Monthly Archives: December 2014

2014 The Bunters Awards

Catagories and nominees. (Winners at the end)

1) Stellar moment.

a) ‘White rabbit’ (Jefferson Starship). b) ‘Wouldn’t it be nice’ (Beach Boys). c) ‘Feel the benefit’ (10 cc). d) ‘Smile has left your eyes’ (Asia)

2) Black hole moment.

a) Acoustic Festival sound. b) The Sage sound for Asia c). Rip-off bottled cider price in Newcastle after Summertyne.  d) Mr A. Powell’s crowing after his court case.  e) Apparent arrogance by Wishbone Ash at CRF (as told to us by back-stage volunteers, so unconfirmed). f) Removal of benches in main stage area at Weyfest . g) Ban on chairs in marquees at CRF

3) Best performance

a) Beach Boys.  b) Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. c) Bill Posters will be Banned. d) Biggles Wartime Band .e) Oysterband

4) Definitely not best performance

a) Groundhogs. b) Wishbone Ash.c) Leon Hendrix. d) The Move. e) Tanante

5) Best staff.

a) CRF

6. Worst staff

No nominations

7. Worst beer

 

a) Bakewell . b) Weyfest

8) Best beer

No nominations

9. Unexpected ‘What a smashing blouse’ bonus .

a) Carl Palmer’s ELP legacy . b). FM. c) £5.00 T-shirts at AFOB . d) Do$ch agreeing to do Her Ladyship’s birthday bash. e) Do$ch going down so well there . f) ‘thank you’ email and download from Baz (Magic Eight Ball). g) Saving a fiver each at the Beach Boys by saying we were pensioners

10) Best venue

a) Weyfest . b) Irish Centre.  c) Acoustic Fest

 

And the winners are…

1. Wouldn’t it be nice (close contest)

2. Ban on chairs in marquees at CRF ( annual winners)

3. Beach Boys (some stiff competition)

4.Leon Hendrix (landslide victory)

5. CRF (one horse race)

6. No nominees

7. Bakewell

8. I drink lager!

9. Tie between Do$ch in d) and e)

10. Weyfest

Awards ceremony was held in Castleford. No nominees turned up, not even John Jones whose mother’s family are from Cas.   Prize in each category was a pint of lager, which I humbly accepted on behalf of each winner. Jeremy Paxman was there at the beginning, to say (before the first award) ‘Here’s your starter for 10’).

 

Merry Christmas

 

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2014 Festival Overview

Festival season over, so a few words about the festivals we have been to (including ones we have previously been to).

1. Rock and Blues. Butlins. Skegness. There was a time when the line-ups got a bit thin, being bulked out by pub covers groups.  Thankfully, there seems to have been a re-think, and we can confidently book in advance of any acts being announced.  Highly recommended

2.Acoustic Festival of Britain. Uttoxeter Racecourse. Well organised, close to the town. Get the impression it went through some hard times some years ago, but now firmly established. Rare that we don’t have a weekend where there isn’t anyone we really like on stage. Organisers always happy to take comments. Highly recommended

3. Americana International . Newark. Not been for a couple of years. Recent years seem to have the bills featuring Chas n Dave, Smokie, Alvin Stardust (Americana?!) and UK country acts. Have seen some good stuff there (Hayseed Dixie) but a lot of average fare. Has now moved to Loughborough(?). We spoke to a couple at Bakewell who said some undesirables had descended upon the fest.  A big genuine act would maybe lure us back, but it got to the stage where it was only the unique Badaxe we went for.

4. Glastonbury. Only been once, in 2003, when we got some freebie VIP tickets. Term-time means it is difficult to go for certain professions. Glad we went, but off our radar now. Too big!

5. Grillstock. Manchester. Been on the Sunday the last two years. Enjoyable, if not a camping ‘festival’. You may die of starvation if you are veggie, but anywhere that has the Reverend Peyton’s lot AND Hayseed Dixie on the same day is worth mentioning.

6.Moonbeams Festival. Wold Top. Enjoyed our first visit, didn’t enjoy our last (and final) visit. Said my piece after last year, so no inclination to go over old ground.  However, beware that the glowing recommendation from Ade Edmondson on the home page must be due to feature on the Antiques Roadshow. A bit like Man Utd’s website saying ‘Come to Old Trafford, the home of Ronaldo’.

7. Summertyne Festival. Gateshead. The Sage. Plenty of good quality acts on all week inside, we go to the free afternoon(s) outside in the concourse. Usually get a decent ‘name’ from across the pond (Tom Russell, Handsome Family) plus local acts.  Check it out.

8. Cambridge Rock Festival. Glasto gave us the festival bug and this was our first weekend fest in a tent. Have been to almost every one, and ,yes, we invariably say we aren’t going again but always do!  Advertised as all genres of rock, but heavily populated by 5-piece, female-fronted prog outfits. As at this moment, no news of date/venue/line-up for 2015, which doesn’t bode well.  We would prefer less of the afore-mentioned musical groups. Organiser a real gentleman. Could do with being a bit closer to civilisation.

9. Bakewell Music Festival. Been a few times. Run with great enthusiasm by music fan with a small budget and a lot of ball-ache from blinkered nimbys. Managed to get Seth Lakeman one year, but looks to have succumbed to local snottery and snobbery. Hopefully its time may come again.

10. Upton Music Festival. Upton-on-Severn. Really enjoyed our first trip there. A few yards from the village, loads of pubs, The Hamsters and Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash (plus Ted Turner). Nowadays, has branded itself as a family event. Showaddywaddy, Alvin Stardust , tribute acts. Extortionate beer/food prices on site. (Food=fish and chips). We spent most of our last visit in local pubs , so festival was not worth paying for.   Not for us anymore, sadly. Also prone to local idiots invading.

11. Cropredy. Cropredy . Sometimes has clashed with others events, we have been a few times in the last few years.  We are not like most of the Croppers/Glasto audience, who go every year regardless of the line-up.  10cc, Little Feat, Alice Cooper, Status Quo have been the reasons for our going.  Waiting for headliners being announced. You can take your own beer in!

12. Weyfest. Surrey. Been the last three years and it has been our favourite each time. Wonderful site, beer prices a little bit steep though. BUT, the last couple seemed to indicate a change of direction towards a ‘safer’ sort of line-up. UB40!? And , lo and behold, the hot-off-the-press announcement…Level 42! Fan dabby bloody dozy! No doubt the next earth-shattering headline will be Spandau Ballet!  Howard Jones! Sorry, but we are SO disappointed with this major re-defining of the event. The likes of Robin Trower, Jethro Tull, Martin Turner’s lot, Focus seem to have given way to a concentration of 80s acts.  Are we the only customers who actually want to see people on  stage who are THE SAME AGE AS US!!    A real shame, unlikely we will be there next year.

12. Festival of the 60s. Skegness. Another very popular Butlins weekend. If you aren’t bothered about the authenticity of some of the line-ups, it is a really good weekend. (In some cases, be prepared for the singer actually lying to you. I can’t handle it!!).

13. Great British Folk Festival. Skegness. Not been going long. We enjoyed the first time (Kate Rusby, Oysterband), but the second one (despite Seth Lakeman) displayed too much of a giant folk club atmosphere. Some may say ‘Why go then, if you don’t like that?’ To which we say ‘ Don’t worry, we won’t be going again!). Ideal for folkies.

14. Oops, nearly forgot. Beermageddon. Stoke Prior. Went last year, it wasn’t quite what we expected!  Please have a look at the review, and remember we are taking the piss mainly out of ourselves!

Next year isn’t looking all that promising, we could all do with some good news in time for Christmas.

Oysterband/Blair Dunlop. Leeds Irish Centre. 4.12.2014

 

It’s a couple of years or so since we have seen Oysterband, and there have been some line-up changes. Our first encounter was back in the last millennium at the ‘Jig and Swig’ weekend in Morley. We had bought tickets , mainly to see the Coal Porters doing their Gram Parsons show, but were impressed with Oysterband (Her Ladyship especially).  Probably seen them half a dozen times, and we were pleased that this time they had one of folk music’s rising stars in tow.

Got there 7.40pm, and was surprised to see the room had been partitioned off. Has the austerity syndrome hit the fans pockets? Or are they not as popular any more? Christmas approaching?  Whatever reason, even the strange addition of BD as ‘special guest’ still only made the crowd maybe 300.  I say ‘strange’ because BD can command a decent audience (and ticket price) in his own right.

So, young Mr D shuffles on at 8.00 pm-ish. Strangely silent reaction, apart from three women near me discussing the booking fees on their 1 Direction tickets!   He gave us songs from ‘Blight and Blossom’, including the title track and his song about Christopher Marlowe , ‘Secret Theatre’, plus  the likes of ’45s (c14)’  from this year’s  ‘House of Jacks’ .   He finished off with Richard Thompson’s ‘1952 Vincent Black Lightning’.  I am tempted to say the obvious, ie that young Mr D is a big fan of RT, but when I tried to hint that I thought that Blair must be a fan of Seth Lakeman in my Moonbeams Festival review it was as if I had said he was a fan of Jimmy Savile, it created such indignation. (But am I bovvered?  Am I folk.).   Have been playing both cds in the car of late (cheers Les) , with an Albion Band (The Next Generation) cd waiting in the wings.  A great 30 minutes set, which surprised a lot of people, but not the closed-eyed, head-nodding section sitting on the floor.

Oysterband. 9.00pm and on they come. If they were surprised at the relatively small crowd, they didn’t seem to show it. However, in his pre-amble to ‘Spirit of Dust’, John Jones did mention previous mayhem at their Irish Centre concerts.  It always amazes me that every song of theirs is so…anthemic. New songs like ‘Diamonds on the water’ seem as though they have been there forever.

‘Deserters’ was the first cd of theirs I bought, for a few dollars in the Virgin sale in New York in 2001, and ‘The Deserter’. ‘Granite Years’ and ‘All that way for this’ still feature in the set. (Back in 1989 though, I picked up their 12″ single ‘The lost and found’ pretty cheap and liked their ‘Change is gonna come’. )  ‘Walking down the road with you’, ‘Street of dreams’, ‘Everywhere I go’, they are all such bloody good songs.  And almost thankfully we didn’t get ‘Bells of Rhymney’, otherwise I would have had to get windscreen wipers fitted to my eyelids. It is an absolute tour-de force ‘live’,  especially if you have any involvement with the mining community.

Difficult to describe them to the uninitiated. I am tempted to say ‘Fairport Convention turned up to 11…with a squeezebox’. I know it’s not completely accurate but it’s the best I can do!

Her Ladyship only had her phone for pictures, so quality not too good. She didn’t actually ask young Mr D to do his impression of Freddy Krueger, honest!

The Petty Heartbreakers. Boot and Shoe, Ackworth.30.11.2014

The end of a very long weekend for us, which started out Thursday tea-time and includes a severe attack on our collective livers. So we opted to sit down and take in the group rather than take notes and photos.

Starting with their usual ‘King’s Highway’ and finishing with ‘American Girl’, we were treated to another excellent rendition of not only TP’s ‘hits’ but plenty of LP tracks and some hot off the press newer tracks.

We have gone on record many times regarding our not being fans of the whole ‘copy act’ business, but these lads are a bit different. It is obvious they are TP fans and they seem to enjoy playing the songs. They are constantly bringing in different songs, so they are not just going through the motions.  It says much about them when I can confirm that they are the only ‘tribute’ act that we go and see.

So, if the Cambridge Rock Festival people are (hopefully) about to confirm next year’s fest, pencil this lot in for the Thursday ‘tribute’ night.  And they are NOT the outfit that used to operate around Cambridge, they are from West Yorkshire.

Check out http://www.thepettyheartbreakers.co.uk