news & views - blog of an alien

october 2017

"The castlegate - grantham"

our first visit here co-incided with a funeral and night wake that culminated in a very sombre evening and although the audience were sparse as a resut the energy levels were fantastic. This time we had something to proove and cam out all guns blaxing with e first set to die for ! The pub was full, the beers flowing and the crowd leaping about and going bonkers. We were all feeling great at the break and had some new tracks for the second half and a couple of tricks up our sleeve for the final encores as we knew that as a town cntre pub there was a strict curfew - what we didnt plan for was one of the crowd missing his step and falling down the few steps onto the concrete floor and smashing his head leaving him unconscious. We played on as people tried to get him to his feet but after 45 secondes or so it was obvious he was still unconscious so we stopped playing as an ambulance and first responders were called to his aid. 45 mins later and he was in an ambulance on his way to hospital. we had 15 mins left before curfew so rolled out 'run to the hills', 'slither' and new track 'Paradise city' to round off what had promised to be a great second half and turned out to be a an anti climax - we will not be beaten and have agrred with Hayley to return in the  new year to try again.


"marquis of granby - wellingore"

birthday party time in wellingore was a fun night. this place always supports us well and the locals turn out withiout fail. staff, landlord and landlady always provide the best hospitality and allow us to put on all the lights, fog and equipment to make it a great visual experience. Birthday girl rocked out all night and the rising song of 'happy birthday' must have deafened the neighbours as the whole place sang at the top of their lungs! It was interesting to see the numbers build through the night as word had got round and people were leaving the ither pubs in the area to come and join us. there was definately a sighting of another pub landlady and an additional birthday girl arrived so we sang to her as well (rude not too). finished around 12:45 in what was a hot humid event and the cool night air when loading the van was very welcome. We re-introduced ozzy's 'I dont wanna stop' and Three days grace's ' Animal i have become' which went down a treat. second outing for 'sharp dressed man' which got a great cheer and a first time outing for our version of the Kinks' 'All day and all of the night'. Jolly fine evening :)


"The ferryboat Inn - washingborough - Halloween Party"
resplendant in our halloween costumes we graced the stage to the theme from 'Stranger Things' in front of a packed pub that saw us  play for two and a half hours through to the early hours of the sunday morning. we dropped a couple of the second set to keep the mood flowing as a packed dance floor jumped around and strutted their stuff. 'place your hands' and beat it' were deffinately crowd pleasers and a first outing for 'paradise city' closed the evening with style. some fantastic costumes were seen and we will return early next year in march and then a repeat for halloween to look forward to

june 2017

practise, practise, practise.......................keyboard work is going well and even considering trying something a little more challenging ........(more on that later)


Great news is that we have re-arranged the rogue saint gig for November 24th and by then we will have more than three hours of music to choose from so we can definately say if you only catch us at one gig this year make an effore and get into Lincoln to the rogue saint - guaranteed to be a cracking night.


finally a little normality is returning as the holiday season (well half the band anyway) has passed and the honeymoon went well - lots of tracks learnt and lots of lyrics memorised. only a couple of practices left now before the festival and we are well positioned to give a great show. after a couple of weeks of 'non practise' to allow for absences it is remarkable how big the smiles are when we blaze though something like 'you could be mine' by GnR. lots of nodding of approval and almost a cheeky smile from the 'non-smiler' thaT is 'Speedy' (one day we will catch him smiling on camera to prove to the world it really does happen, we will frame it and put it on the wall next our photos of the 'loch ness monster' and bigfoot' :)


see you at the festival - 'rnfr' as slash would sa

August 2017

"British superbikes"

OMG! what a night! - what a crowd and what an absolute blast! 90 minute set starting with rockin in the freeworld as a quick re-order of the setlist was needed as, if anyone has been to cadwell will tell you, it is mainly arctic temperatures, whatever time of year you go. this meant fingers were cold and strings were 'sharp' so we elected to start with something straightforward rather than kick off with "All out of luck" as planned. the strategy worked well and saw us get into our stride before the first song was half way through, "all out of luck then followed" and received a great response from the crowd which seemed to double almost immediately we started playing. it was almost as if people who were camping on the friday nIght were waiting for the first sound of a band before braving the walk from the campsite to the marquee. As the set progressed more people turned up and the cheers got louder and longer between songs, credit to the crowd who danced to the end and leapt up and down clapping along with axle and the beat of the bass drum. "YOU COULD BE MINE"  went down a TREAT SWIFTLY FOLLOWED BY "GHOST" AND "RUN TO THE HILLS" WHICH SEEMED TO KICK START THE MINI MOSH PIT AT THE FRONT OF THE STAGE. "hYSTERIA" stormed it, AS USUAL, AND HAD EVERYONE SIGNING THE CHORUS AT THE TOP OF THEIR VOICES WHich COULD BE HEARD ON STAGE AS CLEAR AS A BELL. OUR VERSION OF "BEAT IT" ENSURED THE PARTY CONTINUED ON AND THE DANCING IN FRONT OF THE STAGE WAS MARVELLOUS TO SEE. oUR USUAL FINISH WITH "SLITHER" and BAND INTRODUCTIONS, RAISED SOME GREAT APPLAUSE AND WHISTLES AND A SWIFT LITTLE SOLO FROM EVERYONE WAS EFFORTLESS And THE MEMORIES OF aXL STRUGGLING WITH HIS VOICE AT THE LAST GIG WE DID IN jULY WAS COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN - WE ROCKED THE S**T OUT OF CADWELL AND THE CROWD WERE AWESOME. "AL THE MUD" (CHIEF ROADIE) GOT SOME GOOD IPHONE FOOTAGE  OF THE NIGHT AND A GOOD NIGHT WAS HAD BY ALL - JESUS HAD A SNOOZE IN THE TOUR BUS ON THE WAY HOME (AS USUAL) AND NEEDED some ASSISTANCE TO HIS FRONT DOOR - ALL THAT ACTIVITY FoR ONE SO YOUNG, MUST REALLY TAKE IT OUT OF HIM :) 


"FAKE FESTIVAL - NORTH HYKEHAM"

SHORT SET FOR THIS ONE AS ONE OF THE FIVE LOCAKL BANDS SUPPORTING THE TRIBUTE ACTS (sTEREOPHONICS, STONE ROSES AND FOO FIGHTERS). WE WERE FIRST ON AT 1:15 SO THERE WAS ONLY A SMALL CROWD OF PEOPLE AROUND PLUS A FEW FRIENDLIES WHO HAD TRAVELLED TO SUPPORT. GREAT SET UP BY THE EVENT ORGANISERS AND FACILITIES AND SOUND CREW WERE SECOND TO NONE. DURING THE SET THE STAGE SIDE SOUNDMAN WAS ROCKING TO THE MUSIC AND DID A GREAT JOB WHILE FRONT OF HOUSE SRTED THE MIX AS MORE PEOPLE BEGAN TO ARRIVE. ALL TOO SOON THE SET WAS OVER AND IT WAS TIME TO GET THE GEAR BACK IN THE TOUR BUS AND WATCH SOME OF THE OTHERS. WHILST IT WS A NICE EVENT WE WOULD RECOMMEND TO THE ORGANISERS TO HAVE FEWER BANDS AND GIVE EACH ONE MORE TIME, PERHAPS EVEN LIMIT THE NUMBER OF SUPPORTS TO THREE BANDS RATHER THAN FIVE, AS WE JUST SEEMED TO GET GOING AND ENGAGE THE CROWD AND IT WAS TIME TO STOP.


january 2017

Fresh from a fantastic new year we entered January with tails and heads held high to the news we were to play at a birthday event at ferryboat in washingborough. The birthday boy turns out was a massive Pink Floyd fan so we though nothing better than a floyd medley to  'doff our hats' in his direction. we had a couple of practices in which to work some magic so eventually decided on 'Shine on you crazy dimond part 1' - into 'Breathe' and then a full rendition of 'Money' and then 'Another Brick pt 2'. on the night everything went perfectly and the birthday boy was extremely impressed and happy - Job well done!


There is a short video on the video pages demonstrating some excellent sound (although the picture is a little dark).  somebody actually asked afterwards where we got our Floyd backing track from which brough a rye smile but nevertheless was taken as a compliment, especially bearing in mind the repetative nature of practising keyboards with hands that have played guitar for thirty years and never been laid on keys much.


we have purchased some stage wash lighting to try to alleviate the relative darkness of any iphone footage and think this should also add to the atmosphere as we have finally got to grips with the smoke machine (how hard can that be i hear you cry - answer is 'more than you think!' and the two  front stage scanners working nicely in mirror formation, the visual side is coming together .


New gigs are coming in fast and another couple of birthdays for later in the year, Fake festival application in and the British Super Bikes booking look to be the makings of a great 2017.


february 2017

we have had confirmation of our appearance at this years 'Fake festival' in north hykeham for august so we are very happy to be opening the festival on the saturday. what a great start to february.


First gig in february saw us at the castlegate in grantham, we'd been looking forward to this for a while as it is granthams 'rock' pub and is the place to go in grantham if you like a great rock band - alas when we turned out it must have been grantham's night off as when we kicked off there were more people in the band than punters at one point after a groups of six left early on. they did actually appologise and said they had been at a funeral that day and they would have liked to stay but it didnt seem quite right given the rest of their day. that set the tone for the evening with what should have been a great night fizzling out before it even got started. we played our hearts out as usual but to be told at the inteval that the pub had an 11:15 curfew was just the icing on the cake. a quick run through the second setlist quickly saw us strike out six tracks to ensure we had a short 45 minute second set and not upset the neighbours. The landlady was very apologetic and saidf it was unusual for her not to have a packed pub when live music was on. those that were there did look to enjoy themselves. the numbers did climb toward the end of the set but couldnt help thinking they were there for a late taste rather than the music. not a great experience for our first outing in grantham. we took a vote and decided we would return at some point.............


in contrast the birdcage on 25th was excellent - another chance to play the floyd medley as it had been requested by someone in advance and people had travelled to see it (one chap came from devon timing his visit to family with the gig date purely on the strength of the video taken at the ferryboat in january) we didnt disappoint and the whole place singing along to Brick in the wall was great to see - restoring our faith in what good pub crowd can be like. finishing the evening with' slither' in all its glorious 'drop d' costume  saw a happy band ride off into the wee small hours in search of kebabs wearing massive smiles (castlegate all but forgotten)


Looking forward to a busy march and contemplating buying a van as now we have so much gear to cart about its a struggle to get it all into our cars without damaging upholstery etc. PeanutHead has now been promoted to 'Mini

ster of Transport' and tasked with the jo of identifying a van that wont break the bank but will also not break itself :)

july 2017

"A granby day out"

What a great day! - Several of Lincoln's best bands in the sunshine and in the beer garden of one of the finest pubs you'll ever find (marquis of granby wellingore) Indigo set the pace followed by Dave Walker, Crooked and the straight and then conspiracy rising closed the outside event before ex-kittens headlined inside the venue.


We had a great time opening with 'one vision' (our first outing with this track) to great reception , followed swiftly by Ziggy and rockin in the free world. The crowd were in fine voice as we rolled out our own versions of 'beat it' and 'all the small things' finishing with our first outing of 'livin' on a prayer to close things nicely at 10:00 ready for the ek-kittens to blast off inside the pub


the only downer on the evening was a lingering cold for 'axle' that saw him struggle to reach the top notes in a couple of tracks  a few coughs here and there that meant some missed vocals which anoyed the band a lot, seemed to go unnoticed with the rest of the crowd. calls for encores had to go unsatisfied as the curfew at 10:00 kicked in. £700 raised for Teenage cancer trust and  we had a blast!


We are now getting ready for the british super bikes at cadwell and the fake festival in north hykeham. 


pleased to say that bookings for 2018 are coming in and also having a wee chat with the 'chopper club' about some of thier events next year.........exciting :)

November 2017

"The lincoln green - north hykeham"

a tale of two halves here - a good start with a full pub due to a stag do event where the stag in resplendant plaster cast ('a bit of bother in Ayia Napa'), went bonkers from the go. a rousing first set with best crutch waving during 'you could be mine' and some excellent 'milf' dancing for 'i'll be there for you'. The stag party fizzled out around 10:30 and left a reduced crowd due to various fireworks events, that consisted of several  'well oiled' ladies requesting abba songs despite the previous hour being full of balls out rock covers (???). most random part of the evening was the arrival of a young lady who looked about 15 but then proceeded to sing johnny cash numbers after we had finished - must be something in the local water ............


"rogue saint - lincoln"
our first outing at this venue saw a healthy crowd of 20 somethings mixed with some 40+ generation all of whom appreciated our slant on some rock classics - 'baker street' was well received as was 'figure it out' . We rolled out 'love walked in' which we have not gigged for a while, which pleased the 40 somethings but we have decided to retire it as the 20 somethings noticeably were indifferent to it. we opted for a short first set of 45 mins and after a short break we then dropped into the  75 minute second set which took us close to 1am, much to the pleasure of the packed house that stayed the course and rocked out, and also to the pleasure of head barman alex, who earlier had said it might be a quiet night. we took 25 of our people to the venue but a quick headcount around 11:45 came to approx 75 heads as we eased into  'wnted dead or alive' which had the whole place singing. encore was 'livin on a prayer' with speedy using the talk box brilliantly and chug's keyboard intro setting the scene for one belter of a finish. booked for next year so will see them all again soon. what a great november!

december 2017

"The still - lincoln"

arrived onsite to find the landlord had forgotten we were due to play - no bother though as he was delighted to see us, if somewhat surprised, freely admitting his memory had faild. a swift move of the pool table and we set up in record time. it was a resounding success as the christmas spirit was well and truly upon the pub and the landlord streamed several tracks 'live' via facebook. a first outing for 'paradise city' was well received and had everyone jumping about. we love this pub as they always get stuck in and love our brand of rock music. the evening ended with the landlord fetching one of his own guitars and jamming an impromptu version of 'champagne supernova' by 'oasis'


"kat's birthday - heighington village hall"
friend of the band 'kat' turned 40 and we were more than happy to put on a show for her, letting her choose the setlist. we had lots of space so were able to get all the lights out, all the effects, strobe, laser etc to give maximum visuals as well as some blistering solos from speedy. everyone was on form and we had so much fun time just flew by and it seemed as though only five minutes had passed and it was 11:00pm and time to stop due to the curfew that applies in residential areas these days. birthday girl was very happy and the pphotos in the gallery section show the full effects of the fog and lights combination.


"marquis of granby - wellingore - pre-new years eve party"
as simon had promised his new wife that he would be around on new years eve we elected to play a show the day before at what has become our very own 'vegas' its 'Chug's' local pub so thay always support us with what we do and we return the favour by pulling out all the stops for them when they host us. as it was the night before new years eve there was a chance that the place wouldnt be too busy, but we needn't have worried as the place was packed with people from all the local villages where it was just another saturday night, and as the marquis had a band on they had made the two or three mile trip to wellingore to see us. the result was a high energy performance containing five tracks that we'd not played at the marquis and a very first outing for the 'muse' track - 'time is running out' people danced, jumped about and generally went bonkers well past midnight and by the time we  had done two encores finishing with 'paradise city' (a natural end to our set we have found) the whole place was bouncing. our present to the marquis - thanks for your support.

April 2017

April had three dates booked, the first of which was a debut at The rogue saint in Lincoln. for thiose that dont know the rogue saint is a great venue that really supports live music and it's taken a while to get a slot there and we were like coiled springs  ready to show them what we can do and showcase three new tunes we had in our bag. alas it was not to be. Speedy was rushed into hospital the day before doubled over in pain with kidney stones and it was 50/50 if he needed to go under to have ultrasonic surgey or not. thankfully he was released on the friday afternoon with some medication to help him along. whilst we were pleased to have him back on his feet it was too late to save the gig and the rogue saint were very understanding and although there was an outside chance we could have made it, we decided to let the gig pass and with a day to go allow rogue saint to replace us early rather than wait until the eleventh hour. thankfully the bouyant music scene in lincoln ensured that rogue saint had their gig (although unfortunately not from us) - we had a gig booked the following day at marguis of granby in wellingore so informed them of our situation and they were happy to take a view on the saturday morning as it was a double header and if need be, the other band could extend their set and take up our time if speedy was not up to it. Saturday arrived and armed with a large bag of drugs (medicinal only ) SPeedy said he would be well enough to take part - game on!


Marquis of granby - saturday 22nd april- 'the homefires' (great semi- acoustice duo), did their first set and armed with our new fog machine and some additional lights the first set went well with speedy playing well, allthough still in a little pain from the  kidney stones. second set was blistering as we got of to a start with 'Animal i have become' by three days grace, as a nod to the guy whos birthday it was (his name is cosy and let slip weeks before that it was his favourite song of the moment), and that allowed us to put in a couple more 'drop c' tunes (ozzy and royal blood) much to the appreciation of the crowd. the rest of the set saw new tunes 'you could be mine' which went down spectacularlyand also a version of jacko's 'beat it' as one of the last few before the familiar 'Slither' brought us to a close at the alloted time. as always its nice to get an encore but this was different........ landlord said go fo it! -  we asked birthday boy to come and sing his favourite tune (cracking job cosy - even though you couldn't see at that point) and then rolled out another 30mins of rock to a packed house who sang every word with us and leapt around the pub like it was on fire - it never ceases to amaze us how people get into their music and let their hair down. particularly spectacular was Jesus on bass, fully robed and giving it max velocity (check out the gallery) - lighting was great and fog machine worked well - happy days


Navigation newark - friday 28th april  - (speedy's sister birthday) -  Speedy although not given the 'all clear' by the hospital was, after a week of 'medicinal' drugs, feeling much better, so it was business as usual at the navigation. arrival at 7pm was met with phil the 'gaffer', telling us it was new ownership and that a sound check was required as the new guy was very particular about his music and had 'sacked' a band a couple of weeks ago after just five songs!!  not put off it was time to show our metal/metle (delete as appropriate). - sound check is critical for us due to the many parts and arrangements we have and is always orchestrated by jesus -therefore we always know two things -


  1. We get consistency,

  2. If it the mix is crap we have jesus to blame!


first set, went off to a great start with 'Ghost' setting the pace and everyone rocking out to 'Free world' and 'If god was a woman'. the new fog machine did its business and immediately engulfed Axle - then with possibly the swiftest exit due to the bar staff having a window open the entire cloud meant to add atmosphere to the band and aid the lighting, headed in the direction of the bar following a draft that you wouldnt ordinarily notice but became very aware of in these circumstances. chug couldnt help himself laughing as one moment axle was engulfed and then 10 seconds later the barstaff couldn't see a thing as the cloud headed their way. - most amusing. (we switched it to manual after that)


as time was against us we elected to drop 'forever young' in favour of our version of 'baker street' which proved to be a wise choice - the curved ceilings of the Navigation added that extra little something to the lead riff and an earlier tweak of settings saw probably the best version we have played in a long time. a final burst of 'all out of luck' saw us have a 10 min break for a 'pee and pint' before we set off on the second half of the show- new track 'you could be mine' kick started the second half and also the dancing, which didn't abate all through the second set - 'hysteria' was well recieved as was 'run to the hills', with several 'old boys' stood next to the bar singing at the top of thier lungs - (doffs cap accordingly) - second set fnished with gusto with a great rendition of 'Joker' (again probably enhanced by the acoustics) and the freight train that is 'slither' - after the disappointments of the previous friday's cancellation, this was a great way to exorcise those spirits. 'slither' saw the landlord nodding his approval and asking for an encore - we duly obliged with 'love walked in' - the men nodded, the ladies swayed, the band concentrated (its more difficult than you think)  and air guitar won the day. happy to say the new landlord was pleased as punch and keen for us to return, which we will, ideally with some origanal music of our own.


our next scheduled gig is July 8th, which is a charity festival in Wellingore, which will be our very first outdoor appearance, we will be last support and last to play outside 8-9pm, before the miusic moves indoor for the Ex-kittens to close the event - looking forward to it as we have a few weeks now to work on some new stuff and put the finishing touches to some of the seven or eight tracks we've started but not finished for one reason or another.



in the meantime axle gets married and has a honeymoon whikle the rest of us work on an acoustic set for those venues that wouldlove a great band but maybe dont have the space for a five piece well oiled machine with 10000 watts and a biblical colossus (see photos)


september 2017

"The still"

we absolutely love this city centre pub. Great landlord with great staff. always a pleasure to play here and see the diversity and range. Its quite a small area to play in but as a reult you've got the audience on top of you so it is very intimate - have a look at the video section for some familiar faces, always havimg a good time and never any issues.


"black bull ruskington"

A mix up on the landlords behalf at the black bull at ruskington saw us arrive for our gig and leave within 30 mins as they "weren't expecting us" - despite us going in and talking direct eye to eye with the landlord he seemed to have forgotten the conversations and gone on holiday. The stand in landlord was very decent and we parted company with our cancellation fee - not sure we will re-arrange as not sure the venue is really supporting live musice and ther's plenty of other places who don't 'forget' when they've booked a band


"The castle inn, coningsby"

OMFG! what an awesome venue - Amy the lanlady has a dedicated 'stage' area with a TARDIS control centre, iron man and superhero wall art and some great draft beers - all desin=gned and laid out for live music.

MAY 2017

as we have no further gigs until 8th july (Outdoor festival in wellingiore) we have put heart and soul into learning a third set of twelve new electric tunes and have invested in a proper workstation keyboard to allow us to reproduce some of the more specific sounds more convincingly, for example the opening riff to queen's 'One Vison' has a very distinct feel, as too does the entire performance for 'Livin  on a prayer'. Whilst the average pubgoer may not be that fussy about this there is always someone like us in the audience who will have it as their favourite track and be able to spot the differences.


The acoustic set is coming along nicely too with speedy playing around with a variax guitar and splitting signals to provide stereo acoustic output. while holidays and honeymoons erode the rest of may  and all of june we will continue to practise hard and try to convince speedy to blow the dust off the 'talk box' for 'livin on a prayer' we'll be back vetter than ever with a great depth to the sound in july. after all ---- if you're gonna do it - you might as well do it properly


march 2017

march saw a return to the gatehouse in lincoln, always a good welcome and although its long and narrow it is very good for bands and is always well attended. the gatehpuse has big screens over the bar so it was fun playing rock music at a decent volume, messing about with the crowd and watching match of the day at the same time. no repeat of the chicken dancing from last visit but a nice introduction to some weird spaced out shimmying by a chap who looked like he should be kicking off on the terraces rather than wobbling about like a sunflower growing in a fast forward timelapse style video.


the still - a return to the still (under new0 landlord) was awesome - great lincoln city centre pub where you are up close to the crowd. we got some great video - particularly entertaining are the dancing men who appear in baker street around 2:15mins into the video, some may mock but when you're playing a great track and people get up and dance its one of the best compliments and feeling you can get


Lion and Royal Navenby -  saw our first Saturday night outing there as last time we dropped in for a friday at short notice so we were keen to impress. feedback was awesome and some repeat bookings and an outing at its sister pub the adame and eve are in the diary. as some of us are local the support from everyone was great and we managed to pack the pub and keep people rather than see thenm move on for another pint at the other pub 50yards down the street - job well done


march saw us buy a van also, after viewing many vans on autotrader and ebay and driving to see a couple of absolute 'sheds' we managed to find the perfect mini bus conversion only 5 miles from where Peanuthead lives!!! now we have a funky tour bus we are looking further afield although due to holidays and axles impending wedding and honeymoon theres not many saturdays available now for the rest of the year