Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

well….?  It certainly looks like that! lol. Let me rewind a little bit and explain – be prepared – I am very sleepy right now so I take no responsibiliy for awfal speling! heh heh 

Please right click here and open this in a new tab before reading on…..  Brickies ceiling theme tune   Be patient – it’s worth it!

Right, you may or may not know, a couple of weeks ago after a mad, busy Saturday night safely tucked up dreaming a blissful sleep only to be awoken more like shocked awake by a massive crash downstairs followed by the nastiness that is my burglar alarm. I have an external sounder in my flat so believe me, when that bugger goes off so does my heart.  After going through all the normal checks one does when ones burglar alarm goes off, you know – running around panicking, half asleep in pj’s, dogs going mental etc, we calmly checked the 26 cameras that surround the inside and outside of the building. When we got to the cameras in the band room all we could see was a mass of dusty white clouds.  Obviously the ceiling plaster had collapsed and we were watching the aftermath.  We came down and had a look. God what a mess – the plaster moulding on all ceiling above the sound-desk area had completely collapsed.  The plaster was seriously old so it wasn’t puny stuff, it was about 2.5 inches thick and heavy as hell.  As it fell it look the wall lights with it and glass was shattered across the length of the dance floor.  We cleared up what we could and grabbed a couple of hours kip.  The next morning was a muddle of cleaning, trying to find staff to come and cover so we could continue cleaning and then as it was Sunday, moving the Lee Vasey Band into B2, and shutting off the Brickmakers Band room area.  We just had to muddle through that day, and it went surprisingly well.  There wasn’t anything we could do about the roof until Monday.  So Monday came and with it a whole heap of problems trying to find someone to come and fix the roof.  It was a nightmare, as it was the end of the summer holidays all the major building contractors were finishing off their contracts in the schools and every phone call was the same, no-one was available until the school term resumed.  Luckily, thanks to our insurance broker, we managed to get a building contractor in just to provide a temporary repair, it wasn’t ideal but it was good enough and more importantly safe enough for us to then open up the band room again.  However, it wasn’t quite that simple. The plaster dust had covered all our PA amps and equipment and the cooling systems. We had to open each one up and clean it out with a Hoover, which was easier said than done – they don’t seem to make these things Dyson compatible… anyway it took Em and I the best part of the day to clean the amps and get the system up and running in a suitable condition to run the room. Luckily the sound desk had been covered up and put to bed the night before so the plaster didn’t reach the vital parts of it –  so thank you Clive for saving the desk!!  So that all sorted we were back in business and the bands were happy.

but…..

We werent feeling very sure though, what was to stop the rest of the ceiling falling? Now it had happened we were worried, we count our lucky stars that it happened overnight and nobody was hurt. We didn’t want to take any more chances so we contacted our Pub Co and made plans to get the rest of the ceiling fixed.  Again – nothing is ever simple is it?  They couldn’t ‘just fix’ the ceiling as on the other side of one part of it sat a whole load of nasty Asbestos, it wouldn’t have been safe to pull the other bit down. So after several meetings with our Pub Co and builders and Asbestos experts we all agreed that we needed to go the whole hog. Pull down the existing ceiling, dispose of the Asbestos and install a brand new ceiling. In theory it sounded smooth and perfect. In practice – we have had to shut the band room off whilst they carry out said works. Obviously when dealing with Asbestos we don’t want to take any chances so we have the proper guys in doing it, the HSE have been notified and all the regulations are being adhered to. We have decontamination units on site,  more safe-suits than you can shake a stick at and I’m sure we have a small family of Extra-Terrestrials hidden in the back behind all that polythene insisting that while they work they must remember to ‘beeeee gooooood!’   In all seriousness though, there wasn’t really any way around it, the room had to be shut and we needed to shift things about a bit.

These days no business can afford to shut its doors for a couple of weeks whilst such work is undertaken. We are lucky in the sense that we have B2, however it meant we had to reschedule many gigs for bands booked into B2 for the next couple of weeks. I have to say though,  all of them have been extremely gracious and very helpful. With their understanding we have been able to move all of our gigs from the Brickmakers stage into the B2 venue for the next two weeks. The Wednesday acoustic nights will continue in the main bar area and where possible we will be also having some extra acoustic acts in the main bar area.  We want to maintain our musical offerings to you as much as we can and we endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum. Were doing ok so far, it’s a little weird but we’ll get through it and let’s face it – it’s only another two weeks and normal service will be resumed and we will all be rocking under a brand spanking new ceiling. Awesome!!   As always, thank you all for your kind support and understanding at this time, not long now folks 🙂  

WARNING!!!!!  If you see me looking a little frayed at the edges / red in the face / looking snotty and grumpy / standing in the corner crying…   – please forgive me and just ignore me!  I’ve been up at the crack of dawn with the builders every day since they started and by the end of the next two weeks I’m likely to fall off my conscious platform…  just prod me awake as you pass or wave a large coffee under my nose!  Early mornings are great combined with early nights. We all know that isn’t an option in this job…. so I apologise now for sleep related Charleyisms!

And on that note…. I’m gonna shut up and try to get into bed before 2am, I have to be up at 8am to let the lads in again.  Check out the photos – there’s more to come.

Thanks again peeps…

Cxx

PS: The new newsletter is online if you fancy reading it and planning your weekend!

www.thebrickmakers.com

Oh My God that was amazing….what a brilliant day we had. The sun was shining and the bands were on form, and so were you lot! We had 12 awesome hours and each one rocked in aid of such a worthy cause.

During the course of the day, with your help we managed to raise a total amount of £1856.64

With two great Cancer charities in mind we are donating £1000 to Breast Cancer Research. The good news here is that the wonderful team at Barclays Bank have agreed to match us pound for pound. So they will also be donating £1000 to Breast Cancer Research .

TOTAL AMOUNT FOR BREAST CANCER RESEARCH = £2000

Our second charity is chosen in honour of Jason Leech, a very dear friend and inspiration to us all. Two of his friends are tackling the 400km bike ride through Kenya, over the course of 5days in aid of Breast Cancer Care. We are going to donate the rest of the money to the cause in his name. You can read more about the girls cycle ride across Kenya by visiting their JustGiving pages here.

TOTAL AMOUNT FOR BREAST CANCER CARE = £856.64

GRAND TOTAL RAISED: £2856.64

Check out the breakdown below to see exactly how the money was raised!

DOOR MONEY £861.03
TOMBOLA £414.72
FACE PAINTING £50.00
MARK ( £10 DONATION) £10.00
BOB MARSHALL DONATION £20.00
SUGAR RUSH DONATION £50.00
CUSTOMER DONATION £5.00
DILLIP (BBQ MAN) DONATION £50.00
MISTER PINK DONATION £150.00
TUB ON BAR £74.05
TUB ON BAR £49.29
CUSTOMER DONATION £6.60
CHANGE LEFT ON B2 BAR £2.85
CHANGE LEFT ON BRICKIES BAR £7.10
ANNIE (DOOR) DONATION £5.00
CUSTOMER DONATION £6.60
CATHERINE WHEEL DONATION £20.00
SALE OF PIN BADGES £64.40
THE BURNING CROWS DONATION £10.00

SUB TOTAL £1856.64
BARCLAYS £1000.00

GRAND TOTAL £2856.64

Thank you so much for all your support today, it meant the world to us and we’re chuffed to bits with what you all helped us to raise. WELL DONE EVERYONE!!!

Right folks, it’s getting on for 3am and my ability to type is dwindling so I am going to say goodnight now. Thanks again for everything, your support and friendship is overwhelming.

With love –

Charley, Pam, Em and the whole Brickies team!!! xxxxx

Well it’s quite a chilled out Easter Sunday so far. I’m sitting here at the sound desk listening to the marvellous Lee Vasey band. It’s Claire’s last session with them today, she’s heading out on her own with her own band and embarking on a solo career. We wish her all the very best, I have to say we are definitely gonna miss her on Sundays but watch this space guys, we have dates booked with her band so come and check them out, Claire is one of the most talented voices in the city right now!   Check out Claire Barker’s Website!

It’s been a great weekend for gigs, classic rockers kept us shaking on friday night and then I was in stage last night with Pure Passion, I was a little worried it might have been quiet what with the bank holiday but I needn’t have worried, we were jam packed and we had a brilliant gig, both from a pub point of view and personally – I had a great night.

Right now, we’re all looking forward to tomorrow. It’s our first charity bash of the year and it’s in aid of Breast Cancer charities. We’ve got 10 bands on from
Midday including, Mr Pink, Riot on the Third Floor, Sugar Rush, Gameplan, The Burning Crows, Pout at The Devil, Mucked Up Funkies, The Collective and more. We’ve also got bouncy castle and face painting for kids of all ages, yes- I reckon I might have a go too!! We have a massive tombola with loads of cool prizes including a digital video recorder and a Westfield Stratocaster guitar up for grabs donated by Norfolk Guitar And Bass Centre! It’s gonna be hot, it’s gonna be great fun. Come on over and help us to raise some big money for this worthy cause that means so much to us all! We kick off at 12 midday and it will only cost ya £2 to get in! See you there…

Right that’s it folks, have a fantastic Easter break!

C xx

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Yes, I’ve just recovered from my birthday weekend and what a weekend it was.  I spent two fantastic days surrounded by my family, friends and customers in a place I am very proud to call home. Yes of course I’m talking about ‘The Brickies’. On Saturday night just gone we had the awesome ‘MAETLOAF’, an exceptional tribute to the force that is MEATLOAF. Without going on about it too much I have to say that these guys are in my humble opinion one of the best tributes I have ever seen.  I saw Meatloaf a couple of years ago and to be completely honest I came away from the gig feeling empty and disappointed.  Maetloaf were just incredible, Craig (Mr.Loaf) is everything and more than the real thing, he rises to the challenge and exceeds all expectations. His vocals and stamina are exceptional.  The girls, Mel and Jodey are equally as competent with powerful, soulful vocals.  The Band themselves as a whole create a presence on stage fuelled by passion and charisma. I couldn’t have had a better birthday and am still on a high from the gig.  It’s always the sign of a great band when they leave you wanting more and the time went way too quickly. They wont be back until next year now, we’ve booked them in for another exciting birthday night next Feb. In the meantime, check them out and friend them on Facebook for more info.  Thanks to all of you guys that sent me cards, fuelled me with alcohol and helped me to celebrate… I am another year older but I’m sure I remain as unwise as I have always been lol.

So what has been happening in the world of ‘The Brickies’??? well, I know it’s been a few weekes since I last wrote, I have been kind of letting the new website settle in for the month and fixing last-minute bugs, it seems to be holding it’s own really well. We are so chuffed with how it’s going and the positive feedback we have had concerning it. The site itself has had in the month of February 1329 visits and 4796 page views. That’s a huge number and we are very excited by it. It’s good to see that it’s actually being used, I mean, I knew people would pop on and have a look but I wasn’t quite prepared for that response – it’s awesome! The next step as far as the website goes is to cater for all those with mobile devices. The website is exciting, flashy and new but it is not as present accessible to those with Iphones, Ipads and other mobiles with web capabilities. Luckily for us, we have the amazing Ben, he’s helping us to create an App-like version of the site which will work happily on all your mobile devices. It won’t have such a vast amount of content as the website but it will have a gig guide for the month, a in depth guide of what is coming up that week. It’s basically all you need for The Brickies on-the-go!  So that’s all pretty exciting stuff. I’ve also been looking into the possibilities of podcasting gigs, blogs and internet radio – just because I like to keep on the go and keep new things happening all the time here at ‘The Brickies’. I have loads of ideas for new and exciting additions to our offerings, you guys will just have to watch this space.  I just can’t sit still too long lol. 

This week is cool, the new newsletters are out, you can view it online here or pop in and pick a paper one up for more info on whats happening. This weeks hot happening is THE SEX PISTOLS EXPERIENCE this thursday night. Get in early and you’ll get in cheaper.  Also lined up for me this week is some more maintenance on the PA system and lighting rig. We spent a night last week going through the monitors and mending thingies, replacing drivers fuses and bulbs. I ordered new parts and am now waiting so I can fix the rest….everything seems to give up at the same time, lol.

Right, I think I’m supposed to be cleaning a loo somewhere so I had better go and do it  ( I wonder if I can do that with my soldering Iron and a phillips…..)

Laters folks

Cxx

Mini blog – late night!

Posted: January 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

Just a quickie guys.. I really just wanted to say hi and let you all know that although all has been quiet here on the blog front, I haven’t forgotten you all! As well as the day to day running of the pub and venue over the last week I have been working my butt off to try and get this website up and live. I am falling victim to my own perfectionism and creativity as I can’t help but make extra work for myself. I got it into my head that it would be a good idea to have, on the new site a section for bands. A place where you can all go and read about each band that plays here. I figured it would help you all when you’re deciding on your nights out. At the same time
It will help promote the bands involved by embedding sounds, video and even their own twitter feeds if they have them. It’s a great idea in theory, actually finding suitable promotional material on some bands is proving to be a nightmare. I am amazed that in this day and age there are still some bands that don’t have a website or even a presence on myspace or facebook. Come on guys..you can’t afford not to! Norwich itself has thousands of bands all trying to get gigs, trying to make themselves heard… It’s vital that bands make use of all the technology available to them… When venue owners like me sit down to advertise gigs we need at least a photo, a web address or myspace, a small paragraph would be nice.. How are we supposed to advertise bands if they don’t advertise themselves? Lol sorry, went off on or for a mo there didn’t I? Yes, so, as I was saying, researching bands for the right material to include is taking a little while. I’m hoping to have everything completed and live for the end of the week. Then, I need your help! I’m expecting a few teething problems – it happens but I am kind of relying on you to give me some feedback on the site, whether it’s easy to use, does it load up content quick enough? if you can find everything you need etc, that kind of thing..every comment will be appreciated, good and bad.. It needs to be user friendly and I know I sometimes get caught up in making things look pretty and forgetting basic needs…

I’ll give you all a shout when it’s live – watch this space!

Night folks

C xx

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Brickmakers, Norwich