City Landscapes & Habitats: photographs & live music @ Pawels Place (Sofa Café), King Cross

A newish venue that I missed last Festival, so glad to have made it this year!

Simple and functional bar, yet quietly chic behind a discreet, unprepossessing exterior.

Across the walls, a photographic exhibition, curated by Dorota Kordecka and Maciej Piatek and hung that morning, covering untended, unloved, urban environments with occasional lonely and, probably, equally neglected figures, frozen for a moment in time as the shutter clicked.

Sparse and challenging, yet clearly a reminder of 50 years of occupation, neglect and thoughtlessness for Poles and their country and a solemn warning for us as we double-dip our way through something less than a picnic, economically cascading backwards through the years.

Stunning photos from two locally-based Poles plus one based in Wroclaw, intelligent clientele engaging in that marginally historic activity, conversation, plus smiling and friendly Pawel, our host.

Later, a live concert was promised and live it was: Ryszard Siebierski and Hania Rafalko with acoustic instruments and Hania’s unique and extraordinary voice, caroused a smiling and entranced group of listeners, sofa’d in for the night with their friends, their good natures and their innate happiness.

With a blend of rock/folk, we pushed back to the 80’s with a Polish/English mix. Perhaps best of all was the welcoming, spontaneous manner of ALL – no xenophobia towards strangers here!

Next day, outdoor street art was created with adults and children alike. A superb new venue/destination for Halifax with live music every Friday night. Great stuff!