Sunday, 28 April 2013

London and Larry Miller at the Borderline

Once again the combination of a really good London pub crawl followed by one of the best gigs of the year so far was all part of another splendid day!
Now don't get me wrong, I do not spend all my time swanning around London trying to drink it dry, it's just that living close enough to the capitol does mean it's fairly easy to get in and out to catch some great gigs and other events and armed with a little knowledge before hand you can explore parts of London that the majority of tourists just don't see and that also means there are some excellent pubs scattered away down backstreets and side streets that are well worth a visit.

This was a real Fellowship of the Stick outing, four of us intrepid mortals succeeded in actually finishing work at more or less spot on 12 noon on the Friday, part timers? Emphatically not, in order to be able to finish at 12 on a Friday (That's the cut off point for core hours under our flexi hours system) one has actually to have done ones hours for the week and have hours in ones flexi account, anyway, 12 and we were off again.

We had not visited the Betjeman Arms at St. Pancrass for quite a while, it was well worth it for a fine pint of Betjeman Ale and to watch the world go by, life here is always interesting and there's always something to to spark the imagination.

Yours truly outside the Betjeman Arms (
A (very) short bus ride down the Euston road saw us at The Euston tap another splendid watering hole with a fine range of draft, craft and bottled beers.

 Not far away, tucked away, is one of my favourite pubs in London, the wonderful Bree Louise where CAMRA members can get a nice little discount on beers and meals, so good Kevin created his own Happy meal!

Now, three pints of splendid strong ale into the afternoon, it was time to move on, which we did in style, visiting, in no particular order, The Draft House, The Blue Posts, Nellie Dean of Soho, The Crown and Two Chairmen, the Montague Pyke and then popping into The Crobar for a quick JD & Coke before descending into the depths of The Borderline.

Chris, Peter & Kevin and The Stick

So, nicely fuelled by a splendid afternoon we were ready to rock our socks off to some of the best rocking blues you're ever likely to hear this side of the universe!

Support for the evening came in the form of The Mitch Laddie Band, now if you've never heard of Mitch Laddie and you like your blues loud and rocking, Mitch is one of the young up and coming new generation of  Blues Rockers, in fact I'm pretty sure the Borderline would have been just as full if he was headlining, so to have Mitch and the boys there as a support for Larry was something quite special and a great way to start the gig.

Mitch Laddie (in the cap) really going for it

Now that Mitch had us all warmed up it was time for The Larry Miller Band to get us started and get ready for Larry himself to explode upon the stage! 

This tour is promoting the new album Live and Outlawed, which, as the title suggests, is a live album, it is a damn fine album and really does manage to capture some of the excitement of a Larry Miller gig, any way, back to the gig, to say that Larry was 'on form' this night would be somewhat of an understatement, Larry was on fire, and just so, so, so good, days later and I'm still buzzing.

Larry in action at The Borderline
Now surprise of the night, at the end, Larry brought on a very special guest, in fact a very, very special guest, Eddy 'Blue' Lester on saxophone, just in case you didn't know, Eddy is an ex Jimi Hendrix band mate and to hear and see him play Voodoo Child with Larry was something that made the hairs on the back of my neck (and elsewhere) tingle!

Eddy 'Blue' Lester

What a way to round off one of the finest of days, quite and utterly splendid, and, as I type this, I'm listening to Live and Outlawed, again!

The sheer brilliance that is, the Larry Miller band.

As is somewhat traditional for a Fellowship event, I captured the day in the ditty below, another one for the chronicles.

London & Larry 26/04/13

Some traditions are fine and should be respected
Or in this case an old tradition resurrected
A departure time of  spot on 12 noon
Just couldn’t come around too soon

And there we were once again
London bound on the half past train
And what was the first establishment we went in?
Why of course it had to be The Sir John Betjeman

A pint and a bus ride saw the Fellowship four
Walking through The Euston Tap’s door
Then onto the wonderful Bree Louise
Corona-less barmaids so to tease

And then right before our very eyes
The most delicious, sumptuous pies
Then off again to a new ‘Mine Hosts’
To find a pub strangely called the Blue Posts

Along the way there was the Draft House for a nice craft beer
And the Nellie Dean of Soho for further cheer
The Crown and Two Chairman, strange names methinks
We shared a table with the lads and their girly drinks!

Then the Montague Pyke just had to be done
Beers and burgers or hot dogs and beers simply yum
And then of course it was really not that far
To slip in a mock JD or two in the old Crobar

So as it happened as usual just in time
We made our way into The Borderline
The Mitch Laddie band were in full flow
And he’s pretty damn good don’t you know

But Larry Miller was on so on form this night
His band so practised and so very tight
And with special guest Eddie Lester (Eddie Blue)
This was a spectacularly brilliant somewhat special do

And the Borderline did what it always does
Finished right on time but OK for the four of us
We made it back to Kings Cross for the earlier train
We were ‘As happy as Larry’ once again.

Grant Meaby

So, until the batteries are restored and we have the energy to do it all over again, cool runnings one and all, until the next time.

All rights reserved, words and images above, Grant Meaby 2013.

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