Time to liven up

• Coffee drinkers and passersby have enjoyed the return of live music.

MANY folk have been missing live music, but the itch for something acoustic has been particularly strong for Mount Lawley jazz muso Mace Francis.

Dr Francis, a gigging muso, teacher and director of the Perth International Arts Festival, 

says within a week of Covid-19 restrictions he’d lost all his work and was restricted to practicing at home by himself.

But he’s recently started holding free fortnightly shows outside his local cafe Standby Espresso and says he’s now getting his live music fix.

The two Saturday morning shows so far have gone down a treat with cafe patrons and people just wandering by.

“It creates a really great vibe in the neighbourhood, especially since live music has not happened in many months,” Dr Francis said.

A small upside to the restrictions was getting to bed at unjazzily early hours, but not doing shows has “been really weird, especially realising that it is such an important part of my life”, he said.

He’s done some livestream shows but the feel is off: “You’re just playing to an empty room. 

“You really realise that you get as much from the audience as you’re giving to the audience.” 

Dr Francis says the alfresco shows have been such a nice way to get music back into the community he’ll probably keep them going when all the restrictions are removed.

The shows are every fortnight (with gigs booked in for July 4, July 18, August 1 so far) at Standby Espresso, corner Walcott Street and Raglan Road, 9.30am to 11.30am. 

By DAVID BELL

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