ARMED with an ensemble of singers, percussionists, keyboards and horn players Gotye took to the stage to enchant the thousands of punters gathered at the Amphitheatre at Woodford Folk Festival last night. From the moment Wally De Backer took to the stage, the crowd hung on to his every word.
Opening track Eyes Wide Open instantly had the crowd dancing and as they erupted into cheers of admiration as he greeted those gathered with "you're looking very big."
Like a little kid at Christmas, his smile was infectious and it was evident throughout his entire set that there was nowhere else he would rather be.
The crowd was in rapture by De Backer's energised drum solo at the end of The Only Way. As De Backer worked through tracks from his latest album, Making Mirrors, each track was accompanied by quirky animations projected on a the three screens, behind and on each side of the stage. A half-man, half-bear clip accompanied Smoke and Mirrors, while an organ taking over a family complemented State of the Art, which he explained was about "recreational music culture."
He dipped into the back catalogue with Thanks for Your Time, before playing the '60s song Seville which De Backer sampled for his acclaimed Somebody That I Used to Know.
As the intro into Somebody That I Used to Know began he appealed to the audience, "You're going to have to help us out because she (Kimbra) can't be here tonight."
After a collective sigh of disappointment, it was a magical moment as thousands of voices sang in unison Kimbra's part of the hottest song of the year.
Other highlight included Hearts A Mess before Gotye ended his charismatic performance with Learnalilgivinanlovin.
Today's festival highlights include sets by Owl Eyes, The Herd, Tinpan Orange, Andy Bull and Blind Lemon.
For more information visit the Woodford Folk Festival website.
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