The Chris Game 2015

January 10, 2016


If you’ve been to see us on the right nights this year, you’ll know we’ve been playing a game with our friend, Chris.

Chris first came to see us three years ago, when we were but a fledgling band and has seen us more than most people.  It’s estimated that he’s been to more gigs during this period than some members of the band.

At the start of the year, a conversation between him and Ed saw the beginnings of what was to become a challenging period in the band’s history.  This was the start of The Chris Game.

The basic rules were as follows:

  1. If Chris turns up to a gig during 2015, we have to play a song he’s not heard us play before.
  2. That’s it, just the one rule.

The problems were that Chris wouldn’t, generally, warn us when he was coming to see us and during 2015 we found little time to rehearse.

As a result we had a couple of options – pull out songs we hadn’t played since we first got together, or try jamming something, both in the hope that something vaguely musical would ensue.

With 2015 now well and truly over, we can confirm that we won.  Chris is beaten.

For the sake of history, here’s a list of all the songs we played new (to Chris) this year.  We present, for your delectation, The Chris Songs!

All About The Bass
The Joker
Dancing In The Dark
Summer Of 69
Pretty Flamingo
Meet Me On The Corner
Daydream Believer
Leaving On A Jet Plane
Down Under
Hey Jude
I Wanna Be Like You
Country Roads / The Gambler medley
Skiffle Medley
I Saw Her Standing There
Bad Moon Rising
Minnie The Moocher
Angel Of Harlem
Whole Of The Moon
Three Little Birds
Cum On Feel The Noize
I Will Survive
Squeeze Box
The Leaving  Of Liverpool
Oh Boy

And finally, My Girl.

29 songs played with little to no rehearsal, just to satisfy the cravings of a madman.

Some of these songs have stuck in the set, some pop up from time to time and one or two have never been heard since (for obvious reasons, if you were there on the nights they were played!).  It’s certainly boosted our repertoire.

The game is now, however, over.  We will not be continuing it into 2016 (or any variation thereof) as it became too stressful and made us want to punch Chris on sight.  This isn’t a great state of being for 3 weakling pacifists.

We’re taking most of January off, so our next gig will be Sunday 31 Jan at The New Inn, Newport.

Happy New Year everyone and we hope to see you at a gig soon.

But not you, Chris.

As 2015 Draws To A Close…

December 1, 2015

…We’ve got the following gigs coming up:

Fri 4th Dec – The Wheatsheaf, Frankwell

Sat 5th Dec – The Malthouse, Ironbridge

Thurs 17th Dec – The Crown, Oakengates

Sat 19th Dec – The Green Man, Milwich

Sun 20th Dec – The Telegraph, Castlefields, Shrewsbury

Tues 22nd Dec – The Newport Open Mic Xmas Party, The Navy Club, Bellmans Yard, Newport.

It’ll be all the usual nonsense with added tinsel.

January will be a little quieter, with us back at the Malthouse on Sat 9th Jan and at the New Inn, Newport on Sun 31st Jan.

Summer Gigs

July 29, 2015

It’s the height of summer, so here’s where we’ll be in the coming weeks:

Fri 7th Aug – Brynrodyn Caravan Park, Borth 21:00

Sat 8th Aug – Rummers Wine Bar, Aberystwyth 22:00

Sun 16th Aug – Farmer Phil’s Festival 17:00

Sat 29th Aug – The White Bear, Whitchurch (Festival) 19:00

Wed 2nd, Thurs 3rd, Fri 4th Sep, The Great Dorset Steam Fair

Sat 5th Sep – The Unlawful Men will be performing at the Great Dorset Steam Fair also.

Come and watch us perspire somewhat in the high summer heat.

June & July 2015

June 23, 2015

Here’s what we’ve got coming up over the next few weeks:

Thurs 25 June – The Red Lion, Amblecote, West Mids

Fri 26 June – The Pear & Partridge, Perton, Staffs

Sun 28 June – The Telegraph, Castlefields, Shrewsbury, Shropshire (4:00PM start)

Fri 3 July – The Malthouse, Ironbridge, Shropshire

Fri 10 July – Molloy’s, Bury, Greater Manchester

Sun 12 July – The Swan Beer Festival, The Swan Inn, Stone, Staffs (4:00PM start)

Fri 17 July – The Foresters Tavern, Burntwood, Staffs

Sat 18 July, The Green Man Milwich, Staffs (3:30PM start)

Fri 24 July – The Old Post Office, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Sat 25 July – Pig Fest, The Blue Pig, Trench, Telford, Shropshire (3:00PM start)

Sat 25 July – Lower Lacon Caravan Park, Nr. Wem, Shropshire

During August and September we’ll be appearing at Farmer Phil’s Festival (click here for details and tickets), and The Great Dorset Steam Fair (click for details and tickets) for the third time.

See you at a gig soon.

April Gigs

April 1, 2015

Come and see the April Fools at a gig near you :

Friday 10 – The Malthouse, Ironbridge

Saturday 11, The Bear, Bridgnorth

Friday 17 – The Phez, Newport (celebrating Ed’s birthday – all welcome)

Saturday 18 – Hangover Central – Do Not Disturb

Friday 24 – The Pear & Partridge, Perton

Saturday 25 – The Duke Of York, Trench

All gigs start at 9:00PM or thereabouts.  Maybe a little later if Ed has to tune his guitars.

The Start of 2015

March 10, 2015

Life’s been a little hectic since Christmas, although we stayed fairly quiet as a band so that we could recover from the last couple of months and get a break from one another.

Eleanor Rigby

Our first gig of the year was at The Malthouse to a surprisingly respectable crowd – Paul had been in the night before on a works’ outing and said it had been very quiet, but although it wasn’t full when we played, the crowd wasn’t far off capacity and were in their usual crazy mood.

We followed this with a new venue – Condover Social Club.  It seems that an old act prevents the village of having a pub, so they get round this with a social club instead and it was a lovely room with a great crowd.

The Barley

The Barley

A birthday party at The Barley in Newport rounded off January before a welcome return to the Oddfellows in Wellington at the start of February.  After Sam left The Wrekin, we wondered how a new venue would work out for us.  The simple answer is fantastically. Some of the old crowd, some new faces and a large collection of Scooby Doos filled the pub.

Scooby Dooby Doo!

Scooby Dooby Doo!

Another party followed in Sutton Coldfield.  If you read this regularly, you may be aware of Den York, who plays with us on occasion.  This was a party for an old mate of his and we are currently in negotiations to play in his pub, so we assume it went well.

The final gig of the year was a return to the Dun Cow in Shrewsbury, not a regular, but certainly a favourite for us to play.

More important than any of this, though, was the band outing to Liverpool in January to visit the Beatles Experience.  A whole day devoted to one of our collective favourite bands was a great way of spending a Saturday.  One of the exhibits was an interactive computer used for collecting statistical data.  Paul decided to have a go and took it very seriously indeed:

It should also be mentioned that Ed took his Unlawful Men folk act out on the road during February, but only because if we don’t, Ed will get grumpy.  They played some folk and Paul & Si controlled the sound at some of the gigs.  If you want to know any more have a look at the Unlawful Men FB page – we’re here to talk about Lost The Plot, not waste time on them!

Check out our March gigs here and we’ll see you soon.

March Gigs

March 9, 2015

Already we’re into month 3 of 2015, so here’s what we’ve got coming up this month:

Saturday 14 – The Beeches, Bayston Hill, 9:00PM

Sunday 15 – The Telegraph, Castlefields, Shrewsbury (time TBC – normally around 4PM)

Thurs 19 – Private Function

Friday 20 – The Old Post Office, Shrewsbury, 9:00PM

Saturday 21 – Forton Cricket Club, 9:00 *SOLD OUT*

Coming up later this year:

May 8, 9 10 We return to the Sussex coast – Peacehaven and Worthing

July 12 The Swan Beer Festival, Stone, Staffs

July 31 Clivestock Festival

Aug 7 Borth Carnival

Aug 16 Farmer Phil’s Festival

Sep 2, 3, 4 The Great Dorset Steam Fair

Watch here and on Facebook for more news.

February Gigs

February 1, 2015

Here’s where we will be during February:

Sunday 8 February – The Oddfellows Arms, Wellington

Friday 13 February – Private Function.

Friday 27 February – The Dun Cow, Shrewsbury

You can find the times and locations of all these venues and more at

This is how the end of 2014 went:


Ed Looks Happy

We don’t like cancelling gigs, it’s one of our pet hates, so it was quite painful to find that we had to do this for the second time in a month, with illness causing us to miss our last gig of the year at Bury’s Molloys on Friday 7th. What made this even worse was the fact that we’d very cleverly arranged a Saturday night gig in the town for the first time in order to make the trip work…

By Saturday we were back up to a reasonable level of strength, so headed up to play at Bury Bowls Club. On the very night that the local fireworks display was being held up the hill with plenty of bands on an outdoors stage. As a result, the audience wasn’t as big as the organisers were expecting, but it was still a reasonable size. The room was low ceilinged and intimate and we had a great time dealing with people who had no idea what to expect.

"We've Brought Ducks!"

“We’ve Brought Ducks!”

A week later and we were back in Tipton at the Kings Head. The pub has been taken over by new owners and the atmosphere was a little different, with a much louder, more appreciative audience than normal. Considering a large chunk of the people present had been to most of our gigs here, it seemed odd, but it turned out to be our favourite here so far.

Next was The Malthouse. The last time we played here was as hot as we’ve ever experienced, but it was the end of the summer. This time it should be cooler, shouldn’t it? No. Apparently not. Not quite as hot as last time, but that’s saying little. Another soaking wet, great fun gig.

And so, onto a pub we haven’t visited for a time. The Hen and Chickens in Bridgnorth (now renamed The Friars) is a very small pub and we always found it to be very quiet, but it has recently been taken over by a new owner who was adamant she wanted us to play there. We turned up to discover that the town’s Christmas lights were being switched on and the top end of the road the pub is situated in was blocked by vehicles dealing with this. On the whole this wouldn’t cause us a problem as we had our usual spot to park in, albeit on double yellows in front of a gated car park. Normally this isn’t a problem as the car park isn’t used during the evenings, and of course it’s legal to use double yellows whilst offloading, but this time there was a car inside the car park. Whilst unloading, we kept our eyes open for the owner returning, which he did as we were getting the last bits out. As we crossed the road, a group of girls came round the van complaining that Santa was being grumpy. Paul went to investigate to find him on the phone reading out our numberplate. Paul asked him whether he would like us to move for him and was met by a very rude comment in return. Si tried again. This time he was off the phone but still as abusive. We moved to let him out, but soon all received texts from Paul’s wife explaining that the police had received a complaint that our van was illegally parked. Christmas won’t be the same again for us.

Unlike last time, the pub was rammed. Seriously rammed. We barely had enough room for even a stripped down setup, but managed and succeeded in winning over a great audience.



A week later and we were back in Aberystwyth playing at Rummers. We were originally booked to play both Friday and Saturday nights, but were asked if we could cancel the Saturday night as local legends Aber Jazz were performing their final ever gig. We saw this as a great opportunity to go our for the evening to see some live music and enjoy some beer and food, unworried about having to play. After a curry we headed down to catch the end of the support band’s performance (some lovely harp and bass playing) before Aber Jazz took the stage. I’d recommend you catch these guys, but as this was their last gig, it would be pointless. The pub was rammed and we ended up deciding to move on as Paul and Si were unable to see a thing past the taller people. Whilst deciding where to go next we bumped into a group of students who’d come to see us the previous night and joined them for some more beer in another pub before catching the train home. Sunday saw us stopping of at The Telegraph in Shrewsbury on the way home.



The following Friday saw our return to The Barley in Newport to what was possibly our best audience there yet and then we were into the last week of gigs before Christmas.

Unfortunately, Ed has a habit of getting ill in the run up to Christmas and this year was no exception. Thursday at The Crown was as good a gig as ever and all seemed fine, but as we headed for The Old Post Office the next night (with tame keyboardist Si Carswell in tow for a rare appearance) it was clear that a cold was starting to manifest.

By Saturday at The Swan, Stone, Ed’s voice was starting to crack and finally became a tuneful croak by Sunday’s gig at The Green Man in Milwich. Fortunately the pub was full of caring friends and bar staff who kept his throat lubricated with whiskey all evening. Rumours that Ed consumed a full bottle of 1923 single malt unaided are greatly exaggerated – the whisky was far younger.

And that was it. Christmas was upon us. We had a get together after Christmas with our families for some curry, wine and silly games (and Ed was still ill) and before we knew it 2014 was over.

We’ve been together almost three years now and our diary for 2015 is almost full, so this would be a good time to tell you all that we’re quitting the music game and becoming a touring band of jugglers. Except that no-one has ever accused us of being musical.

See you in 2015.

Happy New Year from Ed, Paul, Si and Hugo.


Merry New Year!

Merry New Year!

January Gigs

January 8, 2015

We’ve got a quiet start to the year.  At our age we need most of the first quarter to recover from December!

Saturday 10 January – The Malthouse, Ironbridge

Friday 16 January – Condover Social Club, Condover

Sunday 25 January – The Six Ashes, Bridgnorth

You can find the times and locations of all these venues and more at