The Week in Music: Sofar so good for the gig-goers who enjoy the sound of silence
If people chatting throughout gigs is, for you, a constant source of irritation, sign up to Sofar Sounds. Back in 2010, three friends frustrated with the London live scene decided to reinvent it and launched a movement of secret gigs in front rooms. It has since spread to New York, and now Edinburgh.
To date, more than 2,500 rising artists – Lucy Rose, The Staves, and Robert Pattinson included – have played stripped-back, intimate sets to respectful audiences and it's become a hotspot for A&Rs hunting new talent. Many have had their big break at a Sofar gig. Brit-nominees Bastille received their first Radio 1 airplay after Huw Stephens's producer saw them, while Josh Record signed to Virgin after three heads of A&R for major labels attended one of his earliest shows. To celebrate their success, Sofar are releasing a compilation CD on 10 March, featuring 13 tracks by artists who have performed gigs this past year.
Jamming site helps Barât to spread the word
Carl Barât received more than 1,000 applications from musicians hoping to join his new band. The newly launched meetandjam.com might have aided his mission. The site allows musicians to seek band members for jamming sessions, and enables the booking of rehearsal and recording time in studios.
Battle-ready dance-rock duo are taking off
London duo Public Service Broadcasting had one of the most thrilling albums of 2013 with Inform-Educate-Entertain, melding propulsive dance-rock with samples drawn from Second World War-era British newsreels. Now they are set to bring their War Room EP, including "Spitfire", to life at the most fitting of venues – the RAF Museum in Hendon – for three shows in May.
Damon Albarn could sell out the O2 Arena twice over. But instead he is playing two intimate London shows to showcase his debut solo album, Everyday Robots, at the plush Rivoli Ballroom on 30 April, and the Art Deco People's Palace at Queen Mary University, on 1 May. Tickets are on sale.
Gig of the week
We're spoilt for choice with Prince popping up all over town, Brooklyn punk-rockers Parquet Courts at London's Electric Ballroom on Sunday, and Beyoncé opening her Mrs Carter Show at Glasgow's Hydro on Thursday. That same day, St Vincent brings her beloved art-rock to London's Shepherd's Bush Empire.
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