London proudly boasts some of the world’s greatest concert halls: Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican, annnnd a multi-storey carpark in Peckham…
The unlikely pairing is part of not-for-profit organisation Bold Tendencies’ annual summer programme, where they’ve transformed an abandoned carparking building from a place where people leave their vehicles and loiter late at night, to a cultural hub of sculpture art, literature and music, with a rooftop bar thrown in for good measure.
The seating arrangement is a simple one, where folded chairs are laid out on the tarmac across the carpark’s ninth floor – one below Frank’s Cafe – and audiences can then lend their ears to the sounds of opera, orchestra, piano and possibly the odd train passing through.
If you’re wondering how the sound experience doesn’t get compromised considering the, err… unconventional surroundings, a plywood acoustic wall was installed in 2017 to help cut out a bit of the background noise, while the low concrete ceilings actually serve to strengthen the acoustics, and you’re much closer to the musicians here than you are at say, the Royal Albert Hall.
For this year’s programme – running until the 10th of September – the lineup is as broad and exciting as ever. Some of the upcoming picks from the class of 2022 include:
- The Multi-Story Orchestra (various dates and shows): these guys do their name justice, performing across four levels of the carpark with an orchestral tribute to legendary Italian composers and a performance piece on modern day stories ‘’told through spoken word, song, rap, and music’’.
- Plínio Fernandes (July 2): The highly-rated Brazilian guitarist is releasing his debut album next month, and this is one of his first ever solo shows.
- Abel Selaocoe (July 9): The South African cellist redefines the parameters of his favoured instrument, looking at ideas of loneliness and love, and how to find happiness in very little.
- National Youth Dance Company — Alesandra Seutin (July 16): World-renowned choreographer Alesandra Seutin leads a cast of 33 young dancers for a ‘’large-scale new work exploring the relationship between movement, voice and music.’’
- Sharon Eyal and L-E-V — Dark in the House (July 28 – July 30): Four mesmerising performances from the trailblazing choreographer and her dance ensemble, including one never before seen in the UK.
You’ll also be able to get a pre or post show tipple at the concert bar where Frank’s will be serving refreshments. Cocktails, skyline views and live classical music: there’s your evidence that an evening at a carpark can be classy too.
NOTE: The carpark concerts at Bold Tendencies are taking place from June 23 – September 10. Prices for live shows start at £6, you can find out more and book tickets at their website right HERE.
Bold Tendencies | Multi Storey Car Park, 95A Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST
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