Sunday, 1 December 2013


So, there we were, Friday the 29th November 2013 and once again it was time for 'An excursion', this time to Cambridge to see Larry Miller supported by Absolution at The Junction.

Chris and I set off from Stevenage on the 12:42 train to Cambridge with the intention of doing a short pub crawl around Cambridge, a sort of circular route starting from near the station, into town, round and about and out along Hills road to meet up with Kevin in the Flying Pig at around 17:30, well, this is what happened.

As we made our way from the station towards what was to be our first port of call, the Live and Let Live, we passed, or rather didn't pass, The Devonshire Arms.

Inside The Devonshire
It looked warm, it was, it looked comfortable, it was, did they do food? They did, did they serve real ale? They did, in fact they had eight different ales 'On the pump' so, decision made, we'd make our unscheduled stop here for lunch and first pint.

Well, what a splendid way to spend a lunchtime and an afternoon, sitting chatting with a great friend in a lovely traditional warm comfortable very English pub after a fine lunch of wholemeal doorstep bacon and cheddar cheese sandwiches with lashings of fresh salad and slowly working our way through several of the fine beers on offer (A great selection from the Milton Brewery for the ale punters among you).

Chris and I highly recommend the Devonshire Arms if you're in need of a good pint in Cambridge, we've already decided that we're going back with more of The Fellowship for a 'Just because we can' afternoon soon.

Time has a habit of passing too swiftly when you're having fun, before we knew it it was fast approaching 17:15 and time for us to stroll off down the road back towards the station and down to Hills road to The Flying Pig to meet up with Kevin, which we did but the Pig was absolutely heaving with students and the post Friday afternoon working drinking crowd and they didn't seem to be doing any food (Which was the initial plan) so we had a quick pint and then darted across the road to The Earl of Derby, OK, it's a Greene King pub but the food was excellent and not too expensive, I had the biggest portion of Scampi I think I've ever had as a 'pub-grub' meal and it was delicious too.

And so, it was then on to the prime objective for us being here, a short stroll to The Junction, to, initially, stand around outside in the freezing cold chatting to Dave Roberts (Mr. Cambridge Rock Festival) while the sound checks were completed, we were all getting a little concerned at the lack of people queueing and hope that perhaps they had found somewhere warmer to wait!

At last the doors opened and we were in, feeling somewhat lost in the vast empty space of the main stage hall, like the few who were there right from the start, we decided to go and fill up the bar!

Isn't it amazing, some venues you know it's going to be a crush and your heart sinks when you arrive and join the mile long queue that snakes all the way down the street and round the corner and others where you think you might be attending a very intimate gig just for you and your mates when suddenly, out of nowhere, the room has suddenly filled up!

Anyway, the support band for the night were Absolution, an absolutely damn fine young but extremely talented blues rock band who has us bopping and foot tapping along, we've seen them before and liked them then, they did a cracking job tonight too.

Absolution rocked the place
Oh how thrilled I was that the venue is so well equipped with the high power LED lights and an overactive smoke machine, it plays havoc with taking any decent photographs but what the heck, it was the music that i was here for and I wasn't disappointed.

Then came the moment we had all been waiting for, the room had filled up with a highly respectable (numbers) crowd, for the one, the only, Mr. Larry Miller.

Larry Miller
If by some strange chance you have never seen Larry or heard him play then you really are missing out big time, especially if you are into blues rock and like such notables as Rory Gallagher, Gary Moore, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Bonamassa, Ben Poole, etc. etc. Well Larry, in my opinion, knocks spots off them all, even the late greats, not that he plays that many covers, his own material is fantastic.

Captivating stuff from Larry
You cannot go to a Larry Miller gig and not be happy, he himself is always so enthusiastic and he has a real knack of engaging his audience in a way that many other artists could learn from, his music is uplifting and well, just makes you H. A. P. P. Y.

Plenty of songs from his now growing back catalogue, a few covers and if you only ever go out and buy one Larry Miller album, go get the double live 'Live and Outlawed' album and you'll be close to being able to know what I'm talking about.

An absolutely splendid performance and yes. Larry is booked fro CRF 2014.

And here I am, avec stick advertising TFATD too!

This being a Fellowship outing I have of course captured the whole thing once more, or rather, as always, in verse, for some strange reason I know (I have been told on many occasions)  that some of you my happy punters quite like this bit, that makes you as weird as me which is quite OK by my book!

Not A Pub Crawl

2013 Friday the 29th of November
Is a date for some time I will remember
That is of course because
It was the pub crawl of Cambridge that never was!

Chris and I caught the lunchtime train 
It was to be a short stroll around again
I’d even plotted out a Kevin type walking route
It was short concise and circular to boot

The Devonshire Arms wasn’t on my map
But it was the first pub we came to by chance mayhap
Just a quick pint before we moved on
But the food was so good and didn’t take long

There were eight real ales on pumps at the bar
It sort of made sense not to stroll too far
It was warm, friendly and full of atmosphere
A real old English pub with truly excellent beer

We stayed all afternoon and just didn’t stray
Oh well, never mind, what more can I say?
We moved only when it was time to meet Kevin
Off to the Flying Pig and another drinkers heaven

Food was required and the Pig wasn’t serving
We were awash with beer and somewhat deserving
So over the road went we to the Earl of Derby
For another pint of ale and some lovely scampi

The intrepid three then made off to the Junction
The venue this night for a Blues Rock function
Absolution opened the proceedings that night
A great little warm up act just right

And then came Larry. Larry Miller, wow!
He blew us way once again somehow
Surpassing previous performances yet again
Triggering those blues synapses in our brains

This was not a pub crawl
Indeed. no not at all
It was however, to all intents
Most definitely,quite excellent.

Grant Meaby 

As we are now well and truly in to that month, the month that has that day in it, we can all seriously start thinking about others, so, for now, all that remains for me to say is:-

Fender says "Happy Christmas"
Grant Meaby
December 2013

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