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!

December Gigs

December 1, 2014

Xmas Duck

Xmas Duck

Christmas is almost upon us and here’s what we’re planning in the way of celebration:

Friday 5 December – Rummers Wine Bar, Aberystwyth

Sunday 7 December – The Telegraph, Shrewsbury

Friday 12 December – The Barley, Newport

Thursday 18 December – The Crown, Oakengates

Friday 19 December – The Old Post Office, Shrewsbury

Saturday 20 December – The Swan Inn, Stone

Sunday 21 December – The Green Man, Milwich

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

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!

November Gigs

October 28, 2014

Some dates for your diary.

Friday 7 November – Molloys, Bury

Saturday 8 November – Bury Bowls Club

Friday 14 November – The Kings Arms, Tipton

Saturday 15 November – The Malthouse, Ironbridge

Friday 21 November – The Friars, Bridgnorth

Saturday 29 November – The Britannia, Shrewsbury

Sunday 30 November – The Oddfellows Arms, Wellington

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

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…

October Gigs

October 1, 2014

In October we’ll be mainly playing these gigs:

Fri 10 October – The Old Post Office, Shrewsbury

Wednesday 15 October – The Swan Inn, Stone

Friday 17 October – The Britannia, Shrewsbury

Saturday 18 October – Private Function

Sunday 19 October – The Telegraph, Castlefields, Shrewsbury

Thursday 23 October – Private Function

Friday 24 & Saturday 25 October – Rummers Wine Bar, Aberystwyth

Sunday 26 October – The Boars Head, Shrewsbury

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

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!

It’s August already!

August 3, 2014

Where’s the year gone? It’s moving too fast to keep up at the moment.

Bucket Head

Bucket Head

So, Thurs 10 July – The Crown. A comedy show on before us, Patrick Draper and Roger Swift ahead of their trip to the Edinburgh Festival. I’m a little wary of comedy in the pub – is it going to be any good? The answer in this instance was yes, it was great. If you see these guys around, go and see their show, you won’t be disappointed –

Sat 12 July – Lower Lacon Caravan Park. There were pigs in a pen just outside and air conditioning in the room. The drowned dog attacked Nichola from a great distance.

The Christening

The Christening

Sun 13 July – Christening Party. Our friend, Chris Payne asked us to play for his daughter’s christening. We used every extension lead we own in order to run power out to the beer garden, on the edge of the River Severn. The weather held!

Thurs 17 July – Private Party. Headmaster was leaving the school he’s headed for many years. The weather was great, but the staff had put up a gazebo in case of rain. As it turns out, this made it extremely warm for us.

The Audience

The Audience

Fri 18 July – Molloys, Bury. Another packed Molloys – hot, sweaty and fun. Fantastic chicken tikka kebabs on the way out of Bury.

Sat 19 July – The Milwich Music Festival. Our luck had to end at some point – the rain came down with us playing on the back on a lorry. Fortunately the organisers had the sense to put up numerous gazebos, so the crowd was there for us. Note to self, don’t jump up and down on a lorry stage – the suspension causes the PA to wobble dangerously.

Fri 25 July – The Malthouse. The first time a band has played with the doors open. It’s possible we would have died of heat exhaustion had this not been the case. Despite the heat, the pub was full. A great night.



Sun 27 July – The Telegraph. Ed and Si offered cheese and ham onna stick. Turns out that some chilli paste was placed between these items. Hot, hot hot. Kindly, landlord Alan offered us a glass of white port to cool us off. Note to self, don’t trust Alan again. Despite the label, this was actually chilli vodka. Even hotter than the paste. Unable to sing due to burning vocal chords.

Fri 1 August – The Old Post Office. The pub was full before we arrived and kept getting busier. What could go wrong? Turns out that the mixing desk could go wrong. After two years of faithful service it decided to pack up mid-set. While Paul sorted the problem out using no more than our pet keyboard player, the landlord and a spare desk, Ed and Si jumped up onto a couple of chairs to sing as loudly as possible and keep the crowds amused. It worked.



Sat 2nd August. Clivestock, a private charity festival. What a great crowd. As we left home for the site, the rain was coming down in stair-rods. The skies cleared for our arrival, but it clouded over again just as we took to the stage. A little rain, but it didn’t dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm. Loads of dancing and singing ensued.

This week we’re off to Wales for gigs at Brynrodyn Caravan Park on Friday and Rummers in Aberystwyth on Saturday.

Health & Safety Assessment

Health & Safety Assessment