Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Big Comfy Folk Club


Our gigs are very popular but I run all the aspects of the shop from the bar to the books to even the sound desk, so I've decided to scale back and only have 2 gigs a month. Because of this I've decided to create The Big Comfy Folk Club!

The Folk Club will consist of 3 acts, at least one being local, and showcase the best of the folk and acoustic music world. Already booked in are several Radio 2 Folk winners alongside fantastic up and coming local and national, and even international acts!

The club will happen on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month, with a few exceptions. Some gigs were already booked in and so I've kept as many as I can that work in the time frame and those I've had to cancel I've done my best to sort the acts onto the new bill.
Tickets will be £5 per gig, of which 90% goes to the acts. We are however starting a membership scheme. Pay £25 for the year and you'll be able to get into the events for just £2 plus have advance ticket sales for bigger gigs. If you attend all the events that saves you nearly £50! If you are a Facebook person, please add yourself to the new Folk Club group HERE as this is where the information will be added on a regular basis, and you can take a quick glance at our upcoming schedule. If you're not on Facebook then all our gigs are on our Events page HERE. I've also added a dedicated Folk Club page HERE.

Tickets can be purchased directly from the shop or bought online Here. If you're interested in the membership then please pop in or send me an email at Contact@TheBigComfyBookshop.co.uk.

Michael

Friday, 17 April 2015

Next week at The Big Comfy Bookshop: 21st - 26th April

Here's what's up next week.

Tuesday 21st
Firstly and mainly, its my birthday. I always book my birthday off but seeing as I'll have no one to run the shop, I'll be here with a party hat on. Open 10-6.

Wednesday 22nd
A student film crew will be in the shop from 10-4 so I need to make sure I'm not too hungover. Also, we have publicity for our Horrible Histories night in conjuncture with the Belgrade Theatre!
Open 10-6

Thursday 23rd
It's World Book Night! Come on down around 3pm as Stoke Heath library will be giving away a few books alongside us. Also it's the very first Late Night Opening til 8pm. I may not be here myself as I'm a guest at a film premier (ooooh). Read about it HERE. Also Fargo is hosting FargFest, a free festival with music, food and entertainment from 1-9.
Open 10-8.

Friday 24th
We're very pleased to host Tinderbox with Taylor-Louise as support. Tinderbox are an award winning folk duo and have played alongside Joan Armatrading, Turin Brakes and 10CC amongst others. Taylor-Louise is a young up and coming local singer songwriter who is working with 14records in Leamington. Tickets are £5 and available from the shop or online HERE.
Beforehand we'll be open from 10-6, doing book stuff probably.



Saturday 25th
Anne Garratt will be here signing copies of her book 'The Road Taken' about her emigration from Ireland to Coventry and back again. Here at 3pm.
Open 10-6

Sunday 26th
Nowt on but we're open and have lots of books.
Open 11-4

Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Big Comfy Sessions are 1!

This past weekend the Big Comfy Sessions turned a year old. Between Rob, Rich and I we cannot believe how lucky we have been. Our initial aim was to record a handful of videos with a few local musicians we know to help promote the opening of the shop and help musicians with a cool video, but after the first session with Wes Finch we received great praise and a few emails requesting sessions. After the first half a dozen we realised we were on to a winner with dozens of requests. We've all grown into our roles since that first session. Rich wields a camera and liaises and organises the majority of the acts (and makes gig posters too!), juggling a whole host of emails, whilst Rob, well, Rob has always been a pro with filming, editing, sound mixing and the brain child of the entire operation! I do the hard work of a 5 minute interview and give free coffee. Tough ;)

It's really been a dream to open a bookshop and to do it whilst hosting some top quality acts is the cherry on the top. I've discovered so many brilliant artists and hope that I've spread the word about these.

We've recorded 28 sessions which culminates in 56 videos (2 each), just a handful off 25k views, close to 250 subscribers and lots planned for the future. We already have 16 sessions booked going into October and are in talks with several others but we're always looking for more top talent!

Please check out Redwood Photography, The Spoon Player blog and of course The Big Comfy Sessions.
We already have our first session of 'year two' this Saturday!

If you are an artist wishing to book a session please head on over to HERE.

Finally a huge thank you to Victoria who let us use the Tree House Bookshop in Kenilworth whilst my shop was being built. She was a wonderful host. The shop was forced to close at Christmas but it's just reopened in a better location in Kenilworth and I look forward to visiting.

I'll leave you with our last session where I got to chat to the lovely Ross AKA Blue Rose Code and hear him play Oh, North, my favourite off his album The Ballads of Peckham Rye.


Michael

Friday, 27 March 2015

We're hiring!

Part time Vacancy

The Big Comfy Bookshop is looking for someone to join our busy bookshop

We're looking for someone who has a love and passion for books, a keen reader that knows how to pour a cup of coffee with a smile. As we are a licensed premises we will be looking for someone aged 18+.

Hours: Saturday 10am-6pm, 8 hours a day with a 30min lunch break.

The opportunity for additional hours on occasional Sundays 10.30am-4pm, plus busy weekdays and regular events, are available. We preferably would like one new team member but may look at hiring a second to cover the hours required.

Position title: Book Seller Assistant

The Big Comfy Bookshop is an equal opportunities employer and will welcome applications from everyone.

Pay is calculated hourly at minimum wage.

The Big Comfy Bookshop is located in Fargo Village, a new development host to new creative businesses in Coventry. The Village is a destination for shoppers who are looking for a different experience to the high street. The Big Comfy Bookshop is a second hand bookshop with a cafe/bar element. It hosts regular events such as book signings, poetry evenings and acoustic music nights.

Duties will include serving hot and cold beverages, handling cash, running a till, selling books, serving cakes, general cleaning duties, customer service including advice on books, contributing to marketing, cataloguing and stock taking, maintaining excellent hygiene systems in place and anything else that will help in the day to day running of the bookshop.

The job requires a good knowledge of books and the ideal applicant must have a passion for reading. They must have excellent communication skills and a pleasant demeanour to be working with the public. Good numeracy skills are required as well as general proficiency with IT. Previous experience of similar work is preferred but not essential.

Qualifications: Although specific qualifications are not necessary, successful candidates will be able to demonstrate that they are the right person for the job through their experience and qualifications. For example, numeracy skills may be evidenced by a minimum Grade C in GCSE mathematics.

In general, we are looking for an efficient and friendly person to join our team. Two references will be required before short-listed applicants are offered the post.

To apply please send your CV with a covering letter to

Michael McEntee
The Big Comfy Bookshop
Fargo Village
Far Gosford Street
CV1 5ED

Alternatively email your CV with a covering letter to:

contact@thebigcomfybookshop.co.uk

Please title your email 'Bookshop Application <Name>'

Closing date: April 3rd

Short-listed applicants will be invited to an interview at The Big Comfy Bookshop. If you are not contacted by April 10th, please consider your application unsuccessful.

Start date: ASAP through negotiation.

All information provided is confidential and will not be shared with third parties.
We will use your information for the purposes of administration and selecting suitable candidates.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Happy new year! (Yes it's February)

One thing is for sure, I'm rubbish at keeping this blog up to date.
I hope you had a great 2014 and 2015 is going strong. In 2014 I opened the shop and had a second son so overall I can't complain. I've done neither of these things in 2015. I have however continued to build on what ideas I had last year. We've just started a retro game night in collaboration with fellow Fargo shop The Entertainment Bros. We smashed ten bells out of each other on Mario Kart and next week we'll stalk, shoot and generally shout at the screen as we play Goldeneye.
One thing that's snowballed is the folk gigs. We're currently booking into June with a few even booked into October. Ontop of this the Big Comfy Sessions are going strong too.

Plus we have lots of books still.

I've found it difficult to do any actual reading due to the shop and new baby. Today I finished our book club book from December and I'm about to finish our book from July! Audiobooks have been a saviour as I drive to and from work. I tend to pick up the cheapest ones I can regardless of what it is and they seem to almost always be biographies. Sharon Osbourne (brilliant), Alex James (fabulous), Ellen McCarthur (whoop! Sailing!) plus loads more. Currently I've just started the 23 hour unabridged Life by Keith Richards, read by Jonny Depp.

I hope to keep this more up to date. I hope.

Michael


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A year of Big Comfy Sessions

OK, so not exactly a year, but we have no more sessions booked before January so here's a top 5 of my personal favourite Big Comfy Sessions of 2014 and separate top 5 Comfy Covers.
First off, a massive thanks to Rob at Redwood Photography (@redwoodphotos) for being the brainchild (brainman?) behind the idea. Without him none of this would be possible. Also a massive thank you to Richard (@Mr_spoon) Harrison for getting on his knees, contacting artists and begging. And also filming too. The two of them are like an old married couple; arguing all the time but solid as a rock. Finally thanks to Victoria at the Treehouse Bookshop in Kenilworth who very kindly hosted them til The Big Comfy Bookshop (@bigcomfybooks) opened.

So here's my top 5 Big Comfy Sessions:

1. Vena Portae
Richard dealt a major trump card by getting Emily Barker in to record. She was on tour with her new band Vena Portae so they all came along for the ride. It was the most fun interview I did and I could have continued for ages. When we told Victoria who'd be coming to The Treehouse, her email reply was one of many capital letters and much aarrgghhs. Her favourite artist I think!



2. Luke Jackson
I had never heard of Luke Jackson before but Rob swore he was great. He stopped off as he was travelling from Stockport to Kent. He was outstanding. His voice, his guitar playing and his general niceness. He's since gone on to support Marillion on their European tour.



3. artPACKT with Rosie Bans
I had personally known Rosie for about 3 years as we crossed paths at a gig my band Barricades Rise played in London. We'd stayed in touch and when I heard they were doing a small tour I grabbed her, along with Anne McDonald and Mike Nisbett AKA artPACKT. They were hilarious!



4. Chains
I'd heard of Chains as Rich was a fan, and they'd notched up a fair few youtube hits with their covers but I wasn't expecting the duo to be so funny, tight, and downright brilliant. It was probably this session that made me think we're really onto something cool here.



5. Nizlopi
By this point (around 13 acts later) I didn't really get nervous about the interview part, but when Nizlopi came in I had a few flutters. They had a number one in the mid 00's with the JCB song (which incidentally I never heard!). They had regrouped to go on tour and as they're from Leamington they very kindly dropped in beforehand. They were CRAZY! So animated and open with their answers.



So that's the originals, and now here's my top 5 Comfy Covers.
What we've found is that the playing and interview go really well, but the point when we ask the artists to speak direct to the camera and say 'This is my comfy cover...' they get so nervous and crack up!

1. Chains (again)
They did this off the cuff and as 1 take. They'd never played it before and pulled it out the bag. Beautiful



2. Spooky Wagons
Sometimes the artists play covers by bands even less well known then they are! (Looking at you Speak, Brother!), but Spooky Wagons took it the other way and covered a recent top ten tune.



3. Shanade
I knew literally nothing about Shanade as she was a last minute replacement the night before. She blew me away completely, with several other Fargo Village tenants stopping work to poke their heads in.



4. Wes Finch
The very first Comfy Cover. Wes was a gent as he was our guinea pig and he came up trumps with this lovely cover.



5. Roxanne de Bastion
Roxanne was pissed off. The latest John Lewis add had stolen her idea of a cover. But she played it anyway. And it was ace.



We had 19 sessions since April, and have already got 8 booked for 2015.
Thanks to all who played.

You can view all sessions at www.bigcomfysessions.com

Merry Christmas
Michael



Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Build up to Christmas

It's nearly that time of year again. To celebrate, we have a selection of events to entertain you. On Wednesday 17th Wes Finch returns to the shop after his opening weekend stint here. He'll be bringing Sam Griffiths all the way from Yorkshire along for the ride too. Tickets can be bought from the shop or here.
On Thursday 18th everyone is free to attend out Christmas sing-a-long in the shop with mince pies, mulled wine and a piano! Emily Coates will lead us into several cheesy Christmas tunes, carols and classics. Feel free to sign a long or just sit and relax.
On Friday 19th I take my very own Bookshop virginity as my own acoustic duo Barricades Rise play. We haven't played for some time but love to throw ourselves in at the deep end. Expect string breaks, songs forgotten and general messyness, but always with smile on our faces. Tickets are selling really well for this so grab them quick as the capacity is only 60.

On Saturday 20th at 12pm we have Debbie Greenway back to give a great children's storytime. All can attend and it's free!

In other news, last week we hosted Miranda Dickinson's book launch and it was fab! Here's a few pictures.



Be sure to check the up-to-date events guide.

Merry Christmas.

Michael