Tag Archives: royal oak

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

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

07-01-2019 – Ice Say, It’s The End Of The Year

Well, a Merry New Year to all our readers, and possibly even our reindeers, come to think of it.

Sorry we didn’t manage to get one of these out last week – I nipped away for a few days; in fact, I’ve been to the land of the ice and snow (of the midnight sun where the hot springs flow), and mighty good fun it was, too – and only just got back.

We hope you all had a splendiferous festive season – I think we did, it was all a bit of a blur, really. I do recall that I had some very strange technical issues at the Farmhouse in Yate, in that my rig made a horrendous loud buzzing noise, but only when I stood in front of it – the noise went away completely if I stood to one side facing the wall; and since we could find no other solution, that’s exactly what had to do for most of the gig. So – apologies to anybody that was there, who just assumed I was being aloof and moody all night; I wasn’t (at least, not more than usual) – it was down to technical necessity.

Christmas Eve at the Sandringham in Downend featured no such technical difficulties, and a mighty fine audience of under-sevens, who thoroughly enjoyed themselves and made the most of playing with the various finger lights, tambourines, and inflatable guitars to be found in our toybox. We appear to have morphed into some kind of rock’n’roll daycare organisation – a situation not helped by Ben, the Uncle Chuckle-Trousers Of Rock, singing Sharp Dressed Man whilst sporting a woolly hat with elf ears and a full set of beard baubles.

If you have seen Angel Up Front’s credibility, please contact us via the website. A small reward is available.

A night at the Queen Vic up in Stroud didn’t disappoint either. Although it was lovely to see some old chums there again, once again our Ben seemed to be the centre of attention. During one particularly crunchy number, I found myself alone and unnoticed on one side of the stage, playing an intricate (and, I thought, rather artful) solo. Meanwhile, over on stage left, Ben is surrounded by an appreciative coterie of whooping and hollering middle-aged ladies who are transfixed by his “waving his long hair about” technique.

Emma and I have decided to get some business cards printed off to hand out on future occasions, bearing the legend, “Ben Brook – Entertainer Of Ladies – bass-player, vocalist, and mane-tosser”, with his phone number.

That should keep him busy for a while.

New Year’s Eve up at the Royal Oak in Chipping Sodbury was an unmitigated delight, we saw out 2018 with a pub-full jumping up and down to Blitzkrieg Bop, and a few minutes later brought 2019 in with Tenacious D’s “Tribute” – because we can. I mean, it’s not the greatest song in the world…. Except when sometimes it is.

Right then, coming up this weekend, a couple more doozies…

Friday 11th – Blue Lagoon, Bristol
You may not know (I didn’t) that Blue Lagoon is also the name of a famous outdoor geothermal spar pool in Iceland, where indeed I spent most of last Friday, neck deep in toasty warm water, clutching a cold beer and watching the sun set at 2pm over the mountains. That was nice. This one is also nice, but in a completely different way.

Saturday 12th – Golden Fleece, Bath
Lovely little bikery pub, but everyone’s welcome. Think we’ll probably dust off some of the rockier numbers for this one.

Right, that’s your lot for now, I have many real life things to try and catch up on. If anybody remembers real life, do stop by and feel free to give me a few hints…

Square on
A

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