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Sunday, 17 May 2015

DISAPPEARING IN SMOKE - THE PSYCHEDELIC WARLORDS & JUPITERS CARNIVAL AT CLUB-85

So as I was on my own on the evening of Saturday 16th May 2015, certainly as far as The Fellowship was concerned (A large party had gone off to see Jasper Carrot) & with no transport to get to Bedford for the Blues where others could have been found, what was I going to do?
Well actually the answer was easy, what I had planned to do all along which was to get my weary bones off to Club-85 in Hitchin to see the latest Hawkwind legacy band, Alan 'Boomer' Davey's The Psychedelic Warlords supported by Bristol rockers, Jupiter's Carnival.


An excellent turn out guaranteed to create a splendid atmosphere with some fans of both bands having travelled a significant distance to be there, the stage was set, literally, for a splendid evening of truly excellent music.

So, first on were Jupiter's Carnival, hailing from my own beloved West Country and having never heard them or even heard of them before this gig I had no idea what to expect, wow! It's always a nice surprise to discover a really good band that is new to you and boy oh boy could these lads rock!

Jupiter's Carnival

Here is a link to their Facebook page, go and check them out, you won't be disappointed.

https://www.facebook.com/jupiterscarnival?fref=ts

This is what Classic Rock Magazine said about them;

'Jupiter's carnival claim to be from Bristol, but they sound more like they just woke up in laurel canyon after partying on Mars. They blend stomping hard rock with blues, funk, soul and loopy psychedelia into a head-spinning collage of sound' 

Well, I couldn't agree more, for me they reminded me of those long gone days of the classic early experimental psychedelic blues rock bands (Think Deep Purple's very first album etc.) but Jupiter's Carnival are by no means a retro band, they blend in elements of funk and other musical influences to create their very own up to date 'edgy' sound that is as relevant today as it ever was, these boys seriously rock and were a fantastic opener to the evening.

Being a huge fan of Hawkwind and all the mother-ship's spin offs, derivatives and legacies I did wonder what to expect from Alan Boomer Davey (Hawkwind's longest serving bass player for the uninitiated) and the band, The Psychedelic Warlords.

Alan Davey
So, in their own words:-

"The Psychedelic Warlords are a band that was formed in 2012 by Alan Davey to celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of the best live albums ever made, Hawkwinds "Space Ritual", released in 1973. 
These shows were so successful 2014 sees "Captain Lockheed's Mountain Grill Tour" touring UK in April, June and July. 
2015 will bring an album of new songs with the fantastic Michael Moorcock working with us also, a very exciting project is on the cards.!!" 
&
"Celebrating the Hawkwind sound from the 1973 hit album Space Ritual. This is for the fans who want to experience this sound again or for some the very first time.!
We're spending ALOT of time and effort getting this recreation as perfect as possible ;-) 

Time we Left, Born to Go.!"

Psychedelic Warlords complete with amazing light show

Costume changes, a real re-creation.
For me, The Psychedelic Warlords moved seemingly effortlessly through the classic Hawkwind rock era circa Master of the Universe & Warrior on the Edge of Time etc. through the 'Bob Calvert years' and into Alan's and their own new material, which, with the promise of an album coming soon in collaboration with Michael Moorcock is something I for one am certainly looking forward to.

This is your captain speaking
https://www.facebook.com/ThePsychedelicWarlords/info?tab=page_info

Much as I love Hawkwind themselves, Nik Turner's Space Ritual and The Hawklords, The Psychedelic Warlords are right up there with the best of them if not THE best of the Hawkwind spin off bands I've ever had the pleasure of seeing, simply exquisite, outstanding, Astounding Sound Amazing Music as one may say!

Man it ain't no joke, you can disappear in smoke!
So until the circle turns again, cool runnings one and all.

GM May 2015

Saturday, 9 May 2015

AS HAPPY AS LARRY

Friday the 8th of May saw us heading off to London after work to visit some of our favourite pubs, discover some new ones, to meet up with friends and then off to The Borderline to see Larry Miller in concert.


Part-1 - The Drinkers part

The first port of call this time was the Bree Louise in Euston, a fine pub with a huge selection of real ales and excellent food, they offer discounts for CAMRA members so that is also a very good reason to start there and, as it was lunchtime, avail ourselves of one of their famous pie dinners, me, I opted for a Pork, Apple & Cider pie with chips and vegetables washed down with a splendid pint of Dark Star Hophead a great 3.8% light 'session' beer.


Next stop was the Euston Tap another mecca for the discerning drinker, here you really are spoilt for choice so I opted for the Siren Soundwave, a lovely hoppy beer at 5.6% and a nice way to start mellowing out for the afternoon.

Did you go anywhere good this weekend to look at your phone?

The Cider Tap is just across the road and was, as usual, well worth a visit for a couple of half's to try something different, the medium dry Hogan's at 4.5% was delicious as was the still, Orchard Pig at 4.2%, both were really 'appley' and refreshing, a nice way to round off the Euston leg before catching a bus up to Kings Cross.

OK, so three blokes together, we called in at The Central Station, probably shouldn't have done so but were desperate for the loo and it was after all time for another beer!
Entertaining yes but how can I put it, we didn't venture 'downstairs' nor did we find any special ales worth writing home (or here) about.


Our next port of call was somewhere very special indeed, a real gem and somewhere to go back to on another trip, The King Charles1, full of character, traditional, welcoming with friendly bar staff and some excellent Ye Olde Trip at 4.3%, as pubs go, the find of the day.


We had arranged to meet up with some friend's at The Parcel Yard in Kings Cross station at 18:00 so took a stroll down there to grab a pint of Fullers London Pride and a half hour's catch up before heading off to the Crobar before slipping into the Borderline for the Larry Miller Band's gig.


Part-2 The Music

OK, so we were here for Larry Miller, if you by chance have not heard of him, or heard him before, Larry is an excellent blues / blues-rock guitarist, he seems to be constantly touring, has several fine albums under his belt now and more often than not manges to sell out venues like the Bordeline having built up a loyal and sizable fan base over the years, Larry always entertains and tonight was no exception.

The band Babajack were suppose to be supporting but sadly their singer was ill so they couldn't make it, however, that meant that Larry played two sets so we're happy, you could say, we were, 'As happy as Larry!'


Part-3 In Words and Pictures

As Happy as Larry

There I was riding on a southbound train
With Kevin and Chris off to London again
We had a great pie lunch at the Bree Louise
And while we were there well who did we see?
Our Roger


 We took a short walk to the Euston Tap
Even climbed the spiral staircase without mishap
And outside ‘The Tap’ hanging from a tree
Were furry seed balls out of which Kevin made a ‘G’


 Taking full advantage and a short break from the ale
Beer and cider is a ‘heady mix, common sense did not prevail
For the Cider Tap was open so we had to try that too
After all it was just across the road, after all, rude not to

Round and round and round and down (Photo Kev B)
Then we took a big red bus up to Kings Cross
But the Central Station was just too risqué for us
So we made our way over to the King Charles the 1st
Where they had fine real ales to quench our thirst

The wheels on the bus go round and round (Photo Chris F)

King Charles 1 - A fine pub indeed
We set off for the Parcel Yard in somewhat of a hurry
To meet the crew who were down for the old Prog Curry
It was lovely to see Thea looking so fine
Robin and the others and Roger for the second time

The one and only Roger Marsh
We called in the Crobar as you just have to do
For a quick shot of imitation JD or two
And then it was into the venue which is only next door
Sadly Babajack couldn’t appear so our Larry played more

Larry in full swing
When we looked round we couldn’t believe our eyes
Amanda and Katie were there, that was such a nice surprise
Larry looked happy as he played through two sets that night
So for me and the Fellowship it all turned out just right

Larry Miller
In fact you could say
We were all as Happy as Larry!


Grant Meaby - All rights reserved, May 2015


Sunday, 3 May 2015

BEER, BANDS, BALDOCK AND A CELEBRATION

Ah, it's a Bank Holiday weekend and it's Saturday and for once it isn't raining, so it had been arranged that as many of us who could drag our bones away from the gardening, the DIY, the BBQ, the shopping and anything else one may feel inclined to do on a Saturday and make our way over to Baldock for the Baldock Independent Beer Festival, a grand annual event held at Brandles School.
The great thing about this beer festival is that it also has some pretty damn fine music on offer too, all the more reason for popping along!

http://www.baldockbeerfestival.org/

You could say it was fairly well attended!
Now, despite being somewhat into my real ales, this time I didn't take any tasting notes nor did I tick off those beers I tried, the reason, simple, among the plethora of fine ales and ciders on offer I discovered to my delight that they had a range of beers from two of my favourite breweries, Dark Star and Potbelly, just slurping my way through these was more than enough and besides which I was here for the music and to have fun with FoTs.


After the beer festival Chris and I were off to Club-85 for Roger & Liz's wedding celebration gig with Roxy Searle (Who also played at the beer festival), Indi and the Vegas and Nathan Watson, which itself was a splendid event, so, without further ado:-

Do you fancy a beer and a gig or two?

Overheard at Baldock beer festival
“Oh that’s no good they’ve only got beer and cider here”
Well what on earth did they expect, this is a beer festival!
Soft drinks and snacks could be bought at the other stall
And for those who enjoy their real ale, like us
There was choice almost beyond belief to sup
Even if it did feel a little like being in the social club 
At times due the number of people from work that were here
On a sunny Saturday afternoon full of beer
We had to pace ourselves so as not to peak too soon
There was Kevin, Chris, Alan & Jackie
Lynne & Paul and Tall Paul & me
Nick the drummer from Aghast and of course ‘G’
And seemingly
Hundreds of other people too

Chris, Kev & 'Tall' Paul
What a splendid do
Not only was the beer on tap
But excellent music to liven up the place
4th Labyrinth with Claudia on bass

4th Labyrinth

Roxy Searle who Chris and I would see again later

Roxy Searle

Joan ov Arc who really rocked

Joan ov Arc

And Highway to Stella
To round off the afternoon

Highway to Stella
For us it ended all too soon
But Chris and I were off on another adventure
Just a short trip by train
To Hitchin and we were drinking again
A quick one in the Nightingale


Before chicken and chips
And Club-85 and more ale
And Roxy again
This time loud and clear
Not obscured by the festival cheer
Her own songs sung with a passion
Rare in one so young

Roxy again and an excellent performance it was too
And then came Indi and the Vegas
And they gave us
Funky rocky songs
With a flavour of African beats
A real treat

Indi & the Vegas

And finally Nathan Watson
What a talent, what a voice 

Nathan Watson and the Frreakanomics

Funky soul tinged rock nice and loud
They all did Roger and Liz proud
What more can I say?
What a splendidly magnificent day.

Indeed, a day of truly epic proportions, the most amazing thing was that Chris and I did actually manage to pace ourselves and not overdo it at the beer festival so we were in a 'fit state' to make it along to Club-85 for the gig and extend our congratulations to Roger and Liz, now Mr. & Mrs. King, so, until we venture out once again, who knows where, well, actually I do, it should be Babajack and Larry Miller at theBorderline in London next Friday, until then...........................................

Grant Meaby May 2015