superb hour of male-voice choir Red Army revolutionary and folk songs, in Russian. Which is surprising given that none of the members are from that part of the world, nor speak the language. The humour is great and the songs themselves often carry more power and feeling than perhaps was expected. “Make sing-song, not War.”
Dan Sultan and band rock out the main stage in front of a big crowd. He looks like he’s at the top of his game, and has the crowd in his thrall from the get-go. Cries of “We love you Dan” ring out. At the same time over on the Zoo Stage, Adelaide’s Yellow Blue Bus entertain those who have made the effort with an engrossing set; their “21st Century Cossack energy” exhorts people to dance. Another band with a sumptuous array of unusual (for Adelaide) instruments.
As the shadows lengthen, highly regarded five-piece Tinariwen bring their hypnotic Tuareg groove to a big crowd on Stage 2. At times, it is quite a sparse, angular sound yet it still flows beautifully. The big crowd is captivated. South African performance artist Francois Knoetze cruises past in yet another of his “sculptural suits”, this one looking like it is made from discarded videotape.
As the sun sets and the dust settles, Kamasi Washington plays the Foundation Stage. Armed with his tenor sax, the US jazz master leads his band, and the audience, through an hour and a quarter of his engaging, sometimes challenging music.
As is to be expected, the crowd has been in great spirits all day and, as thoughts turn to Monday, many make the most of the evening cool as they slow down, relax, and wait for something magical to happen in the heavens.
It is pretty much impossible to do justice to WOMADelaide in a single day. Thank goodness we have four days to immerse ourselves.
WOMADelaide continues at Botanic Park/Tainmundilla, Adelaide at various times, until Mon 12 Mar.
Book at 1300 496 623 or womadelaide.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Image courtesy of David Robinson