Sofar Sounds at Hotel Pelirocco

We haven’t been so great about getting out to gigs so far this year. The fact that it’s still so cold that I can still see my breath when I leave the house in the mornings and a couple of colds which have knocked me for six have meant that the allure of the sofa was stronger than that of leaving the house. Last night though, we were invited out to Hotel Pelirocco where the Brighton Sofar Sounds crew put on their latest night.

I think I described the last Sofar Sounds gig as possibly the most tightly packed gig that I’d ever been to. Last night was even busier. When I heard it was at Hotel Pelirocco I thought it would be in the bar area where I’d been to many nights in the past, but on arriving someone on the door asked if we were here for the comedy, and if we weren’t we were guided down some stairs, doubling back on yourself, going down some more stairs, turning corners until you had no idea quite which direction you were facing, into a room where the door wouldn’t open fully because of the number of bodies. It turns out that we had been directed to the Kraken’s lair – Pelirocco’s most recently refurbished rum-sponsored room.

First up was Alex KP, who initially looked fairly innocuous with just her voice and guitar to entertain us, but very early on proved she had a great soulful voice. By the end of her short set she’d also introduced a loop pedal and a violin into the mix. Definitely someone to watch out for in future (her album is apparently due next week). Next up was Slam The Poet, performing as a two piece under the new guise of MVC. Think Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius pip without so much facial hair and more freestyling.

After a short break to allow everyone to nip to the bar we came back to find that there was even less room than before because final act Our Girl had set up taking up twice as much space as the previous bands. We’ve written Our Girl frontwoman Soph Nathan before when she was writing and recording under her own name. Having a full band behind her has transformed her ideas into the real deal. She had the best songs of the night, sounding fantastic drenched in reverb.

You can find out more about Sofar Sounds Brighton on their facebook page or their website. Click on the pics below to view large.

Time for T at Sofar Sounds

RZ9A8711esBrighton 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.

RZ9A8717esSofar 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.

RZ9A8827eesLast 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)

Laish on your sofa (or somebody’s)

Daniel Green of Laish played the Brighton Sofar Sounds gig in January with the full band in somebody’s front room and then went to the London one solo, and played this stunning version of Warm the Wind there. Absolutely beautiful and I defy you not to be moved.

Did we say the new Laish album is out shortly? Are you ready for it? 


Sofar Sounds – songs from a room

This week the second ever Brighton Sofar session came to town.

For those who don’t know, Sofar Sounds is a House concert concept that has gone global with connections on four continents. They’ve held concerts in California, Brazil, Australia and across Europe amongst other places. But basically wherever they take place they’re still small intimate gigs featuring local bands and innovative music in people’s homes, which are video’d and photographed and seen globally via their website.

Small is beautiful. And the latest Brighton incarnation took place in the large front room of a flat on West Street, and featured three bands playing four songs each, an artist-in-residence (below) drawing the event along with an array of photographers, videographers,  and a room full of pretty young things, all sitting on the floor enjoying the spectacle.

Billy the illustrator

First up was I am Amity, the persona of multi-instrumentalist Amy Forrester, who wound her simple songs around a fascinating array of loops, moving from electronic drums to guitars and back again. She made a joke about her mother liking best her song about one night stands. She was most endearing.


Next came the mighty Laish, who wowed the room with Danny Green’s wry lively lyrics backed by a dynamic four piece band with the original combination of violin, clarinet, bass and drums. They played three songs from their forthcoming new album Obituaries and then ended with We Speak The Mantra from their first album, with the band dropping their instruments to accompany Dan with vocals and hand-claps and knee-slaps. It was enchanting. An excellent band, a favourite of this blog and highly recommended in any body’s living room.


By the end of the night, the packed room was hot and sweaty. Last up were the gypsy folk of Apples and Eve, led by the charming Eve Rose. This five-piece band laid down some excellent funky folk which kept the room chilled and feet-tapping. Eve’s vocals were honey-smooth, and her songs reminiscent of a band like Beirut. Another fine local act that are worth checking out.

Apples and Eve

And then it was over, until the next one. Sofar sounds have a winning formula – small intimate gigs in people’s homes. This blog for one looks forward to seeing how the Brighton set up progresses. Or maybe the Brazilian one, if we’re lucky eh?