The year the music died?

Image credit: christhebarker

2016 will probably go down as one of those years where sad news overshadowed the good – certainly that was true for me both in personal terms, which I won’t cover here, but also the seemingly relentless march of famous icons being taken by the grim reaper.  Just as we were coming to terms with Lemmy passing away at the end of 2015, in 2016 we’d be constantly reminded by social media of a glittering parade of cultural icons shuffling from this mortal coil.

David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Jimmy Bain, Terry Wogan, Harper Lee, Frank Kelly, George Martin, Keith Emerson, Frank Sinatra Jr, Paul Daniels, Ronnie Corbett, David Gest, Victoria Wood, Lonnie Mack, Prince, John Berry, Nick Menza, Muhammad Ali, Henry McCullough, Anton Yelchin, Caroline Aherne, Kenny Baker, Dalian Atkinson, Gene Wilder, Pete Burns, Leonard Cohen, Andrew Sachs, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Rick Parfitt, George Michael, Liz Smith, Richard Adams, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

That’s not an exhaustive list, I’m sure, but that’s not really what I wanted this blog post to be about – but you can’t really do a review of the year without mentioning the elephant in the room.  As with seemingly most things these days it caused ruckuses on Facebook with folk taking to social media to express their sadness whilst others get irked at seeming over-emotionalness.  Certainly there’s a lot in that list who whilst I’ve never met have had huge influences over my life, and I felt genuine sadness at them moving on – some seemingly far too early, others having reached a ripe of age.

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Freeborn Al / 30th December 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

Travelling along the ancient road with The Silk Road..

13532968_1136428143093816_260219737519044595_nThe Silk Road was an expansive trade route network enabling Chinese silk to be exported and sold all over the place from two hundred years either side of the birth of Christ.  Or it was also an expansive dark web black market trading platform famed for selling drugs or other illicit items between 2011 until it was shut down by the FBI in 2013.

I checked in with founding member Tich and it turns out both of these things inspired the band name – the three hares symbol linked to the ancient trade route, although nobody really knows the origins of the images – but for the band, it and the name symbolise the universal connections people and places all have with one another.

I first saw The Silk Road the band back at Something To Smile About in their acoustic guise – but I’ve known singer and guitarist Tich for over a year now, and we’ve often nattered at Ferocious Dog gigs about their output.  With extra performances at Estival and Wistful to take in, they’ve also been in the studio to produce a four track EP (well, really it’s five tracks), so it was great to finally get my hands on it courtesy of Tich at the weekend.

As I tend to do I’ve been hammering it on my drives to and from work this week – since I’ve clocked up over five hours of car time in the last two days (damn you, M42!) I feel like I’ve gotten to know this little collection very well indeed.  That said, I’ve certainly not tired of listening to it whilst idly cursing the strange and unexplained concentration of traffic as I trog to and from the West Midlands each day.

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Freeborn Al / 19th July 2016 / Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

Estival the best of all?

IMG_4362We always look forward to a trip to Thorne – it generally involves something awesome set up by Pete and Becky!  Estival is in a similar ilk to last year’s Midsummer’s Afternoon in the Park – a fundraiser for Firefly Cancer Support and community engagement project to get the local folk of Thorne exposure to the arts as well as the aim of giving the local food bank a boost.  We hotfooted it straight from Banbury, picking up some ice and water en route and dropping it off at the park to keep the wine and mead cool.

After the errand was run we popped the van round to where we were going to stay, and made our way back to the park armed with chairs, and having glanced at the weather prognosis a couple of umbrellas!  With the weather in mind the MeadEvil bar was set up in one of the marquees with another set up with seating to protect folk from the elements – and the first performer, Davey Wilson, was already underway on the bandstand.

He was perfect for the time of day, the sun was still shining just about – and he flooded the park with acoustic cover versions often in medley form.  Pete had said he hadn’t had time to tell him, a last minute substitute, that he doesn’t like his events to be full of cover versions (a pity, as Davey would’ve preferred playing his own stuff too!), however it worked really well for me – a myriad of songs like Valerie, Sweet Home Alabama, Let’s Get it On, Stuck in the Middle With You sounded nice to me!

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Freeborn Al / 27th June 2016 / Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments