2017 – the ‘slow down year’..

Whilst I always seem to be busy, 2017 was a quieter year than the last couple – that’s borne out by the blog activity, 68 posts this year compared to 90 in 2016.  Home ownership, life events and an inherent need to slow down a little bit (but only a little) took its toll.

There were a few occasions where I bundled events into single mega-posts rather than splitting them out that might be artificially manipulating the statistics downward.  But on the music front it’s been another belting year, regardless!

January got underway pretty late with a trip to Droitwich to see Nick Parker and Paul Henshaw, an ace gig and a chance to finally put a visual reference to a place that had always stuck in my mind from DFS adverts of yore.  Now I’m just looking to head to Darley-Dale and Measham for gigs and I can tick off the sofa-based trilogy of places from those cursed interludes that used to plague us between films around Christmas in the 80s and early 90s!

February was a little livelier, we had a trip with off-duty Nick Parker to see previously unheard of Kevin Devine in Nottingham which was awesome, great support too from The Lion and the Wolf and George Gadd.  Ferocious Dog dropped their From Without acoustic album to us which went down very well indeed, whilst Mad Dog Mcrea played an amazing set in Nottingham along with The Outlines and Star Botherers (I’m not sure if they’d officially dropped the ‘the’ by this point!).

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Freeborn Al / 30th December 2017 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos

Small but perfectly formed.. part 2..

For longer term readers you might remember a detrimental Saturday morning breakfast with Jamie, Paul and Jayne at last year’s Roystonbury Festival.  I’m happy to say that this tradition was continued but with a different cast – he led a merry band of troubadours to a local pub to watch the Lions play Rugby – I swerved this, with little interest in the game and a desire for a lie in and being able to remember the day – those that did complete the trip returned with mixed results!

So with lie-in in the bag I surfaced and was offered some delicious breakfast wraps by John and Angela, which along with a cheeky cider set me up for the day very nicely indeed!  We popped to see Amanda and Sarah by the Purrple Peeple Eater to await the return of the Rugby revellers which was suitably hilarious.  Between the five of them they’d managed to run up an impressive bar tab and an advanced level of drunkenness.

Dean immediately set to the task of providing speciality shot slippery nipples for everyone, with limited success – before reappearing in slightly different clothing – that soon made its way onto Jamie who spent the rest of the day in a rather fetching dress.  Mark fared less well, he and Simon ended up in bed whilst Darren the fifth intrepid adventurer had been less voracious on the Guinness, Jäger and tequila consumption so was doing pretty well!

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Freeborn Al / 9th July 2017 / Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos

Royston-buried! It was Jamie’s fault..

IMG_4488One of Ella’s many talents is an ability to sleep in once the sun’s up – be it in a sweltering tent or a less-so van.  Not so much me, I was awake, I made myself a tea and went for a wander – Jamie was up too, I made him a tea and eventually we all settled around Paul and Jayne’s van for a civilised sit down.  I’d grabbed a breakfast from Nana’s Kitchen, Paul and Jayne were cooking theirs, and that’s when it all started to go a bit wrong…

“Fancy a Bloody Mary, Alan?” asked Jamie, casually.  I was reluctant, but as I’d not indulged too much the night before there was no normal festival delicateness, I went for it.  And breakfast descended into a bit of a shot-fest – there was vanilla vodka, Disaronno, Honey Rum, Tequila (complete with lime/lemon and salt purloined from Nana’s), Triple-sec and – well – safe to say we were all pretty drunk well before lunch time when the music started.  Ah well!  We did have a bubble machine and some ace tunes to accompany our excesses!

IMG_4495Doozer McDooze was up first, having broken the main stage – which hadn’t been used yet! – he switched to the acoustic stage to open up the day of music.  He launched into Searching, a track on his new album (stay tuned for a review of that in due course) and into Dreams – given our alcoholic lubrication we were probably much more fun for an early performer than we normally are!

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Freeborn Al / 4th July 2016 / Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

Roystonbury part one..

IMG_4478It was back in March I got a Facebook message from Janice out of the blue asking if we wanted to come to Roystonbury, as tickets were getting scarce.  I must confess, I hadn’t heard of it prior to then, but after some not very hard convincing, a bargainous £20 ticket price including camping and a check on the calendar to see we hadn’t got anything else on it wasn’t a difficult decision to get the tickets bought!

The event started last year as a birthday party for Roy, which went so well it became a festival proper this year – raising money for Horatio’s Garden. They are an awesome charity who create and maintain fantastic outside spaces for NHS Spinal Injury centres – providing essential areas for folk who have months to spend in hospitals to spent time outdoors and closer to nature.  An idea created by Horatio Chapple, who was tragically killed before seeing it become reality.

So on Friday after finishing up at work I headed off in Ludo for the short drive to Burbage, Leicestershire via the station to pick up Ella.  A slight sat-nav mishap was corrected and we arrived on site to be parked up by Roy himself – an ace little site accessed through a farmyard, with a few chickens to dodge and other assorted livestock of a woolly variety.  The arena was right next door, and a few familiar faces were already present.  For us we just needed to break in the levelling blocks to get the van level then the bed set up.  I don’t miss tents!

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Freeborn Al / 3rd July 2016 / Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments