In Turbulent Times, TURN THE MUSIC UP - whynow

In Turbulent Times, TURN THE MUSIC UP

For most of us, the past six months has been akin to living in a parallel universe, our sense of reality turned totally on its head. And while the list of those who’ve suffered as a result of Covid-19 is long, deep and varied, what’s become clear is that for anyone working within the creative industries the crisis is unrelenting.

As lockdown restrictions rumble on and the government continues to sideline the arts and culture sector, a battle to safeguard both livelihoods and artistry has begun. Economically, it’s never been more important to support live events; emotionally, music is more needed than ever. 

It’s with this is mind that whynow has collaborated with Labyrinth to bring a night of much-needed musical escapism to south London. Taking place at Brixton Courtyard on Friday 9 October, the line-up brings together Nathan Fake, Donna Leake and Nick Castle in a sonic bubble designed specifically to bat away the blues. In keeping with government guidelines, the event is seated and there’s no dancing, which means for four blissful hours (6-10pm), the only thing to do is be swept up in a mesmerising soundscape. It’s not clubbing as we’ve become accustomed, but it is an opportunity to dive into the minds of a talented bunch of selectors, surrounded by friends in a safe and inspiring space.

PERCOLATE, Sherelle, Jake Davis, @jakephilipdavis

For a scene that’s dependent on socialising, mingling and all round rambunctious behaviour, diversification has become key to its survival. “It’s incredibly important for the venues, artists, promoters and all the suppliers involved in the live music ecosystem to keep events going right now,” explains Nick Castle. “Without them, a lot of these people may be forced to move industries.” Indeed, in a recent survey by Musicians’ Union, they reported that as many as one-third of musicians were considering abandoning music as a career. And we’ve all seen the news — the Chancellor’s suggestions that people in the creative industries should retrain for new roles affects no less than 200,000 people, many of whom have spent their lives dedicated to pursuing a chosen art. 

Donna Leake is among the performers on 9th October

That said, it’s of course essential that events are run safely, and that’s why Brixton Courtyard have implemented a roster of guidelines to ensure that people can enjoy themselves within the limits of what’s available right now. “We have to keep finding safe and creative ways for culture to cut through during these times,” adds Castle. “The harsh reality is that if we don’t keep adding to the cultural output of our cities, the sector may collapse.” Many venues and artists have already reached breaking point, and with winter drawing in, the majority have been left wondering how they’ll manage during the colder months. Heading to an event is one way, among many, to show support. 

Nathan Fake

But it’s not all doom and gloom, because let’s not forget that at the heart of all this lies music, a ceaseless pleasure source that everyone can lean into during a period of uncertainty. “Music brings people together,” affirms Castle. “During lockdown, it was one of the few things that kept me from becoming really down about the situation in the world.” It’s a feeling no doubt shared by Nathan Fake, who released his latest album, Blizzards, back in April, and has since been busy racking up remixes for likes of Damian Lazarus and Christian Löffler. A master of plucking the extraordinary from the ordinary, who’s long been touted as one of the UK’s most exciting producers, his ability to reinvent is exactly what’s needed for this new scene shift. 

Nick Castleman

Similarly, Donna Leake’s esoteric meanderings behind the decks are always thrilling, as she’s proven time and again as resident at Dalston listening bar, Brilliant Corners. With a fondness for taking listeners on non-linear adventures, her sets are crafted by responding to what’s happening on the night, no formula required. From jazzy cuts and smoky guitar jams to sweet as honey italo via psych rock, there’s not telling what’s round the next corner. “The more I listen to music, the better my life becomes,” she mused a couple of years ago. If we’ve learnt anything over the course of the past six months, surely it’s that in turbulent times, we turn the music up. 

Tickets can be found via the following link:


Rampa  They Will Be