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.

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.

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.

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!

A few to catch up on,  so let’s dive in.

The Old Post Office.  Last time we were here our desk broke from the stress,  but all was OK this  time.

We’ve had bigger crowds here,  but fewer more enthusiastic.  What made the gig special, however, was Paul’s new flightcase.  As you probably know,  we bring a lot of peripherals to our gigs and these entail many trips to and from the van. Fortunately our ever-thinking drummer came up with a solution in the shape of a large, wheeled flightcase.  After putting everything in it we wheeled the case up the cobbles to the pub door only to discover that it wouldn’t fit through the door,  so it spent the evening just outside the pub.

A Flightcase.

A Flightcase.

Our next gig was a return visit to The Swan in Stone. We very quickly realised the flightcase wouldn’t make it through the door again,  so it stayed in the van while we played. Playing on a Wednesday we normally have smaller audiences than weekend gigs,  but we had a full pub this time.

Next up was due to be Shrewsbury’s Brittania Inn,  but sadly Ed’s voice was disappearing due to a cold.  He’d struggled manfully (?!) through Wednesday’s gig,  but this would have been near impossible,  particularly as we’d been booked for a wedding the next day and didn’t want to let the happy couple down. In any event,  we wouldn’t have managed to get the flightcase in through the door.

So, onto the wedding. This was taking place in the beautiful surroundings of a golf club in Chepstow.  The big problem here was the fact that we had to carry everything up a small staircase to the first floor – the flightcase never even made it out of the van.  We were joined by Den for this gig,  so sounded somewhat musical for a nice change.

We woke the next morning for a drive to Shrewsbury and The Telegraph, with Den in tow for another gig.  By this point the flightcase was buried at the back of the van and wasn’t coming out.

A member of the audience threw us a challenge to play an instrumental and the result was captured on video by our friend Shelley – see what you think:

We went on to Harper Adams university next for a staff/ex-student dinner,  again upstairs,  rendering the flightcase unusable. After an early setup we had a late start,  so visited Paul’s second home,  Newport’s curry house for some sustenance before returning to perform for a typically drunken university audience.

The Harper Party

The Harper Party

We then headed back to Wales and another 2 day residency at Rummers, again with added musicality from Den. By this time Paul had accepted the reality that his flightcase experiment had failed and it was unceremoniously dumped at home. Night one of the residency was a great result,  the pub being almost deserted until the point we started playing.  As usual the pub filled quickly with a great audience,  most of whom were excited to learn we’d be back the following evening.

Playing two days on the trot here makes things a lot easier as we don’t have to pack up at the end of the first night, nor set up on the second night, so on Saturday we went for a curry before the gig. All went well until Paul discovered a body part in his drink. No names, no pack drill, but eye don’t think Paul was too happy.

"Eye Love Curry!" - Paul Crewe.

“Eye Love Curry!” – Paul Crewe.

We finished the month off at The Boars Head in Shrewsbury. Having been a busy month, Paul spent a short while checking his eyelids for holes before we started:

Sandman Has Come For Paul

Sandman Has Come For Paul

You can keep up to date with our upcoming gigs at and come back soon to find out how Santa has ruined Christmas for us.

See you soon!

The Calm Before The Storm

October 7, 2014

Only one gig to catch up on here and that was at The Kings Arms on 26 September.  It’s regularly been a fairly quiet affair here and this gig was no different, with the exception that a fight broke out as we took our break.  At first we assumed it was because people weren’t happy that we had stopped playing, but it became clear that it was more likely due to the fact that we would be starting up again soon.

Behind You!

Behind You!

Ed discovered a brand new way of drinking – beer flavoured with whisky, his two favourite drinks in one glass.  Apparently the effect was quite good, although the effect it had on his sobriety was more questionable…

I’ve got this far through the blog and started wondering whether anyone actually reads it.  I’m sat here talking rubbish about our gigs, posting it to the ether and sitting back, awaiting time to write another.  I wonder what would happen if I started talking rubbish here, rubbish that’s totally unrelated to the band or gigs?  Let’s try it and see.

If you’ve read this far, add a reply to the post here on the blog site.  The 21st unique reply will win a prize.  By that, I mean that if you add 21 replies yourself, they’ll only count as one.  Then I’ll know whether it’s worth me doing this!

Anyway, back to the band.  Ed asked Si to help with a couple of Unlawful Men gigs this last week, first on sound duties, then as dep bass player when Jon was unavailable.  The second of these gigs was for the Whitchurch Blackberry Fair.  It seemed to go well, with a great crowd gathering, but the highlight of the afternoon followed…

Unlawful Men

Unlawful Men

Ed had seen Ash Mandrake at the Dorset Steam Fair and had raved about him.  He followed the Unlawfuls on and was just stunning.  I won’t go into detail here, as anything I say couldn’t do him justice, but please check him out on Facebook at and and get along to see him live.

Ash Mandrake

Ash Mandrake

We’re back at The Old Post Office this Friday and you can check out all our gigs at or check out our new monthly lists on this very blog.

Things are about to get busy…

So, September. We did a few gigs. Here’s a run down.

Friday 5th – Molloys, Bury.

We’ve played at Molloys about half a dozen times now and it all comes down to one thing – chicken tikka kebabs on the journey home. The gig is fairly predictable inasmuch as the pub almost always fills to capacity and everyone gets drinking and dancing. How well the journey is rated by us all comes down to whether Ali’s Kebabish is open. Despite some excellent chicken tikka kebabs elsewhere, we have yet to discover anything as good as theirs. The shop looks like the sort of place you shouldn’t enter unless extremely drunk and hungry, but was our only option after an early Bury visit and we discovered that the old maxim of not judging books was true.

Sadly, our post on Facebook the next morning says it all:

Ali's Kebabish

Ali’s Kebabish

We’re back on November 7, so we’ll try again.

Still, the next day we were heading to Bayston Hill for a return to The Beeches. We had a great time on our first visit in January and this was no different. A great crowd (including Hilary Doyle and her husband) made it a great evening and we returned home far happier than we had the previous night.

Friday 12th – Private Function.

You know you must be doing something right when people try to book you for a birthday party and end up delaying the party by 2-3 months so they can ensure you’re the entertainment. This was a 40th in Shrewsbury in a hall that none of us knew existed.

Morris Hall is accessed through an easily missed gateway next to a flower shop in Bellstone, along a path, up a stone staircase and through the hall. The get in wasn’t fun, but what a beautiful building. Don’t ask us to play there again. Ever. The beauty of the building doesn’t offset the fact that two of us had asthma attacks carrying the gear in and the other had a small coronary.

The crowd, however, did offset the pain, they were great. I don’t know how it’s taken this long for someone to realise it, but throwing ducks one at a time doesn’t work. Throwing a full bucket’s worth in one go, however…

Friday 19 September – The Barley.

We love a nice intimate gig.  A small pub with 15 or 20 people where we can get right in their faces and get them involved is manna from Heaven for us.  10 people (6 of whom are family) in a pub the size of a small town, however, isn’t fun.

If you play in a band, these gigs happen from time to time.  They’re never fun, but they do remind you of how good the good ones are.  Next time we play at the Barley, we hope to try something a little different in order to pull people in…

Taking away the positives from the gig, Ed used his new mic stand for the first time.  His old one is struggling to do the ‘stand’ part of the name these days, so he invested in a smart new one with a quick release clip.  We have no idea why you’d want to quickly release that particular part of the stand, but if we should ever need to, by golly it’ll be apart in a fraction of a second.

The Quickly Released Mic Stand

The Quickly Released Mic Stand

The difference between this gig and the next night were like the difference between night and day.  We love The Malthouse in Ironbridge (this is our official band view).  We’ve not had a duff gig here and this was fantastic.  The pub was full to bursting with people up for dancing, singing and throwing ducks.  Friends and work colleagues came along and so did some temperature.

Discussing the gig afterwards, we agreed that we couldn’t ever recall playing such a hot gig.  Our clothes were as wet as if we’d been doused in a bucket of water.  It was that bad, that Paul even changed into a dry shirt afterwards – a rare occurrence.

On Tuesday we popped along to the Newport Open Mic at the Navy Club.  We’ve visited a few times over the years, but rarely play there as LTP, so we decided to do a few numbers, just bass, drums and mandolin – no ducks, toys or hats.  The reception was good and we even got invited to back a guitarist who’s just moved back into the area, Dave White.  We did about 4 numbers with him, including Fisherman’s Blues, which was filmed by Dave The Camera:

This Friday we’re back at The Kings Arms in Tipton and Ed will be taking his Unfastened Trousers folk act out for another airing on Sunday.  There are 6 tickets left if you’re quick enough.  On their FB page they have posted the following:

Very nice if slightly unorthodox gig coming up this Sunday …. Salt village hall staffordshire …full 2 coarse roast lunch then an afternoon set by the unlawful men. Its virtually sold out already but the organisers tell they could manage one more table max of 6 people if there is any one who loves folk music and hates cooking !
Proceeds from the event are going to fund vaccination supplies to africa.

See you at a gig soon!

Wellies Ahoy!

September 5, 2014

Last week saw our return to the Great Dorset Steam Fair. What a change from Last year!

12 months ago we were sat in a field of dust, the sun blazed down and we started off to an “intimate” audience for our first performance. This year, however, things were completely different…

Day 1, Wednesday – Arrival.

We met with our entourage at Ed’s home in Newport. Ed wasn’t with us (he followed on later), but Paul and Si took his wife, the lovely Andrea, in the van with them. Following behind were Matt (our pet photographer) and his young lady Nichola. We left shortly after midday and had a good trip down. We knew that the weather wasn’t due to be as good as last year, but weren’t quite prepared for what we met on our arrival. Last year we’d heard rumours of the previous year’s mudbath and it seemed we were to encounter it for ourselves. We got in through the gate in no time, our passes all ready for us, and joined the queue getting from the gates to the campsite. This part of the journey was about 150 yards in total but took us about 45 minutes as vehicles slipped and slid in front of us. To give you an idea, this photo was taken at the halfway point between the gate and the campsite entrance – once through the hedge we travelled about the same distance again before turning left and finding a site to erect our tents:



Paul and Si hadn’t brought wellies…

We got the tents up and sat down to relax with a beer before Ed arrived, having taken about an hour for this same last part of the journey. Once we were all settled in we went for a walk round the site, discovering that wellies were essential (the liquid mud being up to 6 or 8 inched deep in places) and walking was extremely hard work! Whilst walking through the fairground, Matt decided to treat Nichola to a turn on one of the rides. They paid their money and made their way up to get seated. After a few moments of clanking, Matt moved to a different seat where the person running the ride attempted to lock the brace in place to keep Matt in his seat. After several more minutes with no success, they had to leave the ride – it seems that Matt was too “Broad shouldered” to fit safely!



It had rained fairly consistently all day, but the evening got so bad that the last act on the main stage, an Oasis tribute called Definitely Mightbe, had to be cancelled due to safety reasons. We retired to our tents for a night’s rest ahead of our first set.

Day 2, Thursday – The Shires Arms.

Today’s set was 9:00PM, timed to coincide with The Wurzels’ appearance on the main stage – they didn’t stand a chance!

We spent the day wandering round the site, looking at the various exhibits before keyboardist Simon Carswell arrived. He set up his tent and we bundled into the van to get to the venue. The journey took us back along the road past the entrance, so we knew the van wouldn’t enjoy it, although we did get there in a respectable time. Last year’s performance here was the best attended of the week and we had a similar number in tonight. The gig went well with the audience getting involved right from the start. Towards the end of the gig we decided to drown Scruffy with our performance of Irish Rover. As the boat sank, Si went out front to spin around. The ground was far better in the marquee than outside as it had been protected from most of the rain over the last few days, but there were a few ruts, and Si found one of them, his ankle twisting as he spun. The rest of the gig went by in a blur of adrenaline, but the pain set in during the night. Another victory for injury over Lost The Plot!



Day 3, Friday – The Black Bull.

Nurofen and a morning’s rest reduced the pain in Si’s ankle before Ed left us to perform with The Unlawful Men at The Countryman Stage. By this point we’d been joined by Ant (bodhran player for Ed’s folk outfit) and his lady friend, Becky. Ed tells us that the Unlawful Men gig was well attended and received, but a strong wind made it a little awkward.

While they performed, Paul and Si set off for the Black Bull for gig 2. We were joined by Ed and Si Carswell and went for it. Another success, this gig went as well as yesterday’s, although Si’s attempt at a conga failed in the most drastic way as he walked around the tent alone, people watching but refusing to get involved. The set finished at about 5:30, leaving us the evening to see a few other bands and take on some nourishment in the beer tents.

Beyond a couple of short showers, it hadn’t really rained today and, surprisingly, the ground was firming up quite well.

Not sure what noise that was...

Not sure what noise that was…

Day 4, Saturday – The Black Bull.

We started the day the same as we had the previous couple of mornings – emerging from our tents at various times, blinking into the bright new day, wondering whether the rain would hold off and taking on board breakfast. After our fill we split up, with Ed, Andrea and Si going off to watch the Monster Trucks and Motorcycle Stunt Team before returning and heading off for the 3rd and final Lost The Plot set of the week.

Flying Bikes

Flying Bikes

This time the conga went as well as yesterday’s had gone badly, people getting involved straight away. The Black Bull was full and the set went past in a blur.

Again, we finished and set off for an evening of bands, beer and curry. There’s a huge variation in music styles at the Fair, so there’s something for everyone (and too many to mention) and the range and quality of food is also astounding. We finished off the week by watching a Queen tribute act before disappearing into our respective pits for the last time.



Day 5, Sunday – Going Home.

Sunday morning saw the first time that people were forcibly ejected from their tents, woken unexpectedly, and generally pranked – the hard work had finished and we could get silly. Matt and Nichola woke to discover a huge pile of camping chairs atop the entrance to their tent, placed there by a mystery assailant, and Paul discovered a road cone on top of his van.



Breakfast eaten, we dismantled our tents and loaded the vehicles for the journey home.

That’s the Great Dorset Steam Fair finished for another year. We hope to be back again next year if they’ll have us, but we’d just like to thank Ryan and Lisa of Festivals 360 for inviting us and producing such a great music festival among the huge Steam Fair itself.

Now, to recover…

The Crowd

The Crowd

Drummer Down. Again!

August 14, 2014

What a weekend! We may have killed our drummer, but that’s a small price to pay for such a great time.

Dead Drummer

Dead Drummer

On Friday Simon and Paul drove down to Borth independently of Ed, who followed down after work to meet us at the Brynrodyn Caravan Park. We were able to get everything set up so that when Ed arrived all he had to do was plug in and go. To improve the situation even further we had long time collaborator Den York adding electric guitar and banjo again, with his wife Jood providing sound engineering duties.

This was possibly the best audience we’ve had at Brynrodyn and, to top it all off, the mid set game of bingo was won by Simon. Thankfully, the duck throwing was all completed in the first set, otherwise things could have got violent!



The start of the decline of the drummer’s health started here. The plan was to stay in one of the site’s caravans, but Den and Jood insisted on putting us up. It never ends well when we do this. After deciding to pack up on Saturday morning, we left for their home and gave several beers and wines a good home before calling it a night just before dawn.

We didn’t manage to pack up the next morning. It was closer to a late lunchtime before we dragged ourselves back to tidy up, by which time Saturday night’s entertainment had already been turned away to return later… Oops.

A fine full English breakfast at 5:00PM and we were ready for Rummers. By the time the 10:00 start came round, lethargy was starting to creep in, although it’s impossible for it to hang round once the adrenaline kicks in at this great venue. Despite the local students having left Aber for the summer, the crowd was full and in good song and wouldn’t let us off without an encore or two.



And so back to Den and Jood’s again. It’ll just be a short time drinking and chatting as we have to travel in the morning.

Just pre-dawn we head for bed. Well, most of us. Paul and Den persevered a little longer. The damage became apparent as we climbed into our vehicles the next day.

“Si, I think you need to drive,” said a very green looking Paul. Alternately sleeping and polluting the van, Paul’s situation didn’t improve before we arrived at Oddfellows in Wellington. Sam’s left The Wrekin and taken over a new pub, so one of our favourites has changed… And it seems to be a good change. The room is smaller, but lighter and better decorated. It’s a smart pub and the staff and clientele have all come over.

The Band

The Band

Ed decided that the best thing to do was get the faster songs out of the way first, to get Paul’s blood pumping. It may have got his blood pumping, we’re not sure, but it did get his mouth working, as he used words that we really shouldn’t use near a live mic. Still, a new skiffle style medley in place of Puttin’ On The Style gave Paul a chance to batter Si over the head and cheer himself up. By the end of a very successful gig, he was nearly human again.

And that’s it until holiday season is over. We’re now scattered to the four winds until the end of August when we return to the Great Dorset Steam Fair. Last year we promised regular updates on Twitter and Facebook. This year we know better. Even if we were sober enough to type, there is no signal.

Details of the festival can be found by clicking the banner below:

The Great Dorset Steam Fair 2014

The Great Dorset Steam Fair 2014

We’ll see you in September if you can’t make it to the deep south.