Shhh: A Celebration Of Quiet Music, Art and Film – Review

Stranded Horse, Mirel Wagner, Anna Meredith, cans of beer and snow fights at the very relaxed Shhh: A Celebration Of Quiet Music, Art and Film, organised by The Local with The Line of Best Fit.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Shhh music night 2012 -amelia gregory
Completely gratuitous shot of me in the snow, just cos I like the effects.

On Saturday night we took a delightful stroll through the snow to check out the last few acts at Shhh: A Celebration Of Quiet Music, Art and Film as recommended on my listings section. When we arrived it was clear that most people had been in full flow since mid afternoon, but since I can’t drink these days I can’t exactly get jealous.

Shhh music night 2012 -anna meredith
The main venue behind The Gallery Cafe is a remarkable find, somewhat reminiscent of a village hall. Here cans of Red Stripe littered the tables as a lady called Anna Meredith tackled an apple laptop on her own in front of a warm orange glow (and no, that’s not just hipstamatic effects.) What began as mellow electronic beats soon took on a darker sheen with a thudding bassline… which my baby decidedly did not like: funny how you can just tell.

Shhh music night 2012 -Folk Cancellation
Out in the tiny chapel a couple of blokes were having a quietly fought war of the speakers. Steve Dickie and Stuart Bannister‘s Folk Cancellation ended with the unfurling of two opposing banners, folk and anti-folk. How very east London.

Shhh music night 2012 -Mirel Wagner
In the main cafe we sat down for a set by acoustic songstrel Mirel Wagner, who baffled us with her accent. I’ve since discovered that she is Ethiopian born Finnish – what a mix! Her deathly take on the blues was depressing, not helped by overly cliched lyrics that gave away her lack of skills with the English language, but she certainly has a beautiful voice. I agree with a recent Guardian review that herein lies the bones of something wonderful, if only she can escape her downbeat ghetto.

Shhh music night 2012 -Stranded Horse
Then came the highlight. Stranded Horse took awhile to set up his home made Koras, which are a type of African harp. Using deceptively simple repetitive techniques he proceeded to create the most marvellous hypnotic sounds, sadly cut short as he ran out of time. I recommend you go check him out! Unusual and very special.

Shhh music night 2012 - snow
Another gratuitous shot of snow on Weavers Fields. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

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