We shall overcome.. Bagthorpe edition.
If I had one regret at the awesome weekend we just spent at Rockstock and Barrel it would be that it clashed with We Shall Overcome – a nationwide campaign of awesomeness, essentially gathering together artistic performers to do their thing under a single banner in protest against the terrible levels of austerity being inflicted by the current government. Performers, promoters, sound people all gave up their time at over 300 events this weekend for free in order to raise awareness and money to help those effected by homelessness or needing food banks etc.
However, I’m always happy to seek out opportunities to eke out the weekend a little more – and in between family visitations and the logistics in getting Snotty back down south I spotted an irresistible opportunity to head over to Dixies Arms in Bagthorpe where DH Lawrence and the Vaudeville Skiffle Show had organised an afternoon of performers. Working out our timings, we could get there for a little before 5 and spare an hour – and providence was our friend as the performer in that time was none other than Mr Kenny Bonsall.
As well as Ken also on offer were performances from Paul Carbuncle, King of Rome, Quiet Loner and the hosts, DH Lawrence and the Vaudeville Skiffle Show – two of which I’ve seen and thoroughly enjoyed in the past, so I am a little sad that we couldn’t make the whole afternoon work – but well, if I had to pick one, let’s face it, it worked out pretty well for us! Upon arriving we found a handy car-sized space next to the Ferocious Dog bus (Cerebus), a deft bit of reverse parking (if I do say so myself!) and we were on our way into the pub.
Hellos with the folks there we knew (not as many as you’d think!) and Ken of course – whose greeting of “have you brought Snotty with you?” shows me how it really is! Ha! Dixies is a small pub with two sides, the performance in the left hand side was packed – but not with that many familiar Hell Hounds, aside from Rich, and Phil and Steve – it was funny seeing folk, and local folk really, not that familiar with Ferocious Dog – one even asked again what band Ken was from and the website address. We got some funny looks for singing along!
A quick set saw him rattle through a fair few of the new album songs – a chance, he explained, to practice them ahead of the tour, which of course starts in less than two weeks – can. not. wait. A verse for Lee/The Glass, Freeborn John (no surfing – not enough of us and a very low ceiling – but still provided some teleprompting services to get him going) and Criminal Justice made an appearance too. Rapturous applause greeted the end which brought an encore comprising a cover (don’t tell Dan) of Billy Bragg’s Which Side Are You On? Very apt given the purpose of the event.
As we headed back to the car Ken was outside with his guitar entertaining the crowd with a rendition of Dirty Old Town, followed by a performance of Roots Radicals by Rancid which he’d been learning at Rich’s request apparently. He was very appreciative and sad he’d not videoed it. Something I’m sad about too. I’ve never really listened to Rancid much, I might have to remedy that as I really enjoyed the song! We also discovered something interesting about one of the songs on the new album you’ll be getting your hands on imminently. I’ll keep quiet about that for now!
So then back on the road for me for a long drive down south and back draws another weekend to a close – leaving me to wait for This is England ’90 to appear on Channel 4’s catch up service and then it’s officially bed time ready for another week of work. Then of course it’s the Alternative Weekend at Butlins – so some long overdue actual Ferocious Dogging which feels like it’s been far too long – so that’s definitely something to make the week go by a little faster.
As for today’s event, a great success – raising £280 I just read on Twitter which will be going to the fantastic cause that is FareShare. It’s a sad indictment on the world that such organisations or events are needed – but it’s bloody wonderful that folk are prepared to organise, contribute their time and talent to, attend and donate to them when they are needed to help society’s vulnerable. A huge well done to everyone involved in the Bagthorpe event, and of course those that went off around the country. If you want to support the initiative retrospectively you can buy some awesome merch here.
So another awesome weekend draws to a close – but of course tomorrow we should hopefully all be receiving special packages from the postman.. happy new album eve, everyone!