Saturday, 26 February 2011


Kevin’s Spotted Dick in Holborn!
25th February 2011; And so began another Fellowship of the Stick outing to London.
In a complete break from tradition there was no prior visit to Stevenage Weatherspoons for cheap beers and a bite to eat, I think we all needed to get at least thirty miles and a couple of pints away from work before relaxation could begin!

Another break from tradition was of course that we had the lovely Hazel with us for the London ‘Eatie-Drinkies’ phase of the expedition!

Some traditions however had to be upheld, so upon arrival at Kings Cross it was straight over to the 'Sir John' at St Pancras for a couple of pints of Betjeman Ale to get ‘Settled in’.
Our second pint came in ‘Jugs’ with an apology, I can’t understand why my remark, “I like jugs, especially big ones” caused such a furore, I was of course talking about the glasses!

Suitably refreshed it was then just a short hop on the tube to Holborn and to The Ship Tavern for a spot of lunch.
Ah yes, The Ship Tavern, where the food is so good that the Ham, Egg and Chips smile up at you from the plate!
This of course is where ‘It’ happened, that moment, a singularity where a chance comment or occurrence causes those involved to slip gracelessly into a state of complete idiocy and a fit of the giggles, especially by those old and wise enough to know better, but somehow that fine old English dessert “Spotted Dick” can often have such an effect!
Hazel gazes in awe and wonderment at the thought of tasting some Spotted Dick.

The Spotted Dick Incident
(Or was Kev’s Dick Really Spotted in Holborn?)

After sumptuous servings of Ham egg and chips
Or pies and all the rest
Washed down with cool refreshing pints
Of a damn fine Theakston’s best

The camaraderie was as good as it always is
When the Fellowship is in town
We talked of music, of life and good humour
As the beers were going down

Now the fellowship is a male domain
But today we enjoyed the company
Of Hazel who works along with us
Kevin, Chris and me

The Lunch in Holborn’s ‘The Ship Tavern’
Was so good it raised more than just a smile
And Kev and Hazel were hungry for more
It stuck out by a mile!

Scouring the menu for desserts
A certain something caught Kev’s eye
A traditional pudding called ‘Spotted Dick’
He just had to give that one a try

You could tell that Hazel wanted some
So two spoons were called for quick
Such a pudding should not be eaten alone
One must share one’s Spotted Dick

The arrival of the pudding was announced
By a call from the kitchen’s Cuckoo clock
We all though ‘How bizarre is that!’
And with laughter we did rock

Spoons dipped in and spoons dipped out
Chris and I could tell right from the start
That once those two in earnest started
They’d tear poor Kev’s dick apart

And all too soon it was over
I may have even looked on in envy
To see such a shared passion disappear
In such a feeding frenzy

Anyone who denies such pleasures
Should be hung, drawn and then garrotted
But never ever be tempted to share
A dick that isn’t spotted!
After recovering from what shall now for ever more be referred to as ‘The Spotted Dick Incident’ we made our way to the Princess Louise, a really fine Victorian pub with stained glass windows, ornate glass window enclosed ‘Snugs’ , art deco tiles & d├ęcor and where, remarkably for a London pub, the very fine draught beer was only £2.03 a pint!
(The gents really has to be seen to be believed and NO I did not take any photographs in there!).
The Princess Louise (Wheeling her bike).

One of the windows inside the Princess Louise, very apt I thought!

We walked, with remarkable self control, (not visiting every pub on the way), to the Museum Tavern and sat outside watching the world go by, the fascinating world that is London in the early evening, shortly after which, and another pub later, we saw Hazel off on her way ‘Down the Tube’ and headed for the ‘Pillars of Hercules’ which is very close to the venue of the evening, The Borderline.
Of course by the time we got to the 'Pillars' it was dark and the crowd, many of them pre-gig drinking, had spilled out of the pub to clutter up the pavement outside (I of course include myself in that).

Our final venue for the evening was 'The Borderline' to see Nik Turner's Space Ritual in concert, they were on cracking form and a splendid night was had by all, at one point there were 12 musicians + Ms. Angel (The dancer) on stage!

Nik's saxophone playing was simply astounding and it was also a real pleasure to hear such old Hawkwind numbers as 'D-Rider' which features his awesome flute expertise.

After the gig it was the usual 'mad rush' to get back to Kings Cross in time to grab a well deserved pasty from the West Cornwal Pastie Company, this itself fast heading towards becoming a tradition!
Jumping onto the penultimate train home north, we shared our seat with a lad from Hitchin who had just been to see Sylosis at the Cambden Underworld, (for the uninitiated, Sylosis are an up and coming British Heavy Metal band and not a medical condition)
for some reason he found our conversation, and especially Kevin's call to Dianne to convince her that she should pick him (and Chris) up from Arlsey, extremely funny, all I can say is, it must have been the violins that did it!
Until the next time.

Thursday, 10 February 2011


Now with added Poetry!

Well, we couldn't be the Fellowship of the Ring because that's been done before and probably far better, actually, I know it's been done far better being a massive Lord of the Rings fan myself, however, our fellowship has grown from a small to a somewhat larger group of like minded friends sharing a love of good music, real ale, good food and behaving like you're still in your teens even though we're probably not!
The stick however, like the ring, has awesome power!

We have no constitution nor formal 'rules' these that follow are just for fun!

These' rules' may of course vary somewhat depending upon what can be described as 'Local Conditions'.
1. Gigs at Club-85 in Hitchin must, in all cases, be preceded by drinking real ale in 'The Nightingale'. Chicken and Chips may be procured before or after the gig (Or both) - Post gig or waiting for the last train then, 'Hitchin Station Platform Dancing' is to be encouraged.

2. Gigs in Letchworth, in all cases must be preceded by drinking in Weatherspoons and must always be accompanied by some sort of meal.

3. Gigs in Haddenham, acceptable social behavior will be determined before, or 'On the night', by the nominated driver.

4. Gigs at 'The Stables' Milton Keynes - As per rule 3 above.

5. Gigs in London, these must be preceded by an early lunchtime 'kick off' at Stevenage Weatherspoons (New Town) and an afternoon's drinking in London, food should be taken at the nearest opportunity as and when required and again after the gig.

6. Beer or Music Festivals and the like - Anything goes.

7. Antwerp or elsewhere abroad, anything goes within reason as long as it is 'non-arrest-able' and does not cause injury to other Fellowship members.

8. Photography and filming, at any gig or venue:-

a) Legal filming or recording of the band is to be encouraged as is the sharing of such photographs, files or recordings with other fellowship members post the event.
(Remember illegal filming or recording is illegal and is not to be encouraged under any circumstances, so sayeth 'The Stick').

b) Filming of other Fellowship members is mandatory providing these are done in the worst possible taste with all intentions to discredit or embarrass the individual in question being filmed.
Raucous or cringe-worthy dancing MUST always be caught on camera and shared, preferably within an open or public forum such as Facebook.

9. Attire. Attire for any event attended by the Fellowship should be commensurate with the theme of the event, for example, if attending an outdoor festival, jeans and 'band' T shirts may be more appropriate than a dress suit, also, when seeing a band such as Gong, the wearing of appropriate headgear (E.g. Propeller Hats) is to be encouraged, other examples include Viking costumes for Turisas or Lordy, stockings and suspenders for the Rocky Horror show etc.

10. Weatherspoons Real Ale Vouchers - Irrespective of whether a CAMRA member or not, any member of the Fellowship holding such vouchers is duty bound to share these among the fellowship for ease of 'Round payment' (These of course can only redeemed against REAL ALE and not Lager).


I suppose that it's very true to say
throughout mankind's history dance has a way
of evolving and perhaps revealing
just what the dancer’s may be feeling

An outward expression of the inner soul
whether American Smooth or Rock and Roll
or careering about, leaping and bashing
whilst in a brutal mosh-pit thrashing

Or the graceful gentle rise and sway
of a Viennese waltz well underway
po-go-ing punks or an elderly tea-dance
such movement, surely, will always entrance

Whether the beauty and grace of a classic ballet
or the passion of a Tango or perhaps more so today
a modern dance where anything goes
in flamboyant costume or indeed ‘avec sans’ clothes!

but, of course

There's dancing and there's dancing
none doth compare to Prog-Rock prancing
arms and legs fuelled by music and too much beer
to watch such dance doth raise a cheer!

When is a Voucher not a Voucher?

They talked of Hawkwind, of Gong and Hillage
whilst supping real ales from the racked up stillage
such afternoons like this should never end
a beer festival at Our Mutual Friend

When drinking of such very fine ales
a sense of merriment prevails
but time has a habit of marching on
and soon it was time for them to be gone

By omnibus and railway train
they were on the move again
to Letchworth's finest Weatherspoons
to meet old friends and catch old tunes

Soon the few became the six
more beers graced this heady mix
and food fit enough to load any plate
more beers, more beers no time to wait

A trade magazine lay close nearby
an advertisement caught the eagle eye
it seemed that vouchers were available here
gift tokens to pass on to friends for beer

The picture looked like the real McCoy
so was hastily cut free, oh boundless joy
five pounds off the very next round
if simple bar staff could just be found

So with confidence and some aplomb
Kevin stepped up to pass it on
this confused the poor bar-maid
she called the manager, I am afraid

But she said to just check the date
but before it was too late
Kevin owned up to the deception
and received a somewhat surprise reception

The manager it seemed was not annoyed
in fact she was somewhat overjoyed
that such a ruse was thus revealed
and could no longer be concealed!

So it was with happy hearts all round
the six intrepid friends did abound
and onward to rock the night away
to Deeply Purple did dance and sway

The tale above is truth not lie
and if such things you're want to try
the moral is simple but very true
get really thick bar staff to serve you
in the first place!

And finally, a word from our sponsors, hic!