The Seshen at Hangar, London, by Robert Alleyne

On Wednesday, November 6, at a small venue in East London, was a gig you'd expect to find at Rickshaw Stop,or Starline. The Seshen, Rituals of Mine, and Geographer joined forces for a UK tour which saw them stop off in eight cities around England and Scotland.

For Aki Ehara of the Seshen, touring the UK is a opportunity to get closer, and pay homage, to music he has long admired from across the pond. “I have been just really inspired by music here [in the UK] for decades...almost all my favorite bands are from the UK,” Ehara shares. “Just being in a different a place, and even, just a different environment and being closer to music scenes that are localized, you are a little more able to tap into the pull of [it].”

The idea of drawing inspiration from new surroundings is shared by the Seshen vocalist and songwriter Lalin St. Juste. “I definitely get a lot of inspiration through being able to be in a different place and feel the energy, and [to] see how people...relate to their environment,” she says and also explains how she has been inspired by watching Geographer, and Rituals of Mine, and seeing their artistry and how they interact with audiences.

The Seshen’s usual lineup has been reduced to a three-piece for the tour, yet the set is still full of their bold spiritual expression. St. Juste owns the stage as she weaves and dances, the songs losing none of their core energy.

Rituals of Mine at Hangar, London, by Robert Alleyne

The tour took on an extra significance for Terra Lopez of Rituals of Mine, because it was her first time traveling outside of the US. “It’s really incredible...I never thought I’d travel for my music; it’s a dream,” she says. “No one in my family has ever traveled; I'm the first one...So, the fact that I'm able to go and travel and work, and do what I love to do, and that's the sole purpose of me traveling, that was never in my realm of thinking,” she explains. Lopez goes on to share how the experience has “opened up my world a ton,” and how touched she has been to see the faces of people who have supported her from so far away — patiently waiting for her to visit.

Lopez shares how touring the UK is likely to give her music a boost. “I think it's going to keep motivating me to just create and continue what I'm doing...because it's resonating so much here.

“Sometimes in the States, I feel like an alien, because it's maybe not the right audience sometimes. But here, it's resonating, and people are really appreciating it. I grew up on the Bristol sound and trip-hop and electronic, and so over here, it just seems natural,” she says.

Rituals of Mine’s set is energetic and atmospheric. The stage is drenched in a sea of blue light and Lopez moves frantically around the stage, seeming to draw every ounce of emotion from each of the lyrics. At times, she takes the opportunity to climb up to the barricades and sing directly to the crowd.

Geographer at Hangar, London, by Robert Alleyne

“Edinburgh was a pretty small show, but there were people who were singing every word to all of my songs. They were jumping into each other's arms,” shares Mike Deni, who performs under the moniker Geographer.

“It moved me almost to tears, because it's like, you're just so far from home and to think that I've been living my life… and they're living theirs, and it's like, ‘they're listening to my music?’ it's insane,” Deni shares.

Deni recently moved to Los Angeles, and he shares stories of how moving to LA has opened him to collaborating more frequently. “That's how LA has changed my music a lot — there's so many writers there and they're so talented, and I love what they bring to my music. So I'm trying to do as many [collaborations] as possible and just release them as singles,” he says.

He also shared how is has just written his first political song, called “Hard Promise,” which he wrote after seeing what was happening in America and feeling empathy for things he may not be directly affected by. “I don’t know much about politics, but I can feel pain for others,” he says.

Deni performs solo that night — however, that does not prevent him from layering his music with a range of instruments. The extra space made for a performance full of expression and melancholy.

London was treated to an expo of Bay Area music, past and present. All three, though different, complemented each other in sound and showed the diversity of music made in and originating from the Bay Area (even if Geographer and Rituals of Mine are now based in Los Angeles). Looks like the Bay Area will just have to wait until they perform the show in Northern California to experience it in all its glory.

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