Sunday, 28 April 2013

Blackpool Debenhams

I've been looking for a chance to take this photograph for a while.

This is Debenhams in Blackpool on the corner of Albert Road and Coronation Street - no not that one...! Yesterday morning was bright and sunny with a good sky and I nipped away from Miss Franny for a while to take a few photos. On taking photo number three, the camera acted dead apart from a message flashing "Batteries need replacing..." Grrr... Luckily I managed to find a shop that sold them!

Large version of the photo: can be seen at my Flickr account. And while we're talking photo sizes - come on Blogger - what's with the reduced display sizes???

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

2013 Reading Part 2

The second entry for 2013 about my reading habits. It's still a strange mix...

I finally got round to the previously unread sequel to Mary Stewart's (properly Lady Stewart as she was married to Sir Frederick Stewart) Merlin trilogy.

This deals with King Arthur's end and I can only agree with her notes published at the end of the book that the good king appears to take leave of his senses a bit. Legend is a funny thing though and people actually do do some strange things once they are getting on a bit. I'm my own witness... Though Arthur was only supposed to be around 40 so what is his excuse???

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo went onto my reading list after I watched the film with Daniel Craig and I found it at least as gripping as the film and possibly a little easier to understand after I gave up trying to pronounce all those Swedish character and place names in my head. I'll have to download the next one now...

The third in Larry Niven's series about the world formed by floating a gigantic ring around a star has Louis Wu forming alliances and fighting battles in a bid to address a rise in the vampire population following the events in the second book. The 3-legged Hindmost, a Pierson's Puppeteer, is given to dancing with holographic images of his own species in a bid to stave off lunacy and the son of the Kzin Chmee joins forces with Louis as the Protectors (hominids transformed into their warrior state in the same way caterpillars turn into butterflies) of the ring's rim wall battle against those of the vampires. Yes, you really have to read it to make sense of it...!

But there's almost no making sense of this book at all and why on earth would you want to? As a teenager I and most of my friends were able to quote extensively from this book of lunacy, the storyline of which is only a tenuous link from one ridiculous situation to the next. But where else could you read 'his nose was what the French call retrousse, or as we would say, "like a pig"...' or 'it was dark, he was drunk, she was keen'! The border between Ireland and Northern Ireland gets drawn, passing through the village pub and as drinks are cheaper over the border the landlord complains all his customers are crammed into one corner...

The fourth of Dennis Wheatley's WWII books about the spy Gregory Sallust has Gregory and his Russian comrade, Kuporovitch, joining the fight in Paris following its fall to the Germans. Dastardly deeds are done before Gregory and Kuporovitch are able to escape with the lovely Madeleine, bringing about the German invasion of Russia as a ploy to weakening Hitler's war effort. So if anyone was wondering - that's why he did it!

This isn't really a biography so much as a trip through Cliff Richard's life through comments or snippets of interviews from people he worked with or who knew him. As such it could be highly accurate or highly biassed one way or another. I didn't really learn anything new and whilst it was an interesting enough read I ended the book with the subject as much of an enigma as ever.

My Dad had countless anthologies of science fiction short stories and I read them avidly as a teenager. They disappeared in a clear out at some point and only a few were left. This one being one of them. All the stories here are by a single author and again it was interesting at the time but now, a few weeks later, I can't remember a single storyline...

I just bought the new book concerning Thomas of Hookton, so thought I'd re-read the first three books to remind myself of the story so far. The first in this series by master historical storyteller Bernard Cornwell is a cracker of a story concerning a young man whose village is destroyed - and father killed - in a French raid. He takes up his longbow and goes off to join the army of King Edward III in France at the start of the Hundred Years War. This book ends with the Battle of Crecy, but Thomas has learned who his enemies are and who he is and we will meet up with him again.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Creeping Bentgrass, Elgin Hotel, Blackpool

On Friday we played at the Elgin Hotel, Blackpool for a luncheon gathering of ex British Gas staff.

This was the third time we have played for this group and they make a great audience and - so they tell us - we have increased the numbers of people attending since we started playing the after lunch spot.

Glad to be of service...

Large version of photo: available at my Flickr account

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Surprise Birthday Party Gig

Friday 5 April 2013. We were booked to play at a surprise birthday party.

Surprise birthday parties can be a risky thing to accept bookings for as the last one we were booked to perform at was called off after the birthday boy - who knew nothing about it - booked a holiday instead! But here everything went according to plan.

We were at the Raikes Hotel in the centre of Blackpool - a nice change for us as although we live there, most of our gigs tend to be out of town! The birthday boy was a biker and there was a fine collection of tattoos in the room!

A great night all round!

If you would like live music at your party or event, please find our contact details in the left hand panel and give us a call!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Blackpool Gateway Construction

A couple of shots from Saturday 30 March of the current construction on and adjacent to Talbot Road. This is the area being described as the Blackpool Gateway.

This is the soon-to-be Sainsburys store. This is going up over the site of Seed Street, recently cleared of housing and the only bomb site in Blackpool from World War II. The Luftwaffe managed to knock down several houses resulting in deaths and injuries to residents. The housing was never rebuilt and the site had been a car park for years.

This heap of steelwork will be new council offices. It replaces a number of buildings including a nightclub, shops and a car showroom. In the more recent past an indoor bowling establishment had been put up where a road (extreme left) now runs, but had not lasted long before being closed and now demolished.

The photos were taken from the top of the car park above Wilkinsons store.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Remembering Sunnyside - Part 2 The Final

Saturday 23 March 2013. Friday was just a warm up, a chance for a bit of a jam session. Tonight we had a few more acts and a tight and fixed schedule.

Steve Reynolds got us going with a few numbers played with the distinctive Shadows sound - shudderingly good!

Tony Harte, lead singer with The Honeycombs gave us a great set including a blistering version of Friday on My Mind and of course the Honeycombs hit Have I The Right.

Dave Wilcox has appeared several times at Sunnyside events now and gets better every year.

Geoff Howlett had us crossing off a few songs from our playlist as he displayed an uncanny - or sinister - foreknowledge of our intended act!!! Hmmm.... We let him off as he played the Blackpool Football Club anthem Glad All Over!

Alan Wilcox (no relation to Dave Wilcox) is making a name for himself as a Billy Fury tribute artist. Billy's memory is assured for another generation!

Two old geezers took to the stage and did their best, bless them...

Apologies to all those who we didn't get photos of, but we'll finish with this shot of Michelle Gibson who brought a feminine touch to the proceedings with hits from Brenda Lee and Connie Francis amongst others. Apart from Shelagh joining us in our set to sing a three-part harmony version of The Rose, Michelle was the only female act of the night.

And then once all the acts were done and all the equipment had been cleared to make the room ready for a wedding fair the following morning, we retired to hold the now traditional post gig party with a bottle of bubbly and, thanks to Peter, a bottle of whisky! We were as quiet as we could...

Then goodbyes were said at breakfast the following morning and we loaded the car and headed home through a bit of a winter wonderland at least until we crossed over to the west side of the country.

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