Monday, 22 October 2012


This is my own personal record of the event and does not in any way reflect any one else’s views or perceptions.

Proguphoria at Mr. Kypp’s
So, to begin at the beginning, a long, long time ago at a festival far, far away someone was handed a flyer, it was entitled ‘PROGUPHORIA’ 20th October 2012, at Mr Kypp’s in Poole, Dorset, featuring, Alan Reed (Ex Pallas vocalist), The Paul Menel Band (Ex IQ vocalist doing Nomzamo), The Cryptic Clues (Featuring members of Twelfth Night) & Galahad and someone said, “Hey Grant, this is down in your old home town, shall we go?”, well, to cut a long story short, I said yes and we did!

Surprise number 1
Following the debacle at the Kingston Travel Lodge during Celebr8 where their computer system was down and we had no room keys for the entire weekend, we did, after registering a formal complaint, get a significant refund, a refund however that had to be spent this year and in the form of another Travel Lodge booking!
So we found ourselves at the Bournemouth Travel Lodge up on the West Cliff, having arrived at around 2pm we could not check in until 3 but that was OK as Proguphoria wasn’t supposed to kick off until 4.
So, dumping overnight bags back in the car, Kevin and I set off to walk the mighty 10 or so yards down to the ‘Hop Inn’ on the corner, after a well-deserved pint we made our way back towards the hotel stopping off for another pint in the ‘Shamrock Bar’ virtually next door!
3pm, Bournemouth Travel Lodge, queue to check in, “Sorry, our system is down and we can’t print the card keys for the room” &  “Don’t worry, I’ll book you in manually and someone will be down shortly to let you into your room”, now where had we heard that before?
To give them their due they did let us up to our room quickly and they did get their system back up and running in time to give us our keys as we left to get our taxi to Poole, so no discount for the next adventure whatever that may be?

Bournemouth Travel lodge

Surprise number 2
The venue, Mr. Kypp’s is actually in Parkstone, the suburb of Poole that I was born and grew up in and lived until my mid-twenties, it’s virtually opposite the ‘Bricklayer’s Arms’ (My prime old local) and next door to the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ (Another frequent haunt that used to be called the Bulls Head).

The Brickies

After a very nice pint we strolled across the road to meet the growing crowd in the Mr Kypp’s car park only to find that the sound checks were running behind schedule and the doors wouldn’t open for another half an hour to forty minutes, surprise, surprise!

The gathering prog throng!

So, into the Bermuda Triangle it was for a couple of pints, peanuts, pork scratching’s etc. There’s nothing like pushing the boat out and settling down to a square meal, well the packets were almost square!

Kevin enjoys a square meal in the Bermuda Triangle

Once it was the Bulls Head, now the Bermuda Triangle

 Surprise number 3
The doors finally opened and in we went, Mr. Kypp’s, Parkstone, Poole Dorset, it is actually in what was the main hall of my old Junior School!

The front of my old school, St Peter's

The last time I’d set foot in there was something like 47 years ago when I was 11.
In fact, I’d once stood upon the very stage, or certainly its predecessor, dressed as Yogi Bear introducing the School’s Christmas play!
Talk about surprise, trips down memory lane and all that, my senses were somewhat overloaded, I had to sit down I was so overwhelmed!

That's me by the way!

Surprise number 4
Having been told, ‘On good authority’ by a beer pundit in the Brickie’s that Mr. Kypp’s did not have any ‘decent’ beers we found that not only was this absolute bullshit but to our delight they not only had Doombar on but it was excellent AND they did delicious rounds of sandwiches for only £2 a go!

Surprise number 5
There were a lot, and I mean a lot, of people there that we knew, either from Celebr8, Cambridge Rock Festival, The Peel, House of Progression or the Ministry of Prog’ events, yes, all the way down to Parkstone, Poole, Dorset for a gig where the crowd were predominantly from London and the South East, in fact, where we had come down from!

The Gig
Mark Spencer must be one of the most hard working men in the progressive music scene, he popped up on keyboards for Alan Reed, sang for the Cryptic Clues (who actually came on as Twelfth Night) and played bass guitar in Galahad but more of that later.

Alan Reed, accompanied by Mark Spencer on Keyboards; What an exquisite opening to the event, Alan’s vocals were spot on and his beautiful often anguished lyrics delivered in that unmistakable Scottish style which he has made very much his own, the rendition of ‘Love Song’ was one of those ‘Lighters in the air and tears in the eyes’ moments.

Alan Reed & Mark Spencer

There was ample time between the bands to slip out to pick up some food from one of the local take-away shops, the Chinese seemed to be very popular and I can state, with confident first hand experience, that the Chicken in Cashew nuts and the chips were very good indeed!

Next up was the Paul Menel band, ‘side one’ of Nomzamo followed by several Paul Menel Band numbers before ‘side 2’ of Nomzamo, splendid performance all round and very good to see Clive Nolan guesting on keys (From, among others,Pendragon for those not so well versed in the Prog universe, so that snippet of vital information may well be lost on you too!).

The Paul Menel band

The Cryptic Clues were up next, essentially this was Twelfth Night but without Andy Sears on vocals, in fact Clive Mitten expressly requested they be introduced as Twelfth Night (For good reason).
I know, myself included, that among several of my friends who are into progressive rock, Andy Sears is one of those ‘Marmite’ vocalists, you either love him or hate him, ipso facto Twelfth Night, it seems to be a case of love them, or, love the music but don’t go too much on the vocals! Sorry Andy but that’s just the way it seems to be, however, with the by now almost ‘ever present’ Mark Spencer on vocals, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!

The Cryptic Twelfth Night Clues

For some reason the sound balance wasn’t perfect for them and you had to be near the front to hear the vocals well but the performance was absolute perfection and I must say, for me, this was the Twelfth Night I’d always wanted and waited so long to see.  Mr. Mitten and the boys were on fire, for some I know they were the band of the night!

Galahad, headlining, and guess what? Mark Spencer was back again, this time behind the bass guitar, thinly disguised with minimal make up and a quick change of stage gear!
Oh, what can I say that’s not been said about Galahad, very little so I won’t even try, for me they were fantastic, one of the few Prog bands playing soaring anthemic rock that you can still dance or jig about to, fantastic, fabulous, great gig, great company, nice venue, loads of memories old and new.

Guess who's playing bass for Galahad?

OK, so the headline band get 2 photographs!

To everyone who was involved in putting Proguphoria together, especially Matt Ellis,  and making it what it was and where it was, my eternal thanks, “You done good”, as they say.

The Poem
Anyone who knows me, or knows my blogs will know that I always capture events, gigs and especially Fellowship of the Stick events in verse for 'The Chronicles of the Stick', so here's the one for Proguphoria:-

It couldn’t happen again, could it?

After a splendidly uneventful drive
At 2pm Kevin and I did arrive
At the Bournemouth Travel Lodge Hotel
But we couldn’t check in until 3, oh well

Down the road to the Hop Inn
For the weekend drinkies to begin
Then next door to the Shamrock bar
Then back to the hotel not that far

The hotel system was somewhat ‘down’
No room key passes in this town!
It couldn’t happen again, could it?
Well almost, but they did fix it

A taxi ride to Parkstone
Our journey almost done
A quick pass by the cash machine
And we were off for fun

Down to the Bricklayers Arms
An old local of mine
Then over to the Bermuda Triangle
As we had the time

And Mr. Kypp’s the venue
Was my old junior school hall
I pictured my old class-mates
But they weren’t there at all!

The sound check was still going on
And it was all running a bit late
So we went back to the Bermuda
To sit and drink & wait

The pub was very good
In fact it must be said
Back in the day when I lived there
It was actually the ‘Bull’s Head’

At last they opened up the venue
And it was time for music galore
Alan Reed with Mark Spencer
Who could ask for more?

Then Paul Menel with his band
Playing their own stuff and IQ
We danced we sang we drank
What else could we do?

There were friends there from Celebr8
And those from The House of Prog
Some from London & the South East
And some from Cambridge rock!

They did lovely sarnies at the bar
For only £2 a round
And decent beer at a decent price
While we blissed out on sound

The Cryptic Clues were up next
For Twelfth Night a perfect ringer
In fact they were Twelfth Night
Just with Mark Spencer as their singer

And the mighty Galahad
Headlined this awesome show
With Mark Spencer on bass this time
I thought you’d like to know!

A quick one in the Triangle
After the show was done
Then a taxi back to Bournemouth
Oh we had had such fun

A quick one in the hotel bar
Then it was time for bed
A better weekend could not be had
When all is done and said

And the card keys worked!
And I didn’t mention, peanuts, pork-scratchings or
The Chinese meal
Or the trip round memory lane in the morning
With Kevin at the wheel
But I have now!

Grant Meaby

For all my photographs of the weekend, go to my Facebook page, but for now, bye bye.

This has been a Fellowship of the Stick production, until the next time one and all, rest easy.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

A Jolly Splendid Day

Well, finally it arrived, 13th October that is, my birthday and as it happened it turned out to be a very memorable one indeed!
Talking of memorable birthdays, my previously most memorable ones were my 13th which happened to fall on Friday the 13th and my 40th when I was hosting a Parnassus performance show entitled "Mickey's Night Out", my son Jae had sent me a tin of cigars with a note saying, "Dad, open these when you're doing your show", I did and inside was another note saying, "Congratulations, you're going to be a granddad!".
What could top that, well Saturday 13th October 2012 came pretty close, after a splendid day at home with the family, lovely presents and a fabulous birthday cake, I then went off to Hitchin to meet friends for a birthday drink in the Nightingale followed by a splendid gig at Club-85 with Golddust, The Defekters and Scum of Toytown which incidentally I had been asked not only to host but to do some poetry between the bands, awesome.

So, the day, my splendid T shirt from Keira:-

My birthday Cake

And of course, the night!

 A Jolly Splendid Day
I’d already had a splendid day at home with my family & friends
It was one of those days that I wished would never end
But the evening was of course, still there yet to come
And what had been planned for the night was sure to be such fun!

I met Ignatius at the station at the time we had agreed
We caught the train to Hitchin such was our mutual need
To start off at the Nightingale where such events so often do
We enjoyed a quiet start with the pair of us, just two

And then Kevin, Chris and Paul arrived and made us a merry throng
A few minutes before Peter too came in, well it wasn’t very long
We enjoyed a birthday beer or two or maybe three or four
And all too soon it was time for me to be heading out the door

I made my way down the street along to Club-85
To find my lovely wife and daughters waiting there outside
I reported in for duty to Bob, Steve, Jon and Matt
And let them know what I had planned and they were cool with that

The bands all sang “Happy Birthday” as I walked in through the door
This was a great way to set me up for all that was to be ‘in-store’
The punters flooded in and they were quite an awesome crowd
So to introduce Gold Dust I did “The Sound Check” nice and loud 

For the Defekters I regaled them with “How to Recreate a Festival at Home”
That seemed to go down very well I was certainly not alone!
And for Scum of Toy town, a bit of our joint history first was shared
Before “The Old Folks Home for Rockers” specially adapted and prepared

I enjoyed all the music and I enjoyed the company
All in all it was just so good, so memorable for me
So thank you to everyone involved, all I have left to say
Is it’s down to each and every one of you for such a jolly splendid day. 

The poems mentioned within the above can be found at

In the Nightingale


Me on stage ranting poetically

The Defekters

Scum of Toytown

A montage of memories

So, to everyone who came and made it such a fantastic day and evening, thank you all so much and to everyone else, cool runnings until the next time.
Grant October 2012