Tag Archives: cat and wheel

18-02-2019 – Er … JagerBomb … maybe!?

Ah, there you are.

And what time of night do you call this, young lady? Your mother and I have been worried sick. And it’s a school night, and I’ll bet you haven’t done any of your homework either. You’re grounded!


Friday night at the Cat & Wheel, and a lively time in particular from a table full of keen Jagerbomb enthusiasts. It took them a full five songs before any of them started dancing on the furniture, and nobody actually fell over the monitors, so all in all they were rather well-behaved, I thought. Usually these situations can get rather messy. READ MORE

11-02-2019 – Regular Stuff

Howdy pardners!

We hope y’all had a rootin’ tootin’ weekend ridin’ out on the priarie… Oh, stuff it, I’m bored with this already. If you want more cowboy-themed entertainment, go watch a Western!

We tend to make our own entertainment.

Fortunately, we’re pretty easily pleased.

And so it was that at the Trident in Downend on Friday, although it’s fair to say that the pub could probably have crammed in a few more punters without too much problem, there were enough there to keep us happy. We were particularly impressed with top punter Pete, who joined in with Emma’s drinking game with such enthusiasm that he got through 2 pints in the course of one (quite short) song. Well done, that man! READ MORE

23-07-2018 – Purple …..

Good evening; and here is the news….

Friday night, and a trip to the Trout in Keynsham to unveil not one, not two, not three, but four (yes, four, count ‘em!) songs we’d not gigged before. Actually, I failed to count ‘em and mistakenly left one off the setlist; fortunately Em remembered about it and scribbled it back in just before we started playing.

Poor Em. Somehow she managed to bugger up one of her knees last week, but armed with lots of medical strapping and some weapons-grade painkillers, she heroically made it to the gig, and actually managed to get most the way through proceedings still upright. Alas, near the end, she could bear the pain no more and had to have a chair fetched and her leg propped up to finish off the second set.

I wish I’d taken a photo – probably the least rawk’n’roll “Foot on Monitor” image ever…

Still, it was a rather fine night, so we were eagerly looking forward to the Saturday session at the Cat & Wheel. And, it didn’t disappoint.

The first set was enlivened by a rather boisterous Aussie Rules football team, who were out celebrating winning the shiny trophy they’d just won; they were also drinking out of a pair of children’s pink sparky wellies, and at one point one of the chaps tried to persuade her to swap her microphone for the large purple dildo he was holding.

“Tempting though the offer is”, she tells the crowd, “Seeing the way he handles that thing, I think I’d best stick to what I’m used to – he’s clearly much more experienced with that kind of thing…”

The gentleman seems well pleased with this.

By the second set, poor Em’s knee is misbehaving again, and she has to resort to sitting on the bar stool we’ve cunningly set aside for just such an occasion.

Sitting down, she’s substantially taller.

So, we play the second set to an appreciative crowd, alas now bereft of dildos, until we run past the end of the music licence. Then we play another one, and call it a night.

Right then, we have no gigs planned this weekend – Ben will be busy moving house, and Em will resting her poorly leg.

After which, we should be match fit and ready to go for the next batch of gigs; as long as Ben can remember where he now lives…

Square on

23-07-2018 – The Minimalist Edition

Greetings, my children of the night…

Well, with no gigs to report on, this will be a nice short one – we’re going back to basics, I’m simply going to tell you where we’re playing this weekend, so’s you’ll know which venues to avoid…

Friday 27th – The Trout, Keynsham
A fine, energetic, boisterous – and, I have to say, a somewhat messy crowd in here means it will be a significantly entertaining evening. We’ve been working on a few new tunes lately, so you might well get to hear us play some of them for the first time.

Saturday 28th – Cat & Wheel, Gloucester Road Bristol
A fine, energetic, boisterous – and, I have to say, a somewhat messy crowd in here means it will be a significantly entertaining evening. We’ve been working on a few new tunes lately, so you might well get to hear us play some of them correctly for the first time.

And that, I think just about wraps it up. If the weather continues fair you might still find wearing our summer outfits – in my case, the redneck hobo look…

Hobo Alan

…and in Emma’s case, rocking a pair of cat’s ears…

Cat Emma

The less said about Ben and Stuart’s outfits, the better, I think…


Square on

23-01-2017 – The Dog, Drum and Monkey of it

Ahoy there shipmates!

Another jolly weekend in rock; Friday at the Cat & Wheel was notable for the sheer quantity of spilt beer and broken glass all over the floor afterwards; a very lively night, but fortunately nobody aimed their boobies at Stuart this time. After we passed out the “fellatable guitars” into the crowd, only one came back safely afterwards, but was so covered in beer and grime that I binned it; after all, nobody’s going to want to wrap their lips around that, I figured.

Saturday night, and the rather more refined surroundings of Queen Amy’s Railway Tavern in Fishponds.

As we are setting up, a nice lady comes up and asks Stuart to warn her before he starts hitting the drums, as the small dog she has with her is very nervous and panics at sudden loud noises. Stuart asks if the dog would be okay with a little gentle tuning-up of the drums, and she says this will be fine.

Accordingly, he sets up and gives his snare a gentle tap or two. Immediately she appears at his kit, very irate, clutching a small trembling canine, and gives poor Stuart a Proper Telling Off, before stomping back to her table.

“Don’t worry”, I tell our bemused sticksman, “I’ll sort this out”.

I go to apologise to the nice lady, and after listening to her for a while rhetorically asking why drummers are always incapable of not banging things, not even for a few moments, and, especially since they’re about to be hitting drums for the next two hours anyway, why they can’t refrain for just a little while so that innocent members of the public can remove their fractious pets from the area, I realise that this scenario has been played out several times before, and that probably she doesn’t realise that tuning a drum kit cannot be done without actually touching it.

To try and mollify her, I explain that it is a common characteristic of drummers to be fairly straightforward, innocent souls, who are easily confused.

“You know those little toys you used to get, the little clockwork monkeys that bang a drum?” I say. “Well, there’s a reason they’re monkeys…”.

This line of reasoning seems to appeal to her, and by the end of our little chat she is much happier.

I go back to setting up, and Stuart looks up as I return.

“All sorted now?” he asks.

“All sorted”, I say. “I told her you were an idiot.”

As the night progresses, quite a few heavy imbibers are in evidence, including a hen night party, sipping their drinks through hilariously willy-shaped straws.

“Is that what I think it is?” Rosa nervously asked one of the girls.

“Oh, it certainly is – would you like one?” came the reply.

“Yes, please”, replies Rosa, adding after sipping her drink, “Ooh, it tastes of strawberries, doesn’t it?”.

“They always do”, I inform her.

Ben eyes me suspiciously. “And how do you know?”

I do not deign to answer, choosing instead to maintain a dignified and enigmatic silence.

Highlight of the evening for me occurs halfway through an impassioned guitar solo, when I open my eyes and am delightfully startled to find Queen Amy’s lovely face has appeared half an inch from mine, puckered up for a friendly greeting kiss. Aww, bless! We’d been wondering where she’d gotten to.

Just to balance things out, during my next guitar solo a few minutes later, I am hit in the side of the head by half of a flying drumstick [Editor’s note: Karma eh!].

The evening continues with much more jolliness and dancing around, and finally, several songs after time has been called, we run out of things to play, and call it a night.

“It’s a night”, we said.

So, a lovely night, and now we have just one more gig to play with Rosa before she runs away with the Jazz Pixies…

Friday 27th – New Crown Inn, Bath
Lovely friendly little pub, usually gets pretty full, but that’s largely on account of it not being very big. On the other hand, I’ve just remembered that last time we played here was Halloween, so it’s entirely possible that our fancy dress antics last time will have scared off all the customers. And perhaps even that the landlord has run away to hide, and maybe set fire to the pub on his way out, just to be on the safe side. We shall have to see…

Square on

16-01-2017 – Angel UpDate – Thanks for the Mammory

Yo homeys

Well, the Blue Lagoon certainly didn’t disappoint on the drunken audience front; helped immeasurably by a coterie of ladies there for a 49th birthday bash; the birthday girl herself making quite a pastime of manipulating her chest at band members; she started with me, but since I simply beamed back at her, have her a thumbs-up and said “Thank you very much”, she shifted her mammary manoeuvring in Stuart’s direction – since he was careless enough to look slightly shocked, he thus became the focus of her bosomy wibbling for the rest of the evening.

I was actually feeling quite poorly after a long day, so I was quite glad that the stage-invadery that started the moment the inflatable guitars came out was on the other side of the drumkit from me, so I could carry on playing unmolested. Eventually the bouncers had to intervene to shoo various drunks off the stage so we could continue playing; but not before the birthday girl and her chums treated everybody to what Ben and I subsequently agreed was the most accomplished and enthusiastic oral-sex-simulation-with-an-inflatable-guitar that we’ve ever seen at a gig.

And we have, I’m sorry to say, seen it more than a few times…

Right then, coming up next weekend, a couple of rather fine gigs at some of our favourite Bristol venues…

Friday 20th – Cat & Wheel, Gloucester Rd, Bristol
A bit cosy from our point of view (that’s a point, I wonder how I’m going to fit my lovely new stack in there?), but always lively and a good giggle.

Saturday 21st – Railway Tavern, Fishponds
Ahh, the court of her beloved majesty Queen Amy of Fishponds, we kinda think of this place as our spiritual home. A pub rock Nirvana. Well, sort of. Nearvana, I suppose…

We should remind y’all that these will probably be our last Bristol gigs with Rosa before she leaves us, so if you want to catch her before she goes, this might be a good opportunity.

We’re still working on finding someone who can fill her mighty sparkly shoes, but don’t worry, we have an excellent short-term solution and won’t be dropping any gigs in a hurry.

We’ll keep you posted on developments as they – well, as they develop. In the meantime, we hope to see you at a gig soon, but please try to stay away from the inflatable erotica…

Square on

13-06-2016 – Carry On Football

Hello playmates!

Well, as it seems that summer is over now (again), but it’s certainly nice to be out and gigging again. Saturday’s jaunt to the Cat & Wheel was interesting; we rolled up around 8:00 to find the place was rammed with people watching the footy – to the extent that they were turning folks away at the door. They let us in though – and thus became a campaign of attrition, as we slowly hauled in the kit, and inch by inch deployed what we could, slowly driving the footy fans back towards the telly screens; by half-time we had got out as much as we could, and then stood outside in the cool air away from the deafening sound of the chimps-in-suits pundits giving their critiques of the previous forty five minutes of blokes running around in circles.

Rosa is bored. “Can we play a game?” she asks.

I survey the empty street. “I-spy”, I suggest.

“Naah. Boring”.

The pattern of pavement slabs catch my eye.


She giggles. “Oooh, I dare you.”

Oh dear, she said the d-word, that means we have to do it now. It’s a bit tricky trying to play when all the paving slabs look the same, but we manage to amuse ourselves for a while. Meanwhile Ben videos this process, just in case nobody believes him afterwards.

After a while, as is her habit, Rosa strolls off into the middle distance to warm up her voice. It’s about time for the match to finish, and she start striding purposefully back towards us.

“I bet you she starts skipping in a moment”, says Ben.

“Not yet” I tell him; there are a couple of people walking past her, so she will momentarily pretend she’s normal. Sure enough as soon as they are behind her, she breaks into a merry little skip.

“Invisible ponies!” cries Ben, and we both ride out to meet her half-way.

The people eating in the window of the pizza restaurant gape in puzzlement as we all prance by in different directions in front of them. Oh well, we’re supposed to be entertainers.

Back in the pub the match has ended and the bouncers drive the hordes back sufficiently for us to set up the PA in a creditably short time, and off we go. We haven’t played for three weeks, and so we are quite pleased to pull off a straight two-hour set without mishap.

The footy inebriates thoroughly enjoy themselves, there is some spirited crowd-surfing (they even pile up a couple of chairs to make a dedicated launch pad for this) but I am pretty sure more pints are spilled than drunk by the end of the night. Sadly by the end of the evening their boisterous roistering has become a little too bumptious for the good of the furnishings, and to avoid anyone getting severely damaged they are politely invited by the bouncers in the general direction of outside.

Still, there’s enough folks left to make merry for the last couple of numbers, and then we wearily and sweatily pack up, and then collapse in a heap to wait for the bar staff to sort out the tills so they can pay us. The telly is now showing a Carry-on film and there is lively debate amongst the four of us as to which one it is, leading on to a heated discussion as to which one is the best. Personally, I’m sticking with Carry On Screaming, but I can see that the only way to settle this is to all sit down in front of a telly for the about a week and watch them all… Anybody happen to have the DVD box set?

Sunday afternoon, and the Swan in Thornbury is pretty quiet. Specifically, it’s missing a Rosa, who thanks to a hilarious calendar mix-up has a jazz gig across town which didn’t finish until this one was due to start. Still, it’s a nice afternoon, so the three of us (plus smallest maniac son Jimi) set up leisurely and sit down with a nice pint until she scuttles in, breathless and apologetic.

It’s fine, nobody minds, and once we start playing more folks drift in and we have a very pleasant afternoon playing away; we get Jimi up to guest on a couple of songs, which is a high-risk strategy since he’s been playing Rosa’s Drinking Game during the previous number, and got through about three pints of water in the space of three minutes – but he just managed to hold out. I even get out my latest guitar acquisition for one song – but we’ll tell you more about “The Beast” another time, I think.

Meanwhile – no gigs this weekend, so I’ll leave you with this charming piece of self-help advice from a very fine book that I found this week – “The Little Book Of Complete Bollocks”: –


If you are suffering from stress in your workplace, set aside a few moments for just for yourself.
Make yourself a large cup of soothing camomile tea; add a generous spoonful of delicious organic honey.
Pour it over the laptop of the person who’s been winding you up.”

You’re welcome.
Square on

11-06-2016 – Briefly

Hey gang!

Well, what can I say? Summer’s here, and the time is right, for passing out in an unconscious stupor in the streets…

Sorry we didn’t manage to get one of these out to you last week, I was away, and then I came back, but I was busy doing something else, and then I forgot, and then suddenly it was today again.

So there ya go. Actually I’ve been having a rather lovely time lately, lounging around in the sunshine, but all good things must come to an end, and this is the end that they’re coming to…

Saturday 11th – Cat & Wheel, Bristol
Nice lively place – last time we were here was my beloved Dem’s 27th birthday, I wonder if they’ll have got the carpets clean yet? Anyroadup, it will be interesting to see how much of the set we can remember. I may bring a scorecard along just to keep track, and the worst offender can buy me a drink. Sounds like a rather fine plan, actually…

Sunday 12th, 4pm – The Swan, Thornbury
Oooh, we do like it here – plenty of room to prance around in, and it’s nice and local, so there’s a fair chance Dem may bring the whole family along to watch, too. There goes my profit margin on the afternoon….

Right, then, I think that’s your lot for this week; as the crappy joke cupboard seems to be empty at the moment, just for a change, why don’t you send me one instead for a change?

Square on

29-02-2016 – Furry

Yo homeys! [Editor’s note: I think he means “Hello”]

Well, more mad fun in the world of rawk’n’roll. Friday night, and the King William IV in Bath turns out to be a small pub, with only-just-enough-room to set up in, provided that Ben and I don’t mind both each playing hidden behind a PA speaker, and provided that they’re not actually using the pool table which is right next to where I have to go.

They are (inevitably) using the pool table all night, so I find myself trying to play solos whilst ducking under the back of a pool cue, simultaneously making sure the bumblewit poolies aren’t treading all over my pedals every time they try to take a shot.

Nonetheless, we end up having a fine time – we are offered more free beers than we can cope with, and as more locals roll in, they all get very enthusiastic, and finally we’re quite sad when it’s time to stop for the noise curfew.

I’m also quite pleased to give my new project guitar an airing; to while away the long winter evenings, I have assembled an axe out of various spare parts laying around the house, and, lacking paint shop facilities, I had to find an alternative means of finishing it.

All I need now is a name for the new beastie – all suggestions are welcome, as Rosa has deemed the temporary moniker – “Mr Fluffy” to be an inadequate reflection of its obvious class and good taste…

Name that axe

Saturday night, and the Tap & Barrel in the heart of Swindon beckons. Usually when I’ve played here with Lily it’s been quiet, but it is definitely rather livelier tonight – in fact, we count a record three fights in one evening. It could have been four, as one young lass, after she fell over the monitors for the third time whilst drunkenly dancing away, seemed unsure as to whether the much-coveted official band “Dancin’ Fool” sticker that Rosa awarded her was intended as an insult.

After being reassured that no offence was intended, and went away smiling happily. She came back ten minutes later and asked again if we were trying to be rude, with the same result. After the third occurrence, we just made sure there were no sharp objects around, and ignored her.

Mostly though, the evening was good fun – lots of dancing around, we even saw our ol’ pal Statey, (upright and fairly sober for once!), plus our lovely chum Sarina, who came up and guested on drums for a couple of numbers.

In fact for the first one, (AC/DC noise classic “Highway To Hell”), which does not require the services of a bassist until the first chorus, Ben sneaked off for a tactical leak. I waited for a full thirty seconds before I decided to start playing, letting the riff go round an extra time or two to give Ben a chance… then I nodded at Rosa to start singing.

Tension mounts as we play through the first verse; all eyes are on the door to the gents, and we are just one bar before the chorus is due to start when it suddenly bursts open; a large hairy bassist erupts out of it, charges up to the stage, and in one bound grabs his bass, slings it over his shoulder and seamlessly fires into playing and singing the chorus dead on cue.

He spends the rest of the song grinning smugly at us, unaware of the damp patch on the front of his trousers…

Right then, coming up this weekend, another mini-tour of the South West’s finest rawk establishments…

Saturday 5th March – Golden Fleece, Bath
Lovely little bikery pub, they like their rocky stuff here, so there is a chance we may be able to cut back on the Britney Spears* covers, and fire up the Sabbath stuff… I’m rather looking forward to that.

Sunday 6th March – The Swan, Thornbury
Oh, it’s really nice in here, and a Sunday afternoon means it’s not too late to invite along our special guest artistes, who have school in the morning – yep, we’ll be handing over the gap between sets to my offspring, the rather noisy Polar Bear Cheese Pirates From Outer Space – simply because we can.

Right, that’s your lot for this week

Square on
*We don’t actually play any Britney Spears covers. Just to be clear. [Editor’s note: Soon!]

22-02-2016 – Anover Birfday!

Goooooood morning!

Another weekend, another fantastic time…. Friday night, and since it’s my beautiful Dem’s birthday, we have persuaded her to come along with us to the Cat & Wheel, with daughter Lil as an escort. (That’s not in the sense of “working as an escort”, you understand, just “escorting Dem”. I mean, the extra cash always comes in handy, but everybody needs a night off now and then…)

Anyhoo, my lovely two were just into their second pint, and the kit was just about set up, when our ol’ pals John & Adam rolled in, and in true chivalrous fashion took charge of supervising the girls’ alcohol intake for the evening – with extremely successful results.

All in all, everybody had a delightful night, some more pals had sneaked in over the border from Wales to wish Dem a happy birthday, and various other accomplices from days gone by turned up too…

Towards the end of the second set, after had Rosa led the entire pub in singing Happy Birthday to Dem, and Lily had stepped up to sing a delightfully drunken version of Highway to Hell with us, I was looking around me with a big silly grin on my face, playing noisy rock and roll with my best buddies, daughter bellowing away magnificently next to me, with our adored Rosa and my beloved Dem air guitaring away right in front of us, in a pub full of happy smiling faces bouncing about, when it suddenly occurred to me that I’m actually getting paid for this…

I’m pretty sure I’m the luckiest bastard I know.

Right then, coming up this week, more fun and frolics and talking …bananas..?

Fri 26th – King William IV, Combe Road, Bath
Not been here before, so we’ll have to see what they make of us. We shall be having a brilliant time, I’m sure; we’ll leave it up to the locals whether they want to join in and have one too.

Sat 27th – Tap & Barrel, Swindon
Not been to Swindon for a while, although I have played this place with Lily a few times in the past year or two. The place seems to have a number of resident keen drinkers, so there’s likely to be a fair degree of entertainment on offer from our point of view; let alone our collective simpleton-like ability to amuse ourselves for hours on end with, for example, a small piece of cardboard…

Square on, and peace out