Being a jazz musician and playing on the scene regularily, it doesn’t take you long to realise the average age group for this style of music. Most of the places where jazz clubs tend to be are either ‘out of town’ or in the classic flat rooved conservative club/rugby club or ex servicemens club so they don’t really have a chance of attracting a younger crowd. We do get to play for some great people and have many dedicated and supportive fans however it’s always nice to play to your own age group.
A new project for 2014 alongside the already established Brownfield Byrne Hot Six, is the Jamie Brownfield Quartet. Our first gig was at Matt & Phreds earlier this year, a young and lively club in Central Manchester, the atmoshpere was a complete contrast to the usual jazz club vibe, even though the audience weren’t clapping after every solo (something that seems almost an unwritten rule in jazz) they were really digging the music and filming on their phones. It also encouraged us to expand our style of playing and we even threw in some reggae numbers. Playing to younger people can be fun and almost always makes you work harder, because if you want to get them going you’re going to have to actually sound good! One thing i’ve always noticed is how the band instantly changes when a younger person walks into the room, and it’s probably subconcious but it really does start to swing just that bit more!
We’ve always wanted to re-create the ‘run down venue/ speakeasy’ vibe and try encourage people our own age to come and have a party, at the same time we also wanted to record a video for our own publicity, and one of my close friends happens to have just what we were looking for…. an old barn … perfect!
The barn is situated 3 miles away from the town of Llanfyllin, and has been unused for a fair few years, however the middle two sections of the barn are a perfect space for us to work with. Luckily for us there is also plenty of planks of wood piled high that we will be able to use for staging and to put down over the grass to create a path. ( and try to minimise the mess!)
Inside the two main sections which aren’t block by the beams, around 6m x 6m square with a little corridor inbetween linking them together however it is very much open and you’ll be able to see and hear the band whever you are in the barn. We’ve decided that the band will be in one section and the drinks etc.. in the other.
In it’s current state, there is no power so we’re working to fix this, but once it’s sorted the beams will be wrapped in red fairy lights (i’ve already bought a length of 100m!!) to try to recreate the right atmosphere, disco lights, strobes and smoke machine have been ordered and my PA will double up as a DJ later in the evening!
We’re lucky that we can make as much noise as we like, no-one will hear and there’s also space for camping and a nice big bonfire! With the date set, lighting ordered, band ready, photographer booked and event created all we can do now is wait until a few weeks where we will start to clear out the barn and install the electrics.
WATCH THIS SPACE!