Womadelaide – A Scorcher



Womadelaide ended on Monday night as it began on Friday evening – hot and sweaty. If you do some scouting around amongst the trees you can find some spots that are almost cool, believe it or not.

Parked on the slight hill in front of Stage 3 this afternoon to watch the Savoy Family Cajun Band we could feel a slight breeze – a zephyr perhaps – that relieved the intense heat. Elsewhere, people sought any shade available in a scene that might have resembled what our indigenous ancestors endured. Thank goodness Womadelaide is in the marvellous Botannic Park otherwise we would have all been fried!

Sunday was a terrific day, capped off by Salif Keita (dressed in jeans, shirt and baseball cap) – it was superb.I think that the strong African contingent has been vital in creating the mood for this year.

Salif on the main stage was followed on Stage 2 by Tim Rogers & The Bamboos – another undoubted highlight of the weekend. I really like the way Rogers sings out front of what has to be one of Australia’s best outfits. He adds an extra dimension and at times his falsetto is perfect. Kylie Audlist and Ella Thompson are damned good too. The outfit closed with Rogers throwing himself into a great rendition of The Stones’ ‘Can’t You Hear me Knockin’.

Then we had the ever energetic Jimmy Cliff who sang all of his hits, including the beautiful ‘Many Rivers To Cross,’ as well as ‘The Harder They Come,’ ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ and ‘Wild World.’ There were also some timely songs such as ‘Afghanistan’. Nice to have reggae back here.

The afternoon was abbreviated for me due to a visit to the Adelaide Gallery to see the Turner From The Tate exhibition. Glorious. JMW Turner is now into my Top 5 Turners – just behind Ike & Tina Turner, Big Joe Turner and Glenn Turner (the Kiwi batsman). Of course, JMW was a better painter better than most of them.

Back at Womadelaide, Geoff King of Triple R tells me he and his partner (and friends) are off to Fez, in Morocco, for the Sacred Music Festival in June. It sounds great. Former ABC broadcaster Sandy McCutcheon now lives there and you can find out all about the festival at his website The View From Fez. An appropriate conversation for a Womad weekend.

I closed the evening with David Bridie’s  marvellous Sing Sing project and viol player Jordi Savali and trio, whose beautiful refrains were a peaceful conclusion for me prior to having to leave to pack.

I am leaving as early as I wake up in the morning. It will hot hot whichever way I go so the shortest toute will be the best…..if there are not too many roadworks.

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 (rrr.org.au) 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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