Adelaide & Womad – It's Hotting Up!


I had forgotten how hot it can be in Adelaide. One summer I came over with my parents on school holidays and I remember that it was something like 37C (100F) for 8 consecutive days. Maybe my memory is faulty there but it was bloody hot. I recall how the heat bounced back off the footpaths at you. nothing has changed.

I arrived here last Tuesday on the motorbike and it has been over 33C every day since. It has been humid as well – something you do not always associate with Adelaide. It’s like Singapore. I walked up North Terrace on Friday afternoon to Radio Adelaide and it seemed to take half an hour. The next morning when I did the walk again I realised it was only really 10 minutes at the most.

Still, it is not as hot as the February Womadelaide weekend of 41 – 42C which prompted them to change the date to March. Nor is it as hot as the first Austin City Limits Festival I attended in 2004 when it was 101F, 104F and 108F on consecutive days! Compared to those weekends this is almost cool. Today it will only hit 34C.

I enjoyed Writers Week, especially Alex Miller’s address for the Hazel Rowley Award and Gideon Haigh’s session on his Shane Warne book. I went to a Cricket Society dinner with a friend on Thursday night and was treated to an inspirational talk by Justin Langer (coach of the Sandgropers who are playing here this weekend). He should immediately be appointed an Australian team selector.

Womadelaide kicked off quietly on Friday night and I enjoyed seeing the Savoy Family Cajun Band on Australian soil for a change, having seen them most years at either Jazz Fest or for their famous crawfish boil in Eunice.

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba were fabulous on the main stage – their closing song reminded me of Weather Report’s ‘Boogie Woogie Waltz’ (that’s a blast from the past). I realise that Zawinul, Shorter and crew were exploring African rhythms but I wonder at the possible cross pollination here.

I recorded some interviews on Friday morning with Alessandro from Nidi D’Arac, Hugh Masekela (who was great) and festival director Ian Scobie. I also chatted to Ann Savoy on Friday after her show. So all this went to air (almost live) from Radio Adelaide on Saturday morning for Off The Record. Geoff King came in to help and we recorded segments, encoded them and sent them back as audio files which were downloaded and played. There were a few glitches (a rough edit or a non-edit) here or there and a gap when a file took too long to get sent. I think it worked.

Then I went back out the the festival and enjoyed Souad Massi, Vieux Farka Toure (great), Mia Dyson (who is better every time I see her), Nidi D’Arac, a Savoy Family workshop and the great Hugh Masekela.

Time to head on off again for some world music treats.I was going to ride to Port Fairy this afternoon for one night but it is too hot and I suddenly realised that I did not want to miss Salif Keita, Jimmy Cliff and Tim Rogers & The Bamboos.

It is all happening this weekend – Womadelaide, Port Fairy and Golden Plains.

Brian Wise

Brian Wise was the Editor of Addicted To Noise‘s Australian site from 1997 – 2002. The site won two ONYA Awards as Best Online Music Magazine in 1999 & 2000. He has also been Editor since its reincarnation in 2013. He also presents the weekly music interview program Off The Record on 102.7 Triple R-FM ( in Melbourne. It is networked to 45+ stations across Australia on the Community Radio Network and is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program Award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. In 2012, it was nominated as a finalist in the Excellence in Music Programming category. Brian was also the Founding Editor & Publisher of Rhythms Magazine and is now its Senior Contributing Editor.

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