[By Lynne Chapman in Sheffield, UK] Over the last couple of weeks, John and I have enjoyed two wonderfully intimate evenings of live music at Cafe#9 in Sheffield. It is probably our favourite place in the city at the moment and just happens to be a 5 minute walk from our front door. Perfect.
This was The Washboard Resonators on Thursday:
It's a regular cafe in many ways, except that it is owned by Jonny, who is a local musician, and is staffed by his musician friends, so Cafe#9 is a regular haunt for people with a musical leaning and for bohemian types in general. Artists are, of course, very welcome!
There's always a good album playing and any time that you pop in for a coffee, there could be casual live music happening, especially on summer afternoons. But they are increasingly hosting evening gigs too. Thing is, it's a tiny place. It generally houses about 20 people. For music evenings they can squeeze in 35 at a real push. Which means they are gigs with a difference.
You can just spot John and I at the back of this photo, which was taken a couple of weekend's back, through the goldfish tank above the piano, hence the ghostly, floating goldfish:
Because I was with friends, I didn't sketch the whole evening, but couldn't resist whipping out my book when the Goat Roper Rodeo Band began their set. They describe their music as 'cosmic country blues' - great harmonies but also very lively stuff, lots of jumping up and down all the time, which made them quite a challenge to capture.
There is a truly unique atmosphere to these music evenings. They are slightly different to the music pub nights. It is all so cosy! With everyone tucked up so close to each other and the band, it's like the artists are performing in your sitting room.
In fact, there is an occasional event at the cafe called Gig in Me Lounge, which originally began with a bunch of friends playing in one guy's lounge but, in recent times, they have progressed to using Cafe#9.
These two sketches were done during the last Gig in Me Lounge evening, back in November. It turned out that I was not the only sketcher in the room on that occasion. Just a few feet away, Sampa Mulenga, who I first met when we were both sketching in a local park, was also drawing Maddy Paddy:
Whoever is playing at the cafe, the music is always really good and there is always the same relaxed, informal feeling. We are so lucky to have it just around the corner.