Hana Maru

The setting: Tim's apartment above a shop on Gertrude street. Perfect for an end of week house concert by Hana Maru.

It was chilly out, a bracing Melbourne winter.

I was thrilled to have the chance to kick back in the warmth of the sleek lounge room and listen to the band. 

As it turned out it was a pretty exciting occasion. ABC News was there filming the house concert and interviewing the guests during the brief intermission. (I managed to dodge the vox pops.) 

Hana Maru put on a top show. I loved their use of strings, the cello and violin. Jill's vocals sounded especially beautiful on 'Song For Lovers'. This was one of a couple of gentle lullabies that, to me, captured the mood and the space perfectly. Esala on the banjo added a really delicate touch.

Looking around, there were only a couple of people I knew at the concert. But the casual homely setting - well, it is a home - was so friendly that I struck up some really great convos. 

Not only was I taken by the beautiful music. It dawned on me that the strangers at tim's place would've remained strangers if the concert had have been in a pub or a bar. There's something about someone riffling through the cutlery draw in front of you, force-feeding you cheese or simply welcoming you into their home that makes listening to a band in this sort of setting unique. 

Review by James Pattison

Video by Glenn Luck

Photos by Monique Pizzica