I managed to go to Womadelaide on Sunday. I do love going to this event and have been to every one for 10 years now. For the first few years I’d go for the whole weekend but that’s changed now that JJ is on the scene, and now it’s an annual event rather than a bi-annual event.
This year I took JJ for the afternoon. The trouble with taking kids is that they want to do kids stuff all the time. Womad has a great kids area with storytelling, workshops making stuff, jumping castle, the Amazing Drumming Monkeys etc but the kids just don’t want to leave so all the music that’s on in the afternoon is hard to go and actually see, and that’s what I’ve paid to see.
We did manage to get to The Waifs but because they couldn’t see they wanted to go right up the front. Off we went fighting our way to the front where of course they still couldn’t see. And all this while Kev Carmody was a special guest singing ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’, one of my favourite songs.
That was the only music I really got to see in the afternoon. Fortunately we offloaded the kids to my friend’s husband and were unencumbered for the evening.
We ventured over to see the Kronos Quartet and ensemble but so did just about all the other thousands there. People go to Womad wanting to sit down and enjoy the music so they bring along their low-backed chairs and picnic rugs, but then their view is interrupted by people wanting to stand up. I thought I was going to witness my first ever fight at Womad because the sit-down people were really pissed off with the stand-up people. We had a nice spot near the front and would have sat down if we could, but there was no room because of the amount of people there. So the music was sometimes drowned out by people yelling ‘SIT DOWN’.
As far as I’m concerned if you want to see the musicians and you can’t because people are standing in front of you, you stand up and look. If you want to sit down and enjoy the music, sit somewhere you can see it. Further back is usually quite good at this event.
My only other gripe was that when I was watching Augie March, again I was at the front but nobody considered sitting down for them, and people in front of me sat on others shoulders. This is grown women sitting on mens shoulders to get a better view, although we were up the front so their view was quite good anyway. I put up with it, cause I’m a cool chick and I could sort of see, and I had the option of moving, right? My gripe was that one girl, whose bum was right in front of my face, was farting. It wasn’t a one off, it was continual little, smelly fluffs that were a bit offensive. I waved my hands in front of my face and made a loud comment or three which just served to embarrass my friend, not get the girl to get her smelly bum away from me.
Apart from these little incidents I really enjoyed myself. I used to be worried about losing people at this event because you’d never find them again if you hadn’t pre-arranged something. But even though I did get separated I found the people I needed to towards the end of the night. Failing that we all had mobile phones, but receiving a text asking where you are does not a rendevous make.
I watched Salif Keita who had excellent dancers. I was mesmerised by them. They did simple moves but they were so effortless, yet energetic. Salif Keita has an amazing voice and he did a couple of more acoustic songs which were just haunting and beautiful.
I ended the night by watching the Mad Professor – a UK dub and reggae producer (he helped out Massive Attack who I love). I couldn’t see a damn thing, but had a good dance nonetheless.
Before I went to bed, I washed all the dirt from my feet and wished I could stay awake to have a bath to ease my aching muscles.