|Performing at The Customs House, South Shields. |
Photo by Lance Liddle
We had a full-on weekend planned for late-October, starting off with a journey up the A1 to Newcastle. The A1 is a surprisingly pleasant road, but quite slow, so our enjoyable amble meant that we didn't have quite as much time to rehearse as we had wanted to when we reached the theatre. Never mind, I got to take this brilliant picture of our pork pies when driving past Melton Mowbray!
Our destination was The Customs House, a theatre complex at the edge of the Tyne river in South Shields. We arrived after dark - such a shame, as I'm sure the venue and surrounding areas must look great in the daylight. In fact, throughout this tour I have lamented the fact that our gigs start later than the sun sets, meaning that we are travelling to so many interesting places, but don't actually get to see any of them. Serves me right for planning an autumn tour!
The gig went really well, and our stand-in bass player Paul Susans did a fab job. Read the review here:
On Saturday we had a rare night off, and decided to stay up in the North East as it was better than driving all the way back to London, only to drive back to Nottingham for our Sunday lunchtime gig. So, after taking a lengthy walk on South Shields beach, we chilled out at Rick's parents' house, talking about home brew, jazz and the X Factor.
|Darren and I enjoy the sun|
Sunday brought two gigs: the first at The Lion in Nottingham, where we first played during our 2010 tour and loved it. A very interesting little pub, with good value Sunday roast, a great selection of real ales (more for my band than me), and an enthusiastic jazz crowd. After the gig we had time to relax before heading down to Stratford-upon-Avon, to play at Stratford Jazz Club. SJC is such a popular venue with artists that I had booked this one nearly a year in advance, and will have to wait until Spring 2013 if I want to play there again!
The club is hosted in The Chapel ("A Shrine of Entertainment")! in the upstairs floor of a pub on, appropriately for Stratford, Shakespeare Street. The only downer to this gig was that it was at the end of the Stratford Music Week, but not included in it, so the jazz fans of the region had already had a choice of three gigs that week. Many of them therefore chose not to come to mine, which was a shame, but difficult to avoid. You can read a review of the evening here: http://www.stratfordjazz.org.uk/roy's_review_sarah-ellen-hughes_at_the_chapel.html
|At The Lion|
|Stratford Jazz Club|