3 days, 6 venues and 10 sets down and we are back in Stirling.
What an experience to have played the incredible Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival. We'd just like to take this opportunity to thank Jim and everyone at Big Bear Music for having us on board.
This blog post is just a little journal of what we were up to in Birmingham for anyone who's interested.
On Friday 18th July, we got the train down. This meant a 6am start but we were extremely excited for what the weekend would bring. Rest in our hotel rooms? Nope, not us! - We had a gig at 5pm, just under an hour after our train pulled in and it was, coincidentally, in no other than Birmingham New Street Station. What a welcome to the city and a brilliant experience to play a gig in such a unique space. We have to hand it to the festival organisers for being inventive with venues and managing to keep the festival free for the most part. Here's a photo of us doing our thing in the station courtesy of Birmingham New Street Station's twitter page.
To the hotel, you say? Well, yes...To the hotel! But then...we had a gig in our hotel, which made for a lovely sit-down evening affair. It's great that we can experience a variety of different performances and Birmingham sure had us in many interesting environments. Here's a photo of our gig in the Broad Street Hampton by Hilton Hotel, courtesy of the official Birmingham Jazz and Blues Fest blog:
Saturday 19th July meant more gigs and, of course, in more beautiful venues. In the afternoon, we played at the stunning Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Here's a little clip of Baby and Me filmed by Grace who works at the Museum. (Thank you, Grace!) Just look at those gorgeous surroundings! It was a pleasure to play in such a truly stunning venue. Legendary trumpet player Bruce Adams surprised us in popping along to provide some brass on two of our original songs. We've been craving a brass soloist for a while so it was amazing to play alongside such a talented trumpet player. Here's Bruce in action much to the surprise of an onlooker! (Photo courtesy of official Birmingham Jazz and Blues Fest blog.)
In the evening, we headed to the Wellington, which has such an impressive ale selection that the menu is digitalised and you order your ale not by name, but by number! Wow! We recommend if you love ale and are headed for Brum. This was a really fun place to play.
Sunday 20th July brought our final two gigs of the festival and our last full day in the city. We began in the afternoon with a gig at the City Tavern which very much reminded us of our local haunt, The Settle Inn. Friendly, welcoming bar staff and an enthusiastic audience made for a brilliant gig.
Our last gig led us to the Oobleck in the Custard Factory area of Digbeth. We played just outside a wonderful bar called 'Alfie Bird's.' The name is inspired by the inventor of powered custard, hence the creative Custard Factory it resides in. Alfie Bird's consists of four stunning floors with an abundance of quirky additions like a sliding bookcase and a retro red telephone box photo-booth. We couldn't resist sneaking in for some pictures. - Here's the result!
You can read a little more about our experience of Alfie Bird's here. We thoroughly recommend their pizzas; we had the Pulled Pork and Thai Chicken and they were delicious.
No sooner, had our time in Birmingham come to an end. As you can imagine we were busy running from gig to gig but we did manage to catch some music in our free time. We particularly enjoy The Remi Harris Trio. They did a magnificent gypsy jazz cover of The Beatles' Money Can't Buy Me Love. So much talent. And another trio to inspire us in our own music.
Birmingham is a terrific city; so modern and tall, with an abundance of incredible street art. Here's some interesting characters we discovered outside the Oobleck venue!
We had a wonderful time and everyone was so lovely and appreciative of our music. Thank you everyone who came to see us at any one of our gigs during the festival, whether you'd be meaning to or simply stumbled upon us. We do hope you enjoyed it! - Perhaps we'll cross paths again someday.
Oh, and if you have any photos or videos of us, feel free to send them our way.
Birmingham, I'm sure we'll be back!
The Precious Penny Pluckers
PS. We have joined the Twitter-sphere, you can find us at twitter.com/pennypluckers.