Star Whores unleashed

This was the most fun I’ve had recording and making a video –
Thank you to friends, new couchsurfer friends and passersby in munich and london who joined us in embracing our innergeek!
Happy Star Whores Day! May the 4th be with you

If you liked the video, please share it with people who might find this entertaining. x
Or get you own ringtone pack and copy of the song to freak out your friends

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 –

 

Secret Living Room Kentish Town

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Trailer for Living Room Documentary :)

The Living Room Tour – Trailer from Pandorasdiary on Vimeo.

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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.
https://www.facebook.com/frenchforrabbits?ref=ts&fref=ts
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

Day 9: Couchsurfing the Dark Room and Other Animals

Just got a couch in Nancy!!!
With Leo, a beautiful person- a seamstress, a violinist, an actress songwriter, director photographer!

Couchsurfing-

Or
?

Part of the living room thing is due to my passion for couchsurfing- which means hosting strangers and being hosted by strangers- it can be in a bed or on a couch or a floor…

Some of the places I have couchsurfed included a villa with security guard and swimming pool and a kindergarten.
People have come from far flung destinations such as New York, Indonesia, La Reunion, Estonia, Cornwall (!) and Canada to sleep on my sofa in Barnet, North London from 1 night to 2 months..

Now we will be couchsurfing the “Dark Room” in Nieuwegein.
Our host, Ischa, a percussionist and fire juggler, and his 10 housemates, has loads of lovely references and has been super helpful..
However the description of the room is ominous-
The dark room is so-called because it has no windows… And there is a second reason too, which you will find out when you arrive.. Will tell you more when we get there!

Day 14: Danny’s Living Room – Yasmine’s Homecoming

Danny Clark, Yasmine’s best childhood friend, invited Yasmine and me to Lincoln to play an intimate belated birthday gig in her cosy dragon and book filled living room.
We are always up for adventure, especially when it involves living rooms and music (yes, we’re special that way!) and two days later, we were in a car on our way to Lincoln.
About half way, we stopped at a motorway petrol station to fill up, and the attendant was drumming to the beat of his internal tabla;
“All together?” dak dak drak go the fingers.
“Yes-“ I said.
“34.65” drak dak da dak dak da dak dak
“Are you a musician?”
“Yes.” He grins. “I’m a singer and am working on album, my ep’s just been released.”
“We’re musicians too! Where can we find you? Soundcloud?”
“Yes, soundcloud. Subesh.”
“Space?”
“Su-besh.” He pointed to his name tag. Ah. Subesh… See you on soundcloud!”
“Yes, hope to see you on soundcloud!”

So… from petrol station promotion near Grantham to… Lincoln.


It may have been our smallest audience so far, but it was a magical evening for us all.
According to Yasmine, our host, Danny, doesn’t usually sing in front of an audience.
I don’t claim to be a great performer or musician. I write songs from my heart, and strum to the beat. But what is becoming increasingly clear is the purpose of these living room concerts. I have a gift. We have a gift to share with our hosts and audiences in living rooms across Europe. That gift is music, that everyone has the ability to appreciate and make music, and this sharing of music is forging connections between human beings, a connection to our creative souls. And it seems to be inspiring people to get back in touch with that side of themselves. It is amazing to see the “I can” look on faces. I am so humbled by this, and so sure that what I’m doing is right.
According to Yasmine, Danny doesn’t sing in front of audiences. Not only did Danny sing, but she also played the piano and the bodhrán to accompany Yasmine on the keyboard and me and my guitar.
The keyboard provided a special homecoming for Yasmine- it used to be her keyboard and has all sorts of recordings from her past.
Tank, who didn’t think he should bring his guitar to play, turned out to have a lovely smooth mellow voice and has even written a number of songs himself. We rotated, taking turns performing and accompanying each other.
Jon-Paul even played his one and only song called the “Plinky Song” which Yasmine transposed to the piano and called the “Plonky Song”. Ok. We were being special.
The living room concerts we have played in 4 living rooms in the UK for audiences from as few as 5 to more than 20. It has been great preparation to prepare for what might await us on our travels, in Europe. We come bearing the gift of hope, inspiration and renewed trust in human kindness. What could be more fitting from a performer named Pandorasdiary?
Every concert has made me smile to myself, honoured, blessed and humbled, amazed at what is being created in each living room we visit.

Yasmine, with Danny on bodhrán

Wake Up

Day 19 A Weekend of Couch Concerts: Chapter 2- Drayton Park

On Sunday the 17th, we were invited by Leoncia and Raf to their lovely flat near Drayton Park for an afternoon living room concert.

It was a chilled affair sharing some lovely baguette with brie and grapes, red velvet cupcakes and nibbles served with wonderful music from

Leoncia aka Leonheart, Pandorasdiary and Yasmine

And poetry recitals from Aisha and Jamilla- perhaps the youngest and most audacious examples of this vanishing art.

Thank you to Leoncia, Raf and Georgie for hosting – especially Leoncia for the copious cups of coffee/tea etc. and videoing everything
To:
Roz and Kevin
Bess and Nessima
Yasmine and Anne
Adam for coming to take photos
Janis and Nessima for the lovely cupcakes
Tino x

More photos and footage to follow.

Day 20: A weekend of couch concerts- Chapter 1 45c studios

Chapter 1 Winchmore Hill – 45c Studios
45c Studios – hosted by the marvellous Jimmy James

I don’t think words can describe the amazing slushy feeling I had after this beautiful evening.
Imagine: a starlit living room, with a sparkling baby grand, 3 guitars, a cello and a violin in a living room filled with talented people. Some know each other, some don’t.

piano

By the end of the evening, new friends have been made, music shared- and promises to meet again after the living room documentary is completed to share and view it.

Read more from Claudia: blog and her animation and much much more: Princess and Coyotes
Listen to more from:
Rosie Lacey
Annee Patrice
Leahy Ardon
Jimmy James

Ayshe and Zac
(Was even more powerful live!)

The concept worked- even better than I imagined. Still flying 🙂

Thank you to the Jimmy Tree and Cruz Irie X for photography and footage.

Day 21: Winchmore Hill Couch Concert

15 days to lift off; 21 days of crowdfunding to go-
Tonight we are playing a secret location in Winchmore Hill with brilliant guest acts there are 2 invitations left- if you would like to come and watch you can pm me facebook.com/pandorasdiary or email sarah.michel@gmail.com on the event site and I will send you the address.

Starring
Our marvellous host, Mr Jimmy James, producer, rapper, film-maker, logic master… (the list goes on)

Yasmine Latkowski, classically trained pianist and vocalist, with a unique, haunting vibe.

Yours truly, Pandorasdiary, with some guest stars, including LT, and Mina Sassoon on violin.

Ayshe Naomi- with Jimmy James & Zac

LT is an mc raw, honest lyrics, collaborating with many genres.

Rosie Lacey, kick-ass indie songwriter with strong lyrics from the melancholy to the hilarious.

Mina Sassoon, Persian-English Folk on the ukelele.

Leahy, celloist and songwriter.

Also:
Alexandra Ricaurd
Zachris Pensar
Daniel Alejandro