Blue Flamingo Entertainments

Browsing category: BFOnThisDay, Uncategorized

On this Day in Music, Feb 17th …..

Puccini’s Madame Butterfly had its world premiere at La Scala in Milan

Bobby Lewis was born

Nancy Sinatra was at No.1 with ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’

Thelonius Monk died

Ed Sheeran was born

Destiny’s Child release Destiny’s Child


Do I have to have a first Dance at my wedding?

Short answer is  No! Of course not!! It’s YOUR day, but here are some things you and your future spouse might like to ponder…

1. Do you really like it?

Do you and your other half actually like dancing in front of other people? If not don’t STRESS! Why not have a ‘bridal party’ dance so there are loads of people dancing with you.

2. We don’t really have a special song

You’d be surprised how long it takes some of our couples to decide on a song. In the end some choose to just cut the cake and let loose as a group, trusting the band with a song that will get people grooving.

3. Just not us

Again – this day is about YOU. Don’t do anything just because ‘it’s tradition’ – especially if it’s not who you are as a couple. Perhaps instead why not ask the kids attending to prepare a dance – they’re sure to love it!

1. Memories

First dances are often one of those ‘must capture’ moments by photographers and are something really special to look back on. Is this something you might want to show the grandkids.

2. Learn to Dance

‘First Dance’ classes are becoming an increasingly popular way for couples to spend time together in the madness before the big day. Why not get some professional tips.

3. Get the Party Started!

From a practical point of view – the first dance is invaluable in getting people to the dance floor. It’s a great way to get people in the dancing mood to celebrate your big day!

Still thinking? Check out some of our best First Dance Ideas here.

Still stuck? Get in touch! We’re always happy to chat!


I’m starting out! Which Saxophone should I buy?

Blue Flamingo SaxophoneWhat is your goal?
Are you a beginner looking to try things out, or are you an adult who wants to invest in a really good instrument and take time to develop a skill? This will effect what type of instrument you get

What are the saxophone brands & what price should I go for?
There are 4 ‘big’ name sax brands – all of which are excellent. They are: Yamaha, Yanigasawa, Mauriat and Selmer. If your budget is smaller, go for the beginner/student models (under £800). If the skys’ the limit – try them all. But remember more expensive does not equal better.

Where should you buy?
Go somewhere you can try the instrument out. And take someone you trust with you. The same instrument can sound totally different with two different players. The more expensive instrument also isn’t necessarily better. It depends on you.

We have recommend Howarth of London for saxophones.  We’ve known them for years and years and they’ve always been great and really friendly. They’re based near Baker Street in London. If you’re further afield try JP Packers in Taunton.

What else should you know?
Mouthpieces make as much as a different to the sound as the actual saxophone. It’s worth trying these out. But as a beginner – stick with what often comes with the instrument, or go with a Selmer C*.



6 Reasons to go to a House Gig

House gig Blue Flamingo tommy ashby

House Gigs are becoming more and more popular and last week we went to our first one and saw singer/guitar/songwriter Tommy Ashby.  We enjoyed it.  Here are 6 reasons to go to a gig in a living room:

1. Affordable
Two sets of live music, a good meal and good company cost £15.  There are no overheads apart from paying the musician and a bit of home cooked food.  You can’t get that value seeing live music in bigger venues.

2. Accessible
Some people brought their slippers (no joke!).  Anyone can go, and the intimate vibe means you get to chat to the artist, put in requests and really get to know the music.
House Gig blue flamingo tommy ashby

3. Supports Live Music & Artists
We love live music!  Support it and check out the Musician Union’s #WorkNotPlay campaign.  Live Music Matters.

4. Local Community
No need to trek to a city centre or major venue.  Just get the neighbours together and get to know them better over some quality tunes.

5. Intimate
You’re allowed to heckle here.  Because as you’re in the living room it’s actually a ‘conversation’.  Ask questions, make your appreciation literally heard.  It’s intimate and highly enjoyable.  The musician is literally performing to YOU.

6. Fun & Different
Should have put this one first.  But it’s fun and a very different way to enjoy a night out.

Want to host a house gig?  Get in touch! 



Alternative Musical Gift Ideas

Here are our great musical gift options – get in touch to inquire or book!

Reception060 s
1. Music Lesson (From £32)
Give your loved one an experience they can BUILD upon – loads of instruments available upon request
(including saxophone, piano, singing, guitar & drums).

2. Instrument Advice (Free)
We don’t sell instruments, but we do KNOW instruments and great sellers.
We’ll tell you who to go to and what to look for!

3. Private Jazz Gig (From £278)
Why not enjoy the best musicians the country has to offer at a venue* of your choice?
A fine evening of sublime jazz to while a beautiful night away…

4 Rock Guitar Jam (From £82)
Know a keen amateur guitarist?  Give them the opportunity of a lifetime to
jam with a session pro, have buckets of fun and learn a few tricks!

5. Opera at Home (from £381)
Be wowed by an evening of your favourite aria’s from the world’s most popular operas.

Blue Flamingo Photography

6. Photography Lesson (from £375)
Learn how to take the BEST pictures around, with great camera tips and
shooting styles.  A a gift that will last a lifetime.

 Get in Touch to Enquire!

*If it is a public venue/open space conditions apply.
All our gift options come as a gift certificate, to be used within 1 year.
Dates & times to be arranged and confirmed.


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


International Rameau Summer School Concert

Last night we had the pleasure of hearing the culmination of the two day ‘International Rameau Summer School’ 2015 at No.6 Fitzroy Square.

Artistic Director Lawrence Olsworth-Peter welcomed us, explaining that one of the goals of the International Rameau Ensemble (IRE) is to make the 18th Century music of Rameau more widely available to greater audiences through a number of projects and concerts.

Renowned conductor and harpsichordist Christophe Rousset, who coached the students, told the eager audience ‘Rameau is as important as Bach, with rich harmonies and incredible woodwind writing’.

That is indeed what we were treated to, with semi-staged opera scenes and instrumental pieces.  It was an enjoyable evening and it was great to see a range of Rameau’s works within one chamber concert.

We’ve heard on the grapevine that the IRE have big plans in the works, we’re going to stay tuned…


RAMEAU Summer School Blue Flamingo Christophe Rousset



What’s the picture with Taylor Swift and Spotify?

Blue Flamingo Spotify Article Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift vs. Spotify…the debate continues!

Here are the top articles to #getinformed – what do you think?

What Spotify has to say: read here

Musicians’ Union Response: read here

Time Magazine’s take on the situation: read here

Swift’s Label explains (via Rolling Stone): read here

Business Insider overview: read here

And then……..Ed Sheera got involved

Ed Sheeran ‘owes his career to Spotify’: read here 

Huffington has their say: read here



Reflections on the Brighton Bomb

~ Personal post from Leah Thomas, MD at Blue Flamingo.  LT does not have a personal blog, hence posting here. ~

October 12th 2014 marks 30 years since the Brighton Bomb, when the IRA blew up the Grand Hotel (Brighton) where the Conservative Party Conference members were staying.

As director of Press and Communications for the Conservative Party and Conference Producer, my father (Harvey Thomas) was in room 729, the room above the bomb.   At 2:55 am, he flew up one floor, and down ‘three and a bit’ floors.  He landed on a steel girder, and was buried under ten tonnes of rubble, rescued by tremendous firemen at 5:35 am.

He survived with scratches and bruises, had six baths at the hospital, never went into shock, and continued as normal at the conference.

Five people lost their lives that day, and Norman and Margaret Tebbit and John Wakeman were terribly injured.

Recently, for an upcoming BBC programme, I met the fireman who rescued my father.  They went beyond the call of duty, risking their own lives.  I owe them so much.

L-R: Ken Towner (he physically dragged  my  Father out from rubble) Father, Me, Fred Bishop (shift supervisor, rescue co-ordinator), Mick Ayling (heard my father's shout for help so rescue could begin)

L-R: Ken Towner (he physically dragged my Father out from rubble) Father, Me, Fred Bishop (shift supervisor, rescue co-ordinator), Mick Ayling (heard my father’s shout for help so rescue could begin)

We are a strong Christian family, believing in Christ’s death and resurrection and the forgiveness of our sins.  My father was convicted to write to Pat Magee, the bomber, telling him he had forgiven him for what he did.  This lead to a remarkable relationship, and we would now call him a family friend.  He is one of the most quietly academic men I’ve ever met.  Whilst I do not condone his actions, it has been interesting to learn of the troubles, and to see different perspectives.  Pat now works in reconciliation work.

Family Thomas in full on Tory mode. L-R: Marlies Thomas, Lani Charlwood, Harvey Thomas, Leah Thomas

Family Thomas in full on Tory mode. L-R: Marlies Thomas, Lani Charlwood, Harvey Thomas, Leah Thomas


I was born 6 days later, and made the front page of The Times.  There had been so much hurt, the media were looking for a ‘happy’ story.

The Times, Saturday October 20th 1984

The Times, Saturday October 20th 1984


This ‘story’ is a very normal part of my life.  The only thing that really makes this real for me (I am an eternal optimist) is seeing the footage (below) of my father being dragged out of the rubble.  I am incredibly thankful for the firemen who rescued my father, the policemen, the hospital staff.  Without them we would not be the family we are today, and we are a very tight unit.