Posted in Music, food & drink, films

Summer Festivals (6)

Saturday July 30th 2022

Today we’re playing our second Let’s Rock festival, this one in our home town of Liverpool.

We’re at Wavertree Playing Fields, a 104 acre park which was given to Liverpool Corporation in 1895 by an anonymous city well-wisher — the reason why it is affectionately known as ‘The Mystery’.

We set off around 12:30 to load in although we weren’t on stage till 4:45.

As it was a local gig, we had no time to stop off at a pub for some good food and drink so a few weeks ago we decided to brew our own cask beer!

First you have to vent the cask
Then knock in the tap
Ta Da!

The production team very kindly let us place the beer with it’s hand pump at the entrance to the artists area.

The hand pump or ‘beer engine’ is attached to the cask via a line and left to settle for an hour or so.

We had a bite to eat in the artists area and a bottle of Peroni each to chill out.

Carl & Roy then went out front to watch Scritti Politti…

and Tenpole Tudor!

We decided that 3pm was a good enough time to pour the first pint so Chris (my beer making partner) had the honour.

At this point the artists area was pretty full as the acts were coming and going. Then our good mate Dave Benson Phillips grabbed everyone’s attention and announced that the beer was now being served.

Festival Ale is an American Pale Ale made with marris otter low colour malt and New Zealand hops Pacific Gem & Nelson Sauvin plus US Citra hops. Great fruity taste with a grapefruit finish.

First up was our old mate Chesney Hawkes, fresh from his stage performance ten minutes earlier…

He’s a pro

Then Green Gartside and his band Scritti Politti were next in the queue…

Green reckoned it was a better pint than in his local😀

Next up was Edward Tudor-Pole…

and various band members

The beer was going down…
a treat!

Outside the bands were getting through their sets quickly…

Later on Roy caught up with Ottowan…

who later joined us inside with the lovely Julie McKnight, a fantastic singer and beer connoisseur!

Then the legendary Ce Ce Rogers joined the queue…

At this point it was nearly time for us to go on stage so I left the bar in the very capable hands of Rachel from the production team.

Meanwhile out front – what a crowd!

Some fantastic photo’s from Warren Millar and Martin Shaw!

What a fantastic reaction we got!

The crowd singing along to All Together Now

Next on was Nick Hayward so we went out front to watch him…

then invited him to our bar for a pint!

Our families and friends were in the audience watching us so we decided to spend a bit of time with them out front…

Keith with Ann from EITC
Alex with her flatmate who both loved our brew!

After a while we went back stage to look after the bar but disaster!

The beer had run out!

Oh well, nothing lasts forever so we packed away our beer equipment and went out front to watch the remaining bands.

Tom Bailey
Level 42
Billy Ocean
Human League

What a fantastic day out it was!

Posted in Music, food & drink, films

Summer Festivals (5)

Saturday July 16th 2022

Today we’re off to Shrewsbury for the Let’s Rock festival. It’s based at The Quarry, a beautiful 29-acre parkland near the river Severn.

It’s a very early start as we have to be there for 10.00 am.

Different route today and we’re going via the Wallasey tunnel

Alas, no videos and no time allocated to stop off at a Camra awarded pub😕

At least we could stop for a bit of breakfast after seeing this omen…

We didn’t hang around for long…

We motored on and arrived fairly quickly at the venue.

The artists area was great!

Menu looks good!
Ice cool Alex!

Just enough time to have a look around the festival!

We had a quick line check as the crowd were starting to file in…

We were on stage soon…

so we headed back stage to check the rider.

The taste of Peroni Nastro Azzurro is distinctive, crisp and refreshing. You’ll find it has a notable citrus aroma and a pale, golden colour reminiscent of Prosecco.
It is gently brewed to give you an intensely crisp, refreshing taste with that unmistakable touch of Italian style.

The crowd had come right up to the front now…

We were ready to go on after meeting the legendary David Benson Phillips who was compere for the days event.

David gave us a great introduction and then we were on!

Crowd were brilliant!

We got a great reception and headed off backstage.

Edward Tudor-Pole was also performing!

Lovely guy!

We then went back out front into the sunshine to watch Scritti Politti

Met a few fans on the way

They were excellent and we met Green Gartside backstage!

He was ace!

We wanted to stay longer and see Bad Manners but we had to get back to Liverpool.

So we had to say farewell to Shrewsbury!

On the way in we’d earmarked the Olde Bucks Head as a possible getaway from the festival but it was never going to happen.

So instead we decided to travel up to Liverpool and head to The Old Tap in Waterloo where a couple of beer aficionado’s were keenly awaiting our arrival.

We had something to eat on the bus and a possible snooze then….

The Mersey Tunnel!

5 minutes in the tunnel then another 15 to Waterloo and we arrived at The Old Tap.

It’s a new pub getting rave reviews

First off we sampled the Polly’s ‘Neither Odd or Even.

Anybody who has followed the brewery long enough will know we love to smash together previous hop combos from our dearly departed Originals range and create modern day frankenstein’d-together bangers. Citra Columbus always has a special place in our heart, after a particularly memorable after-work “sampling session” held by Sean and Arron, and we were huge fans of the original version of Enigma Simcoe IPA, so much so that we carried it over to the Augment range that now holds the brewery up. Smashing the two together and reeling back the ABV to a more sessionable 5.6%, we’ve created a pale ale that brings a swag bag of stone fruit, mango, peach and tangerine notes to the party, with just a little grassy bitterness to boot.
5.6% ABV

Went down very well…

Next I’m sure we had the ‘From Above’ by the Track brewing company.

From Above is our easy-going, quaffable gluten-free beer. Brewed using malted barley, Cara Gold and oats to bring fullness and a lovely bready malt character and dry hopped with Mosaic and Nelson. Up front, youll find exquisite pineapple and tropical fruit punch, a soft bitterness and mouth-watering lemon peel followed by a long finish. Beautifully balanced, drinkable and satisfying.

Maybe we had one more for the road but I can’t remember what it was, or much else for that matter.

But what a fantastic day out we all had!

Posted in Music, food & drink, films

Summer Festivals 2022 (4)

Saturday July 9th 2022

This week we’re off to Dunstable, Bedfordshire for the council funded ‘Party in the Park’ festival.

It’s a later start than usual as we’re not on stage till about 7pm so we all met up at 11:30.

It came as a great relief to us that the video player was working and we decided to watch the film we couldn’t watch last week, ‘Waiting For Guffman’.

We enjoyed the film very much and as we were still half an hour away from our lunch destination we thought we’d watch a couple of classic episodes of the Likely Lads…

It was a lovely sunny day and we were heading to Sutton Stop, Coventry…

Sutton Stop is the name for the ‘Stop Lock’ at Hawkesbury Junction. This is the Junction of the Coventry Canal and the Oxford Canal.

Alongside the canal was our chosen lunch spot, The Greyhound Inn!

Let there be frolics and bunting!

Time to order a beer, first off is Kerala by Distant Hills of Glossop.

Dreaming of sandy beaches and tropical fruits, this Session IPA is dry hopped mixing Mosaic and Calypso hops with Malabar pepper for an easy drinking, hoppy session beer.

It was gorgeous and went down so well we’d ordered another round before the food came

We had a great spec to eat our food watching the canal

Finally our food arrived…

It all tasted great and to congratulate ourselves on having such a good time we ordered another round of drinks!

This time it was Purity Session IPA

A moreish, unfiltered session IPA, infused with real grapefruit peel and brimming with tropical fruit notes and hop aromas.

At this point life couldn’t get any better but we had to get to Dunstable. Sadly it was time to say goodbye to Hawkesbury Junction…

and hello again to the van!

At least we had the Likely Lads to keep us amused!

We watched the episode where they’re avoiding the England football score and in no time we arrived in Dunstable!

Great atmosphere inside the park…

We caught the last five minutes of Bhangra Smash Up!

Great bunch of lads

Our dressing room was inside the council offices.

The mayor and her deputy came to greet us…

They were still buzzin’ after just being on stage with Bhangra Smash Up!

We went outside to check the bar…

and met up with some Farm fans who’d brought their records with them for us to sign.

Next act on was a Bob Marley Tribute…

He was great and had the crowd singing along…

Meanwhile, partly due to that extra pint in Coventry…

Not long after, the stage was being set up for us to go on…

The vodka had arrived early this week so time to get ready as the crowd were becoming restless!

Finally it was time to go on!

The lads from Bhangra Smash Up invaded the stage…

Watch the brilliant video here filmed by TheFarmLive gary.

The crowd went mad!

What a gig!

Curfew was 8pm so it was back to the dressing room to pick up our stuff.


We headed off and watched a couple more films…

before stopping off at a service station for more buffoonery.

Back in the van for one last time with a few extra cans.

Big, hoppy and fresh. Juicy American hops added in ever increasing amounts at the end of the boil and in the fermenter to give huge flavor and aroma.

Malt: Simpsons Best, Caragold, Caramalt.

Hops: Magnum, Columbus, Bravo, Amarillo.

Eventually we arrived back very late at the rehearsal rooms, Carl’s body language says it all!

but what a great day out yet again!

Posted in Music, food & drink, films

Summer Festivals 2022 (3)

Friday July 1st 2022

Third festival of the summer and it’s back down south to Church End near Little Hadham in Hertfordshire for the ‘Sign of the Times’ festival.

10:00 start but we couldn’t find the gold bus.

It had been booked out to somebody else so we had to settle for silver.

Half an hour into the journey and we chose our first film…

but no one could get the video to work.

Carl produced various leads from his bag…

but nothing seemed to work.

Even our manager Peasy tried to phone for assistance from our other vehicle…

but to no avail.

We had to accept that there would be no films on today and we would have to entertain ourselves by making conversation!

There were lots of hold ups on the motorway and we weren’t making very good progress. On top of that Keith had too many cups of tea that morning and needed the toilet!

We stopped at services for 10 minutes but by the time we got out, the van had moved to get petrol. At this point we’d all separated…

eventually everyone showed up by the van but Keith had gone missing!

John King put out an APB and eventually Keith showed up.

He’d been in a sandwich queue and the lady in front of him couldn’t work out how to use the barcode machine on checkout!

At last at 1:30 we arrived in Thornby where we had chosen our lunch venue, The Red Lion.

Just 5 minutes drive from Naseby, the scene of the great battle of 1645 where Cromwell destroyed the Royalist army under Charles I.

Lovely pub with good recommendations for food and drink.

We ordered 5 pints of Purity Gold

Keen followers will remember that we had Purity Gold in the Royal Oak in Crick coming back from Knebworth in August 2019.

They directed us to a room upstairs…

The beer tasted great!

So did the food!

We left as satisfied customers

New Model Army HQ

We set off again, the journey to the festival would take us another hour and forty five minutes!

Before too long we realised that we would be on stage in less than an hour!

Time for Alex to start her make-up!

Eventually we arrived at the festival

We were on after Jo Boxers, we’d supported them in Liverpool in the eighties but relations were soured after Dig Wayne’s leather hat mysteriously went missing.

We were in a rush to prepare for the gig so went straight to the dressing room where we bumped into Richard Jobson from the legendary Skids!

Top bloke!

We then found a fridge full of Kronenbourg

Its golden hues and delicate bitterness come from selecting the best hops, the ‘Strisselspalt’, and the unique know-how of Kronenbourg’s master brewers for over 300 years.

Strisselspalt is also named the caviar of hops by the expert master brewers around the world for its low bitterness and aromatic qualities. Its specific soil and culture technique requirements makes it rare and quite unique to the Alsace Region and Kronenbourg recipes.

Alas the vodka was slow to arrive so we had to revert to plan b!

Keith has his own brand

At last, time for us to go on stage!

The crowd were brilliant!

The gig was fantastic!

Alex’s mum had come to see us and we met her back stage.

Meanwhile Peasy met our mate Alan McGee who was DJ ing the event and Richard Jobson again.

We found a craft bar out front and bumped into our mate Guy Gillo

The bar had Beavertown Neck Oil which went down a treat!

A beer that you know you can pick up and appreciate or simply get it down ya neck. Extra pale base malts are used to keep it crisp and give the hops a great platform to dance on. Masses of late hop additions throughout the last 20 minutes of the boil and a huge dose of dry hops make this a brilliantly ‘easy’ ipa.

Alex’s mum Liz and auntie Emma joined us.

We had a fantastic day but after checking our phone messages we decided it was best to leave.

What a great day out!

Posted in Music, food & drink, films

Summer Festivals 2022 (2)

Saturday 18th June 2022

The second festival this year is again with Madness as part of the Forest Live series of concerts. This week we’re going to High Lodge, Thetford Forest, Suffolk

9:30 start this week at Sort rehearsal studios for the long journey to Suffolk.

Sort of

Video’s on board this week included….

and an old favourite

We decided to head to Hartford for our lunch – a pub called The King of the Belgians!

Friendly bar

We ordered the Bruha English Bitter…

The very best East Anglian malted barley combined with English hops to create this English bitter.

and the Drayman’s Draught

The American hopped pale ale has a strong citrus flavour with a bitter hoppy aftertaste.

Carl’s sausage & mash looked good

Pub of the year 2017
Saw us coming

Food was very good and we had a couple of nice pints before setting off again to the venue.

Back stage
Sound check
Keith & Alex

We had a bit of time to spare so decide to try archery!

Great fun!

We are the mods!

Carl, Roy & I went out front of stage to find the Madness Brewery Beer, it was great!

Absolutely Pale Ale is a beer to arouse the senses, infusing American style hops into a refreshingly flavoursome liquid bounty. You’ll want to take i, not leave it, with no sign of embarrassment, as we’re sure you’ll be absolutely bowled over with every sip.

Took our beer back to watch Emily Capell

Now, time for The Farm

Straight outta Metallica
View from the stage

The crowd were great and we went down well!

End of tour photo
Some friends turned up
Met an Eastender…
Who got arrested for being drunk

Oh what fun we had with Madness and Emily Capell!

Posted in Music, food & drink, films

Summer Festivals 2022

Saturday 11th June 2022

A great way to start off the festival season with two gigs as special guests of Madness as part of the Forestry England dates postponed from 2020.

10:30 am start at Sort rehearsal studio as we’re heading to the Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire.

Good choice of film as we watch JoJo Rabbit on the bus.

Danny Boyle’s ‘Yesterday’ was next up but we only got half way through it as we arrived at our pub stop.

The Three Horseshoes, Frampton-on-Severn!

Straight in to order 12 lunches with pints to the horror of the only bar maid in the village!

12 pints of Jubuley please
(Golden Beer)A full flavoured and hoppy palate balanced by underlying fruit. This copper coloured beer is smooth, long and very refreshing.
Went down a treat

They also prepared 12 fantastic pies…

Each filling had a choice of meat or fish with mashed potatoes and cauliflower cheese inside the pie crust!

Mine was Steak & Ale

The Village Green in Frampton is said to be the longest village green in England, and is about 22 acres in size. Cricket is played on The Green outside the Bell Inn, one of the two Pubs on The Green, the other being The Three Horseshoes at the opposite end of The Green.

We needed a long rest to digest our traditional English fayre.

Which resulted in us being very late for the sound check😟

Meanwhile back stage the weather was glorious.


…and the beer fridge full

Notes: In the late 1800’s Brooklyn was one of the largest brewing centers in the country, home to more than 45 breweries. Lager beer in the “Vienna” style was one of the local favorites. Brooklyn Lager is amber-gold in color and displays a firm malt center supported by a refreshing bitterness and floral hop aroma. Caramel malts show in the finish. The aromatic qualities of the beer are enhanced by “dry-hopping”, the centuries-old practice of steeping the beer with fresh hops as it undergoes a long, cold maturation. The result is a wonderfully flavorful beer, smooth, refreshing and very versatile with food. Dry-hopping is largely a British technique, which we’ve used in a Viennese-style beer to create an American original.

Thought we’d explore…

Carl & Roy enjoying a cold pint of Carling
Great atmosphere!

Emily Capell was the first act on, she was very good.

Emily Capell
Team photo

Next up….the Farm

Great crowd
View from the desk
View from the stage

The crowd were brilliant!

Next up….Madness


All too soon we had to pull the plug on the evening as we had to get back home.

Roll on next week