Tag Archives: The Anchor

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


[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

04-07-2016 – Duck Race

Hey gang

Another fun night out in Keynsham; up at the Trout, where there was the usual messy beer-spilling mayhem from the locals. My favourite moment of the evening occurred when Rosa decides she needs the whole pub to join with a dance move – and asks for suggestions from the audience. When none are forthcoming, as usual she picks on someone.

“You there, the lady at the back – what’s your name?”

“Er…it’s Theresa…”

“Right, Theresa, show everybody your favourite dance move”.

Theresa is too shy, and vigorously shakes her head, and waves her arms in front of her in a “no, no, no” fashion.

Rosa instantly copies her. “Come everybody, let’s all do the Theresa!”

And so they do.

It was much less disturbing than the other dance move I noticed later in the night. Really, I think that twerking should by law be reserved for the under-60s.

I suggest to Ben that for future gigs, we should make up a small, sober “No Twerking” sign to hang on the speakers.

He looks puzzled. “Remember, I’m from Yorkshire”, he points out. “Where I come from, ‘T’werk’ means ‘place of employment’”.

After we’re done and packed up, the landlord insists we play a game of “Duck Racing” with him. It’s a fairly straightforward blow football-related game, requiring a bowl of water, two small plastic ducks, and four contestants each with a straw. It doesn’t end well – Stuart filmed the contest, trust me, well worth a look.


Saturday at the Anchor in Bishopston was another jolly fun night; several very happy punters, one of whom was even moved to buy us all a drink Top man!

Coming up this weekend..

Saturday 9th – Queen Vic, Stroud
Oooh, the Queen Vic – one of our favourites. Plenty of room for dancing and prancing about, and they all go a bit mental. Maybe we will, too. Who can tell?.

Sunday 10th – Duke of Edinburgh, Gorse Hill, Swindon – 3pm start.
A nice peaceful Sunday afternoon – what better way to ruin it for everyone than by going to Swindon and making a horrible loud racket?

Right, thassit for now – we’ll see y’all round

Square on

27-06-2016 – Angry Kitten Tapestry

Yo ho ahoy!

Well, an entertaining and lively night at the Blue Lagoon on Friday; lovely daughter Lily came along with her best mate for some (now legal) drinking and dancing around. I was vastly amused watching a number of drunken youths attempting to seduce them via the medium of interpretative dance; and while our pal Muddy was sat watching and itching to thump them all, I was more in favour of the gentle tap on the shoulder and the magic words, “That’s my daughter”. As it happened, the girls declared themselves unfazed by the yoofs, so we left things alone.

Afterwards, a long wait until the place has cleared out enough that we can shift the gear – meanwhile Rosa joins in enthusiastically with the girls doing the dancing thing.

Saturday, and poor Ben rolls up very tired after working all day following Friday’s late night. He’s so worn out, poor little thing, that he is having trouble thinking in a straight line. We set off nice and early towards Burnham-on-Sea, cruising gently down the M5.

“My mind is unravelling like a tapestry that’s been attacked by angry kittens” observes Ben.

“The greatest prog album title ever”, I chuckle. “Angry Kitten Tapestry”.

This cheers him somewhat, although he’s still not particularly coherent – even when judged by the rather low standards we normally set in such matters. Still, it’s a sunny evening, and he can just about manage to sit in the passenger seat and stare out of the window.

The Somerset & Dorset Inn turns out to be a large pub; currently not very full of people, but that’s fine as it seems they don’t want us to start playing for a couple of hours yet.

We mooch about the sea front a little, then mooch back; eventually we get bored enough to set the kit up ready to play. A few more folks roll in, so off we go.

As it happens, Ben makes it through the gig without falling asleep, albeit only just.

Rosa, on the other hand, is bouncing around the place even more than usual.

“I found a twenty pound note in the street today”, she tells us excitedly.

“…So I went and spent it all on sweeties…”.

Sure enough, her handbag is indeed packed rather tightly than usual with confectionery, and the resulting sugar rush has her leaping out into the crowd, running round the pub, and forcing people to get up and dance with her.

Finally, we are finished, and after a cheeky encore, we pack up, collect the money, and head off for home. We have gone nearly fifty yards before Ben starts snoring contentedly.

Hopefully he gets a bit of a rest this week, ready for next weekend’s Grand World Tour Of Bristol…

Friday 1st July – The Trout, Keynsham
Given the shape of the bar in here, and the cramped corner we get to set up in, and the dodgy acoustics, by rights this should be a fairly unsatisfactory gig. Odd then, that it’s always great fun – even if we normally do have to pour beer out of the monitors afterwards…

Saturday 2nd – The Anchor, Bishopston
Last time we played here it was my birthday, and we had a marvellous time. If anybody is feeling guilty about not having bought me a present that night (or maybe did buy me a present, but feels in retrospect that it wasn’t quite lavish enough) – now would be a good time to make amends.
Just sayin’….

Right, that’s your lot for this week, except to ask this: –

What has four legs and says “Boo”?
A cow with a cold.

[Editor’s note: whilst looking for the image that goes with this post I came across the Instagram stream @hotdudeswithkittens so I clicked the Google view more to get this lot. For the girls and the boys maybe!]

Square on

18-01-2016 – Birthday’s, Beards and Bassists

Hey gang!

Now, THAT was a fantastic weekend. After a nice warm-up gig on Friday (well, we had to do something to warm up, it was freezing!), Saturday dawned fair and bright, and I was pleasantly surprised to find myself another year older, and still not dead.

After a day mostly consisting of lounging around and eating pie, it was off down to the Anchor in Bishopston, where there was a fine turnout of old chums, and everybody had an absolutely marvellous time; there was much singing and dancing along and some very impressive head-banging.

One bunch in were clearly of fine traditional rock band descent – the dead give away was the large hairy bearded guy wearing a t-shirt which proclaimed the superiority of bass players over all other life forms. Since also in the room was my fine old pal Ian, also a long-haired bearded bass player, my suspicions were aroused. Time to make some enquiries…

“Ben”, I ask our very own bottom-end plank-slapper, “Is there by some chance a secret international society which consists exclusively of long-haired bearded blokes who play bass…?”

Ben tries to look enigmatic and mysterious. “There might be…” he pronounces airily.

A moment’s pause for reflection.

“Of course”, I observe, “I’m in the happy position of being able to choose my friends…”

Ben’s reply is quite short, and in deference to our more sensitive reader’s, I shan’t present it here.

Finally we run out of time, the curfew has kicked in and so despite the enthusiastic baying for more (and not just from me, for once), we have to call a halt, and depart the stage in search of beery refreshment.

Rosa comes running up to me and proudly presents me with a birthday cake she has made for me…

… it took me a few moments, but yes, that is Jimi Hendrix smoking a candle.

Hendrix Cake

That girl is an absolute bloody genius!

I am also presented with some delightful presents, including a book of awful jokes – you haven’t seen the last of this, folks! – and some eccentric beers – including a can of the wonderfully-named Beavertown Gamma Ray – which I shall be reporting on shortly.

All in all, that was a marvellous weekend – and there’s still some pie left :-).

Coming up next week, a possibly death-defying stunt gig…

Friday 22nd Jan – Rum Bar, Chepstow
There’s a lot to like about this place – the staff are friendly, the place is usually pretty lively, the clientèle mostly consists of attractive young ladies (at least, the clientèle that I noticed), and we sometimes even get bought cheeky rum-based beverages. There’s only one downside – the three flights of cast iron fire escape (Editor’s note: it’s actually only 2 flights but still ‘orrible] which we have to manhandle all the equipment up. This is normally quite hard work – however, if it’s icy (which I’m assuming it will be) it’s going to be very exciting indeed if we’re to avoid breaking something, or someone. Still, we likes a challenge… Time to break out the crampons and ropes…

Right, I’ll leave you with a random offering from my new book…

“Doctor, doctor, I need you to help me, I keep thinking I’m a moth”

“Well, it sounds to me like you really need to see a psychiatrist, rather than a general practitioner like me”.

“I know, but I was just walking past your surgery and the light was on…”

Square on

11-01-2016 – Oh The Sprain


Another cold, wet weekend, another gig…. This time we were at the lovely Railway Tavern, the fabled court of Queen Amy of Fishponds, for a rather busy night, as it turned out.

Being a pillock, I’d managed somehow during the week to sprain my left wrist, and also tear off half a fingernail on my right hand; this basically rendered playing the guitar somewhat painful, and so I found myself trying to coax sounds out of it without actually touching it. I guess, thinking about it, that I could have tried using my teeth instead, but I’d only get accused of Hendrix plagiarism, and besides, I have to go to the dentists on Wednesday.

So, I think the night actually went fairly well, at half time we put on my offspring to play a quick half-hour set, and they seemed to go down rather well indeed, with Lily and Joe managing between them to cover most of my horrendous playing cock-ups.

By the end of the night I was knackered though, so after mediating a little negotiation between my youngest Jimi and Rosa (end result – yes, Rosa can take George – Jimi’s cuddly polar bear mascot – home with her, but has to return him next week), we packed up and crawled off home.

My challenge this week is to try not to play any guitar at all to give my poor paws a chance to recover ready for next weekend’s little package of fun: –

Friday 15th – The Tern, Yate
This is where Rosa played her first ever gig with us; we know the landlord of old from Fishponds, it’s quite a good place for trying out new things, so we may well haul out a few new numbers and give ’em a bit of a shakedown. Have I learned them? No. Will I learn them by Friday? Maybe…

Saturday 16th – The Anchor, Bishopston, Bristol
Nice bit of stage for prancing around on, and – seeing as it’s my birthday, I was hoping to persuade Dem to drive the van for me so I could take full advantage of all those people who’ll be queuing up and down the street to buy me a drink. Unfortunately it looks like she’ll be needed elsewhere on Saturday night, meaning I’ll probably end up being a Good Boy instead. Bah! Still, I can always keep that one on credit and have another unofficial birthday. Or two. Or three…

This week’s handy DIY hint – If you’re going to take apart any mains-powered electrical device (e.g. a power tool) to try and fix it, please do check that you have actually unplugged the damned thing. Electricity has quite a nasty bite. (It’s worth noting that I spent three years, at what was considered to be a rather good university, studying electrical engineering, at taxpayers’ expense. It’s rather fortunate I didn’t actually kill myself this week, as I suspect that after performing such a spectacularly stupid manoeuvre, the government would have demanded their money back…)

Right, that’s your lot for this week; now run along, and don’t go sticking your fingers in any mains sockets…

Square on