About Brian

Brian Loffler has been a supporter of the New Internationalist magazine since 1981, working on expanding the reach of the New Internationalist's independent journalism and campaigns.

WOMADelaide 2021 – the finale

Many bands hit gold at some point. It might be an era when personnel meshed brilliantly; a concert when repertoire, audience and venue all combined for a stunning show; the final mix of a recording on which they know they really nailed it.

To my mind Midnight Oil had two spectacularly golden moments in their collection: the recording of Beds are Burning, and their appearance in Sorry shirts at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Now I have a third golden moment to add: the launch of Makarrata Live at the closing evening of WOMADelaide 2021, in which Midnight Oil collaborated with great First Nations artists such as Leah Flanagan, Troy Cassar-Daley, Frank Yamma and Bunna Lawrie.

Continue reading

WOMADelaide 2021 – day 3 review

Three rapidly-rising young stars thrilled the day 3 audience, each with their individual take on contemporary style.

It’s a super-confident artist who opens her first WOMADelaide appearance with an a cappella song, and pulls it off magnificently, especially at only twenty years young. Miiesha did it so well.

The intro to the song was a recording of her beloved Grandmother who raised her saying: “Remember you’re nobody’s property”.

She’s taken it on board; this is one feisty performer.

Continue reading

WOMADelaide 2021 – day 2 review

Revelation is a word closely associated with WOMADelaide for me.

Sure, when the artist announcement is released, I’ll be familiar with a few of the headliners. But each year I go along confident that it will be a weekend of surprises, as an array of instant new favourites are revealed.

Continue reading

WOMADelaide 2021 – Opening night review

Opening night was always going to be an emotionally-charged event. Archie Roach came on stage for his 7th and final WOMADelaide show – more repeat performances at WOMADelaide than any other artist – and the crowd responded with a standing ovation before he’d sung a note.

And he did it – as he has at recent concerts – accompanied by an oxygen cylinder, to boost his airways as he copes with obstructive pulmonary disease. Ten years ago he’d recovered from a stroke and also having half a cancerous lung removed. Last year – just before his induction to the ARIA Hall of Fame – Archie was in ICU for treatment and then performed with a medical team on hand backstage.

But Archie’s big heart and yearning to bring people together through storytelling in his unmistakeable voice is as powerful as ever.

Continue reading

WOMADelaide 2021 – COVID-safe

I have to confess that I felt cheated when I first saw the COVID-safe plan for WOMADelaide 2021. How can it be WOMADelaide if it’s not in beautiful Botanic Park, and if it’s really just a series of 4 evening sit-down concerts?

But eventually I realised I was being greedy. After all, how lucky were we to squeeze in a full WOMADelaide last year, just before COVID lockdowns and border closures swung into force?

And I also remembered how brilliant the mini-WOMAD in the Vales had been in 1998, starring the late great Geoffrey Oryema of Uganda.

Continue reading

How to subscribe to the magazine – FAQ

Here are some common questions about starting or renewing a New Internationalist magazine subscription.

Q: I don’t have a PayPal account and don’t use credit cards
A: That’s OK.  You can pay by EFT. 

  • Pay either via your online banking, or by taking a cheque or cash to your local bank branch.
Continue reading

Fatoumata Diawara on Mali, music and militants

I had a chat with Fatoumata Diawara ahead of her appearance at WOMADelaide 2019.

Brian: First of all, many congratulations on your nomination for this year’s Grammy Awards for your album Fenfo. Will you be attending the Awards Ceremony?

Fatou: Yes, I’m going to go, definitely. Last year it was the Victoires de la Musique in France, so I’m familiar with the significance of the ceremonies.

Brian: Many West African artists we’ve had at WOMADelaide have been in the wall of sound tradition, with horns, electric guitars and kora all competing for attention. But your new album Fenfo is much more spacious and open in style. Is that the style you prefer to use?

Fatoumata Diawara
Continue reading