Set up in cities throughout the world, Sofar Sounds revitalises the live music experience by creating intimate gigs in unique spaces. On Friday, the 15th of October, Sofar once again created a beautifully unique night of music, putting on a show in St. Mary Aldermary. Largely rebuilt after the Great Fire of London in 1666, the church building itself is over 300 years old, so it provided an exquisite background to the artists’ performances as well as unbelievable acoustics. Though this pop-up venue made for an extremely Instagrammable night, Sofar workers made an announcement before the concert to keep Instagram posting to a minimum, so the audience could focus on the music. This attention to intimacy and musical enjoyment even extends itself to Sofar’s BYOB policy, to avoid people ordering drinks instead of watching artists’ sets. Many in attendance even brought picnic blankets and food, setting up makeshift picnics to eat both before and between sets.
The night’s first artist, Eleni Drake, filled the church with her angelic vocals and sad, masterful lyricism. Though her songs were filled with interesting metaphors, they never seemed unrelatable or intangible. Instead, they were raw and hit to the core. It was incredible to learn that she had just recently started playing music live as she had such a strong presence and control over the room. Her tear-jerking songs fit the space’s aesthetic perfectly, leaving the crowd in awe.
The second artist for the night, Mr Sols, was a spoken word artist whose work seamlessly mixes poetry and music. Also a musician, in addition to a spoken word poet, Mr Sols’ performance often sounded like a capella hip-hop rather than straight poetry. He also did some a capella renditions of his songs. Mr Sols’ evocative and performative poetry had a strong focus on race, class, and socio-economic issues within the UK and, more specifically, London.
Stone Jets, the final artists for the night, came out punching with an overwhelmingly joyous set. In contrast to the night’s earlier acts, the Stone Jets’ music is light and smile-inducing. Though this Sofar Sounds show was a seated event, one couldn’t help but tap their feet along or bop in their seats to the rhythm. The Stone Jets’ set was a great way to close out a wonderful night and left the audience to leave St. Mary Aldermary on a warm, positive note.
The night’s wide range of talent displays Sofar Sounds’ dedication to providing a space for music to thrive, a platform for upcoming artists to perform, and an intimate gathering to bring city communities closer together through art.