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Speed Listening by The Note Well

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by Francesca Baker (subscribe)
A freelance writer, event organiser and marketer with too many ideas and an urge to make them happen. See about me and my myriad projects at
Music and mates
Music is a pretty antisocial interest in many ways. Headphones on and plugged in to a different world. A noisy gig where a raised eyebrow and tapping foot are the only possible forms of communication in a room of drowning drums. Where conversations with friends with whom you struggle to convey emotion will always be second best to interactions with lyricists whose output truly encapsulates your feelings.

And then there is the question as to whether music is truly a good indication of a likelihood to get on well. Previous experience has taught me that whilst it can be a good ice breaker and an easy way to find something to do, it can mask other facets of the personality. So would a night of Speed Listening be a perfect combination – a sociable way of discovering new music and chatting with like minded people about it?

Run by The Note Well, a group on a mission is to promote the art of good listening, both to music and to people. The set up is simple. You bring your mp3, some banter, and swap tunes with someone for around ten minutes before rotating. No shuffling is allowed though – carefully selecting songs based upon their reactions and your recommendations is the aim. An eclectic mix of songs fluttered around the room - Ren Harvieu, Fluke, Stubborn Heart, Psychologist among my new discoveries. It's not just plugged in sound though, and after the listening rounds are done, we throw shapes to a pop disco, courtesy of DJ ShyyJ ("deejay sheejay") and his mix of oldies and 80s and indie.

I can't think of a more fun way to find new music. Clicking through The Hype Machine certainly doesn't do it, and since The NME's demise there is no point looking there.

The next Speed Listening event is scheduled for 18th April, but the poor souls are currently homeless. Suggest a new spot, and The Note Well may be on their way to near you. Note to self – charge mp3 player this time.

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Why? Super fun speedy listening
When: Monthly
Cost: £5
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