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!
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.
“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.
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.
The 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!
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!
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!
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 email@example.com and we’ll book you a slot!