Hastings Sofar Sounds: secret live music performances

In an unassuming house, down a regular road in Hastings, on a normal Wednesday night, we shared an intimate gig with three incredible artists to celebrate Pride, and hear the music that they pour their heart and souls into (oh, and a little sassiness when needed.)

Knowing about Sofar Sounds feels a lot like being a part of a special secret club of people in the know. Gathering together in different locations every few months to hear some truly talented people play their music, sitting on sofas, cushions, the floor, standing in doorways, and sharing a bottle of something with your friends that you brought with you. The only thing that’s missing is a secret password.

Sofar Sounds Hastings is run by a team of passionate individuals who scout amazing venues, discover talented artists, and manage the exclusive list of those lucky enough to get a ticket. The way it works is that guests apply for a ticket, pay their £10 ticket fee, and then get an email to tell them whether they’re in shortly after. A few days before the event, the people on the guest list are emailed the venue location, but the artists are not revealed until the night; so you never know what you’re going to get!

This time we were treated to the soulful tones of Jack Francis. Think if Newton Faulkner and Jack Johnson had a baby; that baby would sound a heck of a lot like Jack Francis. With a quick hop, skip and a jump from Southampton, and braving Southern Rail, Jack was here to spoil us with some stunning, goosebump-inducing music. Jack was the perfect opening to the gig, with the whole crowd hanging on every stunning note. I’d highly recommend you take a listen to his song, ‘Shortcut’.

Jack Francis serenading the audience with his incredible voice

Up next was one of my favourite local artists, whom I’ve been lucky enough to see perform a number of times, and every single time I am blown away by her sheer talent.

Elisha Edwards’ voice is like honey.

Her songwriting skills are raw and real, and full of emotion. She can make you feel empowered and sassy, as if someone has seen right into your brain and put into words the things you didn’t know could be verbalised. Her and her band made everyone in the room feel like time had stood still, enchanting us with her cheeky personality and profound insight.

Elisha and her band

Lastly, was Timberlina, the World's No. 1 eco-bearded drag lady. Niche, but impressive nonetheless. Singing with her pianist, together named ‘The Agitated Piano Cabaret’; they started the set by singing about existential crises, and then went on to cover topics such as ocean plastics, our love affair with any and every type of milk, carbon footprints, geothermal energy, and recycling. Her upbeat and hilarious songs juxtaposed with these very serious issues made for the perfect opportunity to raise awareness, without sounding like a broken record; (pun intended.)

Timberlina, the World's No. 1 eco-bearded drag lady

By the end of the night the whole room was singing the line “carbon footprint, can’t you take a hint,” together over and over, and no doubt it’s still stuck in their heads two days later, as it is in mine.

This ‘secret club’ as such operates in over 438 cities worldwide, and Hastings well and truly deserves to be one of them. There is no date confirmed just yet for the next Sofar Sounds in Hastings, but we will keep you posted. The secrets out, see you next time?