Saturday, 12 August 2017


So, there we were once again, Cambridge Rock Festival 2017 in its new site at Horseheath Lodge courtesy of Black Barn Records.

Just to dispel a couple of misconceptions that seemed to be flying about before and during and after the festival:-

That CRF 2017 would not be held at its former home of Haggis Farm Polo Club was well known public knowledge very soon after CRF 2016, this was due to a variety of reasons but most definitely not anything to do with a lot of the problems associated with some of the larger commercial festivals.

CRF 2017 was not completely organised in the 'Last couple of months', the usual (almost year long) planning and organisation had of course again been done with the strong belief that a new 'home' would indeed be found (As it was courtesy of Adrian and Black Barn Records).

CRF operates a strict policy against substance abuse and anti social behaviour, it also adheres strictly to the required (Legal) noise levels and curfew (Cut off time for the music).

CRF is staffed and run entirely by volunteers under the leadership of the festival organiser Dave Roberts and his wonderful family and the festival committee.

So, was it a good one this year? You bet it was, a wonderful setting, fabulous and eclectic range of music, brilliant real ale bar/s, good food stalls, clean toilets and hot showers, OK, there were a few minor teething problems with some of the facilities but that was to be expected for the first time on a new site, overall it was utterly fabulous.

For us CRF has always been an annual event well supported by the Fellowship of the Stick, those unmistakable Corona shirts out on parade and of course our (More than just a) Mascot, Lord Fender Teddy who excelled himself this year despite the notable absence of Kev & Smiffy, however the Fellowship were somewhat bolstered this year by the presence of Sally and Alex.

For the full festival details, line up and band information please visit the CRF website via the link below:-

5 Coronas ready to rock (Alex, me, Peter, Chris and Tim, not pictured, Jo & Sally)
So, why 'The Bear Facts?', well, Fender had such a great time and kept his beady eye on us that we had no alternative but to (Mostly) behave ourselves in an impeccable manner! (If you believe that you'll believe anything!).

On Thursday 'Camp Fellowship' was quickly established, this year a tented village rather than the distinctive 'Little Yellow Caravan' and Kaz da Kamper:-

Camp Fellowship taking shape

The FoTs flag was flying

We were more than ready to rock when the festival itself opened up on Thursday afternoon, now, I'm sure that there are may professional music writers and photographers who will offer a plethora of opinions and a blow by blow account of each artist and band with stunning photographs to match, that's not my style, for myself and the Fellowship such festivals are a time to share in each others company, enjoy a wide selection of great music, meet old friends and make new friends and of course drink far too much real ale and enjoy the odd night cap to ensure a good night's sleep in the tent!

At this point I hand over to Fender for his perspective and a few photographs that may help set the scene!


Cambridge Rock Festival 2017
was exciting for young Fender Bear
because despite missing Kevin & Smiffy
everyone else that he loved were all there

What made it so much more exciting
and made him feel glad that he went
was that his den was back home in Langford
so he camped out with the lads in a tent

Fender in his chair guarding the tent
As it happened to be Fender's birthday
he got a present from our Jo and Tim
a nice new hat from South East Asia
it looked really good when on him

Fender's birthday was celebrated
gin and tonics and other spirits were fun
Camp Fellowship was a bit tipsy
before the festival itself had begun!

Fender had more trips out than is usual
he met lots of friends old and new
he was on stage with the band  "Midnight Crisis"
a great thing for a young bear to do

Fender on stage with Midnight Crisis
Fender tried lots of beers from the ale bar
whilst holding court on the tables outside
he met so many interesting new people
it was sometimes better than being inside

Fender gets stuck in to his real ale
He was interviewed by a nice lady
from the ITV Anglia news
but bears are too sophisticated for East Anglia
so sadly that bit of film wasn't used!

Now a highlight of Fender's adventure
apart from all the cuddles and hugs that he got
was the gift of a gold chain from Sarah
The Incredible String Blonde and she's 'hot'

The Incredible String Blonde & Fender
Fender was somewhat astounded
in fact I think he was more than somewhat relieved
for the Fellowship were so well behaved this year
I know that it's so hard to believe!

So poor Grant the Fellowship's recorder
had little or no dirt about which to write
apart from the excessive gin drinking
which seemed to occur every night!

In the grounds

Fender said the new grounds were stunning
and the festival itself was as good as can be
great music, great food and good beer
and even better Fellowship and company

A beautiful setting
Yes Cambridge Rock Festival 2017
is now 'up there' as one of the best
let's hope it happens again next year
but for now we all need a rest!

Grant & Fender Teddy

August 2017

Inevitably with such a great line up on all three stages over the four days it was not possible to see everyone although I do know a man who tried! Unless of course you happened to be one of the official photographers who darted from stage to stage throughout the weekend, good grief, where do they get their energy from?

Here follows a select few of my photo's of bands and artists from the weekend, and, just to confuse the merry hell out of everyone, in no particular order whatsoever, however they may serve to illustrate just what an eclectic mix it was!:-

4th Labirynth



Rob Cottingham

Captain Horizon


Chantel McGreggor

Ghost Community

The Heather Findlay Trio

The Hot 1 2

Sarah Dean a.k.a. The Incredible String Blonde

JFK Blue



Mathis and Dolphin


Midnight Crisis (With Fender)

Mostly Autumn

John Ottway
Pearl Handled Revolver
Pearl Handled Revolver



Roadhouse take a well deserved bow

Rough and Ready

The Selective Collective

Split Whiskers

The Room

Tygers of Pan Tang

Voodoo Blood

The Zoe Green Band
Oh, and by the way, it did rain on the Saturday afternoon but thankfully not for long:-

What a shower!
Will there be a CRF 2018, we all certainly hope so, will it be back at Horseheath Lodge? We will have to wait and see, fingers, toes and other dangley bits crossed.

The main message is this, if and when CRF 2018 is confirmed, please take advantage of the Earlybird Tickets, not only does it save you a significant amount of money but having some idea of the numbers attending really helps with the planning.

Volunteers are always welcome, again see the CRF website for details, finally, a huge thank you to Dave and the Roberts family, the festival committee, all the volunteers, stage hands, sound engineers, CRF Ambassadors (Of which I'm one), Adrian and Black Barn Records, all the artists and bands and absolutely everyone in whatever capacity had any hand whatsoever in making CRF 2017 happen and for making it one of the best yet, here's to 2018.

And finally, unlike some other festivals I could mention, here is how we left the camp site, only flattened grass to ever show that we were there:-

I think this speaks for itself

Cheers m' dears
August 2018

Tuesday, 1 August 2017


So there we were, Chris and me and Peter G and Les in his corner and SoundArc Andy and all the usual crew down at the Red Lion for an interestingly eclectic evening of damn fine music once again.

First up was Thrash Gordon, a.k.a. Danny Young (Of Speedshot fame apart from being Matt Young's brother etc. etc.), anyway, in his Thrash Gordon guise Danny plays some mean and dirty blues acoustically complete with foot cymbal and harmonica and wow can this young man play!

Thrash Gordon
Thrash's current album, Riff Raff Revival is damn fine piece of work and well worth a mere £5 of anyone's money if you are lucky enough to catch him live.

Occupying the middle slot were Luton's psyche, grunge, garage three piece, Dinges, on thier first visit to the Red Lion, a good if somewhat extremely loud set!


So, what can I say about this night's headliners? Try this:-

A recipe: Take a good measure of Ska Punk, stir in a heaped measure of progressive / classic rock, season generously with equal amounts of angst, astute political observation and a dose of extremely wry humour, leave to simmer in a warm pub for a couple of hours, serve with extraordinarily good musicianship and you might just get close to the utterly brilliant Billy Skins Fifth!

G, Eddie & James, a.k.a. Billy Skins Fifth

G in full flow

All in alll another damn fine evening, so what's next?

Well this:-

See you there or afterwards somewhere, until then, keep rocking and keep live music live!
GM July / August 2017