High Fives 2014 – The Kennedys


Here’s another couple of people that we love here at MusicRiot; Pete and Maura Kennedy. They’re fabulously gifted songwriters, singers and players and they’re lovely people as well. They decided to share their thoughts on some of the more interesting venues they’ve played around the UK. Let the good times roll…

Stirrin' it up NorthStirrin’ it up North A Cajun crawfish fest in Cumbria? Hey la bas! This gig, in a tiny village hall tucked into the forest, features the intimate rapport of a classic folk club, but with the added boon of massive pots of Louisiana style gumbo. Last time we were there, the performers (that would be us) rolled up their sleeves and became Cajun sous chefs for the night. After we served up the gumbo, we took off our aprons, picked up our guitars, and sang. That’s not gonna happen at the Albert Hall…so laissez les bon temps roulez!

Hedingham CastleHedingham Castle Back in the States, no one has a Norman castle in their back yard, but in East Anglia, anything is possible! At last report, the music program has been suspended here, but we trust that the banquet hall, which once rang with lutenists entertaining Hank VIII with his own greatest hit, Greensleeves, will once again host modern troubadours. We loved the candlelight, the banners and balconies, and the natural reverb echoing off those solid Norman stone walls.

WoodendWoodend Bowling and Tennis Club Anyone for tennis? This venue, in a nice Glasgow suburb, seemed like an unlikely spot for a concert, but it turned out to be great! While the tennis players volley and the lawn bowlers knock down pins outside, Glaswegian Americana fans pack the activity hall inside. It’s the kind of gig where, in the midst of your set of original songs, you will suddenly find yourself inspired to belt out a Johnny Cash medley, with the crowd singing along lustily in perfect Memphis accents…


Under the Bridge
London Irish Village, Chelsea Football Club Another venue that seems unlikely, by virtue of its location underneath the grandstands at the actual football stadium. You’re not obliged to play “We Are the Champions”, although you can if you wish! The pub also functions as a top flight photo gallery, with a stellar collection of rock prints. For pre-gig inspiration, check out the prints of the early Clash in Camden Lock, or the Small Faces, each member walking his own baby alligator on a leash…

The Kitchen GardenThe Kitchen Garden, King’s Heath, Birmingham Approaching King’s Heath, we expected a verdant bowery, with peaceful flocks grazing while shepherds piped soothing airs. Instead, we found a bustling and diverse neighborhood chock full of interesting shops, none the least of which is our very own venue, The Kitchen Garden. Need a rake, a bird bath, or perhaps a stone Buddha for the back garden? This is the only gig we know of that offers those essentials, along with live music. It’s a lovely urban oasis, and no doubt the spot where local bard W. Shakespeare would have hung out had he surfaced a few centuries later. Come for tea or coffee, surrounded by flora of all varieties, and stay for live music in an intimate setting quite unlike any other on the circuit.

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