Jack Herz attended day one of WOMADelaide 2016 on behalf of FINNs, and here is what he thought:
WOMADelaide is not your typical music festival. Adelaide’s very own WOMAD is a showcase of world music held over four days in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. This magical event promotes living a grass roots lifestyle and uses music and art to promote this message. With the Botanic Gardens as the beautiful backdrop, this festival is a feel-good event that is family friendly and soul-enriching.
WOMAD is different to anything I’ve ever been to before both musically and visually. The environment is extremely laid back; punters can be found eating self-brought snacks on picnic rugs, dancing freely to live music and really absorbing the atmosphere that Adelaide has to offer during the Fringe season.
Unlike other festivals, WOMAD is not exactly a mosh-encouraged atmosphere, rather most attendees are more likely to be seen dancing and grooving to the music. Also, it seems like no single band sticks to a specific genre, rather they choose one as a base and then incorporate various other musical styles from all over the world, which is pretty unique and cool.
Take for example the DakhaBrakha, a Ukrainian based quartet who specialise in traditional music from their homeland. I was expecting a very traditional set, however as they started to play it became clear that their influences ranged far beyond this single genre; mixing in the build-ups of post-rock and the rhythm of punk in their first couple of songs. From their constantly interweaving vocal harmonies to their inclusion of various instruments such as the accordion, cello and traditional drums among others, DakhaBraka were super unique and intriguing. One thing became clear after seeing DakhaBrakha perform (and as Cat Empire would later announce): it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand exactly what is being said, ‘music is the language of us all’.
Cat Empire took to the main stage with the majority of festival attendees standing before them. Although the Cat Empire aren’t originally from Adelaide, they are somewhat a staple to the festival itself, having been on the line-up more so than many other acts. As they kicked things off with a song from their sixth and latest studio album, Rising With The Sun, it became clear that there’s good reason behind their consistent bookings. The cat empire don’t shy away from shining the light on each members musical talent, incorporating solo’s for each instrument throughout. The excellent decision of closing out their second song with an extended drum solo left the crowd in awe.
WOMAD is so diverse and caters for every musical appetite. With limitless things to see and do and an vibe that is absolutely incredible, it would be a shame to miss out – head on over to https://www.womadelaide.com.au/ to pick up some tickets and make the most of what Adelaide has to offer!