House concerts let you take your live music home with you

INTIMATE: Singer-songwriter Sara Tindley performs for an intimate crowd at a house concert in Mullumbimby last weekend.
INTIMATE: Singer-songwriter Sara Tindley performs for an intimate crowd at a house concert in Mullumbimby last weekend. Pam Freeman

WITH guests relaxed on lounges and not a drunken bar-fight in sight, independent musicians are rejecting pub venues and instead turning to someone's backyard or lounge room to perform.

Once a characteristic of 16th century chamber music, the lure of an intimate setting without the overheads associated with a large venue has seen the "house concert" trend growing in popularity.

The trend towards the smaller, more intimate concerts has spawned a website, House Concerts Australia, which offers an online network of house concerts in Australia and New Zealand, complete with an interactive map of music hosts across the two countries.

"Any act that can fit into a living room might eventually find a fan here," the site states.

After buying a120-year-old home in Mullumbimby earlier this year, local musicians Pam Freeman and Troy Schmidt hosted their first house concert on Sunday.

Around 30 music fans donated $15 to hear singers Sara Tindley and Cyndi Boste perform, with the artists also selling CDs of their music.

All donations from the house concert go directly to the musicians, Schmidt and Freeman said.

"As soon as I saw this lounge room with its 12ft pressed metal ceilings, I thought we have to have a house concert in here," Freeman said.

"The acoustics are fantastic in this room and it reminds me of a small salon setting," she said.

The couple, who perform together as part of the band Big Bossy Heart, have a network of musical friends willing to perform: "It's great for artists who might be travelling through the area and for those who might not be able to pull in a crowd of 100.

"A smaller venue like a house is perfect."

Topics:  entertainment music trends

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