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10-12th March 2006 .Botanic Park.


Bring on the DRUMS ! The all star Jam Womadelaide 2006 .

© Darryl Watson

used under creative commons license. Visit his Flickr site to see more great pix from Womadelaide 2006

   The 2006 WomAdelaide festival featured a pretty superb lineup on Friday night . But then it seemed to peak and was merely very good for the rest of the weekend. However, since Womadelaide is held in one of the best festival sites in the world - the wonderful Botanic Park in the centre of Adelaide, has a happy , peaceful atmosphere, laid back yet joyous audiences , great food, moderately priced booze , friendly , helpful police/security and is extremely well organised , good is far better than average . So once again the entire weekend was a memorable experience and above all, as ever , FUN !

      Friday was around 35 C in the day, but it had cooled nicely by the time the main acts were on , Saturday was an inhospitable 37C although it was lovely in the evening when it dropped down to 25C. Sunday was muggy with cloud around for most of the time and it actually rained during most of Jimmy Cliff's set on Sunday night. It then cleared until after we saw the Delai Lama's Monks , but on the way home we got caught in a very nasty cold squall just as we left the park.



Kanda Bongo Man- ok . But no cigar ...

    Womadelaide 2006 was the year of the drum, which was ok by me as I really like drumming, although some found the endless percussive battery a bit tiring after three days. The Womadelaide booking committee seems to have now established a pattern of booking around 10 or so acts that are world class and absolutely stunning and then the festival is peppered by acts that are a bit less inspiring. I suppose this has always been the case to some extent as its impossible to fill a bill full of headliners.

   This may be my own prejudices coming into play here, as I must admit I prefer African acts to South Asian and South American music in general. However, there are always enough meaty worthwhile acts to overcome the dross that fills in the time slots on occasions . In fact I have missed some damn good acts over the past few years due to my inbuilt limitations . In 2006, I avoided the Musafir Gypsies and Bottine Souriante to my regret , so in future I am going to give all acts a try and damn the torpedoes !

   The highlights in 2006 were the lovely Sharon Shannon, the Indian contingent of Dr LSubramaniam and Amjad Ali Khan, Joe Camilleri and Nicky Bomba, Evelyn Glennie,Talvin Singh , Paul Kelly in classic bluegrass mode ,Jimmy Cliff, the Namgyal Monks and the Dhol Foundation- all just fantastic.

   Disappointments were few . I thought the African bands were slightly below par in 2006. There wasn't anyone of the caliber of Papa Wemba or Salif Keita or Baaba Maal to really raise the standard to the inspirational level, although I did enjoy Ba Cissoko .The Renegades Steel Orchestra were fun at first , but got a bit tedious after 20 minutes or more.Veteran outfit Orchestra Baobab were highly competent , but lacked a charismatic front man to really boost the performance into the stratosphere. I have never found Kanda Bongo Man all that inspiring and this time round was no exception.

The good news was that the ABC had returned to film the event and a number of partial sets were broadcast on TV, and repeated in 2008 around the time of the festival, details can be found below .

In The Mix review


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