The days surrounding the Saturday of the Mulgara Homestead house show were the warmest Canberra has had all winter. The seasonal winds were all but gone and the sun was out strong. However, by the time the show began, the winter afternoon chill was settling in and the rains were on their way. But I don’t think this concerned anyone. We knew something of pure heart was about to ignite inside.
Sal Viejo takes to the living room stage with his vibrant electric, and indeed his performance to come was equally vibrant and electric. If you like Modern Baseball, then you’re sure to like Sal Viejo. He sings with such honesty and truth and you can feel this in his live performance. I sat in a rocking chair during his set, and there was nowhere else I wanted to be than to sit back and lose sense of time to his music.
Dog Dirt plays next with her rainbow-flashing lightbulb earrings. But you could almost be convinced that the earrings were powered by the raw energy in her performance. Her movement with her guitar made you know that this is an important artist and a set not to forget – the type of performance you don’t want to miss a second of, so you sit forward and listen attentively. She plays a cover of “Algae Bloom” by Told Slant and I think the room would agree that that was a cover version you want implanted into your memory.
We’re now approaching halfway through the show and you wonder where the time went. Jim Dusty stands up and brings with him his banjo and portfolio of relatable Inner-North Canberra songs. I’ve now seen Jim play countless times and his performances never disappoint. He’s a friend to everyone and you can tell this with his music. You just can’t help but fall in love with the homely presence he brings to the room. It’s like seeing your favourite uncle every Christmas lunch and just feeling at home if he’s in the room too.
The day is now turning to dusk as the sun drops lower and lower behind the neighbouring houses. This is right during Marina Mitchell’s set, but no one seems to notice the room get darker. Marina’s music and presence on stage is bright enough to light up the room that you don’t need to switch on the lights. The storytelling in her music paints a picture in your head that I think everyone can relate to. Marina is someone that I’ve been needing to catch for a while now, and I’m so glad I finally did.
To end the night is Jack R Reilly and it’s a pleasure to catch him solo with just an electric and his strong vocals. Jack’s music has an indie pop backbone to it and this makes for a beautiful acoustic rendition. Half of his performance he sings so emotively that he steps a meter away from the mic. I guess you don’t need it when you sing with such power and energy.