Owen Shiers

Lockdown Jukebox #7 : Sofa Story Club

Stories and narratives are essential to find a safe footing in a time of chaos.

Sofa Story Club is a new initiative curated by Rachel Rose Reid, 'the Queen of the New Wave of Storytellers' (Radio 3). Each edition presents two contrasting artists - including musicians, spoken word performers and poets.

Responding to circumstance Reid has created a platform for distant collaboration and creative adventure, and found a way to involve the audience in the intimacy of the performance, but it is her choice of performers that should cause real excitement. Tickets for each event are limited, and can be found, with future dates, here. Admittance is £5, or free if you lack the spare funds to pay.

  • Jan Blake + Inua Ellams

    Saturday 2 May 2020 (60mins) 12.00 PDT / 15.00 EDT / 20.00 BST (UK) - Tickets

    Nigerian-born, Inua Ellams is an award winning word and graphic artist, who is currently shortlisted for the 8th Brunel International African Poetry Prize. It would be difficult to define the range of his work with one short film clip, but the poem The Long Song Goodbye indicates its depth and quality.

    Jan Blake is one of Europe's leading storytellers. Manchester-based, she primarily tells folktales - believing the stories to be 'roadmaps to what it means to be a human being'. There is a mesmeric rhythm to her deeply-rooted work.

  • Tim Ralphs + Cynefin

    Sunday 3 May 2020 (90mins) 12.00 PDT / 15.00 EDT / 20.00 BST (UK) - Tickets

    West Wales musician Owen Shiers, working under the recording name Cynefin, released an acclaimed debut earlier this year - welcomed in The Guardian as an album that, "rubberstamps a stunning new talent ... this Welsh-language album explores his home valley in West Wales through gorgeous jazz-folk arrangements, deep storytelling, and tender vocals." We had it as 'spellbinding' - Shiers is also a remarkable live performer.

    As Nell Phoenix, of Story Nights Torriano, has stated, "Words that are applied glibly to other performers - such as brave, experimental and innovative - apply truly to Tim Ralphs." A storyteller with a deft touch, Tim Ralphs has worked with a musician before - including for Hand-Pulled History, a project about pub life in Walkley, Sheffield, during the Victorian period.