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These days it seems like my working week continues thru' the weekend and back round to Monday without much of a break. I was all geared up for leisurely drifting over to meet up with Hollowbelly at a country pub on Friday night to see him play for the Panther Owners Club (motorcycle weekend). So on Friday night I go out to pick up some pizzas for the family...get home and Mrs Chickenbone tells me that Mr HB has been on the phones (both land line and mobile) saying he's at the gig but there's no PA provided! I returned the call in "Chickenbone PA Services" mode...threw a load of gear in the back of the trusty Vauxhall and headed off for deepest Worcestershire...via my bass player's gaff to pick up another mic and stand.
All went well..apart from the fact that the pub was busy with people watching the Olympic opening ceremony rather than in the garden listening to the music..but hey ho....I did a few numbers to open with, which was a nice opportunity...I need the practice these days as I'm so busy with making guitars, going to shows and organising gigs and stuff, I don't get too much opportunity to play live....plus we got free tee shirts..many thanks to Dibbo!! Over the past few weeks I must have heard Hollowbelly perform five times - live gigs, festivals and radio shows..and each time I've been very, very impressed...he doesn't just do a gig...he puts on show...there's a serious amount of talent, hard work and dedication that goes into each appearance.
Photo - Hollowbelly
Saturday morning means I'm prepping stuff for my players' workshop...and off to the local church hall at the bottom of the road...very trad, straight out of the 1930s...wooden clad building, maple floor...pretty cool really. Anyhow, I'm pleased to say it was well attended, with some familiar faces and a few new ones..any more and I've had been struggling to cope, it was just right. Ralph Cardall turned up to film the proceedings, so I'll be interested to see how that turns out. We finished the session just before tea-time, so it was back to Chickenbone Towers for tea and coffee in our sunny back garden...while Ralph managed to get me to do another 'to camera' piece of filming. Then a stroll down the road for a well earned pint and a curry at the Purnima Indian restaurant on Bearwood High Street..and off to Stourbridge to see Blackriver Bluesman and Bad Mood Hudson.
The others drove off in convoy while I unpacked my gear from the car and I followed on...as I arrived I saw these two characters leaving the pub...and sure enough it was Jukka and Andy...the main act. I left them to go for a stroll before the gig...seemed like they'd had a horrendous bus trip getting down from Manchester, and then "so much shaking of the hands" in the pub..they needed a bit of peace and calm before going on stage. We were joined by Andy, the HGMC secretary..blimey, hadn't seen him for best part of a year and my brain needed a bit of a kick start for things to click...it's my age you know...The venue was The Maverick, a typical Black Country pub, well known for it's music, opening the evening were Shaggy (no, not that one) and Charlie Brown on acoustic guitar and bass, with a short and lively set..which finished with a great number "They've Given The House Next Door To Britney Spears".
This was the first time I'd seen Blackriver Bluesman and Bad Mood Hudson..what a duo! Loud (but not earsplittingly so)..but definitely dynamic and very, VERY dark and Northern European. Jukka (Blackriver Bluesman) had two Lowebows with him..what a sound!!!... particularly the baritone one, and Andy (Bad Mood Hudson) really showed no mercy on the drums...and their dual vocals over the lead lines of the guitar were knockout.
Another late night..we chilled out for a while after the gig...Jukka was very generous, giving me a copy of their latest CD and a UK tour Tee shirt... it's got Boxstock and the NoTone tour dates on it!!!
So, I can heartily recommend going to see Blackriver Bluesman and Bad Mood Hudson at Boxstock...worth the price of admission alone...you WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!!!