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This Must Be The Space: Chris’ House in London

This Must Be The Space: Chris’ House in London
This Must Be The SpaceJanuary 6, 2022

One of the most magical parts of Sofar is the unexpected places you find yourself– ski lifts, backyards, breezy rooftops, cozy nooks of an old warehouse. We want to celebrate and explore those hidden spots with a new series called This Must Be The Space, dedicated to the places and hosts who welcome us. There’s no better way to kick things off than with a home– Sofar’s heart and soul. So, let’s begin with Chris Roche’s living room in London.

A dartboard hanging over the fireplace, skateboards, photos, and vinyl records lining the shelves along the walls, and a sea of listeners seated on the ground– a typical evening in Chris’ old living room in Camden. The room has seen about 60 Sofars, several artists, and many, many listeners. It’s the kind of place that exudes intimacy right off the bat. “We used to make people take their shoes off– not because we cared about cleanliness, but because it made everyone feel way more cozy,” Chris said. “Some people would ask us for socks because they were embarrassed about their socks which I thought was really funny.” At one of the earliest Sofars at Chris’ house, the headcount was slightly off– instead of 50 attendees, there were 90, so, he cleared out all the furniture to get everybody in.

Chris first came to Sofar back in 2013 when he was living in LA and attended a house show in Laurel Canyon. ‘’I just remember being like, what is this– this is amazing,” he said. At the time Chris was working in real estate development and quickly began hosting Sofars in company spaces around LA, as well as attending shows all over. “It could be an hour away– you’re just on an adventure,” Chris said. “That was a lot of the allure, the surprise and delight of showing up at someone’s house and them being really welcoming, listening to some great music and having a great time.” 

Soon after he relocated to London– the Camden house to be exact. He began hosting shows quickly, welcoming new friends and community into his home. “It became very comfortable in many ways, and it was also just really fun,” Chris said. Each night held its own magic, even in the moments where something was going “wrong.” For instance, if a guitar string snapped during a set, Chris would just grab his own off the wall and pass it to the front. Oftentimes the evening would extend into the late hours. “Just turn up the music when the Sofar is over and go have fun the rest of the night with new random people that came into your house,” Chris said.  

Chris Roche

Chris has relocated to a new home in Camden, and hopefully we’ll be joining him in that living room soon. But until then, you’re bound to run into him at a Sofar around London, or maybe even anywhere. When you do, be sure to say hello. “I’ve traveled a lot for work and fun and pretty much always look up Sofar people,” Chris said. “It’s always a welcoming and fun way to enter any place.” 

Photo credit: FIre Fences performing in Chris' living room, photo by Bruna Magalhães

Interested in hosting a Sofar? Check out more details here.