Melting Pot

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

  • In an intimate venue above a restaurant on Smith Street in Collingwood, people who appreciate fine music gather to enjoy watching three singer/songwriters perform live around a small table in a dark room. This weekly event feels like a cross between an evening at a friends house and a clandestine meeting of a secret society. But this is no secret meeting, this is Melting Pot’s ‘Songwriters in the Round.’

    A long time Friday night fixture in my Australian diary, Melting Pot has introduced me to a whole raft of musical talent here in Melbourne. Run by a committed and passionate gang of volunteers, this weekly event is something of a hidden cultural gem, and a real find for anyone who loves music.

    The format is simple. Three singer/songwriters sit around a table and perform five songs in rotation while the gathered audience relax on chairs and couches around them. At the end of the five songs there’s a short break followed by a second set featuring three different artists.

    I love Melting Pot and have enjoyed some really unforgettable nights there. Watching the musicians perform, listening to their stories, and enjoying the banter they often exchange, really makes this event unique. Tonight was no exception and was actually one of my favorite such nights.

    It was pretty difficult to get a good picture due to the low lighting and my rather beat up camera, so you’ll have to forgive the rather grainy look of this shot. That said, maybe it communicates something of the mellow atmosphere.

    Pictured from left to right are Tash Sultana, SammyQ, James Hart. They performed a fantastic set which was then followed by another really superb set by Caitlin Harnett, Laura K Clarke, and Kate Walker.

    Of all the things I’ll miss about Melbourne when I leave, this would be very high on the list.

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