Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

You can't sell Jazz to the people of Birmingham!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bruce Lindfield, Feb 13, 2002.


  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think this might have been a subject that has come up before; but I was reading yesterday that Ronnie Scott's Jazz club in Birmingham (UK) has been closed and replaced by a strip club - Birmingham now has more strip clubs per head of population than anywhere else in Britain.

    Apparently more than £7m was poured into subsidising Jazz in Birmingham, but it still lost too much money to be viable. This development is particularly ironic as Birmingham was in the process of bidding to become "European City of Culture" in 2008 - well they could do a nice tour of the strip clubs! :rolleyes:

    Is this a sad indictment on the state of society today or is it just that Birmingham is particularly anti-jazz? I have alway imagined it as a cultural city , mainly based on what I know about the Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle etc.
     
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    You think that's bad, try Birmingham (Alabama)! :D
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    How many strip clubs has this got!? :eek:
     
  4. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    Believe it or not, I think Oteil Burbridge is operating outta the "Pittsburgh of the South".
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Are we really talking about "Philistinism" here then? ;)
     
  6. DaveBeny

    DaveBeny

    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Well, I'm afraid that jazz is now pretty much dead in Birmingham. I heard about the closure of Ronnie Scotts just two days ago from my parents. The club went bust last year but found a new owner, who has obviously decided to try and increase profits! Ronnie Scott's is on Broad Street, which is one of the main stretches of bars and clubs in the city centre - I'm sure it will do good business after the pubs close.

    As I've mentioned before, Ronnie Scott's in Birmingham has had some big jazz(y) names in the last year or so (Christian McBride, Mike Stern, Dave Weckl, Roy Ayers, Mark King, etc), but increasingly turned into a showcase venue for acoustic singer/songwriters and indie bands - I was there just a couple of weeks ago to see three local indie bands, and the club has hosted the annual Birmingham songwriter's festival - people like Coldplay and David Gray have played there. Birmingham does have a good name for classical music (CBSO, Simon Rattle) and theatre, and Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland have played in the city recently.

    There really is no other notable venue for jazz in Birmingham. The only other place I can think of is The Drum (www.the-drum.org.uk) and a couple of small bars and restaurants near the city centre have "jazz" most weeks, although I imagine this to be mostly smooth/dinner jazz.

    And just when I was hoping to start playing...:(
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    So how does this bode for European City of Culture? I suppose the council leaders have to decide whether they want to be seen as cultural or catering to "man's baser instincts" ? ;)

    There are several well-known and well-frequented Jazz venues in London, but I would have thought that Birmingham as second city should have somewhere?

    Brighton temporararily lost its Jazz club recently and only got it back last Friday. The venue was converted into a club - apparently for trendy students ! And they didn't want any live music :(

    Eventually after a drought of a few months, a new home was found and I went along to the opening night last Friday. Very encouraging, as it is larger and there were long queues - the place was absolutely packed!

    I think it's only when people actually lose something that they appreciate it - so maybe Brighton losing its Jazz club temporarily was a good thing - hopefully people will make sure that it doesn't disappear again - a lot of people really missed having a live Jazz venue!
     
  8. yawnsie

    yawnsie

    Apr 11, 2000
    London
    Maybe this would be a good time to mention that Liverpool is also in the running for European City Of Culture 2008, and to my knowledge there are only three main strip clubs in the city centre. :eek::D

    Actually, it's a shame to hear that it got shut down. I'm not really a jazz buff, so I don't really know for sure, but there are a few places up by the cathedrals here that have jazz.
     
  9. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    No matter how bad you think the Strip Club ratio is in Birmingham...you've yet to be Portland Oregon! I think Eric Cameron can vouch for that one. It's really sad. To the point I'm pretty sure it's a fact, not just speculation.
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Do you think this could be a new method of deciding the Cultural vs Philistine status of a city?

    That is, the ratio of strip clubs to places that have live Jazz? I wonder what the "Golden ratio" is? :D
     
  11. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    If more of the strippers would dance to Tony Williams, I don't think it would be a problem any more.
     
  12. Murf

    Murf

    Mar 28, 2001
    Ireland
    At least you guys have/had jazz clubs, where I'm from the idea of going to hear bands is to go to the local pub and listen to Johnny and the bullock shavers murder cover versions or ballads (altogether now...down at de red roooossee cafaaaayy) and jazz is something youll find 3 army band guys doing in a pub on a sunday afternoon ('jazz' by the way means swing and dodgy versions of autumn leaves and the girl from ipanema).

    "arts centre?..what do ye want an arts center for?...havent we got a shopping center is dat not good enough for ye"


    plebs
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I thought in Ireland they would appreciate the concept that you have to feed the soul as well as the body! ;)
     
  14. Ronnie Scott's jazz club is a real place? (See signature below) I thought it was just a made up name (then again I would considering I've never been to Birmingham.)
     
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The "real" and original Ronnie Scott's is still going strong and maintaining a high quality of Jazz in London. The Birmingham thing started out well and was programmed from London, but went downhill apparently when it cut ties with the London club.

    Try the following link :

    http://www.ronniescotts.co.uk/ronnie_scotts/index.htm
     
  16. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    Tell me exactly,why is this a bad thing?:D
     
  17. yawnsie

    yawnsie

    Apr 11, 2000
    London
    Because they're going to keep the musicians on to do the stripping. Now jazzers might be great players, but... well... would you like to see Ed or DURRL do a Full Monty? :eek::D
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    You are now officially labelled "Philistine" -



    (as well as a complete no-hoper/net nerd who needs to pay to get to see women naked! :D )