Thursday, 25 December 2008

Christmas Music

Happy Christmas everybody from David, John and Bob.

Three Christmas songs from the band for you to enjoy.

Good King Wencelas
A Winters Tale
I Believe In Father Christmas

Large version of the photo: Christmas store

Christmas Performance

On Tuesday we were invited to perform for a staff party and turned up early to set up whilst the party-goers were enjoying a festive meal.

We were provided with our very own buffet and what an excellent start to the session that was for us. The food was excellent and given that the kitchen staff were serving up a couple of hundred full Christmas dinners, was a tribute to them. Wonderful!

The staff came back from the meal and we started off with a new instrumental by Bob and myself; Foot Tapper. Then on came David and we played a few country songs, a couple of Irish charmers and then launched into the dancy numbers.

Lots of compliments, lots of dancing and even a couple of guest singers! Christmas has started - bring it on!

Large version of the photo: creeping bentgrass

Friday, 21 November 2008

John and David Clubbing

Last night we played the Highfield Road Servicemens' Association club in Blackpool.

Poor David has been suffering since the Saturday gig with flu and looked as though he should have been still in bed really but we gave them a good night and a chance to exercise their vocal chords singing along to country, folk and sixties songs, finishing up with Quo's Rocking All Over The World.

David explained he looked a bit rough due to being on heavy drugs (Lemsip) and the audience gave us a rousing burst of applause at every song ending and afterwards as Fran was standing by the pile of equipment we were ferrying to the car across the road many of them could be heard saying how much they had enjoyed the night.

So did we...Even David was back to his usual self after a few songs and the adrenalin had shaken off the flu for a while!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Claughton Gig

Last night we played a gig for Garstang Light Opera Group's annual fund-raiser out at Claughton.

We had a great night there, with lots of comments about how tight we sounded as a band and how we get better each year.

Someone even went as far as to say he'd never heard me play a bad note and his guitar teacher had told him he had a good ear for music. Well, I suspect he wasn't listening closely enough - anyone who can get through a full night without at least one bum note is either a superb musician - or just isn't drinking enough...

No... before I get in trouble with the others, I should point out that we tend not to drink alcohol very much on a gig. Shandy is about the most virulent substance to pass our lips and once on stage, water is the staple diet!

Anyway, we had a number of new songs since we last played for GLOG - Kenny Rogers' The Gambler, Creed's Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Quo's Rocking All Over The World, Smokie's Living Next Door To Alice - hey you, keep those lyrics clean! - The Shadow's Foot Tapper, The Ronnettes Be My Baby, The Dave Clark Five's Glad All Over, The Beach Boys' Then I Kissed Her, The Bee Gees Words, The Turtles Happy Together, Billy Fury's A Thousand Stars...

It was a great night. Oh... and Fran got completely squiffy... She had us posing for a photo for ages whilst she kept pressing the on-off button...!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

American Gig

Well... in truth a "Gig for Americans" might be more accurate!

Myerscough College have had a group of students from Ohio State University on an exchange visit and asked if we could play at a bar-b-que last Thursday night.

The weather held off at least as far as rain goes, but I think the visitors were finding our summer a little more akin to their winters! They joined in with the singing and introduced us to their style of rousing cheer, which started with a handclap getting faster and faster and ending in a yell!

They were up for a bit of singing too and it was an excellent night for us!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Garstang Music and Arts Festival

Were we lucky or what?!? At 6:30am this morning the Heavens opened and as the radio news came on half an hour later it was all about floods and dire warnings.

We got to Garstang early and the sky was cloudy but it was dry. We set up and played an hour and a half then there were a few spots of rain. We switched off and covered over and took a lunch break whilst the rain stopped and blue sky inched its way over us.

By the time we started again at 2:00pm we had bright sunshine and a decent sized audience. We played our way through the 1950s and 1960s and then launched into Status Quo's Rocking All Over The World. It was like switching on an audience magnet. People started coming our way from every direction and we ended the afternoon with a few rock and roll numbers each one generating enthusiastic applause.

All day the fire brigade were just a couple of hundred yards down the road pumping away water from a flooded stretch of road!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Darwen Outing

Yesterday saw us out in Darwen, playing for a charity event in aid of cancer research at the home of our special friends, Christine and Brian.

It's a large garden and we had a gazebo in one corner just in case but the rain was good to us and stayed away whilst we played throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

A slight technical mishap - we'd taken our smaller PA system and then blew one of the speakers... A touch of repair work needed I think! Anyway the remaining speaker was made of hardier stuff and performed well for the rest of the gig!

And I gather whilst we were out and working, we had a track played on London's Radio Northwick Park - thank you to DJ Pierre Petrou and our friends at!

The track at the Billy Fury site this month is one of John's solo efforts - Tracks of My Tears.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

School Prom

Monday night saw David and John playing at a junior school prom.

I think that an apt description of the audience would be "wildly enthusiastic"! In fact so loud we could hardly hear the music ourselves. We'd had to turn the speakers away to avoid feedback, it was cranked up louder than we'd ever had it before just to cut above the noise from the kids.

They weren't particularly running wild or anything, they were singing along, cheering, in fact giving us an amazing reception. Thank you to the kids and teachers at Blackpool's St John Vianney. We finished off an exuberant night with the Blackpool Football Team's anthem - the old Dave Clark Five hit, Glad All Over and I think everyone was!

As David said afterwards, "I can cope with 11,000 coming through the gate at Liverpool but that was scary!!!" An excellent night!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Croxteth 2008

A scorching day yesterday at Croxteth Park, Liverpool, where we played for the sixth year running for the Open Day.

No fairground this time so we had less competition from other attractions and consequently had a good-sized audience in front of us for the day. They were good-natured and enthusiastic and we hope you all had as good a day listening as we had playing for you!

We have had confirmation now that we will be playing again at Garstang's Festival on Thursday 21 August - our usual spot near the car park and council offices on the corner of the main street.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Creeping Bentgrass Coming To Croxteth Park

We had thought this gig might be called off this year but we can confirm that it will be going ahead!

Sunday July 13 2008

We'll be on our usual spot to the side of the hall on the green. Come and say hello. We'll be there from around 11:30 all the way through to 4:00pm.

See you there!!!

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Larbreck Hall

Great gig last night for David and John out at Larbreck Hall Caravan Park. Bob was unavailable so we performed as a duo.

We were going to do an outdoor, but the weather was appalling. The organisers had sorted out an old barn and built a stage with scaffolding, pallets stacked and carpeted over and a backdrop and sides of sheet plastic - pretty good too for such a temporary set-up!

The pallets were very springy though - when we started foot tapping and getting into the faster stuff I thought I was going to be catapulted off stage a couple of times but we survived and dragged Jeannie up to sing backing vocals for The Ronette's song Be My Baby.

Thanks to the holiday makers and residents at the caravan park for such a great reception and your enthusiasm! Thanks too to the very enthusiastic group of girls who screamed and shouted and kept demanding Bob The Builder for some strange reason! John managed to work it into his keyboard solo on Ho Ho Silver Lining - that has to be a world's first...!

Monday, 2 June 2008

A Wet Day at Myerscough

Well we've been playing Myerscough College's open day events for years but yesterday was the wettest one since our very first in 2002!

Despite that a phenomenal number of people braved the weather to come out to see everything that was going on, but understandably not a lot chose to sit on the row of chairs that had been placed in front of our spot! Some brave souls stood and listened, danced, sang and cheered and we thank you for that.

We played The Kink's Sunny Afternoon, but it failed to do the trick and so we resorted to Creedence Clearwater Revival's Have You Ever Seen the Rain which gave us a certain amount of audience participation...

We played it again several hours after the first playing and David related how someone had yelled "Sod off!" as they passed. Then he did a quick "oops!" and apologised for swearing but was then faced by a very indignant 5-year-old who tore him off a strip to the amusement of everyone around us. "There's lots of children here, you know!" she said, hands on hips. I promised to wash his mouth out with soap and she nodded and, with a final stern look, walked off back to her parents who were killing themselves.

The previous night we played out at Heskin Hall for a steam fair in a large marquee. It was good to hear Fran and Jeannie relate that they had heard someone at the entrance saying to his mates "Oh, great! They were here last year and they're fabulous!" A man of taste!

And yes, I know I'm supposed to be taking it easy because of the old ticker, but we cut down the set at Heskin from our usual 4+ hours and David keeps giving me dire threats if I start to set up or carry anything heavy before he's got there to help.

And finally, our thanks to Peter and Shelagh Cooney who came to Myerscough to do a set and give us a bit of a break. I appreciated it as I'd got a huge blister on one finger which burst and needed to dry up a bit before I could carry on. "Can you still play keyboards?" asked David. Relentless...

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Wedding Gig

Last night we were out in the beautiful countryside of the Trough of Bowland, playing at the wedding of Lee and Gail in Oakenclough.

We were glad of the SatNav as it would have been a job to find it otherwise! We were playing in a couple of marquees put together in the grounds of a country hotel.

"It'll be in tents tonight..." said David as we glimpsed them from the car. ("intense" - puns don't always work written down...) Then he said it again as we sat in the bar waiting for the speeches to finish. Oh yes, and again over the mic later on. Likes to get his money's worth out of a pun, does David! Ha! "That's what I like about you, John..." he'll say after reading this, "...nothing!"

It was a breezy night - apparently the marquee had had to be re-erected that morning after it blew down the previous night and it was certainly getting up a bit as we say up north! (note to southerners - we don't say oop for up in the northwest!)

We played for a couple of hours, filling the dance floor, then handed over to a disco. Then - disaster - the disco had technical problems. Their amp blew and we had to set back up after having almost broken down completely and we gave them another hour and a half whilst the DJ drove back home to bring another amp. Our amp didn't have enough phono inputs as we use standard jack plugs for everything except the mics.

We were wearing matching white t-shirts with suits instead of our usual black shirts and I thought it looked quite professional too! Anyway the bride, groom and guests were very complimentary about the band's performance and our willingness to step in after the DJs' technical problems. Poor couple, it's every performer's worst nightmare!

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Sound Files Working Again

I've now transferred the sound files to and they should be working again.

Click the song name under the "Listen - Music Tracks" heading in the left hand column.

Media Files Unavailable

Sorry to anyone who has been trying to listen to the media files. Mediamax, the website that was hosting them has decided to "upgrade" to something called "The Link Up" and has spectacularly downgraded instead.

I only had a free account and they have decided that anyone with a free account doesn't have their files moved to the new site at all. A disadvantage over paid accounts, but only the very slightest of disadvantages as all the (ignored) screams on the blog of the site seem to suggest that the paid customers' files haven't been moved either...

They are not going to allow seamless linking either so I'm on the lookout for somewhere else to store the files. If anyone has any experience or knowledge (I'm against spending money for this because of the relative unreliability of such services) then I'd be pleased to hear from you!


Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Witton Park Gig

We played a gig at Witton Park, Blackburn on Sunday, setting up in our usual spot in the courtyard which was set out with straw bales for the audience to sit. Quite a number turned up. It was a nice day (until later - see below) and we ran out of straw bales but thankfully not out of songs!

There was a lot going on besides us. There was some chap dressed up in a duck outfit collecting entries for a duck race. I couldn't resist the temptation and called to him over the mic - "Collect a bit for charity, there's a duck..."!

Throughout the morning and into the afternoon it was so sunny I couldn't read the LCD display on the keyboard which led to this rather unfortunate necessity...

From lunchtime, though, we kept hearing thunder rumbling in the far distance, although it remained warm and sunny through the afternoon. Then as we were considering calling it a day and just as we were halfway through the last chorus huge raindrops started to fall. We finished, yelled "Thank you, goodbye!" and yanked plugs from sockets and dragged the equipment into the shelter of the ex-stable that we use as a base.

Almost immediately the Heavens opened and thunder, lightning and hailstones the size of marrowfats were bouncing all over the place.

A great day with none of the usual requests for "just one more", as the audience dived for cover too!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

First Gig with New Keyboard

We played a charity gig in aid of Sports Relief last night at Bispham Conservative Club arranged by the ladies from Sainsburys store next door. They raised over two thousand pounds for the charity altogether so a tremendous effort.

We did a couple of spots, starting and finishing the evening and there was a performance by Britain's Got Talent contestant Tom McLeod.

The new keyboard sounded good, but I'm still not totally familiar with it yet and there was a moment's panic when I couldn't find an entire folder of rock and roll songs. It took a while before I realised there were too many folders to show on one page and there was a page 2 button lit up! Duh!

Anyway we got everyone up dancing, which we were told was a most unusual feat!

Carrying all the gear down a very steep fire escape in the dark was a bit hairy!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Trials and Tribulations

We've gained a new backing singer!

David's wife Jeannie joins us for a bit of help on the chorus of Be My Baby. Which is a good thing because my falsetto is not was it used to be...

We were round at John's house last night for another run through of the new stuff and to see if we can revive a couple of numbers that have fallen by the wayside a bit. A good time was had by all, helped by Fran's cubed chicken in white wine and garlic which was just a bit yummy!

At the same time though we've had a gig called off this weekend so are going to console ourselves with a trip out to Frankie & Bennie's!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

March Track at Billy Fury Website

This month at you can listen to one of the tracks from our new album Right On The Line.

The track is called I Try To Think About Elvis and features John on vocals.

The website is devoted to 1960s British idol Billy Fury whose latest album is currently in the album charts 25 years after his untimely death from long-standing health problems.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Rehearse? What's That About?

With another year of gigs about to start at the beginning of March, we decided we had better get together for a bit of a rehearsal.

After all, the last time we all played together was 24 September last year!

We don't do a great deal of rehearsing to be honest - after 6 years together we just fall into it again, but with it having been so long we just wanted to have a bit of a run-through.

In addition I'd put together some new songs on the keyboard and we had our first play of Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire, Kenny Rogers' The Gambler, Creedence Clearwater Revival's Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Status Quo's Rockin' All Over The World and one I stuck in as an experiment but it sounded great - er... The Ronettes' Be My Baby!

"Well I thought you wouldn't be able to surprise me any more," David said, "but..."