Nicked!

Here is my recreation of a TV series theme tune from the 70s (UK). This was a great series, way ahead of it’s time. Now, don’t mention the name of the series…..but tell me how many seconds it took you to sus it, and leave me a line from the series in the comments box!

Boxing Day Jazz n Blues

Last Boxing Day’s Jazz n Blues session was the last ever one run by me. I’d been running the monthly sessions for 5 years. It was becoming very time consuming, I felt I’d done my bit and it was time to quit. Boxing day was the Grande Finale. I stood there and told the packed house that this was the last one. I even had special souvenir posters done.

Some other musicians decided to take it on, and after a shaky start the sessions continued. But then when it comes to Boxing Day this year, they can’t do it……and can I help out because they don’t want to let people down!!!

Boxing Day Jazz n Blues

 So I did it! Pulled it together in a short space of time. Invited some top musos. On the day the place was packed, standing room only. We had a great time. Never say never eh? 🙂

A couple of people over on FB asked me what kind of stuff we play. Here’s a copy of the set-list from the day. As you can see, it’s a real mix, and some of it not strictly Jazz or Blues. Well that’s OK because we are there to have fun. Jazz is a big umbrella! 🙂

Bennettis Jazz n Blues set list

If you’re in the area next Boxing Day, then……. 🙂

Jazz n Blues Club July Session

Jazz n Blues Club July 2017 session

Here is the ‘hit list’ for this months session at the Soleil Couchant.

You do Something to Me – Paul Weller – Em
Steamy Widndows – E
12 bar in – E
Groovy Kind of Love – A
Too Rolling Stoned – Robin Trower – Cm
Rock Steady – Bad Company – Am
Tequilla – F
Stella by Starlight
Yeh Yeh – Georgie Fame – Eb
Time is Tight – Booker T – C
Superstition/Oh Well – E
Hey Jude – Beatles – C
Phone Booth – Robert Cray – Am
Georgia – F
30 Years of Tears – John Hiatt – G
Like A Rolling Stone – Dob Dylan – C
All Night Long – Warren Zevon – E
That’s All (Denomination Blues) – E
Whiter Shade of Pale – G
Brown Eyed Girl – G
Drift Away – G

A visit from Supawal

Supawal my brother was over for a visit last weekend. We had a great weekend. No cycling, but plenty of beer and music. Here’s a couple of compositions that we put together….I hope you like them.

Funk 15, from an original idea by Supawal with Tim Bragg on Flute, and Serge Baudot on Bass….

F NIK2 with Supawal on Drums, Dave Purple on harmonica and bottleneck guitar. From and original idea by stratobiker :-)….

UK MTB Golden era….???

MTB Golden Era

Was there a golden era in UK MTBing? Shane Lawton thinks so. He started a facebook group and invited people to post their memories, and pictures. It’s really taken off, and so many names from the past have joined in.

Here’s Shane’s description…..

“Welcome to this community page for middle aged and old gits that want to back pedal in time! If you love shiny purple parts, white tyres and Etto helmets your in the right group…neon lycra is mandatory. If not, please vacate!
This is a page for everyone passionate about the old school in UK mtb from former pro riders, team staff, media and plain crazy enthusiasts. “

You’ll find the group page here.

Take a ride down memory trail! 🙂

A new watch!

watches

I had to buy a new watch, because old faithful, pictured centre, deceased. Old faithful was in her turn a replacement for my original ‘old faithful’, pictured left.
So, from left to right….

  • Old Faithful 1 – Bought in 1975 while working on the construction of the Thames Barrier in London. I was a diver, did I ever tell you that? She bears the scars of those days. She even has burn marks on her glass from working with oxy-arc cutting gear. I lost her once while working in Scotland on the ill fated McAlpines sea tank. That’s a story in itself!
  • Old Faithful 2 – A £49 bargain bought in 1983 as a replacement for Old Faithful 1. She went on to give 32 years service.
  • My new watch – Sadly. both Old Faithfuls have stopped and are beyond repair. I sent them to Seiko.co.uk service department who couldn’t fix them. but offered me a replacement at a very attractive price. I chose the one from the current range that looked the closest to what I had. Big, chunky, robust, and easy to read.

So there you have it…..40 years of watches. Time to go….l8trs 🙂

A 3 gig week!

3 in a row!

Three gigs, three different line-ups, three different sets!
1. Thursday 25th June @ the Soleil Couchant. Bennetti’s Jazz n Blues Club.
Playing outside on the terrace, a mix of Jazz n Blues, with a mix of musicians. We’ll be playing all sorts, and it should be a great night.
2. Saturday 27th June @ Nuit en Fete Exideuil. The Sugaree Band. The new band, but missing the other new guitarist as he can’t make it!!! We’ll be playing opposite the Rivage Restaurant at the top of the town from 9pm. 3eme Div, a French punk band are on before us, and Je Dis Jazz, an ex-pat Jazz band are on after us. There’s fireworks at midnight, and festival happenings throughout the evening.
3. Sunday 28th June @ La Charrette, Benest. Jazz a la Carte, playing on the terrace from 2pm. Jazz a la Carte is the Jazz trio that I joined. There’s Lynn Garner (vocals), Brad Lang (bass, vocals), and me on guitar. I joined them a little while ago. Didn’t want to mention it too soon in case I couldn’t cut it. Lynn and Brad are fabulous pro’ musicians, it’s a real treat for me to play with them.

Then top all that off with a party on Sunday night at a musician friend’s house……the life of Riley eh?

A Ride South To La Rochelle

I love to encourage bikers (motorized or otherwise) to take the time to explore France; it’s so varied and much of it is incredibly beautiful. The food is (of course) wonderful, and the country is generally extremely friendly for two-wheeled types. Here’s a round trip idea from Calais to La Rochelle, passing through some amazing spots. The quickest route is just under 700km, but venturing off the main roads will both save money in tolls and allow you to see some stupendous sights.

Why La Rochelle?

The ancient port of La Rochelle is a great destination, with brilliant nightlife including a variety of seafood restaurants, buzzing bars and a decent casino. If you’re new to the pleasures of the roulette and blackjack tables, it’s not a bad idea to practice first; French folks tend to be pretty good at it! Playing for free online is a good way to get your head round the rules. Choose a trusted site – http://www.jackpotcity.org for example – and you’re good to go.

Rouen

If you’re arriving in Calais late, it’s not a bad idea to book a hotel before you arrive, especially in high season. For those unused to driving on the right, learning the ropes in the dark is not such a great idea! Otherwise, our first port of call (OK, so it’s not actually a port) is going to be Rouen, 215km to the south via the A28. Most people’s highlight is the cathedral, at which it’s possible to stare in awe for hours, despite the fact that quite a lot of it has been restored since the last war.

Rouen is a great spot for a leisurely lunch; take a wander around the old town and see the half-timbered buildings that survive on most streets, then try the fixed-price lunch menu at Pascaline on the rue de la Poterne. Delicious, typically French bistro grub at reasonable prices.

Le Mans

Next we head towards Le Mans, where race fans can visit the Bugatti Circuit which has played host to the French Moto GP, as well as actually riding on the public-road parts of the Circuit De La Sarthe (the more famous track). That’s not all there is to see in Le Mans though; there’s plenty of history in the town, including Roman baths and a beautiful old town known as the Cité Plantagenêt. Le Mans is 210-odd kilometres from Rouen; the E402 passes through the Forêt d’Écouves, an important site for cycling events including the Trans Écouves, held in September.

La Rochelle

The final stretch to La Rochelle is around 275km, so you may want to stay in or near Le Mans overnight; there are plenty of stopping points along the A11 southwards though, including Angers with its amazing, striped city walls, and the 850-year-old Tour St Aubin.

If you’ve had a typical Northern France shower (or downpour) to contend with earlier in the trip, the glowing sunlight of La Rochelle will raise your spirits. Accommodation-wise, it’s possible to camp in the summer, or there’s a selection of decent 2-star hotels from under €50, depending on when you go. Wander around the historic arcades and pick somewhere for dinner; Bistrot Remi Masse is just one of many great seafood spots, on rue St Jean du Perot. After a few liveners you may well start to feel like a trip to Casino Barriere – it’s at 15 allée du Mail. Good luck!