IT’S HARD TO DETERMINE whether the line-up for WOMAD 2015 is a brave move or a blatant bid to get the punters in.
The organisers have cobbled together a choice roster, but I would harbour doubts that either Public Service Broadcasting or Sinead O’Connor could be considered among the pantheon of global stars who come to New Plymouth to play their indigenous music. O’Connor, I guess, has been invited due to her forays into Irish music and Jamaican roots sounds; PBS I can’t fathom really, though they do incorporate the banjo sometimes. Not that this is in any way a problem – Porky rated Spitfire one of the best singles of 2012, and the Inform-Educate-Entertain album one of the best of last year. The sty has been itching for J. Willgoose Esq and Wrigglesworth to get their arses to New Zealand for some time now.
Other major acts include folkie Richard Thompson, Sengalese superstar Youssou N’Dour and Canada’s Rufus Wainwright. But it’s the eclecticism of the line-up that challenges western ideas and provides a truly international flavour, drawing from Palestine (Ramzi Aburedwan), Bolivia (Luzmila Carpio) the Malawi Mouse Boys, and beyond. Such acts would never get to these shores if it wasn’t for this annual extravaganza. There is also a healthy local presence with Flip Grater, Trinity Roots, Mel Parsons, Tahuna Breaks, Estere and Myele Manzanaza & The Eclectic all scheduled to appear.
As you can imagine the styles among even that sparse list of acts is varied and exciting.
Rather than cut and paste the bios of some of the acts, at this stage Porky is going to provide some vid-ayos for you to peruse at your leisure, and we will do larger features on some acts before the event takes place March 13-15 next year.