Tuesday, 6 October 2015


Phew, quite a mouthful that title but you know, sometimes gigs are like buses, you sometimes wait ages for one to come along and then three turn up one after the other!

Friday 2nd October saw a fabulous celebration of musical talent turning up for that well known great supporter of live music and photographer extraordinaire, Peter Gill as he celebrated his 60th birthday in quite some style at Club-85 in Hitchin.

On Saturday the evening saw us down in London at The Slaughtered Lamb for Luke Tuchsherer's very special pledgers & friends by invitation only thank you gig as he has been successful in raising enough funds to make his 2nd solo album and wow, what a gig that was!

Having just about recovered by Sunday night it was time to head off back to Hitchin once again for the Anti Austerity Weekend gig featuring Fishwife's Broadside, The Astronauts and the legendary TV Smith, he of the Adverts fame if you've not followed his extensive solo career as a singer songwriter, Adverts?  Surely you must have heard of 'Gary Gilmore's Eyes', or 'Bored Teeneagers' they were and still are, punk classics.

Anyway, once again I have attempted to 'capure' the weekend in my own inimitable style, so, without further ado, in words and pictures, here goes.

A Veritable Feast of Music

Friday 2nd October

So a spur of the moment decision
Actually it was more by way of a confirmation
And I was heading off to the station
Almost straight away I was on the train
Bound for Hitchin once again
Meeting up with Chris
For a gig we just couldn’t miss
Peter Gill’s birthday celebration
Music galore such jubilation
This is how one should celebrate the big six 0
Way to go Peter, way to go

Mark Sullivan
Mark Sullivan opened the show
Amazing guitar and amazing voice
Then Gabrielle O’Brien came into the mix
Close your eyes, was that Stevie Nicks?

Gabrielle O'Brien

Jay Hollis

Pete Woodroffe
Jay Hollis made his twelve string sing
Pete Woodroffe regaled us with tales in song
And then Roxy came along
Roxy Searle owned the stage
Even when Pete played along
Her presence now mature and strong

Roxy Searle
A fabulous performance but there was still more to come
The Informatives put their hearts into everything they sung
All in all a brilliant night out
And that was just day 1.

The Informatives

Saturday October 3rd

Saturday lunchtime Chris & I
Were London bound once again
Swapping the very crowded train
For a swift one in the Sir John B
Before a little bit of Shanks’s pony
To call into Mabel’s Tavern
And then onto that real ale haven
The Bree Louise for pork & apple cider pie
And a pint to pass the time by

The Bree Louise
Then it was onto The Euston Tap
And although tempted by that
We moved on by tube to Farringdon
Sir John Oldcastle provided a strong dark cider
And among such mirth was born Prog Harvester
Prog's answer to Hayseed Dixie
Will this develop? You’ll have to wait and see!
There is always Hope, in fact that was our next stop
Watching some rugby fuelled by the hops
To The Slaughtered Lamb we then made our way
Where food was the first order of the day

And then down to the venue which couldn’t be nearer
To see the one and only Luke Tuchsherer 
Supported by Danni Nicholls who was brilliant
And then Luke then his band, such talent

Danni Nicholls

First there was one, Luke going solo

And then there were two!

Suddenly there was a band!
Falling asleep on the train on the way home
Chris nodding off and dropping his phone
We awoke just as the train was puling out of Stevenage
Oh well, sometimes that’s just the way it is
Luckily we had time to change at Hitchin to come back
Where we met the lovely Hazel Turnock
So all in all in a roundabout way
It was indeed a mighty fine day.

Sunday 4th October 

The Fellowship had gone to Bedford for another round of Roadhouse Blues
But this gig clashed with another one which is never such good news
For I’d made prior arrangements, including promises to keep
So once again I was Hitchin bound despite a severe lack of sleep
Revived by meeting up with Colin, in the Nightingale
And a true ‘hair of the dog’ a nice cold Colley’s Dog real ale
For we were off down the road to Club-85 once more
The Anti-Austerity weekend gig with donations for the food bank collected at the door

The fabulous Fishwife's Broadside fill the stage
With the full eight piece band on stage, Fishwife’s Broadside started off the night
They were really up for it and they played an awesome set alright
With the Nuzz Prowling Wolf unsound system spinning tunes between the bands
With disturbingly relevant backdrops music and images went hand in hand
Mark Astronaut with Dom on guitar played a stripped down Astro’s set
Mark was animated and passionate good or what? You bet!
And then came the man himself the legendary TV Smith
This was a gig of enormity and one I was so glad I did not miss

Mark & Dom stripped down Astronauts gave a storming performance
TV Smith was outstanding
Playing some old songs by The Adverts and many from his solo repertoire
This was indeed something special, one of the best gigs this year by far
The only note of sadness is the fact that nothing much has changed
What was so relevant in the seventies is still today just so much the same
But we can and must help each other if we can stay honest and stay true
We must see through the media lies and what the government tells us all to do
For despite austerity and all the cuts there is something we can all help to change
There is still compassion and people power it’s nothing new or weird or strange
But it’s up to me and you to play our parts in this
We’ve got to seize the opportunity we can’t afford to miss
But, it’s up to us
No one else

And so the collection begins
In fact, with great respect to the above picture, this was just the start of what was collected for the Hitchin food bank, it was significantly biggher at the end of the gig + the cash donations, it really was generosity unbounded, the sad thing of course is that we need to do this at all and that's as political I'll get on here right now other than to say that TV Smith's song, "The Day We Caught the Big Fish" has to be one of the most moving and poignant songs I've heard for many a year.

Grant Meaby
October 2015

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