David Walters
Dublin by Lamplight

The most gorgeous young man you can imagine parachuted into Tasmania during Ten Days on the Island: singer/songwriter and DJ David Walters.

Born in Paris, but of Caribbean origin, Walters managed to fit the festival’s island rule because his grandparents were from the islands of St Kitts and Martinque and his music draws on the Creole traditions of the former French West Indies.

Walters performed in the Crystal Palace in Hobart and at the t Country Club Tasmania in Launceston. Can’t say how he was received in Launceston, but he played to an appreciative crowd in Hobart. Billed in the festival program as “super cool and a rising star on the Marseilles club scene,” Walters “has generated an astonishing musical repertoire coloured by electronic beats and acoustic folk, all with a strong Afro-Caribbean influence.”

Believe me, Walters is one cool cat, with his looks, his sound and the rhythm he exudes from the slightest of his gestures, be it a ripple of a shoulder or a nod of his head.

As a youngster, he visited the West Indies during summer holidays, where he found himself discriminated against: he was a boy from France.

The negative experience had a positive result; he reaffirmed his black identity, an identity which coloured his music. Walters has described himself as “a negropolitain guy,” one who grew up in France and could have missed out on his history.

Luckily he didn’t. And he brought his potent mix — racial, musical, cultural — to the festival.

In a different key, the festival showcased the potent talents of Ireland’s The Corn Exchange, with Dublin by Lamplight, which the festival program billed as “a whirlwind of stylised comedy, melodrama and theatrical invention.”

Set in Dublin in 1904, think 2007, in any number of cities around the world where people are fighting for freedom, a fight which can go horribly wrong. And the topical question of what makes a terrorist, of who is a terrorist, hovers over the stage.  Against this, the full gamut of emotions is played out in front of a stark backdrop by a troupe of six, who play multiple characters.

Gripping theatre. To be honest, though, I found the first half wonderful, but wilted a bit after the interval.  (Not helped by the unrelenting screech of one of the actresses). All the same, it was an astonishing production, with the brilliant music for piano composed and performed by Conor Linehan, an integral part of the performance.

The pity of it was that there were only three performances and in Hobart only.



Margaretta Pos  Ten Days on the Island

The pity of it was that there were only three performances and in Hobart only.