beautiful monsters: Stardust & passion

March 14, 2005

Stardust & passion


WOMAD was totally amazing. Three of my favourite groups were playing: the Celtic band Capercaillie; the Kronos Quartet; and Lo’Jo, a French group whose music has African, gypsy, Indian and Arabic influences. Lo’Jo were definitely the highlight for me, their music is so funky, great to dance to, and the Nid El Mourid sisters are gorgeous.


One of the great things about music festivals is that you go for a couple of bands, but then there are other surprise treats. Richie Havens (who opened Woodstock in 1969) was so cool. And what a voice! I’d kill for a voice like that... and for one song he was joined by Taj Mahal.

Bravura with Jackie Clarke were also Fab.


Continuing the Woodstock theme, the Kronos Quartet played their rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s version of the Star Spangled Banner. I missed their second act at WOMAD cos I had to fly back for the Rainbow Room, but I caught them tonight at the town hall.


There was a definite peace theme to the weekend, with lots of groups consciously using music as a means to create peace, and unite cultures. There were also mentions of Parihaka, and there were kuia with white feathers in their hair mingling with the hippies and Rastafarians and white middle class families with 2.5 kids.

The venue was gorgeous, my tent was right on the edge of the bush, with kereru, korimako and tui in the bushes, and ruru at night.


And now… I’m now in drastic need of sleep...


Posted by Fionnaigh at March 14, 2005 10:19 PM | TrackBack

Womad sure was awesome, I'm going to have to be really selective about future festivals if they will have a chance of reaching this benchmark. a beautiful weekend - I second the comment re Richie Havens, but what about Xavier Rudd, Zap Mama, or any of the performers in fact (er, well except that pale English guy - Jim Moray 4 - not impressed at all)

You have some great photos - esp. the one of the girl with streamer

Posted by: Clare at March 15, 2005 12:50 PM

That sounds amazing. I really wanted to go, but money was an issue. Oh well.

Great photos!

Posted by: Asher at March 18, 2005 02:11 PM

Mmm, I enjoyed it overall, but I was pretty pissed off that every quiet act I saw at the Pinetum stage (Adel Salameh, Rashid Khan, Tony McMahon) was ruined by overly loud thumpy thump from the Zoo stage. Tony McMahon in particular, how can you play a slow introspective air when Zap Mama ululating in the background is actually louder than you? I'm sufficiently bugged by this that I'm writing the man a letter of apology, and sending a rant to WOMAD.

Also: too much music with no "world" aspect other than the nationality of the performers, or not even that (eg how is Daare J different from any other hiphop act? Why are the Jubilation choir or Fat Freddy's Drop, wonderful as they are, at a World Music Fest?) Too much concession to the hippy-dance crowd, not enough serious and rare music, says this cranky ingrate. You young people and your bass-lines are ruining it for us old folkies.

Totally with you on the Kronos quartet and general mellow vibe theme, however. And Capercaillie were superb.

Posted by: stephen at March 18, 2005 02:48 PM

Well I'm sitting here a million miles away actually making a programme about WOMAD 2005 New Zealand for Air New Zealand and I wasn't even there - no problem, your beautiful photographs and interesting comments make me feel like I was and I can picture it all - fortunately the music's the thing and that's what I'm listening to so I'm half-way there - if only in spirit - thanks for your effort in sharing your weekend - glad you enjoyed it and hope Air New Zealand's passengers will enjoy my programme - Night Night from the UK.

Posted by: Philippa at March 22, 2005 09:54 AM