Juju's Bar & Stage

The Man Behind Woodburner - Juju's Bar & Stage

Food , Drinks and Live Music in Brick Lane

The Man Behind Woodburner

Our first Woodburner event saw the most beautiful performance from the powerhouse who is Demi Ma. She hypnotized us all with her music, which explores themes of identity, divine femininity, and Afrofuturism. More than just a singer, she is a poet and spoken word artist, meaning each performance is intellectually thought-provoking, inspiring and leaves you hanging onto every last soulful note she sings. In other words, what I’m trying to say is, we have a HUGE girl crush on Demi Ma.

To top off all of this we had Roscious spinning some of his favorite tracks on the decks, showing us some of the music which inspires his own individual, unique sound. Combined with delicious Asian food cooked up by the Chunky Buddha and some special new craft beers (honey IPA, anyone?), the night really was the perfect Sunday for the soul <3 I don’t know about you, but all that beautiful music from beautiful people left me hungry for more… So all the better then, that on 28th October, we intend to keep the good vibes flowing with another showcase to see off the month in style. This time around we have the always incredible Whiskey Moon Face headlining, with Theo Bard, the man himself, soothing us through Sunday.

Whiskey Moon Face speak an enchanting language with their music, each song so intimate that it feels as if you have stumbled across a secret society, a storytelling club which speaks the unspeakable and whisks members away into the depths of a bohemian underworld. Theo Bard, the creator of Woodburner, will be the support act for the night, treating us with a solo acoustic set of much-loved folk classics to get us in the mood.

To give you an idea of how such a magical community was born, I sat down with Theo to discover and share with you all how Woodburner was created.

So, What is Woodburner?

First and foremost, Woodburner is a community of artists and audience members, who come together to create musical experiences. Most of those experiences are events in special, unique spaces – the sort of place you might not usually end up for a casual pint. But these days we’ve been creating more experiences of the digital variety, which has been a welcome development!

Our best-known event is probably our weekly event every Tuesday through summer at Dalston Eastern Curve Garden (it’s basically a festival!), but we also programme at festivals outside of London and have run shows at all sorts of venues in the last 12 months, including Islington Assembly Hall, The Jazz Cafe, and Wilton’s Music Hall.

When was Woodburner first born?

We were born a few years ago next to a huge wood-burning stove, in a closed-down pub in Clapton. It had been a long, hard winter and somehow we figured out that if you ordered a few kegs of ale, you could make a closed-down pub feel very similar to an up-and-running pub, except you could do whatever you wanted and there was no closing time. We also discovered that with a hot stove, the kegs we mentioned earlier and three live music acts you could actually get to heaven for a few hours on a Monday night.

What is the night’s biggest inspiration?

Our biggest inspiration is probably Conrad – our resident DJ whose enthusiasm for live music almost surpasses our own. He’s the one who gets everyone up dancing at the front of all our shows. He’s also the litmus test for new bands – if he loves it, we book it again! He’s also responsible for some killer recommendations over the years from his extensive adventuring at festivals. I lied earlier when I said the audience was part of the community – we only really need Conrad to be present!

What has been your favourite performance from your summer season at Curve Garden?

The Curve Garden! It’s tough to say, but Faith Mussa, The Dylema Collective, Onipa, Laura Perrudin, Roscius, Harvey Causon, Whiskey Moon Face, Solomon’s Garden and MwS all blew our minds in different ways. If I had to pick one of them, I guess it would be Dylema – she really does spread love through the crowd in a way I’ve never seen before.

What do you think makes the perfect venue for Woodburner?

The perfect Woodburner venue has to be a place you can feel really comfortable in. Comfy seats, great drinks and food, and a family atmosphere, but also something that sets it apart and gives it a distinctive flavour. The sort of place you’d take a hot date out to – but only if you really liked them, and also your Mum. The sort of place where if anyone else mentions it you’d feel just a little bit annoyed because they don’t realise that it’s actually one of your special places. It also needs a good sound system, a stage, and a place where people can feel free to move and see the stage properly.

Do you have a particular genre of artist you programme for Woodburner?

There are no rules! This summer we’ve been super eclectic, moving into electronic realms for the first time, and into soul, RnB and a bit of pop too. Originally Woodburner was about folk music but now we’re more interested in quality than genre. We get sent so much music, and every time I open the email up I just want to love the artist who’s writing to me. It’s amazing getting sent so much stuff and it’s enabled us to diversify what we do loads. Our audience are with us on this journey and now we are capturing everything with live music videos, we are inviting everyone to join us on the journey into new musical realms.

It’s our honour to get to work with the creative minds who collaborate with us at Juju’s every day; people who have the power to bring communities together with music, dance, and art. Theo is one of the good guys and our anticipation is high to hear of his monthly delivery of these Sunday night gems at Juju’s.

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