Feather and Flame..

featherandflame_thumbI was really remiss in picking up a copy of Feather and Flame – released back in Spring this year, Headsticks‘ second album.  It was at Deerstock I finally got my mits on it, when Andrew handed it to me – then of course there’s been quite a bit of festivalling so whilst I’ve been listening to it and loving it, it’s taken me a bit of time to get around to getting all the event-based blog posts done (and of course make sure I’ve really got to know the recording well too!).

Headsticks are making real waves certainly in my musical circles – hard-hitting folk-roots with a healthy slug of  punk chucked into the mix.  As I’ve been listening to it Andrew’s vocals are the distinctive driving force, a real transformation from his quietly-spoken off-stage manner.  At times there’s Johnny Rottenesque elements, other times he reminds me of Justin Sullivan – that’s not to say he’s by any stretch a soundalike for either, sometimes chanting, sometimes singing – unashamedly in his own accent, he sounds like – well, he sounds like Andrew from Headsticks!

The subject matter is universally fairly bleak – the album is evocative of a dystopian and disfunctional society, it rails against this, protest music – but delivered with chugging guitars, leaden bass and insistent drums with the occasional sting of harmonica.  Topics might be bleak – but the music is irresistably danceable and the insistant and passionate vocals (you don’t quite get the effect of Andrew eye-balling you like at a live performance – but you can pretty easily bring it to mind with the album on!).

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Freeborn Al / 21st August 2016 / Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

Wellington Roots..

IMG_5203Having wisely taken Tuesday off work to further acclimatise from field-life, perhaps heading up to Eastwood for an open mic night was a bit foolish with work in the morning.  Especially as I’d still got two blog posts to write about Farmer Phil’s to go as well, but well, I can’t say that I regret taking the opportunity to eke out my time off work a little bit further and enjoy yet more quality music in the confines of The Wellington Inn up in Eastwood.

A quick blast up the M1 saw me arrive at the pub in pretty good time – resisting the lure of popping in to Ikea for meatballs or Dime bars (alright, Daim if you insist, strange Swedish furniture peddlers!).  Sam Jones was the host, and he’d got Mark Jones (aka Sam’s Dad), Spud and Nick Parker to play sets before he took to the stage himself.  It was just too tempting a proposition to pass up!

Settled in with a very rock and roll lime and soda, it was great to sit and have a natter with Nick whilst Chris of Roots Acoustic fame got his PA set up.  They were waiting on Mark to finish up a guitar lesson to arrive and open up the set – in the meantime we were accosted by football themed scratchcards, I think somebody called Kev won – in the absence of a team I liked I went for Leicester since I live in Leicestershire!

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Freeborn Al / 17th August 2016 / Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos

Geddin’ on Farmer Phil’s land.. part three..

14045553_10210020946138400_6248960456736454191_nSunday morning arrived with that feeling of simutaneous amazement at how quickly the time had gone whilst feeling like we’d been on that happy campsite for much longer than just under a week.  We started the day cooking bacon (we had a lot of bacon to cook) and celebrating Sally’s birthday with.. well, bacon.  And cake, too, as all birthdays should be celebrated.

I think we were supposed to dress up in olympic get-up on Saturday, as we hadn’t done that Tim, Dave, Andy and I donned our Cool Runnings inspired lycra suits perhaps a day late (there was at least one other Jamaican bob-sled team on site though, so maybe it didn’t matter!).  It was universally decided that in the interests of decency that shorts or kilts should be worn over aforementioned suits.  I’m not sure it was any more flattering!

We’d got Sunday dinner booked at Nana’s Kitchen for noon (didn’t stop a sneaky bacon cob though), which clashed with Headsticks opening up the music.  The lovely Drew was happy to serve our food into takeaway boxes – and lucky for us a few technical wibbles meant that there was enough time for us to sit by the main stage and get our dinner eaten before the first act started on the stage.  It turns out Headsticks is a great way to work off a Sunday roast!

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Freeborn Al / 17th August 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 1 Comment

Geddin’ on Farmer Phil’s land.. part two..

I'm dead when Ella sees this!

I’m dead when Ella sees this!

Saturday morning came and despite the strange cold-like thing I’d had the night before I felt fine aside from a bit snotty, which is a bonus!  Speaking of Snotty, she had an appointment with an open-mic night where Morganella were scheduled to perform – so our first order of business was to head over a couple of fields where clan Parry were camped for an opportunity to rehearse a bit, grabbing a coffee en route.

By the time we’d finished and headed up to the arena it was lunchtime, nachos were my weapon of choice, we munched food whilst Emma and the Professor were getting started, it provided a most excellent soundtrack for a nice lunch – I only caught Kisses Sweeter Than Wine amongst the set before we decided to check out the shops.  I had designs on a poncho – as The Mighty Boosh rightly states, it’s impossible to feel sad in a poncho!

IMG_5075Whilst shopping though I was drawn down the bank to the second stage where Guitar Cubed were playing Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd – one of my favourite songs, and done justice here.  They moved on to Hey Jude before I headed back off up the hill to find Ella mooching around the shops some more.  It was a shame not to have had the chance to catch more of their set though, the little bit I caught sounded great (I managed to miss getting a photo too).

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Freeborn Al / 17th August 2016 / Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

Geddin’ on Farmer Phil’s land.. part one..

IMG_5010How to go about summing up the best part of a week in a field in Shropshire at Farmer Phil’s? Herb did a great job in poetic form already – I doubt I’ll be as succinct!  It was a windy field I arrived at on Tuesday evening, soon enough I’d got myself sorted nearly in the same spot as the year before, a fun night was spent eating fish curry (thanks Spike!), being cheated out of winning a rock, paper, scissors game, campfire singing and watching the stars.

Wednesday arrived and so did more people – Dave and Caroline got stuck in the mud, needing to be towed out by festival ‘Mr Fix It’ Craig, having spent our time in the campsite Tim, Jo and I opted to head up to the arena to case things out – and see Debbo and Phily in the Cheezy Vinyl Bar.  Back in the campsite there was more fireside singing, more star gazing and lots of dogs to make friends with.  Lurgan was a gorgeous young lurcher camped nearby – sadly Murphy didn’t get on with him!

IMG_5017Thursday started with bacon, a shopping trip with Tim and Jo to pick up supplies (for me that was a gas bottle and more bacon, ha!) whilst Caroline whipped up an awesome chilli.  Ella arrived having been delivered by the lovely Parry clan – eventually finding me having been for a wander around the campsite.  We took Kezzi up to the arena where she put on a dazzling performance in the kids open mic, before Emma and the Professor put on an early performance whilst we socialised.

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Freeborn Al / 16th August 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

Sunday.. that’s my fun day..

IMG_4983Departing in the morning from Thorne – fuelled by bacon and tea (thanks Becky and Pete!) we had a pretty packed agenda – all before getting Ella back down south for a reasonable hour given that we both had work in the morning.  A top way of ekeing out a weekend!  So we jumped into Ludo and hotfooted it to Shirebrook FC’s ground where a charity match for the Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund was taking place.

We bought some raffle tickets and watched the match, featuring Lee’s old team (including frequent sub appearances from Ken).  It was good to catch up with everyone, and the match was pretty entertaining – the first live footy I’ve watched in ages!  I think the score was 3-2 to Lee’s team when we left during the second half – Ken had had an eventful game, missing a penalty at the end of the first half, and scoring one in the second (sorry Ken, I was too slow with the camera for the second one!!)

There was an afternoon fun day planned at Fatboy Ink Tattoo Studio after the game – but unfortunately it was one of those days where too much was going on so we had to miss that.  We hotfooted it to the Yew Tree Inn in Ednaston, both ready for lunch – and what a lunch it was, I went for a beef roast and Ella an awesome looking lamb shank, which we duly devoured whilst nattering with Jonny and Katie.  The Yew Tree is a bloody lovely pub!

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Freeborn Al / 8th August 2016 / Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos, Videos / 0 Comments

Park life in Thorne..

13680884_1712994702295886_1002611072608679530_nIt was a jam-packed weekend just gone – just the way I like it!  It started with a morning soujourn to Thorne near Doncaster for A Midsummer’s Music in the Park, a reprise of last year’s event.  I parked up Ludo outside Becky and Pete’s, got him set up for later in the evening – unfortunately Ella’s train was delayed which put a spanner in our finely honed plans so I grabbed our new camping settee and wandered parkward alone.

With the Meadevil Bar in place, inflatables for the kids, facepainting, and a couple of stalls (including the ever-popular magic stall) already in place I found a suitable spot to spend the afternoon, grabbed a cider.  The sun was shining, there was good company – aside from rail based delays everything was going according to plan beautifully!  I really do like the Memorial Park in Thorne as a place to sit and chill watching good music!

The first music was served up courtesy of Honeywitch – stripped down somewhat, with guitar, bass, cajon (I was watching this most carefully) and Claire on vocals.  They started with acoustic guitar for more ethereal folksy numbers – Fly With Me kicked off the set, followed with a song whose title escaped me but was about a chap who’d until recently been on death row (having subsequently been exonerated) – with the awesome lyric “democracies die when democracies kill” – succinct and perfect.

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Freeborn Al / 8th August 2016 / Gigs, Music, Other Bands, Photos, Videos / 0 Comments