Brighton has it’s fair share of intimate venues, where you can go and see a band and be able to literally touch them onstage (not that we encourage that kind of behaviour), and recently added, but with no fixed abode is Sofar Sounds. Sofar Sounds, which had a reboot earlier this year, brings concerts into people’s living rooms taking intimate to a whole new level and last night they invited us along to this month’s event. In a slight change to proceedings last night’s gig wasn’t held in someone’s lounge, but in the basement of Nowhere Man Café just opposite the Windmill Pub, which doubles up as a rehearsal space for local bands.
Although last night was a very local affair, organised in Brighton with two of the three acts from Brighton, Sofar Sounds is an international concern and dozens of events took place across Europe and the US, all being tied together with the gig doubling up as a listening party for the new Karen O solo album at every venue.
Sofar sounds don’t have a headliner as such and all bands are treated as having equal billing, and first act to play was Darren Saunders – a local musician who hasn’t played a “proper” gig in over two years, but has been busking regularly. He was brought in at the last minute on the recommendation of one of the sound guys who said that he thought he had one of the best voices he’s heard. Despite nerves and a broken string great songs and a great voice won the day. Next up was Bec Sanridge, last night’s out of towner (all the way from Australia). I got the impression that Bec hides what a fantastic guitarist she really is, and despite earlier hints it was only in the last song in her Joan Baez-style folk set that her fingerwork truly shone through.
Last night’s final act was Time for T, recently back from a mini-tour of Portugal and with an EP about to be launched soon. A live hometown gig in a small venue obviously suited them as they appeared relaxed and confident on what could barely be called a stage. The lead singer performed a couple of solo acoustic numbers to begin with before being joined by the rest of the band for an assured folk-pop set peppered with tracks from the new EP. When the evening appeared to be over with final words of thanks being given by the Sofar Sounds people the crowd called for a genuine encore – a rarity these days when going off stage then coming back for a few more is all part of the plan.
(click the pics to view large)