Wednesday, 23 September 2015


Every time I see Roadhouse I'm reminded of just what a great band they are, not that I need any reminding, Blues at the Red on a Sunday night is always a good night out and with it being Roadhouse, Trevor's birthday, not raining and a great turn out from the Fellowship it was a truly great evening all round.

With Gary Boner (Guitar & Vocals) Roger Hunt (Drums) Bill Hobley (Bass) Danny Gwilym (Guitar) Mandie Graham (Vocals & backing vocals) Sarah Harvey-Smart (Vocals & backing vocals) you just can't go wrong!

Mandie G and Sarah giving it some
 I went down ‘The Red’ to get myself some blues
I went down ‘The Red’ to get myself some blues
On Sunday night you’ve got to put on your dancing shoes

Let it roll baby roll, let it roll baby roll
Let it roll
‘Cos Roadhouse is on

There was me and Kev and Roger and Paul and Chris
There was me and Kev and Roger and Paul and Chris
‘Cos on a Sunday night there’s a band we can’t miss

Let it roll baby roll, let it roll baby roll
Let it roll
‘Cos Roadhouse is on

Blues at the Red is always a good night out
Blues at the Red is always a good night out
And Roadhouse are the best there is no doubt

Danny & Garry in full flow
Let it roll baby roll, let it roll baby roll
Let it roll
‘Cos Roadhouse is on

There was Mandy G, Sarah, Danny, Garry, Roger and Bill
There was Mandy G, Sarah, Danny, Garry, Roger and Bill
Yeah the Roadhouse Blues Rock band keep rocking us still

Let it roll baby roll, let it roll baby roll
Let it roll
‘Cos Roadhouse is on

Let it roll baby roll, let it roll baby roll
Let it roll
‘Cos Roadhouse is on
Yeah Roadhouse is on
Roadhouse is on

 At the moment Roadhouse are working on their new album, soon to be recorded, this night they aired some of the new songs, outstanding, in my humble opinion Roadhouse are one of if not the best exponents of Americana Blues Rock this side of the universe but the again I might be somewhat biased.

Until the next time, rock on.

Grant Meaby September 2015

Saturday, 19 September 2015


So soon after last weekend's amazing Balstock and we were out at a gig again, Friday the 18th September to be precise, at Club-85 for yet another serving of the amazing Mr. G. La Roche, this time supporting Professor Elemental, now if you've not heard of Professor Elemental, or 'Chap Hop', or Steampunk then you've been missing a treat, get out there on that old WWW and see what it's all about, the biggest element is FUN with capitals, I say, one must always be prepared to have fun, we did!

So Typically British

One started as one often does
Within the Nightingale
For a meeting of those Fellows fine
And imbibing of real ale

Once again the ale of choice
Now here’s a funny thing
For it was that fine dark brew
The Colley’s Dog from Tring

Although this poem comes free of charge
It’s not for resale or rental
Especially as it honours both
G La Roche and Professor Elemental

Mr G La Roche
For it was these fine chaps we’d come to see
For our evening’s entertainment
So from the Nightingale to Club-85
That is the place where we went

This fine night the Fellowship
In fact we numbered three
For there was a Peter and a Chris
And then of course there was me

Peter and Chris suitably attired

And what a jolly splendid jaunt
We sang and laughed along
Sometimes we even had a dance
When the urge came upon us strong

OK, here's one of G in colour
There were people dressed up splendidly
In a variety of costumes old
So typically British my dear chap
Or so I have been told

The Professor in full flow
And both the mighty G La Roche
And Professor Elemental
Were on such sparkling form this night
It was all in all quite mental

Professor Elemental is quite a colourful chap too
But we loved it!

The Club-85 crowd loved it too
Grant Meaby

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Balstock 2015 - Reflections

Well, if you don't know what it's all about but would like to:-

Three days of glorious music and which song do I have going on round and round my head? That most lingering of earworms, “Rain” by The Jesus Hooligan Drum Circle, that’s what, “Rain you love, rain you love down on me, rain your love, rain your love”, Oh well I suppose it could be worse!

 So we kicked off Balstock Friday in The Engine, it was good to see Some Oxford Station back in action and we stuck around for Mr. G La Roche’s very own, Billy Skins Fifth seamlessly blending punk, rock, techno and just about everything in between, sometime serious, sometimes tongue in cheek, often seriously tongue in cheek, whose cheeks I can only guess but a damn fine start to this years Balstock festival.

Some Oxford Station

Billy Skins Fifth
As Smiffy and Ben were doing the sound in The Rose and Crown we dropped in to see some of This Broken Empire before heading off to The Broken Drum to see what turned out to be one of the gigs of the festival, The Astronauts in their Los Astronauts Muertos incarnation, Mark, Grae & Andy in acoustic mode, absolutely fantastic, what could top that?

This Broken Empire

Los Astronauts Meurtos
We went to The White Hart for  G’s sing along a Balstock session, what a way to end a brilliant night.

Mr G La Roche
Saturday, for us, was devoted almost entirely to Folkstock at The White Lion with so many excellent acts, like, well, see the photo’s below:- 

Caution Horses


Daria Kulesh
Ragged Staff
Paul Booth
With just the odd excursion out to see One Leather Glove at The Rose and Crown

One Leather Glove
 and The Jesus Hooligan Drum Circle on the main High Street Stage

Jesus Hooligan Drum Circle
before heading back to see Cara Beard, Dodo Bones and Luke Tuchscherer and then heading off to The Engine for a session of extremely polished high octane rock from New Device.

Cara Beard

Dodo Bones

Luke Tuchscherer
New Device
After all that there was nothing that could top that so I headed off home for a well earned rest to get myself all ready for Sunday. I even got back home in time to watch a goodly portion of the Last Night at the Proms with Sue so that was rather splendid too.

This years charity was The St. Thomas’ Lupus Trust, a worthy cause indeed, we all hope loads and loads of money was raised.

Sunday once again was spent mainly at the White Lion with the Folkstock sessions again featuring a host of truly splendid folk and acoustic singer songwriter artists, needless to say I spent a small fortune on CD’s which I am slowly listening my way through. 

Pete Guy
Faye Brotherhood

Steve Warner

Minnie Birch
Again we had the odd excursion ‘out’ to see Harry & Co. as Roughage stepped in to fill the breach left by a band who could not turn up at The Rose and Crown.

 Then it was back to the White Lion to see Sandtimer

Before dashing down to the Broken Drum to see Ben Bubear do his first solo set and a damn good job he did too!

Ben Bubear
Followed by a mad rush back to the White Lion to see Aimee, Emma McGrath and the fabulous Kelly Oliver before, 


Emma McGrath

Kelly Oliver
Heading off back yet again to The Broken Drum for Smige’s farewell gig before he heads over the sea for a new job for several months and a damn fine set he delivered too!

The very wonderful - Smige
After having us sing, laugh and cry along the wonderful Smige finished at just the right time for us to head off to The Engine to catch those rocking ladies Joan ov Arc rip the roof off the marquee and bring, certainly our Balstock, to an epic close especially when G La Roche joined them to play Motorhead’s ‘Bomber’ before the very short but poignant closing speech.

There was an enormous crowd for Joan ov Arc

Over the weekend Balstock was of course somewhat of a Fellowship event with myself, Chris, Peter, Kevin all there at times as punters and with Smiffy & Lynne working there all weekend so we all send our thanks to G La Roche and ALL the Balstock Team and the artists who played for free and made this years 10th Anniversary Balstock one of the best yet, here’s to 2016!

And finally:-
Strange Occupation

Last night I saw him
on a train from Baldock station
Balancing a cola on his hand
strange occupation
You could all be forgiven
for thinking he was pissed
Trying to balance a cola bottle
on his wrist
But without the detail
we don’t see the bigger picture
We make wrong assumptions and
it’s just incorrect conjecture
You have to realise there’s something
that you may have missed
The cold cola was there soothing
his poor damaged swollen wrist
With so much information these days
tell me please how can you
Take everything you’re given
just upon its sad face value
The media feed us
just what the bloody hell they please
Or take directions
from whichever government that leads
One person’s migrant
is another’s refugee
Terrorist or freedom fighter
depends upon the regime and history
It’s all down to the perspective
and the way that it’s all fed you
So don’t believe the hype and lies
what you really must do
Is take a step back so you can
see the bigger picture
Assimilate the facts and
blow away the false conjecture
Think for yourself and don’t let
anyone else do it for you
And who knows we may even be able
to build a better tomorrow

Grant Meaby – At Balstock - 2015

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


Phew, what a title! Well actually, what a gig!

Yes I'm back and this time with a more or less straightforward gig review, not that I've not been inspired to wax lyrical, in fact I have been away by the sea and have also been concentrating on my more serious writing which will get aired in due course, but for now, back home and back going out to catch some of the best local live music around.

This weekend just passed has probably answered a question that has been burning in the brain of many a young North Herts gig goer, and that is, "Why is Club-85 called Club-85", well, this weekend saw a whole weekend of Club-85's 30th birthday celebrations, as we are currently in 2015 I think I'll let you work out the answer for yourself.

And so, as part of those birthday celebrations there was a truly splendid gig on the Sunday night.

The Ghosts of Harry Triggs Bastard Sons sounded like they had not only lived through the tail end of the sixties but had even remembered something of it, certainly the sometimes shambolic psychedelic ramblings of early Sort Machine / Velvet Underground etc. but they had also dragged themselves through the 70’s Punk era and what resulted was a strange mix and mash up which reminded me very much of the ‘Acid Punk’ of the 70’s free festivals that my old band used to play so badly!
In a very strange and indefinable way it was quite enjoyable experience although sadly not appreciated by some of the crowd who were quite vociferous in their opinions which would have been better taken outside.

The Ghost of Harry Trigg's Bastard Sons
The thing about the Jesus Hooligan Drum Circle is that to really appreciate them  you just have to join in and there is always every opportunity to do so, as there was on this night.
The club was full of things to bash and things to bash those things with, I guess for many of those not partaking this may have sounded like a self-indulgent unholy racket but if you join in and let yourself go with the flow, or rather the rhythm then boy oh boy is it fun, JH really tap into something primeval and tribal and what’s more you end up getting a work out that you’d pay a lot more for at your local gym!

Jesus Hooligan Drum Circle
This time led by a more or less full band this was audience participation to the max!

All together now, OK, all untogether now!

 Fresh from their stunning performance at this year’s Rhythms of the World festival where they headlined the Arcadeclectic stage drawing one of the biggest crowds we’ve had the pleasure to entertain, it was the turn of Stevenage’s own Ska Punk maestros Scum of Toytown to absolutely rock the roof off Club-85 with a selection of songs both old and new material from the new album ‘Cells’ which is available on vinyl and digital download from the bands website and a damn fine piece of work it is too.

Scum of Toytown
With fine musicianship and lead vocals that could easily grace any classic English folk band, Scum of Toytown really are that good and that different, it’s no wonder they have been rocking the world, well certainly Europe for so long, despite their (20 year) long rest, their 1stalbum ‘Strike’ has remained a punk classic and firm favourite since its release.

Scum of Toytown really rocked and did we dance?
Oh yes, we danced!
All in all it was a splendid evening and a very fitting part of Club-85’s birthday celebrations, so here’s to the next 30 years.

Cheers m'dears, until the next one, Grant, August / September 2015