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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

BROOMSTOCK 2016 - A SPLENDID LITTLE FESTIVAL

First and foremost, a huge shout out of thanks to the festival organisers especially the fantastic stage, sound and lighting crew, Boo Sells, Karl Eckert and Edwin Singer and also to all the staff whether permanent or temporary at The Cock in Broom, Bedfordshire for putting on the most splendid weekend festival of damn fine music, real ale and great food.


I must also mention that the festival, now in its third year, is always in support of a nominated charity, this year it was the Alzheimer's Society which is a really good charity to support and I hope that loads of money was raised, after all:-


So, was this a Fellowship of the Stick event? Need you ask, of course it was!



So Saturday morning saw me heading north on a train to Biggleswade where Kev picked me up and after a short detour to call in to see some friends in Broom (That's a village in Bedfordshire) we made our way to The Cock to meet up with Peter, Chris, Tim & Jo and of course to fully 'establish' 'Camp Fellowship' once again.

Camp Fellowship in all its glory
Musically, Saturday's theme was 'Live and 'Local' featuring a host of the best local bands and artists.

There was only one slight change and that was Kathryn James played after Boo and before the en Drake Collective.

So, first up with a really excellent acoustic set to get us all going was none other than Boo Sells himself.

Boo Sells
Next we had the lovely Kathryn James who entertained us with a brilliant set.

Kathryn James
Now, despite the fact that they often gig around Beds, Herts and Bucks etc. next up was a band that I've consistently missed for whatever reason so it was really good to catch them here and that was The Ben Drake Collective.

The Ben Drake Collective
For me, and a few others I suspect, the 'discovery' of the festival was SpaceGoat, absolutely splendid set and they are very different to your average indie band, mainly acoustic and no drums, not even a Cajun, but, now here's the difference, they have an amazing 'Beatboxer', this is a band I definitely want to see again.

SpaceGoat
The next band, Suburbia really got the crowd up and bouncing with their Punk and New Wave set with the odd 60's Mod Classics thrown in (Who, Kinks, Small Faces etc.) a high octane set indeed.

Suburbia
Indie band Staycations rocked along with their set of primarily original numbers, damn fine job they did too.

Staycations
One of the bands I had looked forward to seeing all day were on next, the incredibly splendid and talented Indi & The Vegas, they played an absolute barnstormer of a set which kept the crowd rocking along and dancing.

Indi & The Vegas
A well populated festival indeed!
By now the evening was drawing on, the Sun was going down and after such a splendid day of great weather we were treated to a fabulous sunset.

Sunset over Broomstock
The final act of the day taking us from late evening into a night of pure class disco / dance were established club band Woo and the Fuel, now, even if this isn't quite your cup of tea musically speaking, these guys were so good that not to dance was not an option! Mr. Edwin Singer also did such a fabulous job on the lighting that along with the warm balmy night you could almost imagine yourself somewhere like Ibiza!

Woo and the Fuel
So, that was Saturday and we still had Sunday to come!

Sunday morning saw the departure of Tim & Jo, ahhhhh, poor Caroline (Boo's wife) was stuck at the tent with the kids so the intrepid four (Kev, Chris, Peter and me) went off to find some breakfast and bring back a special take-away something for someone special (Shhh, don't tell you know who what it it was!), anyway, we enjoyed a lovely 'Full English' at the Jordan's Mill restaurant down by the river, well worth a visit if you are ever in that area.

Jordan's Mill

Musically, on Sunday it was a day of Americana and Country, with plenty of Folk thrown in too courtesy of Southern Crossroads Music.

The Sunday Menu
Kicking off in fine style with his amazing guitar work was the one and only Max Milligan.

Max Milligan in fine form
Next up was Fellowship favourite Roxy Searle who had arrived completed with Mum (Dawn) and her gorgeous puppy Pippa in tow, which led to all sorts of incredibly funny banter on and off the stage and what's more poor Roxy was somewhat incapacitated after tearing a ligament in her leg "Playing football with the big boys", none of this stopped her performing a stunning set, pleasing us no end and I'm sure winning many more fans along the way.

Roxy Searle
Who could follow Roxy? Well, none other than Cherry Lee Mewis, someone else we'd not seen for quite a while and with Robbie and Max they are such a tight band and Cherry didn't disappoint, a fine mixture of Country Blues and Jazz, ideal for a sunny Sunday afternoon, well any time really!

Cherry Lee Mewis

All the way from Nashville (Originally) the next band were My Girl the River, I have to admit that they were not really my cup of tea musically speaking but they did a fine job that went down well with a lot of the crowd.

My Girl the River
Singer songwriter Tom Walker played a great set that was a good mixture of well known sing along Country / Folk classics and his own original material.

Tom Walker
Next along was yet another artist I'd not heard / heard of before, (What a sheltered life I must lead!), she's not only one of the UK's brightest new Country stars but her current single, 'Love You More' is, or certainly was, No.1 in the I-Tunes Country Chart! Yes, it was Katy Hurt and her band, absolutely fantastic they were too.

Katy Hurt (Like what it says on her poster)
There was really only one person who could finish off the day and indeed the festival in the way it just had to be done and that of course was the very excellent Mr. Luke Tuchscherer, playing a beautiful set which included a fine mixture of his own solo material, Whybird songs and some great classics, all in all a damn fine way in which to round off the proceedings.

Luke Tuchscherer
Now before anything else that follows I must say that the majority of the bands and artists mentioned above do have their own Websites, Web pages and facebook pages, too many of them for me to add all the links in this blog, so, if you like any of the above or want to find out more then please seek them out and have a listen, you will not be disappointed.

It had to happen and I know that some of you would be a bit miffed it it wasn't so, of course there is a poem and without further ado here it is!

BROOMSTOCK 2016 

So the Fellowship went to Broomstock
To bask in the warm summer sun
To sleep out beneath the stars at night
A weekend of music, beer and fun

A chance to hear some great music
To discover bands and artists who were new
To try some splendid ales and ciders
Good grief we sank a few!

Time spent with such good friends
Some we’d not seen for far too long
To meet new friends and just chill out
It’s for days like this I long

Saturday was themed ‘Live and Local’
With some tremendous acts I must say
The festival and the campsite were sold out
It was a truly splendid day

Broomstock is put on by volunteers
And it’s all done in aid of charity
This year’s festival was in support of
The Alzheimer’s Society

Broomstock’s hosted by The Cock in Broom
Which is a damn fine ancient inn
With a massive paddock in the grounds behind
Ideal for festivaling

On Sunday morning as one must
Some of us broke our fast
At the lovely Jordan’s Mill restaurant
While we watched the river flowing past

By mid-day and we were back once more
At our favourite bench closest to the stage
For a more restrained sedate Sunday session
Well the best of plans were laid!

Sunday was Americana and Country
Which Southern Crossroads Music put on
Yet again some splendid artists played
Another great day of music and fun

All too soon it was done and dusted
And we were on our way back home
Another jolly splendid Broomstock
Had been well and truly done

So, here’s to the next one.

Grant Meaby
July 2016

This was a Fellowship of the Stick event, the next big adventure will of course be Cambridge Rock Festival 2016 and as we are now (Most of us anyway) Ambassadors for that festival, here follows THE BIG ADVERT:-

Sadly due to illness the Pink Fairies will not now be appearing but a damn fine substitute will no doubt be made + other acts still to be announced + Anne Marie Helder playing an acoustic set!!!!!!!!!!!
So, until the next musical adventure (Of which there are two this week, wey hey!) see you next time round the plastic spiral.

GM July 2016

Thursday, 14 July 2016

MUSIC FROM AROUND THE CORNER & ARCADECLECTIC DAY AT CLUB-85

As many North Herts music fans will know 2016 is the 25th anniversary of Rhythms of the World and this year, for many reasons, it was not possible to put on the usual 2 day festival at The Priory so, to keep the ball rolling and to celebrate the anniversary it was decided to go right back to the roots and put on a number of community events throughout the year, including of course many musically based ones and the weekend of Friday 8th through to Sunday 10th July at Club-85.
I was lucky enough to be able to go along and support the Friday night gig, Music from Around the Corner and of course was fully involved in the Arcadeclectic Stage day on Sunday.



On Friday from The Fellowship there was just Chris and me
We supported Roger King as there were some great bands to see

Young alt-rockers English Manner were the first to grace the stage
They played a good set which we quite enjoyed even at our age!

English Manner

Next to step onto the boards, the effervescent Late Homecoming
With their catchy high octane indie songs Club-85 was buzzing

Late Homecoming

Then came the discovery of the night, a band we’d not seen before
Points were amazingly excellent we’ll see them again for sure

Points
Another highlight was Thousand Suns who blazed and brightly shone  
Instrumental rock that blew us all away I wished it could go on and on

Thousand Suns
Scar City headlined this particular night and quite rightly so
An object lesson in what Metal’s all about in case you didn’t know

Scar City
An eclectic mix of music, home grown and from the local scene
So well done and thank you Roger, Club-85 and the Rhythms team.


On Sunday it was our turn!


A lot was riding on this day as it was to be our final one
After this gig the Arcadeclectic Stage in its current form was done
There are so many reasons why we’re winding up this team
All them are valid and given time I’m sure you’ll know what I mean
But we weren’t going to fizzle out or just simply fade away
We were going out in a blaze of glory and Sunday was OUR day!

Chris Ripple introduced the day
The Blues Blaggers
The Blues Blaggers opened up our show and good grief were they good
Guess who had to follow them with the first poetry set, me if I only could!
I chose a set on a common theme, that of music to be precise
It all seemed to go down well with the crowd which was a relief and jolly nice

Me in full flow, picture courtesy of Lunar Midnight Photography (Emma Byrne) with kind permission.
The Fellowship were there in numbers with Kevin, Chris and Peter too
Friends galore and some of the other bands and our sound and lighting crew
Next cane Urban Myth with their wonderful catchy folky songs
With our mate Ade on the banjo while little Polly danced along

Urban Myth

Purple Dread (That’s our Joy Chance) performed a truly excellent poetry set
Indeed this day was shaping up to be, one of our best yet

Purple Dread
Don Court was the next one to perform and he did a fine job this day
His own penned songs are so intimate and have so much to say

Don Court
Then came our own Chris Ripple who was truly an inspiration
With The Blood Sisters on one backing track an absolute sensation

Chris Ripple
Steve White and the Protest Family had us all in fits of laughter
With their humorous acerbic political songs, what on earth could follow after?

Steve White and the Protest Family
A real treat and very much in keeping with the Arcadeclectic philosophy
We had a short film about Gambian music, we couldn’t have done at the priory
The film was shot by Haddy, who along with Chris, provided all the food
The most amazing of African delights it was really rather good


Before you could think or turn around or even blink an eye
It seemed that somehow so quickly the afternoon had just gone by
And still they came in ones and two’s and even threes and fours
Our dream fulfilled by all those lovely people coming through the door

Pog
The evening kicked off in superb style with Pog up from Brighton on the coast
As for CD’s, merchandise and ‘tat’ it seemed they had the most!

The Astronauts
The Astronauts played a blinding set so good they were this night
That to follow them any band would have to work hard to get it right

Chron Gen
And Chron Gen really did the business as they played the final slot
After which the team said our goodbyes and my friends that’s your lot! 

So was it a success? Did we go out in a blaze of glory?

You bet your life we did, we more than covered our costs, we made a healthy profit, as in we managed to raise a significant amount of money for Rhythm’s of the World, we gave our dedicated supporters and the other wonderful music fans who came a long a damn fine day to remember and what’s more, we had fun doing it.

Special thanks to Bob Mardon and all the staff at Club-85 especially Dan and Tom who did such a fantastic job on the sound and lighting, to Emma for the official photography to all the Arcadeclectic Crew whether they were there on the day or not (You know who you are), all the bands, poets and artists, stage riggers, sound and light engineers we've ever worked with and of course for all the wonderful support from the music fans near and far, and finally to the ROTW commitees past and present for letting us do it, it has been quite a 'ride'.

And it's goodnight from us. Left to right, Frank, Haddy, Chris, Roger & me (Unfortunately Joy had to leave before) - Picture courtesy of Lunar Midnight Photography (Emma Byrne) by kind permission.
Phew! 

Remember,all of the bands and artists have Facebook pages, Soundcloud pages etc, please please please check them out, don't forget to check out ROTW too to see what's going on now and in the future, I am now somewhat of an emotional wreck musically speaking, so, until the next time, cool runnings one and all, GM, July 2016.