For a complete change yesterday we gathered up a couple of friends, various chairs and rugs, and the makings of a picnic and set off for the 'Mostly Jazz Festival' in Moseley Park.
This is a brand new music festival in Moseley, which already plays host to the internationally-acclaimed Moseley Folk Festival each September, and whoever organised it clearly has some 'clout' in the music business because the line-up included Courtney Pine, Andy Hamilton and the Blue Notes, and several other luminaries of the jazz scene. (Whoever came up with the dreadful pun in the festival's name wants shooting, on the other hand...).
Moseley Park is the perfect venue for these smaller festivals - pretty, enclosed, intimate, yet large enough to house three separate stages, a food 'village', and space for several thousand spectators sat or laid out on the grassy slopes. Music, company and ambiance were all fantastic; sadly only the weather let us down. On Saturday it was sunny and around 26c. Yesterday iron grey clouds rolled across the sky and stayed there, stubbornly, all afternoon. A strong and surprisingly cold wind sprang up and by four o'clock it was drizzling. By five o'clock we were frozen to the marrow and decided, sadly, to call it a day. Of course, half an hour after we'd got back home the clouds cleared away, the sun came out and the temperature soared again, but at least we'd had four and a half hours of fabulous music and fun - which is better than most concerts when you think about it.
And our favourite 'act' of the day? Well, it had to be The Bright Size Gypsies, playing a range of 'gypsy jazz' and swing. They played brilliantly, and had the audience on their feet and dancing for pretty much the whole of their set.