Kerry has been writing radio copy for donkey's years, & also dabbles in short stories & travel writing. She works, plays and explores largely in the CDB and inner suburbs, gets everywhere by public transport and is the self-professed Zone One Queen.
Published August 1st 2016
Dinner or supper has never sounded better
The mark of a cool jazz club would seem to be its hidden back-alley location, among other things. Birds Basement is, indeed, underground at basement level and hidden behind an obscure door that looks like an industrial wall panel. A bright sign does tell you that you've found the place, in Singers Lane near Flagstaff Gardens. Then, be sure to give that 'wall panel' a really strong push to gain entry.
The purpose-built venue downstairs occupies a decent-sized floor space, but mood lighting, tables right up to the stage and presence of piano creates that intimate jazz club aura (there is no dance floor, it should be noted). Blue neon adds a touch of pizazz and je ne sais quoi. The staff are attentive, the well-stocked bar immediately at your entrance, and food is served before the show commences. It's all quite appealing.
Birds Basement's raison d'etre (OK that's enough French) is to showcase Australia's top jazz musicians and singers, and bring international acts to an intimate dinner-and-show setting. 2016 has included jazz-guitar great John Scofield, Yellowjackets, Pharoah Sanders and Kurt Elling, and at the time of writing, a Latin Jazz festival is getting underway. My own dinner-show experience was Molly Ringwald. The venue requested no photography during the show, but I can assure you she is as much the gorgeous red-head as in her teen acting days, with sensational jazz vocals to boot.
Birds Basement often runs two shows of an evening – a dinner show and a supper show, and there's a menu of tasty modern dishes for each. It really makes a satisfying night out. While you might catch the likes of James Morrison at Hamer Hall, seeing them perform at Birds Basement fulfils your tastes in more ways than one.
Upcoming acts can be booked, venue details found, and the menus perused, at the well-written website https://birdsbasement.com/ Make sure your speakers are on to enjoy the landing page.