Going to be in England this summer!

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by NickD, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    Durng the last two weeks in July I'm going to be in England with my family this summer. Now, while this is a vacation, I always have a horn with me.

    So, I am looking for a couple of ideas with this post.

    1.) I'll be looking for jazz clubs where I might be able to sit in. We'll be in London, Birmingham among other towns. I'll get back to anyone who might be willing to share some ideas here with more specifics.

    2.) I definitley want to hear good LOCAL music when I'm there. Suggestions? Again, if a dialoge opens up, I'll get more specifics to you via a PM.

    3.) This is the big one. In checking out prices for lodging in England my wife and I have found that hotels will run us $300/night, minimum, everywhere! Now, I'm a high school physics teacher by day (2/3 of my income) and a professional jazz commercial trumpeter by night (the other 1/3 of my income). Niether gig is known for generating rich yuppies here in the U.S. While my wife and I are saving up for this, these lodging expenses are a challenge.

    Now, we've looked into bed and breakfasts. We find they go for $80 per night per head. Well, I'll be traveling with my son (14) and daughter (10). Four folks will run $320 a night - no savings there.

    We've heard of "Youth Hostiles" (not sure of the spelling here - sorry). One friend reccommends them as a good way for a family to see England. Another friend says they are the nearest thing to hell he has ever experienced. Again, travelling with a family of four, is this do-able?

    So, I'm looking for ideas about lodging or any way I can keep the expenses managable. Heck, I'd even take gigs as a sideman if the income was sufficient to defray the costs (though I think my wife might divorce me, I dunno...). ;-)

    So, to our compatriots in England I would say feel free to PM me, or post here. I'll check back.

    Thanks in advance for your patience and any ideas you might have.


  2. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Pianissimo User

    Hi Nick,

    More information on youth hostels can be found here..


    Check out this hotel site for economy hotels...


    How about self catering in a cottage??

    Gig, event guides for London..


    Gig, event guides for Birmingham..


    Don't forget to visit Eclipse trumpets while you are here!! ;)

    Hope this helps!
  3. NickD

    NickD Forte User



    Thanks sooo much! I'm on it!

  4. alanbach

    alanbach Pianissimo User

    Dec 10, 2003
    South Wales U.K.
    Hi Nick ...you might want to check out these websites for decent hotels as well...if you are going to Birmingham there is a travel inn (Birmingham Bridge Street) quite close to the Symphony Hall...http://www.necgroup.co.uk/visitor/whatson/SearchWhatsOn.asp?m=6 I use it every time I attend the British Open Brass Band Championships in September.
    Have a safe journey and I hope you enjoy your stay.
    Birmingham is a great city with plenty of friendly people...very cosmopolitan...great Indian Restaurants (curries) and the Symphony Hall is superb.
  5. RichN

    RichN Pianissimo User

    Sep 25, 2004
    UK (Mids)
    Don't know much about London, Birmingham's my local city.

    For hotels, there are plenty of decent but cheap(ish) hotels, you can probably find them on www.yell.com. Travel Inn, Premier Lodge, Holiday Inn Express etc. are all reasonable. The one on Broad Street (or is it Bridge Street?) is ideal, but book early.

    As for music, there's Symphony Hall and the associated venues, details on www.necgroup.co.uk. One of my favourites however is The Jamhouse, which is a relatively small venue that revolves around food and music. It's part owned by Jools Holland, and usually has good old-style Rythm & Blues, Jazz, Blues etc. Pick the night carefully though to make sure the band is one you'll enjoy. If you're really lucky, you'll be here when Jools Holland is playing there himself. It's an amazing experience seeing him with his 'Rythm & Blues Orchestra' playing in a really intimate venue with less than 1000 people (so intimate in fact that the players have to walk through the crowd to get to the 'solo spot' on the stage). The last time I saw them there Sam Brown was singing with them. They don't seem to advertise these gigs, you have to call and ask! www.thejamhouse.com.

    Plenty of restaurants too. I particularly like La Toque D'or, which is near the Jamhouse. Very French, very good. Also, the Ikon Gallery (Brindley Place) has a cafe that does good Spanish lunches. Living Room has good food and usually blues piano on weekend nights. You also have to have curry whilst you're here. Quality can be a bit pot luck, but always an experience, especially in the Stoney Lane area. Royal Al Faisal's does a good curry buffet, bring your own cheap lager etc...

    Last thing, whilst you're in London, I've heard very good things about The Producers at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Lead trumpet, I believe, is Noel Langley (TM ID Lonelyangel). I'm hoping to go and see it later on in the year.

    Hope this is enough to be getting on with!


    Oh, one last thing, if you drive from London to Birmingham useing the M1 and M6 motorways, you actually pass within a couple of miles of the Eclipse workshop....
  6. NickD

    NickD Forte User


    Thanks again! And, thanks to Rich for the most recent entry!

  7. eclipse trumpets

    eclipse trumpets Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Hi Nick

    Some Norwegian pro players visited the workshop recently and stayed in London at a huge hotel that is the favourite place for just what you have mentioned! Cheap and clean!
    Not a top hotel of course but right in the centre of london close to everything.
    If i could just remember the name?

    I,ll phone this guy and ask him.


  8. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 30, 2003
    Manchester / London
    I'm not really sure about jam sessions in London at the moment. There was a good one at Shino's but I believe that club closed down - the other ones I can think of are all pretty amateurish.

    If you like classical music at all, make sure you go and see the LSO at the Barbican (ah ... just checked their site, and guess what? They're touring the US at the end of July!)

    If you get in contact with Noel Langley as someone suggested, you might want to ask him if the Dean Street Underground Orchestra are playing around that time, or if the London Jazz Orchestra are. Both are great big bands that Noel plays lead trumpet in.

    Oh, I'll be the third person to say make sure you invade Leigh's factory for a day! :D


    ps. Closer to the time, check this site: http://www.jazz-live.info/ - it gives listing for jazz in London for every month. Some good stuff on there.
  9. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Pianissimo User

    The Regent Palace in Piccadilly ???

  10. lonelyangel

    lonelyangel Pianissimo User

    Nov 8, 2003
    Hi Nick, are you here yet? PM or email me if you want to hook up? I'd love to meet you.

    All the best. noel.

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