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Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year Haiku

We exit this year
Hoping the world will improve
Two thousand and twelve!!

May there be world peace, a stable world economy, and genuine dialogues and understanding no matter what our race, our colour, our language or our religion.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Canadian guitarist steals show at Woodford Festival Day One



Its been a long time since I've heard guitar work like this - absolutely finger-picking good. Reminiscent of Robert Johnson, and sounding like a twelve string at times, Matt Andersen showed his virtuosity, but also some moving songs (like his tribute to Coal Miners) and brilliantly funny ones (like his song about getting rid of the girlfriend from hell and wishing her on Satan). This was an hour of pure bliss. Thanks for making the journey from Canada, Matt. I will buy the records. But please come back again.

Colin Hay at Woodford Festival




















Colin Hay was superb at Woodford Festival this year. Funny, reflective, droll, and later backed by his achingly beautiful wife Cecilia Noël (what a mover!). The unaccompanied guitar work was crisp, for the old Men at Work songs (like 'Down Under'), and for the later works - every one a highlight. One extraordinary and novel piece of accompaniment from Cecilia at the end was her pretending to play a flute, voicing the notes in perfect pitch. The whole hour went too quickly, but left me with an urge to buy Colin's later CDs. Thank you guys - you made my Woodfordia Day.

Renee Geyer at Woodford Festival



The one event I really wanted to see at this year's Woodford Festival's opening day was Renee Geyer. And what a sad performance from an Aussie Fem music icon. She came on stage saying: "I am really over this..." (or words to that effect) then moaned about the heat and the timing (3pm: I guess she would have preferred an evening). The body and the voice have sagged, and she often looked as if she was wracked by a stomachache as she bent over. She had enormous trouble removing shoes and stockinettes, trouble replacing the dark glasses, trouble avoiding obstacles on stage, and overall gave the impression of being substance affected.
She ruined several old favourites including 'Moon River' and 'Funny Valentine' (which as it headlined the bass player it was sad she could not remember his name - he looked crestfallen but played brilliantly). The set came to a somewhat abrupt ending, as if she had just had enough. The band tried to cover for the problems, but overall I felt their pain, and that of the audience who began to leave really early on.
I fear this special lady may need some help.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011