Friday, 13 April 2018

Going it alone - Ben Marwood (and more) at JT Soar

JT Soar is a strange, secretive venue. Once a wholesale greengrocers, it still keeps its old frontage but, a bit like a speakeasy dive from America's prohibition years, hides something very different behind that exterior. There's no hard liquor on sale, though; it's strictly bring-your-own. The space is bare, there are few chairs but after all you've come to listen to musicians so does that matter? Not really, or at least not till I get cramp in the middle of the night!

Ben Marwood
I've been there quite a lot in this last year - to see Sean McGowan just before he got signed to a recording label, for my daughter's EP launch, and numerous other occasions  - so when I found out George Gadd (yep, seen him there too) was promoting a gig with three singer/songwriters, ALL of whom I wanted to see live, I got OH to give up his running and go out on a Friday night instead. 

She Makes War

The music aspect of the evening was great - George himself first to warm up the crowd, followed by Helen Chambers, She Makes War, and Ben Marwood. I loved all of them, and would go see any of them again but, sorry Ben and Helen, She Makes War (aka Laura Kidd) was the 'find' of the night. I've been following her on social media for a while, hearing new songs via her newsletter, but it was somehow only live that I thought I MUST hear more of her, so I bought a CD. 
Disarm - She Makes War

George Gadd immortalised on stickers

Something I hadn't expected from the evening, though, was to be taken aback by my daughter's absence. We've been to to gigs without her before, when she was away at uni, busy with something else, or on holiday. Lots in little pub venues, As December Falls at Rescue Rooms, Frank Turner at Rock City ... but I only realised on the night that every time I'd been to JT Soar my daughter had been performing there, and frequently promoting the event (meaning I'd spend part of my time taking money on the door!). Now of course she's off living her own life and us old parents have either got to stay home or  pretend we're really hip and know all about the contemporary folk scene, and bluff it out. Well, I'm not staying home!
 It definitely made things a little sad and weird to be there without her, and it really felt like I was stepping outside my comfort zone. It wasn't something I intended adding to my #60NewThings list, but turns out it is - going it alone with no daughter-shaped safety net. Thank you, George, for not thinking we'd strayed into the wrong place, and were really looking for some cheap fruit and veg :)


  1. I'm glad you are not staying at home! This sounds like a fascinating venue and is one that I prefer to the huge stadium gigs which can feel a little soulless. I can understand that it must have felt strange without your daughter but I bet she loved hearing all about it. Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

  2. Oh Mary there you go again making us all look really boring! I love these kind of venues that are more intimate, they have more character. Glad you are still out and about and rocking your stuff! #TweensTeensBeyond

  3. #bluffingitout as you should be Mary. What an absolutely cool venue. That place is just oozing with edginess. People would be queuing for miles if it were here in London! And you can take your own too. Even better. I imagine you did your daughter proud. Thanks for sharing with us at #tweensteensbeyond Mary


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