With an aim to bring the magic back to live music, Sofar have a reputation for invite-only secret shows in living rooms across London. This makes them ideal Culture Section partners for the giant living room that is Sunday Papers Live.
Residing in the lesser-trodden crannies of north-east London, freak-rock four-piece HOO HAs draw as much inspiration from Dr Feelgood and JJ Cale as they do Blur, Violent Femmes and JaJa OK. HOO HAs formed when Kent friends Mark (guitar) and Jack (bass) relocated to the capital after stints performing with Liz Neumayr and John Newman respectively. Mark then met Adam (drums) when they both played in Hares, a band formed by ex-Holloways man Rob Skipper, through whom they then discovered singer Jamie at a party (where else?).
HOO HAs’ initial collective forays were comical blues jams, from which a more coherent, relevant sound emerged as the quartet focused on each song in its own entity, although their overall style is as distinct, and as earthy, as you’d expect from musicians who cite heroes as disparate as Dylan, Fugazi, Hendrix and Pixies. Add to this Jamie’s deadpan vocal style, which belies his clever off-kilter narratives about the 21st-century experience, and you have a clutch of literate, thrilling songs that at times make you laugh, sometimes make you shudder, but always keep you intensely entertained.
Founded in London and based… all over the place, Sofar Sounds is a global movement that brings the magic back to live music by hosting secret gigs in intimate and unique spaces for emerging and developing artists in front of passionate music fans, capturing shows in video and distributing across their channels.
As an international, mostly volunteer-led community, Sofar is about providing authentic cultural experiences and creating a sense of community around people’s love for music in cities all around the world. Sofar’s community – founded on openness, compassion and mutual respect – now spans over 310 cities in 60 countries around the world and runs about 500 shows per months (of which about 70 are taking place just in London).