Saturday, 18 September 2010

Panic Room - The Stables Wavendon

Panic Room opened up with the first track on the latest album 'Freedom to breathe' which grabs your attention from the word go. A really well balanced set with 'Elektra City' 'Dark Star','Sunshine' and 'Yasuni' being most memorable. However my highlight would have to be the stunningly brilliant 'Satellite' which I have hardly stopped playing ever since.
Anne-Marie Helders voice has been described as 'Kate Bush meets Led Zep', moving from beautiful ballads to screaming metal and steals the show.
You get a rich blend of jazz, metal, funk, folk, blues intertwined with Eastern influences.
The only disappointing part of the evening was the turnout. The venue was less than half full which was a great shame. I just wonder what people want on Wednesday night in Milton Keynes ?? It is a tribute to both bands that they put in such a tremendous performance which deserved a bigger audience.

Anne Marie Helder

'Rude Tiger' from Devon

Panic Room

It has been a very long time since i've been down to the The Stables near Milton Keynes to see a band.It's a smashing intimate little venue and has some great Blues,Folk, Rock and Jazz acts. It is very nice to be able to have a beer in a proper glass and take into the auditorium.
The downside being the strict no photography policy. However as you will see I managed to sneak a few in... With a little help from my gig partner Tim Johnson who when prompted leant forward to block the Stewards view. Well done Tim !

Panic Room have been described as a 'mini supergroup'and are fronted by the multi talented Anne-Marie Helder (Lead Vocals; Rhythm/Acoustic Guitars; Flute).
Also in the band are:

Paul Davies (Lead/Rhythm/Acoustic Guitars; Backing Vocals)
Yatim Halimi (Bass Guitars)
Jonathan Edwards (Keyboards; Piano; Synths)
Gavin Griffiths (Drums)

First up were support band 'Rude Tiger' from Devon. A three piece band made up of Jas Morris on lead guitar and Vocals and Dan Morris on Bass along with 'D'Collings on drums. Jas is a former winner of the UK Guitarist of the year - aged 18 no less.
I had spoken to their Manager earlier and she had told me that 'they were really good musicians' - she wasn't wrong!

Rude Tiger have attracted the following Quotes :

Guitarist Magazine - 'this guy will be a star'(Jas)

Colin Slade, Planet Rock DAB Radio - 'rock legends of the future'

Andy Powell, Wishbone Ash - 'a major league band'

Walter Trout - 'You guys sound f***ing great!''

Jas bounded into the first track like a young 'Wilko Johnson' full of confidence from continuous gigging largely in the South West. In fact he mentioned the five and a half hour journey they had just experienced to get to the gig.
I was really impressed, some great melodies and superb musicianship.
In fact I was so impressed I purchased the limited edition mini CD which the lads kindly signed as well.
I really think that they will have a great future and are a name to look out for.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Fishing in the Cotswolds

About three hours later I caught my second Rainbow Trout. This time a lot more cunning and stealth was used. I used a technique known as 'stalking'. Quite often the Trout will come in close to the bank and rest up. So by following it in the shallows you can actually drop the fly in front of it's nose and hope it takes the hook. Which is exactly what happened on this occasion, however it did put up a lot of resistance and nearly took me in the lake with it at one stage !!
Barry and I both caught two Rainbow Trout each all around the same size which wasn't bad going as it was not easy fishing. Well it never is in my case to be honest.
Altogether a really enjoyable day outside in the sun and fresh air - in fact it has made me a bit sleepy now.

Happiness is the Rod - A small play on words for all Marillion fans.

Barry - The Troutmaster

It's nice to get an early fish in the bag as you feel you can relax a bit more and the pressure is off. It was lovely and peaceful just standing on the bank feeling the heat of the suns rays and enjoying the scenery. I saw a brief flash of shimmering blue and immediately recognised a Kingfisher, in a second it was gone again.

The first fish of the day !

The sun was shining for my first Fly fishing trip of the year. Destination was Lechlade in the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds close to headwaters of the Thames.

I was with my good mate Barry who is an excellent match fisherman. Probably important to make clear at this stage that I am an awful fisherman and without Barry I would be lost. In fact I had completely forgotten the art of casting out. After a few feeble attempts I did manage to at least get the line about 10 yards from the bank. Then by some small miracle I actually caught the first fish of the day!!A Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) I maintain it must have been suicidal and threw itself on the first sharp it had come across. It didn't put up much of a struggle and was safely landed weighing in around 4lb's.
Just in case anyone is interested it was caught on 'Hares Ear Nymph' using a 'bung' or so I was told? I'm not really up with all the different sorts of flies and fly tying which is an art form in itself.