It's always good to get in early on the Sunday to catch the surprise guest (usually a hit Fringe act). This year the punters were treated to no less that Cirque Alfonse with a taste of their "electro trad cabaret" show BARBU. Aussie living legend Kev Carmody crooned on Novatech, while twins Ibeyi put in their second stellar performance.
Over on the Foundation Stage, a fresh line-up of the South African male choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo celebrated their 56th year. The isicathamiya (traditional Zulu music) group became internationally famous when they collaborated with Paul Simon on his iconic 1986 album Graceland. As children of the 80s, we were absolutely buzzing with nostalgia and joy to see and hear these songs performed live.
Sarah Blasko was on Stage 2, but we wanted to dance so we joined The Jerry Cans for a jump around instead. Singing in Inuktitut about life in the Arctic Circle, with a twist of political commentary, this alt-country group really got the Novatech jumping. Think fiddle and accordion with call-and-response and throat singing. We highly recommend checking out the hilarious film clip for their song about eating seal, Mamaqtuq.
While acclaimed flamenco singer Diego el Cigala took hold of the main stage, the APY Choir enchanted the audience at Zoo Stage. Singing in Pitjantjatjara, this choir brings a true sense of peace and community to their songs of faith.
Folks then got a taste of soulful country whimsy with New Zealand crooner Marlon Williams and his band the Yarra Benders (a "special kind of organism"). Marlon's voice, a genuine spectacle, drew in fans and bystanders alike. He and his band are a tight and exciting unit, with an uncompromising energy, and it'll be interesting to see their act move from Novatech on Sunday to Stage 2 on Monday.
Calexico returned to the main stage at 7:30, but we decided it was nicer to have a sit down with Korean duo 숨[su:m], who put out some lovely forest vibes. Between vocal harmonies, glockenspiels and traditional strings, it was a relaxing way to spend the hour.
The always excellent NO ZU brought huge energy to their "heat beat body-music". This act is hard to describe but easy to enjoy. They're playing again Monday at 8:45, so if you missed them Sunday, be sure to get your body moving over to Moreton Bay then.
St Germain built an open nu jazz romantic soundscape on the main stage, while Mortisville vs. The Chief battled it out with live sax and violin in a pumping Speaker's Corner. Marcellus Pittman wrapped up the electronic program on Novatech, while The Gyuto Monks of Tibet chanted the stragglers into a trance on Stage 2.
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