Charles Jenkins

There are so many metaphors and philosophies that I endlessly apply to suit or rationalise my immediate situation. And, you know it’s been said before—‘All the world’s a stage...’ But, how powerful it is to have the stage so intimately close, as close as home—and full to overflowing with all the sensitivity, wit and generosity of a great performance.

As the parlour gig experience subsumed my mundane life I felt a little bit rockstar…at least until I went back to work on Monday. Even then, I carried the memories in an internal music box that played a delicious Charles Jenkins hook every time I opened it. And how I indulged, opening the lid a crack to let a song line escape during a slow moving technical review meeting; then sitting, smiling, as smug as a bug in a rug.

But what about Charles? That night, I discovered that I owed him an apology, as I had done him a him a great disservice. I had only seen him once and, while he was excellent, he’d merely been singing other people’s songs for a special event. That experience aside, I knew nothing else about him so, pre gig, I talked him up as a great singer and entertainer like I was a horse trader that had checked his teeth and timed him over a furlong.

But, he was so much more than a mere entertainer. His songs are a revelation—being subtle, domestic, crafted, funny, poignant. He doesn't set out to manipulate you, he treats you like the person of the world you are and the eclectic effect is as refreshing as it is stimulating. So, post gig, I searched for his reviews and found what I should have known all along—he's critically acclaimed and attracts top quality musicians.

At the end of another dreary workaday week, I open the music box once more, and smile as I reflect on what I experienced. The stage of my heart expands, the fairy lights blur and they become the Milky Way and, from amongst the scattered celestial trails, I pick out the bright star that played in my lounge room.

Thanks Charles, Chanel, Ethan, Hanna, Mai and everyone that came. Special mention to Janet as spiritual advisor and Mark as roadie.

Review by Stuart Grant
Video by Glenn Luck