East Elevation are no strangers to live music – although primarily a restaurant and function space – and they are perhaps AOQR’s best example of a strong business built on community connections.
351 Lygon Street
Brunswick East VIC 3057
In January 2017, it was my pleasure to call Khristian Mizzi from Newstead Live Music Festivaland tell him that he’d won a financial award from the Troubadour Foundation for Best Artist. Originally from Moe, Mizzi is a newcomer to the folk circles that I know so well, particularly the Troubadour Wine Bar and Lomond Hotel. In just over 12 months, Mizzi has become well-loved in these venues, and is now a festival favourite.
When we arrive for the shoot I am immediately overwhelmed by the greenery and light airiness of the space. A restaurant open for brunch, lunch, and available for evening events, East Elevation was created by our host Brian Edwards who works with a team of clever baristas, farmers and associates. The café shares space with chocolatier Monsieur Truffe who create award-winning chocolates, AND the best hot chocolate in Melbourne – two years running. You can even watch the chocolate being made! East Elevation are passionate about microgreens, and take care to source local produce wherever possible, teaming up with local producers Cottage Botanical.
‘Place Of Peace’
In this episode, we swap songs – I lead Mizzi’s ripper song Place of Peace, with Mizzi leading my own Jacob Said.
Khristian’s lyrics are inspirational, and he is genuine and softly spoken in person. I am left feeling calmer and happier in his presence, as I know many fans do. This song creates that effect in spades.
‘The Flowers and the Wine’
by Clive James and Pete Atkin
Mizzi chose to cover Doug Ashdown, who by coincidence is another favourite associate of The Troubadour. Mizzi has a copy of his 1976 album Leave Love Enough Alone and its contribution to this episode really shows how bizarrely interconnected everything is. As it happens, although it features on the album, Flowers and the Wine was not written by Ashdown – it was written by Pete Atkin and Clive James. It’s fantastic to include an example of earlier independent writing.
Mizzi was well rehearsed by the time we got to East Elevation, and he took a lot of care with my melody. It was such a treat to hear him singing the words I had written, giving the melody a new life. The song is inspired by a friend of mine who worked hard at becoming the person he wanted to be, and succeeded. Jacob is a real person. In the years after this was written he has hit his own hardships, but I hope he knows how much inspiration and comfort he was to me in our share-housing days.