When I first moved to Hackney, I stumbled across an event in a crypt on a Sunday afternoon. It isn’t as creepy as it sounds. In fact, what I found there filled me with a slightly overwhelming sense of warm joy and joyful warmth. If that sounds like hyperbole, I can’t really admit that it is.
Acoustic Sundays are a bit like church services, but secular, chatty and fun – and with optional gin. Every month, a smorgasbord of up-and-coming musicians perform to an eclectic, friendly audience, fuelled by food and drink from local businesses.
The events are organised by SoundAdviceUK, a Hackney-based organisation that describes itself as “a music and media community that supports live music at no cost to the musicians”.
This Sunday’s line-up includes street musicians The Debt Collective, South London guitar band Eastern Barbers, the Laura Marling-inspired Lucy Evans and Diligent Indolent, a singer-songwriter who plays, in his words, “metal-inspired acoustic janglings”. The music starts at 2.30pm with an open mic session, with booked acts starting at 3.30pm until 8pm.
SoundAdviceUK is staffed by volunteers and unfunded, so all acts perform out of the goodness of their hearts but are rewarded by a professionally edited video of their performance.
The event is about “invigorating communities”, says Dominic Kasteel, co-director of Individio Media, the production company that runs SoundAdviceUK. Like most of us, Kasteel believes “happy communities are important” and says Acoustic Sundays aims to create an atmosphere “akin to a joyous Sunday afternoon in a rustic, Mediterranean-esque village square”.
Acoustic Sunday Circus is on Sunday 4th October 2015 from 2–8pm at St Peter’s Crypt, Northchurch Terrace, De Beauvoir, Hackney, N1 4DA. Entry is free.