Monday, 28 December 2009

A Culinary New Year

There is (probably) still time to book yourself a table at the Loch Fyne restaurant in Norwich for New Year's Eve. Eastern Straynotes will be playing for the diners. There's a £50 set menu that looks particularly tasty. Although famous for their fish, vegetarians are catered for, as are meat eaters who fancy something non-aquatic.

If you make it down, do come and say hello to the musicians. We'll be playing for about three hours or so; the chances of us playing at least something you enjoy are therefore very good.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

The pics from Dragon Hall

Here are a couple of pics from our first gig with Paul. They're taken in the Dragon Hall where we were playing for Adrian Ramsay's general election campaign launch. In the great boy-band tradition there's one of us playing (just to show we were there) but really the stars were the dragons and, of course, Adrian himself (visible at the right hand edge of the picture, black suit, green tie).

The last time I was in there was to see Louis de Bernieres (he of Captain Corelli's Mandolin fame) play a gig with his wife. She was definitely the musical one but he was game, charming and, most importantly, entertaining. Andy, of course, has played everywhere at some time or another so it was no surprise to learn that he and his guitar had been there before.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

There's alot of it about

Illness,requests for christmas tunes, a foggy haze, a relative coming to stay. The Straynotes have to cope with many things. Both of us were ill for our slot at the Earsham Street cafe last Friday. It was all a foggy haze. Its amazing what a dose of Calpol, Beechams and some Ibroprofen will get you through.
Written by Andy K

Monday, 7 December 2009

Emos clash outside Straynote gig

Scenes of young Emos fighting with swords and knives could be seen yesterday while the Straynotes played in the Sainsbury centre.
We like these kind of strange juxtapositons. Inside the Centre a calm and leisurely atmosphere pervaded as the Straynotes lulled the assembled audience and coffee and cakes with Jazz and Klezmer. Outside were teenagers dressed in black fighting. The relaxed photo belies the tensions outside. Andy.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

New tunes on the site

At last, the demo tunes we recorded at Ashwood Studios can be heard at We recorded them, with Sandra on bass and Sotos at the controls, last June. Now they've been mixed, mastered and uploaded.

Sweet Sue
Mazel Tov/Jack's Freylakh
Sirbar mitt Harbster Bletlech
Honeysuckle Rose
Papirosnn/Golden Chase
A Ganef

Enjoy! (We did.)

Friday, 4 December 2009

Off to Sainsbury's

Eastern Straynotes are playing at the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts on the University of East Anglia campus this Sunday.

Free activities for the kids, free Sunday papers and the free music starts at one o'clock. Take a walk around the grounds then come and enjoy coffee and cake to the sound of south-west Norwich's finest jazz and klezmer trio.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Straynotes at The Forum

Andy will provide the caption. Meanwhile here are the Straynotes at The Forum with Paul on bass and special guest Hugh Stanners on accordion. Andy may have had an inkling but his appearance took Paul and me by surprise and made the evening very special.

Even the arrival of the fire brigade couldn't dampen things: we really were on fire.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Dragon Hall

So on Monday it was the mediaeval Dragon Hall. The first time I've played there (although the ubiquitous Andy probably has) and the first with new bass man Paul Fitzgerald. It was also the first time I've played on the same bill as a Chinese dragon dancing display. Lots of people were snapping away while my camera was stuck in my bag. I gave our card to at least four photographers who each promised me pictures of the event. So as soon as they arrive...

Meanwhile here are some pics of the Dragon Hall by day.

And then tonight we play at the Forum.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Expect the unexpected

'Expect the unexpected' was the phrase my eleven year old brought back from school the other day. Whatever the day had really been about was overshadowed by the fact that the kids didn't have to wear their school uniforms. To me the phrase translates as 'Be prepared!'- the scouting motto. To this end Andy and I have been digging out the Christmas tunes (and jokes- Yule love this one... just kidding) in case of playing at store promotions. We haven't had that kind of gig since the credit crunch began but one never knows.

One surprise is being asked to play for Adrian Ramsay's election campaign launch at the mediaeval Dragon Hall next week. It has to be said, Adrian has a good chance of unseating the incumbent, former home secretary Charles Clarke, in the general election. Charles has certainly taken him seriously enough to demonstrate a sudden interest in local issues. If Britain is going to get its first Green Party member of parliament next May then it will probably happen in Norwich South.

This will be our first gig with Paul Fitzgerald on double bass and will make a useful warm-up (no disrespect, Adrian) for a more public performance in Marzano's at the iconic Forum in Millennium Plain on Thursday. The shops stay open late on Thursdays and, given that there are only so many shopping days left before Christmas, there should be a few people about for that show. So many of our gigs involve being musical wallpaper. I'm not complaining - we take our wallpaper very seriously, especially the musical kinds - but it's great to really perform once in a while and on Thursday night we'll be kranking out the klezmer in ways only an acoustic trio can. If you can make it down, expect the unexpected. Mazel Tov! Jonathan.

Friday, 13 November 2009

In the studio

Yesterday Jonathan and I went back into Ashwood studios to mix 7 tunes we recorded last July. Despite my anxiety about going into the studio, something that has come through years of sound engineers telling me red is black, we had a really productive and positive time. Thanks Sotos! Sotos made light work of our head sratching, ear splitting problems and I am hoping the master copy will sound great too.

I forgot to take my camera along so I have drawn a picture for you all to look at of Sotos hard at work at the mixing desk (yes, thats what it is). As you can see I haven't paid as much attention to my drawing skills as my guitar playing.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Great wisdom on Jonathan's part has brought about the purchase of some cool stage lights so we can look the musical part when need be. They are better than the fire traps we had before.

This is my first go at blogging. If anyone reads this, be gentle.

Turkeys in the straw

Andy x

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Making the demo

We recorded a number of tracks at Ashwood Studios last June and now we're trying to decide which ones to mix. 'Swindler' is sounding good as are one or two others. We'll post them as soon as they're done.