Aug 08 2011

I survived Redefest 2011 …

Category: home,Musicash @ 2:30 pm

For the first time since … well, ever, I managed to make it to Redefest, a festival run by a load of mates who live up in Northumbria in the Rede valley. According to local lore, this has been happening for several years & has been attracting people in their thousands.
However, there was a bit of wet this last saturday. I realised I could make it after coming back from the Alps & going to Hors & Laurens wedding on the friday, so drove up to sams late on the Friday. Had some beers, and volunteered my help to be told I had a 4-5 shift on the car park.
Sat am came, and so headed on down after visiting Claire and Rick to generally help out with stuff. Put up lighting, made some signs, constructed a car park … all good things. Oh, and helped Dav build the bar *ahem*.
Then came the rain. Within a couple of hours the car park was so sodden we were pushing every car out & it was starting to get everywhere. Numbers dwindled right off, the water got too close to teh PA, calls were made and unfortunatly the decision had to be taken to pull the event, for the safety of everyone. It was getting heavier, and although everyone was smiling and having fun, it was starting to turn into a problem – which was a real shame given the time and commitment that had obviously been put into the planning.
Most people had gone by about 8, so we did what we could to finish the opened barrels of beer, did some tidying, played some music and managed to get back to sams place, where there were a million Kellies and Reddings. Did some sleeping, then after helping deconstruct the place for a bit on Sunday headed back home via Clare O’s new place in Kendal. All very tired now.

Apr 30 2011

A million things, but mostly Merry Hell.

Category: Musicash @ 11:58 pm

Been meaning to write for ages, about Tom going abroad to not get blown up, me climbing all over the place and regularly nailing HVS leads again now, fun things like the Gathering and similar, but the thing that’s got me to here is the Merry Hell gig that I’ve just been to.
Think Tansads. But (as Oz pointed out) it’s like Tansads but at our age. Think reaching for a cup of tea at the end of the set rather than another beer ūüėČ
The new stuff is excellent. Some bloody good vocal gymnastics – the new lasses voice is bob on and Andrews is as good as it was on the last album. Great new songs, only a couple of weakish ones, the rest rocked impressively. A bit more folky than Tansads, but very comparible. Well, there are 5 members still on stage!
They announced another gig in Wigan sometime in July – keep an eye on the Facebook page. Think I’m busy then but will shift what I can.
People – I can strongly recommend this. You won’t be disappointed.

Nov 11 2010

Divine Comedy, Madchester and Gorillaz

Category: Musicash @ 5:41 pm

On Tuesday went into town to catch up with Caroline & do gigs.  Grabbed a beer in the Sand Bar, a cracking little venue just off Oxford Road, will be going there again!

Ace to catch up with herself as she couldn’t make the birthday do, but she’s having a time of it with her outdoor instructor job being pulled as the company went under last week.¬† Not only that but there doesn’t seem to be much design work, and she’s obviously a bit down about this all.¬† Hoperfully something good will happen soon.

the gig itself rocked massively.¬† I’ve been into the Divine Comedy for years now, only saw them once supporting, well, dual headlining with Ben Folds on his first solo tour.¬† This was Neil on his own, and he was stunning.¬† A lot more powerful on his own I think than rather with the full band.

Played all the classics including some new material, and “Tonight we Fly”, a tune that I rather morbidly want played at my funeral.¬† One bloke and a grand piano can’t half make a lot of noise.¬† I’d forgotten j st how bloody talented he is!

Tomorrow is Gorillaz at the MEN.¬† Just going on my tod to that one, but looking forward to an ‘experience’!

Oct 24 2010

New Model Army – 30th Birthday Gigs

Category: home,Musicash @ 1:07 am

Just back from 2 nights of gigs at Nottingham Rock City.  Did both with Creed, drove down after work yesterday, gigged then back to Cov, then a day wandering round DoveDale in the Peak District before drifting back over to Nottingham for the second of the gigs, then back home afterwards.36313638

These were a set of gigs of their 30th anniversary tour.¬† It’s slightly worrying that after I’d done most of my ‘following’ of the band, I went to the 20th anniversary tour.¬† Ah, so many gigs.¬† No idea how many NMA gigs I’ve done over the years, but it’s a lot, I know that much.¬† And, thankfully, they don’t deteriorate with age!¬† The latest album’s a bit different, and the lack of Dave on the lead is also different, but they still play damn well.3641

The gigs were similar to the 20th gigs.¬† 2 sets by the band, 1hr of acoustic tunes, then 2 hours of electric.¬† Best thing was that it was a guaranteed different set each night – awesome.¬† Rock City’s a bloody great venue – as Justin said “These gigs should have been in Bradford but there’s nowhere to play”.¬† Great sound, really did justice to the band.

The audience was on form both nights.  Pretty intense the second night РCreed lasted 1 song at teh front before the second elbow in the face sent her to the back, and I found Stu and Neil hiding by the Bar on the 2nd night after s0me hectic times in the crush.3644

The set list was awesome.¬† Can’t remember half of the tunes, but here’s some memorable bits:

  • Vagabonds, with Ed on fiddle.
  • Space, with Joolz on monalogue.
  • Marrakesh
  • Christian Militia
  • Brave New World 2
  • Courage
  • Brother
  • Bad Old World
  • The Attack
  • Drag it Down
  • Betcha

Plus, all of the standard tunes that we’d expect from an NMA gig.¬† About half a dozen of the tracks from the new album, but stuff from every other album too.

Bloody awesome.

Aug 31 2010

Solfest 2010

Category: Musicash @ 9:06 pm

A bloody excellent time this last weekend.¬† Faffed all week about what to do, as was unsure whether I’d be needed for the DoE Gold trip, but as my paperwork hadn’t arrived by midweek I reasoned I’d not be able to do it.¬† Trouble was, go do Solfest, or the more expensive Shrewsbury festival – though the AfroCelts were playing there – a band I’ve wanted to see for many years.¬† As the title suggests, I plumped for Solfest, though at the last minute really (Sam getting me a ticket on the door).

A swift drive up there, then off to watch the Alabama 3 on Friday night.¬† There was a rather bizzare band on before, playing Russian Ska.¬† Very good to dance to, especially their classic track “Psycho Tractor”.¬† Mentalists to a man.¬† After them were the Alabama 3, who played an excellent set.¬† Played most of their bestest songs – was holding out for ‘Strange’ but was denied.¬† Not to worry though, the crowd was electric – really good.3612

Saturday led to a gradually building session throughout the day, watching Noah go nuts in the kids festy and re-doing the hat mission with Sam.¬† Can’t remember a massive amount, though by the end of the afternoon we were turning to the programme to see what was on later.¬† I was holding out for Peatbog Faeries – my bestest band to see live.¬† Scottish folk with a hell of a beat – they were on at midnight.¬† Someone mentioned that James were playing, and I thought that’d be interesting to bob along to.¬† Started though with Eat Static, on a 9pm set.¬†

Went over to the Dance Tent and did some bopping to them – not full on tuneage, but ok.¬† Think I was in there for a calm bit.¬† Wandered over to the Drystone stage, to see a band called Pikey Beatz … a bunch of college/uni kids from Allerdale with some attitude and musical talent combined.¬† Check them on myspace – worth it.¬† Though young, they’re great at working a crowd!

After this, I wandered over to the main stage to see James.¬† Somehow met Sam and Simon, though not entirely sure how.¬† Utterly blown away by the gig.¬† Must have known 3/4 of the tunes, though I don’t own any James clobber.¬† They’ve still got it – massively so, and played an absolute blinder.¬† Great to dance to, the crowd were electric, and Tim Booth was wearing a glitter suit, stood on top of a 6′ high glitterball for a chunk of the gig.¬† Stunning.3615

After this, went over to the Drystone stage to muscle our way into the pit just before Peatbogs came on.¬† Good to form, the boys played a superb set, all the tunes I wanted came out, and evan better both Si and Sam had an awesome time (glad as I’d been bigging them up all weekend!).¬† Everything was very, very wet with sweat at the end of this!¬† As ever, they finished with an excellent version of Folk Police – we staggered off for some food, more beer, then to collapse in tent.

Sunday led to a walk over to the coast for Si and I – took a couple of hours but good to stretch out.¬† Watched a variety of people in the day, some music, quite a few comedy & street acts, and got a caraciture done by¬†Paul from Preston (hoping to get him for some Scouting gigs, as he’s bloody impressive).¬† The combined effects of much beer and little sleep started to catch up with me, and by around 11pm I’d crashed out, leaving Si and Sam to go catch some other bands and party the night away.3627

Drove back Monday to relax for a bit & start unpacking and generally be tired everywhere.  A fantastic trip РSolfest was a good call.

Jul 11 2010

Tansads – the end….?

Category: Musicash @ 11:29 am

Here’s hoping not.


The band played a blinder last night.¬† For the uninitiated, the Tansads were/are/will always be the best band who never made it, hailing from Wigan in the UK.¬† For years in the 90’s, the world was a happier place with them in it.¬† I only discovered them near the end of their career, but probably did around 30 of their gigs all round the uk, travelling with a host of people but mostly Mike, Danny and Abi in a battered blue Escort.¬† Every night would consist of working out how to get money to get in (although Oz normally did a good job of getting us on the guest list so that the cash we’d got could go to beer instead), dancing like maniacs and being very happy, then working out where the hell we were going to sleep that night.

They toured with some of the classic folk/rock bands – although I know that they played with loads of others too … I think I remember hearing a rumour that the Verve started off supporting the Tansads.¬† Thats how big they were around here.


Many great memories, including Dan and Abi getting engaged to a song – think it was Spirit Move – with Dan on my shoulders and Abi on Mike’s.¬† That was quite cool, the Charlotte in Leicester I think.

Having the opportunity to see these guys again has been truely stunning.¬† The music has been bob on, true to form Kek forgot words most nights, and we (and they) have been loving it.¬† The new album of unreleased tunes is excellent, the tickets, set list and poster are about to be mounted in a frame somewhere, and I’ve just stuck a load of pics up on the website.

Have a Google around, there are some other excellent reviews up there ( ) that will help you understand.


Immesurable thanks go not only to the band for making this happen, but to Damian Liptrot, their manager & driving force behind making these gigs a reality.¬† As I said to him last night, “I can now die happy”.¬† One of my lifetime ambitions that I never thought would happen just has.¬† And I feel rather splendid about that.

Up the Revolution chaps.  Chuffin good shows.


Jul 10 2010

The Tansads – reunion gigs

Category: Musicash @ 10:42 am

This week one of my lifelong ambitions has happened. ¬†Ever since the Tansads split in around 1997, there’s been an emptyness inside me. ¬†No other band was so happy, or more to the point made me feel so happy as these guys. ¬†A folk/punk/rock/other genres combo from Wigan, I must have seen them upwards of 30 times in the past, but for the past 13 years there’s been nothing, apart from a feeling of remorse that they never carried on.

Half way through the gig last night, on the first verse of Spirit move, I had a bit of a realisation. ¬†At that moment there, surrounded by mates, with stunning music and a band who were loving the fact they were back on stage, I was happy. ¬†I mean, truly, achingly happy. ¬†Can’t remember the last time that happened, but THAT’s the effect that these guys have on me. ¬†I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve played that song with Creed and Ellie, or Abi, or others over the years – we really didn’t do them justice.

The first night was stunning Рamazing set list (got one to hand here), and both audience and band seemed to be blown away.  Last night I was on the beer, so have hazy memories (although my now bent glasses tell a tale) Рbut it still went well.

Tonight is the last one. ¬†Ever. ¬†Just like 13 years ago. ¬†It’s quite important, and it’s going to be very special. ¬†I can’t wait. ¬†Scouting things have gone a bit haywire this week fitting round the gigs, but I really don’t care – this is quite fundamental to my core.

Roll on …

Jul 01 2010

Busy? Me? Never …

Category: home,Music,Scoutingash @ 11:08 pm

So what’s been happening in the world of Green then.¬† Scouting.¬† lots of that.¬† And lots of other things getting in the way of Scouting.¬† For them not in the know, there’s an International camp happening in our County in the 1st week of August, and I’ve got the problem of dealing with the entire camp for a day (that’s around 1200 punters).¬† Hence being a bit busy.¬† I’ve got help mind, GOOD help in the form of Dawn Hankinson and Hugh Miller, but they’re busy in other ways too, so it can be a bit mind melting at times.¬† Especially when I’m doing other things too (just spend 2 hours migrating, updating, un-breaking and promoting the website), repairing car (new radiator, ignition coil, sparks in past few weeks), looking for new car and the rest of it.¬† But I digress.

After the last post I went and did Green Day with Caroline Mac in Manchester.  Cracking gig Рplayed a good 2hrs 45 constant Рgood entertainers too.  A bit samey at times, but a great set, really good at getting the crowd going.  Managed to get in a good spec too, excellent night.

Few days after that was Ricko Charnock’s stag weekend up at Moor Crag.¬† Excellent weekend, good to catch up with people.¬† Mark was a bit broken beforehand, so took him out for a climb on Farleton on the way up.¬† Went and took Sam and Martin up Middlefell Buttress on the Sunday too.¬† Broke around 12 on the Sat night – my personal taste alarm went off as we were heading into the Stag club in Bowness, so me, Sam, Nige and Pete veered off into the bar and listened to a dodgy bloke on a guitar.¬† Good laugh.

Finished off the Climbing Course for Explorers the next week (most of them through after 7 weeks!), then after a Crew social at the Hop Vine, it was County Camp.  I helped out with the Activity Allocations this year (although badly), and managed to arrange it so that I was doing sod all, leaving me free for the day to do a sub-camp site visit for Red Rose with Dawn, Kerry and Scouse.  Good to do, helped a lot.  I also got some other things in my mind for International day, and went ferreting in the GEC shed.

This week I’d called a meeting of the Mountaineering Group to see where we’re going next – Matt Forshaw’s mission to Canada has got the approval, and looks to be an excellent trip for 2012.¬† I’m still hoping to get something together with a bit more exploration to it, but I’m running out of time to get anything researched before the end of Summer with Red Rose and the Fitzcharnock wedding happening in the middle of that.

Should have been doing loads on Red Rose and fixing Pete Freemans pooter tonight, but have spent hours on the Unison site instead.¬† We’re going to ballot on Industrial Action against the (allegedly) illegal action that the Council has taken in forcing through the new Terms and Conditions for LCC workers, so we needed the site live before the weekend, and as I’m off to Scotland tomorrow with Clare O I needed to get a shift on!

Right, sleep calls.

Oh, and I’ve got my Tansads tickets.¬† Life is good.

May 26 2010

MK live

Category: Musicash @ 4:08 pm

Went and saw Mark Knopfler last night at the MEN in Manchester.¬† Bit of a blast from the past – I’m a massive Dire Straits fan & they were the first band that I can remember going to back in ’92 I think.¬† Cracking gig – lots of his solo stuff over the past few years, but also some good Straits tracks, including Sultans of Swing, Telegraph Road (slowed down version) and Brothers in Arms.

I also hadn’t twigged onto the fact that John McCusker is now playing with him, as is Mike Mcgoldrick.¬† John’s an award winning folk fiddler, partner of Kate Rusby and so on.¬† Telegraph road had a Bouzouki and Mandola playing on it as well – pretty strange!

Excellent gig apart from the overly manic lasses behind us – whistling and screaming most of the time evan though the rest of the MEN was silent.¬† Needless to say, everyone around them (including me) was very British about it¬†& so didn’t say anything.¬† They buggered off to the front at the end, so we got a whole 2 songs that weren’t spoiled by this.¬† Seated gig, so nowhere else to go!

Most ace.

Mar 22 2010

Dave & Tracey’s wedding

Category: home,Musicash @ 1:25 pm

A fantastic weekend had, up in NW Scotland. I’d booked a day off on Friday, so hammered up there Thursday night, getting to the Ben Nevis Inn at around 10 pm. Met Heather & Popey in there who had recently arrived from Chamonix via a 20 hr ferry ride – quaffed ales with a worried eye on the weather, as it was trying to lift the roof from the pub. Dave and Tracey also arrived, generally beaming!
The next morning, the weather hadn’t relented. We decided to go to the Ice Factor after a decent breakfast, so went into town getting a few things and helping Dave pick out some last minuite presents for people.

3274  33013283
Off to the ice factor for an hours climbing on the rock before 2 hours in the fridge. Played around with some different axes, but also spent some time working on technique, traversing, downclimbing, and ascending hanging logs (cos that happens a LOT in nature). Back to the pub for a pint, then out for a meal with the wedding party in town (I was an usher). Met stacks of people, including Tom & Maria, had a decent catch up & got to wierd out some of the extended family.

Saturday morning came, and with that we all set to work. There were a great many willing sets of hands, so much so that we completed a lot of stuff quite early, including rehearsing with Drew and Heather. Tracey’s execl organisation had been pretty detailed, but not that much of it involved me, so Tom and I bimbled down to Fort Bill to grab a brew & talk randomness.
I met Dave at the wedding site (about 400m from the pub, just off the main path up Ben Nevis). He talked me through what was wanted as I was in charge of getting everyone in the right spot. After grabbing suit, buttenhole and guitar, I headed up to the site & met the piper on the hill (piping his pipes). A quick check of the site, and then the stream of bodies began up the path. 20 mins later and we were ready, with Tracey 5 mins behind everyone.

The ceremony was a Humanist one, and the celebrant did a great job. Several readings of poems were done, lots of cheering was had, then Heather, Drew and I did a rendition of Newton Faulkners “If this is it”, which seemed to go down ok. Quite luckily really, as Heathers’ voice was pretty destroyed that morning! We got some photos, then back down to the pub for beers, meal, speeches, more beers, and then a storming Ceildh which ran for several hours. Good & young band, straightforward tunes, and I think there were no injuries. Well, I probably caused some but didn’t recieve any. Young Jack Pope really buzzed off the music – transfixed by these wierd sounds that were coming out. Made it til about 1am when I crashed and burned.

Sunday, up and away reasonably early – think I left by 10.15. Didn’t rush back, took time & enjoyed it, Home for about 4 after fighting with car for a bit (bonnet refusing to open & oil light on!)

Then hit Parbolds new cinema with Nige to view the hurt locker.¬† Not bad for¬† ¬£3, although the seats are bloody firm and my arse has been giving me real pain for 2 days now (no comments ūüėČ )
Will stick some pictures up in a bit, also check

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