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Sharing stories connecting community and raising funds for DVCS

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Local Music Project venture ‘Songs & Stories’ aims to connect the community and raise funds for DVCS.

Sharing stories is perhaps the oldest of human traditions that can knit together a community or empower social change. And as we head into winter, there’s something almost irresistible about coming together in a cosy intimate space.

That desire to connect underpins Local Music Project venture ‘Songs & Stories’—the first in a series of totally acoustic singer-songwriter performances, to be held at Gang Gang Café & Bar this Thursday 27 May.

“It’s less a gig and more akin to a personal performance in your own lounge room,” says host Matty Ellis, front man of The Ellis Collective. “It will be a selection of Canberra’s best-known balladeers sharing a couch and a guitar, performing completely acoustic renditions of their original songs accompanied by the personal stories that inspired them.”

Songs & Stories host and The Ellis Collective front man, Matty Ellis. Photography: Ashley St George.

The evening promises a gentle shift-in-gears for a veritable smorgasbord of artists normally familiar with festival stages and packed-out interstate venues: Matty himself, as well as Reverend Bones, Hannah Beasley and Sanjiva De Silva.

“Hannah has recently returned to Canberra, immediately finding her way into the line-up of several bands—Bec Taylor and the Lyrebirds, the Burley Griffin and Reverend Bones and the Exvangelicals. She’ll share a selection of her brand new and as yet unreleased solo songs,” says Matty.

Australian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and climate activist Michael John Bones performs under the name of Reverend Bones and has recently released a selection of new tunes— single Tycoon premiering on Triple J. Sanjiva De Silva has been a stalwart of Canberra’s music scene for more than a decade.

The Local Music Project is an extension to the Local Yoga Project—conceived as a practical way to support Canberrans in the aftermath of the 2020 bushfires and COVID pandemic. Both projects are a collection of local people, local spaces and local businesses committed to improving the local community’s mental wellbeing through accessible music initiatives that directly raise awareness and support for local community services.

“Music is simply yoga for the soul, a stretching of the senses to empower personal growth, so it made sense to add a Local Music Project into the mix,” says Matty.

Entry to Songs & Stories is by donation to Canberra’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS).

The Essentials

What: Songs & Stories
When: 7 pm, Thursday 27 May
Where: Gang Gang Café, 2 Frencham Place, Downer
How much: Donations to DVCS encouraged.

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