Woodburner Comes to The Courtyard4th February 2015
Woodburner began in the darkest depths of Hackney, at The George. It was an old, closed down, run down pub which was rented out as cheap housing. A small group of students moved in, and around them grew a community of musicians and likeminded souls.
At the first ever party there, two Theo’s made acquaintance. Theo Bard, singer-songwriter and folk musician, and Theo Brown, then anthropology student at SOAS; a man extremely good with people and tools.
Time went by and Mr Brown renovated the pub space downstairs, transforming it into a beautiful space of bare wood. It seemed like the perfect place to host acoustic music, harking back to older days when music was live, drinks were cheap and local people came to convene at the nearest pub to hand.
A deal was done. Bard would program folk music each week, if and only if Brown would build the woodburning stove of his dreams for the musicians to sing beside. Brown came through with a huge beast of a stove, and thus, Woodburner was born.
In those heady days, pints were just £2 from a keg, served by pub residents (‘Georgians’), and other ‘volunteers’. The bar broke even or lost money, as there were so many people helping (themselves!). Entry was £3 which went to the musicians, as it still does today!
It was a very special, intimate, underground affair; invites went out
via word of mouth and text message, and it had the air of a speakeasy
or members club.
At the end of 2010, The George was tragically redeveloped into flats, and Woodburner had to relocate. Since then, we have run weekly event ‘seasons’ at Dalston Boys Club, Servant Jazz Quarters, Hackney Downs Studios, and Stoke Newington International Airport, The Russet, and Dalston Eastern Curve Garden.
We have also run one-off events at St Marks Church Hall (Dalston), St Mary’s Chapel (Stoke Newington), Priceless London Wonderground Festival at the South Bank Centre, Asylum Chapel in Peckham, Secret Garden Party Festival, The New Empowering Church and Vault Festival at The Old Vic Tunnels. More big events are in the pipeline!
Our weekly nights are unamplified, and we ask our audience to be attentive while the music goes on. They do, and this creates the very special, intimate atmosphere which defines Woodburner.
Woodburner have hosted many local acts, as well as those from across the globe! As well as host Theo Bard, other locals who have performed include Johnny Flynn, Nick Mulvey, Sam Lee, Whiskey Moon Face, and Kidnap Alice.
We’ve also hosted not-so-locals This is the Kit, Cocos Lovers, The Turbans, John Langan Band, Pete Roe, The Melodic, and Gill Landry (Old Crow Medicine Show). Because we are a weekly night, a huge number of artists have performed – too many to list!
Come and find us any Tuesday you like, or at one of our other events!