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KATE MILLER-HEIDKE, THE EAST POINTERS AND  MAMA MIRANJI & THE MAREIKURA  AT WOODFORD FOLK FestivalKate Miller-Heidke is a renowned singer/songwriter who sang an impressive repertoire of songs featuring different operatic runs and tricks. Her impressive vocal range and control was evident from the first song, hitting notes with such ease that she left the audience with their jaws dropped. Highlights from her set included 'You've Underestimated Me Dude', 'Caught In the Crowd' and her haunting rendition of 'Sarah' which still gives me goosebumps whenever I listen to it. She is such a charismatic, grounded personality and her witty remarks between her songs was so charming. Kate's husband and co-singer/songwriter Keir Nuttall's improvised guitar solos were something I found myself craving more of and her back-up singer Jessica Hitchock literally had the voice of an angel. Overall, the set had the perfect combination of songs new and old, flavours and textures.

Canadian contemporary folk music group, The East Pointers had the Woodfordians stomping their feet at the Grande stage. A Mumford and Sons meets celtic folk, guitarist Jake Charron, banjoist Koady Chaisson and fiddler Tim Chaisson took us on a virtuosic journey, including river dancing. From the way the crowd reacted, it was evident that they had quite a few fans that had come to see them again and again and I think I've become one of them too.

Mama Mihiranji & The Mareikura is a female led Maori world-roots band led by internationally acclaimed artist and activist Mihirangi of Ngti Rkei and Ngti Waikorara. The show was filled with loops of vocalisations including different sounds of breath, bird calls and atmospheric sounds that related to her deep-seated connection with Mother Earth. Mama not only had the most incredible vocal and tonal range, but the control she had over those high notes was incredible. The performance itself incorporated cultural elements and symbols that engaged the crowd and the performers enthusiasm was infectious.

WOODFORD FOLK FESTIVAL | 27th December - 1st January

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From This Author Virag Dombay