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Monday, 27 April 2015

PIG IRON, KAINE, LOVEHATS AT MRC - YE HA, IT'S ONLY ROCK AND ROLL

Sometimes we don’t just go to a gig, we set off on an adventure!


Saturday 25th April 2015 saw us heading off to the Melbourn Rock Club’s 35th anniversary gig at the Eternit Social Club in Meldreth, Hertfordshire which is close to the Cambridgeshire border (I.e. Way out ‘in the sticks’).

The thing was, this was an overnighter and the first time that Fender’s Den, a.k.a. Kevin’s caravan had had an outing since last year’s adventures and it was in desperate need of a good spring clean, so, lunchtime saw me heading off to Stevenage station to catch the train to Arlesey to meet Chris and then off to Langford to get the job done.

With the help of Henry the Hoover a duster and a can of Mr. Sheen the inside was soon clean and sparkling, the outside benefited from a good soapy wash down and a high power jet spray, yes, Fender’s Den was once more habitable.

With the caravan hitched up we set off through the winding country roads to Meldreth with a short detour to Royston to pick up a suitable present for Maurice’s 65th birthday and then to our regular overnight pitch by the side of the club to await the arrival of our friends Tim & Jo.

The bar was open, it was about 17:30, the ‘Trooper’ was on tap and fresh, well, rude not to really.

After a couple of pints we decided it would be best to get the caravan properly pitched and sorted for the night and Tim and Jo had also arrived and set up their tent next to us, Chris cooked up some fine cheeseburgers and we were ready for a night’s rock and roll.

One of the great things about the MRC rock gigs with the overnight camping (Coupled with an early arrival) is that you get to see all the bands sound-checking, meet them, meet the other punters, especially the other mad souls going for the overnight experience and it gives the whole thing much more of a festival atmosphere rather than just another gig.

Anyway, our general exploits are all ‘captured’, as usual, in the commemorative poem below, so, onto some real comments about the music, I could summarise it all very simply as, three excellent bands, but that wouldn’t be fair so I’ll expand a bit!

LOVEHATS
https://www.facebook.com/LovehatsBand?fref=ts

Lovehats, this was a band I’d not come across before and hence knew nothing about, an obviously very experienced three piece these guys certainly knew how to rock, it was rocky, it was bluesy, at times it was even funky, a damn fine start to the evenings proceedings.

KAINE
https://www.facebook.com/kaineband?fref=ts

Kaine, a band I’d not only seen a couple of times before but I was lucky enough to  have been in the enviable position of reviewing their last / current album, The Waystone, which I personally count as one of my favourite metal albums in my somewhat vast collection.
Kaine’s take on the NWOBHM genre is by no means a retrospective one, it is fresh, up to date, played live with a really infectious passion and considering they’d not gigged for a while the performance was absolutely spot on.
Very much keeping me firmly in the here and now I was also ‘taken back’ to those days when I used to go and see bands like Saxon, Samson, Witchfynde, Tygers of Pan Tang and when I first heard Iron Maiden the first time round!
I also really like and respect the perspective these guys have with respect to their band, the rock and roll business as a whole and, having themselves been messed around by ‘labels’ and seen friends bands completely screwed up by the corporate machine, these guys are fiercely independent and make no bones about it but, as far as I’m concerned, good on you and keep fighting the good fight.

Rage Sadler of Kaine
Talking to Kaine’s front man, the charismatic Rage Saddler, I can reveal that they are currently working on a new album which will hopefully be released next year, my advice is, if you can catch this band live then do yourself a favour and do just that and if you can’t, give them a listen anyway, follow any of the links and you’ll get there.

PIG IRON
https://www.facebook.com/PIGIRONMC?fref=ts

Pig Iron, one of the hardest working best well known and yet for some bizarre reason nowhere near as famous as they should be, hard rock bands, with their fusion of metal, dirty southern blues rock and heavy heavy tunes (Often referred to as ‘Biker Rock’) these guys know how to rock and rock hard.
Currently touring the new album Sermons from the Church of Blues Restitution and doing a fine job of promoting it and I must say a damn fine job with the live performance of it too one of the surprising high points of the evening was when Johnny Ogle (Pig Iron front man) addressed the punters as ‘Country folk’ (Not in any derogatory way I hasten to add) which, despite the clubs location and with most of us being part of, or indeed closer to, the urban or at least suburban / townie type, his remark was met with cries of Ye-Ha etc. which was followed by Pig Iron playing a song that was, despite its obvious heaviness, somewhat country blues based, during which some rather amazing ‘country dancing’ ensued!

Ye Ha, It's Country Rock and Roll
After the gig and after loading ourselves up with the bands various ‘Merch’ on offer we somehow found ourselves back in the bar doing Jagermeister shots with Johnny, funny old world isn’t it!

The rest as they say, is history!

“Ye-Ha, It’s only Rock and Roll”

For me it started with a taxi to the station
To catch the northbound train
For the short hop up to Arlesey
To wait for Chris until he came


So I waited by the river
And watched the wild birds until then
Chris arrived and we were Langford bound
To spring-clean Fender’s Den


It was cleaned out, hovered, polished
Until the inside was spic and span
Then Kevin washed down the outside
Until it shone like new again!


We were soon hitched up to Kevin’s Disco
Yes we were on our way
To Melbourn Rock at the Eternit club
For another great music night away


We stopped off in Royston Tesco’s
To pick up Maurice’s birthday gift
Time was getting on now
So we really had to shift

We got to the MRC site
Sometime just after five
And started on the ‘Trooper’
How would we all survive?


Tim and Jo soon turned up
And erected their fine tent
Chris cooked us burgers in the van
That was time well spent!

We caught the bands as they sound-checked
So we knew it was to be an awesome night
And as the ‘Lovehats’ took to the stage
We knew that we were right


Next up came the amazing Kaine
And they played an awesome epic set
Their brand of NWOBH
Is just about as good as you can get


By now the Trooper had run out
Good grief where has it gone
But we didn’t despair too much
Because they’d put the Ruddles on

Chris cooked us all more burgers
Which kept us nicely fed
We skipped a beer at this stage
And had Honey JD instead!

Now in the mosh pit for a change
We had some competition
Those young lads down from Cambridgeshire
Usurping our position!


Pig Iron were on tremendous form
As they played to us ‘Country Folk’
Some who danced a sort of ‘Ye-Ha’ jig
In response to this ‘In’ joke

Now country dancing at a rock gig
Is not as easy as you might think
But some seemed to find it easy
It must have been the drink!

We stayed up late after the gig
With the few that stayed behind
Doing shots with Pig Iron Johnny
Oh well, we didn’t mind


Safe tucked away in Fender’s Den
Were Kevin, Chris and I
Tim and Jo inside their tent
We all stayed nice and warm and dry

In the morning after breakfast cooked by Chris
And coffee courtesy of the MRC
We were homeward bound well satisfied
Tim, Jo, Kevin, Chris and me

Another splendid overnight adventure
Done and dusted once again
With great music fun and Fellowship
With the very best of friends


So thank you Mo and the MRC
For a damn fine splendid night
When it comes to putting on the rock
You guys always seem to get it right.

Grant Meaby
26704/15

Well, that's it for now, more than enough to be going on with I think, who knows what the next adventure will be? Until then, keep rocking, keep supporting live music and fare thee well.

Monday, 20 April 2015

DREAZONE AT CLUB-85 - CHRIS AND ME AND THE RELUCTANT MR C

Saturday the 18th April 2015 saw us joining a full house at Club-85 in Hitchin for the annual Dreadzone gig, one of those events I always try to get to because it's such fun, preceded by a 2 DJ set of reggae, ska, bluebeat and dub it was a fantastic night if you are into that kind of music and among the many types of music I love, reggae and dub and the dancey beat stuff, oh yes, I'm there.
Sadly though, for one of my friends, it was not the best of nights for him as he is not at all fond of reggae and the DJ sets were enough to have him climbing the walls and heading home, a shame, but each to their own, after all, where would we be without a little diversity?


So, was it FoTs night? The pre-gig drinks certainly were and for myself and Chris it certainly was and a damn fine splendid one it was too, Dreadzone absolutely rocked and near on 250 people bounced from start to finish!

So, a little bit about Dreadzone, the best way to find out more is to go to their website and, as if by magic, here's the link:-

http://www.dreadzone.com/

And where did this all take place? Why, Club-85 of course:_

http://www.club-85.co.uk/

Dreadzone in full flow
Now, the astute among you will perhaps spot some lines from a few well known songs and maybe even the construction of the poem which is based on a couple of other songs, here goes!

Dreadzone Chris and Me And the Reluctant Mr.C

I was drinking my lovely ale
Concentrating on supping right
Heard a voice to the right of me
“I’m not enjoying this gig tonight”
He said “I hate it, it’s awful
It’s really the pits
How can anyone like reggae
It gets on my tits”

We said

“We don’t like reggae, oh no
We love it”

“We don’t like reggae, oh no
We love it”

“Just drink your nice beer”
But it had no effect
He was driven away
By the two DJ set

But don’t be sad
‘cos two out of three ain’t bad

As he walked through the crowd
We were sad but you see
It was all for the best
For him and Chris and me
As he turned away
I’m sure I heard him say
“Hang the DJ
Hang the DJ
Hang the DJ
Hang the DJ
Hang the DJ
Hang the DJ
Hang the DJ”

Are you ready Hitchin?
Let’s do this

Hear me now
We’re bouncing
We’re happy
We’re singing along
This isn’t reggae
It’s dub but
Mr. C had gone
He missed the dancing
The singing
The great atmosphere
Each to their own though
We’re happy
Chris and I are staying here

It was dancey
It was spacey
And Club bounced along
Capacity, crowded
They loved every song
And with Chris there
I was so glad
I wasn’t alone
We had a great time with
The mighty Dreadzone

So for future reference
To avoid such a fix
Just remember that Mr. C
And reggae don’t mix

“We don’t like reggae, oh no
We love it”

“We don’t like reggae, oh no
We love it”

Dreadzone, thanks for a great gig
All rights rerserved - Grant Meaby - April 2015
(Apart from the bits I nicked!)

Monday, 6 April 2015

HERE THERE BE DRAGONS

Dragons? Simple, one fabulous band, one of the hardest working rock bands in the UK today has to be Soulweaver, the Soulweaver emblem is a dragon, dragons feature heavily on the band's pages, merch' and within the band's fan page on Facebook and strangely enough, for the very first time they were appearing at Club-85 in Hitchin on Saturday 4th April, supported by The Smokin' Prophets who are locally promoted by our very own Roger Marsh and outstanding heavy blues rock band, Stonewire, this had to be a FoTs get together of epic proportions, it was and some of us met a honey sweet dragon called Jack!



Here, there be Dragons

Had the Fellowship been ‘Nights of old’
In some long forgotten chivalrous time
There would be such stories to be told
In song, in verse, and of course in rhyme


We set out upon a foolish but noble quest
On a Saturday night in April 2015 
To meet to drink to make a merry jest
To discover whether dragons could still be seen

Suffice to say that should our adventure
Have be placed way back in historical times
It would have been a most dangerous venture
By no means easy nor indeed benign!

Our ‘Holy Grail’ if one may make so bold to say
Was to catch a dragon by the tail along the way
And to see three merry bands of minstrels fine
Indeed it was an awesome time


So unto a well known an inn we did retire
To prepare our souls for the night’s endeavour
Five fine Fellows in similar attire
Two wise nights and three perhaps not so clever!

Smokin' Prophets

The Smokin’ Prophets spun their tales
To the sound of amplified guitars
A damn fine bunch of merry lads
Assisted by dear Roger (He’s one of ours)

Stonewire

Stonewire are a really classy act
Blues rock, hard and heavy at its very best
While three of us flirted with a dragon called Jack
Which put our sobriety severely to the test

Soulweaver

Soulweaver were simply magnificent
To this fact we can all contest
There are further tales of journeys home
But I have no memory of this particular quest

Swirling Dragons in the air
Thank heavens for Peter, Alex and Roger
Flying the noble flag of sobriety
Unlike the three of us
Kevin, Chris and me
For we certainly found our dragon
Sweet Jack, deceptive and deadly as can be!

Well it is Easter

Roger with Dan from Stonewire
A dragon in the smoke

Here's a link to the Weavers, the official Soulweaver fan page on Facebook:-


All in all it was one damn fine night, three excellent bands, lots of fun and far far far too many Jack Daniel's Honey, oh well, I suppose every now and then it has to be done, I slayed a lot of personal dragons that night. probably embarrassed myself terribly but of which I have no memory so what the hell, I'm growing old disgracefully, thanks to all three bands for an excellent night of top class music, thanks too to Bob Mardon and the crew at Club-85 for keeping music alive and finally huge love and manhugs to my Fellowship crew for making sure most of me got home in one piece!

Grant Meaby – April 2015