Earlier this year Daylight Music celebrated their tenth anniversary and their 300th show. If you’re not familiar with the event it is a series of gigs that takes place at Union Chapel on selected Saturday afternoons from 12:00-14:00. Three acts play a short set each, there’s refreshments available from Union Chapel’s Margins Project Café and entrance is on a pay what you can basis (paying the suggested donation of £5 helps ensure some of the artists’ costs can be covered).
It’s a great chance to experience Union Chapel’s Gothic beauty during the day in a more relaxed way and has attracted a wide range of performers over the last ten years. It’s also fully family friendly and provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to enjoy live music while also introducing their children to it at the same time.
This writer has fond memories of watching the likes of Sean O’Hagan, Laetitia Sadier, Alexis Taylor, Withered Hand, The Cornshed Sisters, Martin Carr, Ed Dowie, Dream Themes and many, many more with his children (top Daylight Music-with-children tips: take advantage of the various vantage points in Union Chapel to help maintain children’s attention, research/listen at home to artists in the days leading up to the shows, take some drawing/colouring-in materials, buy cake).
Producing so many high quality, varied shows is a fantastic achievement by curator/programmer Ben Eshmade and his team of volunteers and they return for their summer season on Saturday 1st June.
The first show of their tenth anniversary summer season features The Slowest Lift (a duo of Sophie Cooper and Julian Bradley) who have been described as playing “a kind of gentle post-industrial psychedelia, a ghostly tapestry of earthen whirring, phantasmal resonances, sheets of textured skree and touching, hazy vocals”. Also playing will be Laura Jurd and Chris Batchelor who will strike more of an improvised jazz tone (having played with the recently reformed Loose Tubes and recently acclaimed new-jazz act Dinosaur). Finally, Sam Underwood and Beck Baker will be using tuba, horn and trombone as ORE to push things in a more experimental direction, creating what has been called a “drone, doom brass sound”.
On Saturday 8th June Daylight Music shows one of its many other sides as they welcome Jam Tarts Choir, Independent Country and Sarah Gonputh in what should be a fun event. Jam Tarts Choir are a Brighton based indie choral collective that perform all of your indie, post-punk, electro and Britpop favourites. Independent Country operate in a similar vein, but put a country spin on their chosen material. Sarah Gonputh will be opening the event, showcasing her love of vintage organs.
The show on Saturday 15th June has been given the title of ‘From Call To Choir’ and has a simple premise – the show will start with one singer and end with hundreds. They promise the biggest choir to play Daylight Music yet – this should be a memorable show. Daylight Music regular Piney Gir returns on Saturday 22nd June to head up another choir-themed show that also features ex Ralfe Band leader Oly Ralfe (who will be playing music from his debut solo piano album) and the English psychedelic sounds of Premium Leisure.
The show on Saturday 29th June is curated by pianist Xenia Pestova Bennett and will feature the debut of the Magnetic Resonator Piano, an intriguing new instrument which uses electromagnets in a grand piano to create beautiful sounds. The Ligeti Quartet will also be appearing as will London-based outfit Snowpoet. The show on 6th July meanwhile is curated by the staff and students from the music department of Goldsmiths College who will be presenting a programme of music celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landings. The season comes to a close on 13th July when the Britten Sinfonia Academy appear to play a programme of classical music informed by folk melodies.
It’s a varied programme that offers something for everyone, in one of London’s most atmospheric venues. They’re trying to broaden and increase their audiences so if you haven’t been along to a Daylight Music show yet this could be the time to start. We can’t think of many better ways to spend Saturday afternoons in June and July.
More details can be found here.