Ed Sheeran plays living room gig

Singer Ed Sheeran performed a 20- minute set for about 70 people in a living room in Washington, DC, as part of the Give A Home concert series, where all proceeds go towards refugee support.
Singer Ed Sheeran performed a 20- minute set for about 70 people in a living room in Washington, DC, as part of the Give A Home concert series, where all proceeds go towards refugee support. PHOTO: SOFAR SOUNDS

WASHINGTON • Billionaire businessman Richard Branson's daughter Holly caught Ed Sheeran playing in small clubs in Britain before he was a star.

At one such show in 2011, she asked him to play at her upcoming wedding - she said she could not pay him, but would cover his flight and accommodation costs.

Sheeran agreed. Then, a few months later, he suddenly had a No. 1 debut album. Holly thought: "There's no way he's going to show up."

But he did.

On Wednesday, he again popped up - this time in her living room in Washington, DC - to perform a 20- minute set for about 70 people.

The showcase was organised by Sofar Sounds, which features musicians in small, intimate venues.

The show, which also featured Jaja Bashengezi and Black Alley, was part of the Give A Home concert series, a partnership with Amnesty International, where all proceeds go towards refugee support.

More than 300 Sofar shows took place around the world on Wednesday and Sheeran was the biggest star playing anywhere.

"It's really nice to be back playing in a living room," he said. "This is how I used to make my living."

Sheeran, who performed four songs, thanked the audience for skipping work to attend a performance in the middle of the day.

One fan volunteered that she was actually a student.

"College is important," he assured her, "but not today."

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2017, with the headline 'Ed Sheeran plays living room gig'. Print Edition | Subscribe