Live Jazz with Pizza Express

This is a sponsored post.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know I’m obsessed with my music, and if you know me personally, you probably know there’s a special place in my heart for jazz. It’s the basis of the best gigs i’ve been to, the most special nights I can remember with my boyfriend, and the music that makes me feel most like myself.

So when Pizza Express contacted me with an invitation to one of their coveted live jazz events, I jumped at the chance to cover it on my blog – jazz and pizza?! What more could a girl want?

It may come as a surprise if you’re not aware that Pizza Express are pretty big on their jazz, and have been for a while. One of my absolute faves, Jamie Callum, was heavily integrated with them on his rise in the jazz scene and the late great Amy Winehouse also played on their stages. Safe to say I knew the music was going to be good when I joined them in Maidstone last week, where I went with a friend.

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Trust me to head straight for the selfie mirror

Upon entering an intimate room with hues of pink and purple, we were greeted by the view of a grand piano, which is always certain to get my tummy tingling. Being a keyboard player is all well and good but I’m always itching to play a real piano! With prosecco and as much pizza as one can handle in an evening, we began exploring the venue.

I didn’t know how much you can actually get done in a pizza express. Dreamy pizza? Check. Live jazz? Check. Conference rooms with waitress service? Check, check. (And I’m not just talking a random room at the back either – top floor, high ceilings, art all over the walls and a mantelpiece, complete with ornate mirrors. Check.)

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Beyond the gorgeous rooms and intricately detailed staircases (yes, I notice the detail of staircases), we spent the night getting lost in the voices of Liane Carroll and Gwyneth Herbert – 2 absolute queens who floored me with their presence. Gwyneth Herbert’s off-beat rhythms and distinctive technique had the whole crowd either singing, clapping along, or a moment away from tears throughout the performance. Truly something special happens when she takes the stage.

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Gwyneth Herbert – atmospheric queen!

Liane Carroll was different – her voice was so soulful – a girl after my own heart! – and slightly more traditional. Her piano playing made you feel like you wanted to stay in that bar all night, watching her play, with a whiskey in hand. The incredible creativity in her songs was mindblowing, too – who ever thought you could mash up the sound of music with classic jazz tunes?

This was definitely a night to remember. Pizza Express have jazz nights all up and down the country, so whether you’re reading this in London or Birmingham, they’ve got you covered. I whole heartedly encourage you to go and discover what’s hiding upstairs in the evening of your local.

Thank you Pizza Express for having me at your beautiful event – and do get down to one of their nights near you, because in the words of Ray Brown, “Jazz is something you have to feel. Something you have to live”.

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The Bloggers Who Brunch Launch and what it taught me…

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A week on from the BWBLaunch and I’m still hearing glowing reviews of it. A day of popcorn-fuelled inspiration in an instagrammable penthouse was always going to be a hit with bloggers. In a set up that included talks from quickly growing bloggers (LexiLife) and top class photographers (Katherine McMorran) I learnt a lot – but as it always is with these events, it wasn’t in the way I thought it would be!

With events like these, I always find the most important advice in the details rather than the main event (which is why it’s so important to go – you never know where inspiration will spring from) don’t get me wrong, I know more about YouTube details than I did before from Katy and thanks to Katherine I now actually know what aperture is (yep, you caught me) but the bits and bobs I learnt from networking with other bloggers was invaluable.

I started my blog because I’ve always loved writing and I wanted an outlet for that. I wanted to write about the local music industry I had found myself in and find others who would benefit from sharing tips and experiences through it. For the first year, I did no promo, wasn’t involved in the blogging scene at all and literally just did it for myself to read back on my favourite ramblings about outfits and musical opinions. When I found the blogging community on Twitter, I found loads of support from bloggers and influencers alike, circling mainly around fashion and beauty (which, yeah, sounds a bit odd for someone who wants to talk about music?).

At BWBLaunch, I met with the lovely Tabby from Take Heart Be Courageous, a beauty blogger I met an event last year and have since stayed in touch with, and another couple of bloggers Tinker Tailor Online (Antonia) and Verity and the Very who i’d followed on social media but never really spoken to properly – I ended up learning so much from them both though and I’m so glad to have met them! We went for brunch and begun swapping blogging stories and tips. Although I was initially feeling slightly inferior amongst talks of brand deals, I was really inspired by all three of these women and felt that I wanted to take my blogging further creatively. (PS, Prosecco and brunch before a networking event is a good way to feel super-cosmopolitan) Going onto meet Sophie from Edited Collective, we went for (debatably too many) cocktails and again swapped experiences. I learnt so much from these ladies and they fuelled my imagination so much. That is honestly something you can’t buy, or search for on Pinterest and I hope to turn it into something great.

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Brunch pics: Clerkenwell Grind is to die for!

At the launch, having met and caught up with a few bloggers I’d known, I started to realise that I’ve been forgetting my niche in blogging. This blog was always meant to support my love of writing and my connection with music – and that’s sadly been lost a little bit! I’m changing things up a bit round here and I’m on a mission to find more music and lifestyle bloggers, which is so exciting! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some amazing beauty and fashion bloggers along the way, and some of my best blogging buds are working in that sector with their blogs – but it’s not for me, and I won’t be performing at the best of my ability if I get sidetracked.

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Who can resist a bathroom selfie when it’s entirely pink….

So right now, I’m working on a few things that are a little bit more me. I hope you like them and I hope they spark my creativity. Thank you Kirby Small (I’m so proud of you!) and BWB for a great event, meeting plenty of bloggers who taught me some priceless things!

Make sure you check out everyone tagged – girlboss central in the blogging world at the moment.

Lizzie x