“Good music & coffee are a perfect combo”

The TN card is the loyalty scheme that rewards shoppers for supporting local at 750 independents across Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks. This month its founder Jess Gibson chats to Matt and Fabs, owners of independent music café even flow on St John’s Road, Tunbridge Wells


So Matt and Fabs, why a music cafe?

Music is for everyone and bringing tasty coffee and awesome music together is the perfect combo. We love collecting records as well as going to gigs and festivals.

Music is at the core of what we do, whether it’s the chats with customers about bands, the new release records we have on offer or the next open mic session we’re looking forward to.


Where are you both from and what brought you to Tunbridge Wells?

Fabs is from Brazil and Matt grew up in South Africa, but we met in Brixton Academy and lived in London and other countries together, before being drawn to this lovely town… its space, character and handy location!


When did you open and how’s the journey been so far?

We opened in March 2020, a couple of weeks before the dreaded lockdown, which has definitely made us stronger. We are thankful every single day that we are still here considering the poor timing of opening – before we took the plunge, we thought: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”

Our customers and especially the wonderful folk of St John’s have supported us since day one and have made the last two and a half years an unbelievable journey.


Matt, what kind of music do you stock?

We stock every genre, new and second hand, from death metal to blues, folk rock to electronic. I do have a love for grunge and rock music, so there may be a few more of those bad boys in stock!

Fridays are new release record days so this is when we’ll see brand new album releases or special reissue albums.


Have you always had a love for music?

I was influenced by my older brothers and can’t remember my life without music. We used to watch local bands in South Africa and we’d dream about seeing our favourites live one day. I was blown away when I arrived in the UK and, flipping through the NME, I always had a choice of concerts to go to over a weekend.


“Our customers and especially the wonderful folk of St John’s have supported us since day one and have made the last two and a half years an unbelievable journey”


Fabs, you’re the talent behind the café. What’s on your menu this January?

We’ve been offering seasonal treats over the past month and Ali has been creating a range of delicious cupcakes for 2023, which are especially exciting for our younger customers. I enjoy baking our gluten-free burnt Basque cheesecake.

My Brazilian heritage and Ali being Italian Brazilian means that we’re constantly trying new recipes. We especially enjoy cooking and baking for events, where we offer finger food, tapas and sweet treats.


Events are now on at even flow so what’s coming up this year?

We have our Open Mic sessions on the last Thursday of every month which are very popular. We have so much talent in Tunbridge Wells and we’re seeing young musicians taking part too. It’s a great night of food, drink and social vibes.

We have lots of live music and a quiz night planned. There are also Games Nights, Bring Your Own Record events and even a Singles Night are in the planning too. Record Store Day is a big one for us – it takes place on Saturday April 22 when we’ll have a day of live music and fun!


I’m looking forward to our TN card evening on January 14. What can members expect from the event?

You can get a taste of our community focus. We offer a space for people to feel comfortable and have a good time. Some tasty tapas, great local beers, as well as local legends DJ Dave & DJ Chris playing some cool tunes all surrounded by records!


Why did you join the TN community and how do you thank members for supporting local?

We absolutely believe in community and supporting local – it’s what we have always done. You launched the TN card just before we opened even flow and lockdown magnified the importance of community and local, so it was a no-brainer to join. We offer members a discount and our reward changes, from 10% off food and drink to 10% off albums with a complimentary coffee.


And lastly, what makes even flow so special?

Ah, you’d have to ask our customers that one!


WHO: even flow, St John’s

WHAT: Independent, family run record store and coffee shop

WHERE: 79 St Johns Road, Tunbridge Wells TN4 9TU


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