Blues ‘n’ Roots proves a glorious hit
THE scene was set for another glorious West Coast Blues ‘n’ Roots Festival on Sunday and it certainly delivered.
Ex-Canberra busker Kim Churchill thanked those who got to Fremantle Park early, despite the heat they were enduring watching him on the Main Stage at midday.
The raw vocals of Beth Hart drew a steadily increasing crowd to the Big Top stage, her West Coast Blues ‘n’ Roots debut delivering a memorable set with songs including Better Than Home off her forthcoming album plus My California and Bang Bang Boom Boom.
Queen of soul Mavis Staples continued the Big Top party, the singer taking the crowd back to the American civil rights movement (she marched from Selma to Montgomery with her singing Staples family) with songs I’ll Take You There and Respect Yourself.
Back on the Main Stage, Xavier Rudd and the United Nations got fans shaking their booty and feeling the sunshine as the recently formed band debuted songs off this month’s album Nanna.
It may have been a warm day but Paul Kelly Presents The Merri Soul Sessions were some cool cats and the talented ensemble including Dan Sultan, Clairy Brown, Kira Puru and Vika and Linda Bull were a tour de force of soul.
David Gray’s The One I Love received a rapturous applause as the sun set before moving on to the compulsory Babylon singalong.
One man’s scuffle with security did not faze Scottish singer Paolo Nutini’s set full of swagger, while tartan scarves, tammies and flags from his homeland could be seen among the throng of adoring fans.
Fremantle favourites John Butler Trio returned to their roots and closed the Main Stage, with a slightly marred performance of old and latest material off Flesh and Blood after being told by organisers twice he had to cut songs to finish on time.
George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic lived up to their name, finishing the Big Top in funky style.
Left: George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic in action at the Blues ‘n’ Roots Festival; Above right: The John Butler Trio; Below right: The ever-popular Paul Kelly.