– by Lucy Nelson
It feels almost sleazy wearing a ‘reviewer hat’ to an event as genuinely intimate as this one. Selfishly, I am hesitant to tell everyone how blissful Saturday evening was, but this is a review, so make way for a very lovely cat being let out of its bag.
Often, our favourite experiences, films, books, works of art are things that we approach without prior knowledge or preconception. This was certainly the case for most participants of Saturday night’s Listening Party. In fact, it’s fair to say that most of us were there to discover what a Listening Party actually is.
So what is a Listening Party? Loosely speaking, it is the opposite of what happens when you’re on a road trip, and one of your favourite songs comes on, and all you want is for you and everyone else in the car to listen intently as they gaze out the window, but instead someone turns it down and starts a conversation and you become irrationally irritated.
You Are Here’s Listening Party invites you to bring a song, say as little or as much about it as you like and share it with a room full of eager ears on comfy couches. It indulges the urge we all have to say to friends: ‘You have GOT to hear this’.
On Saturday night the group was small enough that all attendees, save a couple of generous festival staff, got to have a turn. The range of music was more diverse than if a punk rock festival and a barbershop choir had a lovechild, and then the lovechild married Fiona Apple, and had another lovechild using the frozen sperm of 1950s musical comedy star Danny Kaye.
Thanks to the location of the festival hub, the delicious musical feast was enhanced by the colourful imagery of buskers and boozers on London Circuit.
Do yourself a favour and get along to the next one this Thursday night. But do yourself a bigger favour and keep the Listening Party alive – host one in your backyard, at your band rehearsal, introduce your book club to something different. In the wise words of Listening Partygoer Lisa Sampson on Saturday night: you will discover music you never knew you loved.
Lucy is co-founder of the Canberra chapter of global dance community No Lights No Lycra. She blogs here: http://nlnlcanberra.blogspot.com.au/ and tweets here: @fings_wat_R_tru