Playing in the open-air car park of St Paul’s Cathedral was a risky move for organisers knowing Melbourne’s love of an un-seasonal thunderstorm. Perhaps some divine power flipped the switch though, as it was beautifully warm night to see some live music.
Harry James Angus’s show Struggle With Glory is inspired by classical Greco-Roman dramas and myths, interpreted through jazz and gospel music performed by a very large backing band. Musicians playing multiple pianos, a double bass, drum kit, a four-piece gospel choir and more carried these huge tunes, as well as Angus playing his trumpet and belting out lyrics. Making sure the night wasn’t all about the music, Angus’s showed everyone he was a true raconteur with stories of wild beasts, fate, legends, love, enchantments and revenge that inspired these songs.
If you like gospel music, huge bands and toe-tapping tunes but don’t particularly like going to church then this is the show for you. The songs and stories about Zeus and other Roman gods, doomed homoerotic love affairs between warriors and the unstoppable torrent of fate kept the crowds asking for more. Once again Melbourne Music Week showed us why they are one of the premiere music and arts festivals in Australia, if not the world. For anyone that missed this special performance, keep an eye on Angus’s website as Struggle With Glory will be touring.
Tomas Zagoda is a filmmaker, writer, coffee addict and tall person who does not play basketball. You can follow him on your social media channel of choice @TomasZagoda.
For more info on Harry James Angus, visit their website.