Painting the town Red..

It’s maybe a bit painfully ironic on the day after Ferocious Dog‘s homeland was painted blue by the electorate that they took to Nottingham to unveil some of the songs which will feature on the forthcoming Red Album.  Or maybe not, the voyage south took them back into Labour territory for a first airing of these new tracks.  But anyway, whilst I might touch on it from time to time this is a blog for music not politics – so I shan’t dwell on that tempting though it might be!

We opted to drive in for the gig – I wanted to concentrate on the new material, plus we’re out and about tomorrow so sobriety made sense, so after finishing up with work for the day into the car we piled and headed to Broadmarsh to take advantage of cheap parking for the evening.  Upon reaching town we wandered past Annie’s Burger Shack knowing a fair few mates were eating there – indeed they were, al fresco so easy to find.

A quick trip to the Angel with Geoff found more friends inside, then it was on to Brewdog where everyone claimed their free pint of IPA in exchange for having a selfie at their polling station.  We found Sigrit to present her with her CD by The Star Copiers she won in Ella’s raffle (unlucky Sigrit!). As I wasn’t drinking and don’t really get on with Brewdog ales Ella and I popped over the road for an iced coffee and a pot of tea respectively – we really are very rock and roll, you know!  After a mooch around the Rough Trade store, the venue was soon open.

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Freeborn Al / 10th June 2017 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos

Dear Brad, you rock!

I’ve been looking forward to Brad Dear‘s EP launch ever since it was announced – it’s been literally years I’ve been watching Brad but I think this is only the second time in that time I’ve seen him headline his own gig, and the first time he’s done so with the full line up of him, Andy, Chris and now of course Lizzie on fiddle.  With Unknown Era unfortunately having to drop out, Spud was drafted in as a last minute support which frankly is a bonus in itself.  As we normally would anyway we made sure we were there in time for proceedings beginning.

Plenty of folk were already in Bodega early doors too – Spud got himself sorted and on stage, kicking off with The Small Festival Scene, charting the awesome array of grassroots events that go off around the country (and how tricky it can be to get to play them!).  Amusingly, being in a DHP venue, he went for Life Without DHP next – explaining to the crowd how difficult not being on the radar of the ubiquitous Nottingham-based promoter can be.  Certainly raised a few chuckles in the crowd.

Getting into his stride next up was the inimitable I Can’t Get Penetration on Tinder – raising the stakes of chuckles to downright laughter!  His love of fishing was up next for Wherever I May Roam (not a Metallica cover, I hasten to add!) before his love of, well, other things was paid tribute to with High Green.  A proud Nottinghamian his homage to Robin Hood was next with The Legend of Nottingham has its own video(which which I never knew!), he finished up his set in the crowd with Sam on guitar for a raucous final track of Chocolate Biscuit.  Ace set.

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Freeborn Al / 12th March 2017 / Gigs, Music, Other Bands, Politics / 0 Comments

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

Bonus last gig of the year..

I’ve already gotten half-way through a review of 2016, but managed to sneak a cheeky bonus gig in last night.  Having met up with some former workmates for an epic burger at Annie’s Burger Shack I found myself in Nottingham either at a loose end or ready to head home.  Luckily for me I knew Sam Jones and Spud were appearing at a Roots Acoustic night at The Pit & Pendulum – since it was just around the corner it seemed rude not to pop along for a bit.

As I was driving and have work in the morning it wasn’t ever going to be a long night – but certainly a worthwhile diversion!  I got to the venue just to see what I presume was the first act finishing up, so apologies about that (I can’t find who it was either, d’oh!), but he was an acoustic cover of a Radiohead song and sounded great.  Meanwhile I’d found Sam, Spud and Chris propping up the bar.  I’ve used the Pit a few times as a pre-gig venue, I’d never really thought of it as a music venue itself.

It works pretty well though – the Pelham Street side made up the music venue, with folk in the Victoria Street side having a few beers.  It’s a shame more folk didn’t venture to the music half, but I suppose between Christmas and New Year isn’t the best time to expect big crowds.  There were a few folk wandering in and around though to appreciate what was on offer.  No matter how many people are in it always seems to take me ages to get served in there, I wasn’t even wearing any camo!

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Freeborn Al / 30th December 2016 / Gigs, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

Ey Up Mi Ducks! The friday file..

IMG_3675Uncharacteristic bad planning from me made me think that Ey Up Mi Duck started on Friday evening – and as such I hadn’t arranged the time off work to get there until early evening.  We did, however, think forward enough to get down to Amber Valley Rugby Club on Thursday evening to get the tent set up to save us a job once the festival was underway, so after finishing up with work with excitement we headed to the site.

A lovely setting – a raised Rugby field for camping, stalls and the acoustic stage with a dip down to the clubhouse and the main stage – and the Meadevil Bar – and already a festival well underway, with plenty of folk to mingle with whilst clutching the first of too many ciders purloined from Pete (and a pink mead – which was amazing).  After a good while we realised we’d not eaten, so made a beeline for Nana’s Kitchen for plateful of steak and ale pie, mash and peas.  Awesome food.

IMG_3668We’d settled with Dave, Caroline and Murph – which was fortuitously next to the Cheezy Vinyl Bar – I couldn’t resist a cheese platter despite not exactly being starving, Phil and Debbo served up a monumental (not emmental – ha!) portion which I battled my way through with relish, washed down with a lovely slug of port.  Happily the Cheezy Vinyl Bar will be making appearances at plenty of other festivals on our roster this year!

It’s not easy being cheesy.  But I’m happy to keep giving it a good go.

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Freeborn Al / 9th May 2016 / Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos

The end of an era..

IMG_3459Sam Jones has been running his acoustic evenings at The Brown Cow in Mansfield getting on for two  years now.  I’ve had some great nights there – I forget even what lured me to them in the first place, I suspect it was to see Paige Seabridge, but it gave me a chance to get to know Sam’s music, and countless other artists in that time as well as see more familiar faces playing.  It even gave me my first opportunity to surf to Freeborn John when Ken and Dan appeared there a little over a year ago.

In more recent months I’ve been a lapsed worshipper at the church of the Brown Cow, happily for me my weekends have become centred around spending time with Ella and Sunday afternoon is return-to-Stevenage time – but as I’m currently driving around in a capped mileage courtesy car we’ve reverted to trains to and from of a weekend, so my car accident whilst being crap has been great timing on that front, as I’d have really hated to not be able to make Sam’s last evening.

So it was I headed on up to Mansfield – the car park in the pub already full but a parking space found around the corner easily enough!  Outside was time for a quick catch up with Chris of Roots Acoustic fame, as one era ends another begins – he’ll be taking on Sam’s night as one of his own which will be great!  Getting in the pub the background music was courtesy of Roots Radio – inside it was great to be immediately greeted by Andrew, Brian, Paige, Suzy, Rob and Sam – with Martin, John, Angela, Joel, Brad and Kila arriving shortly after.

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Freeborn Al / 18th April 2016 / Gigs, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments