Writer Ed King / Photographer Connor Pope
On Thursday 16 March, Birmingham Co-operative Promoter are launching The Mellow Sessions at Hockley Social Club – with a live set and onstage interview from local jazz guitarist Tom Ford, and support from Michael Bird.
Doors open at 5pm, and tickets are ‘pay what you can’ available through Skiddle or Design My Night – click on the links for tickets.
Let’s just let that sink in for a while…
You got it? You sure? Is it stuck in your head like an angry wasp in a jar? OK, let’s crack on then.
The Mellow Sessions is a new concept from Birmingham Co-operative Promoter, where the audience get to explore the minds and music of the evening’s featured artists – first through an onstage interview, then a live performance.
A chance to dig deep into the world of ‘breakthrough artists’, The Mellow Sessions are a chance to hear about their on/off stage experiences before getting to watch them strut their jazzy stuff.
Thursday 16 March is the inaugural Mellow Sessions event, featuring Tom Ford – with support from Michael Bird.
Tom Ford is no stranger to the Birmingham jazz, funk, and wider music scene, having played alongside artists including: Col3trane, Sam Barsh, Chris “Daddy” Dave, Santigold, Nate Fox, Poppy Ajudha, Reuben James, and Idris Elba.
As a solo artist, Ford released his debut album The Tennis Champion in March 2022, to much critical acclaim. His latest EP, The Return of the Tennis Champion, was released in March 2023, with contributions from Phundo Art, Keyon Harrold, Liselotte Östblom, Magic Malik, and more.
Michael Bird is a Birmingham based singer and musician, and founder of the popular music showcase and networking Neighbourhd events that have been running at The Night Owl since 2016.
The follow up Mellow Sessions event is scheduled for Thursday 13 April, back at Hockley Social Club, featuring Bristol based Jasmine Myra – with support from Birmingham’s own Rosie Tee.
As it’s Hockley Social Club there will be plenty of food options available, courtesy of Digbeth Dining Club, and the usual vibes the beloved North Birmingham venue is so good at delivering.
Plus, the interviews will be conducted by Birmingham Review editor Jasmine Khan, a stalwart voice in the local music scene and one who has never shied away from asking a tough question or two. Even the audience will get a chance to pitch in, with questions taken from the floor. Should be fun.
And in a useful teaser to Thursday’s event, have a read of the last time Tom Ford and Jasmine sat down in a Birmingham boozer – click here.
Birmingham Co-operative Promoter have launched The Mellow Sessions after the success of their first event, the gloriously titled ‘Fully Automated Luxury Space Communist Party’, held at the Hare and Hounds in April last year – click here for a Birmingham Review of the gig.
A local music event organiser with a more egalitarian approach than some, Birmingham Co-operative Promoter are looking to reset the often off kilter scales of the modern music industry.
Co-founder Mark Roberts told Birmingham Review: “The cooperative is a worker’s cooperative, so it means that the money made off each venture is shared between those who worked on the event. We work together as a horizontally structured organisation rather than a vertical organisation.
“It also means that we can work on tighter margins than other organisations. Importantly our ethos is built around showing great music in the right way, with cohesive line-ups and curated events.
“The Mellow Sessions is a jazz based event that is a place for musicians and anyone else to understand a bit more about what it means to be a professional artist and what the music industry is like from the inside.”
The Mellow Sessions featuring Tom Ford, with support from Michael Bird, will be held at Hockley Social Club on Thursday 16 March from 5pm – as resented by Birmingham Co-operative Promoter. Tickets are ‘pay what you can’ and available through Skiddle or Design My Night, click on the links.
For more on Tom Ford visit: www.thetennischampion.bandcamp.com
For more on Michael Bird visit: www.linktr.ee/michaelbirdmusic
For more on Hockley Social Club visit: www.hockleysocialclub.com
For more from Birmingham Co-operative Promoter visit: www.birminghamcooppromoter.com