A lovely bit of Bothering..

Oops – nearly a week late, but it has been a busy week in my defence!  But last Sunday we had a welcome trip up to Market Warsop for a bit of Stars Bothering on Sunday in the Black Market Venue.  I love nights like these, relaxed and informal and fun – and usually with a spot of entertainment.  For our second time we’d been booked too, due on after appearances from the hosts, Herb and Alex Bradford – and followed by Josh Francis (who was running a bit late owing to traffic).

Having settled down with John, Angela, Tony and Trudy folk started arriving and The Star Botherers got themselves set up and the evening underway.  With a slightly later start than planned it was just a two song treat – kicking off with One Inch Death Punch (at least Bart did, Dave start the bass riff for Just Around the Corner which was quite amusing!).  That helped decide the next song, it was indeed Just Around the Corner – short but sweet.  Don’t forget their album launch is a week today and it’s free!

I was looking forward to catching up with Herb – each time I see him take the stage he gets more confident, especially with a sharp new hair cut!  For a blogger he’s great as he interperses songs with the stories behind them and their titles.  He opened with Sometimes, a melancholic finger-picked tune with philosophically observing life’s ups and downs – I really liked the lyrics.  Black Dog’s Eyes picked up the pace a bit – more strumming, and more empassioned vocals – dealing with escapism through substances, another really nice song.

Having said Herb tells you his song names and stories each time, I seem to have missed the detail of his third one – it was another finger-picky one and it was really nice, he finished up with one I’ve heard before – Tattoos and Relationships charts the increasing disposability of things in life, even those things which would’ve ordinarily been seen as permanent choices.  A really solid set – as ever Herb was apologetic about everything but he’s a really engaging performer with some clever melodies and excellent lyrics.

Alex Bradford never fails to impress – and to add to his already impressive abilities he’s added some kind of pedal-based control centre to add looping and effects to his arsenal.  Talented bugger.  He started out with Valerie, showcasing some great solo guitar work over looped rhythms.  Kasabian’s Days I’ve Forgotten was up next then an original song – called Field because of an apparent dearth in inspiration so he wrote a song about a field – and why not?  It sounded great!

A timely tribute to Tom Petty with a rousing Free Falling was up next, then another original song which he’d forgotten the name of but charted the frustrations of hanging around outside school waiting for a lift from his dad!  Stereophonics’ Dakota was next, overlaid with a dazzling array of loops, harmonics and – as I noted on my phone ‘all manner of clever shizzle’ – so there you go!  Noel Gallagher’s Lock All Your Doors was up next, then a lovely rendition of The Beatles’ Blackbird. He finished up an excellent set with Half the World Away – leaving me certainly and I imagine my bandmates thinking ‘oof, so we’ve got to follow that!’

So after a bit of faffing around since we had a few more folk than the other performers soon enough The Star Copiers were ready to take the stage.  In typically organised style I don’t seem to have made a note of our set list at all, ha!  We opened up with Down Under, coming in one at a time.  We had relegated Good Riddance to our soundcheck song, but resurrected it here for a change about!  Nights in White Satin stayed, although I didn’t bring the chimes this time, thinking an extra channel might’ve been pushing it!

Issac was up on guitar and Kev on vocals for Too Late, then we decided to keep Tiny Ugly World in our set – it’s a lovely song that Rich set us the challenge to learn for his gig, and we’ve come to really love playing it both for the sound and for it’s added meaning.  Having said that, we utterly cocked it up first time around.  Since we had plenty of time we did something I don’t think we’ve done before and just stopped and started again – I’m glad as I’d asked Ella to record it so we could share it with Rich and Julie, and that first one was a car crash!

Wish You Were Here was up next – a first for me, singing without sunglasses on.  I had a couple of crafty looks mid song but suspect I kept my eyes tightly shut for the majority!  We picked up the pace with I Still Believe and then for Fifteen Years asked John to join us on tambourine, bless him I don’t think he enjoyed it – hopefully he liked the personalised set list more!  Mairi’s Wedding Pt III was our planned ending, but with no Josh yet we snuck Listen in as an encore – which I’m glad about I love that song!

Shortly after we’d finished Josh Francis dashed into the venue to get ready – looking dapper in a suit and bowler hat, armed with a couple of guitars.  He introduced himself and promised protest songs – with an outlandish and amusing backstory of his doings from earlier in the day.  He has a bit of the look of Beans on Toast about him, but the sound of Russell Brand (or was that just me?) – he kicked off with Bribery, he was a pretty melodic protest singer, a very natural performer.

The High Chaperone was up next, then a brief interlude for some cabaret!  I’ve done really badly at capturing song titles, there was some bluesy stuff in here (not least Welfare Blues which apparently Bart had expressly requested).  The songs were interspersed with candid admissions from Josh’s life, as well as engaging songs he had some spectacularly good between song banter – he certainly had our table in stitches.  The set ended with a song he’d written whilst in hospital, whilst the increasingly grumpy quiz teams looked on as they were waiting for the PA to get started.  Oops!

Another top night, as ever I do find myself wishing I was a bit more local – although a 9pm (ish) finish does mean you can get home in time for a sensible bed time before the weekly grind recommences, but it’d be nicer to be able to stagger home having had a few pints of Illicit!

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