Pages

Thursday, 23 March 2017

FOTS HRH PROG V ADVENTURE & ROADHOUSE AT ESQUIRES

 So, for the last few years HRH Prog at Camp HRH, Hafan Y Mor in North Wales has been very much on the FOTS calendar and this year was no exception for HRH Prog V, this time the whole site dedicated to the prog family hence not shared with the Sci-Fi weekender or AOR as in the past.


In the past we have stopped off for lunch in Shrewsbury at the Weatherspoons, Shrewsbury Hotel, for us 2/3 of the distance but about half of the overall travelling time. This year we decided to set off on the Wednesday, stay overnight in said hotel thus giving us the chance to explore Shrewsbury and its historic buildings and more importantly pubs!


SHREWSBURY WANDERINGS


Buildings of black and white
the oaken beams lean out towards the street
where between the cobbles run flat stone tracks
where once ran coaches and carts
the history seems to ooze up between each crack
each twisting alley and snick, each archway
seems to lead to some hidden gem
of architectural beauty
ancient pubs with uneven floors
low angled doors
sloping benches in hidden rooms
where our thirst is quenched 
by the finest of ales
Shrewsbury, a town of history and hidden tales
as we wander on our voyage of exploration
admiring its beauty
but in reality
only just scratching the surface.

GM
March 2017


Thursday morning saw us setting off for North Wales much refreshed from a good night's sleep and a superb Weatherspoon's breakfast arriving at Camp HRH around lunchtime after a quick detour to Tesco's for the weekend food supplies.

The festival itself was and is a great event at which to catch up with friends from all over the country and I have to say that this years (HRH Prog V) line up was truly exceptional.

Musically the festival could not have got off to a better start with JUMP in the main arena, they were absolutely on top form and delivered a brilliant set.

JUMP
Next up were the ENID in their new 3 piece format and another great set, followed by the mighty PENDRAGON who were also amazing and finally GONG who were quite simply sublime.

GONG
At the DC / VIP / Royalty party in the strangely named "Bonga Wonga" we were treated to a great acoustic set fro PEARL HANDLED REVOLVER.

Hafan Y Mor




CAMP HRH

Camp HRH at Hafan Y More near Phwlthelli
you may have seen it on the telly
where it rains so hard even the ducks take shelter
but what the heck, it doesn't matter
this is a festival and all the venues
bear names that relate to the seaside
like "The Cove" and "The Boardwalk"
so big inside
all rather quaint but perhaps now somewhat dated
harping back to the time when family and friends
were somewhat elated
to take their summer holidays together beside the sea
in vast holiday camps such as these
the pub and restaurant is called "The Mash and Barrel"
OK, no problem, no mystery there to unravel
but please, please someone, help me out
what the f**k is "Bonga Wonga" all about?

GM

March 2017

Friday saw PEARL HANDLED REVOLVER, PANIC ROOM, THE PRETTY THINGS, CURVED AIR, JOHN LEES BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST and the mighty HAWKWIND in the main arena (Stage 1) while we had RED SPEKTOR, MASCHINE, DREAM CIRCUIT (Farewell gig!) CREDO, DAVY O LIST and DAVID CROSS BAND in stage 2.

We caught all the bands we wanted to see and of course aired the (now all too familiar) Corona  shirts!


The Fellowship 5 at Prog V
The intense use of smoke machines and LED spots make band photography all but impossible these days except for the professionals and gifted amateurs with expensive cameras so I didn't really bother much this time with my little digital Instamatic that has served me so well in years gone by!


DREAM CIRCUIT - Farewell :(

CREDO in brilliant form once again

HAWKWIND???????
What a fantastic surprise it was at the Hawkwind gig to fine we'd been sitting with Dibs's mum, sister and brother in law, truly lovely people and of course Sam who had been dancing 'down the front'.

The Friday night after party saw us royally entertained by Red Spektor playing a full electric set, very nice.  

On Saturday we had VERBAL DELIRIUM, KARNATAKA, THE STRAWBS, ATOMIC ROOSTER, IQ, WISHBONE ASH and another incarnation of THE ENID on stage 1 whilst on stage 2 we had KONCHORDAT, LUNA KISS, HAZE, HEIGHTS, THE GIFT and GANDALF'S FIST.

We caught Konchordat before a CRF Ambassador's meeting, caught up with those wonderful young men Luna Kiss before their excellent set, followed by a great sets from Haze, Heights and The Gift before heading across to stage 1 for what was probably for us the two gigs of the day, IQ followed by Wishbone Ash, so different but so so good!


LUNA KISS

HAZE

THE GIFT
All in all it had been a damn fine festival, in a way it's a shame that HRH Prog V1 is being brought forward to November this year as it seems only a couple of us can afford the holiday and being only two the price sky rockets unless we can find someone to make up a party of six, seven or eight.

The journey home was beautifully panned out by a detour to Bedford, to Danny's Bar in Esquires for the return of ROADHOUSE, what a party that turned into too, it was so good to see Roadhouse back and in such good form, plus of course catching up with one or two Fellowship members that sadly couldn't make it along to HRH Prog V this year!


The very excellent ROADHOUSE

Is it a gig or is it a party? It's both!

ROADHOUSE are back!

What a weekend, I need a rest, so until the next time, cool runnings one and all.

GM March 2017

Sunday, 12 March 2017

IT'A BEEN A LONG TIME - THE ZIPHEADS, PLAYGROUND CIRCUS, THE KRAMERS AND MANTIS DIVINE AT CLUB 85

It's been a long time, a long, long time, since our mate Garry has been 'over here' from his home in the Netherlands and out for a drink and a gig with us and what a weekend to choose, what a night!

Friday 10th March, another exceptionally good gig at Club-85 and an excuse to grab an early pint or two at 'The Vic' before the gig.


It’s been a long time

It’s been a long time
It’s been a long long time
Since our Garry was over from the Netherlands
And we were out at a gig together with friends
And where else would we be
For a special meet up of the Fellowship three?
No question, no doubt I’m thinking
A meet up for a drink and a gig in Hitchin
So now we have a new tradition to keep alive
To meet up at the Vic then off to Club-85
Garry, Angelica, Chris and me
For a night of good bands and camaraderie.

Mantis Divine
The excellent blend of punk & metal from Mantis Divine
Got the evening off to a start that was just fine
The Kramers packed their set with high energy
Which was also exceedingly good to see

The Kramers
International band Playground Circus
Certainly did a great job to entertain us

Playground Circus
And as seems to be the norm’
The Zipheads were on top form
Playing a blinding and long set
The best I’ve seen them yet
What a night
It’s been a long time
It’s been a long long time.

The Zipheads

All four bands did a great job and are all well worth checking out so, without further ado, here are the all important links:-

The Mantis Divine

The Kramers

Playground Circus

The Zipheads

CLUB 85

GM

March 2017

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

THE FELLOWSHIP GOT THE BLUES - CHANTEL MCGREGOR AT CLUB-85


It was like being back in the old Fellowship days, just me, Chris, Kevin and Peter at a gig, Corona's on display.
Before that we'd had a nice couple of drinks at The Vic' with Paul and Lynne before they went off to a party and suddenly, there we were, at Club-85 at a blues gig and what a quality gig it was.

The evening kicked off with Hertfordshire based singer songwriter Rob Eaton who can play a mean blues song (or several) when the mood takes him, making great use of looping and a mixture of his acoustic and electric guitars he turned in an absolutely excellent set to get us all in the mood.

Next up was Alan Riches Progressive Blues, a fine three piece who with a few originals and several classic covers treated us to some stunning blues rock, their version of Fleetwood Mac's Green Manalishi and Cream's Politician were amazing, talk about taking you back!

In among the really excellent crowd at Club-85 it was great to see so many people we knew from Skegness Rock and Blues, Cambridge Rock Festival and the Sunday Night Blues at the Red as well as a lot of the Club-85 regulars and many who had never been down this way before!


Chantel's Bunnies with the chief bunny herself :)
It had been far too long since we had last seen Chantel and it was good to catch up with her and her mum Janet before the gig.

Chantel McGregor was absolutely stunning and with such a tight band behind her.
As ever she made playing the guitar look like it was completely effortless and her heavier, more progressive approach to her songs, most of which are blues rock grounded works so well, we all agreed that we will be hard pressed to see and hear a better guitarist or even for that matter any better live performer anytime soon.


The Fellowship got the Blues

Saturday the fourth of March
two thousand and seventeen
and the Fellowship were feeling mean
I have to say, mean
in the best possible way
what I mean to say is
we got, or certainly looked forward to
gettin' the blues, as you do
and we certainly got the blues real bad
top quality blues and blues rock
among the best we've ever had
were we at Club-85 or at Jacks in Skeggy?
At times it was hard to say
as the music and the atmosphere
made us feel that way.

Rob Eaton

Top class solo blues from Rob Eaton
how was that going to be beaten?
Alan Riches Progressive Blues
blues rock that rocked us into our dancing shoes

Alan Riches Progressive Blues
And then came Chantel
her heavier more progressive approach 
went down so well
stunning, amazing
what else can I say
she was so on form this day
and with such a tight band
surely there's not another guitarist to match her
in the land
well certainly in my opinion there's not
she was red hot
in fact
she was FABULOUS.

Chantel, simply fabulous




GM March 2017


Sunday, 5 March 2017

WE'RE ALL DOOMED!

OK, just a quick and straightforward wee blog this time.

Dateline:- Thursday 2nd March 2017

Cosmic Location:- The Red Lion, Stevenage Old Town, Hertfordshire, England, Europe, Planet Earth.

Event:- A night of Doom Metal presented by SoundArc Live Promotions.

Featuring:- Spectral Darkwave, Gévaudan and Slaine.

And so:-

Spectral Darkwave are one of the best technical, melodic purveyors of the Doom Metal genre I have seen for many a long year, as a three piece with outstanding programmed backing they conjure up tales from the dark mists of time from the known and hidden universe and they do it magnificently!

The band's current CD release, Last First Contact is well worth a listen.

Spectral Darkwave
https://www.facebook.com/SpectralDarkwave/?fref=ts

Gévaudan were epic, progressive Doom Metal at it's best and with the magnificent use of a massive gong to boot!

Gévaudan

https://www.facebook.com/Gevaudandoom/?fref=ts

Should Slaine have headlined this gig? 
Musically the answer has to be no but for pure entertainment and crowd pleasing ability the answer actually has to be yes! 
With certain Slaine members off getting educated at university the gaps were nobly filled by members of those other Red Lion irregulars Skullf****d, indeed at cretain points it wasn't exactly clear whether it was Slaine or Skullf****d that were actually entertaining us but entertain they surely did!

All in all a great evening of live metal and that's what it's all about.

Slaine / Skullf****d
https://www.facebook.com/pg/slainesludge/photos/?ref=page_internal

If you are at all interested in finding out more about any of the above bands please visit their Facebook pages etc. etc. etc. etc.
Time to fly.
Bye
GM