The Friday Night Concert Series celebrates creativity, community and diversity. It was inspired by the Museum of Brisbane's award-winning exhibition 100% Brisbane and features world-class musicians, a cool community choir and original Brisbane songwriting. Join in for an intimate concert - up and down through the beats of (y)our town (with apologies to The Go-Betweens).
The Dome Lounge is the venue for the Friday Night Concert Series (image by May Cross)
Go along and celebrate the I Heart Songwriting Club. This is the biggest songwriting club in the world. It's being held in the beautiful Dome Lounge of the Museum of Brisbane in City Hall, which will set the ambience. The club was founded in 2014 in Brisbane (as befitting the 100% Brisbane theme in the museum at the moment), but now incorporating songwriters from twelve countries. They have a catalogue of over 5,000 songs created by their members. How impressive is that? It has been described as "a global digital powerhouse for songwriting creatives" and is making waves in the music industry around the world.
The special show on Friday 25 May at 6.30 pm is part of the Friday Night Concert series and Anywhere Theatre Festival. The one-hour concert will showcase songs from Natalie de Jager, Edward Buckridge and Hannah Ana - three talented local songwriters. In addition, an appearance by a secret guest artist has been promised.
Sound Embassy in the Dome Lounge (image by May Cross)
Sound Embassy - a review
Listening to the rhythms of "Sound Embassy" was an enjoyable way to start a Friday night. It was my first Anywhere Theatre Festival show for the year and a great choice. It was an intimate show with less than 40 people and felt more like enjoying friends (very talented ones) jamming in their lounge room.
The trio consists of Brisbanites Dheeraj Shrestha (tabla percussionist), Tnee Dyer (jazz pianist), and Anthony Garcia (classical guitarist). Individually, they are all accomplished musicians and together they are magic. Remarkably, it was their first live performance playing together.
The first piece they played was called "Belonging" and was composed for the BrisAsia Festival 2018. It was a gentle, meditative tune to relax the audience. All their numbers, except the encore, were original pieces or improvised music. The next piece was a love song and featured the tabla and Nepali folk drums. It was reminiscent of trekking in the Himalayas, Dheeraj's homeland. The artists blended Eastern and Western music and led us on a spiritual journey. "Temple" written by Anthony followed, which pulled together the different styles and cultures of the three artists. Then came a lovely story about music and lunch and "Five Fishes" with its beautiful harmonies. Then an Espanola piece featuring Anthony's guitar solos. Bien!
The encore, a song which everyone recognised, was not like we had ever heard before. The variety of tempos and styles was evidence of their passion for music. My only criticism was it was too short. This was the first of three in the Friday Night Concert series.
Cheep Trill and The Felicias (image by May Cross)
Cheap Trill - a review
The second performance in the Friday Night Concert series was another winner. Following the talented trio "Sound Embassy" was not going to be easy but the community choir "Cheep Trill" was a crowd pleaser. The programme consisted of songs and poems by Australian artists (mainly Brisbanites), or Aussie arrangements. Right from the familiar line, "out on the patio we'd sit", the hip choir had made the audience "laugh and think, this is Australia".
This was the choir's very first performance for Anywhere Theatre. About 50 choristers were conducted by Emma Dean and supported on guitar and ukulele by Tony Dean (who serenaded me in the lift at City Hall).
The musical journey had us soaring to an original lullaby called "Archie's Song" and "Lifting Off" to a spoken word performance by local poet Paul Dobbin. What a diverse and creative crew they are. The choir unveiled a couple of clandestine bands: "Ambition Road" took my "Breath Away" with a love song reminiscent of Richard Clapton and the girl group was one of my favourite parts of the evening.
The rendition of Cindy Lauper's "True Colours" by the colourful choir and two accomplished soloists, Helen O'Leary and Rose Gilmour, was "beautiful like a rainbow". More spoken word artists followed, who were "conscientious, never pretentious", and "mashed-up strange harmonious" numbers by Emma. What delighted me the most was the obvious "unbridled joy of making beautiful harmonies". When they sang together, nothing mattered except the music. But when the music stopped, the magic carried on.
Helen O'Leary and rose Gilmour with Cheep Trill (image by May Cross)
Friday Nights at the Museum
You can enjoy quiet exhibition viewing, free after dark Clock Tower tours (great for night photos of the city) and other special events every Friday night at the Museum until 7.00 pm. The Museum, being in the CBD, is easy to get to by public transport. However, if you drive, there is car parking available at the King George Square Car park directly underneath the City Hall And best of all, there are $5 parking specials available in the evenings and on weekends.
Emma Dean, founder and conductor of Cheep Trill (image by May Cross)