Electrofolk vs. Folk at the Sawmill

Bye bye pub, hello living rooms

Pub venues where people don’t care about the music are a waste of time and money for everyone. That is one of the reasons living room gigs or house concerts have become so popular in the last few years. Audiences come specifically to listen to music in an intimate space. The musicians enjoy their performance. The music breaks the ice. As some of you know I am passionate about living room concerts, and regularly organise gigs at my and other people’s houses. A very important element is hosting the event, making sure the event is a whole – not just bands randomly placed in a room.

This last gig of the year is both a departure and continuation from the living room concert, and is my experiment for the coming year. I would like to recreate the special living room vibe in a more public venue, and possibly add to the excitement by choosing interesting, alternative venues. So the first of these events will be held in The Sawmill.

The Sawmill 

I found the venue on HireSpace, and chatted to one of the lovely three musketeers who run the place. It is currently a passion project with irregular pop-ups and future plans to open a cocktail bar. So I was really really excited to find out that they would be equally excited about an event in their space. It is all made of upcycled wood and features a lovely honky-tonk piano – I’m thinking this event might end in a jam ))

The Acts: Electrofolk vs Folk


LA-based classically trained pianist and singer-songwriter loops, experiments with sound to create electronic folk.

Matilda Eyre
Electronic beats meet powerful yet silky vocals –


Juxtaposed to the electronic sounds, Pandorasdiary will be presenting their newest addition to their sultry world folk act – a mandolin. Plus, some new weirdness to get everyone involved, and Maya sings some gorgeous new backing vocals 🙂

If you are interested in getting tickets:

Back in UK – upcoming gigs

4th of October: Talk and gig at IKON 2015IMG_4963
24th of October: Gig at secret warehouse party (pm me for invitations)
25th of October: Sunday afternoon tea and tunes, Archway, London (pm for invite)

5th – 10th of November: DE/CH mini tour with Maya! (More dates to be announced
6th of November: Offenburg with Anne Pe

Christmas gig in Munich (More soon!)

Planning a house concert tour using Couchsurfing

Do you want to tour living rooms too?
House concerts or living room gigs are a great way to present acoustic music in an intimate settings, with people really listening.

The Break Up Tapestry

The Break Up Tapestry

It’s a good opportunity for audiences to discover new music and foster a personal relationship with a musician. People are also more likely to buy a cd or other merchandise because it is a souvenir of a lovely evening.

In the last year, I organised over 25 gigs in living rooms across London and Europe, including a tour which took us through 5 living rooms in 5 cities in 7 days. I much prefer playing in people’s living rooms to a group of people who have come to listen than a load of people chatting in a pub. It’s a real event, it’s a vibe, it’s a buzz, it’s a party, and everyone gets involved.

I organised 4 of the 6 gigs on the tour via Couchsurfing, the others through friends and friends of friends.

I was chatting to a fellow musician, and he was saying it must have taken a lot of work, organisation etc.
Actually, it wasn’t too bad.
I think the key was in preparation and work I’d put in before.

Couchsurfing   Sarah Michel

A quick explanation about Couchsurfing/ -it’s a platform to link hosts and guests – works through a kind of “paying it forward” system- I host you- you host Jim, Jim hosts Lotte…

I have hosted a number of guests from all over the world and I guess I accumulated some good social karma. This is definitely an important part of using couchsurfing for gigs – your profile and references.

I also know that Couchsurfing is not for everyone. A lot of people don’t like having “strangers” to stay or meeting randoms in a pub for a meetup. But if you fancy it, have a go- go to a meetup, host someone who has shared interests, it can open up opportunities and seriously widen your horizons.  

Couchsurfing even has a group for couch concerts.

So… you’ve been to a meet-up or two, hosted a bit, surfed a bit – and you like the culture and the vibe… Now you want to organise a tour. What next?

I wrote up an approximate schedule of when we would be where –

31/03/2014 Amsterdam, Holland

02/04/2014 Nancy, France

03/04 Basel Switzerland

05/04/2014 Munich

I posted in groups, but found that addressing individual hosts worked better and was more satisfying, and just asking if they were interested. As we were a crew of 4 people travelling I used the search filter to find hosts who could host 4 or more people and were into music in some way. This worked wonderfully, and I got all the dates filled 3 weeks before setting off.

Have you toured living rooms/house concerts? How did you do it?

Please comment here- or ask a question –


Pandora’s Living Room ft. Rob Moir

A beautiful intimate living room headlined by Canadian alt-folk songwriter, Rob Moir, who has been touring the world incessantly for the last year.
Also featuring Amphibic (Neal Hoffmann and Imogen Burman), Rosie Shy and Pete Bennett.


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Living Room Concert in Secret Location in Brockley

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Secret Living Room Kentish Town

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Trailer for Living Room Documentary :)

The Living Room Tour – Trailer from Pandorasdiary on Vimeo.

Want an invitation to the premiere?

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Pandora’s Place: Couch Concert ft. French for Rabbits and friends

This beautiful couch concert featured performances from:

Rosie Shy (http://rosieshy.com/kicked off the night with her rock-tinged story-telling ballards.

Resonance  rocked blues riffs with dashes of funk, and a whole lot of soul, passion and unbounded stage energy- a smooth yet husky voice with rocking guitar

Resonance released its debut EP “If The Fires They Burn Too Bright” last year, and the band regularly plays live music venues, festivals and parties in London, around the UK and abroad. Visit www.ResonanceMusicProject.com for music, videos, and gig dates.

Pete Bennett with his rocky forceful folk on guitar.

Folk survivors Ingrid Andrews (http://ingsride.com/?page_id=5) and Lawrence Renee (Harmonica and Mandolin), entertained with poetical folk with an array of instruments, and a lovely birthday cake for Ingrid’s husband’s 23rd birthday.

Rupert Joe Motley entertained with singalong on the piano…. For more beautiful piano playing go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Piano-Restaurant-Lounge/254759904539038 on a Thursday night.

Reminscent of Kate Bush mixed with a good dose of classical piano, Yasmine Latkowski performed two of her songs on my”bagpuss” piano. (www.yasminelatkowski.com)

The wonderful Jimmy James of 45c Studios http://www.45c.co.uk/, provided sound and video recording for the event- and entertained us with his mixture of comedy and clever piano playing.

The main act French for Rabbits (http://frenchforrabbits.com/) played a dreamy 40 minute set which transported the room to the sea, inviting the audience to drift away on Brooke’s clear vocals and John’s lead guitar, with a second part accompanying Brooke on our honky tonk piano. After 40 minutes, I wanted more- I could have carried on drifting to what they call “dream folk” for a lot longer…

No encore though, as Brooke and John graciously made way for Trevor Barnham aka “Bloke in a hat” with his London folk.

Last but not least, yours truly got the room singing along to “Smell the Roses”.

Also there:

The Gig Slut aka Roger Mairlot wrote a review (https://www.facebook.com/The.Gig.Slut)

“I got off at New Southgate,and managed to find my way using my envelope map to a house gig ,courtesy of Mrs Sarah Kate Michel,whom was very most welcoming. I was there for 22.10 and caught 3 songs by French for Rabbits.It was very nice on a honky tonk piano,sounding like an old time thing,and acoustic guitars.
Then we had someone called Jimmy Daze doing a couple of songs,then “the man inthe hat” doing a couple of London songs.
I enjoyed a bit of birthday cake,and a glass of sparkling water and departed at 23.00 ,walking to Arnos Grove,which is quite a nice litle deco style station and then going via Piccy/Viccy/Bakerloo lines to Waterloo.”

Nani Graca of Ana Graca Photography https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ana-Graca-photography/346469498709626?fref=ts

Naomi the Empress https://www.facebook.com/NaomiTheEmpressMusic?ref=hl

Leonheart https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leonheart/146092342226002?fref=ts

Izabela and Aleem, who run a travel agency for customised Sri Lanka trips https://www.facebook.com/Polankatravel

Pandora’s Living Room II ft. Hazel Jane MacLaurin and Pete Bennett- Live on KtoK Radio


The show featured lots of sofa action by studio manager George, juggling reels of gaffer tape, mics flying round on booms, and support from remote studio manager, Chris Jones. Plus, great live sets from:

Hazel Jane MacLaurin)- pianist and storytelling lyricist, Hazel sings ballads with a nod to folk, classical music and pop, creating her very own genre of music and

Pete Bennett, with strong vocals and guitar, his rocky folk is direct, and engaging.

Pandora’s Living Room on K2K ft. Pete Bennett and Hazel Jane MacLaurin by Sarah Kate Michel on Mixcloud

Pandora’s Living Room on KtoK Radio

I am mightily excited!

I will be hosting my first living room gig… on live radio!
Tune in to KtoKRadio on Wednesday, the 22nd of May, 2013 from 2-3 for live music with some very very special people (I love special people, cos I’m special too):

Annee Patrice of Global Island Groove plays soul with a reggae twist, with beautiful smooth soulful vocals:

Also, Ana Graca Photography, will be in taking photos-Thom Byles plays mellow acoustic with a really interesting two handed slap technique- you got to see it to believe it!
Have a listen:

If you would like to play or be in the audience at Pandora’s Living Room on KtoK, then email me at pandorasdiary@gmail.com