Sent to Coventry

Last Friday, we supported Special Brew at the Arches in Coventry, a snooker hall-cum-venue set back on an industrial estate next to a set of imposing railway arches (get it?) with echoes and shadows straight out of a Midlands gangster flick, if there is such a thing.  Special Brew is a nine-piece 2Tone covers band, tight as a gnat’s belt.  We’re something else altogether:

But the audience, though prepped for ska and slightly bemused by our skalessness, was wholly chivalrous (there were even a few dancing) and warm – literally warm.  We broke an unseemly sweat, but the poor folks from Special Brew did exceptionally well to muster as much energy as they did in the sub-tropical temperatures (the Arches’ only fault).  It’s a shame they only play a few times a year, but with that kind of exertion you can understand why!  Plus they had already put in a formidable effort to promote the night and the good cause it was in aid of: the particularly grand thing about this gig was that it raised over £1000 for Teenage Cancer Trust via Special-ized.

I know I said in the last blog that I would write over the weekend, and now it’s almost the next weekend…well, that’s rural Broadband for you, and the helpful, empathetic, extremely knowledgeable customer service reps at BT.  But that’s also my inertia over the last month or two.  So there is a lot of other stuff to catch up on away from Coventry, including our other May gig with Stone Foundation – they were great; their album is great; we are sure the rest of their tour will be great, too.  I think they should call the next one “Preaching to the Converted”.  As for our own slow, languid tour of select regions within middle England, the next gig on the horizon is the Belper Exile Festival on Friday, June 29th.  We have the 9:45 p.m. penultimate slot, and you can find out more at  July and August are quiet so far, but we’re also planning our own headlining gig at the Donkey in Leicester on Saturday, September 15th.  I know that’s a long way off, and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on summer thinking about it too much, but we’d like to get the date embedded in your brains early.

The other really important thing that I need to do is wish Laura all the best for her new endeavors and officially welcome this guy into our lineup:

Don’t let the surprised expression fool you – Will Lindsay knows what he’s doing.  He’s fab, and we like him a lot.

NB: Big thanks go to Caragh Melling, who gamely took photos at the Arches on our behalf, using our little camera.  The photos in this post were taken by John Coles, who has a much better camera than we do!  I’ll put some more photos from both devices into our Gallery, but you can also see John’s Bluebird and Special Brew pix at

“Post”age Stamp

No, not a small, sticky, and serrated proof of payment.  More a stamp of approval and relief: good job, Joe and O.  The trans-Atlantic news today is worthy of my handmade gold owl from the East Village (only that won’t make an impression on a virtual page, so we’ll just have to pretend), or a third-encore feet stamp from the crowd like the Simone Felice Group got in Nottingham last week (heart-stoppingly good).  I’ll slip this in while I’m still feeling proud: did you know that I’m American?  And hey, good job to Bluebird Parade too.  My off-form banter notwithstanding, we had a cracking set at the Musician last Sunday.  And we’re off to a snooker lounge in support of Special Brew tomorrow.  Anyway, this is just a quick post to check that you’re still paying attention…we’ll do some catching up over the weekend, and I’ll tell you all about it then.