The Cinematic Orchestra wth Philharmonia Australia @ Hamer Hall – 11 Oct ’13

Sometimes there’s a really interesting story behind the reason why you listen to a band or artist, other times it’s just a bit of a mundane tale. This one probably sits somewhere in between, maybe closer to the mundane…

A few years ago I got my hands on an album by Jamie Cullum called ‘In the Mind of Jamie Cullum’ –  two original tracks accompanied by a compilation of favourite tracks that had been compiled by Jamie to form the ‘ultimate’ mix tape. It was sort of like sticking your hand into a mixed bag of lollies, finding a few really tasty treats but never being completely disappointed with a sugar fix. Amongst the likes of Elbow (love!!!), Quasimoto and Luis Bonfa was the first track I’d knowingly heard from The Cinematic Orchestra, All Things to All Men and was taken aback. It took a few listens, but it was something special and while not a frequent listen, there’s something truly special about their work.

So back to present day, and I find myself sitting in Hamer Hall, Melbourne on a Friday evening ready to see what The Cinematic Orchestra delivers live with Philharmonia Australia as part of the Melbourne Festival. Words were delivered by Jason Swinscoe but kept few and far between, thrilling from the get go with transcendent electro jazz sounds, gorgeous vocals from Heidi Vogel before a stunning orchestral arrangement leading into the sweeping As The Stars Fall.

Arrangements continued to mesmerise and transfix throughout the evening, transcendal sounds that almost put you into a somewhat meditative state. I’m far from being considered anything close to a dedicated fan, but there’s something truly epic about experiencing the sound envelop your surroundings. Being far more familiar with their instrumental work, the vocal based arrangements of Familiar Ground, Music Box and  Breathe were just stunning live. Of course, it wasn’t all serious with the more lighthearted and quirky Man with A Movie Camera making an appearance.

We may have had to wait until the encore, but the absolute standout was ‘To Build A Home’. Breathtaking is probably about as good a description as I can give…no footage from the night, but still worth checking out.

The festival guide referred to The Cinematic Orchestra playing the ‘movie soundtrack to your life’. I don’t know how much of a lifespan can be crammed into one night’s performance, and I’d hope that the ‘movie’ of my life would run for longer, but there’s certainly no complaining about the 90 minute synopsis that was delivered.



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