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Aug 112016
 

First of all, sorry it’s been a while, but I thought now was the time to post a little update for you!

July has seen LaVendore Rogue return to the scene after a 6-month hiatus. Lots of things went on behind the scenes, including the appointment of David Rogers as our manager, signing up with French agent, On The Road Again (www.ontheroadagain.eu/), and writing songs for a potential second album. Several of the songs have been publicly aired over the last year anyway, but it’s always good to actually sit down and work these things out!

Our first gig of the summer came at Bures Music Festival. My fifth time there in six years, with five difference line-ups! I was fortunate enough to be asked to open the Friday night of the festival with a 30-minute solo slot before Stevie Nimmo, Alvin Youngblood and Dr Feelgood. All these acts just 15 minutes from my home town – of course I was thrilled to be involved!

LaVendore Rogue’s gig was on the Sunday afternoon, sandwiched between a Stax-soul band and The New Town Kings. Always a little interesting for us to be on the bill with bands people know, as we’re still a bit of an unknown quantity, but nevertheless, we put on a good show, blew away some of the cobwebs and after walking off stage at the end, thanked ourselves for organising five rehearsals leading up to the gig!

Next stop was Upton Blues Festival. JoJo, Cupsey and I played here with Hokie Joint back in 2011 (?) and had a great time then, so we were particularly looking forward to this one. Second on the bill, with just Ainsley Lister left to play after us. We’d spent a long time working out the best set for the festival season, and one of the things we realised from Bures was, we needed some songs people could relate to – especially at gigs that aren’t specifically Blues-based – where the Hokie Joint material we’re playing means nothing to the audience! In preparation for Upton, we had another rehearsal, where we went through many covers, ranging from Johnny Cash to Sam & Dave, and eventually settled for The Rolling Stones, which no member of the band had a problem with! The cover we opted for was “Get Off Of My Cloud” – and judging by the reaction at Upton, it was a good choice!

The gig at Upton was one of the best we’ve done since our formation in 2013 and really cemented the fact that all the hard work has been worth it. Big thank you to everyone who came along and for the fantastic support of this great town!

Since Upton, we’ve covered a few miles…

Jon Amor and I had been booked to play Maryport Blues Festival for almost a year and since then, LaVendore Rogue was also offered a slot (second on the bill again – could make a habit out of this!). One problem – Warren, our keys player, couldn’t make it. After much thought (5 minutes and a phone call), we drafted Jon in to play with us, and be Ronnie to my Keith.

Before we get onto that, Jon and I played at one of our favourite little venues, The Kings Head, Carlisle on the Thursday before the festival. Knowing that the 300+ mile drive is a nightmare and we’re always shattered when we arrive, we decided to stay with our good friend, Matt Briggs in Ashby-de-la-Zouch on the Wednesday night. This broke up the journey into a more manageable 2 x 3 hours, which definitely helps. Thanks to Matt for his hospitality and extensive selection of beers!

So, off to Carlisle on the Thursday lunchtime (after a much needed Wetherspoon’s All Day Brunch). We arrived at the venue, caught up with legendary landlord of The King’s Head, (or The Gaffer’s Napper) and all-round great guy, Mike Vose. Offloaded the gear then went to our accommodation. Different to the last time, which was a Travelodge; we were staying in The Crown & Mitre, in the centre of Carlisle. We were greeted by Denis, who took our bags, gave us a tour of the hotel, including the bar, restaurant and Jacuzzi (!), and then presented us with a complimentary glass of wine each!

We were slightly worried about the weather that evening, as despite the gig being under cover, it was still outside and the rain was creeping in. Turns out we didn’t need to worry – almost a sell-out and two thoroughly enjoyably 40-minute sets, doing our usual thing – some of my songs, some of Jon’s and some covers. A pleasure to share the stage with Mr Amor again. Always enjoyable.

On to the obligatory post-match analysis, which amounts to a few drinks at the bar with Vosey after the gig; we made it back to the hotel around 1am.

The Friday ended up being a day off for the both of us. We were due to play a gig in the fantastically named “Cockermouth”, about 10 minutes from Maryport, but after some discussion with the festival committee, we decided two gigs that close together on back-to-back days would have a negative effect on the gig at Maryport. No bother though, as we knew the festival line-up was strong on the Friday night, so we managed to get our backstage passes sorted for that evening too.

As we arrived at the festival, we bumped into Stevie Nimmo, who was slightly worried that his band was stuck in traffic on the M6, two hours away, and he was due on stage in an hour and a half. It all came good though and they turned up and put on a great show.

We hung out with our good friend, Ian Siegal and his band, for the majority of the evening, chewing the fat, discussing why one shouldn’t leave guitar leads around a full pint glass, when Ian inadvertently knocked over said pint with said guitar lead.

Ian took to the stage and did his thing – still one of my favourites and despite seeing him many times over the past 10 years, he still never fails to impress. His band really is one of the best out there and ask almost any guitarist who the best on the “scene” is and Dusty Ciggaar will probably be the one!

Had a great chat with Stevie Nimmo after his set too, talking guitars, amps, pedals, and generally putting the world to rights, as most musicians do, I think!

A lift back to the hotel, followed by a nightcap at the bar, and then it was on to Saturday.

Jon & I were on stage at 3pm and to be honest, neither of us was sure how the set would go down in a big marquee. The Fisk & Amor Duo is generally a hit in smaller, more intimate venues, so we’re never certain if it will transfer to the bigger stage. After a couple of numbers, we settled in and it all seemed to go to plan. We had to make some big changes to the songs I was singing, as most of them were being played by LaVendore Rogue later on in the day but fortunately with it being a shorter set, it didn’t seem any weaker than the night before.

Halfway through the set I noticed the LaVendore Rogue boys turned up, so that was reassuring, considering they’d left at 10am for the 350 mile trip!

LaVendore Rogue hit the stage at 8pm, ahead of Elkie Brooks, and despite being guitar-heavy in this line-up, everything sounded good from the off. We did our usual set, plus a couple of additional Hokie Joint numbers. Speaking of Hokie Joint, Giles King and his band “Goofa Dust” were playing “the trail”, so we thought it might be a good opportunity to get him up on stage with us for a couple of numbers. Coincidentally, our set ends with 3 Hokie Joint songs – “Back Where We Are Going”, “The Way It Goes…Sometimes” and “Mrs Jones”. We haven’t played “Back…” since Hokie Joint finished, and it was always one of my favourites. To play that with Giles and Jon was a special treat. Giles and I used to throw “Hoax” riffs into this song anyway, so to have Jon up there with us really was the icing on the cake!

The set drew to a close, we had a quick change of clothes, ran over to the merchandise stall and sold the most CDs of the weekend (I was told!)

After a much needed beer or two and a bite to eat, we settled in to watch Elkie Brooks. What a voice. Her version of “Gasoline Alley” was really something special, as well as “Pearl’s a Singer” and “Lilac Wine”.

 

Onto the Sunday…

The relatively early start (for musicians) of 9:30am saw us hit the road for Newark. A drive through the beautiful Lake District on the A66 certainly eased the headaches that had somehow appeared from the night before. We were on our way to another of our favourite venues, The Flying Circus. We arrived at 2:30pm, were greeted by Tony and after unloading our gear, we were quickly whisked off for a Tex-Mex meal at “Amarillo’s” before the gig. We finished our meal 15 minutes before show time, which is never ideal, but we managed to bloat our way through the set with no worries. The slow-release carbs of the fajitas, burgers and nachos must have helped things as the second half of the show certainly picked up. A real contrast to Maryport, but it’s great to play small and sweaty venues like The Flying Circus. I’m starting to believe that a gig is only as good as its audience, and these gigs never fail to disappoint!

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, back doing what we do best.

Next stop, The Convent, Gloucestershire on Friday 12th Aug, The Bullingdon, Oxford on the 13th, and The BlueFunk Club, Poynton on the 14th.

It’s only rock n roll…

 Posted by at 12:40 pm
Sep 042015
 

Well, summer is officially over, the nights are drawing in and the sofa is becoming more appealing again. What is there to look forward to?

I’ll tell you what:

Jon Amor and I are back on the road as of Monday 7th September, for our biggest adventure to date. This time we’re touring in support of the first “Fisk/Amor” release, “Live At The Farm”, which was recorded by Pete Crisp at Blues At The Farm, Barleylands earlier this year. Mixed by yours truly at Hollytree Studios, we’re both really pleased with the results, and can’t wait for you to hear it!

The album will be available on our upcoming tour, which looks like this:

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In addition to this, Jon & I have been nominated for Acoustic Act of the Year in the 2015 British Blues Awards.

On the subject of the British Blues Awards, I was fortunate enough to be nominated for Guitarist of the Year for the fourth time.

My band mates, Stephen “Cupsey” Cutmore and JoJo Burgess have also been nominated in the Drummer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year categories, respectively.

Not forgetting Tim Aves, who was nominated for Best Independent Blues Broadcaster for his show “The Blues Is Back” of SaintFM.

You can see all the finalists here.

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In other news, it’s been great to get back on the road with LaVendore Rogue of late.

The first gig was a long, hot, but thoroughly enjoyable trip to Le Buis, France. We played this festival back in 2012 with Hokie Joint and apart from the fantastic hospitality, the beautiful scenery and the parrot that sang “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, the heat was firmly in our memories.

This year was no different. A 12 hour drive through the UK and France saw us arrive at 3pm, stepping out of the van into a scorching heat similar to that of an oven. I think most of us spent the whole gig trying to dry off, but it was worth it,

Big thanks to Laurent Bourdier and his crew for asking us back, and looking after us so well once again.

The weekend of the Colchester Free Festival we played a rare home-town
gig at a fantastic new establishment, Three Wise Monkeys. A great venue with a lot of potential to attract some serious acts to the area.

We’re off to one of our favourite venues in Essex this weekend (Sat 5th) to play Blues At The Farm, Barleylands. This has always been a great gig, ever since the fresh-faced days of Hokie Joint back in 2007 when we made our first appearance there. We’ve got a couple of new songs and a few old songs we’re looking forward to unleashing on the public.  Kick off is 2pm.

So, until next time, I’m off to refresh my memory of the Fisk/Amor tunes, restring a few guitars and generally enjoy myself!

See you on the other side!

 Posted by at 7:41 am
Jun 042015
 

First of all, I must apologise for the length of time since my last update, but fear not, this bumper news item should make up for that.

I’ll start with LaVendore Rogue – once again, we’ve had the pleasure of working with our favourite music video guru, Drew Cullingham. Drew was responsible for our previous two music videos, “The Way It Goes…Sometimes” with Hokie Joint, and “Gangsters, Thieves & Villains” from LaVendore Rogue’s debut EP.

He was back with us last month to film the official music video for the opening track of our new album, “Light Up With LaVendore Rogue”, which goes by the name of “Dead Man’s Chest”.

The video speaks for itself, but on a personal note, standing at the highest (yet responsible) point of the ship and playing a guitar solo with the wind blowing through my perm/afro/bird’s nest. Turns out, I’m not keen on heights.

Anyway, here it is – “Dead Man’s Chest” from “Light Up With LaVendore Rogue”; available here:

In other LaVendore Rogue news, we’re thrilled to announce that our European bookings will now be taken care of by Bepop Agency, so we’re very much looking forward to hitting the continent again and perhaps picking up where we left off with Hokie Joint all those years ago…

Secondly, Joel Fisk & The Breakdown finally hit the road in April/May, including one gig we recorded at one of our favourite clubs, Blues At The Farm, Barleylands, Essex (www.bluesatthefarm.co.uk)

Pete Crisp was the engineer for the recording, and mixing/producing/mastering was taken care of by yours truly.

We’re toying with releasing it as a limited edition album, but for now, here’s a little taster of one of the tracks, our version of The Rolling Stones’ version of The Temptations’ “Just My Imagination”. Phew.

We’d also like to say a big thank you to Elle Curran for filming three songs from the gig, which have been painstakingly sync’d up with the desk recording.

“2:19” (Tom Waits):

“Travelling Riverside Blues (Robert Johnson):

“Grinnin’ In Yo Face” (Son House):

The second two tracks are available on our album, “The Well”, which can be purchased here:

I’ll see you on the road sometime – lets not leave it so long this time.

Until then…

 Posted by at 1:45 pm
Jan 162015
 

Following the success of our mini tour in August 2014, I’ll be hitting the road again with Jon Amor in a couple of weeks.

This time we’ll be playing more gigs in the south of England, as well as a home town gig for both of us – Devizes for Jon, and Colchester for me.

The songs will no doubt be a little different from last time, but the format will remain the same – we’ll be playing a stripped back, electro-acoustic set of our own songs, as well as some of our favourite covers by artists we share a mutual admiration for.

I’ll also be brushing up on my Alan Partridge quotes over the coming weeks, as, to be honest, I fell short of the mark during the last tour – “Stop getting Partridge wrong!”

It would be great to see a few familiar faces at one (or more) of the shows.

Here are the dates for your diaries:

  • Fri 30th Jan – Platform Tavern, Southampton
  • Sat 31st Jan – The Lamb, Devizes
  • Sun 1st Feb – The Beehive, Swindon
  • Mon 2nd Feb – Haven Club, Oxford
  • Fri 6th Feb – Trent Navigation, Nottingham
  • Sat 7th Feb – Guisborough R’n’B Club
  • Sat 21st Feb – Blues At The Farm, Billericay (2pm)
  • Sat 21st Feb – The Soundhouse, The Bull, Colchester (9pm)
  • Sun 22nd Feb – Broadstairs Blues Bash

I’ll also have copies of “The Well” by Joel Fisk & The Breakdown, which features Jon on a couple of tracks, so this will be your first opportunity to pick one up. Maybe we’ll sign it for you too…

See you on the other side – “Aha!”

 Posted by at 10:13 am
Nov 032014
 

Apologies for being a bit quiet over here recently, but I’ve been working behind the scenes on mixing the full debut LaVendore Rogue album.  We’ve assigned the expertise of Chris West, an experienced engineer/producer who has worked with the likes of Nick Cave, Richard Ashcroft and Status Quo to name but a few.

As always, mixing an album takes longer than one initially hopes, but I’m confident in saying the results will be worth the wait.  We’re hoping to put the album out early next year to tie in with some high profile gigs on the British Blues Scene, but we’ll keep you posted in the mean time.

Keep an eye out on www.LaVendoreRogue.com for news and updates.

As I write this, I’m looking at my diary for November, and it looks to be a busy one.  I’m off to Farnham Maltings with Tim Aves & Wolfpack on Thursday, then I’m back at Blues At The Farm, Barleylands on Saturday 8th, with the same band. This is my third appearance there in as many months, so once we’ve moved my bed and TV out of the way, there’ll be room for the band on stage.

I always love playing this club. Ever since the first time I played there with Hokie Joint, 6 or 7 years ago, its one of those places I love going back to. A 2pm start, blacked out windows and cheap drinks means the Saturday night crowd generally make an early start, and have always been very accepting of anything I’ve been involved in, whether that’s Hokie Joint, Tim Aves & Wolfpack, LaVendore Rogue or The Struck Bats. There may even be a special treat down there next year, so keep your eyes peeled…

Saturday night I’ll be returning to The Red Lion, Manningtree; a lovely intimate upstairs venue where I supported the wonderful Stephen Fearing last year.  This year I’ll be supporting legendary Boogie Woogie pianist, Ben Waters. I’ve seen Ben a couple of times before, most memorably when he joined Charlie Watts’ “The A, B, C and D of Boogie Woogie” at The High Barn, Gt Bardfield a few years back. Having met all of the band, I can vouch for the fact they’re a wonderful bunch.

I’m really looking forward to unleashing what will hopefully be a well-crafted set of acoustic Blues on Saturday.
Unfortunately, for those who don’t have a ticket, the gig is sold out, so you’ll have to take my word for how well it goes!

In between performing these gigs, and working on the LVR album, I’ve been recording with Struck Bat and Swamp Cat, Geoff Johnson. We’ve put together what was originally intended to be a showcase reel of material, but we like it so much we may even release it as a special edition (only available on tour) CD. It includes some originals, some Delta Blues and some of our favourite covers.

The weekend of the 14th. 15th and 16th November will see me playing 3 gigs with 3 different bands…always a test for the memory! Friday 14th is a special gig for us, in at Jardines, Braintree, Essex, where LaVendore Rogue are sharing the bill with Blues Rock band Roadhouse. This is one of the few gigs we do this close to home, and tickets are still available, so please continue to support live music in this venue, which is organized by Nick Garner. Ticket info can be found here.

Saturday 15th will see The Struck Bats hit the stage at The Spread Eagle, Ipswich. A great little pub with a receptive audience, and one we always look forward to. We’ll be kicking off at 9pm.

Finally, Sunday 16th I’ll be playing at The Skinner’s Arms in Manningtree, at 4pm. Looking forward to playing this venue, as it’s a new one for me. An intimate afternoon/evening gig of acoustic Blues, Country and some of my favourite covers.

I’ll keep you updated with what else is going on later in the month.

Thanks for reading!

 Posted by at 12:23 pm
Aug 132014
 

The Engine RoomAs I write this latest blog entry, I’m surrounded by microphones, lyrics, chord charts and cups of tea. This is all down to the fact I’m embarking on my busiest period as a musician yet. Starting this weekend, I’ll be playing nine gigs in ten days with 4 different bands. To say I’m looking forward to this is a bit of an understatement.

Joel Fisk & Jon Amor Electro Acoustic DuoSo, here’s what’s happening: On Saturday night, I’ll be playing a solo gig at the wonderful Alehouse in Chelmsford. Sunday lunchtime, I am expecting the arrival of one of my favorite guitarists to ever emerge from the British Blues scene, in the form of Jon Amor. Jon and I have arranged to do some gigs together after taking part in the world famous jam session at Scarborough Top Secret Blues Festival earlier this year. We’ve known each other for a few years, but our paths have only crossed a couple of times. It appears we share the same interests in music, food and television, and I have been warned by Jon that this mini-tour may end up being a re-write of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s “The Trip”, only slightly less glamorous than Italy. Suits me!

We kick off of 6pm on Sunday 17th at The Pub in Braintree. A new venue to me, despite the fact it’s only 20 minutes down the road. Monday we’re off to one of my favorite local pubs, The Spread Eagle, Ipswich, where we’ll be making some noise from 9pm. I’m hoping to see some familiar faces at this gig, supporting the pub and live music in general.

Tuesday we’re off up north to Guisborough, where we’re playing the RnB Club. I played there a few years ago with Hokie Joint, so I’m looking forward to returning to what I remember being a great venue.

Then we’re on to Carlisle to play The Kings Head on the Wednesday. This wraps up the mini-tour – I don’t think either of us know what’s going to happen, except that we’ll have a great time!

If you can call a six hour drive a day off, then that’s what Thursday is.

Never Saw ChesterFriday I’ll be at Round Midnight Jazz & Blues, Islington for the album launch of Tim Aves & Wolfpack. Having spent over a year recording and mixing our second album, “Never Saw Chester”, it’s going to be great to release it, and where better to do it than at one of the best London venues.

I can’t tell you much about Saturday, other than The Struck Bats are playing a private party. Our first gig with new recruit Geoff Johnson.

Sunday I’ll be returning to my local, The Fat Cat, Colchester, where I’ll be playing a solo set at 5pm. I love playing at this pub – great atmosphere, great beer, and walking distance (it’d be rude not to pick the car up in the morning…).

Finally, Monday I’m making a rare appearance near my home town, at The Star, Wenhaston – there’s a beer festival going on, and I’m the entertainment!

If you can make it to any of these gigs, it’d be great to see you – no doubt I’ll be detailing the events as they unfold, so watch this space!

See you on the other side!

 Posted by at 5:38 pm
Aug 042014
 

LaVendore Rogue, Maryport Blues Festival,­ Saturday 26th July 2014So, Maryport…it’s been a while.

Saturday 26th July saw us head up to Maryport in Cumbria for the first time since we played there with Hokie Joint 3 years ago.

A lot has changed for both the festival and ourselves since the day we warmed the crowd up for Canned Heat and Robert Cray, then were interviewed for BBC Radio 2.

I was slightly nervous about this one. Will the audience “get it”? Will they be expecting something similar to Hokie Joint? Are we even “Blues” any more? The answer to the latter is no.

We set off at 9am, heading from South East to North West. I’d forgotten quite how far Maryport is from Essex.

Nevertheless, after smooth journey, with highlights including 7 hours of moaning about the heat from Warren, seeing a camel and some ostriches next to the A1 and everyone being pleasantly positive about the mixes I’d done of the new album, we arrived.

The site has changed since we played there last, but the faces were the same. A great team runs Maryport Blues Festival, and that’s something that has always been the case. Debra and her crew were absolute stars.

First things first, we were shown where the beer was, and told to pour our own, which mean the first 3 or 4 ended p as 90% froth and 10% beer. Practice makes perfect though, and by the 5th, we’d nailed it. I must add, they were only in half-pint measures!

Our set was preceded by The Deluxe and Laurence Jones. Both went down well.

We hit the stage at 6:45pm, opening with “The Maze”, “Honey Murder” and “Come Over”. These three have fallen into place as a good opening trio.

The crowd were appreciative, but not as “wild” as we’d have hoped initially. There was a feeling of “come on then, impress us”. After the fourth song, “Dead Man’s Chest”, which we’d moved to earlier in the set, the crowd seemed suitably impressed, and a lot more relaxed, which had the same effect on us. From there on, it was one of those shows where everything went right. JoJo was on top form at his front man duties: “’Ow ya doin? Oright?!”

Cupsey, Warren and Tank played a blinder, and things just seemed to go to plan. The more we played, the louder the crowd became, and all of a sudden, our 80 minute set was over. Time flies when you’re having fun.

From my point of view, this was the first gig we’ve done where the crowd properly “got it”. They knew where we were coming from, and what we were trying to achieve. It’s certainly not Blues, and almost impossible to label, which is why we’ve heard “Indie”, “Southern Rock” and even “Soft Rock” (ahem) thrown at the band. Whatever it was, Maryport enjoyed it, and this was confirmed when the queue for CDs after the gig stretched almost the length of the tent.

The rest of the evening was spend perfecting our beer pouring technique whilst enjoying the wonderful voice of Layla Zoe, followed by the great CoCo Montoya.

On behalf of the band, I’d like to say a big thank to everyone involved in the festival, from the organizers, stage crew, sound guys and chef, to the fantastic audience. It was great to be back, and great to be “good” again!

See you next time!

Photos by Jan Fialkowsk

Videos by Christine Moore:
Gangsters, Thieves & Villains
Come Over

Review by Rosy Greer from the Lancashire Blues Archive:

LaVendore Rogue – Now for something completely different!  Some old faces under a new name, from the Colchester area, ‘LaVendore Rogue’ have emerged from the ashes of a Maryport favourite, ‘Hokie Joint’, with three of the previous members holding court. What a brilliantly put together set, certainly not a traditional blues band, they have opted for a more melodic approach leaning towards soft rock… but you really can’t put these guys in any ‘box’ as their music is LaVendore Rogue and speaks for its self. They went down a storm in the marquee with people queuing halfway to the back to buy their current EP. A new album is soon to be released so I’m looking forward to that. They gave a flamboyant performance with JoJo Burgess strutting his stuff and giving out fantastic vocal arrangements, aided by Joel Fisk who also played some ‘mean’ guitar. Stephen ‘Cupsey’ Cutmore continued to keep the rhythm in check on drums along with new boys Rob ‘Tank’ Barry on bass and Warren Lynn on keys. A brilliant band and if you like something a bit different, catch them if you can! http://lavendorerogue.com/ *Recommended

 Posted by at 9:59 am
Jul 252014
 

Tim Aves & Wolfpack @ Ealing Blues Festival - 20/07/14Following on from LaVendore Rogue’s gig at Chiddfest on Saturday, it was a quick get-up-and-go on Sunday.

After a healthy breakfast (I’m sure) I hit the road.

Arrived in Ealing at 3pm after a surprisingly smooth ride into London, I began unloading the gear (3 trips from the road to the venue with a sack barrow).

Once again, it was a HOT day. We arrived in time to catch “Hat Fitz & Cara”, who I’m ashamed to admit I hadn’t heard of before, but will be hearing a lot more of them in the future. A great duo with a unique take on the blues. Check them out.

We were on stage at 5pm. Pumped up, for what was probably the biggest gig we’ve done in this line up. So pumped up in fact,  during my first guitar solo of the set in “Robert Johnson’s Shoes”, Tim managed to fall backwards over a monitor, yet somehow remain unscathed and avoid destroying the drum kit, bass rig, Gibson Firebird round his neck, and his 2 new hips. A lucky (yet utterly hysterical) escape!

We composed ourselves, shared the odd joke about it throughout the set, and carried on with our business.

We played well. Paul Lester and Tank kept the whole thing under control (one of the best rhythm sections in the country), Tim prowled the stage like something possessed, and I was taken back to the days of big festivals in Europe with Hokie Joint a few years ago, so the on-stage movements were plenty.

The crowd were fantastic – I specifically remember during the slow blues in the set (“Fulltime Lover” by The Fabulous Thunderbirds), that a group of young folks in the audience cheers, whooped and hollered after every phrase I played. Great stuff.

The show was a great success. Plenty of CDs sold, and a chance to do a couple of radio interviews afterwards to talk about the gig and drum up publicity for the release of our second album, “Never Saw Chester” next month (watch this space for more details).

Luckily, someone filmed the whole of the gig, in 3 parts, which you can see here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

As well as some of fantastic photos from Ken Ansted and Chris Cooper.

 Posted by at 12:42 pm
Jul 252014
 

LaVendore Rogue @ Chiddfest – 19/07/14Saturday 19th July we headed down to the slightly unknown quantity of Chiddfest, in Sussex, somewhere near Eastbourne (I think!)

This was the first gig for LaVendore Rogue booked through our agent, Mike Hellier, of Movin’ Music, so we knew it was going to be a good one.

We set off early, after several coffees on the doorstep with JoJo and our better halves, and arrived in good time. No traffic issues this time, and no “short cuts” through Guildford, which happened the last time we were down in Sussex.

Having assessed the situation (beer tent/burger van/stage/back stage area), introduced ourselves to Mark Prentice, the organizer, then settled down for a cold beer with Rosco Levee and Sara Ransom. Having seen Rosco Levee & The Southern Slide at Broadstairs Blues Bash earlier in the year, it was great to catch up with them and share our love of good music, and vinyl. We’ll touch upon vinyl at a later date, but all of a sudden, it seems to be the future!

We were due on stage at 5:45pm, but after a few problems with Warren’s keyboard monitor (mainly that it didn’t work), we finally opened the cage at 5:55pm. It was HOT. In more ways than one. It was noted that I wasn’t having the best time up there due to some on-stage mix problems, but after a couple of songs of trying to get the sound man’s attention, I just though “it’s only rock n roll”, and just played.

We went down well, played great, and sold plenty of CDs.

After clearing our gear away, we hit the beer tent, checked out Rosco Levee & The Southern Slide (who were fantastic – raw, groovy and great songs), then had our dinner. Cooked while we waited by a great chef (his name unfortunately escapes me). I had soup, salmon and Eton mess. Lovely stuff.

We hit the road at 10pm, discussing the show on the way back, and arrived home at approximately 1am.

For me, Chiddfest has the potential to be a fantastic festival. Considering this was the first one, I’d say it’s already there.

Mark Prentice – we look forward to seeing you again sometime!

Photos by Sarah Reeve here

LaVendore Rogue @ Chiddfest – 19/07/14

 Posted by at 11:12 am
Jul 252014
 

LaVendore Rogue @ Bures Music FestivalSo…Bures Music Festival has been like a home to me for the last 3 years – In 2012 I played there with Hokie Joint, and was interviewed for BBC regional news. 2013 I performed with The Struck Bats (Cupsey , Tank and myself), which included a guest spot from JoJo Burgess, and a debut of 3 LaVendore Rogue tracks.

This year, it was the turn of LaVendore Rogue in its entirety. An hour of new material, warming the crowd up for Henry Padovani and The Pretty Things. Yes, The Pretty Things. You know, the band that were around when The Rolling Stones were first starting out, all those years ago.

To say I was excited about performing before them was an understatement.

Cupsey, on the other hand, was like a kid in a sweet shop. A great thing to witness!

We kicked of at 7:30pm for an hour. Having finally sorted our “festival” setlist out (which roughly translated means ‘let’s drop most of the miserable songs and allow people to enjoy themselves), we received a great reaction from the crowd. Many said it was the best performance we’d done during our 3 year stint at Bures Music Festival.

After missing the majority of Henry Padovani’s set due to clearing away our gear and stuffing our faces with free burgers and chilli, we settled in for The Pretty Things.

In all honesty, I had no idea what to expect. Would they be a group of has-beens who would be wheeled on and wheeled off? Nope. They still had it.

Dick Taylor was a force of nature, and Phil May still had all the moves.

The highlight of the evening for me was when we sat around drinking with them all after the gig, hearing Phil tell tales from Carnaby Street and Tin Pan Alley in the early 60s. Names flying everywhere – Eric Clapton this, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards that. Fantastic stuff.

I also got talking to Dick, who was playing the same light blue Hofner Verythin as I do. Great to meet another Hofner artist on the road and share our love of this great guitar manufacturer.

What a thoroughly nice bunch of chaps, and a wonderful evening to boot.

Thanks to Tom Moore, James Payze, Claire Ashby and Nigel Woodmason for the hospitality, and here’s to many more Bures Music Festivals!

 Posted by at 10:48 am