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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

TRINITY - T3 FESTIVAL & A BIT BEFORE!

OK, here we are, one of my now seemingly rare blogs, there is of course a good reason for this state of affairs but none I'll go into detail about here, suffice to say that due to a change in personal circumstances I don't often get the chance to slip off to so many gigs and festivals as I have done in the past.

A few people have asked why I didn't 'blog' the recent Baldock Beer Festival and it's amazing weekend of music, quite simply I only managed to slip out for a couple of hours on the Sunday afternoon.(Due to the kindness and generosity of a dear friend and fellow Fellowship comrade).

I did however catch most of the set from the lovely 'Said The Maiden' & the whole of the 'Joans, G & Plews' set, the latter being a 'Supergroup' consisting of  Shelley & Laura from JoanOvArc, G La Roche & Nick Plews and crikey did they rock!

Said the Maiden
The Joans, G & Plews
 So, Trinity T3 Festival, Islington, London, Saturday 12th May 2018, was it worth waiting for?
You bet it was, the third in these occasional charity prog festivals (The previous two having been held in Leamington Spa), with six great cats, charity auctions and raffles, a mass meeting of the progaratzi, so many friends gathered together in one place, it was like a massive family reunion, the atmosphere was absolutely magic, the music excellent throughout.

Sadly due to illness within the band, Tin Spirits had to pull out, however, last minute replacements Jennifer Rothery & Ricardo Romano kicked off the afternoon and beguiled us with their beautiful music.

Jennifer Rothery & Ricardo Romano
Next to entertain us were the wonderful Last Flight to Pluto, what an amazingly refreshingly different band this lot are, prog, yes of course but the range of influences and mix of genres they work into their songs is remarkable, crazy at times but it works, they blew many of us away.

Last Flight to Pluto
Completing the afternoon's line up were the brilliant 'Ghost Community' who, despite very last minute line up changes managed to pull a very memorable gig out of the bag, I love this band.

Ghost Community
So between the afternoon and evening sessions we all had to vacate the venue which was a good opportunity to shoot out for some lunch and a pint or two including a visit to the famous 'Hope and Anchor' where we met Kavus for a chat.

The evening session began with 'Touchstone' who had a very special guest on  lead vocal duties, Hayley Griffifths (Ex Karnataka) and wow, what a job she did, one of the best sets I have ever seen Touchstone deliver and I've been a fan for years through the past few incarnations of the band!

Touchstone
Next up were Knifeworld, now I know for many people Knifeworld are a 'marmite' band, you either love 'em or hate 'em, I happen to love them and as it happened they treated us to an absolutely brilliant set which I must say was probably one of the most accessible sets I've ever had the pleasure of seeing them play, spot on Kavus & the team.

Add caption
Completing the proceedings was the legendary Steve Rothery band playing the whole of 'Clutching at Straws' (& more), I like many others had virtually no voice left after singing along to this stunning set, a masterpiece and what's more, through the raffles, auctions and donations etc. a very substantial amount of money was raised for Cancer charities, what a festival, what a day!


Trinity T3 Islington 12/05/18

It had been a long, a long time coming
the Fellowship four on a train to London
Finsbury Park to Highbury and Islington
a few beers and brunch in The White Swan
and then a short stroll down the road in the rain
to the Islington Assembly Hall once again
for an afternoon and evening of prog and friends
it had been such a long time coming
but we got there in the end.

OK the beer in the venue was expensive
but it was a half decent craft beer, what the heck
we were there to enjoy ourselves
and enjoy ourselves we did, just get it down your neck
and the music was sublime
we had Jennifer Rothery & Ricardo Romano
and the jaw dropping magnificence of Last Flight to Pluto
the afternoon session was completed wonderfully
by the awesome band Ghost Community
before Peter, Chris and I hightailed it back to 'spoons'
for an evening meal, so it was just Eddie & the three of us
who had a pint in the Hope and Anchor with Kavus 
as Kevin had made his escape far and wide across the city
to see dogs choosing brews for Brew Dog
but he was back in time for the evening
we were sitting pretty.

There were so many friends there it was just so good to see
oh yes this was a very, very special event Trinity, T3
Touchstone kicked off the evening in a remarkable way
with Hayley Griffiths on vocals, "Wow" is all I can say!
Knifeworld were simply stunning, sublime
and the Steve Rothery Band playing 'Clutching at Staws'
it was all so fine
what more could you want, really, what more?
but there was still some final fun in store!
What a day, it couldn't have been any better
and we even caught a bus back to Finsbury Park for the train
and had such a short wait, I just wish we could do it all again
and soon!

Grant M
May 2018

Many of you who were there may have seen us wearing the purple Cambridge Rock Festival Ambassador's T shirts and handing out the odd flyer here and there, CRF is a fantastic festival and has a significant Prog element (Along with a host of other fantastic music), if you want to find out more please head on over to the CRF website where you will find everything you need to know.

Handing out a flyer or two
Cambridge Rock Festival Website:-

That's all for now folks, may the bear be with you.



Saturday, 7 April 2018

JUKEBOX VANDALS & POINTS AT THE RED LION

Thursday nights live original music at The Red Lion in Stevenage now seem to be back on course as the wheels turn under the promotion of  London Road Studious, (London Road Live).
This night saw the return to the scene of the extremely popular local outfit Jukebox Vandals (From which such amazing bands as Highwire Brigade etc. have emerged) supported by the increasingly popular and very excellent Points.

Rarely have we seen such a crowd at The Red especially on a Thursday night, the place was, quite rightly so, absolutely packed for what turned out to be an extremely splendid gig, that coupled with the LED lights and smoke did however make it very difficult to get any good shots of the bands!

Points are an alternative/indie band with a dark mathy edge from Hertfordshire

Rob Sanderson - Bass & Vocals
Martin Fairey - Drums
Dean O'Dwyer - Guitar
Jon Myers - Guitar

Rob has an extremely rich and powerful voice which goes so well with the music they play making them so distinctive and quite frankly, so good, with a new EP soon in the offing Points are indeed a band to watch out for.



Points
https://www.facebook.com/pointsband/

A few years ago the Jukebox Vandals were on the verge or great things and I must say they were one of the local scenes most popular bands with an extremely loyal and significant following, it would seem the time is just right for their return, and they certainly didn't disappoint.

From Walkern & Stevenage Jukebox Vandals are:-

Mark Hollis - Vocals/Guitar
Kieran James - Guitar/Vocals
Paul Ingram-Tedd - Lead Guitar
Ed Stafford - Drums
Andrew Lavansch - Bass



Jukebox Vandals
https://www.facebook.com/jukeboxvandals/

All in all it was a mighty fine gig and now with the Red Lion offering a 10% discount on draft ales for CAMRA members it was even better!

Vandals Point to the Red

Thursday night at the Red Lion
and the punters had packed out the joint
it was as much as we could all handle
as to what end? What was the point?
To see the reformed band Jukebox Vandals
play a long overdue comeback gig
supported by that marvelous band called Points
both deserve to make it so big
and no one was left disappointed
except perhaps at the end
for time came around all too soon
for a gig we wished had no end.

GM
April 2018

Until the next time, which might be some time, so in the meantime, keep enjoying and supporting your local live music scene.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

HAWKEASTER 2018 - MORECAMBE BAY

Wow, our first Hawkeaster and this time up in Morecambe Bay where the tide goes out and out and the sands seem to go on forever!
Travelling up on Good Friday morning seemed like a great idea at the time but alas, it seemed that thousands of people had decided to head north and the M6 was like a giant slow moving car park from not far north of the Birmingham M6 Toll, never mind, we got there in time to check into the hotel and make our way down into town to the Alhambra, the venue for the weekend's festivities.
Morecambe Sands

The Alhambra

I must say that Hawkeaster was one of the best festivals I have ever been to, such a friendly atmosphere, an eclectic mix of music (By no means all space rock), exceptionally good value food at the venue and with pints, including some splendid real ale at only £3 a pint!
It may not have been a full Fellowship event but Chris and I did fly the old Corona shirts and talk to a few people about Cambridge Rock Festival while we were there!



HAWKEASTER 2018

What seemed like an eternal drive
eventually saw us arrive
safe and sound at Morecambe Bay
where the sands stretch away
for miles
booking into the hotel was easy
we quickly unpacked and trekked
down along the seafront to The Alhambra
the venue for this years Hawkeaster
what a splendid old venue
so glad it has been rescued
from a fate worse than anything
it could have been
yet more expensive seaside flats
fancy that
Hawkeaster being the icing on the cake
that saved this impressive building
from such a fate!

A performance of Robert Calvert's 'The Box'
The opening evening couldn't have been better
we had Robert Calvert Plays then the Blackheart Orchestra
an amazing set from Tim Blake
joined by Steve Hillage, Dave Brock and Richard Chadwick
"Gong with the Wind" absolutely great
and the evening rounded off with some performance poetry
all sounded pretty damn good to me.

The Blackheart Orchestra

Tim Blake

Steve Hillage

Dave Brock
The next day Chris and I discovered 'Bay Butties'
an absolutely splendid little cafe
and the owner welcomed those from Hawkeaster
it sort of became our own off site eater!

It had to be done!

Flying the flag in Bay Butties

So Saturday opened with Hawkwind family & friends
followed by The Fierce and the Dead
of whom it must be said
played an awesome set
one of their best yet
and then came Evil Blizzard, Son of Man
and the wonderful System 7
we were in musical heaven
Ginger Wildheart was good
as was the remarkably good value food
and real ale at only £3 a pint
could it get any better?

Yes,  just wait & see!

Hawkwind & Friends

The Fierce and the Dead

Evil Blizzard

Son of Man

System 7

Ginger Wildheart
The evening climaxed with a stunning set
from the mighty Hawkwind
a fitting end
to another great day.

The Captain, Dave Brock

Mr. Dibs

Dave Brock
Sunday morning saw us again sampling the fine coffees
down at 'Bay Butties'
before Crumbling Ghost, Erin Bennett and Tantarism
followed by some baffling magic from Paul Zenon
the costumes of Screeech Rock had to be seen to be believed
before Prime Sinister
there was children's prize-giving
and a charity auction
so much to see and to do
Hawkeaster was just so much more than just your average festival

Crumbling Ghost

Erin Bennett

Tarantism

Paul Zenon

Screeech Rock

Prime Sinister
Following the break The Membranes rocked the roof off the place
and finally Hawkwind took to the stage for the last time this weekend
to bring everything to a sonic climax, bringing Hawkeaster to a fitting end.

The Membranes

The mighty mighty Hawkwind
So, that was it, an utterly splendid festival and one I have at last had the privilege to attend, thank you to everyone involved in the organisation and running of the event and to each and every one of the artists who performed for us, it was quite literally, out of this world.


GM
April 2018


Wednesday, 28 March 2018

MAVERICK, KAINE & DEPARTED AT MELBOURN ROCK CLUB

The sudden, unexpected and extremely sad death Melbourn Rock Club's founding father, main man and all round great guy, Maurice (Mo) McComb hit us all like a bomb from out of the blue.
The MRC gig at the Eternit Sports and Social Club on Saturday the 24th March was not an official tribute gig for Mo (As he had obviously been party to its arrangement weeks if not months beforehand) but of course, in a way, a very fitting tribute to the great man it turned out to be, with three excellent bands, Maverick, Kaine and Departed playing to the biggest turn out of the MRC, The Fellowship & The Hatfield Rock Den crew for many a day!

The late and very much missed, Mo (Maurice McComb)
In traditional Fellowship style, Fender took up his usual position on top of the speaker stack to enjoy the show and make sure everyone behaved themselves!

Fender sees all!
It was great to see that young band Maverick kicking off the evening in style, these guys have come on a pace (Or several) over the last year or so and they were on great form.

Maverick
https://www.facebook.com/sunlightforhoney/

Next to play an absolutely storming set were the mighty Kaine, fresh from recent massive shows like HRH Metal Meltdown and playing numbers from their outstanding current / new album 'A Crisis of Faith'  these guys are what the New Wave of British Heavy Metal are or certainly should be, all about, a stunning set all round.

Kaine

Kaine's front man Rage Sadler in full flow
https://www.facebook.com/kaineband/

Completing the line up on this evening were the mighty Departed who really rocked on the night (As they tend to do), maybe not officially but it certainly was a fantastic tribute to Mo and all at the MRC for putting on such a great gig.

Departed
https://www.facebook.com/pg/departedbanduk/about/?ref=page_internal


MRC March 2018

It was a sight to behold
it was something to see
The Fellowship, The Rock Den & The MRC
all gathered together
for a very special gig
this one was massive
this one was big
It wasn't Mo's official tribute
but in a way of course it was
for he had arranged the evening
but so many were there because
of Mo's sad and unexpected passing
such a dreadful awful shock
but we were there to honour his memory
and of course to rock
it was good to see Maverick
they've come on at such a pace
Kaine were absolutely magnificent
they totally rocked the place
and Departed gave us some great party rock
a fitting tribute I'm sure everyone would agree
to a great man, what a magnificent legacy
Rock on Mo wherever you are now
we did, and how!

GM

March 2018

Until the next time, keep calm and carry on enjoying live music live!