Songwriters in The Dome – REVIEW by M. Cross
This event was a celebration of the I Heart Songwriting Club (iheartsongwritingclub.com). This is the biggest songwriting club in the world. It was held in the cosy Dome Lounge of the Museum of Brisbane in City Hall, which set the ambience. The Club was founded in 2014 in Brisbane but now incorporates songwriters from twelve countries. They have a catalogue of over 5,000 songs created by their members. It has been described as “a global digital powerhouse for songwriting creatives” and is making waves in the music industry around the world.
The special show on Friday 25 May was part of the Friday Night Concert Series for the Anywhere Theatre Festival. The one-hour concert showcased songs from Natalie de Jager, Edward Buckridge and Hannah Ana – three talented local songwriters. An appearance by a secret guest artist was promised, and turned out to be the founder of the Club and a choir of six other local songwriters.
All the artists performing were Brisbane-based, but not necessarily from Brisbane originally. All songs featured were about our wonderful city (as befitting the 100% Brisbane theme in the museum at the moment). Natalie opened the concert with a soulful tune about the full moon, imploring it to “bring me your tunes”. Her second number was a light-hearted ditty “I want to ride my bike with you” which she sang and played on keyboards. Her last song was the “Rubbish” song which was not a rubbish song at all. She was accompanied by the powerhouse super troupe of choristers.
Guitarist, singer and songwriter Edward began with a battle song of old vs new. His second number was a coming of age song with fellow songwriter and band member, Brooke, singing beautiful harmonies. The guitar solo was lovely and his live looping was terrific. His “Grey Days” was appropriate for a cloudy Friday evening: “afterglow of a season without rhyme or reason.”
Canadian Hannah sang of her love of nature, of “empty spaces” and “gentle vibrations”. Her dramatic second song “Signs”, played on her guitar, woke up the audience but I wasn’t convinced that the lyrics “ice cold winters” referred to Brisbane, rather sounded more like her homeland. Her final song was “Stay With Me” with the choir and was about sharing stories which was what the songwriters had all shared with the audience.
The finale with all 9 songwriters on stage was on the theme of “Trees”. (I was a bit disappointed that writer didn’t rhyme veranda with Jacaranda.) “Nothing could be better” than listening to these talented musicians sharing their songs.