Thursday, 30 May 2013

How do we pack it all in? Don't ask me. A shorty + some great music this weekend.

Hello folks.  It’s another short one this week.

Wasn’t it fantastic that weather held up so well over the Bank Holiday weekend? we’re back to normal again now but hey Summer was good while it lasted, and I’m told it was quite pleasant at some of the Festivals around the County. 

This past week it’s been chaos at The Drop In Centre, having allowed us to move in and set up our stock, the Land Lord decided to send the decorators in.  The building does need a lot of work, and while it suits RAE as we’re not paying rent, anyone wanting to move in will either have to fork out a fortune or make sure the Land Lord makes all the repairs and makes the place safe. 

On Wednesday we had a really constructive Volunteers Meeting.  Already we have more than doubled the team from last year for Slamfest, and it looks as if we may be able to Open the Drop In for five Days a week very soon: which would be fantastic.

Whatever happens though – we officially open on Saturday, that’s Saturday June 1st.   The Drop In will be open from 11:00am – 3:00pm for you to drop in for a glass of wine and some cheesy things courtesy of Amanda’s Blinds.  We will also have some acoustic music going on from Phil Sinclair and fingers crossed Acoustic Swansong, and there’s an open invitation to anyone else who may like to pop in and give us a song or two.     

ARTISTS – BANDS – MUSICIANS:   Bring your work to the Drop In Centre.  We can sale your product, or act as a referral for your arts services.

If Mick looks as if he has a foggy head on Saturday you will be right in your assumptions as on Friday 31st Live At The Trades we have the UK’s number one Green Day Tribute Band, Green Bay playing, along with two other top Bands.  Tickets are only £4 in advance or £5 on the door, for what promises to be another rocking night.

On Sunday 2nd June The RAE link up with the Park will find one of Rotherham’s top young Band’s playing on The Clifton Park Band Stand, For Pete’s Sake.  They will be striking up at 1:00pm and playing through to 3:00pm. 

On Wednesday 5th June we have our first Craft Workshop.  A Basic Sewing event with all materials and refreshments included in the cost of £10.  It starts at 6:00pm.  And you get to keep the item you are making. 

The plotting for Slamfest 2013 moves smoothly along, and Mick will soon have 5000 fliers for you all to distribute.  Call in at the Drop In to pick up a handful to pass out wherever you are going.  Another good reason for calling in for the Official Opening.   We still need loads of Volunteers, especially lads or ladies able to shift the heavy gear to set up and break down the Sound system, collect cash throughout the day, sale merchandise, and survey festival goers with a validation survey on both days.  A down loadable form will be on the Web Site very soon HERE  

We’ve opened up a Facebook page for Slamfest where you can join the discussion and add your point of view or idea  HERE

You can a full list of RAE Events HERE, and of course the main listings pages can be found HERE

And let’s not hog the limelight there are loads of other things happening this weekend.    The Acoustic Festival of Britain gets underway on Friday as people gather at Uttoxeter.  A fantastic line up this year.  As has the Doncaster Folk Festival which also gets underway of Friday at the Ukrainian Centre – there’s not been a lot of publicity available about this super little Festival, not for the first time.  We wish them well.  Further North Bamfest will light up Bedale with some top acts from the Yorkshire Folk scene and beyond.    In Rotherham there is night of heavy underground metal at The Charters.  Finally, ROMP has it’s Birthday Party at The Bridge – that should be a blinder.

On Saturday there’s a special night at the Trades when Baz celebrates his 50th birthday by bringing together some of his former Bands to perform what I’m told will be some quality sets.  It’s an open evening but get in early as it’s going to be a brilliant night.  BUT also happening is the mighty Goat Leaf at The Bridge, warming up before they head off on their European Tour. 

Just to remind you the, full listings for the weekend and links onto the individual events plus the listings for the week ahead are HERE  If you want event / session listed, or have a correction or two then Email HERE

That’s it – so whatever you are doing this weekend and in the week ahead, have fun, support your local artists and KEEP IT LIVE

Friday, 24 May 2013

Mini Blog of Catch Up Slamfest / Drop In Centre / Bank Holiday Music

I've been busy with all the boring stuff that goes into mounting Slamfest - the good news is that wen have some found some great supporters and everything looks set for two days of great music in Rotherham - weather permiting.  We pray to the sun God every hour of every day.  For those wishing to share in the prayers, remember the dates are 6th / 7th July.  And if you've not discovered who's on yet, or where details can be found HERE where you will also find those who have so far been giving us that essential support.

At the Drop In Centre the immediate key dates are -  Wednesday 29th May 5:00pm Volunteer Meeting, probably not starting to 5:30pm this is for everyone wanting to help at the Centre, Slamfest and other RAE Events.  Saturday 1st June Official Opening, from 11am, Music, Wine and cheesy things with everyone invited to come on down to see what we are doing and perhaps find out why. (Sponsored by Amanda's Blinds). Wednesday 5th June Workshop: Basic Sewing Techneques 6pm - 8pm - £10 Basic craft sewing making a product that you keep.  Saturday 22nd June Book Launch, Tony Beesley, will be launching his new book "Away From The Numbers".   You can find out all about the Drop In Centre and the events HERE

Next up at Live At The Trades is Green Bay, one of the best Green Day tribute Bands in the Country doors open 7:30pm Friday 31st May.    On the 8th June something a bit different, The Night Train Revue Berlesque comes to The Trades with top pro acts from around the UK.  All the details HERE

And there is fantastic weekend of music coming up this weekend to celebrate the Bank Holiday.  Let's hope that this weather clears.  I'd draw your attention to the piano recital at the Old Market Gallery this Saturday from Chris Back, I'm told that this is well worth going to.  There are Festivals mainly Folk and blues at Hartlepool (Tom Killner is playing this one), On The Moor, Cottingham, Wigan for the Irish and Cleethorpes.  Closer to home it's Papa Lega's at The Bridge, and you can explore your inner self and creativity at LES EFFECTS DE LA MASS : you can find links to all the details HERE

That's it....................   Whatever you're doing this weekend, have fun, support your local artists and KEEP IT LIVE.

Thursday, 16 May 2013



Two super weekends packed with some great music in Rotherham, and at Festivals a little further afield.

So let’s start with now well broadcast news that a stalwart of the South Yorkshire Folk scene, Jenny Fox, has retired from Toein’ In The Dark.  I think it’s typical of Jenny that she swore people to secrecy concerning her decision, not wishing the main purpose of her last regular Gig with the Band to be  lost.

The Concert with The Rotherham Red Choir, was to help raise some funds for the Red Choir’s main cause SOSA YA’s Youth Work in Zimbabwe.  Those with a good memory will remember that SOSA YA Choir performed at the Red Choir Fringe Festival Concert.  The work being done by the Charity taking performance skills to Zimbabwe, and helping with education is truly beneficial to Communities, despite the awful Government, and an economy now based on an inflated US Dollar. 

It’s a pity that the upstairs room of the Bridge was not full to overflowing for such an outstanding evening of music, but with The Wath Festival moving into gear, choices for the Folkie were numerous.   I don’t suppose the clash with ROMP who were reading down stairs at The Bridge helped either.  But the size of the Red Choir, as I’ve commented about before, means that one ends up with almost a full house without too much trying.   Having said that well in excess of £350 was collected for the Charity.  Well done one and all for that effort.

Unfortunately because of the mysteries of the 108 /109 bus service in Rotherham I missed The Red Choir, but was firmly in my seat ready for Toein’ In The Dark. 

As per usual Toein’ produced a super set of old favourites that had the audience singing along and newish songs with their own special arrangement that can be found on their new CD “About Time” which if you missed my review you can find HERE

The CD is available from the RAE Music and Arts Drop In Centre at 25 Wellgate in the centre of Rotherham for £7.50  

And so to Jenny.  I’m a Johnny come lately, but even before I met Jenny and the Band I felt I knew them such was their legendary status on the Folk circuit.  Jenny especially would be mentioned for all the work that she and her Husband Malcolm did on the South Yorkshire scene.  If you go onto Jenny’s Facebook page and check out the photographs you’ll discover just what an influence they had. 

But most of all Jenny will be missed for the key role she played with Toein’ – her driving accordion accompaniment  providing a bounce that makes the Band’s sound so distinctive. 

The good news is that Jenny threatens to play the odd Gig with the rest of the Band from time to time: well that should keep them on their toes. 

On the Saturday RAE held what I hope will be the first of many Youth Festivals at The Trades.   

It was all a bit strange in the Concert Room with the Bar closed down, and a youthful chatter, some of it nervous filling the room.   We organised the Festival to give young Bands and performers, that’s under 18s, the opportunity to perform on a real stage in front of an audience, while also involving the Bands in the marketing of the Promotion, something that will be critical if they are to make a name for themselves on the music scene at any level. 

The standard of performance was outstanding, from those making their debut on stage to one or two performers who were clearly already experienced. 

 It really is naughty to highlight anyone from the line-up, but look out for a mainly female Band called Grafters. They performed a three song set, two covers and an original, the standard of which was equal to the very best on the day.   In Vitro Babies gave us a slick set of Indie, while John “Lennon” McCullagh   (who made his UK debut at a Fringe Festival RAE event last year), demonstrated why he has already been recognised as an outstanding talent of the future.  John is signed to play at Slamfest and to support Dirty Dylan and is not to be missed.  And congratulations to Whiskey Spirit on a super set to wind the event up.    The whole event was kicked off by Krypt who performed a good set of rocking classic covers.

As organisers we learnt a few things and we hope to be able to add more value to event for the young people at future Youth Festivals. 

Another first over the Bank Holiday weekend was our link with RMBC Parks for a series of Sunday Concerts at the Clifton Park Bandstand, Party in The Park.  Our contribution can be found on the first Sunday of each month.   

First up was one of Rotherham’s top young Bands working hard to establish themselves Whiskey Spirit playing their super interpretations of classic rock standards, which played out in the warm sunshine that blessed the May Day Bank Holiday period.  Even though publicity was poor they attracted a fair audience of people enjoying both sun and music. The Band are  It was also good to have a listen to Tom Killner who did a cameo set with Jess giving him some super harmonised vocal support – for a debut it was excellent despite the PA problems. 

Another of the Town’s young Bands For Pete Sake are next up, you will find them on the Band Stand on the 2nd June – weather permitting!  

Another RAE satellite promotion evening came on Friday 10th May when Ian Huddleston debuted Be The Revolution.  Prompted by the actions of the Condemed Government which are hitting the poorest and weakest in Society, the lyrics and purpose of the Band is to act as a wakeup call to us all before everything that our Fathers fought so hard to get, decent pensions, free education, free health care and respect and help for the disabled and those without a job – have gone. 

The music has a sixties / seventies feel to it, almost John Lennon like in the way that eastern instruments and mystic chants are used to get his messages over.  

Ian is a brilliant song writer, and hopefully this will not be a one off Gig. 

An honourable mention to for Ben Renwick who did a super job at warming the audience up with an acoustic of mixed covers and self-penned songs.  I hope that I might twist his arm to come and do an Acoustic Rotherham for us.

Supporting Be The Revolution was Ian’s good friend Dave Woodcock and The Dead Comedians.  This proved to be a bit of a coup. Dave Woodcock is a son of Rotherham, now living in that City the other side of the M1 and this Gig heralded his first outing in the Town for eight years.  I don’t often go into detail about support Bands, but on this occasion I’m going to make an exception. 

Apparently this was Dave Woodcock’s first Gig since October last year and after witnessing this performance I’m sure their fans would consider the wait more than worthwhile.   

The set was one of the slickest I have seen recently.  There are some Bands who you can see are straining to find a groove and rock beat, NOT the case with the Dead Comedians who had a relaxed natural groove and rock that quickly sucked the audience into their World, while Dave’s relaxed true rock sounding voice delivers the songs brilliantly, despite

The performance was even more remarkable as all the material was new.  I simply can’t wait to hear the new CD, which I’m told is not far off completion.   

Negotiations are underway to find a slot in the Live at The Trades programme to bring the Band back to Rotherham soon. 

And that brings us onto the Live at The Trades nights.  The quality of our Heavy Metal night, which featured Immotus, Motorheadache and Hellbent Forever was simply amazing.   A full night of rocking the hard way.  Super audience, great atmosphere and rock as it should be. 

Being a wimp I couldn’t survive until the very end, but a hardy Mick saw it out to a 12:15 am finish when Hellbent Forever eventually ran out of energy.   We’re looking to bring them back soon. 

Not quite so many in last week for Powerage AC/DC  tribute Band and Cable 35, no let-up  in the rocking though.  I really enjoyed the original music of Cable 35, and they are certainly not afraid of experimenting.   They have left a few CDs in the Drop In Centre for £6.  Powerage are an excellent AC/DC Tribute.  Their set included all the favourites and a few of the lesser known songs put together in an entertaining package. 

Yes you’re right, the late finishes are not helping the out of Towners who need trains, so we’ll be looking at our timings. 


Next Live At the Trades is Friday 31st May, where Green Bay will be rocking out the best of Green Day.  My spies tell me they are an excellent Band so it’s one I’m looking forward to.  In support we have Phoenix Salvation, and Taxi For Bob.  Tickets £4 in advance from all the usual places and The Drop In Centre.  £5 on the door. Tickets HERE

Would you believe there’s no rocking Live At The Trades throughout June.  It’s to give you a chance to build up your energy for Slamfest on the 6th and 7th July.   But we are putting on a quality Burlesque Review on the 8th June at The Trades, entitled Night Train.  We’ve got some top quality performers for your entertainment, and you can check out some of the performers HERE along with ticket prices and availability. 

Yes Slamfest.  We’re now at crunch time for sponsors, advertisers and volunteers.  We need you!  And not to be gentle with you, your money to.  If you want to help in anyway Email us HERE or why not pop into The Music and Arts Drop In Centre during our current opening hours 11 – 3 Tuesday / Friday and Saturday.If you've not heard of it before check out the Web Page HERE

I’m pleased to say that more and more people are coming forward – but as always we need lots more.  From Stage Managers to Sound men to stewards and collectors.  We’d also love to be able to open the Drop In Centre on three remaining days of the week………   we have a slight logistic problem to solve as well as finding the manpower but nothing that cannot be overcome.

The techno gear found it’s way into Drop In Centre this week, again huge thanks to Bristol Street Motors (Vauxhall) Chesterfield.  Indeed without their support we would not have made the progress that we have with the Centre. 

The Official Opening (Sponsored by Amanda’s Blinds) will be held on 1st June starting at 11:00 am.  Music / Poetry / cheesy things and wine. 

While the downstairs of the building is now beginning to fill up with CDs, crafts, and RAE Posters, there are three walls to fill upstairs.  So if there are any visual artists that would like to put the walls to work please come in and see us.

We’ve added CDs from Cable 35 and the legendary Sheffield Band Haze including some of their back catalogue and their latest CD + one from Treebeard and we’re looking forward to a few more bands leaving their CDs with us over the next couple of weeks.    Your fans could pick up your CD from a Town Centre base – more sales, wider coverage. 

A reminder that all our services are free, although a donation towards our overheads would be appreciated.

Watch out for News of a General Volunteer RAE Meeting – coming very soon.

Finally on RAE matters, Slamfest is looking great – all we need is for summer to reach us before July 6th / 7th so that we can max the potential of the event.  Around eighty acts, across six stages on the Saturday and two in the Park on Sunday and more importantly involving some three hundred artists all making music demonstrates a healthy creative scene in Rotherham.  

Keep an eye on the Slamfest Web Site HERE


Speaking of which.  Open Minds Theatre’s production of  “Fault lines – The Second Generation”  a "touching yet hard hitting" play telling the story of the first days of the Kashmiri / Pakistani diaspora!. Before heading out on a short Yorkshire Tour, the play will be premiered at the Old Market Gallery, on Tuesday 21st May.   Tickets are £8 and £6 for concessions bookable through 07541475159 or by e-mail to You can find details of the full tour program by following the link on our listings page HERE

There’s an interesting Gig at The Bridge on Saturday night where an old friend of Acoustic Rotherham Will Padfield and a “mate” collectively known as The Flux Capacitors will be making their duo debut.   I’m told that they will be playing covers dating across the past six decades – should be interesting.  All new acts need support so why not pop into The Bridge and take a listen and give a cheer for live music. 

Good luck to those of you venturing off into Derbyshire for the Bearded Theory Festival, I see a few local celebrities will be appearing, including The Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonigan who will be the support to Saxon when they play Live at The Trades in October.   Stay warm folks, the weather forecast is not fantastic. 

On Friday Goat Leaf are playing The Corporation, bound to be a top Gig. 

Saturday it’s the Annual Bob Dylan night at the Princess Royal in Crookes, intensive Dylan for the real fans, with Lou in the chair, and our old friends Swansong are in action at The Imperial, Mexborough.  On Wednesday, String Theory and Pete Swift will be having their monthly session at the Wharncliffe Arms in Sheffield.  

Besides this the build-up to the Bank Holiday has all the usual regular Clubs and sessions, and just in case I forget, Bank Holiday Monday is Nellie Folk time and please wherever possible please check with Clubs or sessions before setting off anywhere during the Bank Holiday. 

One final Parish Notice.  The Chequers popular Open Mic is to return starting 3rd July.  To book your place you need to contact Clive  HERE

All the listings for the coming week can be found  HERE

Whatever you are doing, have fun, support your local artists and KEEEP IT LIVE

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Looking Back at some Super Events : The Missing Blog Episode 2

Trying to keep up with events in the World has for all the reasons in Episode 1 been very difficult, but there has been one event so dominant in the News that it cannot be ignored by The Masher, nor would you expect it to be ignored given one of the Masher’s regular songs.  The much anticipated demise of the Thatcher woman.

I’m sorry if some consider my views distasteful or lacking in respect.  I would simply ask, did she ever show respect to the workers and weak in our Society, not that she recognised that there was such a concept as Society. 

I was asked recently why I found her such a vile person, and I found that I didn’t need to even think.  The destruction of the University Arts Departments, especially Social Science   to the Trade Union Movement ; The State lies she spread about the Miners and the Hillsborough victims, including the way she used the Police ; The destruction of our Nationalised Industries that has led to virtually all our utilities being owned by overseas Companies ; The dismantling of real apprenticeships for young people ; ripping the heart out of whole communities, and providing no hope for the future : 
(ironic that the powers that be should decide to create a Library in her name) ; The introduction of severe restrictions

And we are only just beginning to fully reap the seeds she sowed, from housing shortages to a generation of selfish Tory Millionaires who could not give a toss for the likes of the common man.  Indeed one could argue that her reach went far beyond the Tory Party and deep into the Labour Party that has now become the victim of faceless career politicians lacking any sense of Socialist principle, including Blair and his cronies. 

What’s worse is that the expensive near State Funeral, and let’s face it this was a day for  the men of power and the establishment, was planned under Blair!!!  I hope he doesn’t think that he is going to get am similar send off.  

Listening to her apologists attempting to rewrite history for a whole week, comparing her to the likes of Churchill, simply on the basis that she won more Elections and was in power for longer simply turned the tummy, as did all the tears they shed for the Thatcher family, basically constituted of a racist and an alleged illegal arms dealer, and failed African coup financier.  No tears from me.

Enough said, and like the whole of Goldthorpe I was a Dancing on The Grave ………………

And so to the music.

And since I last typed a few words RAE have been behind three promotions.  As part of the “Live At The Trades” programme The East Street Band, despite a technical issue in the first set, played an excellent set of the more popular Bruce Springsteen numbers, and some not so well known.  Front man, or vocalist as I’m sure he would prefer Steve Gascoigne really has his role as “the Boss” well and truly nailed down, and the performance was one of 100% raw energy.

The East Street Band is just one example of a local Band that do not get the full recognition they deserve in their home Town, while making waves all around the outer parameters of South Yorkshire.   There was an excellent turn out at the Venue, despite the two day Prog Rock Festival  that was grinding away at Magna, indeed we provided shelter to one or two frozen refugees.  Much that I welcome big music events to Rotherham the attraction of paying over £120 for two days in sub-zero temperatures is beyond my comprehension no matter how big the Band may have been twenty years ago. 

Supporting the East Street Band we had the fabulous Tom Killner Band.  Such massive talent.  I fear though that the Band will drop into that big hole marked “specialist niche appeal”.  There are just so many absolutely brilliant blues bands playing locally but in my view Tom is a stand out, I just hope that someone recognises the talent and gives him a break.  Check out Tom’s music HERE

One young man, who is currently working extremely hard and making quite a stir both locally and nationally, is John “Lennon” McCullagh.  At only fifteen he is playing some special Gigs from London to Manchester and beyond.  We’ve secured John to appear at the Youth Festival at The Trades on 4th May and we can also announce that amongst many of the hardened semi pros on duty will be Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson; they will be circulating around the Bands throughout the afternoon offering encouragement etc.   You can check John “Lennon” McCullagh’s music HERE

The turnout for the Havana Rocks gig was just a little disappointing, but still nonetheless encouraging in as far as we were featuring three bands performing mainly original music.  Unfortunately Diamond Velocity could not play the night because of bass player problems.  We’ve often commented “show me a bass player and we’ll show you a problem”.  I’m told that the vacancy has been filled and that the Band will be back in full rocking mode for the O2 Academy event. 

So our thanks to Whiskey Spirit for standing in at very short notice, a super band of young musicians playing a mixture of covers and original songs.  The Band are currently making a name for themselves around the pub venues of South Yorkshire and you can see why as their play list bouncy and their delivery is together.   Again our thanks, and the Band will be appearing again at the Youth Festival on May 4th.

The second support Band For Pete’s Sake are another local Band fast making a name for themselves playing their variety of Indie sounding covers and originals.   It was great to see the Band in full set mode I having previously caught them performing at Slamfest.  I hope that I’ll be forgiven for saying that the year has been good for them and that the improvement was noticeable.   They also show that we rockers have nothing to worry about with young Bands like this in Rotherham.   But why take  my word for it?  Why not come along to The Youth Festival where they will be playing on the 4thMay details HERE    And did I mention that some of the performers will have the chance to meet Dr Feelgood who are playing at The Civic on the 4th.   A little Birdie tells me that there are still loads of tickets available for that one. 

Sandwiched between the two Live at The Trades Events, RAE re-launched Acoustic Rotherham – and not before time I say.  Tony at The Bridge in Rotherham hosted putting on a wonderful spread of sandwiches at halftime and Steve Chapman-Smith who provided some expert sound – a class act.

We had a super line up even with poor Dave Kidman wrapped up tightly in his bed.   Del Scott-Miller all the way from Barnsley got the afternoon underway with a really entertaining set of covers and original songs.  Del has already done a warm up slot at a Live At The Trades for us, but this performance I found better and more convincing which I put down to him standing up.   I know we’ll be seeing more of Del in the future, given that his Band are already booked into Slamfest. 

Ian Whitehead has become a bit of an Acoustic Rotherham veteran now and it was fantastic to welcome him back.   He just gets better every time I see him, in terms of his guitar technique, vocals and most of all his very talented song writing.  I know that Ian will be playing some of the Slamfest acoustic stages and may also be spotted on Busking Day on 31st August. 

Sadly this was Mr Phillip Hartley’s final live performance.  What a pity.  He was absolutely brilliant playing through a selection of his best songs.  Phillip   Some might remember that he was for a short time a Masher, but I think the music stand falling off the stage stunt at a Festival was a step too far, even for him.   But don’t you think that he has gone away, oh no, he’s still very much creating music with his “Suphusion”  electronic music project -  you can sample it HERE   Oh his timing – would you believe it?  The performance was all timed nicely, fast songs fast, slow songs slow.  Phillip has been a friend of Acoustic Rotherham from the very start and I’m proud to count him amongst the best of friends, both personally and as key supporter of Acoustic Rotherham.

Our first duo whoops trio of the day was Keystone Acoustic.  I think I’ve got problems but poor Pete was diagnosed with mouth cancer at the end of last year and has undergone some major reconstructive surgery since I last saw him.  And it was great to see him looking in such good health.  And the duo is now a trio as they have been joined by Paul on bass guitar, adding more depth to their music making.  Yes I know, Peter Paul and (Mary) Pam or the three Ps as I was told.   Excellent set as usual and Paul did really well as he was being thrown in at the deep end after only a seven hour tutorial the day before. 

What can one say about the master that is Paul Pearson.  Thirty minutes seemed to fly by as Paul gently guided us along a silky path of song and poetry.   Currently Paul is playing the under card of loads of Festivals across the North and he is not to be missed, especially in solo mode where he excels. 

And then by contrast the day’s sound man Steve Chapman-Smith took to the stage, filling The Bridge with his fantastic deep voice and guitar work.  It was his first Acoustic Rotherham since the demise of the Troubadors.  Since turning solo Steve has been playing the length and width of Yorkshire taking his Americana styled songs to any audience that will listen; is there a Festival poster that his name is not on?   One of the hardest working song smiths on the scene.   

And then a special treat.  Our refugees from the Rock Festival at Magna asked if one of their number could play a few a songs for us.   Always a high risk strategy to allow someone you’ve not heard play, but this is what Acoustic Rotherham is about.  And boy am I glad that we did.   Pete Shaw, apparently well known in the music dives of Blyth produced an amazing performance of his own songs.   I’m really hoping that I can convince him to return and do a full set.

And it was the North East that wrapped the afternoon up as Fools Gold, playing AR for the second time played us out with a set of classic folk songs.   Fools Gold is a super duo with tight harmonies and an interesting range of instruments, including flute, tenor guitar and guitar.  A popular hard working team playing most of the main sessions around the North East.  Our thanks to them for travelling so far to take part in our entertainment.

Yes it was a lovely afternoon and the general opinion was that The Bridge is a brilliant venue.   Most of all though, my personal thanks to everyone who took part.

And talking of The Bridge, I felt privileged to be in on a night when Pocketful of N’owt    A packed Tap Room area (that’s the bit where the Band set up and play) a jammed area around the main door and stairs, and loads of people listening in the main bar area.  You’ve guessed it, The Bridge is not the easiest place for electric Bands to play, and for one that relies upon having the lyrics heard as per Pocketful it must be a near nightmare.   However, the sheer  stage presence of vocalist Mike O’Brian compensates for any limitations offered by the venue, one moment crawling around the floor on his knees, the next dancing on chairs and tables.  Total madness that sells the often hilarious and always clever lyrics.  In a couple of years Pocketful of N’owt have developed into one of the most entertaining acts on the Yorkshire music scene just perhaps it’s time to break out of their South Yorkshire comfort zone.  Just a thought.   If you’ve not seen the Band live yet, watch th July on the Clifton Park Marque Stage.   You can find recordings of their music HERE
out for them at Slamfest on Sunday 7

Providing the support was a good friend of the Acoustic scene in South Yorkshire, and another super song writer Dave Paskell.  Dave's work has a more serious edge to it and based on his Socialist principles linked to his daily experience.   The set provided a great contrast and certainly held the interest of the audience.  More about Dave HERE

And at the end of April The Masher had an outing to The Hatfield in Laughton, a Village just outside of Thurcroft, having been taken there by The Masher Road Crew : Sue and Barrie.  The Folk session at The Hatfield meets fourth Thursday of every Month, and is made of singers and musicians made homeless when The Black Lion at Firbeck decided they no longer wanted a monthly music session. 

Have to admit that I had a great time so thanks to all involved.

You can find all the regular Sessions, monthly and weekly HERE

And that completes Episode 2 of The Missing Blogs.  

So whatever you are doing this weekend, have fun, support your local artists and KEEP IT LIVE AND REAL.