Tuesday, 14 April 2015

This is just a really quick post to say...

We recently discovered this beautiful photo taken by Alice Hadden at our Tollbooth gig last year.

We loved playing the Tollbooth and we love the photo. Thank you, Alice!

You can check out more of Alice's work here.

Sunday, 11 January 2015


I write this at the start of the new year; a time where we tend to look back and reflect on the last twelve months of our lives. What have you been up to? We wish you a happy and prosperous year ahead.

We thought we ought to dedicate a blog post to the last year since we're so incredibly proud of all that we achieved. And also to thank everybody who has been a part of it.

Here's what 2014 looked like for us:

In January, we played a New Year's Day gig at Nicky Tam's and were the inaugural music act at Stirling's only whisky bar The Curly Coo. We also played our first Glasgow gig at The Record Factory. Photo below! (Courtesy of Alasdair Watson photography)

In April,  we played Europa Music's annual Record Store Day celebration.

In May, we Jungle Boogie'd at Mediterranea with Victorian Trout Conspiracy and Mike Whellans, played in a forest for Wood for All's The Big Woodland Event. We also played Scribblers Picnic in aid of cancers charities and some tunes at Kilted Kangaroo's 7th birthday bash.

In June, we provided the music at Loving Food Truck's second pop up restaurant. Then, we played Bannockburn Live's Storyville stage, alongside the beautiful Karine Polwart and Rachel Sermanni.

In July, we went to Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival, where we played TEN sets over three days in some beautiful and unique venues including Birmingham New Street station and Birmingham Art Gallery and Musuem. We'll never forget pulling into the train station to play our first gig there just an hour later!

In August, we played The 13th Note's Americana festival and partied with Yelp Glasgow at Wild Cabaret to celebrate Yelp's 10th birthday.

In September, we played the Stirling Fringe.

In October, we played Callander's Jazz and Blue Fest. (Did you know Callander had a jazz and blues fest? We didn't!) And we played live on STV Glasgow's The Riverside Show. You can watch the clip here!

In November, we played the Tolbooth's Strange Behaviours festival. And we played tunes and sipped lattes at Scottish Coffee Festival at Drygate brewery in Glasgow.

Strange Behaviours Festival at the Tolbooth (photo courtesy of Stirling News)

Scottish Coffee Festival (photo courtesy of Ovenbird Coffee)

In December, we played our final gig of the year in Slouch, Glasgow. Here's a picture of us afterwards!

If you've been to a gig lately, you'll have noticed that things have changed a little. The trio now consists of Corry, Martin and I (Nikki!) and we've also made a bit of a progression with our sound. Above all, this change has inspired us to develop as a band and we're so excited by our current projects. We're happy with the direction we're headed and look forward to another year of music, wherever it happens to take us. In the meantime, you can listen to some rough practice sessions we've recorded here!

There are a number of people who have made an impact on us this year and to whom we owe a great deal of thanks:

Thank you to Briony at Yelp Glasgow 

Thank you to Alasdair Watson and his camera

Thank you to Amy at Unique Events

Thank you to Jim at Big Bear Music

Thank you to the production team at The Riverside Show

Thank you to the Settle Inn, Stirling

Thank you to Jim Taylor 

And, finally....Thank YOU for visiting the blog! 

We do hope 2015 brings lovely things your way.  And, as always, may precious pennies come to you in abundance! 

With excitement for the year ahead,

The Precious Penny Pluckers

PS. Have you made a start on your new year's resolutions? We're already making progress on our aim to see more live music and just booked three tickets to Red Rooster festival. We just can't wait to see C.W. Stoneking and Son of Dave!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

If you were recently at the Tolbooth's Strange Behaviours festival and you happened to catch some of our set, you would have noticed that, one; we have a new addition to the band in the form of Martin, and two; we have gone electric. (Although not completely!) Whilst the old Penny Plucker sound was a bouncy, swing affair, we're excited to be heading down this dark Americana road before us. After many a week locked away working on a new set list for the Tolbooth, on the 21st of November, we had the chance to share some new original work, and with it a different sound.

Of course, we haven't gotten rid of all of our old songs. In fact, this change has allowed us to reinvent some of our original material, whilst adding some songs that the new trio (Corry, Martin & Nikki) have created together. Debuting them at the Tolbooth which was an amazing experience. - Thank you to everyone who came along for the ride. It was certainly a nerve-wracking experience to play an almost entirely new set list in the main auditorium but we had a blast and thank the Tolbooth for the opportunity.

We recorded two of the new songs (The Poison & The Medicine and The Hangman's Priest) during a band practice. Whilst they were recorded on a phone, hopefully they can give you an idea of our new style. We hope you enjoy them. -You can listen to them here!

Most recently, we played Scottish Coffee Festival on the 29th November, where we very much enjoyed playing tunes and sipping lattes. Thank you Chris, the organiser, for having us on board. Next, we'll be at Slouch in Glasgow on Sunday the 7th of December, alongside some other local acts. Things kick off at 7pm. - Perhaps we'll see you there!

With excitement for the future,

The Precious Penny Pluckers.

PS. Collectively one of our favourite bands, the Handsome Family play the Tolbooth next year, which we're very excited about! You can buy tickets here.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Wow, we are blown away. Thank you so, so much for all the support. We had a whole lot of fun playing live on STV Glasgow's The Riverside Show and are so grateful to have had the experience. If you haven't watched the show yet, you can watch our performance of Not a Dollar here. It was truly amazing to get to play three of our own songs on television and we thank absolutely everyone who took the time to tune in and come along for the ride. - We can't believe the positive response we've had so far. A huge thank you to STV Glasgow for having us on the show!

The day before, we played Callander Jazz and Blues Festival which made for a wonderful afternoon. We were a tad nervous of dipping our toes into a local ticketed event so soon after carrying on as a duo but, full of hope, we caught the bus to Callander equipped with a set list peppered with new songs. - No pressure! It was an intimate affair, with no amplification, in the beautiful mini theatre within St Kessogs church. We were nervous. The audience were close. There were several people. No sooner were there more people. And more! Until...we had a full house. We'd sold out the venue! Now, we did not expect that at all. So thank you so very much to everyone who joined us. We hope you enjoyed our songs, new and old. The new additions to our set list include a song about a mean old man called Henry. He's a rich, greedy character and you'll most probably meet him at a gig in the near future! There's also 'A Thousand Reasons', the second slower song we played on the Riverside Show. We had such a wonderful time at the festival and we owe Graham, the festival organiser, a thank you for allowing us to be a part of it. Here's a picture of Nikki outside the venue:

PS. If you're in Callander and your belly is rumbling, head to Deli Ecosse. We had the most delicious lunch there!

So, we've had quite the week so far. What have we got planned for the next while?

We'll be at the Settle Inn every second Monday, so that's the 13th and 27th October this month. It's an open mic so do come say hello and bring your instruments if you play. - We love it when you do!

On the 2nd November, we'll be playing The Hideaway Cafe in the beautiful Bridge of Allan for a Great British Bake-Off themed charity event in aid of Speur-Ghlan and to celebrate the cafe's first birthday.

On the 21st November, we play the main stage at the Tolbooth for the Strange Behaviours festival. Check out the line-up; you really are spoiled for choice. We're thrilled to be involved! Since the festival is called 'Strange Behaviours', we've decided to mix things up with something new, if a little strange. Ten gold coins and you are granted admission. It looks set to be a great night, and weekend, of music!

The 29th November brings the Scottish Coffee Festival. We can't wait to play some tunes for coffee-loving Scots! And perhaps sip some lattes ourselves. The perfect opportunity to learn a coffee-themed tune. - We're particularly enjoying Rob Heron and the Teapad Orchestra's 'Drinking Coffee Rag' at the moment!

Phew...November is a busy month. And we can't wait!

Love and appreciation, 

The Precious Penny Pluckers.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The times, they are a-changin'

The nature of music is that it evolves. And so, for us, things are changing. And as daunting as that can truly be, it's a genuinely exciting time for us and we can't wait to see what the future holds for us Penny Pluckers. You'll soon see what we mean, that's all we're going to say. We've had the most amazing year and we're going to keep doing what we do. Right now, we're working on some new material. Hopefully we can share it with you soon.

We're back at Stirling's Settle Inn every second Monday to run the open mic. (If you keep an eye on our Facebook page we regularly post the dates we'll be there.) We were there last night and had quite possibly the best night yet. With Spanish guitar and dancing! Every once in a while a night like that comes along and we count ourselves lucky to have been a part of it.

What do we have planned for the next wee while? On the 5th October, we'll be at Callander Jazz and Blues Fest. - Yes, Callander has a Jazz and Blues Festival! It sure would be lovely to see you there. You can find the programme here. What a line up! We can't wait to catch some performances ourselves and spend some time in the beautiful Callander.

The 6th October holds something really exciting for us which we'll share really very soon. We've been keeping quiet for quite some time now and it's killing us. All we'll say is that perhaps you would happen to see us if you were channel-hopping between the hours of 6.30 and 8.30pm that evening. And if you were to do so, perhaps your ears would hear something new. Oh, stop it...We've said too much!

With love and vigour,

The Precious Penny Pluckers

Monday, 18 August 2014

We're delighted to share with you the photos from our Birmingham New Street Train Station and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery performances from the Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival. It was amazing to play in such unique venues. We absolutely love the Art Gallery pictures; it really is the most beautiful place we've performed. And it was a delight to have the magnificent Bruce Adams join us with his trumpet!

Photography by Merlin Daleman courtesy of The Birmingham International Jazz & Blues Festival

Thank you, Merlin! We love them!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

We are back!

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.