Birds Of Tokyo, in case you haven’t heard already, are four chaps from Perth who create beautiful, acoustic (and in this case instrumental) folk music. It is soft, soothing and has served them well, and their fans it would seem in this DVD. They come together with The Broken Strings, a four piece quartet to bring a new layer to their music.
I think when watching any kind of footage, it is important to think about expectations. For me I wasn’t expecting a great deal, as I had the misconception that musical artist DVDs were purely for fanatics. I am happy to admit that I was wrong. This was more like a documentary that you might see on ABC, with the juicy content of something you might see on a more commercial channel.
The intimate, diary-like interviews with singer Ian Kenney revealed the full process of the collaboration, and his fears. It was important for him to make sure they (as a unit) approach it delicately, as the venues allowed no room for error. That is the thing about playing in any kind of concert hall like the Melbourne Town Hall – every little mistake is audible.
The tour reached audiences in Sydney at The Enmore Theatre as well, which is another great venue for this kind of performance. Composer Martin Pullan shares his approach to the recording process, as do the other band members. The dynamics of groups like this are always entertaining to watch.
The Broken Strings are true professionals and it is evident all their hard work was a success when the live performances begin. Stand out songs for me were ‘Armour For Liars’ and ‘Wild Eyed Boy’. Folk and acoustic stuff is right up my alley, but the more diverse, instrumental and varied the whole sound is, the more value there is to the overall performance. You see, the more interesting a composition sounds to me, the more it plays with my heart strings (pun intended).
I am certain had I been sitting there watching this show live at the Enmore Theatre, I would have shed a tear. That is the only drawback about watching it on DVD: the emotive energy is diluted on the box. This is definitely worth a buy, and the relaxing nature of the production was no less entertaining.