Tag Archives: huntsman

10-02-2020 – Some Content Censored

Aloha amigos!

Well, that was a very quiet weekend in the rawk’n’roll business. Just single jaunt up to the Hunstman in Downend, which is always very quiet, but we quite like playing there because (a) they pay us, and (b) it’s a nice easy load-in, no steps, no stairs, and no people standing in the doorway as you try to man haul 57 tonnes of equipment in past them.

Although this time, we rolled up to find the place was heaving – it transpired though, that this was due to a large birthday party being in, which was just winding up, so by the time we’d got ourselves in and sorted out, you could pretty much count the number of people on the toes of one foot. READ MORE

22-10-2018 – New VanOfAlan


Right folks, this’ll be a short one (as they say)…

Saturday night’s gig at the Hunstman in Downend – which I see from their website has the “style of a modern pub, and the atmosphere of a traditional inn” – was greatly cheered by the presence of a few chums; and almost nobody else.

It often seems to be the way in here – doesn’t really seem to be a music-y pub – nonetheless, they keep asking us back, and they keep paying us, and it actually makes for a nice relaxing night from our point of view. Plus, it means we can run through numbers we haven’t done for a while, to see if we can still remember them, without too much risk of public humiliation – and so, when requested for an old Fleetwood Mac track we haven’t played for many months, after a quick head-scratch as Ben and I tried to remember what the first chord was, we agreed to have a go at it.

Rather to our surprise, we got to the end without major disasters, although the middle eight guitar part was rather unusual… 🙂

Coming up this weekend, a double whammy of jollity:-

Friday 26th – Woodland’s Edge, Swindon
Usually pretty lively in here, and enough space for us to have a jolly good prance around, so all in all it’s rather good.

Saturday 27th – The Trout, Keynsham
It will probably end up being another mental night, here at The Fish – we’re not sure whether it’s because of the shape of the room (which is theoretically all wrong for putting bands in, with dancing space restricted to right on top of the band), or the clientele are just clumsy – but the floor always ends up awash with beer. This is about the only gig we regularly play where I have to dry the monitors out afterwards.

…And, that’s it for this week. Apart from the news that I have now acquired a spanky new van, musical equipment transport for the purpose of, which features noticeably more space than my sadly foreshortened one.

So – now, when loading up for each gig, I have to choose – in addition to the regular array of equipment, should I take the extra stack of guitar amps and speakers, or the industrial drum of lime jelly and the coterie of giggling cheerleaders?

Decisions, decisions….

Square on

16-10-2018 – Dick Thunder And The One Way System

Aye oop

Not too much to report this week; after eventually finding our way to Saturday’s gig at the Albion House club in Cheltenham (it took Em and myself two satnavs and three laps of the one way system to actually find it), we rolled in to see Stuart and Ben already unloading.

Stuart, who used to live in the area, knows the road system, you see, and so was able to get straight there.

Unfortunately, as he discovered after the gig from the doorman, the one way system has recently been changed, and it seems that Stuart drove in on what are now heavily-camera’d bus lanes – meaning he can presumably expect a swingeing fine to arrive in the post over the next few days.

We have agreed that this will fall under the category of “business expenses”, and thus the bill will be paid out of band funds as supervised by our Chief Financial Officer, one Richard Thundercat (who is, of course, a cat).

The gig itself was pretty successful – Em and I achieved our goal for the night, which was to get the lady in her seventies in the rockabilly skirt up and dancing – not once, but three times – and the rest of the punters pronounced themselves well pleased with the night.

“You’re the best band we’ve had in here”, we are told by at least five different people, leading us to wonder how starved of musical entertainment Cheltenham actually is*.

As usual, I spend the entire drive home telling Emma how much I’m looking forward to a large whiskey or three once I get in – and as usual, by the time I actually get home, have a quick shower to wash off the worst of the glitter (occupational hazard for anybody sharing a stage with Emma), I actually end up retiring to bed with a mug of cocoa.

Which I only manage half of before falling asleep.

Rawk’n’fuckin’roll, eh?

More shennanigans coming up this weekend, a bit more local this time: –

Saturday 20th – The Huntsman, Westerleigh Rd
It always feels like the wrong kind of pub to have bands in – but they keep asking us back, and it always somehow seems to work out all right, so we keep coming back. Oh,and they give us money, which is always handy for paying off percussionist’s motoring infractions.

Right, thas’ it for now

Square on

*They’re certainly starved of entertainment. When we packed up afterwards, we discovered that some bugger had waltzed off with one of our flashy light-up tambourines. So – should you be at some time wandering the streets of Cheltenham, and happen across a buffoon wielding aforementioned item, please do feel free to hit them across the back of the head with a shovel, and retrieve the item. In fact, if you do that, you can actually keep it. It’s yours. No problem.

Just watch out for somebody else coming up behind you with a shovel…

06-03-2018 – EMMAGEDDON!!!


Well folks, I’m not sure if that was a terrible weekend, or a great one.

Terrible, because – and apologies to anybody who tried to come along to see us on Friday – we had to cancel, because my road, which features an admittedly gentle incline, was made totally impassable by a hefty wodge of white snowy stuff. I watched out the window as several of my neighbours made heroic, but utterly doomed attempts, to get their cars out, before abandoning them somewhere near the curb.

So – sorry ‘bout that folks, we hate to cancel gigs (not just ‘cause we need the money, either!), but there really was no way we could have made that one without a team of huskies.

I don’t have a team of huskies. I do have a small force of clockwork penguins at my disposal, but at 2 inches high, their load-carrying capacity is minimal, so reluctantly we had to give up on that one.

On the other hand, the inclement weather did provoke the following Storm Emma headline in dreadful rag the Super Soaraway Sun: –


We’re keeping that.

Saturday dawned fair and bright, and a welcome thaw had set in, so we figured we’d have no trouble getting to the gig this time. As my van – left with my local garage the day before, and still trapped down there – was u/s, I commandeered Ben to drive up to mine, and after a little head-scratching and unaccustomed cogitation, we managed to squeeze in just enough kit to play a gig shared between his car and Dem’s.

I was still feeling pretty damned terrible from the Kitten Lung, and Ben wasn’t much better; but we got to the Huntsman without incident, and, paddling through the slush, hauled the kit inside. Inside the pub, as is traditional in colder weather, it was heated to furnace-like temperatures, but we managed to get everything set up and working without anyone passing out.

I’m delighted to see some chums of mine from work in attendance, and even more pleased to see three of them are sporting checked shirts. Now, if only we had some comedy cowboy hats…Oooh look, what’s this in the toy box?

About three songs in, it’s time to play something suitable rednecky, and Em runs out to force them to wear the humiliating headgear. Aren’t we kind?

It’s a Slightly odd evening, the audience is generally appreciative, and includes at least one almost too-enthusiastic young lady, dancing and leaping and bounding around with gay abandon right in front of us. I got worn out just watching her.

We’d forgotten that there’s a music curfew, and so we have to cut out a couple of numbers out of the second set; but we still manage to play fifteen minutes over… nobody seemed to mind.

We’re also delighted to find our charming pal Tiff in attendance; she comes up and plays a guest spot on bass during All Right Now – I’d forgotten we used to get folks up to do that – and have a nice chat with her afterwards. She not seen Em sing with us before, so I introduce them…

“Em, this is our lovely friend Tiff. Tiff, this is…… EMMAGEDDON!!!”

“Emma Geddon? Your name is actually Emma Geddon? Oh my god, that’s brilliant!”

Em looks at me helplessly. We’re both too tired to explain, so we roll with it.

“Yes, that’s right, Emma Geddon…”

A fairly efficient packing up, a wading through the slush to load the cars back up again, and then it’s off into the night.

So – no gigs booked this weekend, but just maybe time to shake off the horrible Kitten Lung ailments, and perhaps even whatever malady has been ailing my poor little van.

Finger crossed, y’all…

Square on

27-02-2018 – Better Than Dead (will it Never End?)

Greetings my friends, from the Netherworld Of The Undead…

Yes, I’m afraid yours truly is still feeling somewhat poorly, with the dread Kitten Lung disease having tightened its grip, and our poor Ben doesn’t seem to be much better either… things were not boding particularly well for our appearance at the Cider Press on Saturday night.

Happily our beloved Em is back to full strength, and gamely copes with everything on our behalf; thus it is that, when Ben’s bass mysteriously dies during the first song, she heroically distracts the audience and, by finding somebody in the house with a birthday, keeps everyone entertained for long enough for Ben to bully his kit back to life.

Similarly, in the second set, she manages – in concert with some very deft work from the security team – to keep control of a herd of “young” “ladies”*, and prevent them from treading on too much expensive equipment as they desperately try to be part of the focus of attention.

In fact, we survived the entire night without significant mishap, and when somebody called out for an Abba encore, we even managed to cook up a passable impromptu version of it. With some unnecessary widdly guitar bits and a bass solo in, natch. We may be ill, but your favourite spank-plankers can still pull off some needless fretwankery if the opportunity arises…

Coming up this weekend – assuming that neither Ben or myself opt to take the easy way out and die in the meantime – a “normal” weekend, two gigs, both handily in Bristol…

Friday 2nd March – Railway Tavern, Fishponds
We’ve played here many a time, but this will be the first occasion not under the watchful eye of (now- ex-landlady) Queen Amy; she tells us that the new proprietors are “lovely”, which is nice. We’ll just have to hope they also have an unusually high tolerance for idiotic musos. Just in case any should turn up…

Saturday 3rd March – Huntsman, Westerleigh Road
It’s mostly a food pub, this one, but they do seem rather fond of their live music as well. We quite like it too, as it’s a very short distance from the back of the van to where we set up; and there’s enough room for a bit of a prance around, all in full view of the cake display. Prancing in front of cakes – what could be more delightful on a Saturday night?

Right, that’s it for this week – I’m off to actually seek medical attention**, as I’ve been told if I keep coughing like that I won’t be allowed in the house any more. Which would be rather a shame, I think, as it’s where we keep the food…

Square on

*This will probably get edited out, but it looked to me very much like the Jerry Springer Audience Chapter of —— ——–’ Night Out…

**I’ve actually done this now. “Take one these, three times a day. That should fix it, nothing to worry about. Oh, and if you’re not better in two weeks, come back and see me immediately, you’ve got cancer”.

I just have to hope Dem doesn’t find out – if I were to get better after she’s got her hopes up and spent ages filling out all those insurance forms, she’ll be so angry….

07-08-2017 – The Holland Splutter

Hello stranger!

Well, with no gigs coming up this weekend, I really have no reason to write this, other than to remind you all (and to some extent myself) that we’re not actually dead yet.

So I’ll probably just keep this as a brief recap of the last few gigs that we played, but I never got around to telling you all about, due to me vacationing in sunny Holland with my dear (in the sense of expensive) family. As a special treat, we also took with us a selection of unpleasant viral infections, so – apart from a rather lovely day visiting windmills followed by the very fine Hieronymus Bosch museum – my main memories of the week consist of days of driving across featureless landscapes and nights of staying awake coughing.

Just before our Continental sojourn, we played the Cat & Wheel down the Gloucester Road – a night of which I have no recollection whatsoever – followed by the rather cute and extremely small Crown Inn in Lechlade, where we were recommended to get ourselves booked in for next year’s Lechlade Festival; so either somebody liked us, or they really are genuinely more starved for entertainment there than the poor folks of Swindon.

After the hols, and with no opportunity to practice, it was straight in to the Queen Vic in Stroud last Friday. Again, I don’t remember too much about this one, as I was by now feeling very poorly indeed and concentrating mostly on not collapsing in an unsightly heap*.

I have been assured that the quality of my playing on the night was unaffected, which I am rather unhappy about. Still, apparently we remembered everything tolerably well, and Emma is now so adept at foraging for food and drink for the band that we have given her sole responsibility for this vital role, and dubbed her “The Huntress”.

The following evening, at the Huntsman in Downend, I was feeling slightly better and thus it was inevitable that my kit would start playing up, cutting out repeatedly in a most vexing fashion. Time for a new wireless, methinks – looks like I’ll have to divert some of the funds I’ve been carefully squirreling away to buy that Talent Boost pedal.

And now – after the thirteenth consecutive night of staying awake coughing and spluttering – I shall bid you farewell until next time, from the depths of my own personal miasma of self-pity – unless, of course, in the meantime I should be fortunate enough to experience the sweet release of Death…

Square on

* I did manage to stay standing as an unsightly heap, though…

09-05-2016 – Ginger Amy


Well, guess what, another weekend, another couple of gigs…

After last weekend’s little surprise, we were hoping that nobody was going to take their top off during a gig.

Well, they didn’t…

Friday at the Tern in Yate was worthy of mention though, it was enlivened by a bunch who were in celebrating somebody’s birthday, and they all managed to get themselves into a rather advanced state of disrepair. Thus it was that we got some fairly lively audience interaction going on; in particular, one rather hirsute young gentleman, who was so keen to join in that when Rosa introduced an Amy Winehouse number by asking if there was anybody named Amy in the room, he raised his hand enthusiastically and shouted “Me! Me!”… Similarly, when Rosa commented on the warm weather, asking if anybody had had to resort to sunblock yet, he also piped up, “Yes, I did! I had to, I’m as ginger as f*&k!”.

Without missing a beat, Rosa announces to the pub, “There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, I give you… Ginger Amy!”. And thus he is christened for the rest of the evening.

The night continues with much dancing around and general tomfoolery, and ends inexplicably with Ginger Amy, after some very enthusiastic stage diving, minus his trousers…

Saturday at the Huntsman was a rather more restrained affair, and probably just as well – still, the staff were lovely and they had an impressive array of cakes, which unfortunately, we spotted too late to take advantage of them. Disappointed, Ben had to console himself by spending five minutes exchanging kazoo duck calls with one of the punters. It’s amazing how long five minutes can seem…

Next time, we’ll know where the cakes are; and I will secrete Ben’s kazoo somewhere he can’t see it…

Meanwhile, coming up

Friday 13th – Tap & Barrel, Swindon
Last time we were here, there were three fights during the course of the second set. This time, it’s Friday 13th. What could possibly go wrong?

Saturday 14th – Yew Tree, Warminster
A new one for us, never played here before – but the other gigs we’ve played in Warminster have always been worth the trip, so we have fairly high hopes for this one. Hopefully, they’ll all keep their trousers on…

That’ll do for now, then…

Square on

03-05-2016 – No Title

Hey gang

Well, a relatively quiet blank holiday weekend for us, just the one outing to Caldicot, to the rather nice Cellar Bar. Rosa’s opening gambit rather took the locals by surprise, though.

After whispering in my ear to check where we actually are tonight, she greets the audience by announcing us, and then asking them, “So, what is there to do on a Saturday night here in Caldicot, then…?”

There is a moment’s silent pause for reflection, before a number of them shout out simultaneously, “DRINK!!!”

And so they do. In fact, it is after only half a dozen songs that a somewhat portly middly-aged gentleman feels moved to enhance his dancing by dispensing with the upper half of his clothing; since he does this rather deftly, and whilst Rosa’s gaze is momentarily elsewhere, the look on her face when he suddenly appears, transformed into a half-naked vision of wobbliness right in front of her, was something of a picture.

We comfort her afterwards by explaining that we have seen worse things before… and the other three of us shake our heads that the horrific memory of That Saturday At The Treble Chance… by common consent, we shall not speak of it again.

The night ends as usual with much dancing and silliness, and me twisting my bloody knee again. Oh, bugger, as they say in these parts.

Hopefully it will be fully functional by next weekend, as we have a double-header of South Gloucestershire action to look forward to…

Friday 6th – The Tern, Yate
Amazing to think that just a few months ago, this is where we played our first gig with Rosa. Even more amazing to think that she still hasn’t run away screaming into the night, yet. Clearly we have not been silly enough just yet. Give us time…

Saturday 7th – Huntsman Taverner, Bristol
Somewhere in the no-man’s-land between Downend and Emerson’s Green, it’s a new one for us so we can only guess what it’ll be like. Of course, they have absolutely no idea what we’re like, either, otherwise they probably wouldn’t have booked us. Just in case someone from the pub is reading this – don’t worry, we’re quite friendly really. Although we do suggest you hide any sweeties and chocolate you may have, if there are any fragile ornaments you are particularly fond of it might be an idea to put them safely in a cupboard for the evening, and if a large Welsh gentleman arrives and starts to get undressed – well, he really is nothing to do with us…

Square on


This week – slug jokes!

I took the shell off my racing snail to make him go faster… but it just seemed to make him more sluggish…

What did the slug say to the snail?
“Big Issue…?”

Thank you, thank you, no applause necessary…