On an island known for beautiful beaches, crazy nightlife and too expensive daily life, a group of enthusiasts started a different type of music festival. While the music business pushes the crowds into big halls with an intention to charge them for their love for music, “Sofafest” gathers the audience and the artists into friendly and intimate connection by making concerts in smaller venues, unexpected places like private flats and rooms, or at any place where you can put a sofa and bring a musician in the center of attention.
The first “Sofafest” officially started yesterday, at the marvelous and historic place of “Cafe Can Balaguer” in Palma de Mallorca, where Shane O Fearghail, an Irish Singer-songwriter, introduced himself and his music to dedicated listeners from all over the world. Shane’s concert was a great way to start this type of festival because his performance was a perfect example of the power that Singer-songwriter has – it’s the power of raw and direct emotion from one human being to many.
All of us have a story to tell, but Shane knows how to make it interesting so much that you obey every chord he plays. Even thou he doesn’t speak Spanish, he started his show by shouting “Huep” and making the audience follow him in that funny exclamation, which by the end of the show was an internal joke for all of us. With a simple shout, he made us the part of the show and that was just a beginning because every song had an interactive part which came naturally, as a need to be a part of something great as the song “Who came first” or “Read between the lines“.
As the concert was progressing, I felt like we all became a part of a classroom, because in every song Shane was teaching us new ways to interact with his music, first by clapping, then by snapping the fingers in rhythm and on the end by singing vocals in a heavenly sound that was provided by the acoustic of the old venue. By the end of the concert, everybody was a part of the music, following more complex rhythm patterns without any guidance except by the music itself. Even thou he came to Palma as a guest, he fastly became a host, because his music was so powerful that, soon, everything became a part of it, even the breaking of champagne glasses in the back. In some moments his concert almost converted to stand up comedy with his jokes and friendly talk in between the songs.
On the end of the show, it was impossible for him to finish because the audience was calling for encore over and over again. He used that wave to play the only Spanish song he knows – “La Bamba“, making the hell of a fun for all non-English speakers in the crowd. After that, he played a song he wrote for his niece – “Plastic” which I really liked because it had a childish perspective on a serious and important theme of natural environment and pollution. This song is a good example of the core of Shane’s song – they are catchy tunes with simple lyrics that sneak into your mind and stay there playing on repeat.
Shane O Fearghail’s concert promises a great future for “Sofafest”, the new singer-songwriter festival and the association “Mons de sons” which organizes it. There are 4 more days left for good music, workshops and connecting between artists and the audience and judging by the start of “Sofafest” – this is going to be time to remember, a true marker in the alternative history of Mallorca.
P.S. This is my first text on English, so probably it has a lot of mistakes and strange expressions, but as Shane said in the intro of one of his songs – every day you should do something that scares you and this is pretty scary for me.
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