Tag Archives: trout tavern

24-06-2019 – The 4 Gig Marathon And Other Stuff

‘Ow do!

My, that was a hectic weekend, 4 gigs in 3 days, it’s all a bit of a blur, really.

I’ll try and recap for you…

Friday night, and a short-notice gig at the Mill House in Emerson’s Green.

At first we were concerned that Wesley might not let us play – but we figured Emma was close enough to the right height….

Wesley Small

Nice and local, this’ll be an easy stress-free one, we thought.

Not entirely correctly.

It transpired that Stuart had forgotten quite how the drumming goes in the Dandy Warhols’ “Bohemian Like You”; particularly unfortunate since it’s the song we started the set with, and doubly so because it starts with the drums. So, Emma announces us, and Stuart starts playing – hoping that once he gets going it will all come back to him. READ MORE

18-06-2019 – Political Evil and 4 Gigs, Yipee!

Good evening.

We trust that today finds you all in good health and fine spirits, despite the unfortunate lack of opportunity to catch up with the Loudest Buffoons In BristolTM last weekend.

And the bloody awful weather. And the bloody awful alleged government. Which, in comparison, makes the weather seem positively delightful.

But, I digresss. Yes, that’s “digresss” with three “s”s (esses???  “s”es???) Today I’m pretending to be a snake.

So that people will vote for me.

Dammit, I do try not to get cross about politics, but it’s really not easy*. Let’s try again, shall we… READ MORE

05-12-2016 – Not Something …

Ho ho ho…

Yes folks, it’s December again, time to deck the halls with bowls of jelly – or something like that, anyway…

A rather fine weekend’s gigging to report, a lively Friday night at the Trout in Keynsham, followed by some seriously riotous jollity at the Lamb in Marlborough. By the end of the night, the punters were making more noise than we were – so as a special treat, we threw in an extra encore, just for them – “Sweet Home Lamb in Marlborough” – which I have to say, they sang rather beautifully.

It was also really cool to see our buddy Sarina, who rather touchingly came all the way out from Swindon to see us – despite the fact that last time she showed up at a gig, she ended up being forced to drum for us on a ZZ Top number wearing a false beard and sunglasses. We thought it kindest not to embarrass her this time. We’ll save up a special surprise for her next time, instead…

Also, during the break, a nice gentleman complimented me on these very missives you read every Monday, telling me he rather looks forward to reading them each week. Which was rather pleasing, I thought.

Until later, when it occurred to me that nobody tells me how they rather look forward to my guitar solos. Having thought long and hard about this, I have come to the conclusion that this must because they are either

  1. a) not loud enough,
  2. b) not long enough, or
  3. c) not good enough.

Hopefully by our next gig, I will have retrieved my shiny new amp from the amp doctor, thereby – at a stroke – doubling my stage wattage. That takes care of a), then.

Which leaves me a conundrum – which possible cause of the absence of unsolicited plaudits should I address next – should it be b), or c)?

Answers on a postcard, please, to the usual address.

No gigs next weekend, but stay tuned for further announcements.

Square on

A
PS – it’s b), isn’t it? Surely…

28-11-2016 – Abandon All Hope

Hey gang,

Another day, another dollar… (enormous kudos, by the way, to anyone out there who can email me back the second line of my favourite Southern Rock Road Anthem)

The dollar in this case being provided by Molloy’s down in Bristol; we arrived to find a big heap of DJ kit and various bits of furniture all over the tiny little stage, so we hauled our kit part-way in while they were moving half of it out the way. Eventually we managed to get everything in and set up, and got on with the serious business of rawk’n’roll.

True to form, it wasn’t long before the dance floor was full of gyrating bodies, and all of a sudden it was half time already. Alas, no beer for your favourite musos, as we’d all managed to spend our pocket money beforehand, so a quick pint of water to cool off with, and it was back on with the show. Second half was (as usual) rather livelier thanks to the magic of alcohol – surprising, really, as from what I could see, most of it ended up on the floor. We had a couple of minor buffoon stage incursions, but on the whole they were tolerably well-behaved. During the second half, Rosa was handed a couple of notes from the crowd, who seemed to have found a pile of old betting slips.

This one rather made us chuckle…

AUF Note

There was another note handed to Rosa which also made us chuckle, but in the interests of decency I shall refrain from publishing it here.
It appeared to show a crudely drawn representation of a gentleman’s wedding vegetables; although it was at once obvious that the donor was in urgent need of either some art lessons or a doctor. If you’re reading this – you know who you are – we urge you to please seek the appropriate professional help immediately.

Finally, we finished, we packed up, and – unable to manoeuvre the kit out through the bouncing drunken crowd – we sat and watched the dancing throng, noting with amusement the shabbily-dressed chaps vaguely bouncing about the dance floor in the forlorn inebriated hope that some kind of Brownian motion contact with a pretty lady might lead to them being taken away afterwards for the purposes of sexual intercourse. Unfortunately, the fact that some of the poor chaps looked like serial killers on day release did nothing to improve their chances.

Ah, well, better luck next time, chaps.

Meanwhile, back in the future…

Friday 2nd Dec – The Trout, Keynsham
Loonies on a beer-sodden floor. And I still owe the landlord a terrible revenge after the “duck racing” episode…

Saturday 3rd – The Lamb, Marlborough
Great fun in here, too, a totally impractical tiny space to set a band up in, and yet somehow it works beautifully. Who’da thought?

And, that, my friends, is about that. Well-wishers will doubtless be pleased to know that I seem to have gotten rid of last week’s horrible head cold, largely by the cunning device of passing it on to my beloved Dem. Fortunately, I have been able to advise her that her need for sympathy is the same as mine apparently was last week.

Which is at least in part the reason I am typing this from a cold and damp shed.

Square on
A

09-11-2015 – Rock n’ Roll Chocolate

Ah, there you, 007. Take a seat, and listen carefully…

Another slightly mad weekend, starting in the Trout up in sunny Keynsham; after a fairly quiet start, by the end of the first set, the place was livening up nicely; a shame, then, that I somehow completely forgot how to play the intro to the last song of the first set.

“Oh, f**k”, I tell Ben, “It’s gone. I have no idea how it goes. Complete blank. Can’t even guess”

“Just make something up, then” he sagely advises.

So I do; and we get clean away with it. This rock’n’roll stuff turns out to be rather easy, as long as you don’t worry about getting it right.

Thanks to every gigging musician’s ally (the effects of excess alcohol on the crowd), the second set is rather livelier; and thanks to the effects of alcohol on me, I manage not to forget anything else, and Rosa recruits a rather fine-looking pair of percussionists to join us on stage. Finally, with the floor awash with spilt drink as usual, we bang up against the noise curfew and are forced to stop; just in time before we collapse with heat exhaustion.

Saturday’s excursion, to an interestingly-architecture’d estate pub in Swindon, provides a veritable feast of slightly-disturbing happenings. We should have been forewarned when we saw that, due to some ongoing decorating work, half the loos have been closed off, and so there is a large sign denoting the remaining facilities to be “Unit Sex Toilets”.

It occurs to me that “The Unit Sex Toilets” is a fine name for a vaguely psychedelic rock band. (R Harding, take note).

One of the local lads has taken a shine to Rosa; she comes up to us in a state of some mild distress.

“He licked my hand!” she wails.

“You better wash it, then.” I advise her. “Right away”.

“And probably cut it off”, adds Ben.

“And then burn it, just to be on the safe side”.

She does not appear to be comforted by her band mates’ well-meaning advice.

She is even more perturbed when Stuart gleefully announces that he has today found a website which advertises a rather interesting (and hopefully unique) service, whereby they take a cast of your bum-hole, and use this as a mould to make a casting of it in chocolate, which you can then present as a gift to your loved one.

When some disbelief is expressed, he (suspiciously quickly) finds the page on his phone and shows it to us. It is not a pretty sight [Editor’s note: Looks like lips, almost the same thing really, especially when they make the choccy’s!]

An interesting alternative to the more traditional gift, I suppose – it certainly makes a change from “…And all because the lady loves Milk Tray”.

I must admit I find it difficult to credit that such romantic overtures would prove successful; still, as the old cheesy disco song says, “I Lost My Heart To A Starfish Trooper”…

At this point, Rosa runs away to hide, risk of further hand-licking strangers notwithstanding.

“You’ve broken her”, we admonish Stuart, but he is now giggling helplessly and is incapable of coherent response.

Once a wounded-looking Rosa has sullenly reappeared, there’s nothing for it but to turn everything up a bit, play the second set, and thrash out the end of the night with a bit of cheery AC/DC.

There, there … rock makes everything better.

More potential weirdness coming up…

Saturday 14th – The Portcullis, Fishponds
Back in the ‘Ponds, last time we played here there were comedy wigs, basques, and vuvuzelas. And that was just the landlady. Pretty much anything is possible…

Incidentally, if anybody is wondering what to buy me for Christmas – I don’t think I’ll be needing any chocolate…

Square on
A

02-11-2015 – Old Creepyhood Capers

Well hello there…

And, after a whole week away (for me at least spent in sunny Franceland, many miles away from the nearest guitar), Saturday night at the Old Neighbourhood near Stroud was always going to be an interesting evening… Would I remember the songs? Could I actually manage to play them? Had I ever been able to? And what were they anyway?

Such minor concerns were swept away by the more important questions of what to dress up as. Despite being in possession of a large case of assorted Halloween costumes, wigs, and masks, I remembered from previous years that actually while wearing them you can’t see, you can’t breathe, and, most importantly, you can’t drink. Accordingly it was off to the local cheap’n’nasty shop, to invest a whole pound in some kiddy face paints. Then it’s just a case of bribing daughter to creatively apply them to create a suitably undead appearance, and then dig out some torn-up clothes to complete the zombie effect. This last bit is easy; I go the bottom of the drawer for my old biking cut off, which even after all these years still carries the faint aroma of “beer, engine oil, and every conceivable body fluid”.

When we arrive at the gig, I find that Stuart and Rosa have opted for a similar look (admittedly minus the dubious health-hazard clothing); meanwhile, Ben has gone for an all-black combo, with long leather coat and cowboy hat.

“Van Helsing,” he explains, and mimes a noncey finger-tapping guitar solo; “Eddie Van Helsing”.

We’re delighted to find our buddies John and Anne waiting for us; soon joined by Trev and Sue, and the pub is soon throbbing merrily; most people are dressed up, including one bearded, vest-clad burly chap with long claws that Rosa announces as “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Edward Scissorhands”.

“Edward Scissorhands?” complains the affronted individual, “I’m bloody Wolverine!”

As indeed he is.

Rosa is mortified, but not as much as when she realises after the first set that she has inadvertently transferred much of her black lipstick, via her mike, onto her white face make up, resulting in a rather fetching wire mesh pattern being daubed all across her chops.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” she demands.

I consider trying to explain that we were somehow unable to communicate this complex message via sign language in the middle of songs, but settle for laughing instead.

We blast off through the second set, having a thoroughly lovely time, and then suddenly we’ve run out of time, but that’s okay because we’ve also run out of songs, and in addition, Ben has also run out of breath.

All in all, a lovely evening’s entertainment, you should’ve been there; some nights I still can’t quite believe we get paid to have this much fun.

And there’s more to come…

Friday 6th – The Trout, Keynsham
Pub layout is almost completely unsuitable for live bands, pinned tight against the wall between the doorway and the bar; curiously, it’s always a complete blast playing here. Go figure.

Saturday 7th – Crumpled Horn, Eldene, Swindon.
Just in case you didn’t know where Eldene was, I’ve just checked back, and apparently I played a duo gig here with Suzi several years ago. According to my notes, there was a birthday party on at the time, for a one-year-old, and the place was full of raving drunks; and apparently “only one, disappointingly small, fight”. Can’t wait…

Square on
A

24-11-2014 – Seventies Porn Film Soundtrack Special

Hey there mighty people of the 7th something or other awesome thing

Well, another rawk’n’roll packed weekend, and now I’m totally knackered out again. In the words of Danny Glover,”I’m gettin’ too old for this shit…”

Except that I don’t want to. I’m sure one day I’ll collapse back into a rocking chair and play slow delta blues until I eventually topple over, but right now I’ll stick with burning the candle at both ends whilst maintaining a tenuous grip on the bit in the middle.

So, Friday night at the Trout in Keynsham; Stuart tells us that there is an agent supposed to be coming along to see us tonight, with a view to booking some gigs up. So, we don’t want to make any silly mistakes, do we…?

The inevitable result follows. Not one, but two songs suffer “false start syndrome”, and have to be abandoned after a couple of bars to try again. By the second one, Lou is chuckling helplessly. “Try giving it a bit more choke this time”, I helpfully suggest.

Still, the pub gets rather full, and everybody seems to be having a hoot. Actually, Lou has a hoot several times, while investigating the freedom offered by her newly-acquired wireless mike, she discovers that although it’s great fun to go wandering off into the crowd to torment them, it’s a bit less clever to hold the mike right in front of the PA speakers…

Now, I personally am rather fond of feedback, but there is an appropriate time and place for such things; specifically, the time is just coming out of the first guitar solo and into the middle eight, and the place is coming out of my speaker cab.

So, we play to a jolly jumpy crowd, we are treated to an acapella rendition of “The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air” from one of the punters, and we carry on in this fashion until we are told we have to stop; it’s midnight, and the landlord’s music licence is about to turn into a pumpkin.

Saturday night, and back home at Queen Amy’s Railway Tavern in Fishponds. We all turn up nice and promptly, everything is running smoothly until Lou realises that she has left the power supply unit for her keyboard at home. She disappears with Stuart to rummage through his house searching for an alternative supply, leaving Ben and I to finish setting up in relaxed fashion without a drummer to trip over, happy in the knowledge that as we are doing so, Lou is doubtless being treated to a long and detailed lecture on Why It Is Important To Check You Have Everything Before You Leave Home, Making Sure All Your Kit Is In Good Condition, Being Organised, with possibly an option on The Benefits Of Making A Check List, delivered over the back of Stuart’s shoulder as he turns his house upside down in a fruitless attempt to locate the necessary obscure electrical component.

Thirty minutes later they reappear, power supplyless, with Lou wearing a slightly put-upon expression. We wave cheerily at them, having been casually sipping beer for the past twenty minutes, and it’s time to start. Tonight, there are no false song starts, just plenty of cheerful dancey crowd. Lou even manages to organise a dancing competition among them, and persuades Queen Amy to donate a free shot to the winner. It’s amazing how many people will suddenly jump up and start gyrating as soon as they catch a whiff of a free drink…

By the end of the first set, we are a tired little bunch of musos. Ben slumps down and is overwhelmed by an enormous yawn.

“Aww, are you a tired little soldier?” I enquire, “Would like me to come over there and tuck you in?”

“Tuck me in?” he asks, “I hadn’t even realised I was hanging out…”.

Lou, who was caught in the middle of this exchange, goes a slightly funny colour. She’s probably just adding something to her check list.

Time for the second set, time to turn up the guitars a bit (if only to compensate for the fact that Stuart gets a bit more excitable about this point), and generally time to be a bit silly. As we play the opening bars to “Another One Bites The Dust”, Lou organises an impromptu fashion show amongst the punters, and so we have to keep running round and round the riff as they sashy past wearing an increasingly odd assortment of stupid hats and glasses from the toy box. I ease in a bit of funk wah-pedal guitar, and suddenly realise we are playing what sounds like a pretty convincing Seventies porn film soundtrack. Ben realises this at the same moment I do, and we almost spoil the moment by collapsing with laughter. Luckily we just about keep it together and slowly navigate our way back to the riff so we can play the rest of the song.

By the end of the night, Stuart is getting quite tired – and presumably this is why, in order to finish sooner so he can take a rest, he decides to barrel us through Paradise City at a frankly reckless pace; had the Music Police been in, I’m pretty sure we’d have picked up a bunch of speeding tickets, a Playing Without Due Care And Attention charge, and possibly even a few charges of Grievous Bodily Fun…

Anyhow, we have a few days left to recover before we’re out and at it again…

No gig on Friday, as Lou is out with her gurly rawk band Lights Out at the Thunderbolt down in Bristol; currently there is some heated debate in my house as to Whose Turn It Is To Stay At Home With The Kids – I’m pretty sure it can’t be mine, I’ve done it at least three times before already… so either me or my beloved Dem might see you there. If you go there and spot her, please feel free remind her what an irresponsible parent she must be, going off enjoying herself while poor hard-working husband is stuck at home… again.

Saturday 29th – Green Dragon, Marlborough
Nice place this one, it’s a bit of a way but we always have a nice time, and we only occasionally get pulled over on the way home by Her Majesty’s Finest…

Thassit, gotta go now, duty calls; apparently Ben needs tucking in again…

Square on

A

17-11-2014 – You broke me – Also Eden Plug

Hey gang!

This’ll probably be a short one again, I’m afraid – not too much to report from the world of rawk’n’roll, however plenty of activity on the domestic front – including, this weekend, a series of unforeseen room rearrangement / rebuilding episodes that didn’t finish until rather late on Sunday – meaning that I ended up missing the rather fabulous Also Eden’s progfest gig down at the Louisiana last night, dammit.

So, sorry about that Rich, I did me best to get there, but Dem was taking a dim view of my suggestion that “the kids can just sleep on the floor tonight, can’t they?”; her objection, that there was in fact no floor space left, so they’d actually have to sleep standing up, did, I suppose, have some merit.

So, no band action, but young Lily and I did make an excursion out to the lovely Clothier’s Arms in Stroud on Friday; poor Lil has been nursing a cold all week, and the second half of the set was delivered in a rather fine Bonnie Tyler / Lemmy crossover style. Still the greedy punters wanted more, and wouldn’t let her stop, so she struggled through one encore, and then croaked reproachfully “You broke me” at them, at which point I promptly killed the lights and muted the PA.

She hasn’t spoken since.

I keep wondering if I’m in the wrong house.

A quick squint at the calendar tells me that not only is there now only one shopping day left until Christmas (that’s right guys, December 24th as usual); but that we have two home gigs coming up this weekend…

Friday 21st – The Trout, Keynsham
Just down the road from the cat’s home where Lou lives (this is absolutely true), and a fine place to observe incoherent inebriates. This may or may not be a coincidence, but wither way it’s always entertaining for us. Although it can get a bit splashy sometimes, you may want to be wearing wellies.

Saturday 22nd – Railway Tavern, Fishponds
Lovely, back in the court of Her Majesty Queen Amy of Fishponds, just round the corner from both Ben and Stuart, and always, always a good giggle in here. It’s also youngest maniac son’s birthday, so there may be cake!

Right, that’ll have to do for now, I’m afraid; maybe next week I’ll have a little more time to write some nonsense – or maybe, just maybe, I could try and learn to play guitar properly…

…naah, I don’t think there is enough time in eternity for that…

Square on

A