No doubt you’ve seen the news about what changes are going to be made from next Monday and we wanted to set out our position going forward from that date.
Please keep wearing your mask and washing your hands
As a member of the Association of Independent Rehearsal and Recording Studios, we have been advised that, after talking to the Department for Culture Media and Sport, UK Music and the Music Producers Guild, we should keep all procedures in place from the 19th July. As a business that, unfortunately, is a prime location for transmission to take place, we feel it’s too soon to lift the restrictions that have helped us to keep our studios a safe place for everyone to interact and make music together.
As was spelled out in the presentation by Professor Chris Whitty, whilst the vaccine helps to suppress the virus and make infections less severe and the chances of becoming infected much less, it is still infectious and transmissible. The Delta varient seems to be a particularly nasty version of the virus that still has the ability to hospitalise up to 25% of the population if we’re not careful. We have had anecdotal evidence given to us by NHS staff that work at Southmead, that the majority of cases being admitted are people in their 20s who haven’t been vaccinated and 40-50 year olds that have and have stopped being as vigilant.
We want everyone to feel that the studios are somewhere where all are welcome and safe. We have a wide range of ages that use our studios ranging from 6 – 60+. This means that we have people who are clinically vulnerable who use our space, people who are looking after people who are clinically vulnerable and others who are immuno-compromised as well as you lucky ones, who can spring out of bed with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. We need them to feel able to use our space without fear of either themselves or their loved ones being infected because they are coming here.
Like everyone, I’ll be very relieved when this is all over, but it isn’t over yet and that’s why we will be keeping our procedures in place and asking you to be as vigilant at before until such time as we feel we can – and we’re advised to – do otherwise.
It’s fair to say that 2020 has been one of the toughest years we’ve all had to go through. 2021 didn’t get off to a great start either, but then we were told that we have been chosen to be South West Rehearsal Studio of the Year 2020/21!!
We were picked from a shortlist of 5 studios in the South West and given how difficult it is for our industry right now, it’s nice to have something positive to share. We’ve worked really hard to build up the business since starting out in 2015 and it’s great to have some recognition of how far we’ve come.
We’re proud to have created a space that everyone says is one of the nicest spaces they’ve rehearsed in. We’ve also built up a fantastic community through our Saturday Music Club music school and have been told we serve the best coffee in Bristol.
We’ve continued to upgrade our rooms and equipment in the studio and we are now able to offer a incredible 60m2 performance and production space – The Engine Room – for 2021.
It goes without saying that we couldn’t have done it without the bands, artists, musicians, teachers and students that have used our studios and helped make it what it’s become.
Thank you all for being with us on our journey and we hope to see you very soon.
Idles label mates Heavy Lungs were in over the weekend rehearsing for their upcoming headliner tour around the UK. With a new EP around the corner, Heavy Lungs are going full tilt with comfirmed appearances at Bearded Theory and Handmade festival.
You can catch them at venues all over the UK. Check out their dates below:
Chuffed to see Svalbard’s drummer nominated for Best New Drummer 2018 on Music Radar. We’ve always thought of his technique, musicality and emotion as being up there with the best players around at the moment.
If you can, go a vote for him here: https://www.musicradar.com/news/who-is-the-best-new-drummer-of-2018
We’re so happy to hear that the Agent of Change law has been brought into the National Planing Policy Framework meaning that developers can’t move into an area where a music venue is, build flats and then get the music venue to pickup the cost of soundproofing further to avoid complaints from flat owners living in the new development.
It’s great news for live music venues like the Thekla, Fiddlers and more around the city.
As many of you have also recently found out, one of Bristol’s favourite music venues has the threat of closure from developers hanging over it. Much like The Fleece before it, The Thekla is potentially under threat from a development on the Redcliffe Wharf opposite it. Many people are going online to express their support for the venerable music institute and that’s great to see, but there are also concrete steps you can take to help raise awareness within the council and let them know that this has to be a key part of the development plans.
Write to Bristol Council Planning Department
Up until 12pm today you can email the planning department expressing your concerns regarding the planning application. Email email@example.com using the subject line “Statement regarding Application Nos 17/02049/F & 17/02050/LA” and tell them what you think about the potential impact of live music venues in the area and specifically The Thekla and ask whether or not provisions have been made to ensure this long established venue is not under threat from noise complaints. Having read through the planning document there are particular areas to highlight in your email.
Section 7 Response to Community Publicity
– Concern that the noise assessment undertaken doesn’t properly consider the potential amenity impacts of the late night live music venues in the vicinity.
BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL POLLUTION CONTROL
8.19.1. The Bristol City Council Pollution Control team commented that the noise assessment for the site should take into account the potential for noise from the Thekla over the weekend, and that this could be secured through condition.
6. Noise Sensitive Premises Assessment
A detailed acoustic report on the existing noise climate at the development site will be submitted to and approved in writing by the Council prior to the commencement of the development hereby approved.
The details submitted shall specify the development phase(s) to which they relate. The report shall include a scheme of noise insulation measures for all residential accommodation. The noise insulation measures shall be designed to achieve noise insulation to a standard that nuisance will not be caused to the occupiers of residential accommodation by noise from the following:
a) Music and customer noise from the nearby licensed premises over a weekend and from the licensed premises to be provided as part of the development.
As the festival is a celebration of the bands that rehearse with us at the studios we thought we’d give you a bit of a low down on the bands that are playing on the day. You can find out more on this page.
This multi-instrumental band are a joy to watch as you’re never really sure who’s going to be playing what at any given time. Crafting beautiful arrangements and harmonies with sometimes cutting wit and light humour. If you are new to The Cedar, you are in for a treat.
This Bristol four piece has been a staple favourite of ours ever since we first head them rehearsing at the studios. Instantly recognisable for their charming brand of sparkly guitar pop, bittersweet lyrics and blood harmonies, all showcased in energetic live shows. They’re currently promoting their new album – The Boy You Knew – and getting a great reception for it so far.
Up and coming South Wales band Crystal Balloon are already making waves in the local area with their brand of Americana influenced power pop. Their debut EP – Hurricane – will be out in July and having heard an advanced copy we can tell you it sounds amazing!
We first saw Mike playing at a pub in Totterdown and were instantly captivated by his unique blend of classical loops and hip hop lyrics. It’s a mesmerising mix and one that has seen him played all over BBC 6Music recently and described by Tom Robinson as “…like a hybrid between early Example and Franz Ferdinand at their knowing, cheeky best.”
Downard are a duo that describe themselves as an “atmospheric two-piece rock combo. Punishing distorto-riffs+math-slam drums+swirly voice confusion = we.” All we know is they sound incredible and you can’t believe that it’s just two people in the room when they get into full flight.
Sons of Liberty
This unashamedly Southern American rock covers band have been with us since the beginning and gig regularly around the South West to great acclaim. As you can see from the video below they go all out capturing the look and feel of your favourite Southern rock bands – Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top and more.
The Psychedelic Hearts Club have only recently started rehearsing with us but they created a sound that we thought was fantastic and wanted to showcase as part of the festival. They’re taking classic Beatles tracks and giving them a slightly different twist via Muse and other contemporary rock bands. It’ll be fun to listen to, that much we know!
It’s been a busy year here at the studio with more and more bands rehearsing with us, lots of improvements to the reception/cafe space, planting a studio garden and Firebird Studios getting out and about supporting local gigs, events, and festivals. It’s been amazing to read all the lovely reviews you’ve given us on Facebook and Google too, it’s great to know you think we’re getting it right!
In July we celebrated our 1st Anniversary with an outdoor mini festival in the car park. We invested in a proper festival stage from Enlightened Lighting and it was worth it as it looked and sounded incredible! For us, it was a way of saying thank you to the bands who’ve rehearsed with us over the first year of running the studios and for everyone to hear each other’s music. Despite the unpredictable summer weather, it was a really fun event and great to see so many Firebird bands playing live at the studios!
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2015 also saw Firebird Studios get involved with some of the biggest and best Bristol Festivals. Swedish band Grieved flew in to use our studio prior to their performance at Temples Festival.
We also supplied all the backline to the Grain Barge for Bristol Harbourside Festival and to Tobacco Factory for Upfest 2015.
In July/August we were proud sponsors of the Synthetica Events Battle of the Bands, which saw the winners – Myst – take away £1000 as a first prize. The band were in to rehearse recently and said they were using the money to record their first EP. Can’t wait to hear that!
And who’d’ve thought we’d get the chance to rock out on a pirate ship, but that’s what we did with A Doubtful Sound when they asked us to provide a PA for their video shoot on The Matthew. The video was shot by Push The Button who are the people to go to if you’re looking for the best quality music videos! The band are now sadly moving back to New Zealand and we are going to miss them and all their rock nonsense very much!
So as you can see it’s been a pretty packed year. We’ve really enjoyed finding our feet with the studio and getting to be a part of the great Bristol music scene and hear so much good music. Happy New Year and see you for lots more music in 2016!
Thought I’d write a quick note to say that we’re holding auditions for covers bands, Soloists, Duos and the like at the studios next week! We still got a couple of slots available for it so read the blurb below, and get involved!
Calling all young talented west country musicians…..we are holding auditions at Firebird Studios, Bristol between 12pm and 7pm on Wednesday the 30th of September.
We’re looking for:
Soloist,duos, bands and DJs for well paid UK function work, winter tours in the French ski resorts, all year round week long residencies in Nice France, summer residencies in Portugal and well paid pub gigs in Bristol and Cardiff.
The brief is party music and we’re looking for fun, high energy, talented acts that can do the standard covers stuff but also have a twist (with a DJ mixing/MC, 80’s covers, ‘80s cheese, funk, Soul, glam rock, rockabilly, classic dance anthems, some beat box, rapping, some Ska/Northern Soul/Motown……anything but brown eyed girls or sex on fire! That said, it still needs to have a mainstream element that will appeal to the masses.
If you are interested in being considered for the auditions e-mail us some live audio or live video footage and any links to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll book you a slot!