So once again Kevin, Chris & myself were off on an adventure, this time to Reading, that's the town of Reading and not reading (I think we can all read!) to fulfil a twofold purpose, firstly to visit The Hobgoblin Pub (Now known as The Alehouse) and secondly to go to the Crimson Sky gig.
There is a famous, or some may say infamous, Public House in the centre of Reading that has, for many years, been called 'The Hobgoblin' however, following Marsden's 'take over' of the Wytchwood brewery, the name 'Hobgoblin' is effectively copyrighted for the beer of that name and it would have cost 'The Hobgoblin' a lot of money to have retained the name.
Anyway, to cut a very long story short, several months previously we had met some of the Hobgoblin crowd (The manager & bar staff) in London and had spent a wonderful afternoon and early evening with them, we had a 'standing invite' to visit them any time we were down in Reading.
When we planned the trip to see Crimson Sky, their 10th anniversary gig and the first outing for over a year with their new singer, we had no idea that it would coincide with the last day /night of The Hobgoblin and the re-naming party, well, sometimes great coincidences do happen!
So there we were, in Reading and staying overnight in the less than salubrious Travel-Lodge, but for one night only it didn't matter, after all, we didn't really spend much time in there at all!
This is the 'simplified' version of what is an 'Epic' poem, here rewritten in AABB for ease of reading, or is that Reading?
The Reading Adventure
So once again the Fellowship three
Set off to see what they could see
In which direction were they heading?
South West my son, south west to
The trip advisor with caution had said
It was not the best place to lay one’s head
The Travel-Lodge in Reading town
But for just one night we’re going on down
With some trepidation upon our arrival
We surveyed this palace of our survival
OK so there was ‘gaffa-tape’ on the floor
But for £31 no less no more!
We set off hence forth for the Hobgoblin
To sample the delights to be sampled within
It was the final day of it being so named
For its splendid beers it was indeed famed
The crowd that we’d met in
Greeted us warmly once through the door
Like long lost friends we were welcomed in
We were really at ‘home’ in the Hobgoblin
West Cornwall pasties just next door!
Heaven indeed, who could ask for more?
So an afternoon in great company was spent
To return later on, our avowed intent!
The Arts Centre was our quest for the day
Via the ‘Great Expectations’ along the way
Another place with some excellent beers
But food must wait be patient my dears
So it was, at last off to the gig we duly went
Full of great ales and with good intent
The night even had a splendid M.C.
From Tinyfish, Mr. Robert Ramsay
Guitar and keyboards from the band ‘It Bites’
What a great way to start this night
All in all a damn splendid set
From Mr. John Mitchell and Mr. John Beck
Next upon stage were Grey Lady Down
One of the best prog-rock outfits around
They played for a full hour and blew us away
They alone were worth every penny we’d paid!
Head-liners, Crimson Sky, were also great
Even if their singer was a few minutes late!
But she took to the stage and made it hers
Raunchy rock music assaulted our ears
The crowd were very entertaining too
The Pagan lass with the Pentagram tattoo
Who couldn’t do spells, oh I bet she can
She just needs some ‘tuition’ from the right man!
When the music was done we made our way
Back to the place where we’d started our day
Stopping off for some Halal chicken and chips
Before once again wetting our lips!
With pubs it is still somewhat rare to find
One where all inside are of the same mind
Such splendid beers and kept so well
It is a well kept secret so please don’t tell
The Alehouse is run by metal-heads
It could be so easily a place one dreads
But it’s so damn friendly once you’re within
Long live the Alehouse long live the Hobgoblin
Tonight the place was packed inside and out
KaK FM were brilliant beyond all doubt
They played all the cheesy sing along hits
Even those songs that really ‘Got on your tits’
Tonight was also ‘Cleavage Night’
And boy oh boy there were some lovely sights
To be had in that direction
Did I say I have an, er, a funny feeling?
We met so many splendid new friends
It was an occasion we wished would never end
But sadly as the night wore into the morning
The warm hotel and our beds were calling
So it was a sad farewell to the Hobgoblin
Its crazy lovely people all crowded within
Farewell to the bar and the “Giggling snug”
With handshakes and kisses and good manly hugs
A Fellowship adventure was once more at it’s end
So please remember this my dear, dear friends
You may eat and drink heartily with farting & belching
But under no circumstances will we tolerate feltching!
So, until the next time dear friends, stay safe and cool runnings, Grant, April 2012.