Shir Madness 2015

Melbourne Jewish Music Festival
Classic Cinemas, Gordon Street; Kadimah Hall & Selwyn St Elsternwick, Sunday 6th September
with Deborah Conway & Willy Zygier, Fridge Magnet, Zion, Saray Iluminado, Robbie Avenaim, Rita Satch, The Stiletto Sisters, Tinpan Orange, Aryeh, Song of Songs concert with: Rachel Berger MC, Archie Roach, David Hobson, Emily Lubitz, Hue Blanes, Kate Ceberano, Kate Miller-Heidke, Kutcha Edwards, Kylie Auldist, Linda Bull, Rebecca Barnard, Shane Howard, Ron Peno, Tim Rogers, Tal Ben Ari "Tula"

I had only heard of this festival quite recently but it did take a while to bring together. I mainly wanted to come down to see Tinpan Orange playing to their friends and family as that had been so special at the Flying Saucer Club gig and to see the Stiletto Sisters again after ten years. While I did not recognise a lot of the names on the festival line up I was prepared to take a risk and see people I had not heard of before.

Thanks to the festival volunteers who got my media pass organised as although I had gotten permission from one of the directors, I had not followed it up and did not want to get in trouble. There were a lot of people helping out taking photos on the day it seemed but I wanted to contribute also.

Although I do like Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier I did want to see a bit of the talent contest just to see who was playing. I did also get to see some of Saray Iluminado in Kadimah Hall. I did get to see the whole of Robbie Avenaim's set as I was interested in seeing how it played out. I know someone in New York who also does work with robot music.

As before I did get to see the start of Rita Satch, but I knew as they were playing in one of the cinemas it was going to be difficult to get in to see the Stiletto Sisters as Emily from Tinpan Orange told me later even she could not get in to see them. They were as great as I remembered and seem to be as youthful as ever.

After a quick bite from the Taco Truck on Selwyn Street I went in to get a seat for Tinpan Orange early as I knew it would be very popular. I did get to have a nice chat with the band and also during the show. Emily even got to tell a bad Jewish joke while Jesse was tuning and admitted it was intimidating to play to so many friends and family.

There was a singer-songwriter program during the day but I mostly did not get to see, so I was glad I got to see at least some of Aryeh's set. She was nervous as it was her first performance in Melbourne, but I am sure she will do well in the future.

I was lucky enough to get a front row seat for the Song of Songs concert and took good advantage of it. There were so many highlights during this show and I did want to take more photos of Rachel Burger but was afraid she would get cross with me. Harry certainly got a lot of grief. Also the part where someone tried to move the music stand while Kate Miller-Heidke was using it. You can tell it is a good show when they have to tell the backstage to be quiet as they were so rowdy. Everyone on stage for the finale of Deborah Conway singing "Serve Somebody" was one of the best things I have seen this year.

A great first time festival and hopefully it returns next year. Thanks to everyone involved and I hope to see some of the performers again some time.


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