The kids are alright…really they are….

Posted: March 7, 2012 in Just another Day...

Well hello you lot… I hope you are all well and happy despite the crappy weather we are enduring right now.  I’ve been doing that thing I always seem to do and getting behind on my work, I never manage to get organised and it doesn’t matter how many to-do lists I have, or the whiteboards I have on my office wall stating what I’m doing and when down to the last-minute of each day.  Things come up, mixing desks go wrong, staff call in sick, people call and before you know it you’re a day behind.  Anyway, it doesn’t matter – it’s not like it’s a surprise to me really – I’ve been late all my life, why change now lol.  Well, with all that I have been meaning to blog for ages and finally here I am. We’ve had a mad couple of months and its crazy to think that it seems a blink of an eye ago I was rambling on about Christmas – scary huh?  It’s been a fun couple of weeks with some great bands. I had an awesome birthday weekend with ‘MAETLOAF’, it was so good and I even managed to remember it 🙂 (just), thank you to all of you that sent me cards and came down to share it with me, it was a brilliant night.   Also this weekend just passed we were lucky enough to present  ‘The Burning Crows’ EP launch party. This band will always hold a special place for me. I can honestly say that I remember these boys when they first walked into the pub, they must have been about 14 years old and were in a band and could they have a gig please? It has been an amazing experience for me to watch them grow into truly competent musicians as well as decent young men – I’m not going to harp on about that as I wouldn’t want to embarrass them (it’s ok boys i wont put any of the pics up from that first gig lol) but it definitely got me thinking about our younger clientel.

Way back when I was at school I can remember getting my options form and laying on the living room floor with my mum chatting about what to take. She asked me the million dollar question ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ there was only one answer – ‘A ROCK STAR’. Being the amazing woman who my mum is, she didn’t laugh, she just said that was fine and she would help me all she could, but I had to pick some subjects anyway as a backup so I chose every science I could with the hopes of someday becoming a Vet if my musical dreams didn’t work out.  I have to say, I may never have played Wembley but I have had a brilliant musical career and I wouldn’t change a single thing. It’s something I couldn’t have done without my mum’s love, support and encouragement. How lucky was I? Playing in bands from an early age was tough – in those days venues didn’t like children (because essentially that was exactly what I was) in them. I played my first gig at 14years old, and from that day on I was playing a minimum of three times a week.  I had to lie about my age to be allowed to play and it was always a little touch and go for the band whether we would get away with it or not.  As an adult, mum and I always said if we could help young people in music then we would, that opportunity would present itself in the end…  About eleven years ago, way before we moved in here, I worked as a residential social worker for a local company providing residential care for young people in crisis.  Without going into too much detail, these kids had been to hell and back and we were the last stop.  It was rewarding work albeit sometimes hard, thinking you can make a difference is definitely what keeps you going in such jobs.  When The Brickies was on the market, possibly going to be either chain bought or knocked down for the land it was a sharp blow to the local music scene.  Most of you know the story of how and why we ended up here so I won’t go into it again but mainly to open up the stage to everyone – irrelevant of age.  At the time venues we dropping like flies and it seemed the right thing to do. How was our local music scene ever going to flourish and give birth to new bands without nurturing our new talent?  Over the years, we have seen so many young people through our doors, starting on our stages from the age of as young as 11.  We like to think we have created a space for young people to come and express their creativity and musical ability, to learn and develop their musical and sometimes personal individuality – It is a place where parents now feel safe to drop off their kids and pick them up in a couple of hours.  I can understand why some parents would feel uneasy about it, I would feel the same over my own. Of course – yes we are a pub and that you can never take away but ‘The Brickies’ is so much more than that. We have music pumping around the foundations here and a commitment to everyone that comes in and enjoys themselves here that we will endeavour to make it a safe, happy environment. 

I don’t know how many of you guys knew Dalmaine Dewgarde – known in the area as Dal? Well he and I would chat on a regular basis and we always spoke about our young people here in Sprowston, and those that visit us on a regular basis whether to play or watch. He often said that he felt the young people of the local area were generally very good people, he respected them and they respected him. He was in his 80’s yet so in touch with our local youth, he was a total inspiration and together we made plans for helping young people get along in the local music scene.  Sadly he passed away a few weeks ago now, but we strive to continue what we set out to do.  I had a moment last week where I was visited by the carer of one of our regular younger visitors.  I actually thought I was in trouble for a moment, but as we sat down and started talking I realised that she was actually thanking me. I felt completely humble and embarrassed, I mean what exactly did I do?  It seems the young man she was responsible for had been living on the edge for sometime after a somewhat traumatic childhood. Obviously I can’t and wouldn’t want to go into details but it seems we gave him something positive to focus on. Now, just that one good story is worth 9 years of hard work, even without mentioning all the other amazing stuff… So why am I running on about this – I don’t know really, just airing my thoughts after chatting to some of our youngsters at the weekend and actually having a good giggle with them… I think a lot of Norwich’s young people get tarred with a really bad brush… sure there are some that really are trouble makers but if we all take the time to show them some respect, talk to them, laugh, joke and encourage them then why shouldn’t they give it back to us? I’m not just blowing the Brickies trumpet here – Dal made me realise that, more than he will ever know. If we just stop and take the time, they have so much to offer.  As far as the music scene goes, well there are some awesome venues doing things for young people out there – ‘Open’, ‘Access To Music’ and more. For now – we promise to keep promoting our local music scene, getting new bands in all the time, as well as your old favs. What can you do? well, encourage everyone you know to go and see live music – not just here but at every venue you can in Norwich, and there are some really good ones out there and it’s important that we keep them to keep our music scene strong and alive. Without your support they wont be able to pay the bills. We all know times are hard but pulling together is what makes it stronger. Go and see a band you’ve never heard of… I dare you!

That was very random and all over the place lol, I guess that’s what blogs are all about though right? opening your head lol.

Just very quickly tell you about this weekend as it is very exciting.  Friday night we have a date with The Stylotones, an awesome big ska/2tone band. If you like windin’ and grindin’ then don’t miss these guys – they are definitely one of the best in the region.  Saturday night is a personal favourite of mine ‘PURE FLOYD SHOW’ – yes, it does what it says on the tin. The best Floyd tribute in East Anglia…its a fiver to get in but we guarantee you wont be disappointed, they are truly amazing, even have the female backing singers too!

Right guys, enough blah blah blah for now…. Got to go and set up for Open Mic Night…why don’t you come down and have a go….

Have a great week


  1. Hi Charlie,love your blog.I am trying to get to Norwich for Saturday night in the Brickies,x

  2. Tanya says:

    They so are! So many young people are so wonderful and talented and thankfully people like the staff at the Brickies appreciate this. I am so often bowled over by the maturity, pleasantness and downright dedication of young people that I don’t quite understand how they get such a bad press!

    • brickies says:

      Thanks for the comment Tanya. I totally agree. Sadly media hype doesn’t help and they easily tar them all with the same brush rather than treat them as individuals. However there are equally
      some amazing people out there that are doing just that, and are making a difference..thank goodness for them 😉

  3. Really enjoyed reading that charley was from the heart,an i cant wait for tyler to come bash his drums for

  4. tigger111 says:

    🙂 can almost hear you when you write …good stuff x

  5. Rob says:

    Nice to see an insight into your life before the Brickies Charlie! Glad you had a good birthday you seemed to be having fun. See you tonight x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s