Author Archives: Phil

Surprise Surprise!

….and no, Cilla was not involved.

During our recent gig at The Battle of Trafalgar, a very nice man (hi Smiffy!) came up and said he thought we were great and that two of his friends were getting married and having their reception at the pub. He  thought they would love the band and asked if we would play for a while during the afternoon as a surprise extra wedding present from him. We immediately said yes, and that was yesterdays gig! We were under instructions not to arrive before 4.30 and to get set up as quickly as possible before playing for our usual couple of hours. It all went really well: the bride and groom, Baz and Deena, were certainly surprised and very pleased. Glad you enjoyed it and we were delighted to entertain you and your guests. Everyone was really friendly and helpful making room for us in a crowded space, than dancing away  (especially you, Marge) into the early evening. A lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon. We’ll be back at “The Battle” for a Saturday night gig soon, but until then here’s a video from yesterday shot and provided by Pete Chapman – thanks Pete!

A BIG Thank you… everyone enjoyed the day.

Posted by Pete Chapman on Sunday, 12 August 2018

Next is The Eagle, Arundel on the 24th of August as part of the Arundel Festival. Be there or be square, as they used to say when things were groovy!

All Change Please!

Things have been a little quiet on the news front for the last few weeks as we have been very busy behind the scenes. The previous gigs at The Eagle, Arundel and The Snowdrop in Lewes both went really well and were in fact Dave Martin’s last gigs with the band.

Dave has left the band  for private and personal reasons, it’s been a tough 12 months for him and the whole experience has made him reset his priorities towards family and other things he would like to do. This may seem a little sudden to you, but Dave generously gave us three months’ notice rather than just walking away. We decided not to announce anything back then so that his final gigs with us were fun and he was not constantly answering the “why” question. It also gave us time to find a suitable replacement without pressure. So it’s farewell and thanks for a great four years Dave, your contribution certainly helped to push the band forwards and we wish you nothing but health and happiness with your family. Perhaps you’ll come and sit in with us sometime.

Now for the good news! Back in late June, after a long search, we discovered a gem called Dave Moss. Although younger than all of us he is full of experience. He plays a mean lead guitar, sings really well, and more importantly his name is Dave to save on the paperwork! We all hit it off immediately and within two rehearsals and a lot of homework had pretty much a full set to work with. Rehearsals went really well and he had his debut gig at The Duke of Wellington yesterday: what a great place for him to start! It was a really hot, busy riot of a gig –  a few rough edges but that’s only to be expected first time out: overall a great show and a great debut gig from Dave. One of his mates, Wayne, turned up with his saxophone and joined us for a great version if “Unchain My Heart” – thanks Wayne! We all had loads and loads of fun, everyone was very kind and complimentary afterwards and the “Welly” collection was staggering. Thank you all so much. We do have some audio from the gig and it will be appearing on here soon: keep your eye out (or should that be ear?) for it!

Next up for us is a private function next Saturday  – it’s a surprise for someone! – then the next gig is at The Eagle Arundel, one of our favourites (aren’t they all?) on the 24th August as part of the Arundel Festival. It’s the Friday before the Bank Holiday weekend, so come on down and join the party!

Meanwhile…..

….a lot has happened in a short space of time! Firstly a great party gig at Fudgie’s bistro where everyone had a great time, band and party-goers alike. Lot’s of dancing and lot’s of singing along to some old favourites: it was an outing for the new Sunday Service line up with Roger Harris as Dave was away on a well deserved break so a different set list to our usual one and it seemed to go down very well indeed! Can’t wait for the next Sunday Service gig in July at the Neptune. Have a look at the new “Sunday Service” tab on the front page of the website for details of the Sunday Service line up!

Last night another new venue for us, The Battle of Trafalgar in Portslade. A small but enthusiastic crowd who really enjoyed it and thanks to the people who took the trouble to say how good they thought we were which is always nice and makes it all worthwhile. A big thanks also to Smiffy who insisted on buying us all a pint at the end of the evening – it was well received after a very warm night. A mention too, to the lady who took what must have been a hundred photos of Rob. Haven’t seen any yet on any social media but perhaps she took them just for herself!  It’s been suggested that we would go down well here on a Sunday afternoon so keep an eye on the gig guide. There may be something else in the pipeline too, but I’m sworn to secrecy – ooh, how intriguing!

Saturday saw us at yet another new venue, The Lamb in Lewes. We’ve wanted to play there for quite a while and it certainly didn’t disappoint. By the end of the first set the place was absolutely packed with people having a great time: old folks danced, young folks danced, some folks sang along and it was another one of those great gigs where the energy went back and forth between the band and the audience until everyone was really feeling it. A real roof-raising roaring success. A special mention to the two ladies and two gents who danced from the first song until the last: a real feat considering how hot it was. Didn’t catch your names but I’ll keep a look out for you next time…..which is October!  We have actually been re-booked for two more dates this year, one as I’ve already mentioned in October and then in December just before Christmas. We really can’t wait, I think this is going to become another one of our firm favourites (aren’t they all!).

We have a few weeks off now and then we’re back in early July at three great places, The Neptune in Hove, The Eagle in Arundel and the Snowdrop in Lewes: the first one at the Neptune is a Sunday Service gig, our semi-acoustic line up with Roger Harris on guitar and vocals. All are terrific venues that go out of their way to support live music and well worth a visit, so come along and see us As always, see the gig guide for details!

Isn’t It Great When……

You get a gig at  a local venue and your friends turn out to see you!

We had a really good time at the Rising Sun last Saturday, a lovely warm evening and a lovely warm crowd who clapped and cheered all evening. A smashing venue that we have wanted to play at for some time that’s one of my locals so lot’s of old friends, some I hadn’t seen for quite  a while, came along and made it a very jolly affair indeed. Lots of  compliments about the band which are always a nice thing to hear and give you a nice warm glow inside. Or was that the beer afterwards? Seriously though, as I’ve said before it’s all about you – if you have fun we have fun and that magic circle of good times going around and around turns it into a special night. Thank you all. We’re re-booked for the 6th of October, so do come along and let’s do it all again!

Next up is a Thursday – yes that’s right, Thursday, the 31st of May at Fudgie’s Bistro. It’s a birthday party event but open to the public so if you fancy getting an early start to the weekend come along and join in the fun. Dave is away, so helping us out for the evening on guitar and vocals will be Roger Harris from Fat Charlie and The Archangels. Some different songs and a different vibe as it’s a semi acoustic gig and sure to be a cracker. Make it a date!

Feels Like Summer….

Howdy Folks! Lots of news this time so settle in for a good read! Firstly , another great gig last Friday at Fudgie’s Bistro which is quickly becoming a marvelous little music venue on a Friday night. Hot, sweaty and we were very well received by a great crowd including a few old friends from other bands – thanks guys for coming, it was good to see you – and very well looked after by Julian and his missus who made us most welcome. We played it as a semi acoustic gig and it works really well in this small space, so well that there are one or two of our other venues where we might give it a try! We’re back there on the 31st of May for a birthday party but without Dave as he will be sunning himself in Portugal – mind how you go with the Sherry mate – It’s a Thursday night and although it’s a party the place is open to all so do come along if you fancy a mid-week jolly, it’s sure to be a lively night. We’ve got one of Rob’s mates Roger helping us out and although it won’t be the same without Dave I’m sure we’ll keep you entertained!

The band at Fudgie’s last Friday!

Three more gigs have been added to the Railroad schedule: A new venue – The Battle of Trafalgar in Portslade on the 8th of June, somewhere we have wanted to play for a while, a gig at The Eagle on the 24th August during the Arundel Festival and a return to the Hothampton Arms in Bognor on the 14th of September which is great news. We are especially pleased to be able to join in with the Arundel Festival this year as it’s during our usual holiday period but by a stroke of luck we are all available that night. We are also pleased to announce that The Ranelagh in Kemp Town has re-opened under new management and our gig there in September is being honoured! We can’t wait to get back to such a historic music venue. We only have a few gig slots left this year so we can’t get there any sooner which is a pity but it’s been a good year for us with bookings and the band is going from strength to strength. Long may it continue.

Lastly, we have new project on the go: A Sunday line up! Dave has always kept Sundays as family time which is only right and proper as he has a younger family than the rest of us, but it has meant that we have never been able to play the Sunday afternoon slot that seems to be becoming ever more popular. Rob, Chris and I have enlisted Rob’s mate Roger who is helping us out at Fudgie’s next time and put a set together for Sundays and we’ll see how it goes! The new venture is “Sunday Service” and there will be a separate page for it here on the website so keep your eye’s open!

Well that’s it for now people, two gigs coming up this weekend at two cracking venues that are regulars for us: Friday at The Eagle in Arundel then Saturday at The Neptune in Hove. Hope you can make it to one or other or even both!

Give It some Welly!

A welcome return to The Duke Of Wellington in the delightful Shoreham-by-Sea last Saturday. Proper pub, proper music venue, proper people and an enthusiastic crowd always make for a good gig here, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We were well looked after by the staff (Hi Hannah!) and there were lots of familiar faces in the audience too. We’ve been re-booked for August, so come along and find out why The Welly is one of the best live music venues in the area!

Next up is a return to Fudgie’s Bistro in Hove and our semi acoustic set, a laid back, soak up the atmosphere and chill with a couple of their unusual flavoured shots to help you along kind of a gig. don’t miss it!

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow……

Howdy folks, and what a few weeks it’s been. Three gigs on three weekends and snow on the first and last of them!

First a very welcome return to the Snowdrop, a lovely place to play that never disappoints either band or audience. A typical laid-back Snowdrop ambience that makes you feel good and go home happier than when you went out. Can’t beat it.

Next, the first of two new venues, Fudgie’s Bistro in Hove and a new approach for us – semi acoustic! Chris brought his cajon/snare drum/cymbal kit, Rob his new mini harp amp and Dave his acoustic guitar played through the PA. Nodd McDonagh stepped in for me  and brought a tiny little bass combo for the night. A great stripped back sound that  made for a really intimate atmosphere and suited the venue perfectly. The evening was helped along by a crew of Rob’s workmates who seemed to be rather partial to some of the more interesting varieties of shots on offer! We’re back there again in April for more of the same so if you fancy an evening of great songs played for you rather than at you, in a relaxed and friendly environment this is the place to be.

Last night was the second new venue for us, The Hothampton Arms – “The Hoff” – in Bognor. Lovely place, great space to play and a reasonable turn out despite the weather: More snow! Those that came, and there were quite a few considering the weather, had a really good time and so did we. One of those gigs where the band hit their groove from the off, the audience responded warmly and the whole thing just got better and better through the evening: two encores and still shouting for more. My kind of place! We’ll be back again a couple of times this year – keep an eye on the gig guide for updates.

Finally, a big big thank you to the incomparable Nodd McDonagh for helping us out with the Fudgie’s Bistro gig. Unfortunately I had to miss it due to circumstances beyond my control but it couldn’t have been in a safer pair of hands. Thanks mate.

Well, that’s all for this time except to remind you that we’re at another fantastic live music pub next Saturday, The Duke of Wellington in Shoreham.  Come and join us at as we have a blast at this iconic venue!

 

Normal Service Has been Resumed…..!

Lots of news and lots going on! Firstly we hope you like the new-look website, and the corresponding Facebook page – if you haven’t been there, well you should, really, shouldn’t you. Rude not to. All you have to do is press the button on the front page of the website! The new logo is Rob’s handiwork and is rather smart, don’t you think? New-look T-shirts and mugs (and apparently edible underwear, eh Dave?) are available at ridiculously cheap prices via the “Shop” tab on the site or from the Facebook page too. Look smart, look sharp, and if you turn up to a gig wearing one Rob will buy you a pint. Or shake your hand. Or both. Tell him I said so.

This weekend is the beginning of a five week run of gigs for us and to kick it off we were back at one of our real favourites last night – The Eagle, Arundel – with the whole band together for the first time in what seems like forever and a whole bunch of new songs. Dave is back from his time off recovering, and was on fine form and in great spirits (and humour!). The odd technical issue here and there did not spoil a thoroughly enjoyable gig both for us and for the enthusiastic crowd we’ve come to expect from a place where they really do enjoy their music (and know a great band when they hear one!). Things started a little slowly, but by the second half the place was crammed with people having a good time. Dancing, clapping, cheering, yes there was all those but also singing along, notably to “Tobacco Road” which was really unexpected and made a great evening even better. When the crowd’s happy the band are happy and vice-versa: the love goes backwards and forwards until everyone is smiling and having fun. You really can’t beat it: that’s what live music is all about. We’re back there in April and I’m sure it will be another great night.  Don’t miss it!

Two new gigs on the radar, one soon-ish and one a bit further on in the year, but both new venues for us.  Firstly at The Lamb,  Lewes at the beginning of June and then at the Kings Head, Billingshurst at the end of November – both venues are great places that are renowned for live music and a party atmosphere so they should both be crackers. Those of you who keep asking for “something nearer”  – you know who you are – have no excuses now, get yourself along to one of them and join in the fun!

Next is another great place which last time out was a corker – The lovely and quaint Snowdrop in Lewes, next Saturday. We always get a warm reception here at a very individual pub with it’s own special vibe. If you’ve not been here before, it’s well worth travelling that extra bit just to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the music. Come on down – you won’t be disappointed and it’s charm will grow on you as quickly as it has on us.

Details of all the upcoming gigs can , of course, be found in your ever lovin’, up to the minute, super-duper Gig-Guide!

As it always used to say at the end of the cartoons – That’s All Folks!

And The New Year begins…..

A smashing night at The Ranelagh last Saturday kicked off the New Year with a bang. Things were a little quiet as we set up, and we did wonder how many folks would venture out this early on in January after their NYE celebrations but we needn’t have worried. The place filled up and up as the evening went on, and a very jolly time was had by all. Thanks everyone for coming along, it was good to see familiar faces amongst the audience and several people made a point of telling us they only came out because we were playing which is a real compliment. We are always grateful for your kind words. Thanks to Kayne and the staff for making us most welcome and taking “The Jug” around.  We’re back there later on in the year (but not too much later!) so join us again for a night of great songs and great atmosphere.

Next is the first of our Arundel gigs for this year at the ever popular Eagle and even better, Dave should be back with us! As you may know both he and I have had some health issues over the last year but we are now fighting fit and raring to go. A big thanks to Danny Shayler for helping us out over the last few months, and I’m sure he’ll be making a guest appearance or two over the coming year.  See the Gig Guide for details and come on down to help us celebrate being back together again!

Happy New Year!

…..says it all, really!  We had a great New years eve at The Nep, third year running for us (and we’ll be there this coming NYE too, which is great news). A nice crowd of friends, family, Nep regulars and familiar faces from the Brighton music scene both watchers and players saw the New Year in with us after the usual dancing, singing along, clapping and cheering. You were all very kind and generous with the jug, and the band felt very appreciated. Nights like this it’s a real pleasure to play for you all, and we’d like to say a big thank you for supporting us and supporting live music. We couldn’t do it without you. We hope the new year brings you health, wealth happiness and peace.

The last year has been a real mixed bag for us, my illness, which meant a short notice call to Jim Bryan who helped us out at The Eagle in July – thanks again Jim! and then Dave’s similar illness which led us to look for a long term dep. We were really lucky to find the marvellous and talented Danny Shayler who put a lot of effort into learning the set in a miraculously short time and has covered every gig we needed.  He has settled in to the band really well: we can’t thank him enough. He’ll be at The Ranelagh in January too so do come and see him! We’re hoping Dave will be back early in the coming year once he has recovered from his treatment and we hope to be able to continue with Danny too at times if we can.

As you can see from the Gig Guide, bookings are good for this year already, and we can’t wait to get going! First up is a return to The Ranelagh on the 13th of this month, as usual see the Gig Guide for details.