Best viewed at 800x600 res
Botanic Park Adelaide.
Feb 19th-21st 1993.
Friday 19th & Saturday 20th February 1993.
Friday 19th February 1993
Peter Gabriel appeared an hour late to play his first show in Australia few
in the crowd were complaining. Battling
technical and under-rehearsal problems, Gabriel and his band delivered an incredibly warm, moving, human performance. God knows what the diehard Genesis T-shirt-wearing fans in the crowd made of it, but the bulk of the crowd were behind him all the way. After opening with a haunting version of Across the River, Gabriel kicked into high gear with a selection of tracks from the US album. New songs like Steam and Digging in the Dirt were well received by the crowd despite one or two teething problems. On stage, Gabriel is an endearingly small and vulnerable-looking character, like an accountant who's wandered on by accident, especially when he leaves the safety of his keyboard rack. His voice though, when heard live, has a truly spine-tingling quality, especially on the slower songs.
was positively mesmeric. Towards the end Gabriel said 'The rest is up to you',
and turned the mic to the crowd. We
hardly had to be told to join in the chant. One by one, Gabriel and the band left the stage until only Manu Katche remained,
drumming with the massed voices of the audience. It was an amazing moment, and the crowd erupted when it was over, cheering each other as much as the performers who had brought us all together.
The encore was In Your Eyes, from So. Gabriel was joined by an unusual array of backing vocalists: Geoffrey Oryema, Mandawuy Yunupingu and two Holmes Brothers. It began to rain gently as Germaine Acogny danced about the stage, but nobody thought of leaving. Gabriel left us with a promise that this was only the entree - the main course would be tomorrow night.
Saturday 20th February 1993.
As the principal western star of Womadelaide 93 Peter Gabriel had maintained a low profile , clearly wishing attention to focus on the impressive stable of international and indiginous performers assembled here. That after all was the principal reasion why he co-founded the World Of Music , Arts and Dance festivals. Once on stage however, no bushel could hide the shining light which is Gabriels musical ingenuity. With all attention fixed upon him in enormous anticipation, Gabriel began , as he did on Fridays gala show , by creating a hushed vocal loop through his keyboard. He then layered this with middle eastern chants until it swelled into the lush , hypnotic buzz of Across the River, the first tune he wrote for Womad more than a decade ago. By the time the song had reached its hope filled crescendo, the crowd knew it was bearing witness to far more than another pop concert. The technical hitches and poor sound mix which hindered Fridays shorter gala appearance, the first performance by Gabriel's new band had been corrected to convey the full intricacy of the musicianship and the sweet yearning of Gabriel's unique voice. Gabriel slid straight into the thick groove and chunky Afro rhythm of Shaking the Tree, a track he composed with the star of last year's Womad, Youssin N 'Dour . Gabriel's second keyboard player Joy Askew, immediately established herself as an integral vocal partner filling the roles often recorded by guest artists.
A burst of white smoke heralded a string of hits, beginning with the brassy sould single Steam , which found Gabriel moving out from behind his keyboard to emilate the brash , jerky dance movements of his video. The core of GabrielŐs band , bassist Tony Levin , guitarist David Rhodes and drummer Manu Katche , proved capable of incredible subtleties, dropping the tone right back for ther mellow ride into Love To Be Loved and then grinding into the smash of digging in the dirt with frustration and anger. Special guest Shankar played the melancholy violin heart of Blood Of Eden , perhaps the most introspective track form Gabriels exploration of personal relationships on his latest album US
"There are two boxes, Them and US .Womad puts everybody into the box marked US"
Gabriel said, introducing the track Only Us . Wherever possible he used the music to reinforce the weekends themes of unity and accepting diversity. A hard funky reworking of Games Without Frontiers saw Gabriel marching across the stage like a tin soldier . The uplifting triumph of Solsbury Hill and throbbing pop of Sledgehammer had the crowd bopping and singing along and might ordinarily have provided the climax for a concert. But Gabriel moved the crowd back to the meotional and cultural pivot of the festival , raising their fists in the air to his thundering anit racism anthem Biko.
When he concluded "the rest is up to you" Gabriel meant far more then singing the final refrain . Bringing in a cross section of performers, including the Mahotella Queens , Geoffrey Oryema and members of Not Drowning, Waving , The Holmes Brothers and Yothu Yindi on stage for the finale In Your Eyes, Gabriel left us with an unparalleled picture of picture of the wonderful diversity available in the World, if we only chose to look and listen .
Despite stiff competition,
Peter Gabriel's eagerly anticipated second performance proved to be the highlight
of Saturday's acts. Bald bass-playing legend Tony Levin was greeted with good-natured
jibes from the crowd: 'Get a haircut Tony!' When
someone yelled out a request for the old Genesis song Supper's Ready, Gabriel quickly responded 'No thanks, I've already eaten!' Although the band were still a bit under-rehearsed, this performance stood head and shoulders above Friday night. The song list was expanded to include older tracks like Solsbury Hill and Games Without Frontiers. During Sledge-hammer an appropriately-timed blown-up condom happened to gust on to the stage, causing Gabriel to almost lose his way as he burst out laughing. After a false start for Blood of Eden he was relaxed enough to explain that 'that's what's known in the trade as a fuck-up' and start again. Joy Askew, the only band-member who was not a previous Gabriel collaborator, did an outstanding job on keyboards and backing vocals.
In Steam the lone
smoke machine was more of a distraction than anything else, while elsewhere
the lack of stage tricks worked to focus attention on the songs. L. Shankar,
on electric violin, seemed personally distant from the rest of the band on
stage, but played magnificently. Once again Gabriel closed the show with Biko
and then In Your Eyes. For the encore he was joined this time by some of the
members of NDW, who seemed a bit overwhelmed by the experience. Gabriel's
split musical personality (intensely personal quiet songs, funky innuendo-laden
dance numbers) makes for fascinating
live performance. I can't think of many other artists who can draw tears from listeners one minute and have them jumping for joy the next.
For Gabriel's show,
as for the whole weekend, it was wonderful to be in the midst of such a bipartisan
responsive to material new and old, familiar and strange, local and exotic.
If you have any photos , setlist or recording information you would like to add to this site, please don't hesitate to contact us via the main archive address . Just follow the link .
Links to articles on the 1993 festival.