I have read and seen about the growing number of house shows happening in the UK and Sofa Sessions is one that we have been keen to play for a while. I have played a number of house shows before, a couple of years ago and I released a live album ‘Four Walls’ recorded at house shows (this was before I was working much more with Rachel). Anyway Sofa Sessions was one of the most amazing house shows I’ve ever played.
Kettering is only about a 45 minute drive from Coventry and so we arrived in good time. Rachel, the lovely host, had given pretty cryptic instructions about finding her home. An alleyway, a white door and a series of steps! We followed the instructions and low and behold we found ourselves on the top floor of the original Doc Martins factory which is a listed building. This is Rachel’s home. A pretty open plan, vintage apartment and in the corner is a small Pa, lights and plenty of stools. Bloomin’ amazing!
We met up with Sean Taylor, who I had been hearing wonderful things about for a long time. Sean is a proper troubadour, playing shows up and down the country, wherever anyone will let him. He is a true gent, more of that later. The food… Not just any old food but a full on veggie feast! Spinach bake, chill, rice and loads of other delights cooked very kindly by Rachel fair hand.
After eating too much food the invited audience began to arrive. It wasn’t long before 30 people had arrived and filled Rachel’s home up. Our Suitcase Shop caught peoples eyes on the way in.
We were kindly introduced by Rachel and welcomed by the lovely people gathered. People listened and really interacted with it. One of the things I really like about house shows it how the audience are able to interact more. They bantered, heckled and clapped creating a very warm atmosphere. We really enjoyed playing and sharing stories about our songs. Our cover of The Power of Love went down well. It’s really interesting to think how we have made our of version of that song and how much we have developed it from when we first played it with Jess Morgan last year.
After a short break it was time for Sean to play. He was a wonderful performer and a great guitarist. His music is bluesy but also folky. Sean has a gentle whispery voice so draws in the listeners and captures them! He played a delightful set which included much toilet banter as unfortunately for the audience to pop to the toilet meant having to walk in front of everyone! I really liked the way Sean used a delay pedal on his guitar, I might dig mine out and try it out!
By 10.30pm Sean had finished and everyone stayed around chatting and buying albums. Rachel continued to talk about other shows she has planned at her home, she really is a champion for live music! Sofa Sessions is a brilliant place to connect with live music and we thoroughly enjoyed playing.