Why I Don’t Live in the Big Smoke

A little while back, I started considering moving to London.  Every time I went there, I had such a great time – for a Northern, country girl like me, it was very exciting to be in the Capital.

I decided that then wasn’t the time, and so I have continued to visit friends down there whenever possible; catching shows, eating too much in lovely restaurants, and more recently, gigging (when I’ve been lucky enough).

* Side note – I’ll be performing at ‘Pizza on the Park‘ in it’s last fornight of being open on June 14th. Just, you know, in case you want to book tickets and come along…! 🙂 *

Anyway..  I’ve been thinking again that the lure of the Big Smoke is proving quite appealing.  But I have just reminded myself, with a visit to Ronnie Scott’s website why it’s just not feasible at present.

I’ve never been to Ronnie Scotts.  I’m a little ashamed of that fact, but I have walked past it, so at least I’ve been in the general area!  I discovered that one of my all-time favourite vocalists is playing there June/July – Kurt Elling.  I’ve seen him live a few times now, and he’s never disappointed.  I find so much creativity, inspiration and motivation from listening to him, I decided to book a couple of tickets on a bit of a whim (and hope I’ll find someone to accompany me at a later date!) – is there a better place to watch him than ‘the legendary Ronnie Scotts’?!

Whilst I was on the Ronnie Scott’s Website, I looked to see what else was on in the next few months.  And there, staring me in the face, was the reason I can’t live in London: I’d have no money for food, travel, or bills with the number of gigs I’d want to see. 

It’s hard enough living in the relatively cheaper North and commuting down!   It’s not that Ronnie’s is too expensive; (although it is remarkably more than Dean Street, Southbank or the Barbican) it’s the fact that if you want to watch these great gigs, you’ve got to organise the travel down and back, a friend’s sofa to stay on, enough for dinner or drinks, etc. etc..

The Manhattan Transfer, Annie Ross, and Elling are all performing there in the space of 2 months!  All legends, all amazing demonstrators of the art that is Vocalese (an art I’m just not quite good enough at yet!) and all gigs I would walk to London for. 

If only these artists saw the merit of coming up North to the great venues and Jazz clubs we have to offer, they’d pack the places out!  Or at the very least have me listening intently on the front row of every show.. 

So, I guess that I’ll have to keep on only watching 1 in every 3 or 4 gigs I wish I was watching, until I win the lottery and can either afford petrol to London at £1.50 a litre, or brave the massive rent-costs of the Big City.

Or else just throw caution to the wind, spend my gas bill money on the tickets, and start walking South now, to get there for May. 

Tessa x

PS. You’ve no idea just how excited I am that I’m going to see KE again! Woohoo!


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