Groundhog night?

Ah, day two.  Groundhog night? Not a bit of it really. This time the evening started in a hotel, waiting for Ella’s train to get in – once we’d got ourselves checked in and sorted we nipped up to the marvellous Tap and Tumbler for a few drinks and general catching up with folk.  There was a nice atmosphere about the place, and I finally succumbed to the temptation I always have in there to buy a pint of Trooper – Iron Maiden produced beer, and very nice it was too.  With plenty of folk on hand to talk to, it was a splendid way to start the night.

Better still, who should be stood next to me at the bar but Cliff – who I mentioned yesterday.  I’ve literally not seen him for a good many years, and it was absolutely fantastic to get the chance for a prolonged natter at the bar.  Reminiscing, putting the world to rights and occasional introductions – it was great.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog (which gave me my record views in a day since the blog’s inception – thank you!) Cliff tutored me through firewalking and glasswalking back in the day – both amazing experiences on different ends of the adrenaline scale.

The only pitfall was as time did its inevitable thing we realised we’d propped the bar up and talked our way through the support slot of Louise Distras which is very remiss of me, my humblest apologies to her.  In the venue we headed up to the balcony, Ella was planning on taking in the gig from on high – whilst unlike yesterday I was planning on getting smashed around the moshpit for an hour and a half.  Which gave Ella dual duties of set list noting and carrying my assorted breakables.  So it’s thanks to her that I have the song order, haha!

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Freeborn Al / 22nd April 2017 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos, Videos

The world turned upside down..

Ah, it’s good to be back writing about Ferocious Dog for a change!  Upon arriving at the Rescue Rooms with Jamie and Teresa to find Ken holding court outside.  A gentle chide about my rather less than impressive attendance record was followed up with a big grin – he was clearly really excited about playing the first of three sold out nights on home turf.  With a full on day I’d arrived straight at the venue, with another today I’d opted to drive, saving Friday and Saturday for alcohol opportunities.

So I wandered straight into the venue – in addition to the Ferocious Dog banner, on equal billing was one depicting Kurtis Mann, a fellow fan of the band who lost his life last year, a lovely touch.  It was emblazed with The Kurtis Mann Stage.  Sadly I never got to knew him although must’ve bumped into him at countless gigs – in a small world moment I do actually know his dad from pre-Ferocious Dogging days, I’m looking forward to catching up with Cliff over the next couple of evenings – it’s been a long time since he guided me to walking on hot coals, broken glass and breaking boards with my hand!

But I digress from the off.  There were, of course, countless people to catch up with milling around in the venue with more arriving all the time as the place filled up to a really healthy crowd in time for the support act for the evening… the inimitable Mr Gaz Brookfield, who needs absolutely no introduction to any vaguely regular reader of these pages.  He unassumedly took to the stage to a rapturous reaction from the crowd, Gaz always goes down well in Nottingham (I note another Maze date slotted in to October, just sayin’ like). (more…)

Freeborn Al / 21st April 2017 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos

TV personalities..

3373_10153880894334343_8765133109960421985_nHopefully most of you got to see Notts TV’s hour long Ferocious Dog special which aired last night at 10pm.  Those of you that missed the opportunity through geographical constraints or not having Sky will get the chance to catch up online once their systems update (it doesn’t appear to be quite so quick as more established channels at catching up!), but I thought that it was a superb introduction to what Ferocious Dog are all about from presenter Mark Del.

The programme centred around the climax of the tour – the sell out gig at Rock City, the first ever unsigned act to do so.  My only pedantic quibble was the repeated claim of them being the first local unsigned act to do it – they are the first act, full stop, in 35 years of the venue to sell it out without the backing of a label.  Whilst it is of course nice they’re local, it’s not relevant to the feat at all.

A mixture of interviews from before the gig – constant references to the fans (well, okay, family) – when Anton from Rock City was interviewed before the gig he made some astute references to the relationship between hell hounds and the band being akin to that he’d seen before with the Levellers and New Model Army, and not from other bands since then.  He was also pretty on board with the idea of pushing for more national coverage for the band too – good news!

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Freeborn Al / 2nd January 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Interview, Lee Bonsall, Music, Photos / 0 Comments

Fly on the wall..

IMG_1943Over the last year I’ve been privileged and humbled by the fly on the wall opportunities I’ve been afforded by the band.  Last week I was lucky enough to join them in the rehearsal studio after a day of exploring then driving back from Clitheroe to get a sneak preview of some of the treats in store for Rock City.  Of course, I couldn’t write about it then as it would’ve spoiled some of the surprises – but I can now!

It is a small glimpse into the work that happens behind the scenes from the band – after a gruelling three days with Ken suffering from what turned out to be laryngitis it was essential they got some time in to run through some of the finer details.  Les and Scott had never played Pocket full of Madness before, John had a few times and the rest of the band hadn’t played it in ages (nor had Kyle!).

Whilst Chloe and Megan had worked out their dance routine it was important to get a chance to practice with the band – timings between live and recorded songs can differ quite dramatically, and then of course there was the extended version of Freeborn John to work through with The Afterdark Movement rapper Bru-C (as an aside, since then I’ve been listening to a bit of The Afterdark Movement and I really like it (aside from referring to my favourite football team as Notts Forest – haha!)).

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Freeborn Al / 30th November 2015 / Band, Music, Photos, Thoughts, Videos / 0 Comments