Sitting on a couch, rug over my knees and a mulled wine warming my hand, Tinpan Orange at Magic Johnson felt less like going to a gig than spending a night in with some gifted friends.
No airs and graces. No milling and queuing. No us and them.
There was nothing between me and the exquisite Emily Lubitz, in fact, but a small, calm sea of bodies reclining on cushions under gauze and tree branches and fairy lights, each transfixed by the rare magic of music performed — was this the wine talking? — for no better reason than the love of creation shared. Not a whisper broke the spell as her brother Jesse sang un-amplified harmonies to ravishing songs of wildness and longing. When violin/ mandolin virtuoso Alex Burkoy broke a string at one ecstatic climax, we all gasped and laughed like it was our own.
When they opted to fully unplug their barely amplified instruments, I had a spooky flash to what music was probably like before it got electrified and monster-ised by industry.
Back then it happened around pianos between families and neighbours, not sectioned off behind walls of bouncers and egos and technology and marketing. Music was something you made, not something you received.
On this night, we made the best kind.
Review by Michael Dwyer
Video by Glenn Luck
Photo's by Joshua Braybrook