Blue Flamingo Entertainments

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Does it matter what the musicians you hire look like?

We’ve had clients make various requests over the years ‘We really want a female sax player’, ‘The men have to have long hair’, ‘The band have to be ‘good looking”.

Is it right to hire musicians according to how they look?

YES
Being appropriately dressed and looking smart is hugely important, especially if it’s a black tie event or party for example.

NO
Never hire someone because they have the right ‘look’. Hire people based on both their musical ability and personal character.

YES
If your event is themed, for example a ‘girls only’ night, then having an entirely female band is totally appropriate.

NO
The music comes first. The purpose is not to have a handsome/beautiful musician, but to have Great Music! Support Musicians!

YES
For some bands a stylish ethos is an important part of their brand, so hiring someone who is willing to be a part of that is really important.

NO
We just don’t want to pass on the superficial culture that seems to abound. Bands that have a mix of people tend to have various creative influences that makes for a better sound!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

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Travelling on the Underground with a Full Drum Kit: Tips from Daoud Merchant

Travelling with drummer Daoud Merchant post-gig recently, BF had an insight into navigating with full drums on the Underground.  Here are some top tips BF learnt from him!

2001) Pack Tight and Small: Daoud has an amazing pack down kit (Whitney Drums Nesting Penguin) which he has on a trolley attached using bungie cables, then cymbals on his back.  Literally a walking drum kit.

Victoria-line-Picture2-500x2982) Aim High with Raised Paving: Some platforms have raised paving to meet the height of the carriage (especially the Victoria line).  This is for wheelchair and luggage access: aim for this part of the platform!  It means you don’t have to lift heavy equipment – you can just roll it on.

giphy-23) Look for Young Couples:  One of the biggest obstacles to tube travel is stairs.  However, show you’re struggling near to a young couple and often the gentleman will want to impress his lady by showing strength and helpfulness.  Two birds with one stone: kit transported down stairs, chap glowing in his lady’s eyes.

U61XM54) Stand by the door most used, Kit in front of you: Otherwise all passengers will see is a gap in people at the other end/side of the carriage – and keep pushing.  They can’t see all your kit on the floor.  That way they know straight away that there is less space available (not sure if this will prevent irritation…though, we try!)

giphy-35) Get Ready Early: so you can get off quickly.  It takes time to get everything ready!

Thanks for the tips Daoud!

First Published 11/10/11

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Why choose a Small Independent Music Company?

Reception1411) Product Knowledge

Smaller companies tend to have fewer employees. Therefore these guys REALLY need to know their stuff in order to do their job well.  Smaller companies have a bigger overall picture and more detailed product knowledge.

H-ARTIST-SLIDE-1
2) Specialist Options

Whilst the options might be fewer, the quality will be very high and specialised. That’s because smaller companies rely on their products working really well as they represent their brand. They will also tend to know their musicians personally, and will have used and worked with them more often.

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3) Value for Money

In other industries, bigger companies are cheaper as they sell in bulk. However, with musicians this isn’t the case. Musician fees aren’t reduced because there are more of them. The fee is the same regardless. So the bigger companies won’t be cheaper, in fact they tend to be more expensive as they have bigger administration fees.

WP-Jasper-and-Ruby-4) Personal Contact

Small companies tend to have a tight team. That means you can really get to know and trust them. Meeting up for a coffee to talk over ideas is quite common and it’s much better to meet someone and trust them before agreeing to a contract.

small-business-saturday blue flamingo music company small company north london
5) Support Small Businesses

Buying local and supporting small businesses is great for the community and the economy!  Learn more about Small Business Saturday here.

Want to know more? Get in touch! 

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Stoop Quintet Album Review: Confession

output_wXvZjVWe heard Stoop Quintet live at the 2014 London Jazz Festival and it’s great to hear the tracks they performed there on their debut album Confession.

The opening track, Ranch, features many of the ideas which will become the album’s signature sounds. It starts with a simple groove-based riff played by pianist/band leader Jonathan Brigg and drummer Dave Smyth. After the rest of the band have entered we hear an inspired solo by guitarist Alex Munk bringing the tune to a symphonic climax. The ostinato riff returns, followed by saxophonist Sam Miles announcing his arrival in a feisty solo.

The second tune, Turn, is based on a repetitive piano and bass unison riff with guitar and drums filling the complex time. It’s a simple yet very effective idea. Munk and Miles solo once more with rhythm section keeping effortless time and creating a great depth of sound. It is incredibly satisfying when after Munk and Miles’ solo the band return to the riff. The whole song euphorically lifts and the satisfaction of everything coming together is palpable. But it is fleeting and the listener yearns to dwell in that sound world for longer.

Fable is a Zeitgeist piece with its deliciously warm sax ostinato over gently relentless piano lines falling like tears. It’s a desperately sad tune full of wistful longing. A lyrical sax solo by Miles is followed by the frankly haunting sound of Munk on guitar. You are drawn to the interplay of Smyth and Munk dancing together and in the background the ever-present piano and bass riff eternally pulse. The head then returns, if you can even call it a head, for it is really a riff: the oscillating heartbeat of this tune.

In Stoop Kid, (named after the band’s namesake, everyone’s favourite 90s cartoon Hey Arnold!) gone is the world of Fable. The tune opens in a chaotic conversation of sounds upon which the chatter then unites in unison stabs of exclamation. This is followed by a conversation between instruments, with different voices and characters clearly evident. When we read the album sleeve we discovered it is based on episode of Hey Arnold! where the protagonist is ‘afraid to leave his stoop’. The tension is evident and conversation clear.

Sevens is a cacophony of scalic runs in complex time with the band walking up and down their instruments. In the strict formal counterpoint the classical influences are evident creating a mesmerising effect in its relentlessness.

Listening to Spring Song after Sevens is like entering a different wold. Mellifluous sax sings over the guitar. It is refreshing to hear an album that is not afraid of variety or diatonic tonality. When the rest of the band come in (piano with the trademark elegant drone) the colours are gorgeous, a palette of watercolours meandering together to create beautiful new shades. Spring Song also features an elegant solo from bassist Flo Moore.

It’s notable that (as we’ve said before) this isn’t a band of soloists. Instead Moore, Smyth and Brigg ‘hold the complex grooves together, support and interplay with Miles and Munk like an experienced family and put the spark into the group.’

The album’s title track Confession is a tune of guilt, worry, strain and obsessiveness. The 7/8 groove is interspersed by a variety of different emotions: calm, angst and destruction. This becomes the freeist tune on the album and we hear a mind distracted, evolving and filled with tension. This is where it all comes out, a wonderful musical confession of feeling, ending with bartok-esque bell tolls on the piano. The confession is over.

The final tune of the album, Soldier On, is a slow balm to soothe the tension of Confession. The ethereal opening guitar statement is followed by a tune that is resolute in keeping going. The signature repetitive lines are evident. They are literally soldiering on, lost in melody and colour.

Confession is an album with classical and free jazz influences sitting side-by-side. Lyrical melodies sing above beautiful, agonisingly relentless ostinato-esque musical lines. It is an album that explores so many colours but never sits on one too long, and is never satisfied with just one sound. It is an album that constantly seeks new direction, a river pushing against the rocks with flair to make new paths. Confession is a creatively inspired, diverse and emotionally complex debut album. Can’t wait to hear what comes next.

Album out on 10th February on ASC Records

-BF

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3 Reasons to Hire a Harpist

1. Amazing Sound
The harp is surprisingly versatile, with a big warm sound. Harpists don’t just do classical either, they also sound mellifluous playing popular tunes.

H-ARTIST-SLIDE-2
2. Class & Style
Nothing quite beats the look of the harp and harpists bring an effortless spark of elegance to any event.  Whether playing musical magic at a party or strumming you down the aisle, there is nothing to rival the class and style the harp brings.


3. Affordable

As you’re hiring just one person, harpists are affordable.  With a smaller expense then a full band you still get a great live energy and passion.

Want to know more? Check out our harpists here!

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Small Business Saturday: Why choose a small independent Music Company?

Reception141
1) Product Knowledge

Smaller companies tend to have fewer employees. Therefore these guys REALLY need to know their stuff in order to do their job well.  Smaller companies have a bigger overall picture and more detailed product knowledge.

H-ARTIST-SLIDE-1
2) Specialist Options

Whilst the options might be fewer, the quality will be very high and specialised. That’s because smaller companies rely on their products working really well as they represent their brand. They will also tend to know their musicians personally, and will have used and worked with them more often.

generate_creative_inspiration2.844vrjth2ww00sowog0wgwgg8.26qeyncemmo0w4w4sgokogcgw.th
3) Value for Money

In other industries, bigger companies are cheaper as they sell in bulk. However, with musicians this isn’t the case. Musician fees aren’t reduced because there are more of them. The fee is the same regardless. So the bigger companies won’t be cheaper, in fact they tend to be more expensive as they have bigger administration fees.

WP-Jasper-and-Ruby-4) Personal Contact
Small companies tend to have a tight team. That means you can really get to know and trust them. Meeting up for a coffee to talk over ideas is quite common and it’s much better to meet someone and trust them before agreeing to a contract.

small-business-saturday blue flamingo music company small company north london
5) Support Small Businesses

Buying local and supporting small businesses is great for the community and the economy!  Learn more about Small Business Saturday here.

Want to know more? Get in touch! 

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New Brochure! Would you like one?

We have a new brochure, which you can download in PDF form here.  Or you can request a hard copy here!

Love – ‘Your local friendly, professional & creative music company providing superb & exciting music for all occasions & events.’  -BF

Blue Flamingo Entertainments Brochure

Blue Flamingo Entertainments Brochure

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Jazz @ 50th Wedding Anniversary

We had the privilege of playing jazz for a 50th Wedding Anniversary for a couple from Barnet, North London.  We got some lovely feedback.  CONGRATULATIONS on 50 years from all at BF! 50th wedding anniversary jazz barnet north london blue flamingo

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#BFRecommends September Gigs 2015 (London, Jazz)

There’s a plethora of stuff going on in September – but we’ve picked the gigs we’d most like to see!  Maybe see you there….

4th Sept 2015 CROWLEY/KANE/MADDREN @ The Con
Tickets: £5  info here

7th Sept 2015 MIKE CHILLINGWORTH SEPTET @ The Oxford
Tickets: £10/£5  info here

11th Sept 2015 AYANNA WITTER-JOHNSON @ King’s Place
Tickets: £6.50  info here

12th Sept 2015 DAVE O’HIGGINS @ 606
Tickets: Book a Table info here

23rd -26th Sept 2015 LOOSE TUBES @ Ronnie Scott’s
Tickets:  £30/£35/£45 info here

27th Sept 2015 MUSICIANS’ COMPANY YOUNG JAZZ MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR 2015 @ Pizza Express
Tickets: £15 info here

-BF

 

More September gigs here. 

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10 Epic First Dance Songs: Classic, Quirky & Stylish

Whether you’re looking for classic, quirky, stylish or popular here are a few of the BEST first dance tunes!

Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
We’ve had SO many requests for this great tune and you can see why…

Etta James – At Last
A favourite and oft performed by Jasper & Ruby

Can’t Take My Eyes Off of you – Lauryn Hill
A quirky take on an old favourite

I won’t Let you Go – James Morrison
Does what it says on the tin!

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square – Vera Lynn
‘Two Lovers met in Mayfair’ – a song for London Lovers

Lucky – Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat
A Song for Best Friends (as recommended by @LaniCharlwood)

All At Sea – Richard Walters
Something a little different

Kiss Me – Sixpence None the Richer
So simple, so effective

Olly Murs – Dance With Me Tonight
Cheeky, fun & upbeat

 La Valse d’Amelie – Yann Tiersen
Something classical, beautiful & different.  Recommended by @andyjosefDAM, California, USA

and one more for free!….

Marry You – Bruno Mars
What more could you want?

Need more advice?  Get in touch and do let us know your favourites!
And by the way – that epic photo at the top?  By our friends Charlwood Photography!

~BF