Artists Announced so Far for WOMADelaide 2017

The East Pointers
Image Courtesy of The East Pointers

Since we went quiet for a couple of months world music festival WOMADelaide has dropped two lineup announcements and we’re pretty excited about the artists that have been announced so far.

WOMADelaide is pretty ecelectic in its genre selection given the huge umbrella that encompasses “world music” but they always offer up a bunch of great folk leaning acts to sink your teeth into.

2017 is no different with the likes of 9Bach, Archie Roach, Brushy One String, Dope Lemon, The East Pointers (above), Gawurra, Hanoi Masters, Nattali Rize, Oki Dub Ainu Band, The Waifs, Wawsaw Village Band, William Crighton and many more.

WOMADelaide takes place in the Botanic Park, Adelaide on the 10th to 13th March. For more information on the full lineup and how to get your hands on tickets check out the official site here.

WOMADelaide Announces Its Second Round of Artists for 2016

Image Courtesy of Calexico

The second round of artists have just been added to WOMADelaide next year and there’s a lot of Timber and Steel readers to get excited about.

Joining first announcement artists like Marlon Williams and The Violent Femmes are All Our Exes Live in Texas, Calexico (above), Cedric Burnside Project, Hazmat Modine, Husky, Kev Carmody, Mojo Juju, The Once, Spiro, The Spooky Men’s Chorale and many more.

WOMADelaide is held from the 11th to the 14th March in the Botanic Park, Adelaide. The full list of artists announced in the second round is below – for more information check out the official site here.

All Our Exes Live in Texas (Aust)
Alsarah & the Nubatones (Sudan/USA)
Asian Dub Foundation (UK)
Calexico (USA)
Cedric Burnside Project (USA)
Debashish Bhattacharya (India)
Djuki Mala (Aust)
Ester Rada (Ethiopia/Israel)
Hazmat Modine (USA)
Husky (Aust)
Ibeyi (Cuba/France)
Kev Carmody (Aust)
Miles Cleret – DJ (UK)
Mojo Juju (Aust)
Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro (Japan)
NO ZU (Aust)
The Once (Canada)
Osunlade – DJ (USA)
Quarter Street (Aust)
Radical Son (Tonga/Aust)
Ripley (Aust)
Sadar Bahar – DJ (USA)
Sampa the Great (Zambia/Aust)
Spiro (UK)
The Spooky Men’s Chorale (Aust)
The Strides (Aust)
Surahn (Aust)
Tulegur (China)
Wasted Wanderers (Aust)

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 2nd October


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Irish fiddle player Colm Mac Con Iomaire will be appearing for two shows at the Melbourne Festival. Details here

– Alt-country favourites Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes released their new video “Afraid of the Light”. Details here

WOMADelaide announced its first round of artists for 2016 including Angelique Kidjo, The Cat Empire, DakhaBrakha, Diego El Cigala, Edmar Castaneda Trio, The Jerry Cans, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Marlon Williams, Savina Yannatou and Primavera En Salonico, Songhoy Blues, The Violent Femmes and many more. Details here

– Indie-folk five-piece The Paper Kites released their new video “Revelator Eyes”. Details here

– A bunch of headline sideshows were announced for Out On The Weekend including shows for Dawes, Sam Outlaw with Jonny Fritz and Shelly Colvin and Jamestown Revival. Details here

– We were so proud to premiere the new single from folk duo Willowy, “More Than a Shadow”. Details here

– And we were also proud to premiere the new Musketeer video “Fleece”. Details here

– And then we were equally proud to premiere the new Dan Flynn & The State of Things video “Heavy Lies the Crown”. Details here

– The next Heartbreaker Sessions in Sydney is this Sunday featuring Jep and Dep and Leah Flanagan. Details here

Patrick James revealed details of his upcoming debut album Outlier. Details here

Bear’s Den released an alternate video to their track “Elysium”. Details here

– The Finders Keepers Markets hits Melbourne this weekend with plenty of folkie acts on the musical lineup. Details here

Joanna Newsom released her new single “Leaving The City”. Details here

– The next Festival of Small Halls tour takes place this November and December featuring Irish Mythen and Starboard Cannons. Details here

Matt Corby released his new single “Monday” and announced a national tour. Details here


Track by Track

Ainsley Farrell takes us through her new album Air & Sea. Check out the track by track here

Releases This Week

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Air & SeaAinsley Farrell


Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Murwillumbah Country Roots Fest


The inaugural Murwillumbah Country Roots Fest kicks off this weekend with a lineup to die for including Kasey Chambers, The Audreys, Shane Howard, Archie Roach, Busby Marou, Bill Chambers, Henry Wagons, Pierce Brothers, Good Oak, The Davidson Brothers, Harry Hookey, The Wilson Pickers, Melody Pool, Karl S. Williams, Lachlan Bryan, Caitlin Harnett, The Mid North, Garett Kato, Katie Brianna, Sara Tindley, The Company, Mustered Courage, Gretta Ziller and many many more. Definitely worthy of a trip to Northern NSW

Friday 2nd to Monday 5th October – Murwillumbah, NSW

Gigs Next Week

A Day of Protest Songs feat. Margret RoadKnight, Kavisha Mazzella, Jeff Lang, Monica Weightman, Frank Jones, Enda Kenny, Yolanda Ingley II, Andy White, Mandy Connell, Les Thomas, Little Foot, Brendon Bonsak
Sunday 4th October – The Lomond Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Ainsley Farrell w/ Georgia Mulligan, Catgut
Friday 2nd October – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Anna Cordell
Saturday 3rd October – Beyond Festival, Canberra, ACT

April Maze
Sunday 4th October – Uranquinty Folk Festival, Uranquinty, NSW

Thursday 8th October – The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney, NSW

Ash Grunwald
Friday 2nd October – Yours and Owls Festival, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 3rd October – Caloundra Music Festival, Caloundra, QLD
Thursday 8th October – Rolling Stone Live Lodge, Newtown Social, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th October – Entrance Leagues, Bateau Bay, NSW

Brian Campeau w/ Luke Escombe
Friday 2nd October – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Dana Hassall
Monday 5th October – Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley, QLD

Dashville Skyline
Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th October – Lower Belford, NSW

Dustin Tebbutt w/ Jesse Davidson, Caitlin Park
Friday 2nd October – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD

Fanny Lumsden
Saturday 3rd October – Quandialla Hall, Quandialla, NSW
Friday 9th October – Tumbarumba Hall, Tumbarumba, NSW

Finders Keepers Markets
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October – The Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, VIC

Folk Alliance Conference
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th October – Urban Camp, Melbourne, VIC

Folkswagon feat. Michael David Thomas, The Campervan Dancers, Leroy Lee
Wednesday 7th October – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Forest Falls
Friday 2nd October – Cafe Go, Geelong, VIC

Goulburn Gathering
Friday 2nd to Monday 5th October – Goulburn, NSW

Heartbreaker Sessions feat. Jep and Dep, Leah Flanagan
Sunday 4th October – Freda’s, Sydney, NSW

Joan Baez
Sunday 4th October – Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT
Wednesday 7th October – Brisbane Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

John Flanagan and Liz Frencham
Thursday 8th October – House Concert, Glebe, NSW
Friday 9th October – Tradewinds Folk, Newcastle, NSW

Kaurna Cronin
Sunday 4th October – Semaphore Music Festival, Adelaide, SA

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes
Saturday 26th September to Saturday 3rd October – Mildura Country Music Festival, VIC
Sunday 4th October – Dashville Skyline, Lower Belford, NSW
Monday 5th October – Murwillumbah Roots Festival, Murwillumbah, NSW
Friday 9th to Saturday 17th October – Cruisin Country, ex-Sydney, NSW

Lime and Steel
Friday 2nd October – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Saturday 3rd October – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Friday 9th October – Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul, NSW

Little Features Presents Direwolf, Tom Stephens, Willowy, Ed Wells
Saturday 3rd October – House Concert, Mount Wilson, NSW

Lost Ragas
Saturday 3rd October – Dashville Skyline Festival, Hunter Valley, NSW
Sunday 4th October – Semaphore Music Festival, Adelaide, SA

Martha Wainwright
Friday 2nd October – The Basement, Sydney, NSW

Michael David Thomas
Sunday 4th October – Relish Festival, Cleveland, QLD
Wednesday 7th October – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Mildura Country Music Festival
Friday 25th September to Sunday 4th October – Mildura, VIC

Murwillumbah Country Roots Fest
Friday 2nd to Monday 5th October – Murwillumbah, NSW

Wednesday 7th October – The Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC

Nanga Music Festival
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th October – Dwellingup, WA

Northern Beaches Music Festival
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th October – Collaroy Beach, NSW

Pierce Brothers
Friday 2nd October – Murwillumbah Country Roots Festival, Murwillumbah, NSW

Porch Light Sessions feat. SNAIL, Richard Cartwright, Frank Sultana & Roxanne Clarke
Thursday 8th October – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Ruby Boots
Saturday 3rd October – Dashville Skyline, The Hunter Valley, NSW

Sam Brittain
Friday 2nd October – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA
Friday 9th October – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

Semaphore Music Festival
Friday 2nd to Monday 5th October – Adelaide, SA

The BordererS
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October – Murtoa Big Weekend, near Horsham, VIC
Friday 9th to Saturday 17 October – Cruisin’ Country Cruise, Sydney to Vanuatu

The Mae Trio
Sunday 4th October – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Shack feat. Luke Escombe, The Mutual Acquaintances, Ben Osmo
Saturday 3rd October – The Shack, Narrabeen, NSW

The Snowdroppers
Friday 2nd October – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Saturday 3rd October – The Boston, Perth, WA
Sunday 4th October – Newport Hotel, Fremantle, WA
Friday 9th October – The Brightside, Brisbane, QLD

The Timbers
Sunday 4th October – Semaphore Music Festival, SA
Friday 9th October – Mount Gambier Hotel, Mount Gambier SA

Upstairs & Underground feat. The Gypsy Dub Sound System, Edema Ruh
Friday 2nd October – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Uranquinty Folk Festival
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October – Uranquinty, NSW

Friday 2nd October – ANU Bar, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 8th October – HQ, Adelaide, SA
Friday 9th October – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations
Saturday 3rd October – Caloundra Music Festival, Sunshine Coast, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Devil’s Nine Questions” – Anna & Elizabeth

I felt like we needed a riddle song for Friday Folk Flashback today.

WOMADelaide Announces First Round of Artists for 2016

Marlon Williams
Image Courtesy of Marlon Williams

The 2016 festival announcements keep rolling in with WOMADelaide the next cab off the rank. Held in Adelaide’s picturesque Botanic Park, just north of the city centre, WOMADelaide attracts some of the worlds top world music artists and is one of my favourite festivals of the year.

The first round of artists announced for 2016 has a bunch of artists that Timber and Steel readers should get excited about including Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo performing with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Australian fusion masters The Cat Empire, Ukrainian folk band DakhaBrakha, Spanish flamenco and gypsy band Diego El Cigala, harp driven jazz from Edmar Castaneda Trio, Canadian folk and world music from The Jerry Cans, Ladysmith Black Mambazo who are famous for collaborating with Paul Simon on his Graceland album, Timber and Steel favourite Marlon Williams (above), traditional Mediterranean music from Savina Yannatou and Primavera En Salonico, desert blues from Mali’s Songhoy Blues, the original indie-folkers The Violent Femmes and many more.

WOMADelaide is held from the 11th to the 14th March. The full lineup so far is below – for more information check out the official site here.

Angelique Kidjo and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Australian Dance Theatre
The Cat Empire
Diego El Cigala
Edmar Castaneda Trio
The Jerry Cans
John Grant
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat
Marlon Williams
Orange Blossom
Savina Yannatou and Primavera En Salonico
Seun Kuti and Egypt 80
Songhoy Blues
Violent Femmes

WOMADelaide Announces First Artists for 2015 Lineup

The Gloaming
Image Courtesy of The Gloaming

We’ve said it multiple times before but WOMADelaide is easily one of our favourite festivals in Australia. From its setting in the stunning Botanic Park in Adelaide to the wonderful eclectic lineup it boasts each year, WOMADelaide continues to live up to the hype.

The next WOMADelaide will be held from the 6th to 9th March next year and they’ve just announced their first round of artists. The lineup next years boasts the likes of blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite, indie-acoustic darlings Lake Street Dive, bluegrass and old time stringband Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys, the incomparable Rufus Wainwright, Irish trad supergroup The Gloaming and so much more.

For information on how to get your hands on tickets for WOMADelaide check out the official site here. The full first round of artists are below:

Abdullah Ibrahim Quartet (South Africa), Balkan Beat Box (Brooklyn/Tel Aviv), Bombino (Niger), Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (Italy), Charlie Musselwhite (USA), Che Sudaka (Spain), Criolo (Brazil), Fanfare Ciocarlia (Romania), Flavia Coelho (Brazil), Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys (Canada), Jambinai (South Korea), Jupiter & Okwess International (Democratic Republic of Congo), Lake Street Dive (USA), Live Live Cinema (New Zealand), Luzmila Carpio (Bolivia), Marrugeku Theatre Company – Cut The Sky (Australia), Malawi Mouse Boys (Malawi), Meeta Pandit (India), Neneh Cherry w/ RocketNumberNine+ (Sweden/UK), Public Service Broadcasting (UK), Ramzi Aburedwan (Palestine), Rufus Wainwright (Canada), Soil and “Pimp” Sessions (Japan), The Gloaming (Ireland), Youssou N’Dour (Senegal)

Beards of Womadelaide 2013

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All Images courtesy of Arcade Photo

It’s no secret that we’re fans of beards here at Timber & Steel. From Joe Purdy to Ray LaMontagne, William Fitzsimmons to Josh T Pearson and obviously the likes of The Beards, we find beards to be synonymous with folk, blues and roots music. While at Womadelaide this year (which is essentially beard paradise) we took the opportunity to take some photos of some pretty cool beards. Here are some*

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*Timber and Steel wish to advise that this article is by no means intended to be a true and accurate record of the full extent/quality of beards on display at Womadelaide 2013.

Review: Womadelaide 2013

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All Photographs courtesy of Arcade Photo

In recent years Womadelaide has given folkies as much to be excited about as just about any other festival, barring the likes of Bluesfest or Woodford Folk. In previous years we’ve seen high profile acts like First Aid Kit, Luka Bloom, Joanna Newsom, Archie Roach & Angus and Julia Stone but a surprising list of fantastic, relatively unknown international artists which gives the festival a distinct appeal to anyone who approaches the event with an open mind, ready to discover something exotic and amazing.

Womad 2k13 Bands-23One of the great things about Womadelaide to me as an Adelaidian is that it’s a constant. I can rely on it, which sounds trivial but it’s something that almost every other festival can’t live up to. I can rely on the music programming to be insightful, contrasting and varied and the quality of sound to be to the highest standard. I can rely on there being great food, enough water, and adequate toilets. I can rely on the fact that I won’t be abused or harassed by drunken bullies and I won’t get into a situation where I’m going to be cramped or trampled. I can rely on having a good, relaxing weekend shared with friends and for that reason I think it has become sacred to a lot of people. Womadelaide has been running for 21 years now and I suppose they’ve essentially perfected it because for as long as I’ve been attending the festival it’s kept the same site layout, precincts, stages and amenities, which definitely contributes to the comfort levels of repeat attendees.

For the last 3 years (at least) the festival has spanned 4 days to include the Friday night before the weekend and the Adelaide Cup public holiday on the Monday following. The great thing about this is that it’s quite commonplace for artists to have more than one performance during the festival, which allows the flexibility to get around clashing set-times or prior engagements (which is a very real danger during the peak of Adelaide’s mad march festival season).

Womad 2k13 Bands-12The Friday night was the major event of my Womadelaide. Undoubtedly the atmosphere was at its most electrifying and everybody I spoke to was restless with anticipation for The Tallest Man On Earth, aka Swedish folk singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson. The Tallest Man On Earth has been one of my favorite artists ever since I first discovered his debut album Shallow Graves in 2009. That was an exciting time in this generation’s indie-folk revival, and Matsson has been contributing increasingly jaw-dropping works since. I had the enormous pleasure of seeing The Tallest Man On Earth perform last year at Womadelaide’s spin-off festival Earth Station that was held in the Belair National Park. Since that time he’s released a brand new album There’s No Leaving Now, which was largely the focus of his Womadelaide 2013 performance. Here’s what Timber & Steel contributor JDX had to say about the album;

“I was more than just a coward. I was handsome too”. One of the best opening lyrics I’ve ever heard. I was in a doctors’ waiting room; the venue for many of my musical discoveries. Kristian Matsson’s intricate chords, his sweeping melodies, his metaphors, sharp, yet brittle, stole me from the moment, as my favourite folk music always does. Matsson said There’s No Leaving Now was about wanting to deal with your own weaknesses. I felt weak. This album made me feel stronger. I could write reams about imagery, or interpretation, about how “Bright Lanterns” is the world’s best post-colonial protest song, about how this isn’t The Wild Hunt and whether that matters. But then I’d be saying too much.

Powerful right? I think that testimonial is representative of the command Matsson has on an audience. When I turned around to survey behind me from the front of Stage 3 during the set I saw a sea of affected faces- it stole us all for the better part of an hour.

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Matsson enters the stage and starts to play without a hint of ado, without a moment to feed his ego with the applause of an adoring mass as if to break the audience’s shackles with reality, their awareness of their surroundings and prepare them to experience the music and only the music. That’s not to say that his performance lacks humanity. Matsson is constantly, unashamedly, physically affected by his music during his performance, which can appear quite unique and peculiar at first but also allows the audience to feel uninhibited. Sometimes he assumes the famous one-legged stance of Jethro Tull flautist/front man Ian Anderson, and at other times he briskly whips back and forth the front of stage like a flamboyant magician showing the audience his empty hands before performing a trick. As per usual, The Tallest Man On Earth performed all by his lonesome until he was joined by a female vocalist (unknown to me) for a song towards the end of his set. Matsson’s trademark open-tuning, quick finger-picking guitar technique never ceases to amaze me. Among the songs from his latest album such as “1904”, “Wind and Walls”, “Leading Me Now”, and “Revelation Blues”, Matsson delved back into his back catalogue for some of his most moving tunes like “Love Is All”, “King of Spain” and “Like The Wheel” and even further back to tracks like “The Gardener”, “Where Do My Bluebirds Fly” and “I Won’t Be Found” from his debut. Below is a live version of one of my favorite tracks from his latest album for anyone who wants on the bandwagon.

Womad 2k13 Bands-25The next act I saw was the hyped Melbourne soul troupe Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes, who I’d seen for the first time nearly exactly a year ago supporting Charles Bradley at Adelaide Festival’s Barrio club in 2012. The energetic horn section and spritely back-up singers gave a fantastic excitement to the show and provide the ideal backdrop for diva-queen Ms. Browne to stun the crowd with her powerful-as-all-hell vocals. You’d have all heard her tune “Love Letter” on the radio at some point, but if her Womadelaide 2013 performance proved anything to me it’s that Clairy’s not just a one trick pony.

Before calling it a night I caught the first part of The Cat Empire’s set. The enormous crowd that had gathered to the main stage was probably the biggest of the festival and really just goes to show that the Melbourne collective still has the pulling power to the “world-music” audience, even if their new tunes aren’t quite taking to “youth-radio” like they used to.

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Unfortunately suffering from heat exhaustion brought on by an ill-fated attempt to play a Saturday morning soccer game in the high 30 degree, humid conditions, I missed out on much of the acts over Womadelaide’s Saturday and Sunday, although made it for at least a couple of hours on both days. If there’s one thing for certain, this Womadelaide was the hottest in recent years, being mid-to-high thirties for the whole weekend. All of the acts that I saw on Saturday I came across by complete accident. I delightfully observed indigenous Arnhem Land act East Journey for a few minutes before finding my way to the Morteton Bay Stage to catch a few tunes from contemporary Scottish folk group LAU. Despite being someone who is less inspired by the trad spectrum of folk music, I was incredibly impressed by the musicianship on display and could easily imagine their performance erupting into an unbridled ruckus in a smaller, enclosed venue.

Before calling it a day I stole a moment with both a genre defying group of Parisian-expats called Moriarty and a beautiful, sparse performance on an ancient discarded instrument, the viola da gamba, from viola guru Jordi Savall.

Despite lingering sickness I decided to head into botanic park on Sunday for two performances that I’d eagerly been anticipating, Mia Dyson and Abigail Washburn. Although Mia Dyson is a very well known Australian Rock/Blues & Roots artist, I think the height of her fame must have fallen slightly before my time. I was familiar with her name but not her work, despite her being widely touted by the Blues & Roots community in Adelaide and her being one of the intensely publicized headliners for last year’s Backwater Blues & Roots Festival in SA. To put it simply, I was stunned by Dyson’s Womadelaide performance. Her voice was just so intense and faultless. It made me wonder why I had never heard her music before? Perhaps her style falls on the “Adult Contemporary” side of blues/rock, rather than the “indie” side that’s considered fair game for mainstream radio… This reminded me of an interview article I read on Fasterlouder with Jen Cloher called “Why we need a Triple J for adults”- an Australian artist who’s probably been pigeonholed in the same way as Dyson. Well worth a read.

I caught Abigail Washburn’s second performance of Womadelaide with her current collaborator Kai Welch and found it equally as enlightening as it was entertaining. I had listened to Washburn’s most recent record only a couple of times. As an amateur banjo picker I’m always interested to listen to how the instrument is being used in new music and Washburn is renowned the world over for the use of that Scruggs-style clawhammer banjo in her music. What I didn’t realize was that Washburn’s obvious Appalachian/bluegrass influences are supplemented by strong ties with Chinese culture. Washburn has spent a lot of time in China writing and playing music, speaks the language fluently and draws from the culture in her music. The blend makes for an intriguing result, but is not at all gimmicky. Washburn and Welch had the crowd singing in Chinese and told stories of their shared time in the country following the ravaging earthquakes. In terms of performance, she and Welch played off each other wonderfully, hitting impossible harmonies without falter. Washburn even felt the energy to get up and clog along to a tune despite her obvious pregnancy. She did a TED talk that I found very interesting. Watch below.

Womad 2k13 Bands-48On Monday I was joined by some old friends so I spent the day less intent on seeing performances and more dedicated to catching up. Throughout the day I managed to catch sets from hearty New Zealand blues duo Swamp Thing and UK fiddle prodigy/trad heart throb  Seth Lakeman. I also had the Timber & Steel photographer playing paparazzi for an photo-article called “Beards of Womadelaide 2013”, which I would sternly urge you all to visit.

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WOMADelaide Reveals Full 2013 Lineup

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Photo of Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes by Stu B

Another 2013 festival which bolstered its lineup this morning (and by “bolstered” we mean “revealed the whole darn thing”) was the wonderful WOMADelaide. Already boasting the likes of The Tallest Man on Earth, Tuba Skinny, Abigail Washburn & Kai Welch, Zoe Keating, Seth Lakeman and more the rest of the WOMADelaide lineup is looking pretty impressive.

WOMADelaide takes place in Adelaide between the 8th and 11th March. The full list of artists added this morning are below:

Adnaan Baraky (Syria/Australia)
Alim Qasimov Ensemble (Azerbaijan)
Arpaka Dance Company (Australia)
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba (Mali)
The Bird (Australia)
Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes (Australia)
Dj ClicK (France)
East Journey (Australia)
Golonka (Australia)
Goran Bregovic & His Weddings & Funerals Orchestra (Serbia)
Heather Frahn & the Moonlight Tide (Australia)
The Herbaliser DJs (UK)
Illapu (Chile)
Kingfisha (Australia)
LA-33 (Colombia)
Mia Dyson (Australia)
Novalima (Peru)
Paul Ubana Jones (UK/Nigeria/NZ)
Salif Keita (Mali)
Sing Sing (Australasia)
Souad Massi (Algeria/France)
Tim Rogers & The Bamboos (Australia)
Tubular Bells for Two (Australia)
Vieux Farka Toure (Mali)
The Volatinsky Trio (Australia)

Review: Womadelaide, 2012

Timber and Steel are big fans of Womadelaide festival. The event takes place over 4 days during the March long weekend every year and brings dozens of the world’s best traditional musicians to the city for a romp of cultural celebration and unique performances. As a full time student and worker, the festival holds a strong significance in my life, as it surely does for tens of thousands of others as well. It’s the time of year that life slows down for a moment, the pressures of work and study are lifted, and curiosity and enjoyment take over. Its brilliance is that it has the power to make the most tightly wound folk feel like a carefree traveller, even if it’s only fleetingly before it all starts again. Testament to this is the fact that I can only get around to reviewing the festival a month after it took place. Even reflecting on it is somewhat soothing.

Whilst the previous year’s lineup was perhaps more folky in the sense of what we mostly write about here at Timber and Steel, 2012 had a lot to offer. The Friday opening night unfortunately clashed with Charles Bradley’s one and only performance at Barrio, so my Womadelaide did not begin until the Saturday afternoon. Penguin Cafe were the first act I crossed paths with, and I immediately recognised most of the tunes although never having listened to the band before. I could only describe it as the most fun you can have with classical music- verging on folk and pop. Apparently the band is really very famous and has been performing at Womad festivals for quite some time, which would explain why some of their songs seemed so familiar.

I spent some time checking out much-hyped Palestinian group Le Trio Joubran before stumbling across the highlight of my festival- The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Lined up in a row with an arsenal of varying ukuleles, this charming and cheeky bunch of fun loving Brits put on an amazing show with both crowd pleasing cover renditions of popular songs and mesmerizing feats of arrangement as they flawlessly recreate all manner of genres entirely with one instrument, my favourite being their foray into Dixieland. Check them out below.

First Aid Kit were probably the only act on the bill that we frequently write about on Timber and Steel, and they were next on the agenda. I listened to their debut album a lot and was very impressed with their title track and first single from the new album. For those unfamiliar, First Aid Kit are 2 very young Swedish sisters that truly embrace the sound of classic American folk music, and remind most of Laura Marling with Fleet Foxesesque harmonies. Live, the flawless harmonies they achieve are all the more impressive. It was gratifying to see the pair perform with such confidence and unreserved passion, showing they aren’t above head-banging in moments of intensity. First Aid Kit had some decent publicity prior to their performance and the crowd was correspondingly strong. The sisters spent a lot of their set introducing the new album, which was the first time I heard it and I must say I am pleased with their direction- veering further towards folk and country and further from indie-pop. Exhibit A- their recent ode to their favourite folk musicians below.

Saturday ended with a fantastic curry and eclectic performances from Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Bonobo and Dirty Three.

Sunday was my girlfriend’s birthday and I brought her along to enjoy an afternoon of decidedly French-flavoured music. French-Senegalese heartthrob Tété kicked off the day’s proceedings with a good set of his trademark acoustic-pop/delta-blues blend. The result is truly unique, I honestly can’t say I’ve heard anything like it before. His guitar work was impressive, as was his voice, but for me the acoustic-pop element of his songs verged too closely to the likes of Jason Mraz and were ultimately slightly too predictable for my liking. Decide for yourself below.

Next we checked out French violinist/looper Chapelier Fou, which translates to “mad hatter”. I heard  from others that he was a highlight of their festival, and he was a very impressive musician. I susppose the experimental nature of the music and the repetitiveness of the looping put me off somewhat because I didn’t make it through to the end of his set before I opted for a trip to the food precinct of the festival. That evening I was lucky enough to catch Gurrumul for the first time, whom I’d wanted to see for a long time. The seated show was amazingly well attended and I only managed to get a spot behind an unfortunately large and dense shrub. Since I couldn’t see anyway there really wasn’t much else to do than close my eyes and enjoy it. I quickly caught a bit of Chilean folk star Nano Stern before calling it a night.

I made it to the festival on Monday just in time to see local act and friends Bearded Gypsy Band take to the stage for their first Womadelaide show. The group of incredibly young and talented musicians are notorious in South Australia for providing an unlikely party atmosphere with their moving arrangements that draw influence from gypsy swing, jazz and folk. It was a warm day and the crowd was packed in like sardines to get close to the Zoo stage and witness the lads finally get their opportunity to spread their craft with a significant new audience. You never get tired of seeing the Bearded Gypsy Band, and it was lovely to see how much it meant to them to be playing the festival.

We stuck around the Zoo stage for a while and checked out a piece of roving Japanese theatre called Sivouplait before joining in on Ivorian songstress Dobet Gnahore’s vocal workshop, which was a lot of fun.

I was by myself for a lot of the festival as a lot of the friends that I usually go with were interstate or working and I still really enjoyed myself. I probably didn’t make the most of every day but it’s honestly that relaxing that I didn’t really feel the need to. It’s not going anywhere.  See you next year, Womadelaide.

More Artists Added to the 2012 WOMADelaide Lineup

The Barons of Tang
Image Courtesy of The Barons of Tang

After impressing us with a folk-heavy first round of artists WOMADelaide have done it again dropping their second announcement this afternoon. With the festival in its 20th year WOMADelaide is looking to it’s past bringing back some of its most popular acts as well as showcasing some exciting new talent.

Joining the likes of Eddi Reader, Sharon Shannon, Blue King Brown, First Aid Kit, The Pigram Brothers and The Bearded Gypsy Band next year will be The Barons of Tang (above), The Bombay Royale, Gurrumul, Jinja Safari, Shane Howard and many many more.

WOMADelaide is held from the 9th to the 12th March in Adelaide. The full lineup so far is below:

Staff Benda Bilili (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Tinariwen (Mali)
Gurrumul (Australia)
Jinja Safari (Australia)
Sharon Shannon Big Band (Ireland)
First Aid Kit (Sweden)
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UK)
Chic (USA)
Chapelier Fou (France)
Blue King Brown (Australia)
Eddi Reader (Scotland)
Johnny Clegg (South Africa)
Dobet Gnahoré (Ivory Coast)
Penguin Café (UK)
Bonobo (UK)
Groundation (Jamaica/USA)
Grace Barbé (Seychelles/Australia)
Master Drummers of Burundi (Burundi)
Diego Guerrero y El Solar de Artistas (Spain)
DJ Krush (Japan)
The Barons of Tang (Australia)
Shane Howard (Australia)
Lo’Jo (France)
Shivkumar Sharma (India)
ponydance theatre company (Ireland)
Le Trio Joubran (Palestine)
Mahala Rai Banda (Romania)
Kimmo Pohjonen (Finland)
JUMPS (Australia)
The Pigram Brothers (Australia)
Nano Stern & the Sindicato (Chile)
Mo’Horizons (Germany)
Frigg (Finland/Norway)
La Voce Della Luna (Australia)
Melbourne Ska Orchestra (Australia)
Pascals (Japan)
Narasirato (Solomon Islands)
The Bombay Royale (Australia)
The Bearded Gypsy Band (Australia)
Jay Hoad Band (Australia/Fiji)

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