Urban Latin Extravaganza | Adelaide Fringe 2016 | Review

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Like Australia’s most popular skivvy wearing performers, this band’s name starts with a W, ends with S, and has 7 letters…. and they get kids instantly on their feet when they start to play! They’re The Wholias!

Based in Adelaide, the members of the seven piece band hail from 4 different Latin American countries – Peru, El Salvador, Colombia and Venezuela – and have an aim to “Celebrate the gift of life, people, and the integration of all races of the planet through live music and dance.” And what an infectious, positive attitude they bring to the stage.

For the 2016 Fringe Festival, The Wholias held three performances at the Crown and Sceptre Hotel, one being at the family friendly time of 4pm on a Sunday afternoon.

From the moment they began, kids and adults tossed off their shoes (see photo below!) and hit the floor and my limited Zumba experience held me in good stead as I found myself moving my hips to the beat! It was heartwarming to be surrounded by mums and dads (and grandparents), dancing with their kids, or each other.

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Though the songs were largely sung in Spanish and Portuguese, the way the band introduced the song and it’s meaning, and combined with the passion they exuded when performing, you could feel a sense of interpreting it. Members of the audience who knew the songs also gave you a good idea of the meaning by their responses too.

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About two-thirds of the way into their 90 minute performance, the band suggested a bit of space be made near the front of the stage as they had some special guests to introduce. Well! There were some wide eyes in the house as some brilliantly costumed samba dancers from La Bomba entered the band room! They brought a fantastically happy energy and invited kids and adults to dance with them.

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This was a fantastic performance enjoyed by both the young and the old(er). There really was such a spread of ages and the room was filled with so much positivity. A fellow parent at the show put it perfectly when she said it was a “Perfect family friendly celebration of cultures and new beginnings as well. We left feeling very cheerful.”

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Some other people in the crowd who I spoke to said:

“I loved how the band had so many different instruments, playing different beats to make the one great sound. The most surprising part was when the samba dancers came out – it was a real shock! One asked me to dance TWICE!” – Lennox, 10

“It was really good to see my guitar teacher play right in front of me. He really loved performing.” – Indie, 9

“Reading the performance review in the Fringe guide, I was really drawn to the The Wholias from my Zumba experiences with Latin American music and their mission to “unite and spread love and peace”. I wasn’t disappointed. The joy and celebration created through the music was felt from all of the band members and resonated into the crowd. You couldn’t help but move your feet and hips” – Sarah

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One of my favourite moments during the gig was their second to last song, a cover of ‘Land Down Under’ by Men at Work. This seemed like a true nod to The Wholias’ adopted country but also joined it together with their birth countries’ music and dance – I loved it.

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Check out The Wholias Facebook page to keep track of upcoming gigs, and I hope they do a repeat of their daytime event soon so that people of all ages can enjoy their sounds. They are fun, incredibly lively and a such a positive band to enjoy – at the same time getting a brilliant taste of Latin American music and dance right here in Adelaide.

This Fringe review was written and photographed by Catherine Leo, professional family photographer and a Play & Go mum. See the Catherine Leo Photography website here and Facebook page here.

For more information about this show and ticket bookings please see the Adelaide Fringe website here. 

See our posts about all things Fringe here. Read our other Fringe Reviews here.


What: Urban Latin Extravaganza | The Wholias

When Adelaide Fringe

Where: Crown & Sceptre Hotel, Adelaide

Who: Latin Music Fans

All photos by Catherine Leo Photography

Play & Go Adelaide have media access to the Adelaide Fringe 2016. All reviews are our own opinion from personal experience, unpaid and not influenced by the artist/s and/or promoter/s in any way.

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

 

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