Local music is best experienced live

There's something about live music that you just don't get on a CD, a cassette or a record.

Local band: Escape from Yesterday. Photo: Supplied.

Local band: Escape from Yesterday. Photo: Supplied.

Maybe it's the loudness, the ringing in your ears, the thump of the bass drum, the lights or the sweat or the dancing, whether it's in a packed front bar or a sold-out stadium.

Like an AFL game or an Adelaide Cup, you could just as well experience it at arm's length, on a silver screen or through a car stereo, but it's just not the same.

When the band is clicking and a conga line is forming between the tables, as your correspondent found at Emma Love's cabaret at the Community Club last Friday, you can't beat the feeling.

If you haven't experienced it lately, there might be no time like the present – and I'm not talking about the Fringe Festival.

The live music scene in the Murraylands is getting better and better as more and more barriers to success break down.

The talent is there, behind the mic, strumming strings and tickling ivories in bedrooms, lounges and garages.

(Full disclosure: that includes this columnist's home, though the amount of talent to be found there is open to debate.)

The creativity is there – just look at Jesse Budel's proposal for a piano sanctuary, which has just gone out to consultation on the Murray Bridge council's "Let's Talk" website (we'll write about it next week).

The expertise is there, thanks to the hard work of people like youth officer Paul Ankerson and his contacts at Music SA, who have been training under-25s at The Station.

The opportunities are there as more and more venues come out of the woodwork: pubs, cafes, farmers' markets, country showgrounds, a library, at least one RSL and – for tomorrow night, at least – the Edwards Square sound shell.

There's even a little money, enough to reward some of these musicians for the time they have spent rehearsing and the cash they have sunk into amps and instruments.

Yes, the 80s and 90s, when touring bands would regularly visit and local acts like Mallee Blue could expect to draw big crowds, seem a long time ago now.

One wonders whether poker machines, and the constant revenue they provide, have reduced the need for the traditional Friday or Saturday night gig.

Nevertheless, things are looking up now.

All this music scene needs is your support – get out and experience it for yourself.

Peri Strathearn


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