We won an award!!

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.

Studio re-opening update

Hi everyone, we thought we’d give you a quick update on what’s going on here and how we’re preparing to welcome you back to the studios. We know it’s been a crazy few months and we hope that Covid hasn’t impacted your lives too greatly.

Latest Updates!!

Given the latest updates from the government, we’re asking all bands to wear masks around the communal areas of the studios and, where possible, in the rooms as well. We want to help drive down the R number in any way that we can. We’ve also put up posters with a QR code which allows you to check in via the government’s world beating track and trace app.

Follow the latest Government advice

Please remember to follow the latest advice from the government and if you do have any symptoms, do not come to the studios. We will still allow last minute cancellations due to band members becoming symptomatic on the day of rehearsals without any charge. No shows will be charged for the room as per usual.

Room sizes

Given the need for social distancing measures at the moment, there will need to be a maximum number of people we can safely allow into each room. Rooms 1 – 4 will be used for bands of up to 3 people. Rooms 5 & 6 will be for 4 piece bands. For bands bigger than 4 people, we’ll be using our new sister space The Engine Room, which is opposite the main studios. You can book all spaces as per usual through our booking form.

Timed Entry & Breaks

We are going to have timed entries for the bands in the evening starting at 6pm, this will be the start time for your rehearsal so that people with the 6pm arrival time would be finishing at 10pm, 6:20pm at 10:20pm and so on. Please let us know the earliest you can arrive at the studio when booking your rehearsal and you’ll be given a 20 minute window for your band to load in to your room. If you arrive late, please call the studio and wait in your car and we’ll try to get you in as quickly as possible.

We’ll also be giving each band a timed break when it’s raining, as we can only have two bands in reception at any one time. At times when it is good weather, we can have a more relaxed situation as bands can use the car park.

Musical Equipment

To begin with, we’ll be asking wherever possible for you to bring your own equipment in. We will still hire out items, but would prefer to keep this to the bare minimum. We will also be using a UV system to bathe the microphones in UV light as this has been shown to eradicate viruses within 10 minutes. We will be wiping down the rooms, all equipment and cables after every rehearsal.

Cleaning and hygiene

We will be deep cleaning the studios so that when you’re finally able to come back, everything will be good as new. We have repainted all the rooms and upgraded some. We are installing a hand sanitiser station at the entrance of the studios, so that you can clean your hands before you come in. We’re upgrading the toilets with new floor, new sinks and undercounter water boiler for hot water.

Contactless payment

We will only be taking contactless payment or bank transfers for all bookings and will be providing payment details on all bookings going forward. If making payments via bank transfer, please use the rehearsal date and band name as reference so we can keep track of payments. We can also send invoices that can be paid online by direct debit or bank card as well.

Everything changes but you…

This is obviously a very fluid situation and things seem to be changing week to week. We will endeavour to keep up with current guidelines and will make changes where we have to. Hopefully with the R number going down in Bristol again, we will be able to get back to normal sooner rather than later but please bear with us whilst we try to get everything back up and running. We’ve really missed having bands around the place and hope to hear some of you rocking out very soon.

Charlie, Naomi, Lucy and the team x

Heavy Lungs on Tour

Heavy Lungs band

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:

Christmas Opening Hours

Xmas opening hours 2019

The festive season is upon us, which means that everyone’s getting ready to visit family and loved ones. We wanted to let you know when we’re open over the festive period and the picture pretty much spells it out.

We’re open up until the 22nd of December and then close until the 26th. We’re open again from the 27th to the 30th for any last minute new year’s rehearsals (or if you just need to get out of the house for a few hours…). We shut again for the 31st and 1st and then it’ll be business as usual from the 2nd January.

We also want to take the opportunity to thank all the bands who have rehearsed with us over the year. We’ve enjoyed having you along and can’t wait to see you again in 2019!

Love Charlie, Naomi, Lucy and the team.

Drummers Odyssey 2018

Drummers Odyssey camp

Drummers Odyssey 2018

Drummers Odyssey Camp 2018 has been and gone and what an amazing event it was! Seeing all of those people eager and giddy at the prospect of earning from three master educators and players in Pete Cater, Pete Riley and Emanuelle Caplette was great to see.

We brought together the photos that were taken over the weekend and have put them together on this page for everyone to see. You can see how much fun people were having and that was one of the best things about it. Seeing people spill out of the rooms after having their brains. forearms and consciousnesses melted by the teachers and saying it was the best thing they'd done. Excitedly swapping stories with each othe about the particular class they'd just been in and generally hanging out.

We also wanted to say congratulations to AJ Rousell for putting this all together. He worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone had a good time, got goodies from amazing companies and made sure everything ran the way it should have done.

Pete Cater – Drummer’s Odyssey Teacher Profile

Drummers Odyssey - Pete Cater

“We played Leverkusen, Germany one day. Steve Smith was on before us, and Billy Cobham immediately afterwards. Luckily I don’t get scared easily”

To say that Pete Cater is firmly established legend of the UK music scene, would be a trite thing to say. He is quite simply one of the best drummers to come from these shores.

Having worked his way to sharing a stage with Steve Gadd, Ian Palmer and Steve White at the World's Greatest Drummer show in 2015, he has shown time and again why he was the only Brit voted into the top 5 jazz drummers in the world by Rhythm magazine.

At the Drummers Odyssey camp, here at Firebird Studios, you'll be getting un paralleled access to a jazz great, with a maximum of 8 other people in the room with you at the same time. It will take your playing to a new level and possibly give you a greater appreciation of what it takes to be a top level Jazz drummer.

Ibiza DJ 80 LED parbar problems

I bought these lights from an online retailer as the price was ridiculously cheap for what they were (2 x four LED lights for £130 odd quid). The trouble you have with lights at this price point is that they usually aren’t put together that well and so with a great sense of timing, one of the lights stopped working two weeks after I’d had them delivered.
I’d tried to get it replaced but the online retailer was being the very definition of an online retailer (truculent, evasive and generally a bit shit). So after a while I thought “sod it, I’ll see what’s inside” and it’s a lot less than I had thought.
Ibiza DJ 80 LEDThe piece that seemed to be doing the grunt work was this pcb located on the left had side of the unit. I had noticed that the power would come in and cut out when you rattled the light bar so I thought it would probably be a loose wire or a dry joint. Luckily it was the former. There are two connection blocks that I’ve highlighted in this hastily taken photo that deliver the power to the lights themselves and I found that they’d been screwed in but not tightened enough. A few turns of a screwdriver and my unit was working perfectly.
So my advice if you do buy cheap lights is don’t try to get them replaced, open up the unit and see if you can fix it yourself. This obviously comes with the warning that you should know what you are doing and the potential dangers inherent in working on an electrical item. Disconnect the power before working on anything. This unit does come with an led attached to the pcb that lights up when there’s power going to the unit. Make sure it’s off before doing anything!

The garden is taking off!

Spring definitely seems to be getting its act together and we’ve had some really sunny days at the studio. One of the great side effects of this is that our garden is really starting to kick into high gear. Loads of plants growing, blooming and budding. It’s south facing so it’s a real sun trap and a great place to take a break from rehearsing and sit with a coffee or a cold drink!
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New amp!

We’ve got ourselves a new bass amp! We’ve been treating the guitarists and drummers to new stuff so we thought it was time to give the bass players something to jump up and down about. This baby packs 350 watts into her tiny frame and 2 10″ speakers to give you that classic Ampeg growl. You can also plug a 1 x 15″ cab in and it’ll up-rate to 500 watts and give your guitarist something to think about when they do that ridiculous solo that doesn’t need to be there.
We’ll be hiring her out for £5 a session. Have fun!
Ampeg BA500 bass combo
Ampeg BA500 bass amp