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Sofar Sounds York

Updated: Apr 25, 2018

Sofar Sounds, Show Case, York, 23/04/18


Sofar Sounds is a music community that seeks to put the magic back into live music events by throwing secret show case concerts in secret locations, and often in quite weird ones at that. So, having to walk down, what could only be described as decrepit hospital corridors, you could say that expectations weren’t exactly through the roof. Yet, since walking in late (shoot me) it appeared like organised fun, as a day camp for kids with plastic smiles and fake food, but, I was actually impressed. Despite being in a packed cavernous community hall, stuffed with an odd mixture of new age hipsters and their respective parents. The opening act, Kell Chambers had a big pair of lungs on him, though obviously a talented guy didn’t really work to his strengths and struggled to stand out among the rest of his peers. He seemed to me like a Ben Howard rip off because all of his songs followed the trajectory of the familiar and the forgettable. Then against expectations, he worked through his set and kept the crowd with him, being pleasantly humble and self-deprecating, obviously talented and gutsy to perform in such a way. He clearly doesn’t realise his potential and I think that in a year or two, develops his style he will be a force to be reckoned with.


And then they served cake, not coke, cake how very rock and roll, but good cake. In fact, there was a 10 minute cake break –the banana bread was mint.


The second act, Simeon Walker brought with him an interesting set up of cello violin and piano, a first for the event, how historic. His stage persona was that of a cool dad who doesn’t really get it, but he also seemed effortlessly witty and confident with the audience. The lack of lyrics in Walkers music is refreshing

because it only opens a door for you whereas techno music and songs like it will just kick you through it Walkers is somehow freeing, well he said as much and during his first song ‘awake’ is excellent because it knows what it is and is comfortable in itself, it doesn’t over extend just naturally progresses which i find rare in modern music. Although i did think it would be a perfect ditty for a downtown abbey funeral, in a good way, promise. The crowd all seemed to adore the opportunity to think and were captivated for all i commented on the wannabe cool dad vibes he did set the tone for his music well. Although the songs were good there were subtle differences and there were a lot of them but that doesn’t amount to a relatively noticeable difference throughout the set. Overall Walker describes the songs excellently, seems a nice bloke, obviously lives and breathes his music and he’s not half bad on a piano.


Act three (insert bands name) at first impression looked like the weekend dossing about with walking crayons , i say try his because of the lead singers mental hair and the rest of the lads colour coded outfits. Right and one them had an electric ukulele i nearly fucking died i was so excited, seriously. The act was excellent (for a lad with a sax being involved its just a personal preference that they are not there not that he was bad but if you’re not playing careless whisper by George Micheal then fuck it off and throw it away. And they are ridiculously seedy instrument.) They were playing amazingly upbeat reggae mixed with all sorts that I couldn’t even begin to imagine. The atmosphere was crackling with energy whether it was the lad with the percussion pad, the ukulele maybe even the saxophone or was it the bare footed obscenely animated frontman. The creativity was evident and excellent the way they involved the audience in such an intimate setting absolutely made it for me and that a band with such a specific sound had such a massive variation in there music and it was refreshingly unique they absolutely thrived on stage. Whether their music could come across so well if not live i would doubt it but i would recommend them even though they made it out to be effortless and unrehearsed there was dedication there anyone could see it and they had without a doubt put the hours in even though its not exactly rock and roll for them to admit it. Overall I would say they were vibrant energetic and oddly mint.


To conclude kids If Sofar music can keep getting such a line up of talented people then after that performance its a definite must.

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