Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Apocalypse and beyond…

Posted: March 30, 2020 in Uncategorized

Well, firstly I must apologise for it being so long since I wrote my last blog post.  I know a lot of you enjoy my infinite rambling. So much has happened in the past year – we’ve been through a lot as a business and we emerged (with a lot of help from you all)  alive and kicking from near closure. We were just about standing on our own two feet again and BANG!!! The doors are shut and in 24hours the world has totally changed.  We are however, all sailing in this boat together, facing the storm head on so to speak,  side by side (although 2m apart) …

So this is the story so far from our side of The Brickies, and what we are up to whilst under lockdown…  STOP HERE!!!  Go and put the kettle on and grab a custard cream or two…this is gonna be a long one!! 

We actually closed our doors on the Tuesday before the government announced forced closure on pubs and clubs.  It came at a time when Boris Johnson advised the general public to stay away from such establishments.  As expected,  The moment that was announced, the cancellations started rolling in and the most of our customers stayed away.

As always, we wanted to uphold our principles and our duty of care to our customers and bands – It was clear to us at that time, that it was vital we preserve the health and wellbeing of everyone that uses the venue by closing and not encouraging them to come and socialise in potentially dangerous environment.  

Financially, it was always going to be a nightmare, at that point, the government hadn’t forced closure, they had just advised the public to stay away which left all pubs and venues in a state of bewildered limbo. Even though we had stuck by our morals and shut our doors,  we still had the rent to pay, the bills to pay and staff that needed their wages. How the hell were we going to do that with no money coming in??  Needless to say all three of us had hardly any sleep that night.  This evil, relentless virus, the worry over our loved ones, especially of those most vulnerable, the worry of losing our beloved Brickies that we had fought so hard to keep, the worry of paying the bills and paying our staff team who are relying on us to put food on their tables..

Over the day Mum, Em and I got up early and started calling people,  we called our regional manager from the pubco, asking for rent deferral, funnily enough we weren’t alone – every other pub in the country was doing the same thing, she was awaiting instruction from head office.  Many cups of coffee later, we had managed to suspend payments on suppliers and service contracts. It was a start at least.  That day, we managed to knock our weekly outgoings down considerably.  However, there were some companies that wouldn’t defer payments, it meant that to pay staff and those companies, it was going to cost us almost £3,000 a week just to remain shut.  I don’t have to tell you that many weeks of that with no generated revenue means certain death for the business… At this point, there was no sign of any help from the state…

We cleared out all the stock and locked it away, gave away some short dated stock to local pubs who were still open, cleaned the lines, turned off the gas and electric and stood back to look at our bare, naked bar…this was scary as hell.

Another night with no sleep….

By now, I have no idea what day it was (still dont) but it was the next day all the same – with social distancing measures in place, Mum, Em and I were meeting via the means of modern technology – Em at this point was feeling poorly, she had a really bad cough and cold but no temperature, we told her she should be in bed resting but, she’s a stubborn bugger and there were things to sort.  The government finally made the decision to force closure for pubs bars and clubs and they announced measures to help businesses, and also the job retention scheme. We were advised to furlough our employees. So we spoke to all the staff and put them all on furlough.  Theoretically this works – In reality, it means whilst the staff are at home and not working, we have to pay them every week as we would normally and the government will reimburse us through HMRC.  However – bearing in mind our wages bill is over £1000 every week, we cant yet apply for the scheme as the guidance isn’t in place and we have been told that this will not come through until at least the first week of May.  So 12 weeks of paying our staff on top of everything else thats coming out could take everything we have and put us into the red and then some…

So – what about the small business grants the government have put into place I hear you cry?  Well again, a great idea from Rishi and when it’s up and running will help us all.  But the important word is WHEN!  We called the council to ask about applying and no one there had even heard of it let alone have any information on when to apply.

The next day (could be one of seven) Em spoke to a very nice man in the business rates department in the council who told us that the guidance for application for the grants hasn’t reached them yet and even when they do finally get it, chances are the money will not be available until possibly the end of JUNE!  By the end of the week Ei (now Stonegate) had agreed to suspend our rent for four weeks…phew. That was a relief, at least we could pay the staff.   Em is still very poorly, been given antibiotics.

So what now???  Well, we can but hope that all this guidance and help comes through quicker than they are saying. We will continue as long as we can emptying out the water from our leaking boat, with our bucket that has a hole in it.  But we still had so many questions…

If our rent is suspended for 4 weeks, what happens when that 4 weeks have passed? will they suspend it again?  Are they then going to want the rent for that period the minute we open again…? because if we are shut for 12 weeks, we are going to owe them in excess of £15,000 for rent alone, without paying our last beer bills… how do we pay it?  What about all our stock that will be out of date?  Will Em, Mum and I be able to furlough ourselves?

We spent the next couple of days trying to get our questions answered, and are still trying.  The problem is everything happened so fast, nobody knows and most are making it up as they go along.  So far though, so good. We are hanging in there!

Em is still feeling rough, antibiotics dont seem to be working.

That is the business aspect of it, and I think its good to be open and honest about these things – we dont know if we’ll make it out of this storm intact, no business does, but were gonna fight tooth and nail to keep it afloat, I think at this point, we have to shut our eyes and hope for the best of all this.

Right – Lets talk about the positives – 

  1. I have a very happy dog! He is at my side 24/7 (Just where he wants me), he has never had so many cuddles and walks, play time in the garden and doggy conversations  YES! we really do, do that!)
  2.  I may lose more weight!! – I have been walking for an hour EVERY day because Im  allowed to – not because I have to.  I also have been doing Yoga (see link at bottom if
    anyone wants to join in). I have also been using my cross trainer.. Whilst I have enough food, I have actually been very careful about what Im eating as I dont want to have to go to the supermarket unless ABSOLUTELY necessary.
  3.  I’m actually getting to read a book finally.
  4.  I almost have a normal body clock.  I’ve started going to bed before midnight and
    waking up early – my poor body is wondering what the hell is going on.  If and I return to my usual working hours, Im going to be in a right muddle – you all might need to prod me as you walk past…
  5.  I can hear the birds! and its beautiful…
  6.  I have huge faith in our community and the human race… the good in our species
    seriously out-ways the bad. There are some amazing humans out there!!


And what are we doing now???

well….   (maybe get another cuppa at this point)…

Going back to the night we closed, we had many conversations with customers and bands and the most common worry of many of them was the impact that social isolation would have on their mental health. How would they cope not being able to see and talk to other humans?  For many, music is a form of therapy, it offers a way to destress and release tension, to lose yourself in a song leaves no room for other thoughts.

That night, after we locked the venue,  Mum Em and I,  sat and chatted about a plan to ensure our customers and bands remained connected to each other.  If they couldn’t come to the music, how could we take it to them?

We came up with the crazy idea of a Brickmakers Internet Radio Station. It’s something I had wanted to do for a long time, but never had the time to sort it out.  In theory, this was a brilliant Idea – how to do it was another matter.  Being a Sound Engineer and muso myself, I had access to lots of equipment and a computer, there had to be a way.  So over the next three days I immersed myself in online tutorials and software and got lots of info from friends (thanks Ross Patzelt)  and by the Friday I was all ready to go.  I did a practice show on the Sunday evening and we went live on the Monday with the first show.

Now, exactly one week later, I am presenting four live shows every week that showcases local bands and have been having live phone interviews with band members. Listeners can chat with me online to ask questions or make song requests.

It dawned on me that we could use the radio for so much more than music, it was a way to reach out to our community.  Simon Stokes (Vicar at Sprowston Parish Churches) is a good friend, and we had been speaking about how he was feeling having to shut the doors of the church to his parishioners, whilst he understands the necessity, it goes against everything the church represents.  I got to thinking about using the radio to allow him communicate with the local community.  So now two mornings every week Local vicars Simon and Dean call in to the show for a virtual coffee and a chat.  It gives local listeners a chance to reach out for help, be it needing help with shopping, collecting medication or just needing a friendly chat.  We also broadcast the prerecorded Sunday Communion Service twice on Sundays.

In all we are getting over 100 listeners per show and the reaction has been very positive. It enables us to bring local music to people in our fine city, whilst hopefully making them feel a little less alone and isolated.

We do not currently broadcast on Fridays and Saturdays as we present our Live ‘NOT LIVE’ sessions on our facebook page.  These are streamed recordings we have made of live events on our stages over the last year.  This has been very popular, with the viewers posting photos of themselves watching the streamed shows and dancing in the living rooms – if you’re watching them and having a boogie, send me your videos or photos! We want to see you all rockin’ out to the Brickies bands in your living rooms!  You can post on our facebook page or tag us on instagram

So thats what I am doing with my time right now…. Mother is well but isolating at home, Em is dealing with emails from her bed (can’t keep her down!) she is better than she was but still feeling a bit rough, but the docs are keeping a close eye on her – will keep you all posted.  I promise to write a blog post at least once a week, at least that way you wont have such a mammoth tomb to read next time lol…

In the mean time folks, we promise to keep bringing the music to you, albeit in a slightly different format. I hope you are all staying safe, dont forget to reach out if you’re struggling YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We are all here, you can contact us if you need any help by email or phone:-

info@thebrickmakers.com

Radio (Call or Text)  +44 7537 10 30 22

The radio station schedule is below – tune in and come and say hello, would love to hear from you all.

Sending you all lots of Brickies love…

Charley, Pam and Em xxxx

BRICKMAKERS LIVE ON AIR – www.thebrickmakers.com/radio
Radio Schedule!
Monday  8pm – 10pm  BRICKMAKERS LIVE ON AIR – Local music and chat.
Tuesday 10am – 11am – More Tea Vicar – Sprowston Parish Vicars Simon and Dean
Tuesday 9pm -11pm – A.I.R Events presents BOOMBOX – local bands, music and interviews
Wednesday 4pm – 6pm  – BRICKMAKERS LIVE ON AIR – local music and live interviews
Thursday 10am – 11am – More Tea Vicar – Sprowston Parish Vicars Simon and Dean
Thursday 9pm – 11pm – THE LATE SHOW – Local music, requests and local chat
Sunday 10am – Sprowston Parish Church Communion Service
Sunday 6pm – Sprowston Parish Church Communion Service
Sunday 9pm – 11pm  THE LATE SHOW – Anything goes request show.
Kerry is offering these classes online, its superb for the body, but even better for the mind and soul.  They are open to everyone but she is asking for donations via paypal if you take part. All info is on the site.

 

We made it!!!

Posted: April 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

Yes we did, through the debris of general elections and Brexit we have emerged into 2017 with this awesome vessel we know as The Brickmakers!!  This Saturday – Mum, Emma and I celebrate our 14 years at the helm of this amazing musical institution.  We have all took turns in driving but in all reality, it is The Brickmakers itself and the people who love it that really drive the machine. It pushes us all the time to strive to be better, to provide more entertainment, to help more bands along their journey and to be a safe and relaxed environment in which to come and enjoy the best in local music.  All three of us feel privileged to have made it this far, running a pub in this day and age isn’t easy, overheads are reaching crazy heights, beer prices are always increasing and supermarkets don’t help pubs by selling alcohol at silly prices.  Yet, we are still here floating on this sea of craziness!!  We are fully aware that it is you guys, our customers and our huge rosta of loyal bands that have brought us along this far. We cannot express how grateful we are to you for being with us along the way, your love and support is precious to us and we promise to continue into the next however many years in the only way we know how.  With a vision to support and promote local music, providing a platform for our young musicians to grow and develop their talents and of course to keep bringing you the best local music across both of our stages.

Heading into our 15th year we bring you a night of celebrations this coming Saturday. Come down and join us for our annual surprise birthday party.  I know, I know it’s not a surprise because now we all know its happening (hahahaha) BUT….only Mum, Emma and I know who is going to be playing, not even our staff know so you’re not allowed to kidnap and torture them!!!  All you need to know is that you will need to get here by 9pm, we get packed out every year for this and if you’re not in early you will have to queue out in the cold so don’t faff about, get your glad rags on and come and have a birthday drink with us.  We can guarantee that this is one party you will not want to miss – It’s going to seriously ROCK!!!

Easter Sunday we have our regular appearance from the Lee Vasey Big Band at 12.30pm and then karaoke madness from 8.30pm.  Then after midnight it’s going to be all hands on deck behind the scenes to get stuff ready for our first Bank Holiday Bash of the year –

Easter Monday – ROCK THE RIBBON – 12noon – 12 midnight
After 14 years of bank holiday bashes we are a well oiled machine when it comes to organising them.  Emma bears the brunt of the work when it comes to booking all the bands, and she starts the planning of our charity bashes almost a year in advance, especially BRICKFEST.  We ask a lot of our bands, we know this, but every year they come back and play for us for free (and a couple of beers), we are so lucky and ever grateful for their support on a day when they could all be down the beach with their families. You are all amazing, lovely people!  Mum and our fab staff team spend ages gathering prizes from local companies for our gigantic tombola – we have an Amazon Fire up for grabs in our tombola on Monday so it’s definitely worth spending your quid on.  Then of course we have the music, ten fabulous acts starting at 12pm.  I get to kickstart this one off as Myself and Caz (Pure Passion’s first singer) play a impromptu acoustic set.  It is almost 24years since Caz and I sang together as a duo so we’re going to relive the past for half an hour and see what happens!  We also have Blind Tiger / The Collective / The Glamtastics / Enigma / Beautiful Dangerous / Lithium/ Super Action Heroes and Pure Passion taking to the stage to help us to raise some serious cash for Breast Cancer Research!   So, come on down Monday for some great music, a few beers and a burger.  There will be plenty for the kids to do too – facepainting and a bouncy castle to keep them entertained.  it’s only £2 to get in and all under 12’s get in for FREE!!!  All we ask is that if you have anything PINK – WEAR IT!!!!

So we are looking forward to celebrating our 14th birthday with you all and look forward to our 15th year with excitement and anticipation of whats to come.  Whatever the future brings we can guarantee it will certainly be musical!

Thanks again to you all for joining us for the ride – now buckle up, ere’ we go again!!!

Love Charley (Pam & Em too)

 

Tis The Season to be rockin’

Posted: December 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

Well, here it is folks just four more sleeps until the big red fellow drops down ya chimney with a shed load of presents for you all.  So, are you ready?  If you’re anything like me, Christmas has snuck up behind you and whacked you in the head with a giant snowball of ‘I need to do this….oh and this and shit! I need to go shopping!’.  With so many friends and family with birthdays in December too, it’s a very expensive month.  I’ll be heading off to Tesco about 3am to avoid the crowds of panic shoppers, there is a bright side to being nocturnal after all!

Reflecting back on 2016 we have had a truly awesome year.  This fine city is spilling over with talented musicians and bands,  just walking through the city proves this time and time again. Our city’s buskers are some of the finest I have heard. It’s not until you spend time in other cities that you feel privileged to be part of such a vibrant music scene. It’s one that welcomes everyone with open arms, no restrictions, all genres are catered for and the support network in itself becomes an extended family. That’s what music it all about, bringing people together. It’s heartwarming to see it thriving in our glorious Norwich. How lucky are we???

We have seen this year, in excess of 1300 acts over our two stages. An eclectic mix of genre and ages. It’s a huge amount of talent and yet, it’s only the tip of Norwich’s musical iceberg.  With such great venues out there now the whole scene is buzzing and we are proud to be a part of something so magical.  Please keep going to gigs guys – don’t sit at home watching a streamed gig online that looks awesome – it will never be as awesome as it is if you’re in that venue immersed in the sound and the feeling. Without you guys in venues, there is no scene. It is really that simple.  Keep it real, and keep it live.   Saying that, we are so very lucky to see so many awesome bands week after week and to have such lovely customers who come out sometimes on bloody awful rainy nights to dance, sing and party to these bands.  Thank you all for your support throughout the year, as always, it’s the bands and you guys that make The Brickies what it is.

Ok, so what’s in store for next year we hear you ask.  Well obviously more of the same, we are booked up for the whole year already with all your favourite local bands. However we have a few new bands stepping up to weekend slots and a couple of brand new tributes for you. I will also be doing a second quiz night by request from you quizsters out there.  It will be totally different from our Sunday music quiz as for a start, It’s a general knowledge quiz! There are some interesting prizes in store for the winning team with the chance to gamble for more – sounds good???.  The first one will be in February so keep an eye out on social media for more information.   We got plenty in store for 2017 and look forward to sharing it all with you.

It’s Wednesday night and we’ve just seen some fantastic musicians on stage for our Acoustic Open Mic night. I enjoy most nights here at The Brickies but Wednesdays are always full of anticipation as you never know what or who you’re going to hear. Tonight we had a talented pianist in playing the baby grand which was a treat. She was tuned last week too by the lovely Glen Butcher (Thanks Glen – great job!), if any of you need a good piano tuner I can certainly recommend him, he cares for both my pianos here and at home.  It was nice to hear it played so well.  Now the juke box is blasting out a really early Def Leppard tune as Josh and I prepare for a late night Line Cleaning session ready for the Christmas weekend.  Then once that is done I’ll be off to Tesco so if any of you lot are having trouble sleeping feel free to come and push my trolly round the supermarket! lol.

Just to recap the Christmas schedule in case you didn’t know…. Christmas Eve we are going to be dancing with ‘Nightlife’ who will be presenting their new singer and guitarist. We expect plenty of Christmas cheer and lots of jingling bells.  On Christmas Day, Mum, Emma and I will be here from 12pm for those of you that fancy a festive pint or two while the turkey is doing it’s thing in the oven.  We’re open til 3pm when we head home for some much needed family time.  We reopen on Boxing Day from 7pm and plan a night of crazy Pot-Luck Karaoke.  By now you should all know what that means – You put your name down and by random choice we pick the song.  It’s fun, especially after a few beers! We are then open as normal from then on.  New Years Eve – the big bash with Pure Passion & Enigma.  If you haven’t got a ticket yet you had better get a move on as there is NO DOOR ADMISSION on the night.  Tickets are £7.50 each and now are only available from the pub. If you need to book a taxi to get home that night, make sure you do it in advance. Music finishes at 1am and we kick out at 2am so book it somewhere in-between then.  From experience, trying to get a cab last minute on NYE is a nightmare. New Years Day is on Sunday and we are open as normal from 12pm for our usual Lee Vasey Band session.   The festive season is pretty jam packed, we hope to see you all at some point to raise a glass!

Right, I’m going to shut up waffling now and go and do some ‘real’ work.  We wish you all the most Happy Christmas and a lovely shiny Happy New Year.

Much love

Charley xx  (Em & Pam)xx

 

 

Calm before the storm….

Posted: August 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

Oh yes in so many ways. As I sit here writing this I can feel the storm in the air outside, it’s been threatening for a few hours now but it’s not broken as yet.  I only hope it isn’t building to unleash a torrent of rainfall on Monday.  Let’s get this over with tonight and tomorrow so we can bask in glorious Bank Holiday Sunshine on Monday.  God knows we are due it.  It’s rained for the last four Brickfests – surely we are owed a little sun by now!!

Well, it’s been a busy few weeks here at The Brickies.  At the beginning of the month we shut down the B2 venue to spend a couple of weeks repainting and sprucing up.  Mum, Em and I along with our lovely staff and friends have all been in above and beyond the call of duty and friendship to help us and we are so grateful to them all.  The venue itself is looking stunning, with a new Black and Grey look, new stage electrics, carpeted stage area and general DIY bits that needed doing but won’t be visible to our customers, we are very pleased with what we managed to do in a short 14 days.  We hope you like it too 🙂

Brickfest is a couple of days away and we are just about ready.  We have however had a bit of a holdup on the t-shirts and bags. We went to pick them up today only to discover that Norwich Screen Art do not open on Saturdays.  Despite attempts to call, email and contact via Facebook we can’t seem to get hold of Jo or his staff.  So if any of you know Jo Edye from Norwich Screen Art please would you beg on our behalf to let us come and collect our merch any time between now and 12pm on Monday.  Don’t worry if you have pre-ordered your anniversary merch guys, you will get it I promise, it just might not be on Monday. 😦

So that small hiccup aside, we are ready to hit you all with the biggest and besets brickfest yet.  All our staff have their circus costumes ready, feel free to join us… although if any of you come as clowns we may witness Tash running screaming from the pub up the road lol. Our resident face painter K-lee will be on site to give you a hand if you want to get made up in crazy circus fashion.  With 38 awesome bands all biting at the bit to play their part, we are all set for an awesome day – all we need now is you guys. Don’t forget, we start at 12pm and finish at 12 midnight. It is just a tiny £2 entry all day long but if you leave the venue, you will have to queue to get back in (due to fire regs)  so plan to stay with us all day if you can.  Kids under 12 years old get in free!  Don’t worry about food, we got that covered too – there is a BBQ tent in the garden providing burgers and rolls to keep you sated as well as an outside bar to stop you having to come in for drinks if you plan to sunbathe all day. Don’t forget to bring your shades, sunhats, sun cream etc just in case.

ok, I think thats about it.  This is our tenth year and we sincerely thank you all for sticking with us and making the Brickies so much more than a pub, we are a community full of lovely people, talented musicians, great bands and lots of love – we are so very lucky!  I will catch up with you all next week when we emerge from the other side of BRICKFEST 2016.

Happy Bank Holiday everyone!!!

Love

Charley, Pam, Em and all of the Brickies family  xxxx

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

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