Tag Archives: banshees

29-04-2019 – Deranged And Other Excellent Words


[Editor’s Note: I accept that the image that goes with this post may be in bad taste; I just can’t figure out in what context.]

Well well well, three gigs in a weekend, it’s getting just like the old days. We arrived at the Millhouse in Emerson’s Green, bagged the cheeky last parking spaces, and hauled in. As we suspected, this was a “family pub”, not used to having bands on – although I did like the fact that we were told “You can store your empty cases in the Wacky Warehouse”… READ MORE

23-04-2019 – Owls and Easter

Helloo there, my little Easter bunnies.

We hope you enjoyed the extended weekend, and trust you were all suitably solemn in remembrance of what this important religious festival commemorates; the true meaning of Easter, that time of year when Jesus skips merrily around the countryside with a basket of chocolate for all the little children.

Something like that, anyway; I must confess I wasn’t really paying attention to that part in school.

Right, well we had a fine couple of evenings gigging; although, having had at least two sleeps since then, I can’t really remember anything much about them. Except the owls. The owls… READ MORE

08-05-2018 – Ol’ Bun Ears

Right, this’ll be a quick one – there’s no gigs coming up this weekend, so there’s not much point me writing this to tell you about them, really.

In fact – actually, why AM I sat here in front of a keyboard on a warm sunny evening when I could be sat outside in the garden enjoying the balmy ambience whilst sipping a nice cold beer?

I can’t think of a reason, either.

I’m off to the garden.

Square on

PS – Oh, all right then, look, we played the Swan on Friday; when we started we were the only people in the pub, but by half time the place was jumping, and it ended up being a jolly successful night. Full credit for this goes to Emma, who – to celebrate Star Wars Day – had arranged her hair into a pair of Danish pastries, and was very pleased with herself – until I pointed out that, since George Lucas got bought out by the House Of Mouse, she was in fact now technically dressed as a Disney Princess…

We realised that a similar hairdo would look rather effective on Ben, but alas we couldn’t catch him.

We’ll get him next year, though.

And that, my friends is that – there’s a nice bottle of Old Speckled Hen awaiting my tender ministrations, and I mustn’t keep it waiting…

30-04-2018 – Viking Gearbox

Hey gang

Well, another day, another dollar… less income tax, National Insurance, pension contributions, council tax…. Hey! Where’d all my money go?

I know where Stuart’s went – it went to his local garage, after his gearbox spontaneously exploded a couple of weeks ago. Still, he actually got his repaired chariot back this week, in time for a mighty fine gig up at the Old Bank in Keynsham. Thanks to a crowd that got larger, and louder (and, I have to say, more drunk) as the evening went on, we had an excellent night. They didn’t even mind when Stuart (obviously preoccupied with how he was going to pay his garage bill) lost his place mid-song, and suddenly stopped, thinking we’d reached the end. Being consummate professionals (ahem), we stopped too, leaving the crowd singing along high and dry all on their own. Amateurs!

Saturday morning dawned fair and bright – well, grey and murky and bloody freezing, to be accurate – and it was off to sunny Speedwell to play at a charity fundraiser run by local motorcycle lovelies the Bristol Banshees. As is traditional, we were playing on the back of a lorry, but to add an unusual twist they’d been unable to get it into the field due to slippery mud; they did have a lot of fun trying though, they showed us the video.

Thus it was that we were set up in the car park, playing into the field over the top of a spiky metal fence. “No stage diving” we were solemnly warned.

The main attraction of the day (apart from lovely us, of course) was a band of Viking re-enactment enthusiasts, who we merrily staging mock battles as we played. Not to be outdone, we equipped Emma with a small plastic horned Viking helmet, in which she became a fantastic vision of “the shortest Valkyrie ever” for the last few songs in the set. She won’t give the helmet back, and was last seen rummaging through eBay looking for a breastplate to accompany it.

Actually, one of the Vikings caught up with us afterwards to tell us that his battling experience was really enhanced by the AC/DC parts of the soundtrack we provided, so maybe it’s time to work out some kind of arrangement – every time the Vikings go out to battle, we come with them to provide musical accompaniment; and every time we gig, they come along to the pub and fight with swords and axes.

Or maybe not.

Maybe we’ll just stick with Emma wearing a small plastic helmet and a couple of copper jelly molds strapped to her chest.

[Editor’s note] AngelHeart played after us headed up by Suzi our original singer and a jolly fine job they did! It was a bit warmer by then too!

Anyhoo – Viking themed or not, our next gig should be a bit of a giggle too…

Friday 4th May – The Swan, Thornbury.
As it’s Star Wars day, there’s a strong possibility that Ben will come along dressed as Chewbacca. And that Em will strap a Danish pastry to each ear and come as Princess Leia. I of course, will play handsome dashing Han Solo, but mostly I’m looking forward to watching Stuart trying to drum from inside an R2D2 costume. Alternatively, as it’s just up the road from me, it’s quite possible that a bunch of my family will come along, and maybe even play for a bit of Polar Bear Cheese Pirate action. Really, anything could happen. Including Vikings.

Square on

23-04-2018 – Chrono Error 23

Well, that was a scorcher of a weekend (as the Super Soaraway Sun would undoubtedly have it); very hot indeed on Friday night, which probably accounted for the reduced turnout at the Old Mail House, with a huge percentage of potential punters still in their back gardens quaffing stubbies of lager and giving themselves food poisoning from eating blackened raw chicken.

To be fair, there were still quite a few merrymakers in, boosted by some old chums of Stuart’s who were there for one of their number’s retirement party. Retirement? But Stuart claims to be 23…

Not having been at this venue in living memory, it was a pleasant surprise to find a large raised stagey area with positively oodles of room for leaping around like a bunch of twats. So we did. Except for Stuart, who for some reason remained steadfastly sat on his drum stool right through both sets. He’s 23, you know.

Saturday at the Jolly Cobbler was very nicely timed, at least from the point of view of managing to load in and out in between thunderstorms. On the other hand, our successful effort to finish bang on 10:30 (due to noise-complainy neighbours) was rather scuppered when landlord Mike came up to us after our final number to tell us that the finish time was in fact 11:00…

“Oh. Well, that’s all right, then. Let me just turn this back on again…”

So we played on for another half hour, plundering our catalogue of songs-we-haven’t-played-for-ages and aren’t sure we can remember – but it seems that, on the whole, we can. Clearly our collective dementia is not as bad as we feared; particularly Stuart’s. He’s only 23, you know.

Finally, a special mention for youngster Jake, who went over and above the call of duty on air guitar, to the point where at one point I was actually fired from the band to make way for him… only being reinstated when I pointed out that Jake was too young to drive the van.

Coming up this weekend…

Friday 27th – Old Bank, Keynsham
It’s a bit snug in here, but we have fitted in smaller places before now, and they’re a friendly bunch; maybe we’ll even try out a few new songs on them…

Saturday 28th, 1pm – Banshees Charity Bash, Barton Hill RFC
Basically, it’s a village fete for bikers. Whole bunch of bands on (we’re opening proceedings at around 1pm), there’s stalls, food, beer, and a Viking re-enactment society staging a battle. I’m hoping that none of them puts an axe through Ben by mistake…

And that, my friends, for this week at least – is that.

Square on

Note – anybody who remembers last week may recall that I was threatening to bring along my bonkers new theremin-simulating effect pedal to a gig this weekend. In the end, I didn’t do so, because it suffered a mysterious and inexplicable complete functional non-operational-episode-scenario, such that I left it at home. Now, following a detailed strip down and technical investigation, including a microscopic examination of all my solder joints to try and trace the fault, I can reveal that the problem was that I had plugged the input and output jacks into the wrong sockets.

I would like to remind you that I possess a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering – which, YOU, my tax-paying friends, paid for…

That is all.

02-05-2017 – Hippy Prog Sports Sandwich

Hey gang

Well, it’s been a very exciting week in rock, and no mistake. (Well, there have of course been a few mistakes – but these were only of the usual fumble fingered musical nature, which we like to attribute to the naturally exciting and spontaneous creativity associated with live music. Ahem.).

Saturday morning dawned fair and bright, and I shambled out of bed to get everything together for our lunchtime hippy-prog set at the Banshees MC charity day bash, with old chums the All Night Chemists – where in a couple of the songs, there are epic-sounding guitar solos when I get to use all my effects pedals at once! It’s very exciting, and not at all coincidental that I wrote those ones…

We’d been promised that there would be a stage, PA, drum kit and backline equipment ready and set up for us, so we would only need to take “guitars, leads, and a pair of drumsticks”.

It came as no great surprise that ten minutes after arriving there, we were haring back to Ian’s house (luckily not far away) to pick up his bass rig. Fortunately I am of a suspicious nature, and already had all my amps and speaker cabs in the van, “just in case”…

I think it’s fair to say that the venue was quite a big field, and they probably would not have had too much trouble squeezing a few more audience members in; nonetheless, I think we rather enjoyed ourselves. This “select and exclusive” attendance figure also meant that when vocalist Rich asked “Are there any Hawkwind fans here?”, the unsurprising lack of response meant he could then announce, “In that case… This is a song we wrote called ‘The Right Stuff’…”.

We even received two unsolicited testimonials; one from a professional sound engineer friend of ours, who declared us to be “Surprisingly awesome for that early in the day”; and one from Rich’s girlfriend – who actually knows what the songs are supposed to sound like – who told us it sounded pretty much up together, and that she “only had to put her fingers in her ears once”.

There was a momentary pause before Ian and I chorused, “For an hour…”

Back home, a rapid re-loading of the van, some food, and then back off downtown to Molloys, where AUF have been asked to play early “because of the boxing”. It seems the original intent was that we would play early, so we could be finished before the match started. However, for reasons unknown, this morphed into us playing the first set, and then being told 2 songs into the second set to stop immediately as “It’s starting, it’s starting!”. This left us hanging around until it finished – so we stood there hoping either that one of the pugilists would get knocked out immediately, or that his mum would come round and unceremoniously drag him off home by the ear hole, delivering a lecture on the way about how Nice Boys Don’t Get Into Fights. [Editor’s note: and not forgetting having to wait for the football to end before we could setup, a kind sports sandwich sort of night]

Neither of these happened, so we had to hang around until it was over, and then play a quick half hour set before packing up and buggering off home in search of a drink with all haste.

However, the very very good supremely excellent news is that this week – after some months of what my dear Dem rather uncharitably referred to as my “trawling the internet looking for floozies”, we have finally secured the services of a permanent replacement singer – the superbly awesome Emma, who we will be telling you more about in the coming weeks. We’ve obviously got some rehearsing to do to get everything up to speed, but as soon as we can we’ll be up and running. We think it’s going to be magnificent fun. In the meantime, Lily is continuing to do a fantastic job for us. We’re extremely lucky to have her around – although, obviously, she’s extremely lucky to have us, too. I’m allowed to say that, because she doesn’t pay me any rent.

Coming up this week – an absolute hoot of a gig…

Friday 5th May – Queen Vic, Stroud
They do like a bit of dancing around rawk’n’roll madness in here. So that’s what we’re planning to give them. I have a sneaky suspicion my dear Dem may come along to this one, if only out of scientific curiosity to see what guest beers they have in. You have been warned.

Until then…

Square on