Tour news: Womad, Dolly Parton, Jake Bugg

Nigerian star Kuti and some of his backers.
Nigerian star Kuti and some of his backers.

Womad organisers have announced two final acts to be added to the already comprehensive line-up for 2014: Femi Kuti and Hollie Smith.

Fifty-one-year-old Kuti, who is the charismatic, outspoken, singer-saxophonist and eldest son of legendary Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, was last in New Zealand when he played at Womad back in 2007. His crazy dancing, and the energy of his band The Positive Force were clearly memorable.

"His psychedelic, arse-shaking African funk is proof that junior is doing his dad's legacy proud," said the Herald review.

Continuing that formidable political-funk-for-the-people legacy remains at the heart of Kuti's performance, and festival-goers can expect biting lyrics, pulsating rhythms and sax-driven jazz-funk punctuated with the visual spectacular of some jaw-dropping dancers.

Smith will be another welcome addition - the rootsy soul queen has been on top of her game during recent performances (she was a standout on last summer's Winery Tour), and her passionate, gutsy voice will surely be a big drawcard for the crowds.

Though she's known to many as the voice of hit single Bathe In the River, Smith has plenty of songs of her own to share, with two number one albums (Humour & the Misfortune of Others and Long Player) to draw from, as well as recent collaborative projects with Mara TK (Band of Brothers) and Anika Moa and Boh Runga (AnikaBoh&Hollie).

These two acts join previously announced artists including US hip-hop stars Arrested Development, Cuba's Buena Vista Social Club, piano prodigy Roberto Fonseca, and our own Kimbra for the three-day festival at TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth from March 14-16.

Meanwhile, back in the big smoke, Dolly Parton has added a second Auckland show to her Blue Smoke World Tour.

On top of her Friday February 7 performance at Vector Arena, the vivacious star will now also play on Saturday February 8. Tickets for the second show will be on sale through Ticketmaster from Monday December 9.

Bugg bounces back

It feels like the cigarette butts and beer cups have only just been cleaned up from his last show, but hip young folk singer Jake Bugg has already announced a return trip to New Zealand.

Jake Bugg. Photo / AP
Jake Bugg. Photo / AP

Bugg, the "new Dylan" from Nottingham who was just here in September for a sold out Powerstation show, will also get a venue upgrade, performing at the Auckland Town Hall on Thursday, April 10.

The Town Hall holds more than twice as many punters as the Powerstation, but Bugg will also be coming armed with twice the tunes, having released his second album Shangri La at the end of November.

It was a quickfire follow-up to a debut that contained singalong rockabilly tunes like Lightning Bolt and Two Fingers.

It's been a big year for Bugg, with the 19-year-old being named Best New Act of 2013 by Q magazine, receiving a Mercury Music Prize nomination for his self-titled 2012 debut and working with superproducer Rick Rubin on his new album.

His short but sweet show in September was remarkably light on padding for a "retro folky rock'n'roll" teen with just one album under his belt, said TimeOut reviewer Russell Baillie.

"While the 15 or so songs in Bugg's set ticked off the big tunes, there was room too for a couple of new ones, providing proof that there's plenty more where that first batch came from," he said.

Tickets go on sale on Thursday, December 12 at 9am through Ticketmaster.

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- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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