Last Friday, I jetted out to Adelaide for the WOMAD festival. Three days and 2 nights of the music I love. I was staying a couple of K from the site so it was a short walk to get there and back each day.
Friday started out well with the funky Grandma's the Mahotella Queens showing they still have what it takes to get you moving. They were closely followed by a superb Lila Downs performance. The night finished in a frenzy to the driving afro-beat of Feli Kuti.
I knew the weekend would be like a marathon and I would need a plan of attack. It was predicted to be 37C on Saturday, so it was especially important not to go too hard too early and save some energy for the big acts on the last stretch on Sunday.
So seeing Oz blues group, The Backslider first up on Saturday was difficult to just sit (in the shade) and tap your feet when they were really cookin'. Blue King Brown were so good, I just couldn't resist and danced away to their set even though it was in the mid-afternoon heat. After that there was no trouble lying down and drifting away to the mysterious and magical sound of Huun-Huur Tu the throat singing combo from Tuva. By Saturday evening, the place was packed and it was necessary to stand up to get close and get a good view for the shows. Danced away to Habib Koite, Lila Downs (who was again superb) and surprisingly even found myself shaking the hips to Portuguese fado singer Mariza who stunned me with her physical presence (she looks about seven foot tall) and her huge voice.
Walking back to the hotel at around 12:30 at night, my legs felt really really weary and my knees were also aching. Had I gone too early?
Sunday thankfully was cooler. The Niger desert blues band Etran Finatawa's simple but compulsive groove where the first to get me on my feet. Stayed there for The Waifs who I knew nothing about but they impressed me greatly. Did a highly emotive rendition of From Little Things Big Things Grow with Kevin Carmody.
Come Sunday night, the home stretch. Picked up the pace with another Mahotella Queens set which I went crazy in, and jumped back to back for a boogie session with The Backsliders this time in the cool of the evening.
The last big artist on Stage 1 was Salif Keita who was one of the main attractions for me. His set was brilliant. His last two albums have used a lot of acoustic instruments but the big electric combo turned up at Adelaide and they just rocked. The legs still had the juice in them and Salif propelled them to the finish line.
There was one last session after that and it was Huun
Tu again. This time I could actually see them. Throat singing
something everyone should witness. But I was again deeply moved by many of their songs and soundscapes
It was 1 am by the time I made the walk back to the hotel. It was sad that I had left heaven behind.
On Monday morning, I had to check out by 11:00am so I was determined to get a run in that morning. So I managed to get up and be away by 9:30. I ran along the path by the Torrens which was very pleasent. What was even better was that by Brisbane's recent standards, it was quite cool. Yeah. You almost forget what is like to go out for a run and not end up as a bucket of sweat. I kept up a reasonable pace of around 4:40 for 45 minutes and didn't even manage to get my singlet wet.
My plane home didn't leave till 8:00pm , so I had the rest of the day to fill. I spent from 11 to 4:30pm walking around the Botanic Gardens. I am a bit of a plant lover and find Botanic gardens fascinating. But by now, my legs were very weary again and I decided to go to a movie and rest for a couple of hours before going to the airport. The best movie I could find was Bobby which was just passable.
Back home on Tuesday morning, when I downloaded my run info on to the computer and all I can see in the Diary was Friday - blank, Saturday - Blank, Sunday - blank, Monday - 9.5k run at 4:41 pace, it just didn't add up as my legs , knees and back all felt tired. Just need to find a way to put in 12 hours of dancing, 11 hours of walking and 10 hours of standing on my feet into the diary to get the full picture.