Marcia Hines – Don't Let The Grass Grow

So I’ve returned from The Mostly Jazz Festival in Birmingham and I can tell you if you weren’t there you missed out on a great weekend. Due to arriving late in the afternoon I didn’t get to see many of the acts who played on Friday night but if they were anything like the quality of those I saw during the rest of the weekend, they must have been great.

Friday night ended with me having a surprising last-minute guest dj slot at the Yardbird Jazz Club in central Birmingham. If you haven’t been before, I highly recommend checking it out sometime if you’re in the city as it’s a great venue and the band who played before my set (who I can’t for the life of me remember the name of) were highly entertaining and had a jazzy, James Taylor Quartet kinda vibe going on. My set went down very well amongst the punters, so a big thanks to Billy “Chill Fingers” for having me down. You can check out some photos of the night below:

The crowd digging the tunes @ The Yardbird The band @ The Yardbird Billy Chill Fingers @ The Yardbird Throwing down the funk @ The Yardbird Gazfunk @ Yardbird Jazz Club Yardbird Jazz Club

Onto Saturday and I arrived at Moseley around 1.30 p.m., just enough time to get myself settled before my set from 2-4 p.m. The tennis hut is a rather unique setting and certainly one of the strangest places I’ve dj’d in over the years but I think that probably added to the occasion! A number of friends arrived and some festival-goers who all seemed to really dig the vibe and before I knew it, my slot had finished and Dj Cheese Dip come on to replace me.

This allowed me plenty of time to have a beer and catch some of the acts I was really looking forward to seeing including Smoove & Turrell, The Fantasy Funk Band and the legendary Candi Staton (with a Craig Charles dj set to warm up the crowd before Candi took to the stage). Even at 73 she proved that she can still cut it with the best of them and so it ended day 2 of the festival.

Sunday was to prove a bit of a struggle as my hotel didn’t have air conditioning and as you can see from the pictures below, the weather was very warm at the park and this coupled with 2 late nights of drinking meant the festivities on Sunday started considerably later in the afternoon than the 2 previous days. Nonetheless, we still arrived in time to catch the legendary Soul II Soul who were as you would expect, fantastic live. Another act followed on the smaller stage – Lokkhi Terra who described themselves as “a sort of Afro-Cuban thing with Bangladeshi origins” – right up my street, although I got the impression most of the audience seen them as something of an interlude between Soul II Soul and the festival headliners, Chic.

I must say before I go any further – I’m not a big lover of disco music (I’m sure you’ve probably guessed that since I’ve never featured any disco in the years I’ve been doing the blog) so I probably wasn’t as excited about seeing Chic as most of the crowd. In saying that, once Nile Rodgers took to the stage it was clear that the band could still play fantastically well live and there is no denying Rodgers’ songwriting talent, even if it’s not exactly to my taste. So the festival was brought to a close with a number of people joining Nile and the boys (and girls) onstage for a rousing version of “Good Times” and I certainly think that was a feeling that everyone who was there shared. You can check out some pictures of the festival and me dj’ing in the tennis hut below:

The crowd @ Mostly Jazz Selecting the vinyl in the tennis hut Gazfunk dj'ing in the tennis hut Chic on stage @ Mostly Jazz

As is customary on the blog, I must bring you a little piece of music to whet your appetite – don’t worry, I won’t talk too much about the song in question as I think I’ve already spoken long enough. The main reason I’ve picked today’s selection is because we’ve had a fantastic last week of weather and this song has a perfect summery feel to it. Think of someone like Ann Sexton and you kinda get the vibe. Enjoy!

Marcia Hines - Don't Let The Grass Grow

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