Tag Archives: chipping sodbury

28-05-2019 – Hay Fever!

Aloha!

And a warm welcome to this week’s little episode of rawk’n’roll strangeness.

I’ll keep this one fairly short, as it’s too nice a day to be sat inside banging away on a keyboard for the dubious benefit of you lot…

Friday night at the lovely Railway Tav in Fishponds, and a huge fun gig, enlivened by the presence of Stuart’s lovely sister, who had come all the way over from Canada, for the sole purpose of seeing us*. It was also enlivened by lots of punters jigging merrily around all night, and I personally was particularly pleased by the nice ladies who were queuing up afterwards to buy us all a beer. I like it when that happens. READ MORE

20-05-2019 – Ultra Cute Fluffy Kitten, Just For the Hell of It!

Hey folks

A weekend of contrasts in rawk – Friday night at the Giant Goram in Lawrence Weston – always a rather informal affair – was enlivened by the presence of our new best mate Tia, who spent the first set dancing around enthusiastically to everything, and then at half-time appeared with a large tray of shots for the band.

We rather liked her.

Even more so when she told us the tale of the last time she went out to see a band.

“I don’t get out much…”, she tells us, “…So anyway, the last time I went out to see a band, I was having such a great time, I was dancing around so much that I was sick on the floor”. READ MORE

14-05-2019 – Goth Colouring Book

Ahoy there shipmates!

A whole weekend off, which turned out to be no bad thing in some ways, as last week was – well, a bit of a bugger, really, for some of us.

On the other hand, most weeks turn out to be a bit of a bugger, one way or another, and there really is nothing more therapeutic that jumping around making a bloody loud noise. I heartily recommend it, I’m sure it’s much more effective at relieving stress than the “meditative colouring books” I recently noticed for sale. I can’t help feeling that if your troubles can be resolved by sitting down for an hour with a pack of felt tips, you probably don’t have enough troubles. READ MORE

09-05-2019 – Jumping Around And Pulling Faces

Yo homeys

Well, that was an odd one. We fetched up at the Anchor in Bishopston on Saturday, to find the the nice little stage area they used to have has been taken down and covered with tables and chairs and punters, and we instead were presented with an “intimate” space to set up in. After a little head-scratching and moving a few affable customers over, we managed to shoehorn ourselves in.

The pub itself was rammed full of footy fans – the match just up the road had just finished, plus there was another game on telly – so much so that the door staff were operating a “one in, one out” policy – meaning that several folks who’d come to see us actually couldn’t get in until the second set, when most of the soccer fans had had their fill of lager and were feeling quite tired and ready for bed. READ MORE

29-04-2019 – Deranged And Other Excellent Words

Aloha!

[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

15-04-2019 – Who Got THE Blues?

Good morning!

I really am beginning to think I’m getting too old for this…

Maybe it’s time I took to playing slide guitar instead, sitting on my back porch in a rocking chair and playing s-l-o-w blues riffs. Thing is, I’d need to get a dog, probably – I suspect it’s written somewhere in the Blues Byelaws.

Of which there are quite a number, come to think of it; for example, the list of permissible Blues Beverages (permitted: black coffee, red wine, bourbon whiskey; forbidden: Lucozade, chai latte, Prosecco). READ MORE

18-12-2018 – Last Blast For This Year With Stairs

Ho, ho, and, indeed, ho.

And a warm welcome to this festive, and almost certainly last edition this year, of our regular-ish gig blog.

I didn’t manage to put one of these out last week, which I shall blame on time constraints, as “incompetence” is such an ugly word, isn’t it? I can, however, dimly recall a few snippets of the last couple of gigs…

It turns out that the Packhorse in Lawrence Hill is indeed still run by the Angels, and a mighty friendly bunch they were, we all had a jolly fine time, and will be back there again next year. As I write this, it’s only just occurred to me that possibly one reason we were so popular was that – due to driving constraints – we didn’t take too much advantage of their mighty fine   “free beer for musos” policy (one which, as regular readers will know, I have been a staunch supporter of for many years).

The following night, a corporate Christmas party in a posh bistro right in the centre of swanky Cheltenham, had a rather different vibe.

We arrived, and, miraculously found two parking spaces right outside the back of the venue. Hurrah! Then upon gaining entry to the place, we find that we are to be playing in a function room up two flights of stairs. Boo!

Ben pales visibly at the thought of exercise. I decide we must invoke what is known in the band as “Rum Bar protocol” (named after a venue for which access is gained only via three flights of rickety iron outdoor fire escape), which basically means all spare and not-absolutely-necessary equipment is sifted out and left locked in the van at Base Camp, so that no backup amps or speaker cabs, leads, etc need be manhauled up to higher altitudes. Spare batteries are grudgingly permitted, as is the muttered refrain “I wish I’d learned the $%^ing piccolo”.

After a prolonged period of stumping up and down, we decide there is just enough kit up there, and slowly moods improve as we set up.

Once we start, it turns out that the crowd are very much up for it; we particularly enjoyed one very serious-looking lady (think “senior librarian”) who, immediately we started, began dancing in a most extravagant and enthusiastic fashion – we suspect she doesn’t get out that much. After a while, everybody else joins in. Finally the very pleasant staff are begging us to stop playing so that they can pack up and go home.

Having packed up, and taken full advantage of their expensive-looking buffet to give us the necessary strength, we have just enough energy to haul all the kit back down to ground level and bully it back into the vehicles before shambling off into the night.

Right then, coming up next – here’s our full Festive Season Itinererererary, for your delectation and delight: –

Saturday 22nd – Farmhouse, Yate
Not played here for quite some time, and what with it being the official drinking season, should be rather lively. And there are no stairs involved.

Monday 24th – The Sandringham, Downend
Christmas Eve at the Sandy (as I am pretty sure absolutely nobody calls it), we did this one last year and had a very fine time. So we’re expecting to do the same again, frankly. And there are no stairs involved.

Saturday 29th – Queen Vic, Stroud
Ooh, I’d actually totally forgotten about this gig until I looked at the list to write this. Marvellous! One of our favourite regular gigs, I’m actually beginning to get excited already. With a bit of luck, I might be able to get my beloved Dem along as well, just to scare the locals a bit. And there are no stairs involved.

Monday 31st – Royal Oak, Chipping Sodbury
New Year’s Eve, a nice lively little pub, and us. What’s not to like? And – now here’s a thing – there are no stairs involved.

And, that’ll be about it for this year; I’d like to say thanks to all the lovely and entertaining people we’ve met along the way, we’ve had a blast – and I like to think that maybe on the odd occasion we’ve actually managed to entertain some people along the way (in addition to ourselves).

Finally, I have to say huge thanks to my bandidos Stuart, Emma, and Ben, who make the whole enterprise such a joy and a delight – despite the occasional stairs, I really don’t know what I’d do without the opportunity to regularly prance about making a dreadful noise with a bunch of like-minded idiots.

Very much looking forward to doing it all over again next year….

Square on
A

10-09-2018 – Changing Fortunes

Hello, my little ones.

Are you all sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

Thursday night in Chipping Sodbury, and I roll up, somewhat knackered after a busy day, to find Ben and Stuart already there and loaded in. Stuart parks his car, then we set about emptying the van and setting up. A rather frazzled Emma appears, she has apparently had a “difficult” week at work, and “is ready for some serious jumping about and screaming”. Just, in fact, what we have in mind.

We’ve decided to play a high risk strategy tonight, lots of old rocky songs we haven’t played in a l-o-o-ng time, to see if we can remember them. Remarkably, by and large, we can. We’d also forgotten how much fun they are. Thus, by the time we’ve finished thumping out the Maiden and AC/DC covers at the end of the night, our Emma is feeling much cheered up. Ben is also pleased to find two fellow Yorkshiremen in the audience, who are huge fun. I’m tempted to ask them how they’re coping down here with such strange new things as electricity, and running water, but I settle instead for hiding my wallet, just in case.

After a jolly night, we pack up and Stuart goes off to fetch his car. We’ve nearly finished loading the van before he comes back, ruefully, on foot. It seems that he’d left his headlights on, and with not even enough juice to operate the central locking, he is locked out of his car. However, he has a manual key – hurrah! – which doesn’t fit the lock – boo!

So – we cram all his kit into Emma’s car, take it back to Stuart’s place to unload, where he can pick up his spare key. Then it’s back to Sodding Chipbury, where this time we managed to actually get into his car, and eventually persuade it to jump start.

Thus it is that we finally get home, somewhere in the wee wee hours of the morning.

Only two more gigs to go this weekend…

Friday night, and our keenly-anticipated gig at the Queen’s Tap on Swindon. We arrive, we load in and set up, looking forward a noisy night. It’s not too full yet, but still early days.

Come the witching hour, and off we go. Two songs in the landlady approaches, and asks very nicely if we can turn it down a notch – the council are lurking nearby with noise meters, thanks to some unsympathetic neighbours. We duly comply, but a couple of songs later she returns and asks if we can turn down a touch further. So we do, and for a while we’re struggling to play noisy full-on rawk n roll music in a polite fashion – it really just isn’t the same.

Nonetheless, after a few songs, with a boisterous crowd, we have to turn up just a little bit so we can hear ourselves, and by the end of the first set, there’s a right old party going on.

During the break, about a dozen of the punters break out into a drunken singlaong acapella version of Tenacious D’s “Tribute”. We are well pleased by this.

As we get ready to start again I plug in and do the usual guitarist thing – switch on the amp, and play a chord or two to check it’s all working. This time – presumably subconsciously prompted by having just heard it, I play the opening chords of “Tribute”…

A mighty cheer goes up from the crowd, who are then much disappointed as we explain that we don’t actually play that one.

After half a dozen songs, which all go down very well, they’re still bellowing for “Tribute” – a quick conference reveals that Ben and I might be able to remember the chords, Emma can look up the words, and Stuart has no real idea how it goes. Oh, all right then, we’ll have a crack at it.

Immediately the crowd takes over the stage, completely surrounding Emma and singing and dancing along, and together we not only get all the way through the song, but actually it’s somehow magnificent.

So – that’ll be going on the set list, then.

As we approach the midnight neighbour-noise curfew, there’s not quite time for one more song, but we decide to play it anyway. As I fire into the intro riff of Guns & Roses’ “Sweet Child”, the landlady rushes up and snatches the mike out of Emma’s hand.

Oh no, she’s going to tell us we have to stop…

…No she doesn’t, she starts singing it!

And, she’s bloody brilliant!

So we thunder through the rest of the song, with Em and landlady bellowing out a massive duet between them, and after we finish, the landlady demands we do some more.

“What about your neighbours?” I ask.

“Fuck ’em”, she answers. “It’s my pub. Play on”.

We manage to shoehorn another two or three encores before we really do have to stop.

It turns out that the landlady used to sing in bands years ago, and has been itching to have a go with us since halfway through the first set.

So, a vastly satisfying night, and we were really looking forward to Saturday night at the Queen Vic in Stroud.

Alas, it was not to be. A few minutes after setting off, Em and I receive a call from Ben to say that Stuart is really not well, and can’t play tonight, so we have to cancel.

So apologies to anybody who was up in Stroud hoping to catch us, we really are sorry, but believe me, for Stuart to accept that he’s too ill to play, it’s really serious.

I’ve previously seen him insisting on playing gigs when a lesser man would be on his way to hospital.

Good news is that he’s now feeling rather better – which is just as well, as although we have no AUF gigs planned this weekend, Stuart and I do have an appointment with our somewhat proggy originals outfit.

Hoarse

On a lighter note, it’s not the only illness in the band this week. Yesterday, Emma did admit to feeling a little hoarse…

Square on
A

03-09-2018 – Oooh, Look, Dolphins!

Well, we’re back!

After a week away, variously climbing up Snowdon, watching dolphins frolicking off the coast of Kent, drinking excellent beer in my favourite Brighton pub – which I found completely unchanged after 30 years away – hurrah! – and doing whatever it is that Ben and Stuart get up to when left to their own devices, it was time to get back together to make a loud noise again up at the dear ol’ Swan in Thornbury.

Having literally just got home after a seven hour drive with a spakky shoulder, swapping vehicles and come straight to the gig, yours truly had his excuses neatly lined up for playing like a retarded chimp in boxing gloves. So that’s pretty much what I did.

I’m not sure what excuses the others had, but actually we seemed to get away with it – helped no doubt by a quick restoarative dose of free beer, we managed to get to the end of the night without too many musical trainwrecks. Although, to be fair, one was probably enough.

Saturday night, and a nice easy gig at the Dolphin in Oldland Common; we were able to revel in our musical loveliness, and I rather enjoyed being awake this time.

Coming up this week – three gigs in a row, haven’t had this much fun for quite a while…

Thursday 6th – Royal Oak, Chipping Sodbury
We believe this one to be an 8:30 start, and although it’s a bit cosy, once we’ve actually shoehorned all the kit in, it’s jolly good fun in here – the only catch being we all have to get up stupidly early the next morning for work. I bet Jimmy Page doesn’t have this trouble.

Friday 7th – Queen’s Tap, Swindon
Lively pub just opposite the station in sunny Pighill, they likes their rock in here. Which is just as well, ‘cos that’s what they’re going to be getting. 🙂

Saturday 8th – Queen Vic, Stroud
Brilliant fun in here, we may even be bringing a small entourage with us just to liven things up even further. Also a good chance to catch up with the lovely Clothears Massive, so I’m looking forward to this one even more than usual.

Er – that’s it, having been off duty for a week I can’t think of any jokes this time.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Square on
A