NEWS ARCHIVE 2016
There always seems to be dark forces conspiring against us when we visit the Kingswood in Nuneaton.
The curtain side van was out of action, there were at least two parties going on nearby to attract people away and John wasn't feeling himself (heh heh)
In spite of all this when we got going there was a great turnout who were all enjoying the music, especially the Rage Against the Machine songs, and the energy in there was magnificent.
We are back there in October and it'll be another great night, hopefully without the dark forces!!
Next gig is The Greyhound in Beeston, Nottingham. A great live music venue that has seen some fantastic bands on over the years and some of the country's top tributes travel from afar to play there.
The pub has fallen into trouble since the landlord who started off the live music in there sadly passed away. However there is a saviour in Sound Engineer and top photographer Robert Balmer who is trying to take the place on and restore it to where it should be.
The brewery are looking to close the place and flog the land on as is sadly very common these days, well they can jolly well go and f**k themselves if they think we are about to let that happen.
What we need is a big turnout to all of these live shows on Saturday nights for the next few months and show them it's not for the taking. So on Saturday 5th of March get yourselves there for what is going to be an awesome atmosphere and party with us at the helm!!
Support live music venues before it's too late!!!! See you at the front!!
30th January - FIRST GIG OF 2016 - A successful start to the year......
It was just bloody nice to get out and play live again.
It's been such a crap start to the year for music and the arts in general, losing so many legends, that it felt good just to be up on stage again thrashing it out.
Considering the break we have come back in good shape and have lost none of the fire in our bellies. A good thing too, as 2016 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for us.
If you are even considering hiring us for a rally, party or any event for that matter, get in touch now as we are almost fully booked up already!!!
We have an array of new songs itching to make their way on to our expansive set list, there is just some final tweaks to be done, and believe us...... there are some cracking songs in the pipeline.
So our first gig is under our belt. Next up we travel to Rally with a Chalet in Southport. Big weekend, big crowd and big party.........
So who is ready to jump onboard this year's Exhibit A rollercoaster!!!????
6th February - RALLY WITH A CHALET 2016 - Mental crowd and some great bands on the bill......
Southport Pontins is really geared up well for these sorts of weekends. There are at least three different clubs/organisations that we know of that hold music weekends there....and now we can see why.
The stage set up and lighting rig were all fantastic and it made for excellent viewing as well as listening!
A few of us went up to catch Friday night's bands and meet up with some of the other Hucknall/Nottingham contingent that make the journey up there each year. It was a lot of fun and gave us an idea of what to expect for the night after.
Once we were all there on Saturday it was very tempting to continue on from where we left off from the evening before, enjoying the booze! We weren't onstage until after midnight!? There was a feeling that only the strong would survive, but by the time we came out the room was heaving! Good to see 5th Element rocking the stage before us and they had plenty of local support, much of it carrying over to see us.
It was nice to play a proper stage again and there'll be more where that came from this year. We were joined onstage several times by members of Shoulder of Mutton MCC and P.I.L. Rally club, their air guitar moves were brilliant!
A thoroughly enjoyable Rally and we'd love to go back again.
A couple of weeks break now and then back to the Kingswood Tavern in Nuneaton on the 27th Feb. Rock N Roll!!
5th March - GREYHOUND, BEESTON - A great night and thanks to all who came, but we needed more......
To say it was Saturday night when we arrived at the Greyhound you could've heard a pin drop when we pitched up.
There was a barman, one punter and then us......no wonder the place is struggling! To see this venue empty like that on a Saturday night was very disheartening.
We got set up and soundchecked and there were a few more starting to arrive.
It's obvious that people are there to only see the bands at the moment because as soon as we went up to do our thing, plenty of people had started to come in. By then though it was 10 o'clock and the pub could have done with having people in there all evening.
Rob Balmer and his assistant did us proud with the sound and we are keeping everything crossed for him in his bid to take over the running of the place, he's the man who can put the pub back where it needs to be and getting regular trade passing through the place again, it's a bit strangled at the moment by the brewery/holding company only having live music on Saturday nights. That will change if Rob takes the reigns.
The set went by so quickly and the atmosphere in there was great, each tune was recognised and had plenty of folks dancing.
We wish Rob all the luck in his bid to take charge of the Greyhound and hopefully we will be returning there again, it would be a crime to see it close it's doors.
Next we are off up to Breighton Ferry in Bubwith Nr Selby to celebrate Jess Kennedy's 18th birthday!!! Can't believe she's 18 already!!??? Sharon has had us play at all of the Dirty Gerty Rallies and it'll be nice to get that same feeling back even though that rally is no more. It's an open invite to anyone who wishes to come and celebrate with her, so let's all go and give her a birthday to remember!!!
See you all there....
12th March - JESS KENNEDY'S 18TH BIRTHDAY BASH, BREIGHTON FERRY - Fantastic party and great guests......
Always a pleasant ride up and we all turned up pretty much at the same time. The land around the pub had been hit hard in the floods at the beginning of January and there was still plenty of lakes around where fields would normally have been!
Good to see the Breighton Ferry pub had weathered the storm and had come out of the other side better than when we last saw the place. A spot of re-modelling around the area we play in had brought forth much more room and we weren't hiding behind our PA towers anymore! Brilliant, an already great place made better!
The birthday girl herself was there greeting folks as they arrived and Sharon was outside wrapped up and enjoying the mild night air, although it did drop in temperature pretty quickly!
We got the gear set up and after a quick soundcheck there was time for a few looseners and a mingle with the party goers.
There was also another little surprise in store for Jess. Sharon had comissioned some t-shirts for us all to wear, all with images of Jess at various ages doing different things and we hid them under our normal shirts until just before kick off.
She was called to the front and given her birthday sash and badge, we then fired off into full on party mode.
Good to see everybody in the spirit and up dancing and rocking out. Also well done to the young lady who got up to the mic to sing 'Wish You Were Here' We could see she was nervous but soon settled in gave a great performance! So happy birthday Jess, we hope you'll remember that one for years to come.
Next up we are revisiting the Vale Social Club at Colwick, Notts. It's always been a great night in there since we played there last year, so get yourselves down there and we'll rock your socks off!!
19th March - THE VALE SOCIAL CLUB, COLWICK - A grandslam of a night......
The rugby had brought a few revellers out so we were careful not to interupt the viewing too much whilst setting up and soundchecking. Luckily England did the business so spirits were high by the time we came on.
We got straight on with business once the rugby had finished and gave them the party set..........Again we had plenty in from the Virago Star lot, anyone would think they are looking forward to having us a their rally!! ;-)
Always nice to see folks up and dancing and we will be visiting the Vale again in December.
Next up we have a break over the Easter period and then back and then a private birthday bash, although it's probably no secret where we will be appearing!
See you all soon........
27th February - KINGSWOOD TAVERN - Definitely worth the journey down......again!!!!
7th May - YOU'VE BEEN NABBED 25 - 3000+ Rocking out with us as we close the show!......
Considering at the Into the Valley rally the weekend before they had ice forming on the outside of their tents, the weather this weekend was the complete opposite!? It only added to the good vibe and sense of occasion for the 25th time that the NABD has put on their national rally and main fundraising event.
From kick off the entertainment was first rate with some excellent bands on both stages and some fantastic acoustic tunes in the Real Ale Marquee. It's so great to see familiar faces and friends coming back year on year.
Friday night was great fun after we'd established base camp and we got to have a good mingle and look about the stalls and see what was going on in each tent. Watching Bad Dog close the show on Friday was brilliant and we couldn't help but think that we were going to need to pull out a storming set to follow them, they were excellent!
Saturday arrived and after a great show in the adults only marquee from Stevie Simpson, Tracie Brown and friends we settled in for the comedy. The heat in the tent was stifling so the sides got opened up and got a breeze going through, good job as I think heat stroke was setting in!
Rick Hulse was a sharp as ever and the comedy fantastic from all of the stand-ups and we got to see the return of Ruff Daddy and Bad Mutha which was a real treat!
The fly past that was scheduled from the Dakota was delayed and then cancelled, to everyones great sadness. Then a message came through to say they were sending a Spitfire. Stirring stuff from the Brylcream boys, it was great seeing it tip it's wings in salute of 25 years of the NABD.
The heavens did decide to open just as we moving our gear to the backstage area and it hammered it down, so much so that Mr Creature's disco area was under a few inches of water in a matter of minutes! Swiftly sorted by a piece of staging from the comedy earlier.
We got sorted and it was time to go on. Absolutely rammed to the rafters doesn't quite describe how many folks were in that marquee, it was packed! We launched into the first song and it settled us in nicely and showed the partying masses just what they were in for......
We've never quite known a set go so fast and we were at the mid-point in the blink of an eye, so it was time for Mr Creature to join us. He was on form and the crowd loved seeing him up there, not as much as he loved being there. Very good to see him enjoying it so much.
We did an encore where again Mr C came and played Wish You Were Here and you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. A hugely personal song and everyone was made aware just how important it is during Creature's dedication before we started. We had our usual big finisher and one extra and then....done!
What an amazing night, can't wait to see all of the great pictures in the days to follow.
As already mentioned on our Facebook page, a massive thank you to Rick Hulse for putting us there and providing us with a gig that we'll be talking about for a long time to come.
Thanks to Mr Creature for the hard work he put in fine tuning his songs and travelling to our rehearsals, so glad you enjoyed yourself.
Thanks to BJ, Steve Ayers and to Captain Smurf for what will undoubtably be great pics and absolutely each and everyone of the marshals who put in a lot of hard graft over the weekend, many of whom will be having a wind down party as I write this..... fully deserved.
To all of the new friends we've met over the weekend, hope you come and catch us at another gig and welcome aboard!
Great rally and let's see it continue in to the next 25 years and beyond!
Our next gig is at Chequers Inn in Breaston on Saturday 14th......but for now...REST!
It seems like ages since we played the Tap at Christmas, but it was soon here again......this year is flying past!!??
Tara the sound magician had been brought in again and operated the new system like it was a doddle and had us sounding majestic as she always does. The speakers have been upgraded since our last visit and there was a great sound booming from them.
It looked a little quiet out front at first, largely due to it being the weekend before payday so people were feeling the pinch, but also Rock City around the corner didn't have anyone on that night either. Still.... people did filter in over time and the place was jumping as usual!
A fresh and rested Craig Sharp-Weir just back from Mexico jumped up and rattled out Rosalie and Pretty Vacant on Chris' new white guitar, debuting it live before even Chris had played it, yes we love him THAT much!!
It was a truly awesome night, we never get tired of playing there and we also get over there for a drink whenever we have a spare weekend. See you there in June for our next gig.
Next up.....it's the big one!! You've Been Nabbed 25 is finally upon us. We've been involved with the NABD for a good number of years now, playing at many of the rallies. After all of this plugging away NABD Chairman Rick Hulse has very kindly bestowed the Main Stage Headliner slot upon us!! We are so excited to get this opportunity and we are coming for you all guns blazing so be ready!!!
Mr Creature has been practicing hard and will also be joining us onstage for a few numbers, so make sure you go off your nuts for him!!!!
Nervous!? Nah, bollocks to that....we are chomping at the bit to get at ya, so make sure you save some energy for us.......you WILL need it!!!
22nd April - TAP N TUMBLER, NOTTINGHAM - Notts' home of rock and roll provides the goods once again......
14th May - CHEQUERS INN, BREASTON - A nice quiet little village, well it was......
Our last visit to Chequers at Breaston was a good one, so we were very much looking forward to coming back.
We all arrived roughly at the same time and once the space was clear for us we got stuck in and began to set up. After being spoiled the week before it was back to bringing our own (very heavy) PA system and doing our own sound.
Once we were in and soundchecked we sorted out our setlist for the evening and we were underway.
A nice evening always goes a long way in bringing people out and there was plenty of people joining in with us and getting stuck in to songs like Nellie!
It was just what was needed to cheer us all up after the blues of Nabbed being finished!
Thanks to Dunc and Katie for having us on to play again and we look forward to November when will return again!
Next set of gig are going to be interesting. Saturday the 21st has us right over on the east coast with the good folks at the Anchor Inn at Friskney, Lincs. It's been a while so we are looking forward to that. What we are not looking forward to as much is the very early start afterwards as we need to be back across and down to Loughborough and set up by 10am the following morning as it's the Loughborough Bike and Trike Fest!
It should be interesting!!!
Come and join us for either or both as it's sure to be a great (but tiring!) weekend.
4th June - THE GREYHOUND, BEESTON - A NEW AND IMPROVED SET UP BUT SAME FAMILIAR GOOD TIME.........
Since taking over the Greyhound officially, Rob and Lil have really knuckled down, sorted out the gig calendar for the year, got the place looking great and breathed new life in to what was sadly becoming a lame pup.
The big change from our perspective was the new staging area. It now runs the width of the room and is definitely a damn sight easier to get everybody on there. Really impressive work.
We got our stuff in and it was a pleasure to only have to bring our backline after what has been a very busy month for us! We felt spoilt!
Rob waved his magic sound wand over the controls and had the front of house PA sounding sweet as a nut. Plenty of people were in and awaiting us kicking off proceedings.
The intro tape went on building up the atmosphere, then BOOM we were off. The Greyhound was off once again and rather than a lame pup we have now got a champion hound!
It was a good feeling to see a great turnout, this great live music venue is definitely in the right hands, and we will continue to champion the efforts of everyone who comes out to support it.
A brilliant gig allround.
We have some piddly little festival being held at Donnington Park, (I don't know what it is but it sounds like something to do with computers) affording us our first weekend off in quite a while, but then...................................................
IT'S ONLY THE BLOODY 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF YORKSHIRE MAG'S FARMYARD PARTY!!!!!!!
The call came out of the blue to see if we would be interested in headlining the Rider's Rights Marquee on the Saturday night, bringing the show to a close and putting the cherry on top of what will undoubtedly be an EPIC weekend.
WHERE DO WE SIGN!!?????
If Carlsberg are doing gig calendars this year, they've definitely been fiddling with ours! We are once again honoured to be asked to take part in such a milestone event and a massive thank you to all who have made it so, you know who you are!!
So let's hope for great sunshine, free flowing beer and an absolutely stonking party with friends, old an new! Cheers to Yorkshire MAG and we shall see you all at the Farmyard Party!!!!!!
After the great news that we were to be headlining Saturday night at this year's Farmyard Party (and the 30th Anniversary no less!) we were all understandably on a bit of a high!
We all made our way out to a chilly, overcast Friskney which unfortunately does put a lot of people off camping, so we weren't expecting a big turnout. It didn't look good as there was ONE tent out in the camping field! Oh dear.
Nevertheless, we got started setting up and more and more people started to arrive and popped their heads in to say hello whilst we were getting sorted, so things were looking up!
Once we kicked off there was at least an audience, but what an audience! They were making plenty of noise and we soon forgot about numbers and had a great set.
Thanks to all who came and thanks to Anthea for booking us once again and we'll see you all in early July!
Some of the band elected to go home after we'd packed away and loaded the van, it was going to be an early start as on the Sunday as we had to be in Loughborough's pedestrianised town centre by 10am because it would be closed to vehicles after then!
It wasn't so bad though. When we arrived we weren't sure what to expect, possibly a curtain side articulated trailer which is usually the norm. Turns out it was the Deadwood Stage, a small but well equipped van trailer. Certainly raised a few eyebrows on our part as we weren't sure we could all fit in there!
It was certainly a good thing the weather was kind to us as our rather large PA system stood no chance of joining us on stage, so we had to set that and the mixing desk up adjacent to us with the speaker towers either side out front.
Having a break in our set is unusual for us, never mind having two! We picked out the most well known and popular tunes for the setlist, after all it was in a town centre and we weren't sure everyone would like having Rage Against the Machine and Iron Maiden belted out at them on a Sunday lunchtime!
The bike judging bits were taken care of and we went on for our last set.
It was a bit of a surreal experience! We were all sober as judges, as were the crowds that were gathered around to watch. We were all on our best behaviours and absolutely no swearing came out! Amazing! Ha ha.
I think the Love Loughborough team weren't expecting much, but I think we astounded them. They're already talking about making it a bigger and better event next year and already want us back there.
The Exhibit A train is not slowing up next weekend either!! On Friday 27th we make our way down to Gloucestershire to play at the Rat and Survival Rally! Back Street Heroes magazine's editor Nik Samson called us for this one, so we are looking forward to that!
Then the following day we are off to Sleaford Rugby Club to play for the Virago Star Club's rally!! Thank god it's a bank holiday weekend and we get another day to recover! May has been a busy but really enjoyable month for us. June has shaped up nicely and summer will soon be here!
We feel good!
See you out there!!!!
21st - 22nd May - THE ANCHOR INN, FRISKNEY + LOUGHBOROUGH'S BIKE AND TRIKE FEST - A hectic very enjoyable weekend.........
27th - 28nd May - RAT & SURVIVAL 19 RALLY, GLOUCESTERSHIRE + VSOC'S THE LOST KNIGHTS RALLY - SPRING UK TOUR PART DUEX.........
ROAD TRRRRIIIIIIIIPPPPP! 10-4 EYEBALL, RUBBER DUCK, COME ON!
Friday we had to get sorted and haul ass down to the Rat & Survival Rally at the OGRI MCC Clubhouse at Kemble Airfield just outside Cirencester. The sun was out and the roads were nice and dry for the trip down, just as well as it was a fair old distance!!
We all arrived pretty much within an hour of each other and set up camp at the back of the compound. Then it was off to have a quick look around and see where we were to be playing for the evening.
Ogri MCC have a really great set up and the location is fantastic. They can be as loud as they want and because they are out in the middle of an airfield, nobody complains!! The clubhouse has a well equipped bar at one end, and also a generous sized stage at the other end, with a DJ booth off to the side.
We were to be performing as a four piece as unfortunately Sam wasn't feeling well (it happens) so the PA set up took a little extra effort, but the level check was quicker............so swings and roundabaouts!
We still managed to have a great gig and the attendees got to party to a full-on almost 2 hour set with no stops, so no one left unsatisfied!
A great time and we all had a few beverages afterwards and got drawn in to staring at the big fire (oooooooooooooo..........fire)
Next morning we were up bright and breezy to strip down, load the van and set course for Sleaford Rugby Club. We elected to cut across country rather than back up the M5 and the ride up was pleasant, taking in the Cotswolds on the way.
Arriving mid afternoon we were greeted and shown where we were playing. Really pleased to see the Virago Star Owners Club had their own marquee up as it could've been grim carrying all of the PA to an upstairs function room!
Very pleased to report Sam was feeling well enough to rejoin us and get us back to a full compliment.
We got the PA and backline dialled in, the lights up and then had a spot of time to kill until showtime. So we had a few refreshments and a chill out whilst we readjusted the set.
We fired up and everyone in the crowd got stuck in enjoying themselves. We did have to take a short break for trophy giving and announcements, and then we were in to the last part of the set.
It seemed to go past in the blink of an eye. It was a really enjoyable weekend, made lots of new friends and had a belting couple of gigs.
On Saturday 4th June we return to the Greyhound. The fightback is underway and going well, but support is still needed so make sure to go down and catch the gig! There have been a few changes made in the pub, THE BEER IS CHEAPER and also the bands now start at 9pm rather than 10pm, so buses and trams are all still accessible.
Come out, show your support for live music and also get a bloody good night to boot!
See you there!!
18th June - FARMYARD PARTY 30TH ANNIVERSARY RALLY, DUNCOMBE PARK, HELMSLEY, NORTH YORKS - WE KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE GOOD, IT CERTAINLY DID NOT DISAPPOINT.........
After a truly shocking week of great British summer, most were concerned on how the Farmyard site was holding up. Miraculously it seems as though Duncombe Park had escaped any of the bad stuff and the place was warm and dry upon our arrival.
Already there were party goers in their droves having a great time and settling in for what was going to be a weekend of live music and comedy of epic proportions!!
We took in everything Friday had to offer as this was our party night due to needing to take it steady the day after for obvious reasons, but we certainly did get stuck in and it was a fantastic day.
Saturday soon rolled in and Rick Hulse's Smacked Arse Comedy Roadshow had swarms of people flocking to the Back Street Heroes sponsored tent and it was an outstanding line up. Our bellies and jaws are still aching now from all the laughing!!
Evening approached and what a line up! Fifth Element kicked off the evening and pulled a great crowd in and as usual had the place bouncing from the off. Real great performance from Ann, Neil, Al, Dave and their new drummer Aaron, who blended in seamlessly.
Ska Finger were next up and they provided the tent with some up tempo Ska and Two Tone classics which was very well received, perfectly teeing it up for us come on and rock the house down.
Coming onstage and seeing the marquee packed to the back and people listening outside, we knew we had to bring our A game, but seeing as we don't know any other game that worked out just fine!
Track after track the audience lapped it up and we gratefully dished out more. After so many had seen the performance with Mr Creature at the 25th NABD National rally, people were enquiring if there was to be a second guest slot featuring the big man.
We hadn't planned for this as no reheasals had taken place since prior to YBN25 but Creature did have his gear with him and seeing as there was interest we thought "why not?"
He came on and did a fine job. After his guest spot we carried on with the rest of the set which was flying by as it was too much fun and time was against us. We normally always finish on a high point, usually AC/DC fits the bill, however we cant leave out Wish You Were Here when Mr C is the main reason we play that song.
It's always emotionally charged as the sentiment is always to remember loved ones and friends no longer with us. It all got a bit too much for Creature as is understandable and it felt terrible to leave on such a sad note. But time was up and no more was allowed. Rules are rules unfortunately and if we want these rallies to continue we must play the game with the fun police, even if the crowd are baying for more.
Luckily though when we thought all hope was lost for us to end on a high note, we were granted one more - as long as it was quick! Don't need to tell us twice!! Creature got back up there to his credit and we finally brought the house down to a Whole Lotta Rosie, wrapping up an absolutely unbelievable weekend! What a show!
BIG thanks to the entertainment mastermind Rick Hulse who again put on a stunning show of bands and comedy and we a eternally grateful he included us in the line-up once again. To headline the 25th NABD Rally and the 30th Farmyard Party is a dream come true for any gigging band and we certainly will be talking about it for years to come.
Thanks to the Sound and Lighting guys who worked hard all weekend and kept the party in full swing.
The Marshals who gave up their time voluntarily and kept us all having fun and safe.
A big thank you also to Pete Walker, Dave Malt and Aidy from East Yorkshire MAG for having us back and working so hard to put together another awesome party that will have everyone buzzing until next year's.
And last of all to everyone who came to rock out with us from 10:30 pm onwards, we hope you all had a great time and enjoyed what you heard and saw!
Next up we visit the awesome Tap N Tumbler to party with Craig, Tommy, Kimmy and all the rest of the crazy Taplifers on Friday the 24th of June. If you're sick of hearing about the referendum, what better way to escape by coming down and thrashing away to the finest rock and punk tunes and some fine alcoholic beverages?
See you there!!!
24th June - TAP N TUMBLER, NOTTINGHAM - Another great evening in Nottingham's home of rock n roll.
There's always a good feeling in the week running up to playing at the Tap. I don't think we've ever had a bad gig in there. Everyone who goes in on a Friday night knows that there will be a top quality band on as Craig and his team know what they like.
The sun hadn't exactly been blazing down all day, but temperatures were certainly at elevated levels and it was most definitely still warm whilst we were loading in the gear.
Tara was again on the controls of the desk so we knew the front of house mix would be great and after a soundcheck we were raring to get cracking.
Steve Russ, a prolific gig visitor and film maker of bands from all over the area had contacted us to see if we were up for the gig to be filmed. No problem there, but we had to warn him that we do not take any break and would be up there for at least two hours! His arms must have been killing him, but like a trooper he filmed the whole thing and captured some great footage, so big thanks to him.
The usual familiar faces were all in there and even though it was very warm on stage, time seemed to fly by as it always does.
Craig got up and did a spot with us again and rocked it as he usually does. Also a stealthy trumpet player called "Squirrel" kept sneaking in and adding some accompaniment to our sound! Takes all sorts!!
A few songs that we hadn't played in a long time also got their legs stretched. Due to not being able to get any rehearsal time together and the window we did have being snatched away due to the place being used as a polling station, there was an air of uncertainty if they would go alright, however they did and we look forward to including them back into the set again.
As always a really enjoyable night at the Tap. Thanks to Craig, Tommy, Kim and the team and we look forward to celebrating Halloween together on our next visit! It's going to be a blast.
Next up on Sat 2nd July we travel back to the east coast to celebrate a few birthdays at the Anchor in Friskney! It promises to be a great weekend and we can't wait to party when we get there.
May and June have been awesome months, some of the best we've had in recent times and we can look forward to more in July with us playing at the Rock and Bike Festival!!!
See you all soon!
2nd July - THE ANCHOR INN, FRISKNEY - Multiple birthday celebrations and a great party........
The first weekend in July always has the Anchor pencilled in, as there are a multitude of birthdays to be celebrated in and around the band.
We arrived mostly together and the weather pulled it's usual "it's time to move Exhibit A's gear so I must piss it down" trick. Thankfully it wasn't too long and we managed to get the van unloaded pretty swiftly.
There was a great turnout and the bar was very busy which was a pleasure to see and everyone was in the mood for some rocking music and to party their pants off.
At rehearsals we had finely tuned up a few songs that had sat in the sidelines for a little while, not for any reason in particular - some are actually still quite new to us and the arrangements haven't become part of our DNA yet, but we had gone over them on Thursday night and they fit back in to the set like a glove.
The inside and the outdoor areas of the Anchor were full and we gave them our usual 2 hours-plus none stop party tunes to keep them in fine spirits. It was a really enjoyable night and many happy returns again to all those who were celebrating their birthdays over and around the weekend.
Next up we re-visit a venue we haven't played in a while, The Lion at Castleford. A great music venue and we went down a storm there on our first visit. This will be our second time there and we would love to have just as good, if not better a night.
We don't get in to West Yorkshire too often, so if it's in your locality come down and party with us all! See you there!
As mentioned above, there's been a decent bit of time passed by since last we visited this fine music bar in West Yorkshire.
The ride up is a doddle whether you come at it from the A1 or the M1 because it's straight off the M62. The place is geared up for live music, with house lights and PA, but as we are a lot smoother operating our own..... we brought ours along for the ride too.
A little too smooth as it goes because we were loaded in, set up and had soundchecked all by 8.30 and we weren't due to start until 9:45!
The place was beginning to fill up nicely and by the time the intro tape went on there were many people in there ready for a party.
It was a very warm night, especially under the lights and being a cooling fan down, but a full 2hrs 20mins later we were done and the crowd were still calling out for more!
Good to see a few familiars in there from the rally scene and nice to meet new folks too.
Well.....we've pretty much known since the last year's but we return to Carnfield Hall to play at this year's Rock and Bike Festival!!!!!!!!! Once again sharing the bill with some great bands and some big names, it's our regular visit - whether we are on the bill or not.....a great event.
So as of Thursday lunchtime we will be in full party mode!!! See you at the bar!!
5th August - ROADRUNNERS MCC BIRTHDAY BASH, KNIGHTON, STAFFS - Top party with a great bunch......
A well earned break has been had by all with a few of us squeezing in some foreign travel, but we had missed getting together to thrash out some loud music.
Our gig calendar this time brought us over to Staffordshire (quite a rural part of Staffordshire too!) to play for the RoadRunners MCC at their birthday bash.
Handling the sound duties was Steve from Sound Junkies who had some very impressive kit and certainly knew his stuff behind his space age desk! He even had a special kick drum mic that could really get the place shaking, no doubt someone we know will be purchasing one of those soon!!
A nice leisurely set up and we got a couple of sound check songs in and we were very pleased with our onstage sound. Steve did us a great service!
The gig went as expected with everybody soon out of their seats and cutting some fine shapes on the dancefloor.
Great to get going again and we had a blast and met some great folks. Thanks to Maria for booking us and we hope we cross paths again in future!
Up next, we've not mentioned it an awful lot as we weren't fully sure if it was all still going ahead but we have been invited to play at the Bulldog Bash. If you are going and are maybe wondering why our name isn't listed along with the other bands...it's because we have been booked privately to play the backstage club bar by the organisers, the Big Red Machine themselves so you may bump in to us over the weekend if you're there.
See you soon!
Every year we scrub out a weekend in our gig diary so that we can go to this brilliant festival. Even when we don't play it, we make sure to attend as it's our most local - but not only that, one of the best organised and a weekend we can really let loose and just have a mad party.
We were celebrating yet more band family birthdays, but one in particular was a special one.
Fifty years ago the Fletcher family were graced with the presence of the Duracell Bunny in human form. He must have discovered music at some point and then one day a little further along, he fell down the stairs and accidentally wrote the opening drum riff to Eastenders. From that day forwards he was hooked and was tapping and bashing away from morning 'til night on anything that would make a sound. He was given his first set of drum sticks, legend has it he used them so much he wore them down, so small that he had them drilled and now keeps that very set on his car keys.
The day came when he finally purchased his own drum kit - to the delight of his neighbours, who can be spotted outside the house now and then (they're the ones with the nervous tick.) He got some guidance from local drum guru who pointed him to the path of weekend rock stardom and the rest is history.
Happy birthday to the engine room of Exhibit A and hat and sunglasses wearing legend Gez!
Anyway......Thursday onwards we hit the ground running with the festivities, enjoying a light drink or two and watching the great evening's entertainment. Friday we got up and after some breakfast, got started again with the celebrating, although the weather wasn't being it's usual self for this weekend, as it's usually baking but this time the wind was carrying quite a chill, not that it put any of us off! It changed direction later and things were warming up a bit (probably as we couldn't feel anything anymore!) and we watched some great bands. Surreal Panther were brill, as was all the entertainment and Benji's other band, Floyd in the Flesh, closed proceedings for Friday.
Saturday we could feel the excitement building further as our 6pm showtime came ever closer! Opening the main stage that day was Rockaholic, who asked Chris along to guest on a couple of songs as he used to be in a band around the south coast with their Bass player.
As soon as that was done it was over to see Stagefright who played a great set, but also to get our equipment ready to go up as we were on straight after them.
Once we set up and had a quick line check it was straight in to it! The tent was really well attended when we kicked off, it kept filling and then was packed - right up to our last song. An hour's slot to us seems like about 10 mins, as most of you know we regularly knock out 2 and a half hour sets, so it seemed to absolutely fly by!
Great to see so many friends up front to support us and also we spoke to loads of folks over the weekend who had not caught a show of ours before.
We came, we partied, we did the job and hopefully everyone left fully satisfied and will keep riding the wave of euphoria for as long as possible afterwards!
Fantastic weekend is all we can say, thanks to all who came and saw us. Thanks to Ben the boss for booking us, Tina, Nige, Lee and all of the other hard working RABF crew who work so hard before, during and after the weekend to make sure it's the best around.
We have a short but well earned break for a few weekends to recharge and get a few hols in and the we will be back to play at the Roadrunners MCC birthday bash on the 5th of August, so make sure you follow the poster link on here or look them up on Facebook to find out how to get tickets.
See you all out there soon!!!
16th July - ROCK AND BIKE FESTIVAL, CARNFIELD HALL, SOUTH NORMANTON - Our second time on the bill at RABF, absolutely stunning weekend........
9th July - THE LION, CASTLEFORD - Two years since our last visit and a triumphant return........
19th August - RADAR'S BIG HORN RALLY/20th - Wedstock - Two gigs, one weekend, same venue.......
The ride down to Shakespeare County Raceway was relatively painless for a Friday afternoon. Yes there was lots of traffic and a few hold ups from people rubbernecking at a minor bump at the side of the M1, but that was about it. We all managed to get down there in a pair of hours.
We had been invited along to play at Ashfield's club bar for themselves, guests and their friends and kick-off was set around the time of evening we'd normally be giving out thanks and winding down the set. Not problem for us, we were very happy to be there and we set about getting the PA in and built up and putting the backline together.
The showground itself is very impressive. An enormous big top marquee that can fit in around 10,000 or so. Even the Kareoke tent was as large as you see at some rallies! They certainly know how to thow a party!! There was a fairground and plenty of stalls and the usual food vans you would expect, but also an adult tent if you enjoy stuffing money in to scantily clad ladies' underwear for a dance, they really had every base covered! ;-)
Also who can forget the drag strip? Probably the main attraction for all those who attend, allowing you to rag your bike up the quarter mile and race your mates, settling any squabbles about who has the faster bike! Also laid on was a fantastic stunt rider and driver who entertained the crowd, despite the rider doing it with a broken ankle! Then there was the Jet Cars. Anyone who has never seen or for that matter HEARD these things, then you are seriously missing out. They are capable of 300mph runs so to see them thunder past you is a true experience!
Our intro tape went on and we fired straight into the Bulldog Bash motto "Fight for Your Right to Party" and tune after top tune came out. Such a great response from all in the bar and by the time we were at the end of our set, the cries for more were hard to ignore, but unfortunately the 1am expiry time for live music had been reached and we certainly didn't want to creat any agro for the club from the councils.
Absolutely stunning weekend and thanks Ashfield for having us and particularly Banger, who made sure we were well looked after and had everything we needed. If you haven't been to a Bulldog Bash then you are really missing out.
Next up we have a double header!! Two different bookings but at the same venue!! First up is the headline slot at Radar's Big Horn Rally and then good friends Michelle and Trevor Gent are celebrating not only their 30th wedding anniversary, but their daughter Danielle's marriage so high spirits indeed!
We shall see you out there!!!!
12th August - BULLDOG BASH, STRATFORD UPON AVON - A bit of everything for everyone, great weekend........
We were top of the bill Friday night at Radar's Big Horn Rally, so we made sure we arrived in good time, but not as early as usual giving the Friday traffic a chance to make itself scarce.
There were two bands on before us. The Black Dolphins, and then our friends Stagefright who put in a stonking set as usual.
Assisting setting up and with the sound was Gaz from The Gypseys. Once we had a quick sound check there was no usual intro tape, just a chance to grab a quick drink and we were off.
It was certainly warm on stage but everyone did get up for a good dance and jump around so the place was rocking. A thoroughly enjoyable gig and congratulations to Sarah on putting together a great event for everyone and raising some money for the animal charity.
On Saturday, there was a bit of a mix up. No fault of anyone holding their events there, but the venue could have thought on a bit and realised there may be an issue with space and that they may have been a little bit too ambitious by taking on bookings from two weddings and a rally!
There was a generator in the lower field but there had been no arrangement made by the venue in providing any supply cabling to the marquee that would invetibly be erected. Still, between Trev, Gez, Glenn and the DJ from Radar's Rally, a supply was eventually put together, along with a stage, and the show could go on. Well done lads!!
Using our PA equipment, we got set up and soundchecked. Many guests who were attending looked a bit apprehensive at the size of our rig and the fact that they were sitting directly in front of it, but with us as ever - we aren't out scare anyone away with horrendous volume levels, we use it to get a nice even sound out front. It is fully capable however of knocking the wind out of you if need be!!
We had a really enjoyable set and even people that don't like rock music all that much came up to us afterwards and said they had really enjoyed themselves. You can't ask for much more than that! Again congratulations to Trev and Michelle on their 30th wedding anniversary and to Danielle and Greg on their marriage..........there was even a proposal that very night too...love was in the air!!
A hectic but very enjoyable pair of gigs.
Next up, we return to a great venue......the Crown at Heather nr Coalville in Leicestershire on Sept 3rd!! A top venue and we are really looking forward to playing to the good folks who will be there. September is a busy month and we will be all over the place, so check the gigs page to see where we'll be!
See you soon!
23rd September - The Greyhound - Beeston / 24th Dregs Mcc Window Lickers Rally - Amazing weekend and a kickstart to the 4 gigs in 7 days marathon....
It's certainly a big boost to see a venue that at the beginning of this year was facing closure, now soaring high again and full up of punters to watch live music and congregate in there to have a good night out with their mates. Rob and Lil should be very proud that they've turned it around and they deserve a huge pat on the back.
As is usual with The Greyhound we only had to bring our backline, a real pleasure after a good run of gigs humping our own really heavy PA system around! So we loaded in and swiftly set up and soundchecked so we could grab and drink and get ready for the night's events.
Also a Jeans for Gene fundraiser was being held in the pub that night too. Congratulations to them and thanks to everyone who donated.
As usual the sound was top quality and Rob even bust the camera out again to take some amazing shots of us playing. He is a wizard with a camera!
A thoroughly enjoyable night and we will be returning there in 2017.
The night after we had a ride up to a small out of the way village by the name of High Marnham to a fantastic pub tucked away called the Brownlow Arms. I can see why the Dregs like it. It is like a magic building that kind of emerges from nowhere!
We got set up in the marquee and couldn't wait to get going. As ever with the Window Lickers rally the bands go on late, we didn't get going until 11:15pm, an early start! We didn't think we be on until arounf 12:30 am!
A marquee packed fully of rally nutters that were there purely to let their hair down and party like Looney Tunes. You can't ask for more.
We don't normally invite guests up to play with us, but young Harry never left Gez's side, watching every drum hit with wide eyes - absorbing all he could. Gez gave him the nod and he was behind the kit like a shot . We had the whole tent going with an off-the-cuff performance of Queen's "We Will Rock You" that lad will remember that for a long time and we'd be very surprised if that hasn't given him the bug to practice hard and one day put his own band together.
A pair of extraordinary gigs that really stoked the fire in us and we had an absolute blast. We absolutely loved playing for you all!
Next we visit MFN on Wed 28th and then on to Worksop to play at the Frog for the very first time.
See you soon for more madness!
A venue that we do like to travel to is the Crown at Heather. The staging area is good and lights are all in place so we really only have to worry about sorting out the PA and backline, which can all come in through a door at the back so no lumping it through the pub.
We set up and soundchecked without much fuss and had time to sort out a setlist. We have had a bit of fun lately opening with some of the songs that we normally save for the later part of the set, giving us a completely different experience and also for the audience too. There will be new songs on the way, now that summer holidays are all but done and dusted and rally season is sadly drawing to a close. There'll be time to get our heads together and see what we can add to our already varied set.
We opened up with Metallica's Seek and Destroy, good to see bobbing heads from the offset......we know the people who drink in the Crown like their rock and metal, so we kept the rock, metal and punk all coming thick and fast throughout the evening.
As ever when we are enjoying ourselves, time passed by so quickly and we were once again packing down and hitting the road back north again.
Thanks to all who came and to Simon for the booking, we look forward to November when we'll be back!
Big break now up to September 23rd which will kick off a weekend to weekend round of 4 gigs, starting with the great Greyhound in Beeston, then to party with the Dregs MCC at their Window Lickers Rally. A midweek visit to MFN for bike night and then a new venue at Worksop - The Frog.
So lots to look forward to, see you all soon!!
3rd September - The Crown - Heather, Leics -Great to revisit a fantastic venue.......
28th September -MFN / 30th September - The Frog, Worksop - .....And the rest of the 4 gigs in 7 days marathon....
A midweek gig is an unusual treat as we normally only get a rehearsal on a Thursday for a catch up.
MFN's bike nights are a fantastic chance to meet up with mates who share the love of all things two wheeled and also get the opportunity to see a great band.
Backstage (where the magic happens, allegedly!!) on the wall there is a poster still up from the band's very beginnings, actually still in good condition too! The band has evolved since those days, but it was nice to see that bit of history preserved there. A lot of the posters around in that room feature bands who are no longer still out there, let alone playing to some of the audiences we get to stand up in front of, so we are thankful for that.
Back at the sound desk's controls was Steve who as always dillegently set us up and had a great sound coming from the front of house. Once the soundcheck was over we all set about having a drink and waited backstage for that familiar "Dambusters" tune to ring out.
Coming out onstage was a pleasant sight as many as the bikes had moved on as they always do, but plenty of music loving "second wavers" as I'm going to call them had arrived and were ready to party.
An excellent gig and the main man Malc seemed very, very pleased. Always happy to help! We will be there again next year, but a bit earlier in the season as The Duke is keen to have us back again soon.
Friday saw a visit to a new venue to us, the Frog in Worksop.
We arrived in good time to check out the venue and a deceptive stage awaited. It looked a little smaller than we'd expected without any gear on, but once we'd got our stuff on there, we quickly realised that we'd been squeezed on to far smaller in our time!
Nick did get a great sound out of the PA during soundcheck and we were raring to go. They were't in any rush to start us off, which was good as more and more people showed up to check us out as the night rolled on.
A fantastic gig and thanks to all who came to see and support us. Special mention to the Slappers N Trollops who showed up and helped to inject some fun with some of more of the reserved gig goers!
With the conversations we had after the show, we will be returning to the Frog, so watch this space!
Next up we visit Nuneaton once more to play for the lovely folks in the Kingswood Tavern on the 15th October, See you there!!
15th October - The Kingswood Tavern - Nuneaton - Really good atmosphere and appreciative crowd....
There always seems to be some traffic dramas whenever we head out to the Kingswood Tavern, this time was no exception as they had closed off the southbound side of the A42.
Hey-ho. We got down there pretty much all at the same time and started setting up in usual fashion.
As there was a party going on nearby that many of the regulars may have gone to we weren't expecting a huge turnout - we were wrong!
There was loads of people in there once we got going and they were going nuts for it.
A pleasure as always and we'll see you all at the Kingswood in 2017 some time.
Next up we play the Olde Royal Oak at Burton Upon Trent, guaranteed to be a great night, see you there!!
22nd October - Old Royal Oak - Burton Upon Trent - Another triumphant return to a venue we haven't played in a while....
A good deal of time had passed since we last played the Oak in Burton.
A redecoration had taken place with a distinct musical theme running through the place, with Uke's and Guitars hanging on the wall and some new stage lighting.
As usual we loaded in and got our gear set up and after some feedback issues we got cracking. We reintroduced the two halloween songs into the set, Monster Mash and Time Warp and they both went down really well.
I ont think we've ever seen the Royal Oak so full when we have played there and they audience were all in fine voice. Good to see people out supporting their local music scene and keeping these great venues alive, the people sitting in dribbling over X Factor dont know what they're missing!
Sue and Aidy were filming and taking snaps most of the night and thanks to Sue for the booking once again, you are doing great things for the pub.
So excellent all round. Next up, the show we always look forward to - the Tap N Tumbler Halloween shindig.
See you at the bar..............
28th October - Tapoween - Tap N Tumbler, Nottingham - Great costumes, great people,great laughs, and as usual - great gig....
The Tap N Tumbler does Halloween properly. So good in fact, that they make it last the whole weekend.
There has been a changing of the guard so to speak lately, when the mastermind who has put the Tap back at the top - Craig Sharp-Weir, announced he was stepping down as landlord and that his right hand man Tommy, was taking the reigns.
We are all very sad to see Craig leave but we know that the same fire burns within Tommy and if anyone can carry it on the way it is, it's him. So we all wish Tommy the very best and are looking forward to many more great shows at the Tap.
Ben was doing the sound last night and a fine job he did too. He had a few gremlins to battle here and there but was straight on them like the pro he is
As is usual for us, you either do it properly or go home, so of course we had to dress the part. John came as a chainsaw wielding convict - a part that he seemed to enjoy a bit too much! Glenn was Jack Skeleton and Gez was a clown/skeleton at the beginning, but before long had sweat off all of the make up beating his drums hard. Chris was a Zombie, but full respect and hats off to Sam who came dressed as the devil from Tenacious D's video and movie. A homemade costume of epic proportions that included the goat's legs, great big horns and red contacts and all over red body paint. You just knew that nobody else who would walk in that night was going to top it! Great work Sam, how you managed to play in it all is a mystery!
After the intro tape was played we fired straight in and it seemed that the songs were flying by! We had everyone doing the Moster Mash and Timewarping all over the place and we even added a new tune, one we had only ran through at rehearsals the night before, Crazy Train and it was met with a great response from the crowd......and boy was there a crowd!!? The bar was rammed all night and they even had to pull in extra assistance to help bring the glasses back as they couldn't be filled quick enough! Well done, you know who you were!!
An absolutely epic gig, nowhere else does Halloween like that and thanks to all who came down and absolutely packed the place. We will be back there for our last gig of the year (as it stands currently) on December 16th for some festive shennanigans. We love the Tap family and we'll catch you all soon!
We have a private booking next, but we will to our usual public gigs on the 10th December at the Vale Social Club at Colwick.
Ciao for now, keep it loud!!
Anybody would've been forgiven for wanting to crack the heating up and stay in on this miserable Saturday night. It had banged it down all day (funny that, when we have to move our PA around!) and was still going for it whilst we loaded in to the venue.
After setting up and soundchecking we had a couple of gremlins to sort out as it had been a little while since we last used our PA and inevitably cables and leads being pulled about, plugged in, taken out and packed away again wears them out a bit.
We hadn't played together in a while either so it felt good to get the amps turned up and the air moving behind us again!
Good to see a few folks up dancing and enjoying themselves and we even pulled out a Christmas tune for them to sing along with.
Next up is our final show for 2016 and there can be no better place than the Tap N Tumbler to round off a great year! See you there!!
10th December - Vale Social Club, Colwick, Nottingham - A wet evening cheered up with a bit of rock....
We always look forward to our Xmas show as it is usually a great do that nobody takes too seriously (not that we tend to anyway) but we do always like to make sure everyone has a great time and that we are playing everything to the best of our abilities all year long, but Chrimbo is a time for us all to let our hair down and just have a blast.
This year our final show just so happens to have fallen in our favourite place to play, the Tap N Tumbler.
Traffic was an epic battle due to the awful events that unfolded earlier on the M1, but when we got there sound man Ben had everything ready for us and set up and soundcheck was smooth sailing as always.
Intro tape was on and we were off, playing a massive setlist that saw us continuing on for a full 3 hours, well it is Christmas - but also bloody good fun! In amongst all of that we had guest vocal performance by Dee Delaney, Mole joined us for the first time ever to bash the drums on 'Seek and Destroy' and boy did he do a great job! The man who has catapulted the Tap back to the top of rock and roll superstardom, Craig Sharp-Weir, joined us for a couple of numbers and Matt Moreton gave us a great singalong performing 'Wanted Dead or Alive" with us. A proper Christmas shindig.
Tommy is going great guns running our favourite boozer and live venue and we already can't wait to be playing there again next year.
We'll sign off for now then reflecting on an awesome year for us. Headlining some great events, Rally With A Chalet, the great honour of You've Been Nabbed 25, Farmyard Party 30th and also playing at Rock and Bike Fest and the Bulldog Bash's 30th Anniversary.
Thanks to all involved in putting on theses outstanding events, we love playing at them as much as the partying around the weekends. Keep supporting them all.
We have some great gigs booked in for 2017 and will be busy as usual and also some surprises in the pipeline.
Thanks for all of the support and great times this year. We wish every single one of you and your families a great Christmas and hope that 2017 is a prosperous one for all.