Yeah, I can’t sleep…my brain won’t switch off thinking so I figured I’d waffle on in a blog post for a while to try and get it out there.  You know how it is, I’m always buzzing a bit when I get home from a shift, especially a feel good shift where everything just clicked. the band tonight were awesome – Renegade 12, if you haven’t seen them then make a note to catch them the next time they’re here (March 10th).  They seem to have infinite energy, it’s rare these days to see bands with such passion and enthusiasm and it’s so unforced, they generally just love it.  They work hard on stage and equally as hard off stage to build their fan base who faithfully travel over 40 miles to watch them here on our stage, it’s testament to the bands’ determination and talent. Obviously not forgetting Carly, their very hard working manager behind the scenes, keeping the boys in check.  These guys are definitely a band to watch.  So, yes it’s been another fab night at The Brickies, we are so very lucky to be able to say that several times a week, even now nearly 13years in.   

Christmas and New year were awesome in equal measure, it’s strange to even mention it, it feels so long ago when in reality it was like just five weeks back, and here I am planning the next newsletter with mention of Easter already.  It’s really early this year, end of March so we are already planning our first Bank Holiday Bash of the year. It feels wrong and way too early but it’s there and there is nothing we can do about it but embrace it.  So the bands are booked and the poster is designed, and newsletter is nearly there.  Talking of the newsletters, it seems that generally the new design has been well received, it’s still a bit of a work in progress but it has had good feedback so far. Of course get in touch and feel free to give us some feedback on it, it’s good to know what you all think.  March’s edition will be featuring an interview with Floating Greyhounds Drummer and local legend ‘Butty’ so that will definitely be worth a read and quite funny too I reckon.

Local promoter ‘Power Promotions’ have started a new acoustic night on the first Tuesday of the month, (Not another acoustic night I hear you cry…) but wait… This is different, like TOTALLY different. This is acoustic Metal in all it’s glory.  Imagine your favourite metal tracks played in a chilled out acoustic manner… Ok, maybe not so chilled but definitely acoustic and like nothing you’ve ever seen or heard before.  If you play, sing, growl or scream then get down here and have a go… It has to be metal, and it has to be acoustic.  

Obviously our regular acoustic Wednesday Open Mic nights carry on as normal. they have been so busy of late and it’s great to meet new performers all the time. Not just locals either, some performers have travelled from Suffolk and even as far as Cambridge some weeks.  Every Wednesday brings new surprises, although not everyone understands the workings of an open mic night.  In fact I have been thinking about producing a little tent card to put on the tables for Wednesday’s. A little tent card just outlining the unwritten rules of the open mic night.  I don’t know about any of you other performers out there but imagine this, you get up with your guitar to sing three songs that you have sweated your blood and tears into writing, I mean your’re bearing your soul up there for the whole world to see and while you’re trying to find that moment, your flow, all you can hear is the group of guys that have sat down in front of you, are intent in talking and laughing louder than you (even though you’re plugged into a 6k PA system) and pretend like you’re not there. What annoys me more is when other performers who are waiting to go on, or have been on already that then go and do exactly the same thing.  For the open mic performer there is no bigger insult than people talking over you, laughing and shouting over you when you are trying to sing, it’s rude and unnecessary,  in fact I have told people before who have been excessively noisy to go and sit in the pool room as they clearly didn’t come in to listen to the music.   I don’t mean to come across rude myself but I have been that person, that performer, I know how shitty it feels.  it’s kinda different if it’s a band on or a booked performance but open mic is different, if you come to watch open mic, you watch it, chat if you must but do so quietly with respect for the performers. If you need to chat loudly or have a roaring giggle with your mates, that’s totally cool but head to the bar area or the pool room, I do realise after all,  that we are a pub but we can cater for all.  It’s not a lot to ask, it’s just general etiquette for an open mic night. Haha I sound like a right moaning old bag there… Don’t mean to, but there it is.

Well it’s nearly 3am and I supposed I should have another go at a kip. I’m a lucky girl really,  I love my job, I get to watch live music all week long and I also get to play. This Saturday (tomorrow) is one such night.  Pure Passion will be on around 10pm – 12midnight but before then we have the brilliant Lucy Grubb – who is now 18 and has been playing on our stage since she was 14,  (same as me). It will be lovely to finally share a beer or two with her. She is a talented songwriter with a promising future. she will be on about 8.30pm so please come early enough to check her out.  After that we have new rock covers band on the scene ‘Rock Garden’ warming you up nicely for us. It’s going to be awesome and I can’t wait to blow away some cobwebs, the old fingers aren’t so fast any more lol. 

Oh before I forget, if any of you like quizzes, Sunday night will be just up your street. We are joining over 1800 other pubs across the UK in a Guinness World Record attempt for the biggest pub quiz ever.  it starts at 7pm, it’s £2 to enter and you can have a team of up to 8 people.  it’s general knowledge, 6 category rounds of 10 questions.  The winners get a cash prize and we will be raising money for Sprowston Youth Project. straight after that we will be doing our monthly music quiz too so it will be a marathon night for all quiz fans…  Come and join the fun! 

I could run on forever but at the risk of boring you all I will say goodnight and see you all down the front soon.

Keep going to gigs guys, and not just ours, Our fine city has some awesome venues and you guys keep the blood pumping in the veins of the Norwich Music Scene… We can’t thank you enough 🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎸🎸🎸🎸💥 xx

Laters 

Cx

No Stopping Santa….

Posted: November 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

ARGGGGGHHHHHHH!  I’ve just sat down to update the website and realised it’s December on Tuesday. To say I’m having a mild panic is an understatement.  I should be prepared and I’ll be honest Im further ahead than I normally am at this time of year but I had this awesome Idea of revamping our Brickies monthly newsletter and suddenly realised I have two weeks in which to finish it.  I got myself all very ahead, the adverts and Decembers newsletter all done and ready to go to print but I think I sat on my laurels and dreamed for a week, and here I am with my old buddy panic sharing a last cuppa and half a crunchy that was left on the desk (Sorry Em, that was me if you’re wondering – I ate it!)

So yes,  we/I have decided to give our newsletter a bit of a facelift, it will still bring you the gigs for the month for both The Brickies and B2 but there will be a few small changes, mainly a feature that shows us talking to some of our local bands and giving you some interesting interviews with local musicians and artistes who you may have been watching for years but know nothing about. We thought it may be nice to give you all a little insight to the people behind the music on our stages. Hopefully along with a refreshing new design it will bring the trust newsletter a little more up to date. That is if I pull my socks up and get it sorted… Watch this space in January… (I hope)

Christmas…  The C Word!  I meet equal amounts of people in the pub that love or hate it. Despite your feelings towards it, it is still on it’s way and there is nothing we can do to stop it.  The city is packed full of crazy shoppers by the day and we are just about ready for the festive month.  Mum was hanging off the roof on Saturday with her yearly olympic gold winning acrobatics of hanging the Christmas lights.  This week we will decorate the inside of the pub and put a tree up. The 100 best Christmas songs are loaded into the jukebox and we have the Christmas Carol Concert planned for a couple of weeks.  Yes!! I really did say that…. How many of you actually know that we have a year Christmas Carol Concert? (At Christmas of course)  This year it is on Sunday 13th December at 5pm. Its all FREE ENTRY, we have Carol Singing, Mince Pies, Mulled Wine, Performances from The Notations, Sprowston Teen Cafe, PP3 and hopefully Norwich Signing Choir will be here to give us a special Christmas performance. Together with Rev Simon Stokes and his Guide Dog ‘Hope’ we plan to make it a very memorable afternoon.  It lasts about an hour and a half and is a great way to shake off the chills and celebrate what Christmas means to us all, Bringing together a community in Music and laughter with a warm fuzziness that is generated from the Mulled Wine.  Come and join us from 5pm, the last three years have been so busy we  genuinely couldn’t fit any more so make sure you get here early.
As far as Christmas is concerned, it’s going to be pretty busy here, we have the awesome ‘NIGHTLIFE’ here on Christmas Eve and then Mum and I will be opening up on Christmas Day for all those of you that would like to come and share a festive tipple with us. We are open from 12pm – 3pm, just enough time for the turkey to crisp up.   We will then close for a festive snooze until Boxing Day when we re-open at 7pm for a night of Rock to blow away the snow filled cobwebs. UPRISING will be on stage from 9pm.  On Sunday 27th we get a tad ridiculous with Pot Luck Karaoke. It is exactly that, you don’t know what you’re singing until you’re about to sing it. Its a lot of fun and makes a lot of giggles.  New Years Eve tickets are shifting fast now so if you want to see the New Year in with us here at The Brickies, don’t delay. Get your ticket now from the bar.  We have PURE PASSION and ULTRAEGO – two awesome bands to see us into 2016!

Well talking about it more has totally made me realise I need to get a move on and shut up chatting, especially as The Lee Vasey Band has just started and I am supposed to be on the sound desk around….errrr….now.

Happy Advent folks and see ya soon!!

Much love

Charley x

Yes folks, it’s August and things are going mental, all totally in a good way of course but there’s much to plan and even more to plan to plan, if that makes sense.  We are on the countdown to BRICKFEST 2015 now (there is officially 24 days to go) and we are all busy little bees getting things done.  We have ordered new T-shirts for Brickfest 2015, this year they are Printed in a very saucy red. We also have Childrens sizes available this year as so many of you requested them for your Brickies kids last year. So you can now kit out your whole family in true Brickfest style!  We also have some very exciting Brickfest mugs and of course some vintage Brickfest merchandise for all you avid Brickfesters…  The Brochures/  event guide have been printed in glorious technicolor and are here already. or you to check out our line up nice and early so you can plan your day well in advance,  feel free to pop in and pick one up – you don’t need to wait until the day.  Its a running joke with Mum, Em and I that we have to leave the printed material til as late as possible as we always get at least one act pull out on us.  Well this year I was running very late on my deadlines so thought we were safe, home and dry. Alas,  we had an act pull out this morning… however, all is not lost, we are lucky to have a long waiting list of bands waiting to get on The Brickfest line-up so we filled the gap quickly. Another sigh of relief:) and then there’s the marquee – we put it up earlier in the year for an all day event and it was the same weekend as all those crazy storms and winds.  A few of the poles had bent beyond salvage so we have been on a treasure hunt searching for spare poles to fit our “very rare size” (of course!!!) marquee!!.  We manage to find the one place in the whole UK that make them, however they only do them in white so now we have a silver and white marquee hahaha…   Anyway, niggles aside, we are actually almost ready, tombola prizes are awesome this year including a very sexy Jagermeister machine (same as we have on our bar) among many others, wristbands printed, event guides printed, awaiting delivery of T-shirts and mugs, massive – ‘ I didn’t realise how big I had ordered it’ banner printed (note to self: go out on the roundabout and plaster banner for all of Sprowston to marvel at), Em made sure the bands are booked, cookie stall booked, BBQ booked, Bouncy thingies booked, Face painter booked…. Mum is sorting out the tombola. bar and the stock….. errrrr…errrrr…cant think of anything else…I think all we need now is you guys to come and enjoy it all and of course maybe a little splatter of sunshine.:)

When Brickfest is peeking over the horizon it is sometimes difficult to focus on anything else but lets not forget that around this awesome festival are another 364 awesome days jam packed with great music for you all.  Our diary is chockablock and already we have people wanting bookings for for next year.. something Im happy to say we’re not even going to contemplate doing until at least mid September.. The days, weeks, months just seem to fly by..  I look at my little blog here and can’t believe its taken me five hours to write these few lines but in fairness I have soundchecked and gigged two fab bands in the midst so its not so bad after all.

We spent the night with ‘The Super Action Heroes’, four fun chappies who generally have fun on stage, its a pleasure to see actually, It amazes me sometimes how so many bands look unhappy when they gig, don’t misunderstand me, I’m not pointing any fingers.  Its just, well – you see people having a good time and it’s infectious, a smile catches on just as quickly as a yawn but makes you feel so much better.  It makes me happy when I see a band really loving what they do and really having fun….that’s what music is all about, provoking a response, in this case a happy one.  When I gig I can’t help but smile, it makes me very happy and I have so much fun with my fellow band mates, I feel like it spreads out over the crowd, be it 10 people or 300 people. Whats the point of doing it if it makes you frown.  Ohhhh speaking of me gigging,  just in case any of you want to come and watch us having fun and maybe even join us in fun having – Pure Passion are on tomorrow ( ooops today now)  that is Saturday 8th August for those of you that I may be really confusing hahaha. Maybe I need a coffee… excuse the shameless plug there, oh well why not.

It seems that it is now the time of night where I’m going to waffle on an exceptional amount and say hardly anything so its probably a really good idea to say my goodnights and wish you an exceptionally awesome weekend.  Hope to see some of you this Sat (that’s tonight).

Keep Rockin’ people and see ya at a gig sometime:)

Cx

PS:  Emma is bringing you lots of Brickfest previews on our facebook site, but here’s one of my own… an acoustic act that are playing The Acoustic Tent at BRICKFEST this year.  They are on at 5.30pm and I for one can’t wait to check out MORGANWAY in The Brickies garden!  Watch and see for yourself …

No excuses!!

Posted: July 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

Yes, there are no excuses Im afraid.  It’s been so long since I wrote anything on here I figured I should pull my finger out and touch base with you all.  Its been a crazy, manic last year or so and somewhat hard for us all too.  Personally we’ve suffered several family losses in a very short time, pulling yourself together while trying to run a business can be difficult. I think that’s probably why I stayed away from blogging to be totally honest. When I write, it feels as if I am chatting and that gives a certain amount of me to you all. I think that while we were all feeling so much grief I didn’t really want to spill that over to my blog, it wouldn’t have been a pretty sight and quite frankly not what you all want to be reading.  We love what we do here at The Brickmakers, Both Mum, Em and I work hard to keep this lovely venue treading water in a very difficult sea however, things are good, the bands are exceptional as always and our lovely customers (that’s you lot)  keep coming in and supporting our thriving music scene which is the most important thing. It seems we are busier than ever these days and there’s no time to sit back and rest on our laurels…  this isn’t a trade in which we can afford to get complacent.  Its hard to keep up with other venues, many of which are backed by corporate or government funding, arts council funding etc. These venues can afford to install state of the art equipment, the sort of stuff we can only dream of.  However, we have ploughed every penny we have made back in to The Brickies and B2 over the last three years to finally move into the digital age, both rooms are now running Allen & Heath digital mixing consoles, just this month we have installed a new processor and re-coned all the front Speakers and Subs so we are now firing on all cylinders with a few mods.  the system is looking happy and sounding sweet and almost just in time for this years BRICKFEST!

Mum, Em and I make the perfect team when it comes to aspirations for the future of The Brickies.  We may have been here 12 years but there is always something happening on our dream train.  I am the one that seems to dream up crazy dreams, Mum is the one that usually says the hard stuff, like the reasons why we can’t, Em is the mediator in the middle that finds a way that we can.  This is how B2 got built,   BRICKFEST was born and we refurbished the main bar area.  We have lots of dreams and ideas for the future,  our main problem is deciding which on to do next, you’ll have to watch this space for that one lol.

Anyway, Im not going to ramble on too much, i’m just waving hello here and apologising for my lack of presence.  I’ll endeavor to maintain a much better blogging relationship with you all now.

Have an awesome week, hopefully we’ll see you down here this weekend – we’ve got some great stuff happening.

Much love

Charley x

bad timing…….

Posted: August 25, 2013 in Just another Day...

Well if ever there WASN’T a good time to fall down the stairs and break my wrist it is now right???? just days before our biggest event of the year and what the Hell I’ll go and do it anyway.  So, on Tuesday I took a flight down my stairs, broke my wrist and gashed my head open. EPIC FAIL!!!! So now trying to do everything one handed is proving a challenge as I discovered this morning, even putting up a mic stand became a labored effort and resulted in many swear words, then there were the cables which, less face it – get tangled up enough with two hands. By the time my staff arrived for their shift I was very red faced and in need of much coffee. So, the band are ready to go and I thought I needed another challenge – the one handed blog. It’s doable, here I am typing quite happily.  Things are just about in place for Tomorrow, all we need now is for the sun to shine and for all you guys to come.  We have a huge line up this year,  it’s going to be fab.  I wont be playing though, obviously. We have an awesome dep who is standing in for me in PP so I will be singing and showing off my moves hah hah….that will be worth the entrance fee alone!!!!  Anyway, this was only a little blog to shake and wake you all about tomorrow. Its starts at 12 noon so I look forward to seeing you all then. For more in depth BRICKFEST info read the previous blog and click the link to the brochure. Im gonna go have more caffeine.

Happy Sunday folks.

Cxxx

A massive hello to you all from me, and everyone here at The Brickies, mainly me though (Charley) as I’m the one writing this… funny that!  I know a lot of you enjoy my blog and I can only apologise for the lack of attendance on here for the last few months.  I’ll be totally honest with you, I’ve been totally crap!  There it is, plain and simple.  I am human after all, had a couple of months where I wasn’t on form at all for reasons i wont bore you with, but I’m here now and here is the blog! Woooop Woooop.

So whats been happening; OMG! so much!!

Firstly we have won the regional award for ‘BEST ENTERTAINMENT PUB IN EAST ANGLIA 2013’ which is a huge achievement for us with the amount of fantastic venues around the region. We are so chuffed.  Its a credit to all the awesome bands that grace our stages everynight, and of course to you guys who keep coming to support them and us.  We now have to dust our frocks off and head to London next month to see if we are in with a chance to scope the National Award, its a tough one as the competition is very hot this year, watch this space guys!

Secondly….  The Choir!  I’m sure you all remember me chatting on here about my idea to form A Brickies choir back at the start of the year? If you haven’t heard about it  – where have you been?  It began as a very small thought that grew into an idea, then a vision and now its a 40 member strong reality..  We had our very first rehearsal in March and now, almost 6 months on we have a 20 minute set and have already been out gigging festivals, fetes and charity functions. To start with we called ourselves Brickies Rock Voices but after much discussion, the choir themselves chose a new name. ‘Charley’s Rock Angels’.  We are having a blast!  the choir isn’t like any other choir I have known.  The members are friendly and supportive of each other, almost like an extended family, it isn’t made up of egos,  yes there are a few members who play in bands but the majority of choir members are just people who love to sing. We take popular rock/pop songs and sprinkle them with a little Brickies magic. We’ve got a few appearances coming up if you fancy a look, most importantly you can catch us at BRICKFEST in the Acoustic Tent at 3.30pm. If you can hold a tune and are interested in joining, we rehearse every Tuesday night at 7.30pm in B2, come and have a listen if you like…. you can also find us on facebook here…

Lastly…. BRICKFEST 2013!!!    It’s totally crazy how one second you think there is ages to go and plenty of time to organise and then all of a sudden there is two weeks to go and we’re all panicking that things are gonna be ready, praying that everything will go to plan, bands will turn up, people will come, will it rain? have we got enough beer?  staff? OH and fancy dress costumes!!! Arghhhhhhh!!!!!    BY THE WAY!!!!  This year BRICKFEST is themed 70’s GLAM so make sure you join in with us and get all sparkly and groovy in a glam way. Dig out those platforms and psychedelic shirts! We’ve got some awesome prizes in the Tombola, ranging from a Kindle Fire through to A Mini Fridge, its huge! There is also our usual attractions including Face Painting for the kids with Emma Hart, Bouncy castle, Giant Inflatable Slide, BBQ, Outside Bar, Mister-Barista Coffee, Ice Cream Van,  The Jager Girls and of course 37 awesome bands that have given up their bank holiday to come and help us raise some money for Sprowston Junior School!   The full line up for BRICKFEST 2013 can be found here BRICKFEST 2013 PROGRAMME, download away and start planning your very own BRICKFEST DAY!  It’s going to be huge! It’s on Monday 26th August 2013 and starts at 12pm.  It’s only £2 to get in all day and kids under 12 get in FREE!!!!

This weekend is going to be fun, we are presenting the awesome BON GIOVI tomorrow night (FRIDAY 16th) if you like a lotta bit of 80’s rock then you better get down here as these guys are so near the real think you’ll find yourself doing a triple-take. It’s only a fiver to get in and it’s going to be packed!   Saturday night we have a date with FOURPLAY for a night of hendrix inspired rhythm and blues, a great local band picking up a last minute cancellation for us. A real treat in store!

Thanks for reading folks, I wont leave it so long next time…

See you all at BRICKFEST if not before… have a fab weekend

Charley x

Well it is the eve of the big party! we hit our decade tomorrow – 10 fantastic years. We have been privileged to share each one of them with you all. We’ve made some amazing friends along the way, some wonderful customers and of course an array of talented bands and musicians that have graced our stages for the last 3,652 days. Yes, that really is the number of days Mum, Em and I have been here at ‘The Brickies! Putting our time in. It’s been an amazing journey and we’ve come so far since we pulled that first pint back in April 2003. We had so much to learn, most of which we learnt the hard way, but that’s the way it goes and it made us a stronger unit. Together with our amazing staff team, we are riding the crest of The Brickies wave! our staff ROCK! And they are constantly being praised by customers and bands. WE couldn’t function without our awesome team, and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts for all their hard work and loyalty. We love you all. I’m true Brickmakers style, we have booked a night of great music for you to enjoy. Its a FREE ENTRY night so make sure you are in nice and early or you will be forced to queue. Everyone has been pestering us trying to find the secret name of the band…. Well never fear guys, the wait is almost over…. Just a few more hours. Hang in there. We promise you a lot of giggles and much dancing…. So guys and gals… We’ ll see you down the front! Ready to boogie all night long….? Hell YES!!!! We just want to say a massive thank you to all of you who have kept the faith and have believed in us. You keep us going on a regular basis… We love you all..Happy birthday to you all! enjoy your night, you all deserve it xxxxx oh and PS: the band are……. Dun dun dah!!! NOPE! I can’t tell you…..sorry. You’re just gonna have to come along xxx