Hello lovely people!
And a special big rock n’ roll hello to all our new chums from the Wheatsheaf in Frome, who made us feel so welcome last Thursday, we hope we’ll back there again soon.
Special mention also for the Old Fox last Saturday, where I was delighted to meet up with a couple of very dear friends who I haven’t seen for too many years. One of them was malicious enough to take the attached piccy (shamelessly stolen from his blog, slylittlei.blogspot.com), which I post here as a warning to all budding guitar players out there; sometimes the aphrodisiac powers of rock and roll can prove too much for an excitable young lady, as demonstrated here; and I advise all aspiring fret board heroes to practice playing your solos whilst entwined in the sinuous limbs of a lithe raven-haired nymphet. A skill well worth mastering – you never know when you may need it.
Another unexpected pleasure occurred this weekend when, after a gig, a couple of chaps (still don’t know who they are) presented Suzi with what turned out to be a very large piece of genu-i-ne rock and roll mojo, as a token of their appreciation. This came as a particular joy to Martin, who had his last mojo stolen by the cleaners. Wherever you are out there, gentlemen; we salute you.
At last, I can now safely reveal the location of our Mystery Bristol Gig, our final outing of the year. It is…(muted kazoo fanfare.)
Thursday 22nd December The Mill, Filton! This is a big huge large pub, it’s just down the road from me, and I’ve just realised that Muted Kazoo Fanfare would make a magnificent album title.
Anyhoo, we’d love to see y’all there – I’m gonna treat it as an end-of-term party – and we’d like to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a spanktastic New Year. We’ll be back in January with more rock, roll, and piffle like this. For advance planning purposes, check out where we’re playing on www.angelupfront.co.uk. That’s what my missus does. Also please feel free to email in any reviews, comments, or post us any spare money you have.
Finally, this being the season of tawdry sentimentality, I’d just like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Suzi, Martin and Stuart for being such a fantastic bunch of people, musicians, and friends. It was only four months ago I started gigging with these guys, but now I can’t imagine life without them. Thank you, you wonderful people, I count myself privileged to be working with you.
I think I’m gonna cry…Group hug, guys…guys?….guys?…… Guys?
Peace, love and transcendental medication
Hello, people from the real world!
And a warm welcome to all the new people who are lucky enough to have been introduced to this email rubbish via the magic of our new friend Colin the Clipboard. As ever, if you don’t like it (or if somebody mischievously put your email address onto our mailing list without telling you!), just write back and complain…..then again if you enjoy this sort of thing, there is more on our site, www.angelupfront.co.uk.
Well, we’ve been busy little bunnies this week, I think my favourite was Saturday’s Way Out West gig in Midsomer Norton (“Gimme six!” – thanks to Adie for that one). We arrived to a packed pub – including one guy dressed up in a Scooby Doo costume, for no obvious reason; although I am a little out of touch with yoof cultcha these days, maybe it’s the happening thing on the street right now…… Anyhoo, by the time we had set up there were only 4 people left…..”Ahh”, I thought, “the others have all gone to fetch their friends”.
We played half the first set just to these 4 guys, who really seemed to enjoy having their own personal band for the evening, then the place filled up again, which for me kinda spoilt the intimate ambience, but came as a visible relief to the landlord, who had been nervously counting and re-counting the bar takings, trying to get a total he liked better…
Once again my dear friend “G” came along, this time determined to see the end of the set (and not spend it regurgitating whisky in the car park like she did last time). Alas, it was not to be. She had brought her latest beau with her, along with his teenage son, who appeared to be learning to drink…initially a charming, quiet lad, after 2 pints he started dropping things, falling off his stool, knocking beer all over everybody (not all at once, no, anyone can do that, he managed it on five several occasions, then tried to lap up the puddle from the table), and stealing other people’s drinks….it was this latter which led to his inevitable downfall, he became the subject of some towering bloke’s righteous beery umbrage, and poor “G” had to physically drag her escort and the idiot boy off the premises before the combination of alcohol and testosterone poisoning led to a major incident. I was all set to pitch in, but had a nice widdly solo coming up, so I was quite glad that the situation defused itself without my intervention.
Apparently the lad was given a severe reprimand when he got home, but he will never know how incredibly lucky he was to escape with his life – two of those stolen drinks were Suzi’s……..
Anyway, on the menu for this week are three more rock and roll extravaganzas, if you don’t want to know the result, look away….now
Thursday 15th December Wheatsheaf, Frome
Anyone live anywhere near Frome? We’ll be the best fun you can have on a Thursday night there. Bring your own tractor. Hell, come dressed as Scooby Doo, you’ll probably fit right in.
Friday 16th December Old Fox, Bishopston
Not to be confused with the Old Fox a couple of miles down the road in Easton, this is the one on the A38 near the top of Ashley Down Road. A biker-centric do, apparently, so I shall be insisting that we wheel out the maximum cheese content for the set so I can do my Hendrix act. Now, where’s that Afro wig….?
Saturday 17th December Black Horse, Trowbridge
This was to be our last outing of 2005, but we apparently have a late Bristol booking for the following Thursday. I won’t say where, because we don’t know yet…..watch this space……
…still watching? Good.
Bye for now!
We would have gotten away with too, if it hadn’t been for them meddlin’ kids and their pesky dawg……..
After a very quiet couple of weeks – hey, we did play one gig 🙂 in Dursley 🙁 – here’s warning of some more rock and roll buffoonery heading your way. Yes, we’ll be out making a noisy racket again this weekend with a vengeance, with batteries recharged, axes restrung, and probably drumsticks flying in all directions. I may even actually clean my guitar, if only to avoid having to listen to Suzi whinging again about the “shoddy state of my equipment”. It’s not as if I’d Iet her touch it or anything…..
Anyhoo, details as follows:-
Friday 9th December Bunch of Grapes, Bristol Ace pub, great beer, excellent atmosphere – lousy parking. Leave the car at home and get drunk properly.
Saturday 10th December Stone’s Cross, Midsomer Norton Have a sneaky suspicion that Dem and her sister-in-law are planning to come to this one and get trashed again…if you’re coming, don’t wear anything that’s dry-clean only. On the plus side for me, it’s a long way away from the Mangotsfield Groper…
Sunday 11th December Royal Oak, Chipping Sodbury Now, last time we played here, I managed to inveigle Martin into driving me, so I could drink enough to think I was playing properly. I wonder if I could persuade him to do the same again…..Maybe if I keep reminding him how irresistible he is proving to our female fanbase….
Once again, I’ve extended the circulation list for this tosh. If you don’t like it, please send a return email (wrapped in a fiver) pleading for me to stop, saying how lovely you think I am, and I won’t send you any more. Instead, I shall make a small voodoo doll of you, and give it a Chinese burn. So there.
Peace and love and that
Hello again folks, and welcome to the icy wonderland of the pre-festive season!
Yes, even in the heady world of rock n’ roll, winter draws on.
Except in Suzi’s case, she keeps forgetting to put ’em on before she comes out to play gigs, which results in much nervousness from certain quarters of the band, and intent study of fret boards whenever she looks like she’s about to do one of her high kicks in our direction. Okay, they call it showbiz, but……
The last few gigs have been great fun, and it would be remiss of me not to mention that Martin’s rugged good looks (it says here) proved irresistible to a rather lovely female admirer in Cirencester. I, on the other hand, had my arse groped in Mangotsfield by an incomprehensible alcoholic woman with three teeth and a face like a dog’s bum……
On a less unsavoury note, a “big up” (as we young people say) to my mate Dave of FAB Sound and Light, who kindly donated the fantastic lighting effects rig that has transformed my dowdy black Strat into a multimedia “son et lumiere” experience. Ah, I shall treasure the look on Suzi’s face when, mid-song, she spotted the eerie glow emanating from beneath my bullet belt…
Anyways, a rare quiet spell coming up – we’re playing the Yew Tree in Dursley this Friday, and then we’re taking the entire following weekend off(!!!!) This will at least give some aural respite to the South West’s drinking population, and will give me a chance to brush up on family life, such as learning the names of my offspring, and the whereabouts (and purpose) of the hoover…
Anyroadup, that’s it for the next week or two, and, in the words of my beloved Dem every time I stumble in post-gig in the wee hours of the morning after a hard night’s rock and roll at the cutting edge of the local entertainment industry….”Where’s the money?”
Life on the South West local rock circuit continues to provide lots of entertainment (well, for me at any rate); we had a particularly fine time on Saturday playing the Queen Vic in Stroud. Quite apart from the lovely Adam Ant impersonator and the usual cross-section of society’s underclass counterculture, we were able to play a very entertaining game of “Pretty Bloke In A Dress – or Slightly Unnerving Woman?”. I believe the final result was a no-score draw for all parties.
In all seriosity, it’s a great fun place and very lively, if ever you are in Stroud and looking for an entertaining evening, the Vic is the place to go; just be careful out there, kids. And the beer’s excellent, too.
Hero Of The Week award goes to Martin, partly for his unflappable poise and rapid recovery when his bass rig let him down on Saturday, but mainly for having the moral fortitude to abstain from both free beer and food over the course of the last few gigs. I have seldom seen a grown man so close to tears…….
Okay, enough of basking in last week’s glories: upcoming schedule is as follows:-
Friday 18th Nov – Malborough Arms, Cirencester Ahh, now we played here a couple of months ago. Lively place. Very lively. I’m hoping to at least manage to get my gear out of the car and into the pub this time before being accosted by a madwoman ….
Saturday 19th Nov – Salutation, Mangotsfield. Now, I’ve never actually played the Sal before; all I can report is my disappointment at my previous visit to Mangotsfield. Despite the presence of several fields, there was not a single mango in sight. I shall write to the council there and complain; perhaps enclose a photo of no mangoes as evidence.
Friday 25th Nov – Yew Tree Inn, Dursley Did you know that the Rolling Stones once played the Yew Tree Inn in Dursley? You didn’t? Well, that’s because I just made it up. But it could have happened. Maybe. Anyway, if they did, they won’t be doing it again. But we are. Next Friday. See? That makes us better than them, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it?
And so, in the immortal words of Porky Pig, “Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!”
For your (admittedly dubious) benefit, here are the next few gig dates for Angel Up Front.
Things continue to be interesting in the world of rock and roll, after a couple of gigs without any major bizarre events, we had a lovely entertaining evening in Swindon last night. Yes, folks, fun in Swindon, I shall have to retract my previous comments about the place.
Suzi has managed to contract laryngitis, which is a really silly thing to do if you’re supposed to be a singer, but being a dedicated professional (NOT “just bloody-minded stupid”, I have been asked to point out), she sang anyway….in fairness she did a blinding job, for someone who couldn’t even talk properly……(but enough about Scottish accents, ha ha!).
Stuart brought along our lovely new lighting rig, which is very shiny and exciting, and (due to slightly incautious placement) he used it to set fire to one of the PA cabs. Funnily enough, we found the cab wasn’t working at the end of the gig….
We also had a 12-year-old guest drummer who sat in on the encore for us, but is unlikely to become a permanent fixture, on account of Martin and I couldn’t keep up with the little so-and-so….plus he didn’t get a round in.
Anyway, here’s our next few scheduled outings, or “improvisational happenings”, as they seem to be becoming…..
Fri 4th Nov Kings Arms, Bath (Ahh, the dear old Kinger. Lovely place to play, I hope they haven’t mended the sound limiter yet)
Sat 5th Nov Old Tavern, Stapleton (Always good fun, nice and handy for the mental hospital across the road)
Fri 11th Nov Bell Hotel, Shepton Mallet (Dunno. Never been there. Unless you live fairly close, you won’t have either, I suspect)
Sat 12th Nov Queen Vic, Stroud (I’ve never played here before, but the guys say it’s a good gig. I hope (just like the real Queen Vic) there’ll be lots of brawling, emotional heartache and bad acting, plenty of “Leave it Grant, ‘ee’s not worf it!”, an ex-Carry-On actress, and that the landlord will fake his own death, set fire to the pub, then return several years later to be murdered with an ugly doorstop-ornament-thing and buried in the cellar….)
Who needs reality anyway?
Yet another exciting instalment in the diaries of Angel Up Front’s ongoing saga of rock n’ roll excess….
The last few gigs have been great fun, we’ve been from deepest Zummerset, via the sophisticated environs of Cirencester town, back to Bristol’s metropolitan sprawl. Along the way we’ve enjoyed watching my mate – who I shall refer to only as “G” – who drank cheap whisky and snogged her way through an entire evening until she was sick (hurrah!), an whole pub ankle-deep in beer and glass and jammed full of football drunks (although they may have been rugby drunks, I was a little unclear on this point, as were some of they), and acquired a small following of charming ladies with a penchant for sensible footwear. We’ve had pogoing punks, head banging hairies, table-diving hooligans, people even older than me wobbling gently in the breeze, and at least two people offer to take us home and look after us. Although come to think of it, it is possible that the latter two were cunningly-worded invitations to an evening of armed robbery, with a side dish of assault and battery. Oh well.
The next couple of weeks will see us making another foray into deepest Wiltshire, back in Bristol, and, heaven help us, into the cultural wilderness of Swindon (apologies to anybody who actually lives in Swindon, but you really only have yourselves to blame).
Itinerererererererary is as follows, maps on the website as per usual:-
Thursday 20th Oct Four Seasons, Devizes
Friday 21st Oct Cat and Wheel, Bristol
Sunday 30th Oct Harrow Inn, Wanborough, Swindon
I have received a number of complaints about the pun appended to the last one of these I sent around. In deference to the more sensitive souls out there, this missive’s moment of high comedy has been written in white font, so if you want to see it, you’ll have to actually go to the effort of looking for it.
If you don’t want to see it, please look away…………now.
Okay, you can look back now.
See? How’s that for customer focussed?
Some people have said I should write this kind of stuff for a living – but only because I’m such a bloody awful engineer……
Things are warming up nicely on the rock and roll front – last Saturday’s gig sported some proper fighting for once, and I’m pleased to say that in true Drunken Pub Scuffle tradition, nobody was in any state to damage themselves, or anybody else; the only (minor) injury being to a potted hydrangea outside the door. Still, a fine moment of entertainment from the Portishead locals. Happily, I’m told the one-time combatants are now back in “You’re My Best Mate, I Love You” mode again.
Advance warning of the next batch of Angel Up Front gigs follows; fasten your safety belts, batten down the hatches, lock up your family pets, and pour a circle of salt around yourself and your loved ones……..
Friday 7th October Stones Cross Midsomer Norton (Actually, I’m a bit nervous about this one; Dem is planning to come, along with our equally lovely sister-in law who lives just around the corner, and “make a night of it”. I intend to phone the venue in advance to ensure they stock up on cheap whisky, and remove all sharp objects and breakables from the place.)
Saturday 8th October Marlborough Arms Cirencester (It’s a pub. In Cirencester. That’s all I know. If anyone lives there, tell me)
Friday 14th October Backpackers Glastonbury (If this is anything like our last Glasters gig, it will be a blast, complete with totally incomprehensible scrumpy-addled farmers from the 17th century, boogieing down alongside middle-class-vaguely-New-Age-bourgeoisie. And I didn’t even use a dictionary for that word!)
Saturday 15th October Farriers Fishponds, Bristol (Aaah, the dear old Fishponds sleaze-pit……)
Having nearly learned nearly all of the songs we nearly play, we’re now in hot debate as to what kind of stuff to work on next. There are two camps within the band; one favours new, challenging, exciting indie-ish Young People’s Music, whereas the other faction (okay, me and Suzi) favour old cheesy rock.
The Young People’s Music camp has threatened to ban the latter material altogether, in which case we are threatening to form a breakaway outfit and call ourselves Suzi and The Banned Cheese. 3rd Oct
Oh, how I love a good pun. If you know one, please send it on.
Good afternoon, folks! (Or, good morning, if you are reading this tomorrow morning. Or any other morning. Or, if like my mate Dave, you didn’t manage to get into work until lunchtime with some trumped-up story about the plumber being late, and the fact that you just had a three-party weekend is pure coincidence, so that actually this afternoon feels like a morning…)
Anyways, here are the next few outings for Angel Up Front, to which you are most cordially invited:
Thurs 22nd September The Dolphin, Oldland Common.
Friday 30th September Bendix Club, Kingswood. (This one is actually serving as our mate Steve’s stag do, and our Suzi was feeling a little apprehensive about being the only female there. So, in a gesture of solidarity, I have offered to play this gig dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. She hasn’t replied yet, but unless I hear from her soon, I’ll have to cancel that order for the size 9 ruby slippers….)
Saturday 1st October The Royal Oak, Portishead.
We are working on some more new material, and I’m particularly hopeful that I have now cracked the basic flaw in my guitar playing – the fundamental problem is that I have six strings, but only five fingers – the answer is obvious. So, my only problem now is “which string should I remove?”. Answers on a postcard please, to the usual address.
Have a lovely day, and don’t eat the yellow snow
Just a quick warning of more rock and roll high jinks heading your way over the next couple of weeks – having managed to get away with the first couple of gigs on the strength of only having played one practice together, Angel Up Front are going to be at it again!
Firstly, though, thanks to those who came along to support us last time out, and thanks for your patience between songs whilst I struggled to remember how the next one went. I must point out in my defence, that, although my playing was occasionally a little eccentric, this was mainly due to the nice young lady who was waving her very-exposed chest in my face – and thereby preventing from looking down at my fret board.
Unless, of course, anyone is malicious enough to forward this email on to Dem, in which case I apologise for the unaccountable bout of arthritis……..
Anyroadup, future performances will be far slicker, thanks to the lovely Suzi, who has told me they will be, and patiently explained what will happen to me if they’re not. I shan’t go into details, suffice to say I’m glad I play Stratocasters with nice rounded edges, and not one of those nasty spiky Flying Vs………
So – the Rock Office issued the following noise warnings at 06:00 GMT:-
Black Horse, Trowbridge; Saturday 27th August:- Fair to moderate, salivating yokels, scrumpy dripping from the ceiling.
Royal Oak, Chipping Sodbury; Sunday 28th August:- Afternoon; first set noisy, rising to rocktastic for second set mid-evening.
Bunch of Grapes, Bristol; Friday 2nd September:- Bright lights, big city, beer-sodden guitarist (same again please, landlord)
King Arthur, Glastonbury; Saturday 3rd September:- Loud, gusting to 110dB, hippies with tinnitus jigging merrily.
If you want maps to any of the gigs, check out www.angelupfront.co.uk, where Stuart has very kindly put links up for you, or give me a shout. Also, if anyone wants to come along and help out carrying stuff (and driving!!), let me know. (Hey, there’s no harm in asking…..)
Love and peace and all that stuff
For those of you thinking that things have been pleasantly quiet in the musical world lately, the brief interlude of serenity is in its last few days.
Having recently ventured into the almost-respectable world of acoustic music, and even come within Stratocaster-hurling distance of proper musicians, your favourite deluded axe-wielding anti-hero is returning to the seedy world of rock n’ roll.
Yes, I’m now playing with another band, where the “sobriety and good taste” constraints which I find so irksome are firmly relegated to the wheely bin of history, and, with volume knob jammed onto eleven, I shall be making a big loud fool of myself in public again. This time, as part of a rather fine four piece outfit Angel Up Front, who may be known to some of you already. For those of you that don’t, you owe it to yourselves at least to go and see Suzi doing her (frankly, rather frightening) Bon Scott impersonation (that’s the singing impersonation, not the “being sick all over yourself” aspect, before I get any replies in poor taste). You can check out what they’ve been doing up to now on www.angelupfront.co.uk, if the fancy takes you.
The only downside of this development is that with about 30 songs to learn, and only a week to do it in, I predict some onstage improvisational moments – Jazz Odyssey, here we come!
First couple of outings are on Friday August 5th, at the Riverside Inn, Saltford (this one is actually a bike rally, but I don’t know which club at the moment), and Saturday 6th at the Old Tavern in Stapleton. There are a number of others booked through the year, and I plan to keep you all posted with the dates. However, if you tire of receiving this drivel, you have only to post a reply entitled “I’m tired of receiving this drivel”, and I’ll be happy to oblige.
Right, hope to see you at one or another – or both, if you’re that way inclined – gig, if you can make it. For those of a refined musical sensibility or a nervous disposition, I can provide maps so you can be sure of avoiding the area until the danger is over.
With all those songs to learn, I’m off now to get on with the serious rock and roll business of buffing up my leathers, and choosing which shade of eyeliner goes best with the bullet belt….
Peace, Love, and All That Hippy Nonsense