Sofar Sounds work to transform ordinary everyday spaces into secret music venues, a vision which has spread to gigs all over the world. This creates an intimate and immersive experience between artist and audience. The gig is small - usually featuring three acts with no headliner, with everyone having equal exposure.
The night before the event, the secret location has been revealed and we will be going to Tap Social. I already really rate this place and the space is very rustic, creating an intimate setting for raw organic music talent to flourish. For those of you who haven’t come across this hidden gem of a venue: Tap Social Movement is a craft brewery fuelled by a passion for both beer and social justice. They provide opportunities for people serving prison sentences, with courses in brewing and business, to reintegrate offenders back into society and employment. There are often street food vendors popping up here too. If you happen to be on the Botley Road, go and check it out for live music, events, food and, of course, beer!
I enjoyed the atmosphere of togetherness and the community feel of supporting local acts. The night started with the band Daisy, described as having an ‘emo punk pop’ vibe. The lead vocalist when speaking had a British accent but sung with American one, but overall we preferred the instrumentalist's work in this set.
My favourite act, also the first choice of others in my group, had to be the second, Tabi Gazele, who came to the event at short notice because another act had pulled out. We were definitely very grateful they had, because Tabi's vocal performance was the best of the night and matched the music too. She interacted lots with the audience and had her own original songs, but also bravely covered Emeli Sandé’s Next To Me and encouraged the audience to sing along.
The closing band where Zaia, whose music had a Reggae sound. The lead singer was slightly nervous, which was understandable given the intimate setting. She did say they are used to people standing up and dancing, so summoned us all on our feet for the last song. The more conservative of the audience clutched their glasses and attempted an out-of-sync sway, while the more relaxed danced along to the rhythm of the reggae!
This was my first experience of Sofar Sounds - usually tickets have sold out quickly and I was fortunate someone had a spare! I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves live music, wants to hear what local talents we have to offer and ’be still and listen’, as the event's slogan goes. The point of these sessions is not to be on your phone or making noise and talking whilst the performances occur around you, but to switch off and connect, immerse yourself with the artist and the music. At times I was transported with the music and really able to connect with it in these conditions.Go and support local artists on their ‘Sofar’ journeys now! There’s still time to apply for tickets to the next Sofar session at a secret location in central