Sunday, 19 April 2009

The right place at the right time

The outside of the pub as seen from the men's urinal. © Magnus Andersson

I went to catch up with my friend Sara in a quiet pub the other night, close to where she works in Farringdon. Neither of us had been there before, we just happened to chance upon it; the evening was nice so we had a beer outside.

Solo song from the brilliant guitarist/singer top left-ish. © Magnus Andersson

Soon though, musician after musician started turning up, one after the other with their instrument cases. After about 10 of them had arrived I had to ask what was going on.

Beginners to experts, all were welcome. © Magnus Andersson

It turns out that every first Monday of the month they are gathering there for a session in Greek, Cypriot and Byzantine music, and we were in the right place at the right time. Everyone was welcome, and it was free.

More musicians than spectators. © Magnus Andersson

For most of the night there were more musicians than there were people in the audience, with lots of musicians popping in and out of the session. We met some really nice people who explained the songs to us and I was invited to bring my own guitar for the next session so that I could start playing these songs myself.

Some traditional Greek dancing. © Magnus Andersson

Bouzoukis of all sizes were most prominently featured, but there were also guitars, violins and cellos, along with some percussion and an accordion and of course lots of voices singing, and towards the end, some Zorba style dancing too. It was quite incredible to hear 20+ musicians playing and singing the same song. I cant remember the name of the pub, will update here once I get the facts.

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