Saturday, 28 February 2015


Thursday the 26th February 2015 saw the demise of one of the finest Hardcore rock bands around, yes, sadly,it was Arms and the Man’s final farewell gig.

A few years back five members from very different and diverse bands and musical backgrounds decided to get together and form a serious (That never really happened) hardcore band to play exceptionally well crafted and melodic powerful rock, and so, ‘Arms and the Man’ were ‘born’.
With their inaugural gig courtesy of SoundArc Studios live promotions, at, none other, the Red Lion in Stevenage it was somehow fitting that it should end where it began.

From their fist gig until their final gig, Arms and the Man have been showing the rest just how hardcore should be done and the farewell gig was no exception and it was so much more than just another gig, they were determined to go out in style, with a bang and more importantly having fun and what a party it turned out to be.

Kicking off the evening were another good melodic hardcore outfit, Beds/Herts based ‘Hierarchy’,  who despite far too few appearances hereabouts have come on in leaps and bounds and hopefully will soon have something down on CD for the punters to listen to at home, only a half hour set but a storming start to the evening.


Next up were local Punk Metal heroes ‘Skullf*cked’ drawing in the slightly younger and predominantly college crowd, more than just a punk metal band many of their songs were carefully crafted with some interesting spoken word parts and instrumental breaks, the guitarist has to be seen and heard to be believed, phenomenal for one so young, taking doomy Toni Iomi type riffs reminiscent of early Sabbath and speeding them up to pace that even the best thrash metal guitarists would find hard to match, quite an eye opener and surprisingly refreshing, all power to the band for stepping in at the very last minute as well.


So, 'Arms and the Man', as usual exceptionally brilliant, in a class of their own and partying like there was no tomorrow (Which unfortunately there was and didn’t I know it on Friday morning!).
Front man Ben Davies, always the showman, seemed to use the whole of the pub as his stage, well, certainly as far as the mic lead could stretch!
Early on Matt broke a string on his guitar leading to what could have been one of those embarrassing pregnant pauses which the band managed to fill adequately with quips and humour and a bit of audience banter, they were soon off again and gave it their all, entertaining us and on the other hand making us feel somewhat sad that they were calling it a day, however, the pain was somewhat lessened by the freebie CD give away at the end of the set and the odd battered souvenir drum-stick & set list (I can be such a fan boy at times thus, I hope, proving that the appreciation of music has sweet FA to do with age).

Arms and the Man having fun right to the end

Not unexpectedly but as for the 1st of the farewell gigs a couple of weeks ago at Club-85 the audience in a somewhat packed Red Lion included a large contingent from many of the areas established and accomplished bands, the local music industry, parents, wife’s and girlfriends, friends and family and goodly smattering of regular punters, local metal heads etc. and all in an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie that doesn’t always happen a such a gig which, in itself, was splendid and also led to a fairly significant after gig party atmosphere that lasted to and beyond ‘chucking out time!’.

A Farewell to Arms

A farewell to arms is something we may wish for
But a farewell to Arms and the Man?
Classic title, classic band
And there was really only one way
To say, goodbye
To end on a high
To finish what they started
Where they had begun
At the Red Lion pub in old Stevenage
With a gig, with a party, having fun
And so one of the finest purveyors of Hardcore
Suddenly, sadly, are no more
But they raised the standard
To which others may aspire
That in itself in no mean legacy to leave
If you believe
It’s only rock and roll
Live fast, live fast
And die fucking old!
And in this game
Never say never

Grant Meaby


OK guys, just where are the audience?

You guys certainly entertained us and so thanks for the ride, it was a blast, until the next time, cheers all.
GM 28/02/15

Wednesday, 18 February 2015


The Sunday night acoustic nights at Club-85 have become quite an event with some excellent acts and a nice relaxed, friendly 'clubby' atmosphere, Peter, Chris and I headed on down there on the 15th February primarily to see Luke Tuchscherer from the Whybirds play his solo set but there was a lot more going on!

Acoustically Ours

A Sunday for a pre-gig drink?
Where else do you think?
It could only be the Nightingale
Purveyor of the finest ale
So this is where the Fellowship three
Chris, Peter and little old me
Did wander into to quality assure
The Colley’s Dog, as good as before?
In fact as good as ever
But not so clever
As to sit talking and drinking
What were we thinking
We missed the first act

Oops, sorry Charmaine
Doors opened at seven thirty
With the first act on straight away
Now this is somewhat unusual
It rarely happens that way
But we were there for Donna
Just her own songs and her guitar
She entertained us with style and aplomb
We could not have wished for a better start


Luke from the Whybirds was on next
In fact it was him we’d all come to see
He was just downright bloody fantastic
Just as we’d hoped he would be
He didn’t disappoint, he enthralled us
We sang and we all clapped along
His own stuff was poignant and splendid
And so was that old Whybirds song
When he had finished his set
Which by the way was far too short
We all went down for a chat
And his solo CD we all bought


The Kingston Inn were the headlining band
But with a somewhat noisy and shambolic start
The sound balance was so horribly unbalanced
With the drums blowing everything else apart
And then as each lead instrument fired up
It drowned out everything else you could hear
But help was at hand when the sound man
Did suddenly, just like that, re-appear

The Kingston Inn

Knobs were twiddled, turned and adjusted
And a magical transformation occurred
They sounded like a band should sound
And you could hear clearly each word
Like the Pogues meet Mumford and Knifeworld
It was a pretty strange mix but endearingly OK
A strange blend of traditional folk and art rock
What a great way to spend an evening on a Sunday

Chris and Peter and I certainly had fun!

Mind you, I think this helped too!

Enough said

So, until the next time and who knows when and what that will be, stay sane, stay safe and cool runnings one and all.

Grant Meaby

Monday, 9 February 2015


OK, so our friend and the man behind Anonymous Promotions, much loved for putting on such an eclectic variety of bands, Roger King, decided that for his Stag Party he was going to have a night of Hardcore Rock, and why not I say, why not!

So, without further ado, he did, we did, and it was jolly splendid.

Hardcore or What?

Do not pass go, do not collect £200
Go straight to Club-85

Tonight there were no Nightingales singing
Just Hardcore rock to set our ears ringing
No Colley’s Dog but set that aside
There was Woodford’s Wherry and London Pride
Chris and I were there for the bands and what’s more
It was Roger King’s stag night with people galore
All in all a great turn out which was so good to see
Including the massed ranks of the North Herts music scene

The Grass is Hairy

The Grass is Hairy opened the night
Doom laden grungy punk metal and it was alright
Seasons Calling followed and they were quite OK too
Soaring soundscapes, growled vocals, just like they do

Seasons Calling

But then came Arms and the Man and by god was it fun
I guess you could say they showed us all how it should be done
It’s a shame they are splitting but all good things must pass
So catch the last show if you can, just get off your arse
And get down to the Red Lion on Feb 26
As this will be a show that is not to be missed

Arms and the Man

But back to the Friday and topping the bill
Were Ash is a Robot all the way from Portugal
With their blend of Hardcore and more melodic songs
It was a pleasing mix that just couldn’t go wrong
And Roger appeared to end up somewhat wasted
It must have been all those Jager bombs he tasted

Ben "Someone get Roger a Jager Bomb, no, get him two"

With thanks to Ben from Arms and the Man
For inciting us all to get Roger as drunk as he can
So it’s three cheers once more to the one and only Roger King
It was all down to Anonymous Promotions doing their thing
Head-banging in the evening, banging head in the morning
Spot on, rock on, should carry a Public Health Warning!
Oh yes, and by the way, congratulations Roger.

Ash is a Robot

Grant Meaby