Category Archives: Rant corner

Is it just me, or….?

Acoustic Festival of Britain 2019. Pt3

A Facebook contributor, Robert Shaw, has made a pretty comprehensive comment on the event.

First, he has put the ‘positives’ first…always a good idea. He can justify his position in making a judgement, as he does 14 festivals a year. A good point. (We do maybe 10, so feel similarly ‘experienced’).

He is pretty fair in his assessment of advance ticket sales and the overall attendance. So it is pretty simple arithmetic to work out the possible reasons for stage and artistes cancellations.

The comments about ‘chairs’ is valid,  definitely not unique to AFOB though.

Changes to the programme? There will always be alterations , for various reasons. I have banged on about this for years. It’s all very well that a compere in one tent mentions it at one time, but if you aren’t there and then you are goosed!  Every bloody school probably has a blackboard and chalk in the attic…ask them! Or a cheap LED display?

Regarding the line-up, we enjoyed Jo Carley, Swampcandy and Trevor Steger on Saturday, BUT they should have been bonuses in addition to a top-notch headliner.

He is spot on by saying things have to change. There are other festivals who take the two dozen or so ‘wasn’t it wonderful’ posts as being representative of the whole crowd, and then can’t understand why only those two dozen or so are the whole crowd next year.

As Nick Lowe once sang, sometimes you have to be ‘Cruel to be Kind’.


Wishbone Ash. Vintage Years. !970-1991. Pt 2

Not a review of the ‘official’ box set. I didn’t put it on my letter to Santa, as I thought, @ £250, it would have been a bit naughty.

No, I said ‘Please could I have the ‘Grateful Dead ’71 Dead ‘ 21 cd box? I have been a good boy and not criticised the ‘official’ Wishbone Ash for a long time. Thank you Santa. I love you. Lord Bimlex.xxxxx

I knew that it could be bought on Amazon @£23.50 so might have been in his budget. 7 complete FM broadcasts from 1971, which many think to be their ‘golden’ era. First disc currently on my player.

So Amazon can make a profit (and delivery cost is included)…and the makers make a profit too! At a selling price of £23.50. The WA box is £250!! Don’t think I need to say much more really.

Sunshine Festival. Upton-on-Severn. 24-26. 08.2018

It has grown from a few thousand back in 2010 to 20,000 plus now. Musically, there is a lot of dross. but have a look at the photo of the middle of the programme! Cher! Boy George! Bruno Mars! And that is just Friday! If you can make it to Sunday you can see, amazingly, Dusty Springfield and Amy Winehouse!  Plus there are tributes such as Bootleg Abba and Soul Stripper. The latter are billed as UK’s No 1 AC/DC tribute act. I would hate to see the No 2, as this lot neither looked nor sounded remotely like AC/DC.

Security? Dog Patrols? No sign of them when all the drunken, foul-mouthed mayhem was happening in the early hours of Sunday morning.

And the organisers are advertising next year as being their 10th birthday. It is in fact the tenth EVENT, the tenth birthday is 2020. Use your fingers, starting with the first birthday is 2011 and go from there. Hope you haven’t had loads of t-shirts printed.



Tribute acts and plastics pollution

At first, you may think the above two topics have nothing in common. But with the prospect of festivals in the distance featuring probably both, I had time to consider.

Back in the mid-seventies, The Bootleg Beatles were formed. An unusual concept, the next major such group were probably Voulez Vous, a tribute to the defunct Abba. Now, of course, the live music scene is awash with tribute acts. In Leeds we used to have two very good venues, The Irish Centre and the New Roscoe (a smaller version of the former). In the eighties, nineties and noughties the likes of Wishbone Ash, Dr Feelgood, Jefferson Starship, Jack Bruce and many more graced the stage of the former. Now it is almost exclusively tribute acts, Similarly, the New Roscoe hosted Eddie and the Hot Rods, Man , Wilko Johnson and others with not quite the pulling power of the Irish Centre. The venue similarly went down Tribute Boulevard and has since closed.

Sadly punters nowadays would rather see a tribute act than a group producing new music. Accordingly, venues have had to make a business decision which has penalised new music. A short term decision without considering the long term effect. Without new music there would not be these tribute acts playing the songs created by the big names! It was new music at one time! The Who and the Stones started out playing Motown and Chess stuff respectively, then started dropping in original songs.  There is no encouragement for musicians to create their own stuff when they can get a quick dollar down the tribute route. The tribute industry is now an infestation.

Think about plastic packaging. It was a great short term concept for eg bottling plants to make their own plastic bottles. Good for profits and good for the consumer,  but not realising the long term implications which now confront the globe. I take biodegradeable pint pots to festivals now.

Am I being hypocritical by regularly going to watch the Petty Heartbreakers though!? Maybe a little bit but a) the lads are TP fans and b) it is free!

‘Ready Ace’ ukulele

As the festival season is just round the corner, I thought I would buy a cheap ukulele to take revenge on all the tw*ts who take bloody guitars and churn out 29 minute versions of ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ at 2.00a.m. Full weight tw*ts!

So I was planning a Ramones a la ukulele onslaught.  BUT, I should have read first!  The above piece of wood (I cannot call it a musical instrument) was accurately panned. It is unplayable. OK, it cost me £2.99, but I won’t be taking it back or even be giving it to another charity shop. It would be evil so to do.

It is now next to our solid fuel fire , where it will soon be put to its best use. May even ask Her Ladyship to record a video of my doing a Pete Townshend impression with it.

Andy Powell v Martin Turner. The Truth!!

The original article on this site still gets views. I have finally realised why Mr Powell took such exception to the name Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash.

It is indeed down to the apostrophe.  Like everybody else, I assumed that the name referred to the idea that the ‘Wishbone Ash’ part was the POSSESSION of Martin Turner. Or at least that particular version was.  (One of the uses of the figure of speech).

But no! It is the OTHER use of the apostrophe. The one which denotes OMISSION/CONTRACTION.  It means Martin Turner IS Wishbone Ash!   It’s obvious (it is obvious)!

And it is blindingly obvious to many Martin Turner fans.

Ebay backstage pass

Having just posted a review about lack of recent activity, I have just seen a Flying Burrito Brothers 1969 backstage pass advertised on Ebay for a ridiculous amount.

However, the alleged backstage pass has the group logo from the reformed 1974 version of the Burritos!  So either the makers were able to see into the future or the seller is, er, not only less than truthful but also stupid.

Apologies if the item is genuine , of course.