We thought we’d start a segment of our website where we give shouts outs people making cool things happen in London, and around the world.
A few years ago, Max Benoist – a French expat from beautiful Montpellier – found himself travelling around Europe reviewing different open stages in each of the cities he went to. With a background in web design and photography, what started off as a small database of these open mics he had gone to morphed into a huge directory of over 600 open mics around the world and a global community of artists who have played at them. Settling in London a couple years ago, Max and his GOOT business partner Valerio Lysander now run two very popular weekly open mics, and have recently partnered up with St John’s Church in Hoxton where they plan the monthly ‘Sanctuary’ series’.
GOOT also offers stunning (and budget-friendly!) video production. Max’s signature ‘One Shot Session’ live videos have now been made for over 40 artists, which are all displayed and promoted through the elegant GOOT website. You can see who has done a session, where they’ve played around the world, and read all about who they are and where they came from through their online profile.
His music videos are simple, beautiful, and really capture the essence of the performer. Want to see for yourself?! This one he did for Valerio Lysander’s ‘Cotton’ is our favourite.
In addition to all of the different hats he wears as music promoter, event planner, web designer, photographer, and film maker, Max is an extremely talented songwriter, with a unique folk-rap blend and lyrics in both French and English. And because he is just so darn talented, he makes all of his own videos – the most recent being his new single ‘Stylo‘ which features the visual stylings of Milena Milak.
Whew! We get exhausted just thinking about all of the things this guy can do!
Join the GOOT community and stay up to date with what they have coming up next by following them on the various platforms:
Here at Leila and Geoffrey, we’re helping quite a few artists embark on tours outside of their homelands. We are seeing that there is a growing demand for house concerts and alternative venues – Sofar Sounds almost not being able to accommodate the amount of people that want to attend the shows, the tickets are often very hard to grab hold of!
Who wants to tour to a country that you have no ties to, and play at a loud bar where few people come? The way of the house concert provides an intimate setting with an attentive audience that you can actually form a connection with. And there are some lovely platforms popping up that make it easy to do so.
Sofaconcerts is a Hamburg based company which connects artists directly with their hosts. With a huge database of hosts, with the majority being based in Germany, as well as France, Scandinavia, and the Netherlands – there are even some as far away as South Africa, Brazil, and Canada. You can search by radius of where you’ll be heading, so you can easily plan a route of spectacular venues along your way.
Low-Fi Concerts is a more recent site, it’s been around since 2015. Started by Anne Dvinge, who came up with the idea of wanting to create a global community for intimate concerts, she had built the beta platform within 10 weeks! Based in Copenhagen, the majority of the hosts are in that general area. Eager concert goers can look for gigs in their area, and purchase tickets directly from the site.
If you have any other favourite platforms you use, or have stories and photos about your favourite house concerts, please share them!
We’ve had the pleasure of being able to work with the beautiful London-based singer/songwriter IMAN. Her songwriting credits include the likes of Ed Sheerdan, Rudimental, and Kanye West, and now she’s releasing her own music under her own record label, Shop Front Records. Growing up in a household where her goals of working in music were actively discouraged, Iman made the courageous move to leave home at 16 to follow her dreams. This powerhouse was recently featured in Wonderland Magazine, and spoke of how she got to where she is now. Read the interview here
Listen to the most recent single, Wishing, on Spotify
Here at Leila & Geoffrey, we’re always looking for tips to share with our artist friends. We got really excited about this one!
The Help Musicians organisation launched a new program back in August – The Help Musicians Develop Fund. It is a fund to aid professional UK based-musicians access creative and professional development opportunities, both in the UK and internationally.
There are two streams:
The Transmission Fund – designed to help build careers by giving out grants between £500 – £1500, funding opportunities which allow musicians to focus on their development but supporting short courses, workshops, training, and coaching.
The Fusion Fund – offers £2,000 – £5,000 for musicians undertaking projects developing new work, ideas, and potential career directions through collaborative research.
We highly recommend researching more on the Help Musicians site!
There is so much help available, you just have to go look for it.
First of all, we’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who came out to LCPC’s big launch party a few weeks ago. It’s an exciting time, and we’re grateful to all who helped us celebrate this grand opening! The door is now open to this beautiful safe space. Whether it’s counselling you seek, or it’s you yourself who wishes to be a counsellor, LCPC offers a wide range of services. Low-cost appointments are available, as well as counselling courses – both certificate and diploma programs.
Also, there’s a pretty great deal if you pay a whopping £10 a year – become an LCPC member and receive a 10% discount on LCPC CPD events, talks and conferences. They’ve got some great events coming up, notably Michael Jacobs on November 25th who will be giving a workshop entitled ‘ Oedipus is Alive and Well’. Entrigued? Take a gander over here!
To cap off these exciting few weeks, Jason has been recently featured in a Daily Mail article to offer his insight on the growing number of women who ask their children not to call them ‘mum’.
Speaking to Maureen Brookbanks, he says ‘For some, there is a very real struggle in coming to terms with the life-long identity of being a mother…I suggest mums think carefully about the meaning and impact their demand not to be called Mum may have on their child. Relationships which use parental first names can still be very close, but why create a difference which the child will be impacted by?’
Read more about this phenomenon and what Jason has to say about it here
Leila & Geoffrey are excited to announce the launch of the Leicester Centre for Psychodynamic Therapy! What is this you may ask? A lot of people might be familiar with CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Psychodynamic Therapy differs in that it tries to get at why you feel or behave the way you do (i.e., uncover deeper and often unconscious motivations for feelings and behavior) whereas CBT does not. CBT simply attempts to alleviate suffering as quickly as possible by training your mind to replace dysfunctional thought patterns, perceptions, and behaviour.
The Centre is located on New Walk in Leicester, and will offer an informal way of engaging the community in understanding mental health. Founder Jason Hughes has an ethos of inclusivity, so the purpose of LCPC is to give everyone the opportunity to access counselling services but offering sessions for as little as a fiver!
Come celebrate the opening, which will happen from 6pm on Friday, July 21st.
The Leicester Centre for Psychodynamic Counselling
For those of you in the Bristol area tomorrow evening, September Song will be giving a rare performance in their hometown to celebrate the release of their new concept album, ‘The Arrogance of Time’. Taking place at the Cube Microplex, their set also features featuring ex-members of Kid Sinister and Wushcatte.
John Douglass lost many members of his family to cancer and dementia over the past few years. Songwriting was the way he channeled his emotions through this difficult time, and from this the songs for the album were born. The band gave an interview for 365 Bristol – to find out more about the album, give it a read here.
Supporting them will be Eyebrow – a Bristol-based trumpet/drum duo. Take a listen to them here.
To pick yourself up some last minute tickets, visit www.seetickets.com and enjoy the show!
Sula Mae had a very exciting first half of 2017, what with her new EP ‘Blind’ peaking at an impressive no.4 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter charts!
In her interview with Beat Media, Sula explained a little about the title track which you can watch below. ‘I fell for a teacher at the school I worked at. I managed to build up the courage to tell him and realised he didn’t feel the same, it was all just a fascination I’d built up in my head. So ‘Blind’ is about that experience, of falling really fast and hard for someone, then realising afterwards that you kind of went a bit crazy and it wasn’t real. But I think you have to put yourself out there into these uncomfortable, vulnerable spaces or you’d never learn a thing.’
We love how our artists are using their voices to speak about important issues in our society that need addressing. Like Mila Falls, who is about to launch her ‘Life Unlabelled’ workshops in Norwich, Sula ran the #takehername campaign, which encouraged the support of women in music for International Woman’s Day. She used her EP release show to collaborate with Laid Bare Live’s launch of a new monthly event – ‘Songbirds’ – a series at 93 Feet East created to celebrate talented women in the music industry. PRS for Music reported that their membership of over 95,000 songwriters and composers is only 13 per cent female. And reportedly, there have been cases of female writers pitching songs under a male pseudonym to give themselves a better chance. The #takehername campaign’s aim is to help society move on from pigeon holing female musicians by image and understand that good musicianship and songwriting is all that counts.
Sula’s writing was featured in The F Word, so you can read all about #takehername here
‘Mila is amply prepared for the spotlight, and has proven as much with her the recent release of her latest single’ – Beat Media
‘Mila channels positivity and you get the sense that music courses through her veins; you can almost hear it pulsating’ – Rock Shot Magazine
‘Transporting you somewhere glorious and giving ‘escapism’ an entirely new meaning, this track delivers smooth tones, sung in a modulated fashion mixed with an understated cool’ – Niji Magazine
These are just some of the things that people have been saying about Mila Falls’ new single, ‘Guilty Pleasure! It is an intoxicating, upbeat track, which celebrates how wonderful that feeling is it is to feel truly alive. Give it a watch here:
And it’s no rest for the wicked – freshly off a successful BBC Radio tour, and currently preparing to perform on the party islands this summer, Mila has also begun the ‘Life Unlabelled’ Campaign with our very own Amy Walshe! ‘Life Unlabelled’ hopes to help challenge the stigma of mental health issues. Starting in Norwich, Mila is planning a series of workshops in schools and community organisations around the UK. The workshops will focus on the use of creative writing, poetry, song writing, and visual art to get young people talking about their anxieties. Having suffered with anxiety and depression, Mila sees music not only has her means to live, but also as a tool to get her through the day.
To learn more about when Mila will next be coming to you, sign up for our mailing list and stay up to date!
Luke Carey’s second EP ‘Stencils’ topped the likes of Ed Sheeran and Tom Odell reaching No 2 in the iTunes chart on the day of it’s release.
‘Every once in a while something special happens and a special talent is born, in the UK there seems to be a lot of this happening at the moment – the latest case of this, the marvelous gift of Luke Carey’– Wolf In A Suit, Blog
Relatable, honest and truly talented, the 21-year-old North Londoner’s latest offering, ‘Stencils’ merges contemporary & upbeat vocals with a classic acoustic style.
The EP entices the listener to enter the world of a young guy trying to find his feet, and shares his highs & lows of navigating the fields of romance and carving out a career as a musician. All with a pinch of humour, and a hell of a talent for songwriting!
God Might Forgive In A Day
This simple, stripped back track reflects the raw emotion of how it feels to be dumped (and totally blindsided by it), yet somehow maintains an upbeat feel in the understanding that this may be the first of many times it happens!
Tight beats with on-point vocals & harmonies come together in this track about starting your career as a musician, and trying not to let early praise allow you to become over-confident… ‘Barely passed the starting point, stop thinking that you’ve won’
Something I’ve Found
Demonstrating Luke’s storytelling, these simple guitar loops and harmonies keep the vocals light, gentle and emotional. The beauty lies in the simplicity of this track.
‘Contemporary & upbeat, merging with the more classical, ambient, acoustic style… the whole audience can’t help but stop and stare in amazement’– V. Bansal, Consentus Music