Rango were so much fun the first time around that I caught the end of their bracket as I arrived on site. A good way to get woken up for the rest of the day.
Adam Page has found a great way to save money. Instead of hiring a 34 piece backing band, he has learned to play just about every instrument that you can name, as well as a few, like the Hum-Drum that you probably haven’t heard of. Over at the Moreton Bay Stage he used a sampler and a loop to create multi-tracking backings over which he added live melodic lines. Always a crowd pleaser, this was no exception, with both long time fans, and some who had not seen him perform before, equally rapt in his performance.
Another set from Asa was hard to resist, at this point, so I gave in to the temptation.
From Jamaica came Horace Andy and his band, Dub Asante, getting the dancers going again with a lively set on Stage 2, the bass pounding enough to be heard all over the site. This was a real treat for fans of Reggae and there were many in the crowd judging by the response to Andy’s lively msuic.
The Huri Duna Dancers, from the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea performed not far away, and that was a distraction that could not be ignored. In full costume and make-up, with stunning headdresses, they performed to a fascinated crowd. The chances of seeing these dancers again are almost nil, so this was a definite ‘must see’ and a reminder of what Womadelaide is really all about.
Stage 2 saw a collaboration between a number of performers and soloists from various bands in the All Star Gala, an eclectic mix that drew a large crowd, although four days of partying was clearly taking its toll on survivors. The numbers of people in the venue was already much diminished. Perhaps it was all too much of a good thing.
A minute’s silence was held for the victims of the Japanese earthquake before the start of the Juan De Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All Stars segment on the main stage. Then it was into that irresistible Latin beat and those that could still stand after four days got up to dance some more. In their pure white suits this group were dressed to kill, and they played and sang even better than they looked.
The Necks were next. Jazz musicians Chris Abrahams, piano, Tony Buck, drums, and Lloyd Swanton, bass, delivered one of their extended improvisations to a most attentive audience. Rooted in free jazz of the 1960s they also embrace minimalism in an intense performance.
Pakistani qawwali singer, Faiz Ali Faiz and his party (Humnawa) ended the day on a wonderfully spiritual note. The tradition is over 700 years old and was originally performed at Sufi shrines. This was a superb way to end a long weekend.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide.