Tuesday, 31 May 2016


This time it's seems to be all about Lions!
On Thursday 27th of May it was most definitely Metal Night at the Red Lion in Stevenage and on Saturday it was musical mayhem, fun and laughter at the White Lion in Baldock with G la Roche.

@ The Red

The evening kicked off with local Sludge / Doom nutters Slaine, seriously metal but also somewhat tongue in cheek, I'm not saying whose tongue in whose cheeks or even which cheeks but they certainly kicked the evening off most entertainingly!


Next up were The Air Turned to Acid, also more Doom oriented but, as you might expect with accomplished musicians on board there was some excellent technical guitar work in their music (If somewhat loud for the confines of 'The Red'), damn fine performance though.

The Air Turned to Acid

And then came the moment I and it seemed many others had been waiting for, Dorylus, since I reviewed their EP "The Rapture" (I have been getting hits worldwide on that particular review) but they had also won through all the heats to the final of Metal to the Masses, sadly they didn't win in the end but the exposure must have done them good and won them many more fans, at last I was seeing them live and by all things metal and beer, they did not disappoint, they were, quite frankly, bloody superb.


@ the White

So that was Thursday night, next along it was Saturday night at the White Lion in Baldock for the pub's beer festival and music, suitably supplied by the one and only Mr G La Roche who played a set that went on and on and on (Only joking) for two hours and a bit absolutely non stop! We had sing alongs, sing along competitions, dancing, he dueted with Roxy Searle and suitably dressed up for the Queen segment! I have not laughed so long and so hard at so many points during G's wonderful gig which was magnificently entertaining throughout, where did that time go and how did I manage to consume so many damn fine ales during it?

Mr. G La Roche

A wonderful duet with Roxy

Suitable attired for the Queen section

The links are provided so please use them to explore these artists yourselves.

So, all in all, a couple of great nights that had to be 'captured' in the usual way:-

Music & Beer & Good Cheer

On Thursday night there was just the two of us
At The Red Lion in Stevenage to see Dorylus
Yes, Chris and I were getting our metal on
A genre we had neglected for far too long
Slaine were loud and somewhat tongue in cheek
The Air Turned to Acid were hardcore tech metal freaks
Dorylus were in a different class
So it’s no surprise to us
That they made it to the final of Metal to the Masses
So we raised our glasses
And drank our fill
Of a splendid night of metal

Saturday was a very different kind of event
Another of those “I’m so glad we went”
To Baldock, to the White Lion Beer Festival
Beer and Festival says it all!
Apart from the splendid ales, for Kevin, Chris, Peter and me
It was G La Roche we’d come to see
The evening was bright and warm
And G was on splendid form
Playing a two and a quarter hour long set
Without a break, one of his best yet
There was one of those moments, wonderful to see
When he performed a duet with the lovely Roxy
We had sing alongs galore
And what’s more
Kevin treated us to the Timewarp moves
Which just goes to prove
A fine beer or two (or several) will remove
All inhibitions, help you go on longer
We even danced a Conga!
It was indeed a most splendid evening
Of music and beer
And what’s most important, good cheer.

Grant Meaby

Cheers all, until the next time. GM (The 'other' G!)

Thursday, 12 May 2016


OK, no frills, no weird stuff, just a simple punters eye view of a fantastic night out in London.

For once everything seemed to go like clockwork, the train to London was on time, changing to the tube at Finsbury Park I got straight on a Piccadilly line train to Leicester Square, manged to take the correct exit and head up the road to the big Weatherspoon's to grab a quick pint and say "Hi" to those House of Progression notables Jon Patrick, Stacy Doller and Roger Marsh along with Eddie and Jane Armstrong, as they (Apart from Jane and Eddie who, like me, had already eaten) were enjoying some of Weatherspoons finest meals so I made my exit and headed up to The Pillars of Hercules to meet up with Gary Mackenzie and Matt Howes (Of The Mighty Handful) for a long overdue catch up and the reason we were here, why, of course it was another very special House of Progression gig at The Borderline.

At the Borderline itself it was great to catch up with Alison Reijman and Buzz Elliot (Hammerhead & solo) among many others that I've not seen for far too long, anyway, I was really looking forward to seeing Peter Jones a.k.a. Tiger Moth Tales and seeing, for the first time, a band that I had only ever heard 'On line' before and never seen live, Moon Safari.

Peter Jones - Tiger Moth Tales
Tiger Moth Tales is the brain child of Nottinghamshire based musician and writer Peter Jones, who has been involved in the music industry performing around the UK and recording his own material since the late 90s, at fifteen months of age Pete lost his sight due to Retinoblastoma, from a very early age he was into all things musical and at the age of four had his first piano!
In his own words;
"Music has always been a huge part of my life. How much of that was influenced by my sight loss it's impossible to say, but I've always had a knack of picking up music by ear pretty quickly." (Pete)

Anyone who has ever had the privilege of seeing Peter perform live will know that he has the amazing ability to play keyboards and guitar at the same time (His guitar is mounted flat above the keyboards) whilst adding percussion etc. via foot pedals and singing at the same time too!

Tiger Moth Tales debut album Cocoon and the second under that name, Story Tellers Part 1 are both fantastic works and well worth adding to anyone’s collection as is his latest collaboration with the band REDBAZAR, Tales from the Bookcase which is simply stunning.
Peter's two albums of Genesis covers are also still available as downloads with all proceeds going to Guide Dogs, so grab yourself some great music and help an excellent cause at the same time.

Peter is above all a consummate entertainer switching with ease from the serious to the more light hearted numbers and on this night at the Borderline he was on top form also leading a wonderful Genesis sing along set that had the crowd in raptures!
During the quieter numbers it was amazing, a full Borderline and if it wasn’t for Peter and his music you could have heard a pin drop, he quite rightly and deservedly held the audience spellbound.

Moon Safari were formed in 2003 in Skellefteå, Sweden and are a progressive rock band,  playing predominantly symphonic rock, although their music does incorporate many different styles with intricate and amazing vocal harmonisation, acoustic & electric instrumentals and with lyrics covering such subjects as love, nature, childhood etc.
In general, their lyrics tend to describe all ranges of our human ideas and emotions and the world in which we all inhabit.
With superb structure and stunning musicianship they manage to avoid the cliche's often associated with many progressive rock bands.

Moon Safari
Simon Åkesson - Keyboards and Vocals
Petter Sandström - Guitar and Vocals
Pontus Åkesson - Guitar and Vocals
Johan Westerlund - Bass Guitar and Vocals
Mikael Israelsson- Drums and Vocals
Sebastian Åkesson - Keyboards and Vocals

Moon Safari
Fresh from their previous nights performance supporting Yes at the RAH tonight was most definitely their night with a two hour slot to fill they certainly did it, themselves and the punters absolute justice, a truly wonderful and stunning performance drawing from their ever growing back catalogue (See the set list) which had the audience singing along, bopping about or like many, stood in absolute bliss being transported by the music, one of the best live performances I have ever been privileged to witness and overall one of the best gigs by far of this year,(so far).

The Set List

The Acapella ending of the Moon Safari set was stunning
So, all I really have left to say is a huge thank you to The House of Progression for putting on this truly wonderful gig.

Grant - May 2016

Monday, 9 May 2016


Music features heavily during the Baldock Festival, it all kicked off with some great bands and artists at the Baldock Beer Festival and this weekend saw "Sounds of Baldock", a three day event featuring a host of great artists and bands in some of the venues that host Balstock (2nd Weekend in September), Sounds of Baldock is not only very much part of the Baldock Festival but is also the main fund raising event for Balstock.

Now, surprising as it may seem, this is just the sort of event that The Fellowship of the Stick really support and get involved with wherever possible, so, without further ado;

Sounds of Baldock – May 2016

Sounds of Baldock was like a mini Balstock
Although not so mini really one has to say
Considering the number of venues involved
And the number of bands and artists who played

On Friday we saw Midnight Drives then Sara Ashley
On the main stage at the Engine
Then we wandered down to the Broken Drum
Caught Neil Stanton and Christopher Andrews sing

Then it was back the Engine this time inside
For No Sleep Till Bedtime with the brothers La Roche
I had to stay ‘till the end ‘cos my train was cancelled
Sometimes public transport is such tosh!

Midnight Drives

Sara Ashley

Neil Stanton

Christopher Andrews

No Sleep Til Bedtime
On Saturday it was back to the Engine
Piston Groovy opened up for the day
Then Eddie La Roche with his flamenco
Good grief can that man play!

Indie and the Vegas came on next
With their funky soulful sound
It’s always good to catch these guys
On the rare occasion that they’re around

It was time to wander off to the Boot
For the Blues Blaggers debut live set
I have to say that they were outstanding
The best band of the weekend yet!

50 Shades of Green Day (That’s Lynne’s boys and Steve)
Rocked up the Boot with some gusto
Then we wandered just down the street to the Cock
Thankfully not far to go

Cara Beard played an excellent set
That has us all singing along
She was even joined by a young lad ‘Beat Boxer’
It’s a shame it was just for one song!

Then the evening was brought to a fantastic close
By Schrodinger’s Strings (one guitar and two harps)
After such a fabulous day of great music
It was time to rest before the next day starts!

Piston Groovy

Eddie La Roche

Indie and the Vegas

The Blues Blaggers

The Blues Blaggers again

50 Shades of Green Day

Cara Beard

Scrodinger's Strings
Sunday afternoon was all spent at the Engine
For Adiescar and then chaotic punk from Vacant
Then Near Moments with Adi on vocals and violin
And that’s where the afternoon went!

Early evening kicked off with a band called Coarse
Good and rocky and heavy 
But by then I was completely done in
By the sun, lack of sleep and the bevy

So what a splendid weekend all round
Raising money for Balstock so remember
The best festival there is for miles around
Happens on the 2nd weekend of September
And that’s Balstock!



Near Moments


All of the artists and bands featured here have their own Facebook pages and websites, Soundcloud pages etc. Please do go and check them out and remember remember, the 2nd weekend of September is Balstock!
So finally a huge thank you to all the Balstock crew and to all the venues who hosted the music and to all the punters who came along and donated so generously, what a fabulous weekend it was!

Grant Meaby

Tuesday, 3 May 2016


What a week! A week in which we saw Commander Tim operate the Mars Rover located in a factory in the UK from way up in space aboard the International Space Station, a week in which I retired from the job I have done for over 30 years and a week which saw three very different but equally excellent gigs which just couldn't be missed!

Disclaimer - Any spolling mistaks in this post are entirely due to the blogger spell checker not working!

THURSDAY 28th APRIL - The Victoria, Hitchin, The Sons, Rhys Kirkman and Midnight Drives.
This gig was originally supposed to have been at Club-85 but due to a mix up over bookings etc. it was switched to 'The Vic' to the barn, a smaller and more intimate venue but the bonus was of course that it was free!
The evening opened with The Sons playing one of thier infrequent gigs, a band featuring brthers Alex & George Preston they play great funky rock and this night were on top form.
The Sons
Next to grace the stage was Rhys Kirkman, a singer songwriter of class, tonight backed by a full band which made for a rather special evening.

Rhys Kirkman
Now the main reason we had stepped out on this somewhat chilly April evening was in fact to see the headlining band, Midnight Drives, normally a three piece, Owen Stephen, Steph Scott and Cara Beard but tonight backed by a full band, wow! Just simply wow! A splendid set, this band are very special indeed, I am not a huge fan of 'Country' music but I love these guys!

Midnight Drives

FRIDAY 29th APRIL - Baldock Beer Festival
Friday the 29th was quite an emotional day for me personally as I retired (Early) from the job I have done (& loved) for 33.5 years, there are many reasons I have retired a few years 'early' but I'll not go into them here, anyway, retirement day for me and Day 1 of the Baldock Beer  Festival which has grown over the years to become a very significant part of the Bakldock Festival and a bit of a 'Taster' for Balstock (Which heppend in the town in September), tonight was no exception with a host of good music starting off in the acoustioc tent with Sophie Celeste.

Sophie Celeste
She writes her own songs, she playes keyboards and the Ukelele, she has the voice of an angel, what more could you want?
Next it was off to the main stage, after picking up another splendid beer or two to see the La Roche's, Eddie & G in thier covers band, No Sleep Til Bedtime, they may be a covers band but blimey, it's the songs they play, not only do they add thier own inimitable twist to everything they do but come on, a guitar band playing Gary Numan's 'Cars' or stuff by the Prodigy, gobsmackingly good as always.

No Sleep Til Bedtime
It was soon time for another beer and the acoustic tent in time to catch singer songwriter Rob Eaton who turned in a fine performance as expected.

Rob Eaton
Now for a bit of a change on this lovely eclectic evening, it was back to the main stage for the very excellent reggae band The SG's.

The SG's
Talking of G's, it was then time for G himself, yes indeed, Mr G La Roche to enteratin what was the biggest crowd in the acoustic tent this night, which of course is highly unsurprising as he yet again had us singing along and curled upin hysterical laughter in equal measures!

Mr G La Roche
Finally on the main stage it was the turn of the very excellent Thin Lizzy tribute band, Fin Lizzy to entertain what was, by now, a totally rammed Baldock Beer Festival, all in all a splendid success and far too many very excellent beers in the company of great friends, what more could one ask for?

Fin Lizzy
SATURDAY APRIL 30th - Melbourn Rock Club
Another very special evening, not only was it MRC's founding father, Muarice McComb's 66th birthday, it was MRC's 36th anniversary and it's been a while since The Fellowship of the Stick, in a Corona style, had visited, tonight just had to be done, the full monty, the very late night, the excess of fine ale and JD, Fender himself out and about and of course the overnight stay, despite the exceptionaly cold UK weather this April, was it worth it? You bet it was!

Musically the evening kicked off with one of the best Hendrix tribute bands I've seen, the RGR Hendrix Experience.

RGR Hendrix Experience
Next along were those great rockers Dirty Mike and The Boys, original rock which had the Eternit Sports and Social Club, home of the MRC, packed and rocking.

Dirty Mike and The Boys
Headliners Nitroville are a great band, tonight was no exception despite the fact that they were very careful to select a set which didn't strain singer Tola's poor vocal chords as she'd been suffering from Laryngitis for the past two weeks! This of course meant that they couldn't play some of thier heaviest numbers but a great rocking set none the less that had the place dancing and bouncing.

All in all the musical cumulation of a great three nights in what was, for many reasons, a very memorable week.

By the power of three

Fender holds court
Three nights, three different venues
Great Fellowship and plenty of booze
For the Thursday saw Peter Chris and I
At The Vic’ for Midnight Drives
Supported by The Sons and Rhys Kirkman
And damned good they all were
It was intimate in the barn, but fun

Friday evening and I was on my way
To the Baldock Beer Festival
And those who said they would come
Didn’t appear to join in the fun
Never fear, for other friends were there
And there was the excellent beer 
And then came Smiffy & Lynne
We saw Sophie Celeste and No Sleep Till Bedtime
Rob Eaton was good and so were the SG’s
But then there was G, the one and only
Who had us singing along in-between the laughter
And finally Fin Lizzy, happy ever after
For tomorrow was another day!

To be precise it was Saturday
And in the afternoon I was on my way 
To Arlesey on the train
Out to a gig once again
With Chris, Peter, Kevin & Tim
It’s a while since we’ve seen him
But sadly no Jo
But we did have a Sally and a Keith
And it was Maurice’s 66th birthday
As well as the MRC’s 36th Anniversary
Coronas on display once more
After all that’s what they’re for
RGR Hendrix Experience kicked the night off
Dirty Mike and the boys really rocked
And Nitroville did OK despite Tola’s laryngitis
They still rocked us but a little gentler than perhaps they could
But over all it was good
And we slept out under the stars
Well, in tents and Fender’s den
I can’t wait until we do it again!

Sally & The Coronas, should be a band ourselves really!
Grant Meaby
May 2016
Useful Links:-

Coming up on May the 6th, 7th & 8th as part of the Baldock Festival, "Sounds of Baldock" which is, to all intents and purposes, a mini Balstock and is in fact one of the main fundraising events for Balstock, so, if you in Hertfordshire at the weekend, there really is only one place you'd want to be!
Bye for now, until the next time, cool runnings one and all. GM