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
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.
For anyone interested, you can find a list of the dates we play in Birmingham here. We're so incredibly excited. Also, we've some how managed to reach over 1,500 clicks on this blog since we started. Wow. Thanks for all the clicking!
Also, holy smokes, our soundcloud just surpassed 1,000 listens! You can have a listen to the original recordings we've acquired whilst working on our EP here.
Here's some photos from the Press Launch of the official 2014 Stirling Fringe programme at Stirling Castle. It was a beautiful day with the sun shining and we even played a quick tune or two at the castle whilst the cameras flashed. (Look out for us in the Stirling Observer!) Afterwards, we headed to Cowane's Hospital and played a quick set as the celebrations continued. Thanks to Stirling Fringe for the brilliant photos!
Phew, we've been rushed off our feet. It's been seriously all go for the last little while! This post stands as a reflection of everything we've been up to recently and a little update for anyone who's interested.
A few weeks ago we closed the Sauchie Community Group's Commonwealth Games celebrations at the Oakwood Lounge. It was nice to venture that bit farther out of Stirling centre and into new territory with new faces, even if it was just a short train journey away. Thanks to Sauchie Community Group for the warm welcome and the tapping toes!
Also, we were really excited to play music for the Loving Food Truck's second pop-up restaurant at Cowane's Hospital. We'd been dreaming of playing at the Cowane's Hospital for such a long time, it's such a beautiful building. You can look at pictures of the venue here. Wonderful, I'm sure you'll agree! So, of course, we were thrilled to be invited to accompany Loving Food Truck's seriously delicious food. Thanks for having us, LFT! You can find the Loving Food Truck opposite Stirling Train Station on weekdays.
We're still beaming from Bannockburn Live at the weekend. It was an incredible experience to play our original songs at a local sell-out event and to be on the same stage as Karine Polwart and Rachel Sermanni, who are both very talented people; two people we aspire to musically. It was lovely to watch their performances and enjoy the day after out set. We are so grateful to have had this opportunity and owe huge thanks to everybody at Unique events who made us feel so welcome and ensured the day went smoothly. A huge thank you to Amy for having us on board! Also, thank you to the familiar friendly faces who popped along for our set; thank you Jim, Darren, Meghan, Matt, Fraser, Andrea and the 'Penny Plucker parents!' And finally, thank you to anyone who said extremely kind words afterwards. We really, really appreciate it. We're still on a high from the whole experience.
We've been up to some other awesome things within the past few days, including launching the Stirling Fringe 2014 programme. We'll do a proper blog post about that one soon. Lots of pictures were taken of us doing our thing up at the castle for the official press launch so we'll share them with you soon.
Next stop...Birmingham Jazz and Blues Fest!
Oh, and for those who have asked when we're next in Glasgow, 13th Note on the 3rd August!
See you there!
With love, and hope for the summer,
The Precious Penny Pluckers.
PS. Here's some pictures of Bannockburn Live. Thank you to Jim and Meghan for the first two.
Pinch us. Seriously. - Pinch us! We can't quite believe it. We're going to be on the same stage as Rachel Sermanni and Karine Polwart among others. This is such an incredibly exciting opportunity and we can't believe it. We're so very excited! If you click the link you'll be able to see us on the line-up. We really really can't believe it.
Do excuse the extended silence; we’ve been
a busy bunch lately! It’s been gigs and busking and open-mic hosting for the
last month, all juggled with exams and work. Not all that long ago we played
Jungle Boogie at Mediterranea in aid of the World Land Trust. Victorian Trout Conspiracy headlined and tore the roof off Mediterranea! If you’re a ska fan,
you should most definitely check these guys out. Their energy on stage is
incredible and Mediterranea’s basement was packed full of happy dancing people.
We had a blast! - That’s definitely the most exciting thing we’ve been involved
with lately. Thanks to everyone who came along and supported!
We said we’d share summer plans as soon as
we could and we’re delighted to share that we’re playing Bannockburn Live on
the 28th June followed by a trip to Birmingham’s Jazz and Blue Fest
from the 18th July. We can’t wait for both. It’s so exciting to be
involved in a larger event so close to Stirling and we can’t wait to be
involved. You should definitely check out the Bannockburn Live bill, there’s an
incredible line-up and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. A quick Google search
led us to the fact that there are just two stages and 10,000 tickets on sale
for each day. Wow! As much as that’s a little bit scary, it’s definitely incredibly
exciting! Collectively, we’re most excited about seeing Dougie Maclean, Rachel
Sermanni and King Creosote. You can buy tickets for Bannockburn Live here. We spotted a poster in town and couldn't resist getting a picture!
We can’t wait for Birmingham! We’re going
to fully embrace the festival, the city and the jazz! It’ll be great to see
some great musicians during our stay. Above all, we can’t wait to share our
music in a new city. The festival aims to incorporate interesting venues where
possible. One of our gigs will be in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
which is awesome. We owe a huge thank you to Jim from Big Bear Music for giving
us this incredible opportunity. Thank you, Jim. - Birmingham, we shall see you
The Loving Food Truck collaboration is
a-coming. The date’s June 21st and the place Cowane’s Hospital.
We’ve been dreaming of playing there for a while as it’s a really beautiful
history-packed building, and we can’t wait to see what LFT have up their
sleeves! We’re thrilled to be a part of Stirling’s second pop-up restaurant,
especially with such a local foodie favourite.
You can also add the 14th of June
to your diary as we’ll be playing in the Oakwood Lounge’s Commonwealth games
festival closing night in Sauchie. We also look forward to a Glasgow gig in
August and involvement with the Stirling Fringe in September. As always, we’ll
be at the Settle Inn every second Monday.
So that’s what we’ve been up to, what we’re
doing at the moment and also what we’ve got planned for the near future. We’ve
said before that we’d love to make a concept album of some sort and
that’s also something that will hopefully take shape soon.