As the appointed hour of the appointed day comes for Ferocious Dog at Glastonbury since I’ve not been able to follow them to this particular landmark it’s been a week of finding alternative musical amusement for myself, and frankly it’s been rather an easy task. I’ve heard reports that their smaller gig at the Bimble Inn went down very well indeed and now they’ll be psyching themselves up to take to the Avalon Stage at 2pm today.
Looking at the array of talent available in the Fields of Avalon I’d be spending a lot of time there – so hopefully plenty of similarly-minded folk are doing just that to get them in front of plenty of new appreciative faces. Not least I hope the various folk I know who are there heed my advice and get themselves there – otherwise there’ll be trouble, and since the BBC cameras don’t reach as far as Avalon, we’re depending on Waggy et al to try to capture some of the event.
But for me I’ve been finding my fun elsewhere – whilst I can well imagine the experience of being at the festival is unforgettable – I’ve never really got much out of watching highlights on TV. So last night I headed over to the lovely Colville Arms in Lullington where a small beer festival was underway with the promise of a couple of sets from Paige Seabridge to make up for the fact that I needed to drive there so couldn’t sample more than one of the beers on offer.
It’s a nice pub on the edge of Derbyshire in a village nestled in the National Forest – despite the journey starting out like my work commute I remembered not to drive to Solihull and found a spot in the busy carpark which was cunningly adjustable to make room for the Seabridge party when they arrived. It was only mildly scary when the chap reversing his car into a spot just ahead of me determined his placement by roughly backing into the fence to make sure he was ‘in’.
In the beer garden a marquee housed the beers and ciders on offer and also where Paige would be playing – as they set up we found a nice spot in the sun to play catch with the pub dog Molly. With a stone. That’s what she kept bringing to us – it’s amazing she has any teeth left listening to the excruciating sound as she bites down on the stone! Whilst most of us had a turn she took a real shine to Robert, amusingly depositing the slobbery stone on his lap repeatedly.
Paige played two sets in the beer tent, with the PA sufficient to bathe the outside area and carpark with sound too – I guess when you’re the entertainment at a beer festival you’re likely to fall foul of the ‘background noise’ role, but certainly the family already settled in the tent were enjoying it as were we! Much like Ferocious Dog, Paige has crossed the boundary from act I like to friend, but I’m also confident that I’m not being biased when I write about her performing either.
She plays mostly cover versions however with her own take on them – and stripped down with just her voice and an acoustic guitar. I’ve written before how anyone who can play anything on the infernal six-stringed instrument impresses me, but I think she’s a good guitarist – but she’s an enchanting singer – to casually take on songs that someone like Dolores O’Riordan or Florence Welch (more recent Glastonbury out-of-tuneness criticisms notwithstanding) is impressive!
In no particular order highlights for me were Zombie, Electric Feel, Dog Days Are Over, Beautiful Day, Fifteen Years – her own song Guide Me To The Light, Riptide and Hey Ya (one day I will lose the battle to resist banging three times on the table and shouting ‘Oi!’ during that.. maybe. And my favourite track is the one that normally closes the gig, Home – a lovely song. Quite often I’ve found myself googling songs Paige chooses to find the originals which is always a bonus on the voyage of musical discovery.
Paige does a mesmerisingly moving version of Ferocious Dog’s The Glass – which is understandably absent from this set where people knowing the songs is probably a better option. With any luck we’ll get to hear that tonight as luck would have it she’s playing in the Brown Cow for Sam Jones’ acoustic evening. I’ve not made it up there for a few weeks so it’d be rude not to, Sam is fresh back from the Isle of Wight festival and a tremendous guitarist and singer himself.
Meanwhile Suzy and Robert were providing us with an exemplary warning about the dangers of drinking Old Rosie, something Bryan normally does but tonight he was on driving duty like me. Molly had moved on from chasing stones and beer mats seemed to be the prey of choice – they frisbeed brilliantly and were a little kinder on her teeth – she also magnetically detected when we had cheese and ham cobs and came to beg. She was less interested in the Chrysanthemums Suzy was later munching on…
To return to Ferocious Dog, I can’t deny being a bit gutted I can’t be present to see them play their gig this afternoon – I’m sure it’ll go down an absolute storm. Having already been geeky enough to set up a spreadsheet to keep my gig-going organised I did a quick tot up of miles covered – I’ve just passed the 4,000 mile mark in following them around this year – although I’m not going to see them now ’til Splendour in the middle of July (unless Settle gets reorganised before then).
Hopefully we’ll have a new album to be talking about before then! Certainly I have Wistful Festival – and on another note, I saw rumours that VolkStock had been cancelled but having queried that Dan certainly seems to be of the belief that the event is going ahead – the Facebook feed for the festival is still saying it’s off, so I’m not sure what advice to offer on checking that out if you’re planning on heading down there.
For my own indulgence really here’s my Ferocious Dog map for 2015 – green are completed dates, red are intended. One thing you can’t say is that I need to get out more!