Harry Manx and Kim Churchill rocked Hillside Inside

Saturday, February 11, 2012

  • Harry Manx opened the second day of Hillside Inside

    Harry Manx opened the second day of Hillside Inside

Written by Stephanie Rennie

The second day of Hillside Inside was just as energetic and entertaining as the evening prior with Dan Mangan. At 2:30 in the afternoon, St. George’s Church was already packed full of a joyful crowd eager for an afternoon full of fabulous music. This was the perfect venue and time of day for the relaxed and easy going concert put on by Harry Manx and Kim Churchill.

 The sun shined through the stained glass windows, emphasizing the beautiful details of the church. Folks gathered in the pews and laid their eyes on a small stage at the front that produced empowering sounds throughout the day.

Harry Manx took the stage at 3pm and was greeted by a vivacious crowd, enthusiastic for another day of great music and great people. Manx was accompanied by a special guest all the way from Australia that played the piano throughout his set. Manx played an assortment of instruments and songs, wooing over the crowd note after note. His fun-loving attitude and witty anecdotes contributed to the easy going pace of the festival.

Following the wonderful performance by Harry Manx, Kim Churchill took the stage. Churchill expressed that he had embarked on a two month break from touring and that this was his first show back. The break must have greatly revitalized the singer-songwriter from Australia as his performance was fast-paced and full of energy. Full of stories from his break in Australia, as well as other tales, Churchill warmed the audience up to an afternoon of music, story telling, and laughter.

One of the most touching moments during the entire festival was Kim’s tribute to a girl that was in the hospital with cancer. Kim explained that a womyn had approached him saying that this girl wanted to attend the concert but couldn’t, and in response Kim sang a touching song to her through the phone. The song itself was very moving, but Churchill took it another level by encouraging the audience to participate. In the remaining choruses of the song, Churchill urged the audience to sing with him and the church was quickly full of many voices singing in unity. The beauty in this communal action shed light on the philosophy of Hillside festivals. The idea that friends and strangers gather out of love for music that brings people together was reflected in Kim Churchill’s performance.

Following cheers from a roaring crowd as Kim Churchill left the stage. Artistic Director Sam Baijal told the audience that a special surprise was on its way and that we should try to take it all in. Moments later, Kim Churchill and Harry Manx entered through the church altar to play the final set of the festival together.

Harry Manx commented that while he was listening to Kim Churchill play backstage he learned a great deal. Churchill’s response was that he spent the first ten years of his life learning lots from Harry Manx. Inspired by one another, the two talented musicians finished off the fifth annual Hillside Inside with a bang. Churchill and Manx played one of Harry’s songs, as well as the Bob Dylan classic “Girl from the North Country.”

The festival was an amazing experience and a much needed relief from the winter blues. The weekend was filled with wonderful music, educational workshops, and a chance to make new friends. Now we just have to wait another five months for another great Hillside festival.

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