Sold Out

Errr…no, sorry, we haven’t been asked to provide the backing track for the latest L’Oréal shampoo commercial (but we are worth it!).  What has actually happened is that the Leicester Special-ized album launch gig on March 3rd has now SOLD OUT.  That’s 150 tickets at £5 a ticket, or £750 going straight to the Teenage Cancer Trust, courtesy of the Special-ized project, Punks Not Dad, By the Rivers, DJ Blink Cyclone, us, and the good folk at the Donkey – all before we’ve even played.  How cool is that?

Speaking of cool, here’s another radio interview re: Special-ized, this time with Paul Willo talking to Near FM “Ska Patrol”.  Our track gets played, and you can hear the words “Bluebird Parade” in a Dublin accent:

I know that’s almost too much excitement for one day, but I can’t resist adding the hot-off-the-press – but equally cool – news that we will be supporting soulful septet Stone Foundation (who supported the Specials last year) for the Leicester leg of their 2012 tour at the Musician on Sunday, May 6th.  It’s the night before a bank holiday, so there are no excuses not to be there; bring your talcum powder and your dancing shoes, and visit them beforehand at  Another sell-out?  Let’s hope so.


For those of you who couldn’t make last night’s gig at the Musician, you missed a wonderful evening.  Malc (welcome back!) was kept busy on the desk as he had to accommodate, in set order, Fatbwoi (one person), Fay Brotherhood (two people: Steve Bentley was filling in on pheasant feathers and bodhran, since Fay’s usual fiddle player was injured), us (six people; more on that in a minute), and Alejandro Toledo and the Magic Tombolinos (five people, although with a name like that you might be expecting a baker’s dozen, and fire-eaters and acrobats).  You had guitars, percussion, trombone, flugel, basses, accordion, a snare drum, a full drum kit, vocals, and alto and soprano saxophones, both played by the same person at the same time (well, someone needed to snake-charm the dancers at the front into submission).  Pete from Magic Teapot Promotions had to get out his calculator to figure out the running times; I don’t know how Malc managed, except possibly by having Magic in front of his name, too; and ears of gold.  And when the fog of leather trousers and gently provocative, geographically scattered accents lifted from our senses and we staggered from the stage towards an insufficient night’s sleep and another work-week’s end, we in Bluebird Parade were quite pleased with ourselves.  It was the first time we had performed semi-acoustically with all six of us: acoustic guitars only, Styx on his snare like the lone survivor on a shrinking drum island, Laura reining in Mark’s looser moments with those essential basslines, Russ donating the much-missed brass riffs that are casualties of the three-piece acoustic line-up.  So not the full-on band, but all of us together.  As I couldn’t help but observe, “Slightly emasculated – but happy”.  It’s not a bad way to make music: we’ll try it again next week, at the Donkey Song Club on February 2nd.

Hope to see you there.


Just a quick post wishing you all a happy Year of the Dragon 2012/4710.  My sources tell me that the Dragon, the most powerful of the zodiac signs, is typically dominant, ambitious, passionate, and driven.  Our Jon is a Wood Dragon: “Wood Dragons also are willing to entertain the opinions of others. Their artistic side is strong, and Wood Dragons enjoy being creative and innovative. They get along with others, but will always be the dominating force” (no, not from the back of a restaurant placemat, but close.…here’s to his health and good fortune this year, and to yours!

By the way, we appeared in the Leicester Mercury again this weekend, along with the superb By the Rivers:  Ah, the fresh bloom of youth.  And By the Rivers look pretty good, too.

Hey, Over Here [makes dog whistle sound]…Gig Alerts

Now that I can embed HTML code as easily as snapping my fingers, I thought I’d be bold and post two timely videos in order to publicize two of our upcoming gigs (it’s all becoming a bit “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, but so far I’m in control – honest).  The first one is a feast for the senses from the fabulous Magic Tombolinos – the kind of band where you just have to insert an awestruck adjective in between the definite article and the actual name – who, we are excited to report, we are supporting on Thursday, January 26th, at the Musician Pub in Leicester.  Or should that be “whom”?  Either way, please check them out.   I’ve cribbed the following from their website,

Led by Alejandro Toledo (Bachelor in Classical Saxophone Performance, Masters in Gypsy Saxophone Performance, and currently a PhD candidate in Romani Performance Practices), this high energy band delivers some of the most exciting performances.

“Our ever-evolving musical idiom reflects the way we think and live. Our music, among other things, is a conjunction of various influences (Classical, Rock, Gypsy, African, Middle-Eastern, Latin, and Hip-Hop rhythms) which we bring from places we have lived, visited, or simply the music we like, and have filtered through our own distinct voice.” A.

Classical gypsy hip-hop?!  We can’t believe our luck that we are going to watch them locally, and for free!  As for the rest of you, tickets are £7, and if you get them directly from us, we may be able to earn enough money to pay for Laura’s petrol from Mansfield.

Oh yeah, and the video:

Of course, we are getting EQUALLY excited about the Leicester branch of the Special-ized (am I the only one who bothers to insert the hyphen anymore?) Launch on Saturday, March 3rd at the Donkey.  Wow – Punks Not Dad, Bluebird Parade, and By the Rivers – almost as eclectic among the three of us as the Magic Tombolinos are by themselves.  It’s going to be a “special” night, indeed – and the £5 for a ticket will go, naturally, to the Teenage Cancer Trust.  Buy them now while they’re still available – the Edinburgh launch gig is already sold out.

Here is Bluebird Parade’s own promotional video for the whole project.  Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental:

That’s it for now.  Further gig details are listed below.  And if you think they make this post too visually sprawling, well…you aren’t the one in charge of the brooms, are you.

BBC Radio Coventry – Special-ized Interview with Graham Lambert

Ah, what a lovely interview with Graham Lambert on BBC Radio Coventry!  He embodies the generous spirit and enthusiasm that is turning the Special-ized project into such a success…and he gives us a fantastic name-check.  Thank you, Graham.


YouTube If You Want To

2012 has only been with us for one week, and I’m already acquiring new skills.  Witness the new addition to our website sidebar (I believe the technical term is a “widget”; how silkily it flies from my typing fingers) containing our YouTube debut.  Jon advised it would take hours to figure out how to put our video on the website: replieth I, Watch Me.  Mere minutes later, and visitors to are now able to revel in our monochrome glory over and over and over again…thanks, WordPress!

So yes, contributing to the Special-ized charity album for Teenage Cancer Trust just gets more and more exciting.  We’ve had a blast recording and can’t wait to hear the full versions of the other covers.  So far I’m particularly smitten with Imani Hekima’s gorgeously melancholy version of Stereotype, but all the snippets we’ve listened to are outstanding.  We hope you like our version of the Specials’ punked-out classic (Dawning of a) New Era (brass riffs with baritone sax, laid-back drums, in-your-face electric guitar, deadpan vocals, a muted trumpet solo, and carefully placed parentheticals – what’s not to like?).  But if you do, or if you don’t but simply want to rack up good karma early on in the year, please remember to hold off from downloading until the official charity album is available through or

As for the gigs, we’ve been liaising with Leicester’s “small venue with a big reputation”, the Donkey Bar, and a few other bands to organize the Leicester leg of the Special-ized album launch and promotional fundraiser.  It’s looking like it will happen in early March, but we’ll keep you apprised.  In the meantime, keep on giving in whatever way you can….