While there is undoubtedly something special about watching a live music performance, there can be the occasional drawback. This could be an unruly crowd, unpleasant venue, shoddy sound system or simply an endless queue for an overpriced beer. If only there was some way to enjoy the music without these distractions. Perhaps, say, by getting the band to play in your house?
Rather than a flight of fancy, that is exactly what gig organisers Sofar Sounds offer. The company was first established in London in 2009, when a group of friends decided they were fed up with going to gigs, only for audiences to talk throughout performances.
So, instead of telling others to be quiet, the friends brought the musicians and music-lovers into their homes, hosting living room gigs for family, friends and other enthusiasts in order to establish 'an ethos of quiet and respect' for performers.
In 2012, Joe Lawrenson, Joe Montague and David Henshaw from band Dancing Years launched Sofar Sounds Leeds, helping to build the group's community not just across the UK but in 179 cities globally.
Every month, Sofar Leeds organises secretive gigs in a whole host of interesting and intimate venues in and around the city, providing music fans in the city a great opportunity to discover new talent.
To attend a Sofar gig, simply choose a city, sign up to the mailing list and you will be notified of the date of the gig. The venue remains a secret until the night before the gig and the line-up is revealed upon arrival.
In addition to front room gigs, past venues have included the Holbeck Underground Ballroom, The Tetley, White Cloth Gallery, North Star Coffee Roastery and Northern Monk Brewery, with recent Sofar Leeds performances coming from Sam Airey, The Dunwells, The Horn The Hunt as well as touring artists Rachel Ries, Rachel Sermanni and poet G. Yamazawa.
The group is always looking for more performers, venue hosts and gig volunteers. You can find out more here, or keep up to date with happenings by following Sofar on Twitter.
Flickr: John O