Loads to Catch Up On

July 10, 2014

So much going on that I haven’t had a chance to blog recently, so here’s a quick run down:

Pets

Pets

Sunday 22nd June – The Wrekin Inn.

As expected, a great afternoon. We tend, these days, to throw in a fairly random set at The Wrekin, rather than the usual stuff. This gig saw us attempt some Pink Floyd in the shape of Wish You Were Here. It went down well and we’ve decided it may have a more regular place in the set from now on.

The Wrekin

The Wrekin

Friday 27th June – The Barley, Newport.

Always a little nerve wracking at this kind of venue as people tend to start turning up later. As we started the crowd was fairly, shall we say, intimate, but as the set went on the crowd built and we ended the evening wondering what we had been worrying about.

Saturday 28th June – Wedding, Claverley

Congratulations to Naomi and Steve who got married and asked us to perform for them and their guests. The crowd were lovely and warm and had previously been treated to some music from a few family members.

Wedding

Wedding

Sunday 29th June – The Swan Beer Festival.

Two words which always make us happy are “Festival” and “Beer” and when combined they send us into paroxysms of joy. Unless you’re the one driving home from the gig. Good crowd, good beer, but sober bassist having to transport merry singer and drummer. 😦

Geoff & The Plot

Geoff & The Plot

Friday 4th July – The Kings Arms, Tipton

A return to the West Midlands and another evening of fun. On our first visit we’d had a very quiet reaction, with our second visit being a bit more rowdy. This third visit was between the two and the good news is that Paul got his hat back after it was stolen last visit.

Saturday 5th July – Clavstock and The Oakengates Carnival

Clavstock Before

Clavstock Before


Clavstock After

Clavstock After

Two festivals in one day! This was our second appearance at Clavstock (100 yards round the corner from the wedding gig we played the previous week) and was, for the first time, ticket only to limit numbers, such has been its popularity. 500 happy smiling faces singing along as we got silly. Great fun. Then we packed up and headed to Oakengates to perform a very short set sans drums. We were on a small B stage playing between a Madchester style band and Guns Or Roses, a G’n’R tribute. By the nature of the stage we were limited in the audience we could attract, but we seemed to drag in plenty and all seemed to enjoy us. We may have to try drumless sets again in the future.

Oakengates

Oakengates

Sunday 6th July – The Bulls Head, Whitchurch.

This was always planned to be an outdoors gig, playing in the beer garden, but on leaving Telford, the rain had been coming down. We all checked our various weather apps which agreed that rain was a distinct possibility. As we arrived, John, the landlord, opened the gate with his phone in his hand, also checking his weather app. While we discussed options thunder rattled around us, but in the end decided to brave it and set up underneath 3 parasols. As it turned out we had a short shower between setting up and sound checking and then a glorious evening.

Bulls Head Panorama

Bulls Head Panorama

As I write this we’re about to head out to play at The Crown in Oakengates, again hopefully outside. The weather looks far better!

Four gigs over three days. Over the hottest weekend of the year so far. If nothing else, it’s cheaper and more fun than joining a gym.

Friday was a return to Burton Borough School for one of their music and food evenings. Last time it was curry, this time hot dogs and burgers. The evening started off with their junior band (junior? They sound better than some experienced bands!), before their concert band took the stage. Well, most of them, anyway. Saxophonist and friend of ours, Phiz Jr, was returning from a trip to South Wales and arrived just in time to take her seat for the second number! We took the stage at 8:16 and played our little hearts out – we didn’t want to be outdone by some pesky kids. We were, however!

Clavstock

Clavstock

It was Saturday where things got a little silly. In August, we’ve been invited to play at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, alongside such artists as The Wurzels and Chas Hodges of Chas ‘n’ Dave. Tickets are available from www.GDSF.co.uk. In readiness for this, the promoters asked us to play at Clavstock, a small festival in the Shropshire village of Claverley, just East of Bridgnorth. We only had an hour’s set, so we went light, stripping our act back as far as practical… It’s not the instruments or amps, it’s the suitcases of ducks, soft toys and hats that filled the backstage area prior to us setting up. It was great fun playing on a full sized stage in the sunshine and the crowd seemed to love it (one audience member even e-mailing us as we played to book us for her wedding next year!).

As soon as we cleared the stage we were in the van heading to Shrewsbury to one of our favourite venues, The Telegraph. We normally play there on a Sunday afternoon, But Alan asked if we’d do a Saturday night. It’s a different crowd and a different feel to normal, but it was still a great night. The pub was rammed, the temperature was up and the ducks were flying.

The Telegraph

The Telegraph

Finally, to Sunday. The Bull’s Head in Whitchurch has recently been taken over by Erin and John and they got in touch via our contact page to see if we could play there. Sadly for them we could, so we headed there on a Sunday which seemed even warmer than the previous couple of days.

On arrival Erin asked if we’d like to set up in the corner of the bar or whether we’d prefer to play in the beer garden… No Brainer.

What an afternoon. I’m sure they had no idea what was coming, but the audience were just brilliant, with ducks flying aplenty. In a small change to the normal run of things, rather than being hit by a wet dog returning from the audience in Irish Rover, WeeMann emptied the bucket of water over himself to cool down mid-set. The benefits only lasted a few minutes before the heat of the sun dried him out, but it was a welcome and worthwhile few minutes.

In The Sunshine!

In The Sunshine!

We’ll be back later in the year. let’s just hope it’s still warm enough to do the same again.

This weekend we’re even busier. We’re off to Rummers and Brynrodyn Caravan Park on the Welsh Coast on Friday and Saturday, before returning to The Wrekin on Sunday afternoon, then onto Stone in Staffs for the evening. What doesn’t kill us will only make us stronger.

Or so they say.