Every now and then, when answering the Plasma vs LCD question for the fifteenth time on a given day, I find I can occasionally forget why I got into this industry in the first place. Thats why I find it important every now and then to rekindle my passion with music. For me the WOMAD festival is a great recharge, allowing me to find that spark that first ignited my passion for music.

Set in Adelaides gorgeous botanic gardens, the festival is a three day celebratiopn of world music and dance from some of the planets most amazing musicians, dancers and performers. The atmosphere is so relaxed and chilled, its not surprising I heard several performs question what it is in the water. I think its probably more to do with what grows quasi-legally in adelaides backyards, but it is a bit crass to suggest that the magnificent atmosphere is due to the presence of a few pot smoking hippies.

Music is our only truly universal language. It was amazing to see performers who had never met before the festival sharing stages to speak together. Even though the language is universal, I was fascinated by the dialects. The real glue to the performances was the percussion. Its amazing how mankind evolved difference ways to speak the language, but every culture discovered the primal jy of beating something with a stick. The culmination of this was the All-Star Jam, a WOMAD staple where musician's come together to collaborate in a massive percussive show, with upwards of thirty musicians(lead by Johnny Kalsi of the Dhol Foundation) charing the stage for an hour.

Its easy to lose track of the time as your sitting back in the grass watching a stellar performer from a corner of the globe I've never visited. You quickly learn to stop worrying about the acts you've missed and enjoy what you see. And every time you think you've seen a show stopping performance, you are force to recant as the next act blows you away. Its hard to pick a real highlight as everything was amazing, but specail mentions go to:

The Dhol Foundation: Fantastic rhythmic percussion from the north indian dhol drum, a great troupe of performers lead by the amusing Johnny Kalsi.

Golden Pride Childrens Choir - 42 teens from Tanzania sing some of the most uplifting music you have ever heard with such passion, it makes you weep.

Jimmy Cliff - The Man himself, backed by an incredibly tight band, showing no signs of slowing down, even at 70.

Coco Mbassi - Incredibly captivating and entertaining, the evening was so peaceful sitting back and listening to her amazing voice.

La Bottine Souriante - Incredible sound and amazing performers, you just wanted to get up and dance

Scrap Arts Music - Canada can do no wrong musically. This was truly special, a theatrical, percussive force using recycled and salvaged instruments.

There was more, much more and too much to mention. It really accomplished its task of recharging my music passion, reminding me why I love music so much. I was sick for much of the Weekend, staying alive on organic coffee and these amzing chocolate/guarana balls, but I had a wonderful time.

Im off now to the Music Bowl as most of the acts are in town for the games and there is a percussion extravaganza about to be unleashed.