Day three of WOMADelaide finds its groove

Sampa the Great

The mood of a multi-day festival seems to evolve over the course of the event. The first day is normally frantic as everyone is excited and trying to find their bearings. Second day is more sombre as heat and exhaustion start to take their toll. “How will we last all four days?” But the third day is normally when attendees start to venture away from the headline acts, looking for gems in the programme.

WOMAD early starters could catch up with their yoga routine, families could visit the well-equipped KidZone and the intellectuals could watch ABC’s “The Party Room” live. Fran Kelly and Patricia Karvelas chatted with Penny Wong and Tory Shephard about a whole range of current news and affairs.

Return performances from Kronos Quartet and Fantastic Negrito were well received, with Negrito having even more energy than the previous day. Even the Asanti Dance Theatre over on stage 7 were shaking the Moreton Bay Figs to their roots.

French sextet, San Salvador use two drums and their voices to create cascading hypnotic vocal harmonies. Using Occitan language from the centre of France, they create sweeping sounds that fill the arena. The rhythm has people dancing and to the almost primitive beat.

Kokoroko are a contemporary band from London that are having an almost cult following after performances in Glastonbury. Led by trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey, the music is a mix of dance, jazz and cabaret. As with most performers during WOMADelaide, the band seem to be enjoying themselves even more than the audience. Their enthusiasm is infectious.

Having been a fan of Sampa the Great for many years, it is satisfying to see her not only play the main Foundation stage, but to fully own it. Her confidence and strength gives her immense power and she commands to the stage at all times. Her backing band give full support to her vocal power and her performance is mesmerising.

Trecking further afield,  over at stage 7, Mdou Moctar has created his own burning style of Saharan music. Sons of Zöku and their brand of psych rock were enthusiastically received by a solid crowd.

Meanwhile, at Galmae, Juhyung Lee has create a massive cat’s cradle of a maze for spectators to unravel. Beginning with sounds of sirens and with piercing searchlights, it resembles a war zone. Starting with one single rock to ravel string, the spectators soon are joining forces to untangle the seemingly impossible. Bringing people together seems to be a theme of this work.

Muete closed off stage 2 with a triumphant mix of techno and marching band sounds. A massive end to a massive day of music, arts and dance.