Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Creeping Bentgrass in Darwen

On Friday 27 December we were out in wildest Darwen. It was the weather that was wild, not the inhabitants, I hasten to add. We were blown about on the road a bit on our way there, but we arrived safely and played for a private house party for our hosts Christine and Brian.

We have played here several times before - we usually play both a garden party in summer and a Christmas house party for Christine and Brian and have come to know many of their regular guests and neighbours. A nice relaxed gig for us too. It's a good place to try out new songs and this time The Tremeloes' Suddenly You Love Me got an airing and went down extremely well with its sing-a-long chorus!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Engagement Party Performance

A good afternoon yesterday, playing at a house party for an engagement. Luckily it was a big house!

Many thanks to our hosts and best wishes to the happy couple who were the reason for the party in the first place!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Charity Night at Charnock Richard F.C.

Last Saturday night we headed out to Charnock Richard Football Club for a charity night in aid of Rainbow House and Chorley Lions.

The night was organised by our old friend Jack Gerrard who organises the steam fair at Heskin Hall every year. The next one will be on Saturday 31 May by the way! An excellent night with a huge raffle - there were so many prizes there was almost one for everybody, although one table right at the front managed to avoid winning everything, taking their lack of success good naturedly as others got up from their seats for a third time!

We managed to get slightly lost on the way there but found the venue in plenty of time. Many thanks to Jack and the lovely Josephine and to the rest of the audience who seemed to enjoy themselves as much as we did!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Flyer for 12 October 2013 at Charnock Richard Football Club

Can it get any better? A night of music and fish and chips! Charnock Richard Football Club: directions

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Concert for Garstang Music & Arts Festival

Last Friday night saw us at the Wyrebank Banqueting Suite, Garstang, to give a concert as part of the annual Music & Arts Festival.

The last couple of years we have been rained off, whilst playing outside near the car park and this year we were invited to put on a night of entertainment in this lovely venue.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we certainly did. Nice to see a few regular faces too. This was the first gig I played with a new guitar FX pedal after the old one went a bit quiet intermittently. A chip starting to go so I was told, as the problem only started once the pedal had been in use a couple of hours and was getting warm. Hopefully I won't have to keep kicking this new one...

Saturday, 27 July 2013

After Dinner Entertainment at Lancaster Golf Club

Last Saturday night we played at Lancaster Golf Club for a members' social evening. The food was excellent and there was lots of it. David and I don't eat much before playing but I couldn't resist a small helping from the buffet after the members had all been round it.

It put them in such a good mood they hit the dance floor almost immediately too and we had a great night. We think they did too!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Flyer for 23 August 2013 at Garstang

For the past couple of years we have been rained off our usual spot outdoors at the Garstang Arts & Music Festival, so this year the organisers are putting us indoors at the Wyrebank Banqueting Suite by the canal on the Friday night. It's a great venue that we have played several times before. There's a buffet included in the ticket price and there's a bar.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Creeping Bentgrass at Larbreck Hall 2013

Last night we played at Larbreck Hall Caravan Park. Since 2004 when my Dad died we've done an annual night here, donating our fee to cancer research.

For all of those years until this year Mum, who has a resident van on the site, has arranged things. Last year she announced it was her last one and the site owners, Roland and Edith Armistead took over. Not that she slowed down all that much - she was there running stalls, managing a guess the number of buttons in a jar and (OMG...) having her hair dyed orange to gain sponsorship.

Around 80 people packed into the barn to see us last night and they seemed to have a good time! Overall over £700 was raised for charity with Mum's contribution being a hefty" £220. Ah well... it'll grow out in a few weeks I suppose...

As always, the people from the site had done a great job on the stage dressing and we unveiled a new song on the night - the Everly Brothers' So Sad.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Fylde Farm Weekend, 2013

Last night we played out at Treales for the Fylde Farm Weekend. As we turned onto the field and tried to spot the marquee we had to admit that it looked a lot larger show than in previous years.

As I walked past one of the food stalls, the owner calls out: "Creeping Bentgrass?" I nod and pause to chat. "You're one of my favourite bands!" he says. A good start to the night!

The stage area last year was laid on the grass, but this year we are on a raised platform. Although it still didn't have a curving staircase for us to make an entrance on...

Four and a half hours of non-stop music making later... What a brilliant night, thanks so much to the organisers and to all who came to listen, to sing along, to hand jive or get up to dance.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Car Club Gig in Blackpool

On Saturday 22 June 2013 we were out at the Coast Riders Cafe on Marton Moss, Blackpool playing for a car club.

We got there a bit early as the cars were being judged and I wanted a few photos. This MG ended up with the top trophy for the night.

A Jowett Javelin sports car - no, I don't remember them either...

I do remember the Consul Classic though! This Ford was the first British car with twin headlamps that I remember. I nearly bought one for £65 when I was 17 but in the end bought a chunky Hillman Minx for £40 instead - cheapskate!

And had I taken the blue guitar that night, this rather scrummy Jag E-Type would have just matched it!!!

But I had the red one with me instead...

And one to match the scratch plate!

Oh yes... and we played a bit of music as well...!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Myerscough College Open Day 2013

Sunday 9 June saw us at Myerscough College, performing at their Open Day for the twelfth year running.

We were both suffering a little from sore throats - we stayed away from the more raucous stuff until much later in the afternoon when we seemed to have powered through and all the symptoms disappeared!

The college has carried out a bit of building since last year and we were in a different place than usual, away from the stream of people walking to and from the car park. But people seemed to find us easily enough, including three ex-colleagues from 20 years ago when I worked at Preston College.

The sun was a bit fierce and I always forget that when playing a guitar the underside of my left arm is exposed. That was sore for a few days...

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Eighth Year at Heskin Hall for Creeping Bentgrass

Phew! What a night! This event (and the marquee) has got so big now that we had a real challenge filling the place with sound. The soft surface of the marquee tent soaked it up and we ended up with the PA cranked higher than we've ever had it before, which gave us a few moments of feedback.

Add to that the fact that my guitar FX pedal seemed to have lost all of it's settings since we last played and I only had a few of the original codes for the different sounds in my head - we did without any fuzz effects for most of the night!

But we managed to control feedback and guitar wobblies enough to have the audience demand - what, an hour of encores? Fabulous! This event is now the one we look forward to the most during the year. We always have great fun and the audience is always ready to clap and stomp through the Irish join-in classics and then take to the dance floor later in the night.

There was a band playing on an outdoor stage as we arrived and they were sounding good. When we finished somewhere around midnight one of them came over to say in a shocked voice "You've played for four and a half hours!!!" I have to say from the throat - it feels like it too today... At 1:15am we had got everything packed back into the car and were sitting eating jam butties before setting off for home... Rock 'n' Roll!!!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Singing In The Rain at Witton Park

Today we played at Witton Park in Blackburn. I think it would be true to say that the weather could have been kinder! But we managed to attract a good sized audience at least during the early afternoon before the rain really set in.

We had gone armed with some bin liners to put over the speakers and we managed to stay dry by playing from inside the entrance to one of the old stables around the courtyard.

And we had a bit of help when we took on the Take That song, The Flood!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Creeping Bentgrass at Blackpool's Elgin Hotel

On Friday we played at the Elgin Hotel, Blackpool for a luncheon gathering of ex British Gas staff.

This was the third time we have played for this group and they make a great audience and - so they tell us - we have increased the numbers of people attending since we started playing the after lunch spot.

Glad to be of service...

Large version of photo: available at my Flickr account

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Surprise 60th Party

Friday 5 April 2013. We were booked to play at a surprise birthday party.

Surprise birthday parties can be a risky thing to accept bookings for as the last one we were booked to perform at was called off after the birthday boy - who knew nothing about it - booked a holiday instead! But here everything went according to plan.

We were at the Raikes Hotel in the centre of Blackpool - a nice change for us as although we live there, most of our gigs tend to be out of town! The birthday boy was a biker and there was a fine collection of tattoos in the room!

A great night all round!

If you would like live music at your party or event, please find our contact details in the left hand panel and give us a call!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Remembering Sunnyside 2013 Part Two

Saturday 23 March 2013. Friday was just a warm up, a chance for a bit of a jam session. Tonight we had a few more acts and a tight and fixed schedule.

Steve Reynolds got us going with a few numbers played with the distinctive Shadows sound - shudderingly good!

Tony Harte, lead singer with The Honeycombs gave us a great set including a blistering version of Friday on My Mind and of course the Honeycombs hit Have I The Right.

Dave Wilcox has appeared several times at Sunnyside events now and gets better every year.

Geoff Howlett had us crossing off a few songs from our playlist as he displayed an uncanny - or sinister - foreknowledge of our intended act!!! Hmmm.... We let him off as he played the Blackpool Football Club anthem Glad All Over!

Alan Wilcox (no relation to Dave Wilcox) is making a name for himself as a Billy Fury tribute artist. Billy's memory is assured for another generation!

Two old geezers took to the stage and did their best, bless them...

Apologies to all those who we didn't get photos of, but we'll finish with this shot of Michelle Gibson who brought a feminine touch to the proceedings with hits from Brenda Lee and Connie Francis amongst others. Apart from Shelagh joining us in our set to sing a three-part harmony version of The Rose, Michelle was the only female act of the night.

And then once all the acts were done and all the equipment had been cleared to make the room ready for a wedding fair the following morning, we retired to hold the now traditional post gig party with a bottle of bubbly and, thanks to Peter, a bottle of whisky! We were as quiet as we could...

Then goodbyes were said at breakfast the following morning and we loaded the car and headed home through a bit of a winter wonderland at least until we crossed over to the west side of the country.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Remembering Sunnyside 2013 Part One

Friday 22 March 2013. The Billy Fury weekend has moved from the Sunnyside in Northampton to the Hind Hotel in Wellingborough and is a quieter affair aimed at the regulars on the forum rather than being open to the public.

The weather is a little different to last year... Last year we walked from the hotel to the venue with no jackets on but this year as we halt for a breakfast break on the motorway there's snow on the ground.

Inside though, this collection of folks in fancy dress seems to auger well for a 1960s themed weekend!

We arrive in Wellingborough and do a couple of tours of the one-way system before finding the way into the Hind. It's a gorgeously old hotel and has loads of atmosphere whilst being very comfortable.

We lug all the gear into the concert room upstairs and folks start to arrive for the weekend. It's time to renew old friendships and make a few new ones!

There are lots of artists and Dave Jay and I are kept busy making sure they can all be heard and that their backing tracks are coming through. We cater for a mix of mp3, CD and mini-disk users. We get a chance to do our thing as well!

A motley collection of singers at the end of the night, belting out Billy Fury's best known hit, Halfway to Paradise!

Billy's friend and one-person Fury evangelist Moya had come over from New Zealand with the express purpose of ensuring I had a lipstick design on my head... Just because I'd washed off the one she left in 2009...

Ok! We're gathered and the Friday night was a success! Join us next for a look round Wellingborough and another night of music!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Creeping Bentgrass are not Pineapple Jack...

A few slightly surreal conversations over the past few months where people have come up to either David or myself and said, "We saw you the other night in the Winter Gardens!"

Well we do go there occasionally, but not usually at night... Then it became obvious they were talking about us as a band...

We think this is quite funny really, but, just to make it quite clear - and in case the two gents who make up the cabaret act from the Winter Gardens bar are plagued with the same sort of thing "Hey we saw you out at Blackburn / Garstang / Ormskirk / Bolton the other night..."

David and myself play in a duo called Creeping Bentgrass - not Pineapple Jack. However we seriously do need to get ourselves one of these handy photo cutout things!

The world would surely not be ready for four such handsome guys in one band...

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Guitar

Recently I was in Newcastle and whilst there saw an absolutely beautiful guitar. I came back without it, but it played on my mind so much I had to do something about it.

I went to Rimmers Music in Blackpool and described the guitar to them. With a bit of searching on t'internet I managed to get the full details and they placed a special order for me.

It has now arrived!

To see and hear it in action, check out our gig list for public performances or get in touch and book us for your own event!