GIG REPORTS 2021
Rogers personal view of the gigs he has
Snake Davis in session
Saturday 24th August 2021
We visited Ripley Blues Club to see Snake Davis performing.
This was the excuse for a special two hundred and twenty
mile trip up to Harrogate to see friends Peter & Renee and Mark &
Annette, and to support Renee's charity - The Yorkshire Parkinsons
Disease Society. Renee is unlucky enough to have both Parkinsons
and Multiple Sclerosis and is now confined to a wheelchair with a
deformed back and continual shakes, but there is nothing wrong with her
brain, and her reducing physical abilities don't stop her working hard
money and awareness for the society. The gig we drove all that way to
attend at Ripley Live Music Club
was organised by Renee to raise money for her charity. Snake
Davis is a well known session musician; his principle
instrument is the saxophone, but he also plays flute and whistle and a
strange Japanese flute made of bamboo with only four holes.
Ripley's own "District Blues"
|The guitarist (Richard)
was excellent, and obviously very in tune with
Snake's own vibes - some of the pieces they played
gelled brilliantly as if they were a single performer. The drummer was
also very good - immaculate timing and a broad range of styles -
including playing a large tabor like drum to accompany
Snake on a penny whistle for an Irish jig. The bass
guitarist was mind blowing. He wielded a huge six string bass guitar,
which he played sitting on a low pedestal, not quite cross legged, but
almost in sitar fashion. He produced a mind blowing array of complex
rhythms and tunes, slapping as well as plucking and strumming. I have
never seen such a versatile bassist - the music ranged from a quiet
Japanese study called Mount Fuji Rising (Snake
played his bamboo Japanese flute for this one) through European rhythms
to complex reggae and samba. Snake
himself was extremely versatile - as well as playing his Irish penny whistle and
Japanese flute he had three Saxophones. His pedigree as a session
musician is great. According to his Wikipedia entry he has
backed Ray Charles as well as Lisa
Stansfield, Tom Jones, George
Michael, Tina Turner, Cher, Paul
McCartney, and even Motörhead
as well as many others.
His singing voice is good too and he can carry a tune. He evidently had
a taste for sixties soul music and had the audience singing along to
numbers like Respect and My Girl.
Overall it was a brilliant evening, thanks to Renee and her drive to raise money for the support of Parkinsons Disease victims.
Saturday 26th June 2021
We walked to The Newtown Pippin pub with friends and neighbours to see James Deane performing again.
in the evening we collected neighbours Paul & Helen, Paul & Liz and
Mark to walk the half mile up the road to The Newtown Pippin. Until a
few months ago this had been a dreadful place full of fights and drug
peddlers, but Simon & Vicky took it over during the last Covid lockdown,
evicted the bad guys, and have turned it into a real local amenity.
Unfortunately the bad guys didn't appreciate being evicted. On the first
night after eviction they came back in the early hours and smashed the
pub windows. These were replaced a few weeks ago, but they came back
again this week - disabled the CCTV security and smashed the new
windows. Neither event is covered by insurance, so we are starting a
neighbourhood fund to help fix the damage. The seven of us we
were soon joined by a friend of Helen's named Chris; and by
Nikki, our immediate next door neighbour. Fran and I were excited to
celebrate because it was the anniversary (the fifty third anniversary)
of us first being introduced; and Nikki was excited because she had just
got an engagement ring from her partner Tadhg. Simon, the
landlord, had reserved us a big table right at the front, and we all
indulged in pizzas or other Saturday evening nibbles. Paul & Liz
bought us a bottle of Prosecco to celebrate our anniversary and then the
music got underway.
Ray Phillips with Five Card Hand
Sunday 30th May 2021
I travelled all the way to Northchapel, to The Half Moon pub, to see my first band gig in nine whole months! It was Chris Bryant's band, Five Card Hand.
On Sunday I drove down to The Half Moon pub at
Northchapel to see my friends who play in a band called
Five Card Hand. It was an outdoor
pub gig with a barbecue going in a corner of the car park and - somewhat
strangely - a meeting of the Fiat Car Club going on in
another corner. Fran wasn't feeling too good so I left her at home
and headed off to find Spud,
usually plays drums in Five Card Hand.
He had broken his foot some weeks ago and still has it in a cast - no
good for drumming - so I had planned to pick him up and take him to the
gig as an "observer". Unfortunately he had got the wrong date and was
out when I called - so I ended up driving down to Northchapel alone. The
drummer who was deputising was Rob Collins.
whom I have seen on several other occasions; a good guy with a steady
beat, and a much quieter attack than Spud
members of the band were our friends Chris
Bryant on first lead guitar and vocals;
Colin Pattenden on bass guitar;
Ken Osborn on second lead
Ray Phillips on lead vocals.
The weather was glorious - just right for an outdoor gig. When I arrived
I found - as well as the band - the "WAG"s Jacky, Sarah-Jane & Mel plus
friends Mike & Anne Connor and Ray Stiles. It was very satisfying to
catch up with old friends whom I haven't seen very much at all for
almost eighteen months. When the band started I managed to video the
first three numbers - Five Card Hand, Rock Me Baby, and
Nadine - but when Adam Russell
arrived I broke off recording to chat with him. I haven't seen
Adam for ages and he has been
unlucky enough to be one of those rare cases who suffered with a blood
clot after his Covid injection - so I was pleased to see that he looked
in good shape after his pulmonary thrombosis. One of the numbers which I
failed to record, but wish that I had, was All Along The Watchtower.
I have five different recorded versions of that by
Ray in my record collection. The first version was
originally recorded by The Nashville Teens
six months before Jimi Hendrix
recorded his seminal (and suspiciously similar) version. I was amazed
because in over twenty five years of managing his band I had never heard
him sing it live before. It was very good and very moving. The first set
ended around four o'clock and I decided that I really ought to get back
to make sure that Fran was OK, so I bade farewell and missed the second
set. Never the less it was a fantastic experience to get back to live
music with good friends.
Sunday 30th May 2021
We walked to The Newtown Pippin pub in Bracknell to hear James Deane performing.
Friday 30th May 2021 was our first outing to enjoy live
music since Sunday 30th August 2020. That is nine whole months -
longer than we had to go without live entertainment during the first
lock down. We met with neighbours Paul & Helen and Paul & Liz to walk
the half mile to the Newtown Pippin pub. Liz stayed with
us for the first half hour before she had to go to a prior appointment,
but the other five of us ate pizzas and drank far too much while waiting
for the act - James Deane -
to set up and start. As well as being the first of their projected
monthly music nights at The Pippin, it was also the grand
opening of their new main bar. James'
is a young singer/guitarist from Farnham who commands a very broad
spectrum of musical styles. When I chatted with him afterwards he
proclaimed that his real love was British Blues and the likes of the
late Peter Green. In fact he
even played (extremely professionally) a little bit of Albatross,
even though that was hardly likely to hold the attention of a
twenty-first century pub crowd. The bar was full and
James entertained them from eight o'clock through until
half past eleven, almost non-stop. He delivered mainly relatively
current songs and popular eighties/nineties/noughties songs especially
those that the audience could sing along with - but with a few real
oldies thrown in for the likes of me. One part which was extremely
moving for me was when James
played Delilah. The audience sang along a la
Tom Jones - but
coincidentally that very morning - 30th May 2021 - had been the funeral
of Barry Mason, who wrote the
song. I didn't know Barry
well, but had met him a couple of times and I suppose it was quite a
tribute. James is a very
talented musician; he has a
reasonable voice, able to carry a tune well; and is a very adept
guitarist, aided with some pedal driven looping. Apparently he also has
a full band as well as appearing solo, and he told me that he also
composes music, but plays that with his band rather than his solo gigs.
I look forward to seeing / hearing him again soon.