Last month I played a gig at Ronnie Scott’s Bar in London. I’ve never been to Ronnie Scott’s before and have always been meaning to since I moved to London. I was over the moon when I was contacted about playing at a night there but a little confused as I didn’t think they would book an artist like me as Ronnie Scott’s is a Jazz venue so I thought they may have made a mistake. It turns out that upstairs at Ronnie’s Bar they do book artists like me! Taking place on the second and last Tuesday of each month, “Ruby Sings” is a great opportunity for musicians to share sounds and gain some good exposure. This sounded right up my street.
I arrived for soundcheck at about 6pm and wondered in to the club looking for steps to the upstairs bar. The actual main venue looks amazing, with it’s grand piano on stage and little round tables with their individual lamps and the lighting creating a really special vibe. I clearly wasn’t dressed for the venue or look like any sort of jazz legend so it was no more than about 10 seconds of being in there until a hostess approached me and said “I think you’re upstairs” while showing me to a little curtain which she pulled back to reveal a narrow staircase up to the bar.
Ronnie’s Bar is pretty awesome too! There are a number of seating booths with tables and framed black and white photos of jazz legends across all the walls with a long bar towards the end of the venue under a skylight. There is a stage area perpendicular to the bar but there was a drum kit and amps set up for another act that was on the bill so the main performance area for tonight was just in front of the stage where you are on the same level as the audience.
Throughout the whole of my #CouchSurfTour I’ve been performing sitting down but a good friend of mine who had been to Ronnie’s Bar to see a gig in the past recommended that because of the set up of the venue, it would be a good idea to perform there standing up and I was really glad I did. With everyone standing at the same level as where I was performing, only the front row would have been able to see me had I sat and this is usually a recipe for everyone standing towards the back to start chatting away as they don’t see any activity happening in the performance area.
Just before I went on, it seemed like there was quite a mixed crowd. There was even a group of people dressed like characters from “Anchorman” who at first I thought were for real but then found out it was someone’s retirement party… Yes, pretty bizarre crowd…
Thankfully, just before I went on, more people arrived who weren’t just gagging to hear “Afternoon Delight” which was a relief. Some of the regular faces I see at my gigs turned up (thanks guys!) and it was also great to play to a bunch of new people too. I feel the set went well and while the people in the seating areas to the right of the stage did chat away through the set, the people standing watching the stage were all pretty engaged, it was overall a really enjoyable gig and I’m so happy to have played at the venue. Thanks to everyone who came down! I look forward to playing there again soon.
My next gig is at the Marylebone Fayre this Sunday 16th June. I’ll be playing the “MixTape Sessions Acoustic Stage” – more info to come this week!