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

Portrait 

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 –

Pandorasdiary

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:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/electrofolk-vs-folk-at-the-sawmill-tickets-19725363092

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!)

Recording Smell the Roses –

A year ago I wrote smell the roses

10003601_10152354403236383_609580464_oas part of the national songwriting month challenge- a challenge to write a song a day for a month. The bonus is it’s supportive founder and community who actually spend time listening to each other’s daily offerings.

The song featured a lot of hastily recorded layering and since then the song has developed into a kind of group anthem with the audience providing backing vocals throughout.
As you might know, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with two fantastically talented musicians, David Naylor and flautist Maya Curry. For th

e recording I wanted to feature a group chant and backing vocals and invited a number of friends who had expressed interest in the project.

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We had a joyous 2 hours at Tigersonic recording in groups, shouting “stop at the tops of our voices ” and some beautiful angelic harmony parts provided by Gilly Spencer, James, Christie and Annee Patrice.
I hope even more people will join us in a flash mob to celebrate staying in the moment and enjoying the blessings around us.
The results will be used in a music video for “smell the roses.
We will be holding flash mobs in April in Holborn during rush hour and in Oxford circus during shopping madness. Exact dates and times will be announce via email/text/pm
If you fancy sharing joy with passers by and featuring in a music video, you can email pandorasdiary.com or send an SMS to 07411982461

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 –

 

Rise and Shine Launch Event – 7th of June in Winchmore Hill!

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On the 7th of June, I will be playing a “proper” gig- but of course in an unusual venue.
This is the concept of Rise and Shine- music in unusual venues.
This will be the first of their series of events, kicking off in Holy Trinity Church in Winchmore Hill, N21 3RS from 7pm; £7.50 entry

The event is organised by singer, producer and sound engineer Saran Headman, singer classical pianist, Yasmine Latkowski, and marketing expert and musician, Hazel Jane MacLauren.
The line up:

Mostly (www.themostly.org)

Pandorasdiary (www.pandorasdiary.com)

Hazel Jane MacLaurin (www.hazeljanemaclaurin.com)

Yasmine Latkowski (www.yasminelatkowski.com)

Saran Headman
That Blue Patch

Sam Rolles