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Feisty Balkans band to rouse WOMADelaide


WOMADelaide fans can expect a wild ride when controversial Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica and his 11-piece Balkans band bring their frantic rumba-rock-gypsy sound to next year’s festival in Botanic Park.

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Emir Kusturica & the No Smoking Orchestra – part of a second wave of acts announced today for the 2017 event – have gained an international following for their live shows, which WOMAD says are “incredibly entertaining and slightly mad”.

On its own website, the group describes its music as “an explosive mix of nitroglycerine-type sounds that make it impossible for anyone to stay in their seat”.

Band leader and bass player Kusturica is also a filmmaker who has twice won the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival (including for his contentious take on Yugoslav history, Underground), and claimed earlier this year that Cannes had rejected his latest film, On the Milky Road, because of his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Other international acts announced this morning for the 2017 WOMADelaide, to take place from March 10-13, include Austrian electro-swing stars Parov Stelar, Grammy-winning Malian singer Oumou Sangare, “psychedelic Turkish rock ‘n’ roll” group Baba ZuLa, and New Orleans street band The Hot 8 Brass Band.

Australian hip-hop musician L-FRESH The Lion, reggae artist Nattali Rize (formerly known as Natali Pa’ap’a, from roots group Blue King Brown) and Angus Stone’s new project Dope Lemon will also take to the stage, while Queensland company Dancenorth and Javanese trance musicians Senyawa will present an immersive dance-music performance called Attractor on what is described as a special “surround” stage.

“To be able to have Dancenorth’s Attractor presented alongside Turkish rock and roll, one of Mali’s most stunning vocalists and cultural ambassadors, and Austrian electro-swing truly epitomises the cultural diversity of WOMADelaide,” festival director Ian Scobie says.

Previously announced acts for 2017 include English ska legends The Specials, experimental music group The Philip Glass Ensemble, Brazilian bossa nova singer Bebel Gilberto, Australian singer Archie Roach, Jamaican musician Brushy One-String and Australian folk trio The Waifs.

The full program will be announced in January next year.

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