Sitting crossed-legged on the floor in the roof of a warmly lit yoga studio was exactly what the doctor ordered for a low-key Friday night in Hackney. With filament bulbs strung from the beams above us and a makeshift spotlight illuminating the tiny stage shrouded in house plants, Coate Studios welcomed a huge audience for a sold-out Sofar Sounds gig – a common sight now for this highly established organisation, boasting an impressive 5 shows taking place across London alone that night.

Sofar Sounds is the brainchild Rafe Offer who wanted to turn the spotlight on growing artists without the right place to perform or people to listen. Sofar Sounds has grown from its humble begins in living rooms of north London, to becoming a global community with gigs happening in over 441 cities globally.

The events showcase the talents of rising artists, offering them a space to try out new material in front of willing crowds in an acoustic setting. Friday’s Hackney show was no exception with the insanely talented Jack Hall, Lilith ai and Family Fiction treating us to a bevvy of beautifully varied performances.

Unlike any gig I’ve ever attended, the audience was lulled into silence as each act took its turn. Kicking off the night was Jake Hall, a spoken word artist who performed a selection of poems from 2 of his published books. His performance was equal part poignant and hilarious as he captivated the room with his poetry revolving around themes of grief, addiction and loss, interjected with his stand-up worthy one-liners.

Lilith ai graced the stage next with an ethereal glow and electric guitar. Fresh off the back of her debut Glastonbury performance this summer, she returned to Sofar to play some fresh tunes to intently listening ears. Singing her own experiences of a hectic modern life, her personality shone throughout suiting the space perfectly and, for me, encompassed what Sofar sounds is all about.

Brighton based band Family Fiction closed the night, turning the energy and volume up a notch. The four-piece had the audience in the palm of their hand as they moved confidently between their old and new ‘transatlantic- indie’ inspired compositions. We were endeared by the rawness of lead singer Sean’s voice as he lubricated it with lager, and their clear passion for the scene their moving within, rightfully bringing the house down as the curtain fell on another successful Sofar Sounds.

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