May 13, 2013 / warakurna band, blackstone festival, irrunytju band, pipalyatjara, blackstone band
Where else in the world would you see and hear Gospel Singers in beautiful harmony, a Country and Western Band, an Irish Band, complete with bodhran (Irish drum) and banjo, Surf Music, Desert Reggae, Blues, Rock and Roll and even Black Elvis? All performed on the one stage at the Blackstone Festival.
Twelve acts filled our night to a surprise-packed concert that we will remember happily for many years to come.
As the sun sank brilliantly behind the stage, Richard Kanari, our host for the evening began the festivities on stage, introducing us to Roma and Inyika. They sang Gospel Songs while he backed them on the keyboard. Then Marlene Benson took the microphone and again Richard played for her, along with Trevor and Stewart. Then the Warnan Gospel Band filled the air with such rich harmonies, all while the sky put on a show of gold, orange, crimson, indigo until it finally faded to black in a moonless sky. And the stars shone down on the stars on the stage. Trevor and his fellow musicians took ownership of the stage with some blues, surf music and rock and roll. Tjitji (kids) began to dance. Warburton Band lifted the beat even more and the hip wigglers kicked up a dust storm.
Irrunytju kept the dancers going then Warakurna Band’s harmonies warmed the night with their songs. Then the one and only Elvis, well perhaps there are a few others, but there is no one else quite like this Elvis. He crooned and swooned as some of the many accomplished musicians gave him a hand on Keys, Drums and Guitars. And he danced like there was no tomorrow. How could the night get any better than this? Elvis is a tough act to follow!
The boys from Warnan kept us partying in style. Upbeat music, with lots of vocals. The boys from over the border (Pipalyatjara) Sunlight Band kept the atmosphere alive and partying with Richard joining in on the backing vocals until the home boys, Blackstone Band, took the stage.
The hip wigglers danced while those that wanted a little less exercise were treated to great music. We felt like the encore of Blackstone Band could last forever, but all good things must come to an end. Congratulations to the winners of the dance competition, thanks to the bands for giving us such great and varied music, thanks to all the organisers and helpers, and thanks most of all to all those who came along to make this such a great night.
Now, to start practicing my string quartet for next year’s Blackstone Festival. That should fit into the program nicely.