The Queen Street Sing Sing [F]

An extraordinary time spent with friends and family. Nothing but good vibes and happy conversation. No one more happy than my mother, reunited with her uncle, George Telek, lead vocolist of the performance group playing that night, and their second time meeting in New Zealand since WOMAD 1998. This was a pre-concert get-together at Coyle Park, Point Chevalier:

Catherine Piana Uramete & George Telek

The Queen Street Sing Sing is the biggest musical party of Auckland Festival 2009’s opening weekend. Sing Sing is a series of concerts that started in the mid-90s, bringing together accomplished singers musicians and dancers from throughout Oceania (Papa New Guinea, West Papua, Torres Strait Island, Australia, NZ)

“Sing Sing is a unique state of the art concert performance, presenting traditional, contemporary, choral and stringband music with accompanying visuals and aural soundscapes to capture a sense of place, to take the audience on a journey through the landscape and texture of both urban and grass roots village life.”
~ David Bridie

I knew the concert was going to be great, but it exceeded my expectations. The music was loud, the street was packed with many people from diverse walks of life, and the performance throughout all the songs incorporated different songstyles from different cultures; Maori to Aboriginal to Papua New Guinea.

I found myself looking over the crowd often to see what sort of impact the music was having. Intrigue is the word I would use to describe what I saw, and not once did it seem like the audience was dissipating.

There were a group of young Punjabi guys jumping up & down in front of me; two women jiggling to the drum of their own beat, and some crazy fella at the front with his hands in the air. He must have been slightly out-of-it because before the band even came on stage he was dancing to white noise. Crazy cracker.

After the event and backstage, everyone was pleased to watch a group of young Japanese students who obviously enjoyed the concert, singing/chirping a song to the band through the fence barrier. That was cool. The Maori performers and crew did the haka for the guys aswell. Soon after I had to dropoff my little brother because it was getting late.

Back in the city and driving around aimlessly for a parking space, we eventually ended up in the underground casino parking, again for the third time that day. I hate having to walk through the casino to validate the parking ticket. The whole casino vibe makes me sick. Via [a late] Txt-message we learnt the afterparty was not in the city but elsewhere, so soon after validating the ticket we left.

My mother and sister danced with George Telek before he and the band had to leave for their flight to Australia. Our night however continued to the early hours of the morning. All and all it was a great day, from dawn to dawn.

For more information on the music, visit: Wantokmusik

~ by Fionnlagh on March 9, 2009.

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