Tag Archives: Railway tavern

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

08-04-2019 – Yeeeaahhh!

Yo funsters!

Well, another busy weekend goes flying past, narrowly missing my head, and hurtles noisily into the wall behind me with a sickening thud.

I’m not entirely sure what that last sentence was about, but I for one rather enjoyed it.

Friday’s outing to the Trout in Keynsham was – for once – a rather dry affair, we managed to get through the night without any of us or our lovely expensive equipment getting covered in beer. Nonetheless, there was a satisfactory amount of tomfoolery going on – this week’s air guitar champion was the lovely Holly (apparently), who rocked out far above and beyond the call of duty, putting the regular Trout loonies to shame, in fact. Well played, that girl! READ MORE

24-09-2018 – Let’s Go To Beer

Ahoy there shipmates!

Despite the stormy conditions this weekend, we managed to steer the good ship Angel Up Front safely through another couple of gigs. Poor Cap’n Emma was suffering from a nasty tropical disease (contracted in the equatorial paradise that is Wales), so the rest of the crew had to treat her rather more gently than usual. As a result, Friday’s gig at the Railway Tavern was slightly less raucous than expected – although we did well enough that the pub kindly gave us a crate of potatoes at the end of the night. And some money as well, which was nice.

Saturday at the Cider Press in Bishopston was a much more lively affair; despite me rolling up in a fairly advanced state of “Oh God, I’m so tired, can’t I just go home to bed now?”, I was immediately cheered by the lovely door staff, who insisted on unloading the van and hauling all the kit in for me. Bless ‘em! By the time everybody else arrived and the kit was set up, I was feeling rather chirpy. Just as well, since we were having a rare visit from both my sister, and brother, plus two lovely nieces, my beloved Dem and talented daughter Lil.

And, a mighty riotous night it turned out to be. As it’s quite a large place, we were able to turn everything up to “proper” volumes, which makes it much easier to enjoy ourselves. There was much singing along and dancing about, and I believe the audience rather enjoyed themselves as well. There were certainly some magnificent displays of Dad Dancing going on.

Em was pleased to be able to hand over some of the vocal duties to Lil, and we ended up carrying on until sometime past midnight, by which point I really was ready for bed beer.

Finally we got everything squashed into the soggy van, and careered off into the rainy night.

And so to bed beer.

Coming up next weekend – a private function, a birthday party in fact. Hopefully with beer.

Meanwhile…

Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Officer asks a young engineer fresh out of university, “And what starting salary are you looking for?”

The graduate replies, “In the region of £45,000 a year, depending on the benefits package.”

The interviewer inquires, “Well, what would you say to a package of five weeks paid holiday, full medical and dental insurance, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every two years, say, a red Porsche?”

The engineer sits up straight and says, “Wow! Are you kidding?”

The interviewer replies, “Yes, but you started it.”

Square on
A

17-09-2018 – Fried Hippy Mobius Strips

Yo homies!

Well, we have no gigging to report on this weekend – apart from a rather excellent night Stuart and I had with our sloppy prog outfit the All Night Chemists, up at the delightful Folly Inn in Napton, near Warwick. Lovely pub, in the middle of nowhere but right by the canal, and hence host to a whole fleet of hippies in narrowboats.

Quite a way to go for a gig, but it was well worth it – a private function for one of singer Rich’s fellow boating chums, a lovely setting, and as we were the beneficiaries of Rich’s hospitality for the night – no need to drive home after the gig.

Hurrah, this means a rare night of drinking!

As we’d cunningly arranged to not be the last band on, we were able to stay reasonably coherent for our set… and then, once we’d packed all the kit away, we could concentrate on not being coherent at all anymore.

A lovely night indeed. Following a therapeutic fried breakfast, and a substantial quantity of tea, we were pronounced fit to attempt to drive home again.

I really should do this kind of thing more often.

Coming up this weekend, the mighty Angel Up Front rock’n’roll machine is wheeling back into action with a couple of Bristol dates…

Friday 21st – Railway Tavern, Fishponds
The dear ol’ Railway Tav – no longer the home of our beloved Queen Amy, this will be the first time we’ve actually managed to play for the new owners, as the previous booking was abandoned due to undriveable snow conditions. Very much looking forward to this one.

Saturday 22nd – Cider Press, Bishopston
Just down the road from Emma’s gaffe, so we are expecting a significant number of her delightfully insane chums to be in attendance. If not, there are plenty of other maniacs wandering about the Gloucester Road on a Saturday night. Some of them are bound to come in to entertain us.

No jokes in the cupboard this week, as I used them all up on Saturday night, along with my meagre supplies of brain cells.

So, instead, a conundrum: –

Why did the chicken cross the Mobius strip?

Square on
A

06-03-2018 – EMMAGEDDON!!!

Yowsa!

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: –

“Emmageddon”.

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
A

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
A

*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….

23-10-2017 – The Taxi Chronicles

Bienvenue, mes amis

A jolly fine night at the Railway in Fishponds, was lovely to see hosts Mark and Amy again, particularly as my lovely Dem came along, as did a veritable posse of Emma’s self-confessed “groupies”. Poor Emma was STILL suffering from her cold, as she may have mentioned fifteen or sixteen times during the evening. Nonetheless, she put in a cracking performance; but was eventually forced to lie on the floor and pretend to be dead before the audience would let us stop – a good half hour after time was called.

We even successfully nailed the Queen Of The Stone Age number, not bad considering (a) we’d not gigged it before with Em, and (b) we’ve never actually got it right in rehearsals. Emma was very proud, and said so.

Favourite moment, though, was when a young lad stood with his back to us at one side of the stage, staring at the telly to see footy results. Ben, noticing this, positioned himself right behind him, then Emma and I and a bunch of the crowd joined him in formation, so when we finished the song and Ben tapped him on the shoulder, he was greeted by a whole band and audience beaming inanely at him at point blank range. Surprisingly, he didn’t run away screaming into the night.

We finished up, packed the kit away, and then had to wait around for soft-hearted Stuart to return from taking a bunch of inebriated youngsters home, who had pleaded with him for a lift following non-arrival of their taxi. As he disappeared up the street, his parking space was immediately and inevitably taken by said taxi…

In his absence, we speculated as to the odds of him returning with a car full of vomit; he was lucky in this respect, but it was apparently a close thing.

“So, why did you go and do that, then?” asks Ben.

“They offered me twenty quid”, explains Stuart – although in fact he came actually away with a tenner and a pink umbrella.

Anyways – coming up – Halloween fancy dress gigs, oh yes, oh yes indeed…

Friday 27th – New Crown Inn, Bath
We played here last Halloween. By special request, I am looking around for a costume other than last year’s Rocky Horror one.

Saturday 28th – The Old Neighbourhood, Chalford Hill
Lovely little pub, up in the hills outside Stroud. If we can find it…

Suggestions for Halloween costumes welcome, by the way….

Square on
A

16-10-2017 – Agoon

Well, hello there, my little sarsaparillas…

A weekend with no gigs to report on, so you’ll probably be quite pleased to hear that this will be a rather short little missive.

It’s probably just as well that we didn’t have any booked, though, as we would probably have had to cancel them anyway – our poor Emma has been Proper Poorly. She’s been stuck at home feeling sorry for herself for several days, with barely enough strength left to update our social media…

In a spirit of “Well, if I can’t sing this week, maybe I should at least update the band’s profile page on Facebook”, she painstakingly cropped some photos of each of the four of us, and assembled them together into a suitably rawk’n’roll collage, which she duly published on aforementioned social media site.

Indeed, if you are so minded, you can go and take a look. What you won’t see, however, is her first effort.

The picture of me was taken from a PR photo at our recent gig at the Blue Lagoon in Bristol, and had their logo neatly printed at the top.

By the time Emma had cropped the photo to fit, it unwittingly showed the handsome visage of yours truly, beneath the legend “A GOON”.

Brilliant. I was quite disappointed when, after I pointed out this feature, she amended it. But not immediately, as she first spent about twenty minutes sobbing with laughter, and – I like to think – making more wounded chaffinch noises.

With a bit of luck, we’ll be back to full fighting strength this weekend, as we have one of our favourite venues to play…

Friday 20th – Railway Tavern, Fishponds
Ahh, after a long break, back in the Court of Her Majesty Queen Amy of Fishponds – always great fun here, there’s usually a lovely bunch of folks in, and of course our delightful hosts Amy and Mark. Can’t wait. I may even bring my lovely other half along, it’s been a while since she was allowed out.

You have been warned.

Square on
A

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
A

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
A