Neither Spencer nor I were expecting to enjoy the event. Being invited as 'magazine editors' to a VIP event hosted by an alcohol brand as part of the Sydney Festival was a fairly unattractive proposition but when we got there we changed our minds.
Sydney is capable of pulling up her smog-soaked gown and being suddenly jaw-droppingly beautiful. Spencer and I were sitting in a temporary beer garden in the middle of Hyde Park when he said something along the lines of "Look that way if you want to see something nice". It wasn't nice, it was fucking spectacular. Through the waving green window of a canopy of trees the last light of the day was spilling rose and gold across the old sandstone cathedral and the sky, we all know about those.
We were photographed, plied with free drinks, fed with free prawns and then gently ushered into a plywood contraption they were calling a hunting lodge. The hunting lodge was complete with fake fire, fake antlers on the walls and roaming models in orange hot pants and peculiar hats. After a drink or two the modestly sized building began to take on a genuine feeling of being a hunting lodge. At least what I imagine an actual hunting lodge might be like, there aren't any of those hanging around in Sydney, usually.
We wandered about from bar to garden and back again, taking advantage of the free drinks, until we were once again gently ushered into the hunting lodge. Without fanfare a band began to play and Tim Finn popped up as though beamed in from outer space and jumped straight into 'Six Months in a Leaky Boat'.
Thirty seconds into the set I was hooked. I suppose I should have known that by now Tim Finn is a man who knows how to perform. He brought a surprising raw intensity to his performance, I barely looked away until it was over. The whole crowd felt like it was one communal splitting grin.
I had no idea how brilliant seeing Tim Finn playing a small fake hunting lodge would turn out to be so thank you Sydney Festival, and alcohol brand with a bottomless marketing budget, thank you.