Cornerstone Roots worthy of Womad

Cornerstone Roots certainly didn't do any damage to their ambition of playing Taranaki's Womad festival, on Saturday night at New Plymouth's Mayfair bar.

If festival organisers were in attendance they would've witnessed a tight professional outfit that delivered to a crowd of about 350. The groove that the punters were in was testament to this.

Local band Ire Exit, with their new lineup, established the scene with a fantastic set that laid the platform for a night of roots and reggae. Their set sent a message of positive social change and journeyed the crowd into good stead for the main act.

A smaller than usual Cornerstone Roots fronted and was carried through by Naomi Tuao on bass and, captivatingly, vocalist Brian Ruawai bringing in loops and effects to the fold. The charismatic foursome, including Aaron Bush (percussion) and Ashley Pirie (drums), entertained the crowd with a performance that delivered both familiar and new songs, and by the time they presented One Fine Day everyone was in unison and celebrating great musicianship. Highlights were the grounding Home, the dub inspired Journey and the haunting reminder of the darker side of humanity, Mankiller.

On this night, Cornerstone Roots proved why they are Glastonbury-bound.

The promotion of the event by Cruize FM's Matt and Dave Casey proved successful as door sales outnumbered the classic "Taranaki walkup" by 3-1.

Taranaki Daily News