Hometown export, Ben Lee, returned to Australia’s shores via Instagram for a twenty-minute set as part of Isol-Aid’s fourth instalment on Saturday 11 April 2020.
The last time I saw Lee live was about two decades ago in Adelaide when he was but a wee lad supporting Ben Harper on his national tour. Today, I was elated to have a front-row seat with approximately eight hundred other people including a bevvy of musicians such as Ella Hooper of Killing Heidi fame, Kav Temperley of Eskimo Joe fame, Waves, Dallas Frasca, The Teskey Brothers and Husky.
Lee in a Pepsi Peyote t-shirt and hat exuded positivity as he performed stripped-down versions of Gamble Everything for Love, Cigarettes Will Kill You and Catch My Disease. We were then treated to a new, unrecorded song Born for this Bullshit. Written explicitly for the here and now it encompassed Lee’s phenomenal attitude, ‘I’m still here/ Singing my song/ Loving everyone in a world gone wrong/ I was born for this bullshit’. Here’s hoping this one makes its way to the recording studio together with a new album that was half-heartedly mentioned in a fleeting comment.
Lee completed the set with the unofficial anthem of COVID-19, We’re All in This Together. As he thanked everyone for embracing this song with such purity and love, it was difficult to not become emotional. Upon reflection of the lyrics and Lee’s sincerity it appeared I wasn’t the only one to shed a tear as evident by all the crying face and heart emojis that flooded the Instagram chat.
Indeed, we are all in this together no matter where in the world we are.
Live Review By Anita Kertes