Review: Sofar Sounds

On Sunday, I embarked on my first ever Sofar Sounds gig. Founded in 2009, Sofar’s ethos is to “reimagine live music” by hosting intimate gigs all over the world with a secret line-up in unassuming spaces, all to encourage a better connection between the artist and the listener.

I, being a Sofar virgin, didn’t know what to expect. The venue doesn’t get announced until the day before the event, which adds an extra layer of mystery but in a place like St Andrews, you’re bound to have a connection to it regardless. I didn’t, but I’m but a humble fresher still navigating my way through uni life.

So we get to the venue, a cosy living room by the pier, and try to find a place to sit. Sofar gigs are renowned for having the audience packed like sardines since the venues tend to be small but it’s a great icebreaker regardless. If you would rather have a choice as to where to sit, maybe get there early instead of 2 minutes before the start like I did.

So there I am, huddled into a corner of the floor, side against the burning radiator and regretting wearing Fila Disruptors and the room goes hush. We get a small talk from one of the event organisers about Sofar as a whole, and a run-down of the now revealed line-up. On that evening, we were graced with Asthmatic Harp, Elisabeth Elektra and Mauvey. Each artist brought something different but equally special to the night – Asthmatic Harp’s calming melodies, Elisabeth Elektra’s dynamic stage presence and Mauvey’s soulful voice.

What I like about Sofar is the opportunity to hear artists where you otherwise wouldn’t and truly experience the music in a room of like-minded people since they are likely just as clueless as to who they are as you. If there’s one phrase I can use to describe the experience, it’s good vibes. The atmosphere was very welcoming and cosy, and I’ve never experienced music like that before. I’ve been to live gigs before, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something about being in such an intimate setting that really works for itself. Not all gigs should be jumping up and down to the beat, sometimes it’s nice to just chill out with nice people to vibey music, personal space be damned.

Sofar are holding another event on Sunday the 8th March and I’d highly recommend you go, you can bet that I will be.

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