WOMAD Wrap - Saturday

The Cat Empire finished late on the Friday night - so hitting the coffee stalls became an important first stop before checking out Alsarah and the Nubatones at 1pm. These Sudanese retro-pop stars were an excellent start to the afternoon, blending African pop bass notes with the Nubian folk music of southern Egypt and northern Sudan.

The next stop was David Suzuki's keynote to open WOMADelaide's Planet Talks. He spoke about the importance of listening to elders, who (mostly) have stopped "being driven by money or power or celebrity or sex"; and especially indigenous elders, the "only people with credibility to talk about sustainability over thousands of years". It was a powerful talk. And therefore, it called for a cider. (For those interested, the full talk should soon be up on the UniSA YouTube channel.)

Then it was time to rest in the sun to the tune of some desert blues, courtesy of American 'Tex-Mex Americana' band Calexico. Meanwhile, soulful R&B artist Radical Son welcomed the newly arriving masses with his powerful voice by the Frome Street gate.

Up next on the main stage was DakhaBrakha, a Ukrainian act (with excellent hats) whose charming stage presence and surprisingly seductive beats helped everyone get up to get down, venturing from beat-driven folk to hip-hop.

Then it was over to Stage 3, which thankfully had dried up a bit from Friday's marshy conditions. Despite technical issues causing some crackling sound, the incredibly talented and stunning Ibeyi had the audience transfixed. French-Cuban twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz were raised on Yoruba folk songs, and now they sing in both English and Yoruba to honour their ancestors, Yoruba-speaking Cuban slaves. A particular highlight of this set was a call-and-response encore of their hit song River.

Back on the main stage, Israeli soul diva Ester Rada and her band put in a solid effort to get the crowd moving. It was bloody hot though, so we hid away in the shade with a glass of riesling from the Yalumba Bar.

47SOUL built a rocking Middle Eastern synth soundscape over on Stage 2. Their sound is described as "electro-mijwez, shamstep, choubi". If you don't know what that means either, imagine electronica and hip hop straight off the streets of Palestine. High energy, great for a dance.

At this point we had to scamper off and charge our phones at the UniSA solar phone charging station by Zoo Stage. We didn't mind though, as the lovely folk at the Tea Bar made us some beverages and we were treated to a classic Adelaide sunset - gorgeous as ever.

Next up, stories from legendary Melbourne muso Mojo Juju - "This one's a bit different - it's a song about love as a sado-masochistic battleground." Meanwhile, Sampa the Great somehow broke Justin's camera (probably because Sampa's greatness is uncapturable, like the Abominable Snowman.) A solid rap act with excellent feminist underpinnings, Sampa often called out to her 'queens' in the audience.

Always a treat, Australian Dance Theatre performed the world premiere of their new work The Beginning of Nature. This work had a more 'classic' contemporary dance feel than their usual boundary-pushing movement and concepts. Incredibly beautiful though, with nods to elements of traditional Kaurna dance, and use of Kaurna language in the live soundtrack, underscored by the Zephyr String Quartet.

Iconic hip-hop act De La Soul closed off the main stage, going well over time, much to the delight of the Gen-Y'ers in the audience. They played all their classic hits like Me, Myself and I, Saturday and Ring, Ring, Ring. The huge crowd was right into it, despite the somewhat lacklustre energy on stage.

As the crowds dispersed, some of us were lucky (and energetic) enough for one last boogie on Novatech with Osunlade - "the Messiah of Ancestral House". We even stopped to sing him happy birthday when the clock struck midnight.

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