Bluebird Review Sunday 14th February
We were thinking that due to it being St Valentine’s day and also the start of the school holidays, we wouldn’t have too many through the doors but thankfully we were wrong, we were missing a few of our regulars who had gone away but there was a good number who had been able to join us. Before I start, I must tell you that I was on some pretty strong painkillers and so I apologise if I have gotten more song names wrong…. than usual!!!!!
Two guys that I’m always happy to see take to the stage is John and Steve, better known as Two Oak Sons. John told us that they were going to use us as guinea pigs and perform an experimental song for us that they were working on…… Jeeez, I wish all my songs that I was working on sounded like this!!!!!! Three songs – Good Times Come & Go, Gyps Island School Days (I think) and Summertime. A truly beautiful set, these guys never fail to impress, beautiful vocals and some outstanding playing 🙂
Next up was a return visit by John who brought a stray along with him in the shape of our very own Hobbit Tony Osborne. John was also suffering with some back pain today but battled through and kicked off proceedings with a Neil Young song (Can’t remember the song… sorry) but it was a fab rendition….. I do remember that!! 2016 has seen the music industry loose so many amazing legends and John played the next number in memory of Glenn Frey, it was one of my favourite Eagles numbers – Take it Easy…… Loved it, John then finished his set with a Bob Dylan Medley with not only key changes but with some rhythm changes as well…. Kept Tony on his toes 🙂All in all a great set !!
Tony stayed put on stage and was joined by Pat and Aaron or Ted and Little Ted if you prefer, to form 3 Peas in a Pub. Always very entertaining and the songs that Ted lines up are not only a surprise to the audience but usually a surprise to Little Ted and Tony (Dougal) !!! Ted decided to drag out a drummer for today’s performance…. well a drummer in a pedal…… I think the drummer missed the practice sessions, but it was entertaining watching Ted tap dance his way through the set….. 🙂 I only made a note of one song and that was a Rolling Stones classic – It’s all over now ….. and it was a corker……… Aaron / Little Ted made me laugh, he said that Ted and himself had a practice the night before and Ted didn’t do any of them today Hahahahahahahaah….. I can relate to that!! Awesome 🙂
Our very out of tune piano was put through it’s paces again this month when Elora pounded the ivories, Elora has only been learning the piano a matter of weeks and is already on her second performance at The Bluebird, today she played quite aptly ……….. Bluebird! Tremendous effort Elora, a lovely performance 🙂
Jen joined us next and started her set with an Ed Sheeran number – Thinking out loud, a difficult song to perform well but it wasn’t a problem to Jen, vocals flew effortlessly and the guitar playing was superb! Jen treated us to a new song that she had written called – The Stranger, Jen’s song writing has gone from strength to strength and this was no exception, great storytelling and a cracking melody! Jen finished her set with – Who’s gonna ride your wild horses, a U2 classic which was sung and played beautifully…….. Corking!
A big smile appeared on my face when I saw who was next up…… This young lady has an awesome voice and doesn’t realise it….. Which always makes it a little more special 🙂The young lady was Shannon and she was about to reveal another talent when she took to the stage with her guitar (I’d never heard her play before) Shannon ripped into – Air by Shawn Mendes……. Not trying to sound like anyone, just sounding like herself, she sounds amazing and her guitar playing ROCKS 🙂 Up next was a Kacey Musgraves number called – Biscuits….. Now as I’m sure you know, I love Country Music, so this was always going to be a winner in my book, Shannon put her own spin on it and gave an awesome performance! Shannon’s final number was – Let it go by James Bay, some really great guitar playing on this one along with some well thought out vocals………. I can’t wait to see this young lady in concert……. And I’ve got a feeling it won’t be long before I will!!
Esme Joined us next…… again a young lady with a tremendous voice (11yrs old… I think :)) Esme had a belter to start in the form of the Monsters And Men hit – Little Talks…… Great guitar playing and some phenomenal vocals. Up next was a song by Gabriella Cilmi called – Sweet about me, after this performance I think everybody was sweet about Esme……… See what I did there???? 🙂 Esme oozes confidence and I can see her on stage at Glasto one day….. She will of course arrive on a Harley!!!
Bit of a treat next with a Bluebird virgin……. Jonathan’s first time today at the Bluebird and I sincerely hope it isn’t his last 🙂 unbelievably we have never had a classical guitarist play at The Bluebird….. Until today, Jonathan played us a trio of instrumentals starting with Don Maclean’s Vincent…… WOW!!!!! Jaws were dropping all around the room……. Jonathan’s playing was sublime and completely mesmerizing 🙂 I’m not even going to attempt to name the next couple of songs, suffice to say they were Latin American and played brilliantly ……….. Jonathan, please come back and visit us again, you will be made very welcome:)
Last but by no means least today and sporting some very nice bling for Valentines day…… Congratulations guys, I couldn’t be happier for you both 🙂 Fi and Doug put the finishing touches to a great Bluebird, first up was a fantastic folkie number – Fisherman’s Blues, making the most out of Fi’s droolsome Mandolin. To say that Doug has a driving guitar is the understatement of the decade, the sound is huge and Fi’s voice tempers it and complements it all at once. It was time for a Chuck Berry classic C’est La Vie….. Rockin’ and awesome………….. For the life of me I can’t remember their final song (the meds must have been wearing off by then!!) A cracking set, topping off a cracking afternoon………. 🙂
Thanks to everyone for coming and special thanks to Tony and Cody for loading, unloading, setting up, packing up, loading and putting away all of the gear for me, today’s Bluebird would not have happened if it wasn’t for you both…. It was very much appreciated 🙂
Until next month, keep practising, change those strings and learn some new songs, and I’ll see you on Sunday 13th March.
Don’t forget we have Bluebird Camp 1st July – 3rd July and an un-missable gig on Fri 10th June with Ian Cal Ford…………. Please drop me a message if you would like to book a place at either 🙂
Sunday 24th January 2016 Review
The first Bluebird of the year, a great turnout and some awesome cakes and fantastic music.
A little bit of self indulgence to start the afternoon off with my new found partners in crime and our new venture “Bilbo Baggins & The Dark Destroyers” I love these guys and it gives me such a buzz to perform with them………. Thank you Bluebird 🙂
Harry and Cody were continuing their national tour of Stratton-on-the-Fosse with their second Stratton gig of the weekend, after a very successful support slot for Bilbo and gang at the Kings Arms. To say that I am extremely proud of these two would be an understatement, their performance has gotten stronger after every Bluebird and the audience loved them on Friday and showed their appreciation with a very profitable whip round. Great vocals and some cracking guitar work….. well done guys !!
Next it was Elswyth with a new song that she had recently written, her rather well meaning but slightly slow roadie, set her up with her droolsome Telecaster and she settled down on The Bluebird chair. Elswyth performed her new song “I like Sausage Rolls” (Think… I love Rock N’ Roll) and I think everyone was giggling along at some point…… including Elswyth who also got a fit of the giggles 🙂 Elswyth is a true performer and I’m sure will be a force to be reckoned with when she is older 🙂
Elswyth’s sister Elora can usually be found minding her own business and eating cake during our Sunday afternoons, but this month she surprised everyone by jumping on the piano and belting out “Lean on me” that she had just learnt at school. Pretty good for a first performance and only after three lessons……. Well done Elora!!
Peas in the pub had a new pea with them this month in the form of Aaron, Ted’s son joining Ted and Dougal, three stonking numbers…. Sitting on Top of the World, Black Magic Woman and Darkest Night. Pat’s voice (Big Ted) always brings a smile to my face, it’s everything you want from a Blues singer…. Chocolatey smooth vocals 🙂 the guitar work by Pat (Big Ted) Aaron (Little Ted) and Tony (Dougal) was, as always, top notch. They work together brilliantly and are always entertaining!! Thanks guys 🙂
I was quite excited about our next performer because I had heard some great things about him and he had some big shoes to fill…………… He filled them with ease and style 🙂 The young man’s name was Keenan and he informed us that he was learning to play the cello (three months in, I believe!) his playing was precise and full of feeling and the audience were hooked straight away, the piece was “The Swan” from Carnival of Animals. Keenan’s instrument of choice is the Piano….. It is a brave person who chooses to showcase his talent on a very out of tune instrument, but that is exactly what Keenan did with our old, battered and very much out of tune piano……… He was as cool as a cucumber and not fazed at all…….. his playing was beautiful and sublime and everyone sat in stunned silence with their jaws on the tables. I cannot wait to hear this guy on Feb 14th when hopefully Chilcompton’s Abbey Pianos will be bringing along one of their wonderful Pianos and Keenan can really let rip ……. Awesome 🙂
Doug and Fiona joined us next and Fi had a new toy with her…… A Moon Mandolin ….. Gorgeous!!! Three songs from the human jukebox and his partner in crime……. End of the Line, Every River and the third one is undecipherable on my hastily scribbled notes ….. DOH! Doug and Fi work well together and really enjoy playing which in turn enthuses everyone else to tune in and enjoy….. Cracking!
Ethan was next up and performed three numbers, “Your Song”” Mr Bright Side” and “Stiches/Counting Cars” Ethan has a very distinctive style and I think with a bit of work on pitch could develop a unique vocal style that would really become his own. It’s always a brave step to perform on your own, well done Ethan!
Next up was one of the Dark Destroyers …….. Jen…….. She had ditched the dead weight and was performing on her own, kicking things off with Romeo and Juliette, it’s a hard song to sing and play but Jen did it justice. She followed up with an Avril Lavene song called Tomorrow, a beautiful rendition, sung with feeling and passion 🙂 Jen has been busy with her song writing recently and treated us to a new creation “Try” Jen’s song writing goes from strength to strength and I am in awe of her talent……. Awesome 🙂
2 Oak Sons joined us next……. If you have never heard them then you are missing out big time, this duo should be on everyone’s bucket list……. They manage to create a dreamy soundscape that allows you to enter a parallel universe where fluffy rabbits can fly and politicians spontaneously combust in time to the music………. Well perhaps not but they do de-stress everybody within a mile radius of their performance……… Sublime vocals and astounding guitars………. Love these guys 🙂
Last but by no means least was Sophie who kicked off her performance on the piano…… Don’t think I’ve heard Soph play piano before but……… She CAN play, she played a happy little song called “Drown” 🙂 only two from Sophie this month and she gave us a little insight to a new song that she was working on called “Simple Song” Looks like it’s gonna be another good one ….. Thanks for sharing Soph 🙂
Another great Bluebird, with some phenomenal performances, phenomenal cake and a phenomenal audience. Thanks to Sara and Jo for slaving in the kitchen and to everyone who helps to set up and clear away, it’s very much appreciated! And of course, thanks to everyone who came to perform or came to listen……….. without you we would just eat cake….. Mmmmmmm, now there’s a thought …… The Bluebird Cake Eating Club 🙂
See you all on Sunday 14th February……. And don’t forget my card!!!!!
SUNDAY 15TH November Bluebird Review
Sunday 4th October Bluebird Review
What a fantastic return to The Bluebird Acoustic Cafe, I couldn’t have been happier with the turnout, the hard work by everybody over the summer really paid off!!
First up today was Ethan who showed his versatility by jumping straight on the piano……… Well not literally, he played it…… really well as it happens! His first number was “We don’t have to take our clothes off”….. A great first number. He followed it up with “Shut up and dance with me” which he played on guitar, Ethan finished off his set with “Boulevard of broken dreams” also on guitar. Ethan has a very unique vocal phrasing style that is completely his own which is great to see and with a little more practise will help him to stand out from the crowd. A great start to the afternoon 🙂
Next up was a very jaded Simon who looked knackered and informed us that he had had a very looooooooong week. Simon kicked off his set with “Rolling Log”……….. Culminating with a first for Simon at The Bluebird………. He forgot the words (which gave ME lots of hope 😉 ). It was short lived though because he came storming back with “Worried miners blues” with some stonking guitar work and those wonderful Smokey vocals. Simon finished his set with one of his own compositions……. A follow up to “Frankie & Albert” entitled……….. Well, “Frankie & Albert Part Two” ……… Obviously 😉 An absolute blinder of a song ……. Never thought I’d hear Simon singing about Tweeting, Pay Pal and Facebook……. A very pleasant surprise and a fantastic song 🙂
Up next was Harry & Cody, these guys spend very little time these days without a guitar round their necks and it’s really starting to pay off. Three new songs today at The Bluebird starting with “Five colours in her hair” Strong guitars working together like a machine……… However, what came next really impressed me, it took a while to convince Harry that he could sing and he is now oozing confidence and rocking those vocals, but he has now managed to convince Cody to start exercising his vocal chords as well……. A shock because Cody has NEVER sang in front of me!!! They performed “Year 3000” great guitars, great lead vocals AND great backing vocals!! :). They finished off with “When I come round” and “Air Hostess”. It makes me really proud when I see these guys perform because they are literally getting better and better every time they perform……. Well done guys 🙂
Jogging to the front of the room next were Peas in the Pub, Pat & Tony…… The guys kicked proceedings off with one of Pat’s own compositions “The Horizon” a cracking song and played and sung with the pair’s usual finesse 🙂 For their next song, Pat reached for The Devil’s Finger, better known to us all as a capo……. The thing that puts the fear of Davros into Tony, as he has to transpose on the fly, always very entertaining 😉 They treated us to a great version of Motherless Children…. Growling vocals, and some awesome guitar work by the both of them. They finished off with another cracking song called White stone, a favourite of mine by Ted and Dougal….. Fantabulous 🙂
Soph joined us next and premiered her new song “The Call” Soph’s vocals were mesmerizing, her guitar work was some of the best I’ve heard from her and the song was just……. Beautiful, I just don’t know where this young lady pulls them from but wherever they come from, it’s a very special place indeed!!! Sophie then treated us to a preview of a new song that she is currently working on…. No title yet, two verses and no chorus as yet but it’s sounding very promising…… yet another belter from the Curtis repertoire 🙂
Next up was a young girl who I have been trying to convince into coming along for a long time, her name is Shannon and she has been attending Get In2 Sound with Cody and Harry…. the music club run by Anna and Simon from The Loft in Radstock. Her vocals are superb and I’m really pleased that she decided to come along. She was joined on guitar and banjo by Dylan and myself and chose to sing “Jolene”, we had never played together before but it didn’t faze Shannon, she watched for signals and read them brilliantly, her vocal was strong, and awesome, she made the song her own and sang with confidence……….. Can’t wait to hear what she has in store for us next month 🙂
Dyl was an absolute star this month, he is really busy with his business but took the time to come over when I sent an SOS requesting him to bring his banjo, after Shannon had said that she would love to perform with one……… Strange girl !!! 😉 Dyl gave us some banjo pyrotechnics in the form of Foggy Mountain Breakdown and a Banjo medley…… Awesome picking dude 🙂 Back on to guitar and an inspiring rendition of “Layla” was followed by “Breakfast at Tiffanys” …… Fantastic Dyl Boy 🙂
The end of the Cafe was upon us and it was brought to a stupendous close by James playing some amazing Boogie Woogie piano, ably supported by Simon, Dyl and Pat. It was a fantastic finale that brought a huge smile to everyone’s face along with lots of foot tapping and wouldn’t have been possible without the kind loan of our wonderful piano supplied by Abbey Piano services in Chilcompton, who kindly bring it along to all of our Sunday Bluebirds – Thanks guys 🙂
Thanks also to Sara for some amazing lip smacking cakes this month, and to Jo for her tea and coffee making and of course for putting up with my stupid ideas 😉 to our “Door Staff” Mike and Tyler, our waitress service from Peggy, and to my Roadie Cody for helping me to load up, set up, pack up and put away. Thanks also to everyone who stayed and helped to pack away and clean up the hall.
And of course thanks to everyone who came along, played, listened and showed their support and ate cake…….. Looking forward to seeing you all again next month 🙂
Sunday 17th May Bluebird Review – By Gary Maule
Great cakes and great music, there really isn’t a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon and today was no exception!!
First up was Harry and Cody with “Time of Your Life” strong vocals from Harry and some awesome guitar work from both Cody and Harry, the confidence that these guys show is absolutely fantastic to see, I would be more than happy to have either one or both boys supporting me on guitar, their rhythm is strong and always spot on!! They followed up with Boulevard of Broken Dreams, which sounded great !! Harry’s vocals are improving every month with added confidence each time he sings.
Next was a first for Cody…….. he was playing solo, supporting his vocalist friend and first time Bluebird performer Ethan. The boys kicked things off with “Radioactive”, great solid guitar playing by Cody and some great vocals by Ethan. Next they decided that they would pinch my “signature” song Sweet Home Alabama!!!!!! What I really liked was that Ethan has his own style, he doesn’t try to sound like the artist who performed the song, he sings it very much his own way and in his own style……… fantastic to see!!!! Cody’s rhythm hand makes me very proud, I wish I was as good as him at his age!!!
Joining us next was a lady who we have seen grow in confidence and ability into the Rock Diva that she is today, her voice has developed beautifully and she really has her own style which I love! Jen kicked things off with a KT Tunstall number “Other Side of the World”…. Awesome dreamy vocals, I nearly dropped off!!! Jen finished her set with a U2 number Wild Horses and proved that she really has found her OWN voice…… Fantasmical !!!!
Not content with playing drums, harmonica, guitar and the spoons, James decided this month that he would play the piano….. Now we only have the piano in the hall that is BADLY in need of tuning but this didn’t stop James from belting out some truly amazing Boogie Woogie piano, I looked around the hall and I don’t think that there was a still leg in the whole room!!!!! We were going to tune the piano but I don’t think we’ll bother now!!!!!!! Awesome James.
We had a stranger join us next………… well we hadn’t seen her for a while!!!! Sophie straight away made a confession that she had been “playing around”, we were all relieved that she was referring to the ukulele!!!!! Soph treated us to her new song “There’s No Good In Goodbyes” which was to her usual standard………… AWESOME!!! She played a cover next by The Cranberries / Amy MacDonald / Megadeath…… I still don’t think we worked out WHO did it!! The song was “This is the Life”, it sounded great, whoever it was by!! Soph finished her set with one of her first songs “Photographs and Memories”………. It won’t be long before Soph releases her greatest hits album as she is churning them out quite nicely and they’re all incredible!!!!!
Some exciting news next from our very own mutant guitarist Darren Hodge……. Darren has been asked to take part in a Sky Arts program called “Guitar Star” that is being presented by Eve Bowman. This is an awesome opportunity for Darren to reach a huge audience…… and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!!!!!! Look out for it and cheer Dazza on. Today The Mutant fired into Nashville session artist Brent Mason’s composition “First Rule of Thumb” …….. OMG, I see it but I just can’t compute it… it’s like trying to interpret Binary Code!!!! It really shouldn’t be possible to do what Darren does and it’s amusing to watch the Bluebird’s best guitarists watching Dazza with their mouths open. He may be a guitar genius but he is also a very humble young man who doesn’t even know what an ego is. There was more guitar pyrotechnics from The Mutant as he burned his way through Chet Atkin’s Avalon and Jerry Reed’s Funky. If you haven’t yet seen Darren then please please please visit his website and find out where he’s playing and pay him a visit….. You won’t be disappointed!!!!!!!
Last but by no means least, we were joined by Peas in a Pub or Father Ted and Dougal or Oliver Reed and Bilbo Baggins……. I get sooo confused, I never know what to call them!!! The guys kicked things off with a tribute to the recently departed BB King … a very fitting “The Thrill Has Gone” It was a fantastic tribute and as a treat for Tony, Pat decided not to use a capo!!!! Next up was a Rolling Stones classic “Wild Horses” but the best was yet to come, they finished their set with a Christy Moore song and one of my all time favourites “Ride On” I was fortunate along with Jo, to see Christy in concert only a few days previously and this brought it all back………. very well played guys, thanks!
Well that was it for another month………. well not quite, we still have Open Farm Sunday to look forward to on Sunday 7th June, we have a great line up and I can’t wait!!!!!!!
See you all at Open Farm Sunday!