The festival was fabulous, its great to have such talent arrive in your home town and to share it with so many of your friends as well.
My festival music highlights, there was much, much more, but these are the ones that are still singing in my head:
- Nano Stern - Chilean acoustic guitar, young, passionate, political and extremely musical - played many different South American styles and his heart was truly immersed in his playing. If he comes your way, make the effort to see him.
- April Verch Band - Canadian fiddle player, various styles from many transplanted celtic traditions from across north america and she step dances and fiddles at the same time, sounds gimmicy I know, but if you are familiar with the French Canadian band Genticorum, you'll understand how the step dance works like percussion rhythm and is integral to the music. Also their bodhran player was amazing, never seen it played quite this way before, plus he also played a variety of spoons. Also a 'make the effort to see them if they come your way'.
- Old Man Luedecke - also Canadian, west coast, banjo plucking of excellent calibre and lyrics that are original and heart touching. The title of this blog comes from his song I quit my job, I'm free today, you know how something just grabs you and stays in your head, well this is the one that did it for me this festival, perhaps because I want to and can't - well I don't want to but life at work is not happy and so this song had huge resonance for me.
- Scorba - Local Blue Mountains band, maltese/greek/north african mix, most of it composed by the band members using traditional instruments. The presentation was a tad weird as they had a slide show of Malta happening as they played, I found it fascinating but distracting as it took my focus away from the excellent vocals and instrument playing.
My festival food highlights were:
- Katoomba Primary School food stalls - they sold a variety of fresh and tasty food, soups, sandwiches, fresh sliced watermelon, home made hamburgers (I always have one of these every year and they never disappoint). Run by the P&C and all volunteers who are always happy and helpful.
- Rotary Bacon and Egg sandwich stall - the perfect breakfast food, crispy bacon, slightly gooey egg on a fresh bun with all proceeds going to the Katoomba Primary School, so good food for a good cause, plus the blokes had excellent banter.
- Govinda's Hari Krishna Pure Vegetarian - my favorite festival food, its cheap, well prepared, tasty and comes with the love of Krishna, so its real soul food and I love their soy chai, it is soo hot with ginger and pepper.
- Budda Soul Food - local Tibetan buddhist fund raising group, so eating there contributed funds to the Free Tibet cause, the steamed momo dumplings were excellent, as was the fragrant vegetarian curry and rice and the soy and cow chai were good but a tad sweet for me. The volunteers were always happy and pleasant, even at the busiest of times and in torrential rain.
- Mexican stall - no idea who they are or whether thay are local but their bean nachos and burritos were fresh, home made and delicious.
Was disappointed that the Aunt Trudy's old fashioned spicy organic ginger syrup stall wasn't there providing hot and cold toddys of this delicious cordial, its a festival favorite of ours and we were also unable to replenish, and as our bottle is almost finished, will have to wait for Winter Magic or order online.