Saturday, 26 November 2016


Rounding off what had been a hectic but very enjoyable week with the 4th gig in 7 days I was somewhat thankful that this one was local!

Once again Andy at SoundArc Promotions had put together an excellent 3 band line up of high energy rock and roll at The Red Lion, Stevenage.

First up were melodic high energy rockers, Brocker, followed by the reformed Kramers with their authentic and original punk and headlining were The Zipheads with their wonderful blend of rockabilly / psychobilly / rock & roll.
As expected the Red was packed for this particular line up which all made for an enjoyable evening and a great atmosphere.



Rocking the Red

Leslie sits at a corner table at the back of the pub
Carefully cradling his Newcastle Brown Ale as he does
Distinctive with his long hair and bushy beard
There are few bands that he hasn’t seen or heard
Tonight may not be his particular sort of music
But he’s usually here supporting the local music scene
Like us, he’s been, around the block a few times!

Once again thanks to Andy and SoundArc Promotions
We have a three band line up to stir the emotions
The melodic post punk high energy rock of Brocker
Kicked the evening of to a fine start
The nostalgic pure punk of the Kramers was not such a world apart
Reformed after a long hiatus they showed us that they can still do it
Just as fresh as back in the day as if there was nothing to it!

The Kramers

The Kramers

What a great gathering of friends, promoters, punters, 
Musicians and members of other bands
Good beer and live rock music go hand in hand
Tonight was no exception with the Zipheads headlining
And with a new album that is just fine
Their psychobilly rock and roll as timeless and relevant as ever
A damn fine night all round
All the better for being at ‘The Red’ as I’m sure you’ll agree
It’s absolutely free, really free, really really really free!

The Zipheads

The Zipheads

Long live rock and roll
As Leslie sits quietly in the corner
Slowly supping his Newcastle Brown
Peter, Chris and me, tired and happy, head for home.

GM November 2016

Oh did I mention that The Zipheads have a new album out? It's called Z2 Rampage and it is excellent:-

Kramer are selling their old CD at a mere £3:00, did I have the heart to tell them I'd very recently picked up a copy in a charity shop for 50P, you bet I did!

Thursday, 24 November 2016


As I type this I am listening to Rejoice I'm Dead! Nice and loud.
Quite simply last night's gig with Zofff supporting was truly magnificent, for me beyond doubt this was the gig of the year!
Gong were on fire, playing mainly songs from Camembert Electrique and Rejoice I'm Dead! to a Dome packed out with the Gong Family old and new it was a night to remember, a night I'm sure Daevid and Gilli smiled down upon.

So, this time I'm posting all my photo's rather than a select few, and a short poetic summation of my evening (As usual).

Gong at The Dome, Tufnell Park, London 23 11 16

Once more into London with a couple of hours to spare
A pint of Twickenham in the Sir John Betjeman
It’s been a while since I’ve been in there

A short hop down the tube to The Euston Tap
For a Bad Seed IPA and a House of Mirrors
Well fancy that!

Back on the tube to Tufnell Park where a gust of wind stole my hat
A shame but such things happen
Although I could have done without that!

A quick pint in the Boston before doors at seven at the Dome
And a wonderful gathering of the Gong Family
With Gong you’re never alone

Playing some amazing experimental psychedelic rock
The night got off to a really great start
Courtesy of Zofff

I met a load of good people including SpaceDogs, the band
Another highlight was when Kavus spotted me in the crowd
And raced over to shake my hand

Gong were truly magnificent, a word which for me says it all
Long live Gong



Getting ready for Gong


All rights reserved, words and pictures Copyright Grant Meaby November 2016.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Oh my Lordi, not again!

A mere couple of days since we were in London after far too long not being so, Sunday saw us heading to the O2 Academy in Islington to see Finnish Metal band Lordi, remember them? They won the European Song Contest a few years back with "Hard Rock Hallelujah". Known for their amazing costumes, stage sets and theatrical performances it was a good excuse to dress up, have a few beers and have fun.

 Oh my Lordi it’s The Fellowship Again!

“Mummy mummy mummy, there are monsters on the train”
“Don’t worry about it my little one; it’s just That Fellowship again!”

Normal Sunday casual dress for some!

Mr. De'ath

I wish he'd put a mask on
So there we were
Heading off to London once more
This time we were six
Three more than the time before

The evening’s entertainment
Was Lordi at the O2 Academy
But before all that we places to visit
We had beers to sup and places to be

So we caught a bus from Kings Cross
To The Angel Islington
First to the Brewhouse and Kitchen
It was on the list and had to be done

A nice couple of beers in there
Saw us once more on our way
To the Charles Lamb pub just down the road
Oh what a grand way to start the drinking day

The costumes had people laughing
And asking us where we were going
Some we told some we left puzzled
Better off that they’re not knowing!

The Earl of Essex was next on the list
With the amazing beer board on the wall
As Kevin said, “It’s just not to be missed!”
So there we went one and all

We found the Glassworks dark and shut 
But time was pressing and food was calling
A Wetherspoon’s that’s closed down!
We found that quite appalling

But The Angel is also a Wetherspoon’s
So we dived in there for our Sunday tea
Alex, Kevin, Chris, Paul and Hazel
Oh yes, and not forgetting me!

Suitable fuelled we made our way back
To the O2 Academy
Now was the time for some music
A couple of Scandinavian bands to see

We caught the last few bars from Silver Dust
But saw all of the set from Shiraz Lane
All hair and twin guitars and a bit formulaic
But the crowd seemed to love it all the same

Shiraz Lane
After what seemed like an eternity
Lordi took to the stage
Which was set in a Gothic spooky style
Like a horror movie from a bygone age

The songs were as catchy and anthemic
As only such Lordi songs can be
Despite the often horrific lyrical content
They are so much a band to see

The costumes were phenomenal
The musicianship was also very good
The theatrics were amusing and enjoyable
An all round splendid show as only Lordi could

Lordi in full flow

Lordi getting a head!
All too soon it was over
Outside the rain was pouring down
Long late waits for a train back home
But another great night out in London Town.

A very wet Kings Cross
November 2016

So, until we or I head off out again more bands to see, cool runnings one and all.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

From London to Cairo

Wow, it's been a while!

It has indeed been quite a long time between going out to a live gig, even longer since the original three members and founding fathers of The Fellowship were out together let alone on a trip to London!

We were off to see Luna Rossa and Cairo at the Boston Music Rooms in Tufnell Park but first there were some beers to be sunk in a variety of old London alehouses and a lot of memories to share, this was the first time we had been together since our good friend Mark passed away, too soon, too sudden, too tragically, life at times can be so unfair, but anyway, let's not get maudlin here, what about the day? The Pubs? The gig?

A short walk from Kings Cross to Euston Square saw us calling in at The Euston Tap for the first pint of the day, always a great experience and always a fine selection of real and craft ales and today was no exception, a good start and ready for our trip just round the corner to the Bree Louise for lunch and a pint of the most excellent Fellowship Porter, quite appropriate I would say!

Hubble bubble boil and trouble!
Fellowship Porter, what else?
Suitable 'fueled' a two bus ride took us up the far end of Kentish town to the Southampton which is a haven of real ales and ciders, home made pork pies, roast pork baps, veggie Scotch Eggs, no TV's, no fruit machines, no jukebox, interesting clientele, lots of wood, lots of character and a great place to spend the late afternoon.

Early evening saw us heading through the backstreets for our short walk to The Boston in Tufnell Park, it's so easy to find being right opposite Tufnell Park tube station, another massive old pub which also has two music venues, The Dome (Catfish and the Bottlemen were playing there this night) and The Boston Music Rooms where we were heading to see Rob Cottingham's new band, Cairo, supported by Luna Rossa (Anne-Marie Helder and Jonathan Edwards).

As we were there about half an hour before 'doors' at 7 we sampled the delights of the Boston, an interesting pub with a happy hour from 10 till 7 !!!!!!! That may, or in some cases, may not, be a good thing! Anyway it was a good time to catch up with some old friends and meet and chat to some of the interesting characters inside!

So, the gig, Luna Rossa were absolutely exquisite, poignant beautiful music that really struck some chords on the strings of our somewhat taut emotions, I think it's fair to say that there were a few tears in a few eyes that night!

Luna Rossa
In an obvious attempt to sabotage the chance of getting any reasonable photographs from the crowd the bright red LED lights added a somewhat unearthly feel to the evening and anyway we were here for the music.
Playing songs from both albums, Sleeping Pills and Lullabies and Secrets and Lies, Luna Rossa were on absolutely fabulous form.

Headlining and officially launching the already very highly acclaimed album 'Say' were Touchstone's founding father (and now ex member) keyboard maestro and songwriting genius, Rob Cottingham's new band project, Cairo, there was a distinct and almost physical air of expectation in the room.

Rob Cottingham
 The first thing that Rob did, after thanking Luna Rossa of course, was to drop a bit of a bombshell on us, Rachel Hill, who sang on the album, had sadly already had to leave the band due to ongoing health issues and had been replaced, at relatively short notice by the lovely Lisa Driscoll, what an enormous task she had on this such auspicious occasion, bearing in mind  the success of  'Say' and this of course being the bands fist ever live gig!

Lisa Driscoll
 It took a couple of numbers to get her vocals to the forefront, whether this was down to the sound balance or confidence I know not but when she got going, wow! Cairo, in my humble opinion did themselves proud, Rob has assembled a fine team of musicians in this band and I'm sure they can only go from strength to strength, overall a damn fine night.

Cairo in full swing.

So, once more captured in true Fellowship style, for the archives, the whole day has again been 'captured' in verse:-

London to Cairo

So three of us went to London
But in a way it was really four
Because we three carried with us
The memories, grief and pain
For a dear friend who was no more
I suppose this was somewhat inevitable
No matter how hard we tried
But this was the first time we had been together
Since our dear friend mark had died
So we raised a glass in his memory
In fact we raised several throughout the day
An emotional release in oh so many ways

So, a crowded train to the capitol
Made late by another fatality
Not what you could really call
The best start to the day
But such if life
As they say!

A short walk from Kings Cross to Euston
To the Euston Tap for the first pint of the afternoon
Raised of course to absent friends and finished all too soon
Then off to The Bree Louise
For splendid pies and chips for lunch
And a fine pint of Fellowship Porter
We’re a somewhat predictable bunch

Two buses took us from Euston
To the far end of Kentish Town
To The Southampton
When fine ales and pork pies abound
Wooden floors
Smelly dogs
The aroma of roast pork
And of course
More ales than you can shake a stick at
But the Fellowship of the Stick three
Did our level best to shake our sticks at many!

A short walk through the backstreets to the Boston
‘Happy Hour’ from 10 till 7 should have raised some alarms
But what the heck, with half price JD and coke
The pub had several obvious charms
There were interesting people to talk to
And some old friends to catch up with too
All in all before a gig in London
This is indeed what we often do!
Luna Rossa were quite simply exquisite
Anne-Marie and Jonathan at their best
Beautiful, touching heart rending music
Put our emotions to the test

Cairo appeared amid much applause and anticipation
But Rob had a huge surprise to land
Rachel who sang on the album ‘Say’
Had sadly already had to leave the band
But they had found a new vocalist in Lisa
Who did a damn fine job given the enormity of the night
And wow, what a gig it was, yeah, Cairo did alright!

After the gig, by tube and train
We made our weary way back home
With the Fellowship by your side
You are never on your own.

Grant Meaby
November 2016

So, it's bye-bye for now, between now and the Christmas period there are several gigs to go too so it shouldn't be too long before the next one, in fact it's today!