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Washington + Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu + Neil Finn

– by Candice Hanson

Washington + Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu + Neil Finn, Saturday 22 November, Sandalford Winery

A better evening during this year’s Margaret River Gourmet Escape could not have been asked for. Picturesque surroundings at the luscious Sandalford Winery set the scene for some amazing Australian music on the 22nd November.

Megan Washington opened the evening as the sun began to set, performing an array of her original pieces on keyboard with guitar accompaniment as audience members enjoyed wine and nibbles on the green next to the winery’s flowing river. Her performance showcased her amazing vocals and growing strength as a performer in a wonderful set speckled with amusing tales as a rising rock star, as well as a fantastic rendition of  Rowland S Howard’s Shiver’.

A short break and a top-up of the wine glass preceded the entrance of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, who always captures not only his audience’s attention, but their hearts with his powerful songs, sung in his native tongue and performed on guitar and also piano. Gurrumul mixed things up by performing reggae and gospel tunes, but as always, it was his incredible Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind) that created a hush over a crowd of almost 4,000 strong.

The evening cooled and light rain made idle threats, which ultimately lost out to the headline act’s energetic performance. Neil Finn played to perfection, despite competition from resident frogs, opening with several well known classics on guitar and moving to a relaxed interlude on the piano for several numbers. He returned to guitar, with musician Lucky Oceans making a brilliant appearance, closing with Better Be Home Soon before a dancing audience.

A special mention to those at Sandalford winery, not just on the Rose’, but for generously donating all profits from this great evening to Telethon. Cheers.

Photography by Matthew Picken

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