Arts and Culture, Travel

It’s Summer in Europe – Festivals!!!

OK, so for about ten months a year, life in this corner of Europe is cold and bleak, characterised by grey skies, gusty gales and the type of rain that conspires to keep people indoors. Nobody goes outside unless they absolutely have urgent business to attend to, and even then, they stomp around with a miserable look of despair and reluctance, burdened by too many layers of clothes, determined to go back indoors as soon as possible.

But for two glorious months or so, everything changes. The sun comes out in full force, and the streets fill with folks with shortened hemlines, smiles and a swing in their step. The longer days also mean that one still has plenty of time to stroll the parks or hang out for cocktails after a full day at work. Best of all, summertime means one thing for the duo – festivals.

Stalking the streets in search for art.

Stalking the streets in search for art.

GodzillaPin is a festival freak. Back in their Adelaide days, the poor chap literally lost his mind in Mad March; between WOMADelaide, the Adelaide Fringe Festival, the Clipsal 500 (not to mention all the other events in the regions) all happening during peak surfing season, GodzillaPin desperately wanted to believe he could split himself up to be in 10 different places at the same time. It was GodzillaPin who’d cultivated the Ninja Turtle’s enthusiasm for festivals – it’s not to say that she doesn’t enjoy spending a lazy summer day reclined on the grass with a glass of cooler wine listening to amazing groovy beats, it’s just that she was never really raised to appreciate life this way.

So, the weekend started on Friday evening with the 6th edition of Hop Hop Hop!, the international open air street theatre in Metz. Over three days, various theatre troupes performed in public spaces, absolutely free of charge. More than just theatre, there was also music concerts, marching bands, little scenes, and surprise performances where people rendez-vous at a particular time and place with no idea what they’re going to watch. It’s all good fun, and free!

Qualité Street putting up a musical/acrobatics performance at Place St Louis - according to the duo, it was the best performance of the evening.

Qualité Street putting up a musical/acrobatics performance at Place St Louis – according to the duo, it was the best performance of the evening.

Here’s a short clip from the beginning of the performance by Qualité Street. For those who find themselves in Europe this summer and wish to catch their performances, here is their touring schedule.

The same weekend, there were the Festival World MeYouZik and the Rock Um Knuedler Festival, both free and open air performances in Luxembourg. They were highly billed events, with the likes of Winston McAnuff and Anastacia being the drawcards to the respective events. GodzillaPin had initially assumed that both the world and rock festivals were happening concurrently, but it turned out to be world music on the Saturday they showed up. This is just as well, as between the two genres, the Ninja Turtle prefers world music by a very large margin.

Debademba on the Lion Stage - their style of music is described as: Afrobeat, blues, with a nod at rock.

Debademba on the Lion Stage – their style of music is described as: Afrobeat, blues, with a nod at rock.

Next up was Playing for Change, not so much a band as a collective of musicians with the goal of Connecting The World Through Music.

Next up was Playing for Change, not so much a band as a collective of musicians with the goal of Connecting The World Through Music.

GodzillaPin came to this festival especially to watch Grandpa Elliot perform. That guy can really rock a harmonica.

GodzillaPin came to this festival especially to watch Grandpa Elliot perform. That guy can really rock a harmonica.

At the MeYouVillage, there were stands with information of non-profit organisations and non-government associations focusing on fundraising for various needy communities around the world. At the village, there were also some exotic foods and drinks on offer.

The Gangbé Brass Band performing at the MeYouVillage stage.

The Gangbé Brass Band performing at the MeYouVillage stage.

A short extract of the Gangbé Brass Band’s performance. It’s quite hard to describe the style of music but it’s a fusion of African beats with jazz/big brass band? At any rate, it was cool enough to get all the little kids off their bums and shaking their booties.

Winston McAnuff & Fixi on the Lion Stage. The programmes were running behind schedule and groups were starting a good half an hour after their scheduled performance times.

Winston McAnuff & Fixi on the Lion Stage. The programmes were running behind schedule and groups were starting a good half an hour after their scheduled performance times, but it was worth the wait.

The evening ended with the duo swinging to Alice Francis on the Holy Ghost Stage. The duo had first seen Alice Francis perform in Nancy back in 2013, and fell in love with the genre because of this amazing trio from Germany. They were enjoying the music so much they didn’t take any photos or videos, but here’s a clip from one of their better known songs.

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Arts and Culture, Travel

Urban Exploration

Today’s post is brought to you by the Naked Mole Rat, better known as Podsly.

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An engineer by day, a renegade artist by night, the Naked Mole Rat designs slaps and photographs urban public art.

He specialises in parodies of brands.

He specialises in parodies of brands.

The Naked Mole Rat took the Ninja Turtle and Baby Turtle on an afternoon of urban exploration, where they stalked the streets of Melbourne city and wandered through a “bando” (abandoned buildings) in Carnegie.

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A small section of Abbotsford was also covered when they stopped by Dr Morse for lunch.

For more awesome photos of urban art taken by the Naked Mole Rat, just click here.

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Food, Travel

Sydney Day #3

Tonight, the Ninja Turtle and Sonic the Hedgehog hit Newtown for drinks, dinner and dessert with a bunch of mates.

A quick game of pool to determine who was paying dinner...

A quick game of pool to determine who was paying for dinner…

And a very fuzzy shot taken by Sonic of the Turtle showing off her skillz.

And a very fuzzy shot taken by Sonic of the Turtle showing off her skillz…

Only to get her ass kicked by Ronaldinho.

Only to get her ass kicked by Ronaldinho.

Then it was off to a little restaurant on King St called Lentil As Anything.

Then it was off to a little restaurant on King St called Lentil As Anything.

This is not just any restaurant. It is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run dining place...

This is not just any restaurant. It is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run dining place…

That lets the customer decide how much they wish to pay. There are 3 other restaurants in Melbourne, and this one opened in April 2014.

That lets the customer decide how much they wish to pay. There are 3 other restaurants in Melbourne, and this one opened in April 2014.

The food was locally produced, vegetarian (possibly vegan?) and multi-cultural...

The food was locally produced, vegetarian (possibly vegan?) and multi-cultural…

Two of us grabbed the chili...

Two of us grabbed the chili…

Another two went with the assortment of curries...

Another two went with the assortment of curries…

And Sonic chose the Lebanese plate.

And Sonic chose the Lebanese plate.

Live band was pumping, the art on the walls eclectic, and the food was simply delicious. Portions were HUGE.

Live band was pumping, the art on the walls eclectic, and the food was simply delicious. Portions were HUGE.

They needed a walk after dinner to help digest their food before they attack the next stage of the evening: dessert. Walking around Newtown, it dawned upon the Ninja Turtle that Sydney and its surrounds is just so full of amazing street art, it is impossible to capture it all. Here are just some that she’s walked past tonight:

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And the final destination for the evening was the show stopping gelati parlour on Enmore Rd.

It's not just any old gelato they're concocting in their lab...

It’s not just any old gelato they’re concocting in their lab…

It's award-winning gelati that Sonic the Hedgehog would NOT stop raving on about.

It’s award-winning gelati that Sonic the Hedgehog would NOT stop raving on about:

Better known as Cow & The Moon.

Better known as Cow & The Moon.

They went with after-dinner mint, affogato, and strawberry balsamic to share

They went with after-dinner mint, affogato, and strawberry balsamic to share…

And it was a no-holds-barred fight to eat as much as one can before the others finish it off.

And it was a no-holds-barred fight to eat as much as one can before the others finish it off.

What is your favourite dining district?

Where in the world (country, city, town, street) can we find it?

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