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What’s on Event of the month
Sofar Sounds offers a more unique and intimate live music experience than anywhere.
Since 2009 gigs have been popping up in living rooms in cities across the globe. London recently hosted Bastille, while music-lovers in New York, Johannesburg, Sao Paulo and Sydney have all been welcoming gig-goers into their homes.
Co-founder, Rafe Offer, came up with the idea after being frustrated at a Friendly Fires gig in a London pub when people were talking over the band.
He thought there must be a better way of experiencing live music and Sofar Sounds was born as a result. While they are reluctant to scream and shout about it as the secrecy and intimacy are what makes it so appealing, they are attracting an increasingly eager group of fans through their mailing list.
Fans are told about a week before if they’ve got tickets and find out the venue’s location the day before. Bands aren’t announced until they’re on stage and Brighton’s latest pop-up gig in a small house in Hannover offers an eclectic mix.
Brighton-based five-piece Beautiful Boy are first up, although just three of them are on show tonight. As their acoustic-guitar-laden folk-pop set would attest to, their name is probably a nod in the direction of John Lennon, although it could quite easily be because they are simply, beautiful boys.
They won’t want for female admirers but it comes quickly apparent that there is far more to them than a pretty face. The intimate setting perhaps doesn’t lend itself quite so well to their self-confessed “in-your-face” style but their four tracks are met with total silence by an appreciative and respectful audience.
The lead singer says he’s nervous but there are no signs of it during the highlight of the set, recently released double a side track Home. It sounds a bit like Mumford and Sons minus the banjo and has enjoyed critical acclaim from the likes of Steve Lamacq.
Second act Bella Spinks will appeal to some with her wistful tales of Brighton life but her kooky style is all too familiar. In an uninspiring set, Call You Home just seems to be a series of upward inflexions, while she can’t help but stare at the audience, seemingly longing for approval.
She is a beautiful lyricist and there’s nothing wrong with the way she puts such emphasis on her British accent but it’s been done before and feels a bit like a rehashed Kate Nash.
Wolflung are directed by their cheeky-chappy frontman and his enthusiasm is infectious as they switch seamlessly between reggae and blues before Moon Hooch, all the way from Brooklyn, quite literally, nearly bring the house down.
Two saxophonists, one with a traffic cone strapped to his instrument and a drummer break out into a weird mix of saxophone-trance before a hip-hop inspired finish to the set.
Rafe leads the party from the front, jumping up and down as any music-lover would feel inclined to do when the audience are encouraged onto their feet. His love for the night seeps through the audience and people leave not quite sure what to make of what they’ve experienced.
They’re clearly not doing it for the money as the night remains completely free and they rely entirely on donations. If you can get into one of these events you’ll be hard pushed to find a gig quite as intimate. Although the ethos is to provide a setting where music can be truly appreciated, it almost doesn’t matter who the bands are. And even though they are good, it’s enough just to sit and lap up the atmosphere and unrivalled intimacy. If you fancy it, you can even sign up to host an event yourself.
Local artist and all round talented mastermind, Cassette Lord, took the time to spray a piece of art onto the walls of Lewes Skatehouse. We sent our film crew down to check it out.
This is a brilliant example of Brighton talent coming to life! Enjoy!
Music credit: Son of a Rocket Kevin MacLeod ( incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
Film by Michael Wilcox: facebook.com/topbuttonproductions