“Bye Bye Blues 90º” at The Star, Old Wives Lees

The Stour Valley Stompers. Gerry introduces the band on the YouTube below.

The Stour Valley Stompers. Gerry introduces the band on the YouTube below.

Jazz at the Star, in the almost remote village of Old Wives Lees, East Kent, with Gerry Birch’s Stour Valley Jazz Band performing Bye Bye Blues.

I thought long and hard about releasing this full, uncensored performance on YouTube but decided to go ahead because it’s all about fun and atmosphere. The kind of fun and atmosphere that kindles joy in the hearts of jazz fans seeking out ever rarer gigs in jazz friendly pubs. And these days when the trend is for pubs to close their doors on jazz, Barry, the publican at The Star welcomes fans weekly for Thursday night gigs organised by Gerry. Good musicians, great jazz in a hidden corner of The Garden of England.

Jane Birch on vocals

Jane Birch on vocals

Why “Bye Bye Blues 90º”?

Because filming in at The Star isn’t so easy given the band’s 90º confined space even though Barry allows me behind the bar.

But at this gig it was a busy bar, so I filmed from around a corner from the band using my versatile “remote” lens. Hence the 90º angles to capture all the musicians, whom Gerry introduces, in various dubious poses.

Great fun!

Watch out for Gerry’s plug about his Orient Express gigs! Need to bill him for that!


For further details about Jazz at The Star email Gerry at [email protected] or call The Star on 01227 730213.

Photos & YouTubes © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz.

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  1. Jeff Matthews says:

    Hi, just been watching the video clip ‘Bye Bye Blues’. How nice is that then. Perhaps we should start a campaign in our areas to find pubs who would like to have nice music like this. The thorny problem will always be money of course. But there are ways and means that can be found, I am sure. It reintroduces the music to the people. Plus sometimes these places act as a ‘showcase’ for bands to get other gigs of a better paying variety.

    Just a thought.


  2. Peter Butler says:

    I concur, Jeff! Another campaign to launch via Jazz&Jazz and Jazzers? Mind you I’ve still not kept to my promise to get back to reinvigorating the Letter to Press campaign. So much to do!!! See you early next week.

  3. Gerry Birch says:

    Hi Peter
    Thank you for our “Clip” on JazzandJazz. I think this captures the mood at the Star nicely. As I have said before,when I first started the Thursday club at the Star, I expected it to last about a month. The pub is too small, the wrong shape and in the wrong place. Happily , I was completely wrong and we are now on our way to completing our 3rd year.
    We don’t aim for a concert performance, We get a varied selection of very nice people on Thursdays. Some come just for the Jazz. Others come for a social evening, but enjoy the music whilst they are drinking and chatting. Everybody has got to know each other and it is a nice friendly atmosphere. Consequently, all the bands treat it as a bit of fun and I think this comes over in our “clip”.
    To pick up on one of Jeff Matthews points. Yes, money will always be a problem. No one ever gets rich playing in pubs and similarly very few Landlords get rich from paying bands to play in their pubs, but if we can find a few more amiable Landlords, like Barry, we may be able to work together and keep the Jazz going for a few more years.
    Keep up the good work.

    Gerry Birch
    Stour Valley Jazz Band

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