Up close and personal with John Bunce, manager of The Jam House
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I am John Bunce, manager of The Jam House for the past 12 years and in the entertainment business in Birmingham for the last 30. The Jam House is a live music venue, restaurant and bar featuring quality local musicians as well as internationally known artists, such as Jools Holland, Alexander O’Neal and Snow Patrol.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
I live with my family in Barnt Green and come into the city twice a day – once in the morning to prepare for that evening’s show and then for the show itself. You can usually find me driving down Bristol Road in my 1965 green Land Rover. It’s been in my family for 55 years so it’s a really loved vehicle and a joy to drive.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
More challenging over the past year due to all the road works, such as at Paradise Circus. Sometimes I catch the cross-city train into the new and impressive Grand Central station. It’s a short walk over the hill to The Jam House.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
I have always enjoyed working here. It’s a big city but retains the friendliness and intimacy of a thriving town. It’s a perfect home for The Jam House as we have a wide catchment area – only 50 per cent of our audience comes to us from within the ‘B’ postcode.
Saint Kitchen a lovely, friendly little coffee bar a few door down in St Paul’s Square. I also scrounge a coffee from my old friend Nick at Andersons Bar and Grill on Mary Anne Street.
I rarely have lunch at work as I finish my morning shift at around 2pm. Usually I make my way home and have lunch there. If I do eat out during the day, I will pop into Andersons or Cucina Rustica on Ludgate Hill for a bowl of pasta.
Having recently moved house, I spend all my time working in the garden trying to restore it to its original beauty. On Sundays when the grandchildren come over we often spend the day in the Lickey Hills.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
It has to be the Jewellery Quarter! It’s been such a huge part of my life – it’s sense of community, its historical context. We all support each other here in business and in friendship.
After work can mean 3am or so once everything is tidied up and ready for the next day. On the occasion we take the staff for a thank you drink it’s usually to the Actress and Bishop on Ludgate Hill which is open until 4am.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
There’s been considerable investment in the city centre but a lack of it in the outer areas – which emphasises the drab and shabbiness of these surrounding areas. The city centre is a blossoming metropolis, but everywhere else needs a bit of love, too. There are beautiful places outside of town…