Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Melbourne Music Festival Tram Session Jam

I had the weirdest dream the other night. Paul Kelly was serenading me on a tram and there was a conductor in a funny uniform, then I ended up in this crazy after party in a basement where there was this artist painting a mural and there were these great bands playing! It was so cool! Oh wait, that actually happened...

I do quite regularly have strange dreams (though they usually involve a topless Ryan Gosling on a sailing boat), however on Monday night I was lucky enough to experience the dream-like, though very real, 'Tram Sessions Mass Jam', occurring as part of the Melbourne Music Festival. The concept was simple really. Good vibes, good times and, of course, good music, all crammed into one little Melbourne tram. The evening began at the cafe Kinfolk, where guests were greeted by an array of beverages (served by some incredably talented volunteers, including yours truly) before the first act, Tiger and Me, performed in a Bourke Street Laneway. From there, they jumped on the delegated party tram and listened to the acoustic sounds of Bonjah as they cruised past Docklands and the Flagstaff Gardens. Luckily, my duties as a volunteer were relatively short lived, so we pulled a sneaky and boarded the tram with everyone else. This was a good move as who should hop on the tram at the next stop but Melbourne icon Paul Kelly, accompanied by nephew Daniel Kelly. Ever so cool, if not a little squished (we were on a tram after all), Paul launched into songs from the album Spring and Fall and we heard songs like, one of my personal favourites, Little Aches and Pains. To finish up as the tram rolled past Southern Cross Station, we were serenaded by the song From Little Things Big Things Grow, with Bonjah accompanying, and the whole tram singing along in the chorus. To be honest the whole experience was a bit surreal. To be on a tram, just ten feet from Paul was awesome, unbelievable and so very, very Melbourne all at once.

After hopping off the tram we all headed down to the basement of Donkey Wheel House, where there was an after party already in full swing. The huge, concrete space was the perfect location for the crowd to listen to bands like Mixed Melody, The Pearce Brothers and, once again, Bonjah. The whole vibe was one of a chilled out contentedness as the guests sipped on their Mountain Goat cidar and Steam Ale, watched a local artist create a piece before their very eyes, and listened to music, which quite frankly, rocked.

All in all it was a fantastic night, an experienced that encapsulated Melbourne to a tee. And you know what? I think I'd go for a real world Tram Sessions Party over a dream about Ryan Gosling any day.

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