LIVE: Juanita Stein, Live From Brighton Electric Studios
Music has been the salvation of many during the turbulent times of 2020. So, it perhaps seemed equal parts bizarre and comforting to sit and watch Juanita Stein’s recent livestream at Brighton Electric Studios just after the announcement of the second national lockdown. The news has brought on further anxiety about the fate of the live music industry and concerns over its artists, venues and the masses of workers affected. But Stein’s music provided what live music experiences do, brief respite from the stresses of life.
As streamed gigs have become more commonplace in the musical landscape, a burn out of the original enthusiasm for them has spurred a wave of original thinking from creatives. Nothing can replace the magic of an in-person gig; the atmosphere from crowds and specific energy that feeds the room often fails to translate well to a screen. This is why Stein’s alternative approach worked so well.
Meeting her audience at the bar, Stein winds through corridors as the feed morphs into black and white. Having come to expect a standard set-up of precisely marked cameras surrounding a stage, Stein’s show keeps an altogether more relaxed vibe. The shaky camera work, over-the-shoulder shots, and muffled talk from band and crew make it feel as though you have stumbled into Saturday rehearsal and secured a prized spot on the sofa.
The camera-straight-at-the-stage method of streaming can work, especially if you are in need of an evening of performative escapism where you tune in with beer in hand and act like you have made it to the front row. But, the flexibility of a 24hr login period and the perfectly imperfect filming of Stein’s show, provides a care-free environment that is charming and undemanding. You don’t have to pretend you are at the gig. Instead it is ideally tailored to allow the audience to wallow in Stein’s beautifully emotive, earthy, soul-warping world while lounging around on your bed.
Juanita Stein's new album Snapshot is out now via NUDE MUSIC LTD.