Sunday, 24 November 2013

Review: Sofar Sounds Tour - Oxford, 15th November 2013

On the fourth night of its tour, in which 3 up-and-coming bands travelled around the country, the Sofar Sounds team stopped off in Merton College's MCR - a beautiful old room with oak beams which provided a a quirky setting for the evening. With a small audience and banter amongst the bands, the atmosphere had a sense of the informality and intimacy for which Sofar nights are known.

Wolf Alice opened with an acoustic version of 'Fluffy', a beautifully haunting song, freshly interpreted from the studio version. The vocal harmonies carried well in the small room, and the mix of female and male voices created a rich sound despite the lack of amplification. Taken from their new EP, 'Blush' had an elegant simplicity, perfectly suiting relaxed nature of the evening.

Sivu, (the Finish translation for his surname, 'Page') followed with a single acoustic guitar and no accompaniment. He won over the audience not only with his melodious voice, but with his declaration that Oxford is nicer than Cambridge, despite coming from the latter.

Dancing Years are old hands on the Sofar circuit, having played at numerous evenings around the country already. Their set was beautifully gentle, almost like a lullaby, whilst still managing to engage with the audience. Honest and simple, their music provided the perfect send-off into the cold Autumn air outside.

Held in cities all over the world, Sofar nights have become renowned for their unique venues and performances. If you haven't yet attended one, it's worth checking out their website - it's a truly wonderful way of experiencing music without any commercialisation. Not only is it a chance to see bands play in smaller settings than they perhaps are used to, complete strangers are united by a love of music that ensures it's an evening you certainly won't forget.
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