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
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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

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