Tag Archives: Taranaki

interviewed | On the couch with Constantinople

For nearly twenty years the ensemble Constantinople have explored musical diversity through the lens of ‘East meets West’, an ever changing melting pot, much like the city after which they are named.

We sat on the couch with Kiya Tabassian and Ablaye Cissoko backstage at WOMAD NZ.

Read our review and check out photographs from WOMAD NZ 2018.

been | WOMAD New Zealand 2018

Once a year, New Plymouth transforms from an idyllic, picturesque city near middle Earth, into the globe’s largest platform for World Music – WOMAD festival. The three-day festival returned from 16-18 March, with performers, arts and crafts,ad and cuisines from across the world. There were performers from six of the seven continents on earth, all with a common goal; making music, the universal language.

Day one opened with a bang with Brazilian collective, Bixiga 70 (interview coming soon!). Their progressive Afrobeats set the tone for days to come and got the crowd on their feet. We kept going until Thievery Corporation who closed on the Bowl stage with their fusion of sounds – with everything from Jazz to Indian classic, Middle Eastern and electronica; they were the perfect way to close the day and had the masses dancing to their to their tune.

Brazilian collective, Bixiga 70

Thievery Corporation

Auckland 5-piece, The Miltones made their WOMAD debut on the Brooklands stage. Wearing Brook Tyson (as mentioned in our #SFS chat), front-woman Milly Tabak owned the stage and seduced the crowd with her sultry tones. Their bluesy, folk rock ballads were a hit with the crowd that had gathered for this early set.

The Miltones

Over at the Taste the World stage, Ghanaian goddess, Jojo Abot cooked up a remix of a traditional curry. Between cutting and mixing, she offered the audience a glimpse into life growing up in Ghana and the inspiration behind her music.

Jojo Abot & Jax Hamilton

After a mesmerising show at this year’s Auckland Arts Festival (read our review), Aldous Harding’s mellifluous performance ensured she will be missed as she takes a touring break to work on her new album.

Aldous Harding

There was no time to nurse the hangover on day two with St Patrick’s Day and shades of green in full swing.

We started our day with the stunning Anoushka Shankar and her talented band. They graced the Bowl stage, euphoniously performing songs from her latest album, Land of Gold. Inspired by the Syrian War, the raw emotion behind each track was beautifully transmitted.

Anoushka Shankar

Kamasi Washington was up next. The international Jazz superstar, performed tracks from his album, The Epic. Performing with his band, we were treated to a new form of Jazz, intertwined with hip hop, RnB and progressive music.

Kamisa Washington

Jojo Abot followed later on in the day with her fierce raw enigmatic performance on the Gables stage. Her powerful voice, married with Ghanian and western beats, was the perfect blend to get the crowd jumping. Performing singles from her albums FYFYAWOTO and NGIWUNKULUNKULU, it was a performance we won’t forget easily!

Jojo Abot

Day two was headlined by Havana meets Kingston, a soundclash that joins up Roots, Reggae, Dub and dancehall with Son, Salsa and Rumba. Australian producer, Mista Savona brings together members of the Buena Vista Social Club and some of Cuba’s finest musicians to create an experience that transports you instantly to the streets of Jamaica and Cuba.

Havana meets Kingston

All good things must come to an end, and what an end it was. With a long drive back to Auckland, we only had time for one act on Day 3. We treated ourselves to Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band on the Bowl stage. Their chemistry on stage was electric; transpiring through the performance and into the audience who didn’t stop moving. The hour-long performance felt like a celebration of life and was the perfect way to end our WOMAD 2018 experience.

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band

Thank you, WOMAD and Thank you, New Plymouth – we’ll be back for more next year!

Check out more photographs from our experience: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Photographs by Vikesh Patel and Meenal Maharaj. All photographs were taken on a Nikon D850 #IAmNewZealand

Been | Poppin’ my WOMAD cherry!

As I raced back to Auckland to catch the tail-end of another festival in what I can only describe as a tin can with wings, I paused to reflect on the WOMADness of the past day and a half, and I’m glad I gave into the FOMO epidemic that has gripped the nation (and my girlfriend).

heard | our top picks for WOMAD 2016

Leaves are starting to turn, days are becoming (somewhat) shorter and there’s a slight chill in the air – for the NZ Festival scene, it can only mean one thing – WOMAD is upon us!

In its 12th year, the festival returns once again to Taranaki, to showcase different cultures through music – this year, WOMAD will transport you to over 20 countries over seven stages, with 30 acts performing over 3 days. It’s a festival like no other. With so much choice, we thought we’d pick out some of our not-to-be-missed acts for this year’s festival.