A bit of bothering on a Sunday..

10393576_733673203416234_6760695815172788004_nWith work on a Monday morning and travelling logistics to sort out on Sundays it renders Star Bothering on Sunday something I’ve not had the chance to do before.  A bank holiday and evening plans with friends in the area made it a distinct possibility this weekend just gone.  Albeit one we had to cut a bit short – missing the final act entirely (doubly gutting, as my friend Lynn plays flute and pennywhistle for Last Word Dogs – another time, Bart tells me they were great).

We arrived in sunny Warsop in time for a sneaky visit to the chip shop before making our way into the venue – the remnants of Mac-Stock evident from camper vans still in the car park and a pretty full room.  Star Bothering nights happen in the front room, we grabbed ourselves a drink and a seat and watched Dave and Bart grappling with the not inconsiderable amount of electrical stuff Last Word Dogs had with them.  In the meantime it was nice to just have a relaxing drink and natter with assorted folks.

IMG_3201Star Botherers were up first, already somewhat later than initially planned.  As it was Easter Sunday they introduced themselves as offering up a religious themed set – which comprised a quick run through Just Around the Corner, the song that I’ve yet to divine the title of that’s about ringing in sick at work and finally One Inch Death Punch.  Certainly it got the feet tapping around the room – and it was a very full room!  We were cautiously keeping an eye on the time.


Freeborn Al / 29th March 2016 / Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos, Thoughts / 0 Comments

If we fight the good fight then they’re gonna have to fall..

IMG_3141I am terribly sorry but I’ve kinda got to start what will probably prove a lengthy blog post with a bit of self-indulgent navel-gazing and context-setting.

I’ve always thought of myself as a bit politically hamstrung.  The only family member of my childhood who would avidly and feverishly impart political discourse to me was my Grandfather who was a rampant conservative who idolised Margaret Thatcher – I quickly learned to disengage from that topic of conversation over the years.  Whilst my school years were against a backdrop of strikes by the miners which I mixed up in my head with teachers strikes at the same time, really all I thought was it was good to get a day off from the classrooms.

There were no miners in the family, I was too young to understand the implications of what was occurring – I vaguely recall some of my Dad’s siblings being angry about the Poll Tax, and noting the disparity in how The MIrror my Dad bought talked about political issues of the day compared to the headlines that featured in The Sun which was the staple reading of my childminders house – possibly because of the allure of Samantha Fox as much as any particular political affiliation.

So it’s maybe understandable why as I reflect that I’ve been somewhat politically remiss since writing Ferocious Blog for the last year.  Of course, politics are inherent in the bands output, and the world that has opened up to me through following them.  I was first politicised at university really – my politics lecturer was an inspirational and cynical Marxist, and just as he revealed a world of corruption and what initially felt like conspiracy theories about ‘the state’ was the time that Tony Blair changed the course of the Labour Party into centrist Conservative Light politics.


Freeborn Al / 25th March 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos, Politics, Thoughts

Alice? Who the Wolf is Alice?

IMG_3111Often my gig-going is centred around the very familiar, it made a nice change tonight to go to a gig almost entirely blind.  I’d booked a ticket to see Wolf Alice at Rock City back in October at my brother’s suggestion – and entirely forgotten about it until I glanced at my calendar on Tuesday evening after work.  A text to my brother enquired as to whether he’d got the tickets, he replied saying he didn’t think I was coming – a search of my emails revealed an e-ticket.  Two e-tickets in fact.  Oops!

With Ella down south Rich was able to get my ticket re-homed with Simon, a friend of Ed’s who was also coming to the gig.  Perhaps just as excitingly, we decided to pop to Annie’s Burger Shack before the gig – I opted for the current special on offer, the Cannonball – it was delicious.  I love Annie’s.  Annie came to the UK pursuing music, but found fame for her imaginative music-themed burgers, initially served in The Old Angel, then The Navigation Inn and finally in her own extremely popular restaurant – a real characterful success story.

IMG_3110After eating we waddled up to Rock City deciding to find a spot on the sidelines rather than in the mosh pit – it was pretty much a sell-out, quite a feat on a Wednesday night.  We found a good spot on the elevated area to the left of the stage and decided not to move from there for the evening – it seemed a bit strange to be on the sidelines at a gig but I wasn’t keen on the idea of being smashed around the very lively (even for the support acts) mosh pit whilst quite so full of burger!


Freeborn Al / 24th March 2016 / Band, Gigs, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments


IMG_3076Forgive the delay, but waking with a fuzzy head then a 433 mile drive home left me not exactly feeling like firing up the laptop during the evening before recommencing a working-week!  The trip to Aberdeen of course started in Glasgow, I awoke fuzzy-headed with a vague memory of getting back to the hotel – although a walk outside and to the car sorted me out.  T’was pleasant enough out, but the air was certainly fresh enough to blast away the cobwebs of the night before.

We hit the road and headed out to Aberdeen – again once out of the built up area appreciating the lovely scenery on offer, and the scores of stately crows and ravens by the roadsides. We did fall foul of the temptation to follow a brown sign promising a scenic route, which promptly stopped being signposted and with limited signal to get the sat nav to help us having been ignoring her for a good few miles, but never mind!  It was a pretty drive, and we made decent time to the granite city, eventually finding our hotel.

We’d had a bit of a side mission – we’d got a bit of a battery shortage issue for our electronic cigarettes, and neglected to pack the charger.  Despite trips to Maplins and even a Vape Scotland shop (outside which a young lad seemed delighted to shout ‘mohawk!’ repeatedly at me at a traffic crossing) we utterly failed at resolving this, so started rationing our supply of electricity quite severely.  A lesson for the future – pack the battery charger, or get more batteries!


Freeborn Al / 21st March 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Photos / 0 Comments

North of the wall..

1425544_951976071582295_7672814937064125687_nWe opted for an earlyish start to hit Scotland – you never know what horrors might occur on the roads, plus it’s always nice to not have to rush about once you arrive somewhere.  As it happens, the roads were pretty clear – the sat nav decreed the M6 was the best route up so it was also incredibly scenic as we hit the Lake District and into Scotland – I’m always struck when I visit these areas how stunningly beautiful they are – it certainly didn’t disappoint.

One stop at Tebay for lunch and coffee and we were straight into Glasgow and our car park, a short walk from the hotel – giving us time to have a bit of down time before wandering to the designated pre-gig drinking venue, The Horse Shoe Bar, where we immediately encountered Dean, Sarah and Wez – before being found by the assorted other folk.  To say it was a little before 5 on a week day it was already pretty damn busy in there.  It was good to just have the chance to have a drink and a natter.

With the gig having an early curfew presumably for the venue to reopen as a club night the doors opened at 7 – so we headed there for then, despite the early start we were being treated to two support acts.  Stereo is a stylish cafe bar beneath which nestles the music venue – it’s pretty small, but it was homely with a sufficiently raised stage to avoid any mishaps despite the lack of barriers.  Once inside we got to catch up with more folk – not least the band, Waggy, Dom, Leanne et al.


Freeborn Al / 19th March 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

Back t’Tarn..

Following is a guest post from Simon, since we are living it up in the Canaries we missed Brad Dear, Funke and the Two Tone Baby and Ferocious Dog in Barnsley. He’s a man of less waffle than me…

Not A Ferocious Blog… Whilst Alan Fisher is checking out exotic parrots and Ella Woods is looking more and more like Sebastian from the Little Mermaid. Here is an abridged version of the usual blog… 300 mile round trip t’Barnsley.. hotel,shower,venue. Meet and say hi to everyone. Brad Dear.. awesome set.. Special Brew=Conga… Funke and the two tone baby( or 5 leylines rolled into 1).. another awesome set… Broken strings, bonobos, dancing monkey.. FD.. aboriginal intro.. jig of death song. Rock Lobster with added lobster claws hand gestures from the crowd. Some more songs, bit of politics and thank you’s. More songs. Birthday shout out. Encore. Potential stroke victim, arguments about astro turf. Say goodbye. Hotel. Sleep. Wake up. Drive home. Ta Da. Piece of Piss. Till next time.. au revoir.

Buenas tardes!


Freeborn Al / 12th March 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands / 0 Comments

Fine fettle down in Settle..

IMG_3001When I originally bought a ticket for the Settle gig it was going to be in June last year.  I’d naively thought ‘oh, it’s Yorkshire, I’ll probably drive to and from that’ – it wasn’t until more recently, having acquired another ticket for Ella for the rescheduled show, that I troubled to look at a map and realise quite how far up Settle was in North Yorkshire.  Seeing Clitheroe nestled beneath it meant a quick search for accomodation for the evening was very much the mission – luckily I found somewhere suitable, more on that later.

We’d arranged to meet up with Michael, Daren and Michelle for lunch in nearby Malham, having set off in good time we were running an hour early on arrival estimate so pulled into a services.  Checking in on Facebook as you do revealed we were actually really close to Michael’s house – sense prevailed and we arranged to go and pick him up, meaning a chance to catch up wtih Rebecca too which is a bonus – and head onward with a much better carbon footprint than if we’d gone in separate cars!

IMG_2997The Lister Arms is a lovely pub.  Malham was absolutely snidered with cars, we were worried the pub would be rammed – but it seems the streets and carparks were full of vehicles of walkers rather than pub goers so we soon found a table and awaited Daren and MIchelle’s arrival.  A hearty meal of mostly pies and mash or chips (or cajun chicken for Ella) was demolished, followed by a bloody nice selection of cheese with a glass of port (or sticky toffee pudding and a cuppa tea for t’ladies).  A very pleasant few hours before hitting the road to Settle.  Definitely planning on a return visit at some point!


Freeborn Al / 6th March 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

Put the wine glass down..

IMG_3790One of the charming traditions that has arisen amongst Hell Hounds is to mark the anniversary of Lee Bonsall’s tragic passing by all raising a glass in his memory.  As I’ve spent the evening watching the notifications pour in (literally!) from the Ferocious Dog group on Facebook with folk posting photos of them doing just that I found it quite moving.

So it seemed to me that the best thing to do was to gather as many of them together as I could (I’m sorry if I missed anyone) and set them to Lee’s Tune from the first Ferocious Dog album.  Here’s the result.  Beautiful people.

Together we are strong.

Freeborn Al / 3rd March 2016 / Band, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Photos, Videos / 0 Comments