Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blackstone Cherry

To the O2 Academy last week (cheers for the blag, Robin!), to see Blackstone Cherry - a mighty fine outfit from Kentucky, supported by Duff McKagan's Loaded. Duff used to be in Guns 'n' Roses, during which time his pancreas exploded, but nothing so spectacular tonight - they were a pretty workaday bunch, and I blew my Rock Credentials out of the water by failing to recognise the G'n'R cover they did at the end.
Blackstone Cherry on the other hand were excellent - even if I failed to recognise the ZZ Top cover they did (that "glub... glub..." sound was my Rock Credentials sinking to the bottom of the ocean. I must have been doing something else during the eighties, I clearly missed a lot).
Rather like a young Lynyrd Skynyrd I thought, and if anyone was going to mistake their blonde guitarist Ben for a woman, it would clearly have to be a very foolish person with no Rock Credentials whatsoever. Probably quite a short person, who didn't have a very good view...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Miners Arms, Whitecroft

A return visit to the Miners Arms over in the Forest of Dean last week, which was a cracker last time, so Nick and I hardly minded that it clashed with Porcupine Tree in Bristol.
Well OK, we minded quite a lot actually, but last minute attempts to rearrange the gig failed (apparently Porcupine Tree had already sold out the Colston Hall, and were reluctant to change the date).
Needless to say, this time we played to a more-or-less empty pub. Perhaps everyone stayed at home to watch England march to glorious defeat against the Ukraine? Or perhaps everyone was in Bristol to see Porcupine Tree? Bastards...

"Vectis Man" discovered!

The world of anthropology has once more been rocked to it's core by evidence of another "missing link", this time in the Isle of Wight! Explorers stumbled across this timid beast, never before photographed, in the midst of a nigh-impenetrable jungle of mains leads, speaker cable and antediluvian Hi-Fi equipment in Wroxall. It gave off a strong smell of solder flux and burning hair, and when surprised reared into this distinctive defensive posture.

Excited researchers have speculated that this could provide a clue as to how such an apparently primitive species has spread from mainland UK across to southern France - using the Isle of Wight as a 'stepping stone', could they have bounced across the channel using some kind of Yogic flying technique..?

Monday, October 05, 2009

The George & The Pumproom

Friday night at the George in Woolley St, Bradford on Avon, pretty much a guarantee of a good night, and we weren't disappointed - turns out the landlord is a big fan of Porcupine Tree as well, so Nick & I were particularly chuffed to hear pretty much their entire works while we weren't playing. Pub was jammed to the rafters, loads of very familiar faces there too, which is always a bonus, and we had a blast - thanks, people!

Two for the price of one this weekend! Literally, 'cos the Pumproom in Trowbridge on Saturday was a benefit so we didn't get paid... a two-storey barn next to The Lamb pub, this venerable old building was the original home of the Trowbridge Village Pump festival, has been a folk club since the year dot and was recently done up & reopened as a venue. Unfortunately this last minute gig wasn't advertised, so apart from a couple of friends we told about it the night before (thanks for coming, Nick & Marilyn!), plus a representative from Shaftesbury Arts Centre who'd come up to see us (we normally attract bigger crowds, honest!), we played to an empty venue. The regulars in the Lamb stayed well away, possibly not even hearing us, as there was an ear-splittingly loud Karaoke going on in the pub. I say 'going on', but it was being so completely ignored that the bloke running it wandered in to listen to us after a while, swelling the audience by 25%...

The whole thing was so surreal that we actually rather enjoyed ourselves, and decided not to nail our instruments to the wall after all...


Friday, October 02, 2009

The Plough, Manston

God, what a terrible gig... truly a shocker, one of the worst I can remember... makes you wonder why we bother. But enough about the Griffin in Frome - let it go, Ian, let it go!*
Always a pleasure to come back to the Plough in Manston, where the beer is excellent, the atmosphere convivial, the sound always good, the barstaff & punters are welcoming and friendly and apparently the lovely landlady Elodie reads this blog.
We like this gig a lot, and it was just what the doctor ordered after last week. Nick pointed out an old gent to me at the end who'd sat under one of the PA speakers all night with a huge beatific grin on his face, and we both agreed there must be many worse ways to spend your retirement - I'm aiming to be the doddery white-haired old geezer in the corner of the local who looks like Gandalf, and gets drinks bought for him all night. Hell, I'm nearly there already...

*Had you worried for a moment, Elodie!