You just can’t beat live music, can you? Our monthly guides preview forthcoming concerts on the island. Such as those organized by Sofar Sounds Gran Canaria.
We’ll begin by describing where you can catch a Sofar Sounds concert in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and explain a little about the concept behind the venture. Then we’ll outline what you can expect to see at a Sofar Sounds Gran Canaria show. Ending with details of when you can do this.
1. Sofar Sounds Gran Canaria: where it’s at
Sofar (an acronym for Songs from a Room) Sounds is less a business and more a global network of music lovers. Since 2009, it’s connected bands with venues and punters. Born out of frustration in London’s Shoreditch, founders Dave Alexander, Rafe Offer, and Rocky Start sought to bring intimacy back to the world of live music by holding their first show in Alexander’s north London abode.
Eight years on, Sofar Sounds now regularly put on events in over 350 cities worldwide. Such as New York which has hosted a live performance from Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ frontwoman Karen O who Mr Gran Canaria Local once threw a shoe at. But we digress.
Since 2016, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has been one of the host cities. You apply for tickets in advance and then receive an email telling you’re one of the lucky few to receive a Charlie-and-the-Chocolate-Factory-style golden ticket. Or one explaining that unfortunately you’ve missed out this time but to try again in future.
On the actual day of the concert, those lucky few receive a further email revealing where the concert will take place. Now, Gran Canaria’s roughly the same size as Greater London but its capital is considerably smaller. Which means there are far, far fewer venues.
Currently, there’s not much suspense as to where the gig will be on. As Vegueta art gallery CAAM has hosted each of the Sofar Sounds Gran Canaria concerts. However, it’s a large space with more than one building and the latest show, which we went along to, was held on the roof overlooking the Cathedral de Santa Ana.
2. Sofar Sounds Gran Canaria: what
Whilst the likes of London and New York have seen some of the biggest international stars play, Sofar Sounds Gran Canaria tend to feature local musicians who nonetheless are well known throughout Spain. The whole central concept of Sofar is that you don’t know who’s playing until they’re announced on stage. And that the three acts you’ll play will be treated equally with the running order irrelevant; there’s no such thing as a support slot or headliner at a Sofar Sounds Gran Canaria event.
In the past, some of our favourite bands have played these CAAM shows. Including hillbillies turned sophisticates following a Gallic sojourn, Birkins, and languid pop rockers: The Good Company. Along with Ennio Morricone acolyte, Said Muti.
We were not so familiar with the line-up of the most recent Sofar Sounds Gran Canaria event. First to play was Senegal troubadour Nayaban Jean whose songs with a message reminded us of a mash up of Brazil’s Seu Jorge and the Emerald Isle’s very own Christy Moore. Next-up’s psychedelic footstompers Château Rouge premiered tracks from their recently-released debut album whilst instrumental showstoppers Manoucheando Swing were everything the Gipsy Kings would be if they travelled back in time to the 1940s and found they had lost their voices.
3. Sofar Sounds Gran Canaria: when
Sofar Sounds Gran Canaria’s more or less a monthly event. We attended the Saturday 8th July show. Please be aware there is no concert scheduled for August, so you’ll have to wait until September to join the lottery of Gran-Canaria’s music-loving fraternity in applying for a ticket.
Disclaimer: All Sofar Sounds Gran Canaria events are free. When you apply for a ticket, you’ll have the option of adding a +1 if you don’t want to go to the gig by yourself. Heineken provide free beer but it’s very much a whilst-stocks-last affair.