Well! It does not feel like a year ago since we were all here, gathered in Botanic Park amongst the flags, the food, and the bats. But I, along with everyone else I see, am all giddy with happiness that WOMAD is back for another year. With a jam-packed line up, WOMAD 2019 is going to be a big one.
Some highlights from Day 1:
International Women’s Day Address – Annabel Crabb and Natasha Stott Despoja
With WOMAD falling on IWD, it was really great to see it celebrated with Annabel and Natasha, two of the impressive and accomplished women in the Australian media and politics scene. Beginning with a 30 minute address from Natasha, she covered the good and the bad. Focusing on the many benefits that come in addition to gender equality itself, and the state of gender (in)equality in Australia today. They finished it up with an in conversation chat, focusing more on politics and the issues that come with the fact that this year marks 125 years since Suffrage was afforded to most women in South Australia, yet we still have a terrible record of women working in politics.
The Colour of Time
Recurring over the whole festival, The Colour of Time is inspired by the Indian Holi festival. With colour powder everywhere bathing everyone in its path, this group travel through the festival singing and dancing, finishing up with a final colour bonanza. The children were absolutely loving it. It was joyful to watch.
Hailing from Adelaide, Timberwolf played a packed out One Night Only show at the Zoo stage. Beginning with chill music and everyone lounging, part way through he requested everyone to “get up and dance” to one of his newest songs. After that, no one could sit down again.
Khruangbin were definitely on a lot of people’s lists. This psychedelic trio from Houston were excellent. The guitar riffs were intense and the percussion tight – their hair also a sight to be seen.
Kaiit is just 20 years old and already taking the music world by storm. Born in Papua New Guinea and growing up in Melbourne, Kaiit has some of the best vocals I have heard in Australia. She and her band play funky, soulful RnB that defied anyone to stop moving. In just the same way that Sampa the Great played on that same stage a few years ago just before her big break, Kaiit is definitely someone to watch out for.
Christine and the Queens
Oh my god, what an experience. Christine and the Queens absolutely blew me away. The songs were excellent, Christine is such a talented singer and her band were fantastic. But the choreographed dancers were amazing and her stage presence was so endearing and genuine that I couldn’t help falling a bit in love with everyone on the stage. An absolutely wonderful show, I can’t stop raving about it.
DJ Harvey is a big drawcard. He was playing some of the funkiest and dance-able house music I have heard in a long time. There’s a reason he is so popular, he is a very talented DJ and kept people moving for his whole set.