Wintery Blues, and Old Cinema, and a Gig Unheard Of...
SoFar Midland - an intimate music gig for lovers of music
A wintery Thursday evening in August and as most people are gearing up to head home and keep warm during the winter months, some venture out to see what Perth has on offer for local and amazing entertainment.
An unknown and unheard of location is disclosed to the music-loving faithful the night before the next gig: the location of the next SofarSounds Event. The venue turns out to be an old cinema building. Venturing from the Fremantle train line and heading more inland and towards the terrain of the hills, comes an old suburb, named Midland.
For those unaware of the SoFar Sounds movement, it is a global incentive to keep the music industry intimate and personal, moving away from loud, boisterous and overcrowded gigs where an event goer may struggle to hear the artist. SofarSounds can be experienced in over 400 cities throughout the world and it is kept so secretive that those few lucky attendees aren’t notified of the location until 24 hours before the gig takes place… quietly being notified is the best way sometimes.
It’s the 19th of August and in an unoccupied space of an old cinema building in the suburb of Midland, the reddish glow of the building makes it almost unrecognisable to those outside. But come into the space and it's a relaxed, cool and somewhat funky room with carpeted floors, fairy lights overhead and an intimate stage in front. The audience is slowly drifting into the building, with chairs under one arm, an esky in the other and wearing beaming smiles and intrigued faces, trying to find a good place to set up a picnic to view tonight’s entertainment.
As winter-goers start popping sparkling wine, beer and nibbles, the atmosphere is relaxed and anticipation is waiting for the first act of three.
First, the introduction with Paul Clegg, the organiser of SoFar Perth, talks about the history of SoFar Sounds and the itinerary for the evening, as well expressing a special thank you to the guests for venturing out on a cold and slightly miserable Thursday evening.
First on stage with guitar in swing, is a soft and attentive singer by the name of George Dacheff. This local artist introduced their songs with a small synopsis behind why they created each song, the audience is settling in and the sound of clinking glass and open faces watch over their unique performance with just an acoustic guitar at hand.
In between each set, there is a 10 or so minute break where audiences turn and chat with one another whether they came together, met some friends there or new people in amongst the crowd.
The second act is a young artist, Kate Hindle, who has driven to Perth for the SoFar Midland gig from Collie and likes to claim country music moniker.
At this point, I start to understand and acknowledge the lengths that some music artists go to, to attain exposure and to play at a different type of event.
The artist summarises the night beautifully by saying that it is the audience that sometimes creates the ambience and mood of a performance, which is a gentle reminder that bigger and louder performances aren’t always better.
With the help of a Johnny Cash song, the audience is joining in with the performance by swaying, tapping and gently singing along, all the while the atmosphere remains quiet and watchful.
Ending the night is a three-person band by the name of Holy Smoke. Empowering gospel singers, who end the night with a strong sound with intense vocals and impressive guitar and pianist chords, which resonates and reverberates against the building walls.
At the end with a quick thank you from Paul to all involved including;
Thomas and Andrew from Front Runner AV - https://www.frontrunnerav.com.au/,
Lewis of Lewis Martin Photography - https://lewismartinphotography.com/
as well as special mention to those hosting the evening including;
the City of Swan, https://www.swan.wa.gov.au/Home
and SpacetoCo, https://www.spacetoco.com/
As the night concluded, I sat at the back and watched as guests talked about the best parts of the gig while packing away their picnics and collecting their rubbish, and although the pandemic has reduced the ability to go out and experience live gigs and performances, here in Perth we are so lucky to be able to immerse ourselves still in the culture of the arts.
Spaces that are often left bare, and unused, like in this case of an old cinema, where some lights and strategically placed carpet, one can transform a space into a creative, quirky space for entertainment. You never know where the next SoFarSounds gig may be held, but rest be assured, it’s something worth catching.
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