Reviews and News

August 2016

Blidworth was a triumph, though on rather later than planned it was a great day, and the response was really fantastic, with the demand we return next year - we are looking forward to it.

In the meantime Andy has been very busy mastering our latest recording - see our music page. Play them loud and enjoy. More to come in the months ahead.

 

June 2016

 

We are looking forward to July in a big way...with gigs at the New Barrack Tavern and also Headlining the Blidworth Festival.

 

Here is the press release for the Blidworth event -  see you there:

 

Gig in the Garden set to get Blidworth rocking!

Blidworth Music Festival at the Bird in Hand pub, Main Street, Blidworth, NG21 0QH

Saturday 16th July 2pm – Late. Entrance FREE, all donations to charitable causes.

Popular Yorkshire-based blues rock four-piece Fade 2 Black will headline a host of groups playing for local causes at the second annual Blidworth Music Festival on Saturday 16th July.

Dubbed ‘the Gig in the Garden’ the festival takes place in the natural amphitheatre of the Bird in Hand pub garden on Main Street in Blidworth, with Blidworth Woods providing a dramatic scenic backdrop to the musical proceedings.

Folk rock combo The Storm Trees kick off proceedings just after 2pm while Buxton’s Sideways Band and the John Lynwood Band are among the other highlights of a top quality line-up featuring eleven acts - including Blidworth’s very own Ragged Rascals. More details about the programme can be found at http://www.facebook.com/TheBirdInHandBlidworth

The event also features an all-day barbecue, speciality cask beers, sweet and cake stalls, a children’s activity area and charity fund-raising activities including a prize raffle draw.

Entrance to the festival is free with money raised from donations going to Notts and Lincs Air Ambulance and local community groups and charities.

Festival music programmer John Lynwood said, “We’ve got a stage-load of talent lined up with a range of musical styles to suit all tastes – rock, folk, acoustic, pop and blues.”

Nick Rhodes, chair of Blidworth Community Association who help organise the event said, “The Gig in the Garden is another chance to enjoy great music in a fantastic pub setting and raise lots of money for local causes. Last year’s festival was a roaring success so we’re hoping for another bumper turn-out. My advice is to get there early if you want a good seat!”

 

 

 

November 2015

 

Well that time has come - we are ready! The months of rehearsing over and after the success at a private function run through gig in August we are now setting our next gig dates. With two dates so far and others to follow we begin our journey again at the New Barrack Tavern.

 

With new material and new working of some old favourites the new set feels really good to play and we are all very excited about getting out there once more.

 

 

August 2015

 

The last few months we have been rehearsing hard and getting to know each other musically again. It has been great fun and very rewarding too. Revisiting and reworking songs, taking on new songs and seeing and hearing the sound of the band develop. One thing is clear, Redder's return adds a soul element back, with powerful blues and of course classic rock tones. All in all - a very big sound all around.

 

And all the hard work has paid off as we play the first gig with the new line at - where else but the home of Fade2Black - The New Barrack Tavern, later this month on Aug 21st - with dates to follow.

 

We are al excited about being stage once more and doing what we love to do - and the wait is almost over for us and hopefully many of you who have followed the band over the years too. Not to mention those who may never have heard the band before and this is their first introduction to our music.

 

either way... see you there... see gig dates with venues added over the months ahead.

 

February 2015

It has been a while since the last update... but things have not been quiet for the band. It has taken a while for the incarnation of the band to develop but we are all pleased to announce the return of Steve 'Redders' Redhall to the band. Steve, one of the founding members of the original band has returned to the fold. After Steve let the band back in 2007 he continued singing as a major force in the band The Call.

 

But the pull of Fade2black is clearly strong, and over the years between then and now the desire to return has built up over time. Likewise, since Steve's departure we have had some great singers but when the time to look for another came - we looked back to the source and Redders came straight to mind.

 

One phone call was all it took. Rehearsals started early February and it was clear the old magic and chemistry was still there. So now the hard work begins as we prepare a new set - combining echoes of past favourites with new songs.

 

Look out for gig date announcements in the coming months - and for those waiting for our return - thank you for your patience. We are all looking forwarding to getting back to performing and the next era for the band.

 

October 2014

After a lot of soul searching the latest line up of the band has come to an end with Zoe (who joined us back in April 2012) moving off onto new things in the future. As for the band, we are on pause while we seek new member(s) and have plans to rehearse new material over the coming months. This means we will be off the road for a while - but keep checking the site for news and the announcement when gigs start again.

 

In the meantime, thanks to everyone who has been supporting the band over the last few years - it is much appreciated - and we look forward to coming back and gigging once more.

 

July 2014


After two excellent gigs in Matlock and at the New Barrack Tavern - sadly the last gig ended with Steve suffering a heart attack. Thankfully medics were soon on hand and after a few days in hospital and an operation Steve is now back at home recuperating.

 

This means we have had to cancel/postponed all planned gigs until October - by which time we hope Steve will be fully back in the saddle. We are all very sorry to disappoint those planning to come to gigs in August and September - but I am sure you will all join us in wishing Steve a a speedy recovery.

 

April 2014

 

Apologies for the delay in updating news of the band. It has been a good and interesting year so far. We played the Hilsborough Hotel for the first time and really enjoyed ourselves in this great little music venue - and a nice surprise was it is also a micro-brewery pub with exclusive beers. A guaranteed recipe for success in our book. We are looking forward to going back.

 

More recently we played the Fat Skeleton Biker Blues Weekend - a great occasion tinged with drama. We really enjoyed the venue and the atmosphere and met really nice people. With "Balding Bloke" providing the sound system and  excellent production we played a fab F2B set which seemed to go down very well. We were especially pleased pleased to the reaction to our two newest songs Walk in my Shadow and Don't believe a Word. Introducing new songs is always a challenge as it means we have to decide which songs to leave out - not easy as we like them all. when you have played songs for a while they become like friends hard to part from. On the other hand we love the excitement of a new song and seeing how it develops as we play it live. We are sure the new songs will become established F2B favourites.

 

On the darker dramatic side, while other members of the band we staying at local B&B's, the ever intrepid Andy and Lynn were camping on site indulging the outdoor life. Having enjoyed a lovely camp side chilli and beer in the late afternoon, the gig and a few beers to follow they retired to their tent for the night. Sadly they awoke to find their tent had been entered and they had been robbed of cameras and wallets. Two other tents suffered the same fate. Very sad that a great event was tarnished - but we are not deterred with Andy especially keen to return next year. No ne'er-do-well can dampen the F2B spirit.

 

Next week - another new venue for us in Crich - it is always a pleasure playing to a new audience - and all the music feeling new!

 

January 2014

 

Happy new year from all of us in Fade2Black. We are all really excited about what the future holds for the band this year - and we have made a great start with our first gig of the year in Shirebrook. Thanks go to Dave of the KOD Crew for setting it all up. It was a great gig and all came together so well. Our rehearsal earlier in the week had been a hard with everyone having post festivity memory loss!! It happens sometimes when trying to keep so many songs clear in our minds. Then, on the night magic happens - and this was one of those nights. One of our strongest performances to date.

 

A special mention goes to Les (an original of the KOD crew) who had not seen the band since 2009 - back in the days of Willow on vocals. Great to see you Les, and we hope you liked the new look and sound of the band.

 

So for 2014 - it is ever onward and upward...

 

November 2013

 

It has been a while since the last news update... not because noting has been going on on - rather a bit too much!

 

The gig at the Fishpond in Matlock went fantastically well - great venue and a lovely and enthusiastic audience and we really look forward to going back later in December. Sadly we had to cancel a gig at Shirebrook (sorry to the KOD crew) on the news of the death of Zoe's dad, but we are working hard to get another date sorted as soon as we can.

 

Our diaries are a little complicated at the moment, I have been away in Australia for 3½ weeks and the well-travelled Andy Smith is about depart for foreign shores for his November break. Despite the absences however, we have managed to fit in a recording session and now have the new line and sound captured on disc for the first time - and it sounds really good. Andy's engineering prowess coming to the fore once more. We also have some new video clips in production and these will be posted as soon as we can finish them.

 

A special thanks to goes to Lynn Smith for some excellent photographs of recent performances - see Gallery

 

Add to that a FAT Skeleton 2014 festival date for next year (details to follow) and a band radio interview being arranged - it is all happening for the band. As it gets to the end of the year and venues start planning for next year the diary should be filling up in the weeks ahead.

 

August 2013

 

After a long gap it is good to see the diary filling up again with new dates and new venues. We had a lovely afternoon playing the Yoeman Hill Bandstand Mansfield Woodhouse on Saturday 10th Aug. Even better that we have been asked to return next year. A big thank you to the organisers (Darrell) and to
Cllr Joyce Bosnjak (Deputy Leader Nottinghamshire County Council) for recommending us. It was the first time we have ever had security!

 

With over 400 pictures taken at the event - look out for a new section of the gallery...

 

Going forward we are very excited at playing the Fishpond in Matlock Bath in September - at what is a great music venue - with great food and beer too! Looking at their gig list we are in some very good company indeed. One not to miss.

 

June 2013

 

Like buses... you wait a while then two come along. Well after a long absence we have enjoyed two great occasions at the New Barrack Tavern - Home of F2B. It felt good to be back treading the familiar boards of the NBT stage and even nice to see old friends and fans of the band. Thank you for your patience. for some it has been over two years since they last saw us.

For those who have listened to us from the beginning and worked with us through every line up a very special thank you - we appreciate all your support and good wishes and compliments on the latest F2B incarnation.

 

Saturday 8th was a special charity event at the NBT. Interesting to see and hear an ex band member - Amelia on stage before us. A special thank you to Stumble - the guys worked hard supporting the whole event and also played a great set. Really enjoyable and nice guys to meet and chat with too.


With the new songs going really well - our next phase is to add even more new music to our repertoire building on the new musical dynamics of the band... keep tuned.

 

May2013

 

Lights, camera action... Fade2Black on stage again and a great feeling to be playing once more with the new line up. With some new songs, Zoe up front and some familiar faces in the audience it was like we had never left. The Station Hotel Shirebrook was the debut gig for Zoe and an excellent night. We filmed it and hopefully some clips will be posted soon.

 

Thanks very much to Dave and the KOD crew for their support and making the gig happen at short notice. Sadly, we were not able to play the Bridge Inn Rotherham but we will return there for alternative dates later in the year. But Dave's enthusiasm saved the day and we took to the stage afterall.

 

More dates to follow for the Shirebrook - which is a great place for music - good stage and atmosphere - and looking forward to going back...

 

.. and we are now looking forward to the New Barrack Tavern in June...

 

April 2013

 

You will all be very glad to know that Steve is on the mend - as we start rehearsals again ready for our first gig with Zoe at the Bridge Inn in Rotherham, May 11th 2013. Hope to see you all there.

 

And after all the weather we have had - rock'n'roll on spring and summer...

 

March 2013


Some say that the blues is the music of the broken heart - sadly Steve, blues drummer to the core, has taken this literally and has had a heart attack and is currently in hospital. The good news is that he is - and will - be OK but needs some time to recovery fully - so the New Barrack Gig on 23rd March 2013 has been cancelled and we will return there later in the year. Thanks Kev and Steph at the NBT for their understanding, best wishes and support.

 

In the mean time I hope you will join me and the rest of the band in wishing Steve a speedy recovery and with Andy at his bedside giving encouragement he will be back with us in no time.

 

February 2013

 

It has been a while for news - with the band working hard behind the scenes getting ready to hit the stage again - and the clock is ticking. Only a few weeks to go and we return to the New Barrack Tavern - the original home of F2B and the right place to start gigging again in 2013.

 

Sounding good and fresh we are all keen to hit the road once more - so see us at the New Barrack Tavern - Saturday 23rd March 2013 - the waiting is over.

 

October 2012

 

The roller coaster that is Fade2Black goes on and takes another twist and turn. Sadly, as it turns out, Greg, while a very good guitarist, found the F2B way of playing and rehearsing too different from his own and has decided to leave. As a band we have a particular 'ensemble' sound we are looking for and we rehearse hard to get it just right. Playing music together is exacting, challenging but exciting and fun too - and it is always great when it all comes.

 

Interestingly, before Greg joined and we were rehearsing as a 4 piece with Zoe - and it was sounding excellent - so we have decided to explore the 4 piece format more fully... so keep tuned in - F2B will be back on the road as soon as we can.

 

July 2012

 

The band is complete once more with the addition of Greg Parker on rhythm guitar and vocals. Alongside Zoe on lead vocal and harmonica we have a great line-up and sound. Greg is a Fender man at heart with both a strat and tele as well as fender amps.

We are busy rehearsing a new set........mixing new songs with new arrangements of old favourites - it is great being a full band once more and that special chemistry - personally and musically - is there... and it is sounding good. We have a lot of work to do to build up the new set - but it is going well. We plan to be playing again by the end of the year - maybe sooner, we shall see. What is really good is that we are all enjoying it


In the mean time - than you to everyone who has called or emailed for information and to wish us well.

 

April 2012


It is a wet and raining April day - and the world looks a little grey - but here in F2B world things are looking up. After months of advertising and auditions we are very pleased to welcome Zoe to the band - see her profile page to learn more about her and what she brings to the band.

 

Meanwhile the search goes on for the right musician to fulfil the second musician role... but hopefully news to follow soon. Rehearsals are under way and we hope to hit the stage again very soon.

 

February 2012


January was a good month with a fabulous gig at Delaney's Bar and an excellent charity night at Miller's. The latter was filmed and I will post some clips as soon as I can.

 

However, as mentioned back in October - I said there would be some changes for this year. We can now announce that both Catherine and Fraser have left the band. Later in the year Catherine leaves to live in Europe for a year as part of her studies. Fraser will pursue his own interests.

 

So we are now planning the next instalment of the F2B story... well will make announcements as the new line up develops.

 

In the meantime  - thanks to everyone for their continued support, for watching and listening... F2B will be back soon.

 

October 2011


It has been a busy and dramatic few months for everyone in the band in the last few months - both on and off stage. A mix of a wedding, a divorce, a car drama and a wedding to come - mmmmm... sounds like a movie...


Add in a great gig at Trippet's Wine bar -  a great venue - that is going through changes too with new management and approach to music in the future. It was lovely to play one of the last gigs there with the present management who have been great supporters of the band. We wish the new management well too.


Looking forward - in 2012, there are going to be some changes for Fade2Black - so look out for news on that front as the details emerge - but in the meantime, we all hope you continue to enjoy the latest line up and the music we make. F2B have some FAB dates ahead at the New Barrack Tavern - the official home of the band, The White Lion and also a new venue for us - Delaney's Bar which is becoming quite the place for music in Sheffield.

 

As ever - life and music is change - read it hear first as they say...

 

August 2011

 

It is the end of the month and what a month. Our debut gig at Weston Park - a not so fine afternoon weather wise but a great start for the band. It was nice to see some new and some familiar faces in the crowd. Add some enthusiastic dancer from a dedicated blues fan and the delightful experience of being painted and sketched as we played. Check out the Portrait Gallery. A big thank you to Lynne Chapman.

 


Then on to the New Barrack Tavern our first indoor gig. A few technical problems for the first set... mics can be very troublesome - with mine working to well and me being too loud and Fraser's not working - a dodgy mic lead in that case. It makes a change as normally I get feedback I am not loud enough so a curiosity for it to be the other way around! But it all goes to show that people love listening as much as we love playing - and we all want it to be just right!
 

Anyways - by the second set we were sorted and enjoyed the night. Shame the weather was not a little kinder, as earlier in the evening a fine band, The Loudness, endured drizzle and only a small crowd. A shame, people missed a good performance.


Then, the very next night - a triumph at the Hilltop Social Club. Great sound, a lovely audience and the band raring to go after the previous night. Fabulous all around and back on top form. We have been getting many comments and compliments about the new line up and musical mix - so look forward to seeing everyone who have yet to see us in a latest form.
 

Like everyone else - we are wondering what has happened to the summer - but hope it returns by Saturday as we are once again outdoors at the Botanical Gardens - Art in the Gardens.

 

July 2011

 

It has been a long while since an update - apologies - but behind the scenes a lot has been going on for the band and members. Four years ago, Amelia joined us as second guitar and vocalist... and during her time with us progressed to lead singer fronting the band, a big journey indeed - and as is the way of these things, at the end of last year she decided to focus on her other musical interests. I am sure all she has learnt with us will stand her in good stead. Our finale gig was at The New Barrack Tavern - the official home of F2B. A fitting place with an audience that has followed us since the beginning and seen all our changes over the years.

 

So while Amelia was forming her own band, we set out on our own next stage and welcomed Catherine (vocals) and Fraser (2nd guitar).

 

Over the last few months, while playing our last gigs with Amelia we have been working hard with the new line up and are proud to launching the new band in August.

 

It is fun to look back, we started back in 2001 as a 5 piece band and we are returning to that format - but this time fronted by a female lead singer. We like being different J. The young and powerful voice of Catherine and the sweet fender Stratocaster and chord finesse of Frazer takes us on the the next level musically and rehearsals have been great fun... with the wide range of silky smooth blues to full on toe tapping stompers that is the trade mark of F2B.

 

So... check the gig list and come on down - be the first to say "I was there...."

 

It is now nearly the end of July - and through hard and relentless efforts of Andy - wearing his recording and producing hat - we have our new CD "Mutatis Mutandis". The mix of F2B classics with the new line up - sounds great...and we are really proud of it. Hats off to Andy too - for the hours of mastering it takes to get the final result - so, have a good listen and enjoy it - just as we had fun making it.


So with new CD and August launch - we are fully ready for the next chapter ij the story of F2B

 

January 2011

Happy New Year to everyone.

 

It is January 2nd - and the boys are back in town - now that Andy and Steve have returned from exotic travels in December and the drunken revelry of the festive season by us all and we are ready to rumble... join us for our first gig of the year at Trippets Wine Bar on Saturday 15th January - a great music venue with a great history and vibe - we cannot wait. 2011 feels good! In the mean time - where is the alka seltza...

 

November 2010

Well, we have just played our last two gigs of the the year - at the New Barrack Tavern - and it was lovely to end on a high - on what has been one of the best ever years for F2B. The new line up, new venues, new CD an also the thrill of our first review in Blues Matters! (issue 56). This review dates back to May 2010 at Miller's Snooker Club and so for this month - I shall hand over to BM reporter-Carol Borrington... thanks Carol

 

And here is another review... From  The Star - the South Yorkshire paper - thanks DB

REVIEW: Fade2Black, New Barrack Tavern.

Published Date: 09 November 2010
 
FADE2Black signed off a busy year in style when they played their own brand of hard hitting blues to this packed venue - sadly their last gig in Sheffield before bass guitarist Andy Smith and drummer Steve Palin jet off for South East Asia and Australia.The good news is...they return in the new year.

An appreciative crowd were mesmerised by the sublime lead guitar of Richard Warr and the sultry vocals and guitar of Amelia Carter as F2B pounded their way through blues classics.
They band have appeared at Sheffield's Art In The Gardens and Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham in a touring schedule to promote their latest CD In Flagrante Delicto.

And in Hillsborough from the opening notes of Get Over It they produced another faultless performance through to the final encore of Bye Bye Baby, accompanied by excellent audience participation orchestrated by Amelia who, by this time, had them at her command.

Steve and Andy provided the platform for Richard and Amelia to take everyone into blues heaven. By the end the throng were on their feet demanding more.

Make sure you don't miss them when they return to 2011

 

October 2010

Time has flown again, we have played the most splendid Art in the Gardens as well as been in York, Warsop and of course Sheffield at the Riverside. Our sights are turning to next year now - but not before we play the infamous Penistone Rd Tour with two finale dates for 2010 at the home of F2B - The New Barrack Tavern.


With the CD finished we have turned attentions to new songs - and are currently working on two new songs Temptation, Cold Shot as well as old favs from years gone by - but with a new twist; Texas Strut and When my baby she left me. It is always fun working on new stuff - but hard work too - trying to get a new angle on the song. To do it the F2B way. Over the years it has been a constant source of intrigue to us as to why some songs seem 'to happen' quickly while others take a while to emerge, blossom and grow.

 

Times are tough these days for sure - and we learn first hand how hard it is for venues to put acts on with people generally going out less... and that makes us even more thankful for the support we get and all the positive comments and feedback - we really do appreciate it. Thanks too for the comments about the CD also - every flattering and encouraging...

 

Going forward - what we would really like to do next is produce a HiDef DVD and we are starting to think how we might do that - we love our creative challenges - and be good to have a visual record while we still have all our own hair and teeth... though my hair disappearing fast so it is a case of now or never!

 

See you on the tour...J


August 2010

It has been a while - but as usual a it has been a busy time in the world of F2B. As well as returning to Nottingham - at the most splendid "Nags Head" playing their open air courtyard during their beer festival - a most splendid event - we have been busy working on the new CD - which is now ready and available. We will have the first copies for sale when we play one of our favourite gigs of the year - Art in the Gardens - in the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield.
 

Hope to see you there - and that the sun shines J So far - we have been blessed with our outdoor gigs... overcast but "warm, moist and sultry" (and that was just Steve) for the Weston Park Bandstand gig - and a "phew what a scorcher" for the Firth Park event... so fingers crossed - though not while playing!


The CD is called In Flagrante Delicto and features the band in our new 4 piece format, with our newest songs and added to that - solo pieces by Amelia in wonderful voice, and myself, in finger pickin' slide heaven - add to that a bonus track - a duet between Andy on acoustic guitar and myself - playing a favourite of ours that we perform only on the most special occasions - and you have what we think is our best CD to date. Andy's skills at recording and production shine out - and we are all very pleased with the result. We hope you are too.


In the meantime - we had a great return to the New Barrack Tavern - and had a great crowd and fabulous welcome back - it is always a pleasure to play the NBT - the official home of F2B.


Life, as always, has had its dramas too, some still unfolding - but we are are still here and playing and sounding FAB - and as they say - life is what the blues is all about...

 

June 2010

I can only say the last two months have been dramatic! Gig wise we had the adventure of the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham in May. It was great fun but also physically hard work too. Playing on the 4th floor in a glass walled room with FAB views across the city was a wonderful spot... trying to unload in a busy city centre, dodging coaches, taxis, cars and crowds out to have a good time on a Saturday... many many trips up and down in the goods lift and all in all we needed a good lie down after setting up - which we actually had time to do as we then waited for the main theatre show to finish before starting. Add in time for an excellent curry and a lovely walk around the city and actually was a great evening - thank you very much to Neil Bennison of RCN for booking us and helping on the night too.

 

And what about Miller's Snooker Club? Always a pleasure to play the famous Millers and a little daunting too - with such a musical audience who know their blues listening to every note we wanted it to be right... and my goodness we were on song indeed. Thank you as ever to Rob Knowles and his wife who put so much work into the club... and all the kind words support and emails we received after the event.

 

Add in major personal life changing dramas and a house move, the end of year exam pressures for Amelia and the series of life adventures on-going for Andy a good job we have the steady rhythmic hands of Stevie P to keep us all together.

 

We have a little bit of a gap in the gig schedule - so we are going to make the most of it by finishing the new CD and pushing on with a new range of songs... playing together as a 4-piece with Amelia on the vocals we have gelled together differently...taking F2B ever onwards... so look and listen out for new stuff...

 

April 2010

This a big month with big news for the band. As things are settling in gig-wise with Amelia in the pole position on the mic - we are having a great time rehearsing new songs and playing live - tonight another new venue for us - the Roman Bath in York.

 

We have also been booked to play the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham on the 15th May. Following the performance of Riverdance that evening - we are the late night attraction - a new venture for the theatre. This special free gig is open to the audience of the Riverside show - but also to anyone who would like to just come and see the band too - so come along... it promises to be a great evening for all and a great opportunity for us to play to a new audience who may not have been to a blues band gig in a while - or even new to blues music altogether.


So I will keep you all posted of details... and how it goes of course...

 

March 2010

It's official - the new F2B has hit the road. J

 

The venue was the Black Market, Warsop - and with the faithful and much valued support of the King of Diamonds crew in evidence - Amelia announced for the first time - "Good evening - we are Fade2Black" - a big moment indeed.

 

The last couple of months of hard work paid off and we had a great time and were received well - both by familiar faces and new faces alike. The KoD crew have always been very straight about what they like and do not like - so it was lovely to get the 'royal thumbs-up' of approval - and always good to hear the immortal cries of 'three more...thhhrrreeeeeeeeeeeee mooooooooorrrreeeeeee' from the back of the room. Hope the guitar was loud enough for you guys!

 

So, one down... and two more march dates to go... watch this space.

 

 

February 2010

Apart from 2010 being remembered as one of the snowiest in living memory, as I write there is 6" snow outside with more to come, 2010 also sees the debut of F2B mk3 - and we are all rather excited. Weather problems and band member holidays has has made rehearsing difficult and meant we have had to work hard to get ready for the first gig on March 6th at the Black Market, Warsop... but we are ready now and itching to play. F2B sounds FAB.

 

Everyone has worked really hard, no more so than Amelia who has had 25+ song lyrics to memorise and sing not to mention new or revised arrangements. That workload certainly puts the 'one a week' challenge of the X factor into perspective J

 

Playing music and performing is a very personal, emotional, intimate and trusting thing to do - we feel really together and that makes the music even better.

Here's to 2010 and new beginnings in more ways than one.

 

December 2009

The last few months have been dramatic for us as individuals and as a band - and after 2+ years since he joined in May 2007 Willow has decided it is time for him to leave - and we all wish him well for his next musical adventure.  The last couple of years has seen the many high points - our Germany tour in 2008 and the Farmyard festival in 2009 to name but two as well as some great recordings. We all have great memories of some of the biggest moments in band's history during his time with us - we worked hard together to make it happen - and we have grown stronger musically - and it was great fun too.

 

So, please come and give the phenomena that is John "Willow" Wilson a great send off as we play our finale gig together at the Riverside on Dec 19th 2009.

 

So what does this mean for F2B. Well, there will be a new incarnation of the band with Amelia taking the lead vocal role - so look forward to some familiar songs with a new twist as well as many new songs too as we go through 2010 with our new line-up debut in March next year.

 

...and finally - well what a night... a gig that will be remembered for a long time and a most fitting finale to the year and John's time with the band. A very big thank you to all who came - and especially the King of Diamonds crew - your friendship and support means a lot to us... echoes of "three mooooorreee" will be with us always.

 

So as the year draws to a close - we can only say "What a year that was". If we do not see you before - have a great Christmas and a happy new year - from the old and the new... F2B

 

As the year draws to a close, have just heard that Stanley - the fabulous and well loved dog - has passed over. It was during his walks years ago that, John, his owner first heard guitar playing from a house on his route... and with a knock at the door and a kind invitation to play at the famous 'Reg Fest' garden party... set the whole F2B roller coaster rockin' and rollin' - thank you Stanley... you will be missed but never forgotten.

 

October 2009

While a lot has been happening for the band - the last 6 weeks have been a technical nightmare PC wise as my home system 'blew-up' and has taken an age to find and solve the problem - so an apology for not being able to keep things up to date.

 

September saw our return to the Art in the Park event at the botanical gardens in Sheffield. Last year, our proximity to 'the Victorians' and their tea party caused a few feathers to flutter. We enjoyed the event and were hoping to be able to return - so it was a pleasure to be invited again. We assumed that ourselves and our favourite time-slip cousins would be at opposite ends of the park - so it was a shock to discover them but one tent away... but this year it was great to see some Victorians dancing and rocking-out, that is what I call doing the bustle!!!

Another most pleasant surprise was an email from a mysterious German gentleman - Wolfgang - wanting to know when we would be on stage. As it turns out he was a lovely guy that we met on our mini-Germany tour last year, and he specifically altered his UK holiday plans to make sure he could see us. Never has someone travelled so far to see us play - a tribute indeed and very flattering.
 

Weather was great - we sold out of our CD's on both days... and being asked for so many autographs humbled us all... a really FAB F2B day.


We also had the opportunity, courtesy of Amelia's brother - to work with a professional photographer. We have never looked so good.
(See the gallery for a few stunners)

Then there was the Charity night at the NBT - great crowd, good fun- and all for a good cause.


Things then moved on a pace to the Ramsbottom Blues Festival over in Lancashire. Booked as one of the acts in a roadhouse venue - we were first to play on the Saturday (Day 2) event. A slow start crowd wise soon grew into a most appreciative audience. But our day was only just beginning. As it turned out - a band pulled out at last minute due to swine flu and were asked to do a second spot at another venue in the festival. So, after setting up and playing we quickly had to pack up and get set up once more at the Rose and Crown up a deceptively steep hill on the town. Not sure how many would be there - it turned we played to a packed house and it was a fab gig all around.

The whole atmosphere at the event was compliment by a WWII festival in the town on the same day. So the streets were lined with bunting and people dressed in 1940's gear and military uniforms - with period music events going on to. A day to remember - and the place had a great fish and chip shop too!

A big thank to Steve French (of the Steve French Band) too - for recommending us to the organisers

Looking forward to this month - we have more new venues for us ahead - Castleford and Warsop... and in the mean time we are working on our next CD and it is coming alone really well. Andy is doing sterling work as engineer and producer and keeping us happy with how we sound, no mean feat I can tell you - being the demanding bunch we are - more news soon...

 

June 2009

Where to begin? So much has happened since the last update...

 

... April saw a great gig at the Riverside and May saw a most the fabulous of gigs at The Blues Bar-Harrogate. But, the drama did not end there - on the way home a blow-out saw me crash into the central reservation on the A1M near Doncaster at some speed. Managing to get the car to the hard shoulder - it was hard to see exactly what damage had a occurred - good tip - if you are going to crash at 2.30am on a deserted unlit motorway - have a torch - and a fully charged mobile! Sadly I was less prepared. However - after AA and recovery dramas, I managed to get home around 5.00am and was to soon discover the car was a right-off. But, thankfully - me and the guitars safe and sound.

 

May also saw us in a new venue - The George in Oldham. Lovely place, landlord and people - a good place for a drink and food - but not so good as a band venue as the layout makes it hard for people to see. But, it was a lovely drive out - pretty countryside and a lovely evening.

 

June has been in our sights for a long time - with great excited anticipation as the MAG Farmyard festival event got closer and closer. MAG - the Motorcycle Action Group - lay on a number of events - and this was the biggest - a 3 day 10,000 biker folk mega event. We were to headline in the Blues Tent on the Saturday night.

 

We hired a van and travelled up en masse - Willow at the wheel - and arrived in good time for our sound check. Proudly wearing our 'Access all Areas - Artists" badge we set about putting tents up. Willow - who decided to take the 'sleep in the van' option could only marvel at the tent erection skills of Steve - the moment made more special by the fact the tent in question was donated by Willow himself. Two attempts later - maybe three - with the help of Andy "Outdoorsman" Smith - shelter against the elements was finally provided. Did I mention the fact that the weather was mixed with intermittent bursts of pissing it down. So we now have Andy and Steve sorted with there 'one-man' tents... for us to be joined by Janet and Barb - Janet keen to test out her new tent...

 

...a magnificent affair - two bedrooms and lounge area. Janet also came equipped with Calor gas grill, lighting, kettle, chairs and supplies to feed an army - the tea was soon on. Later - keen for a drink of water - Willow accidentally discovered Janet's love of Vodka when he took a big gulp from a water bottle and found it was Janet's secret stash! Oh how we laughed.

 

Sound-check done - we learnt the blues tent capacity was about 1100+ and going to be our biggest audience ever. Surrounded by bikers - many unnervingly wearing kilts (I am sure the bike/kilt combo must present some health and safety issues) we waited... ate, drank and shopped... before returning to the social hub of Janet's tent.

 

In my long and failing search for a 'blues' hat - I discovered the bandana - and bought one, without a bike however Amelia thought the look was more "psycho-dentist from hell" - but cool none the less - indeed she bought one herself. Willow (I have a bike just not with me) Wilson was slightly less convinced. Apparently it is not done to wear a bandana at a jaunty angle.

 

The moment arrives - it is now 10.30pm - and suddenly it is all happening. Lights, smoke machine - and bikers as far as the eye could see. A couple of songs for the sound-guy to settle us in and we were all in piggy-heaven. The sound was FAB. Steve had a few issues monitor wise on the drums - but it all came together. Willow in full stage strutting form engaging the audience, the band tight and on song - the guitars sounding awesome fully cranked - vocals crisp, clear and soulful.

 

Keeping it upbeat - with a few slinky number numbers here and there - the crowd went wild. We were told later that we got the bikers moving & grooving like never before at the Farmyard. Time flew by - it seemed we reached our 12.00am finish in no time at all... but the crowd wanted more.....and more. By the time we got to "Bye Bye Baby" Willow had whipped them into an audience participation frenzy... and with my valves fully warmed up - the slide sound on the Les Paul - was pure bliss. And then it was over.

 

For us - it was the best gig ever... a treasured memory all around.

 

Too adrenalin pumped to go to bed - beer, food and JD's for Amelia followed before retiring under canvas or in the van. The next morning - a most glorious day - Janet soon had the grill going for sausages bacon and eggs - a huge thanks to Janet and Barb from all of us - and then it was back home...

 

... roll on next year.

 

March 2009

Spring is in the air! Well it has been all action on the F2B front - after a period of fevered rehearsals - we have played our first two gigs in the new line up.

O'Donoghue's in Wakefield was a great debut for Steve in a new venue for us all - and once we realised the 'Wakefield' way was to listen attentively till the end - then roar for more - we had a great time. Lovely venue, great people and the all important FAB beer. We really look forward to going back in November.


Then onward and upward to the musical legend that is the Moon & Sixpence at Glossop. Packed and with a great atmosphere - we settled in and really rocked... Steve really kicking ass on drums - he and Andy providing a solid tight foundation for Willow, Amelia and myself to do our 'thang'... and the crowd wanted more... and then some more. (btw: Steve does not have an official "aka" yet... so answers on a postcard... but he will answer to Steggsy)

 

A few technical dramas this month - trying to move the website onto a new server - so sorry if you have had problems accessing the site - it was down for a few days - but hopefully all sorted now. A big thank you to my brother-in-law - Tony - who has kindly hosted the site for the last 7 years or so.

 

So what next? Well now we have the current set list sorted we are moving onto new songs to add to our repertoire - and everyone is looking forward to a busy 2009 for the band. So if you have not had a chance to see the new line up yet - look forward to seeing you soon.

 

January 2009

It has been a while since an update but that does not mean things have been quiet on the F2B front... far from it in fact.

 

After 8 years of playing with the band - Tony "Sticks" Dennison has decided it is time for him to leave the band and focus on his other musical interests - and he continues as the long-time drummer of The Call.

So it is all change for us in 2009. Tony will play his last 'official' gigs with us at The Blues Cafe (6th Feb) and the New Barrack Tavern (20th Feb). So we all hope you can join us in making these gigs a fitting send off and fond farewell to one of the original F2B members.

Endings also mark new beginnings - and we are pleased to welcome a new member to the band - drummer Steve Paling (profile page coming soon).We have been busy rehearsing with Steve in readiness for his debut performance... so I hope you will be able to join us and give him a fab F2B welcome.


The diary is already looking good for 2009 - with some new venues and new adventures ahead. Look out especially for a major festival gig 20th June at The Farmyard - MAG motorcycle rally.

Christmas 2008 and New Year 2009 may seem like a distant memory now - but we hope they were good for you - and the credit crunch is not biting too hard... but if ever there was a time for the blues... it is now :)

 

November 2008 Fade2Black - Germany Tour:

It is early on Thursday 20th November, we are in a very well stuffed Peugeot 807 on the way to Germany - heading off to Dover and the Ferry. The Sat Nav has been programmed. Actually we had two Sat Navs - the on board one (Gertie) and a hand held one (Imogen). This would turn out to be a blessing and a curse as the two girls did not always see eye to eye as to the best route!

Taking turns at the driving - we soon discovered our different styles could be un-nerving to everyone else - with periodic cries of "Whoa Whoa Whoa!!!!!!!!". I thought the guys a little sensitive as my "Whoa Whoa Whoa" moment was on exiting the services only two minutes after changing drivers! But at least we discovered the Peugeot 807 can accelerate quite handily when needed - even with a band of Bluesmen and all their gear onboard.

The drive was long, the crossing smooth and Köln was soon in our sights - well, when I say soon... one mild moment of concern - others may call rampant hysteria - on emerging off the ferry the Les Paul was not visible... to a cry of "I must see it, I must see it NOW!!!" the wagon was searched and the poor plank had slipped out of view but was safe an sound

It is now about 10.00pm and we had been going since 6.00am. This was when we discovered that the Gertie had no idea where our hostel was... and that Imogen did - but was having trouble locking onto satellite reception - but we did arrive safe after a few U-turns.

A quick un-packing, a brief heads-up on Köln by Tilo the hostel manager and then off to the bar opposite for beer and schnitzel - we have arrived. The was the good news. Well, when I say good - beer and food were fantastic but we discovered the German interpretation of 'no-smoking' is a tad loose... serious serious and I mean serious smoke!!!

The bad news - was later we discovered one of the perils of sharing a room in a hostel - snoring!!!!! I will draw a veil over other related 'wind' issues for sake of decency - but my god - we are talking earth trembling snore power. Tony scores for speed snoring - as soon as head hits the pillow, Andy scores for sheer volume and duration, Willow for intermittent snoring then throwing things at others while I score for being the most discrete!


Date
: Friday 21st November Venue: Herbys, Elmpt

Next day we are knackered from lack of sleep but soon head off to discover the amazing music store called "the music store" (who says the german's have no sense of humour?)

We meet Dieter from Chicken Head for the first time and plan to follow him for the hours drive to Elmpt. We soon discover the perils of german driving... and loose Deiter off in the distance. Thank god for sat nav - except it was then we found out the two girls did not see eye to eye and poor Imogen suffered from poor reception at times. All a tad un-nerving. Some demon driving and we settle behind a Mercedes that we think is Dieter and hope for the best... we arrive a Herby's. Did I mention the snow? Oh yes, the weather playing up now and bloody cold.

Dieter provided the PA - a great sound by the way, we get introduced to Herby - set up and are ready to go... other members of Chicken Head arrive - Christel Stubbins (vocals), Rudi Seliger (drums/vocals) - the place fills up and off we go - we were not sure what to expect - but we went down a storm... We were all shamed by their fantastic english compared to our own poor language skills.

Did I mention the smoking... less 'passive smoking' and more 'grab you by the throat and shake you to death' smoking. Much beer is drunk and Christel is a a blues girl through and through.. great to meet her and Rudi.

Imogen gets us home :)

A slightly better night after the inspired purchase of ear plugs by Willow. They worked well for me - but Willow still had to resort to throwing things and splashing water over the oblivious Sparks.

Date: Saturday 22nd November Venue: Musenpark, Goch

Another day in Köln and another trip to the music store had to be made. It was great to see some very rare (and expensive) guitars and even play a few... we did a bit of culture too - the cathedral is quite amazing. Tony and Andy decide to climb the bell tower - which given the wind and weather was more 'exhilarating' than they expected! Also you had to feel sorry for the 'living statues' - the wind and cold were unbelievable

Off to Goch... this time we were to meet Dieter there - so all our trust in the two girls - and did I mention the snow! Driving a right hand drive Peugeot 807 on the 'wrong side of the road with no visibility through the back had moments of drama - and 'give way' obviously means something different in German. We get there. We were very flattered that Rudi's daughter and boyfriend were so taken with us that they made the journey to see us again.

A bigger stage - and we were well settled in by this time - we play really well and it goes down great. Bigger crowd too... a FAB gig. Friendly people, good mingling and Dieter makes a new 'friend'... and a very charming one too.

At this point Dieter just mentions that there is a problem with the final gig - the venue does not have a license - so we cannot play - but there is an alternative just opposite - a small place but will be 'OK'. Wesay - well we are here anyway...

On the way home - we hit a diversion - the two girls go a little crazy and it takes nearly two hours to get back - but at least it had stopped snowing. Sleep less of a problem through tiredness - but Willow still needed to throw things.


Date
: Sunday 23rd November Venue: Bott, Cologne

It is Sunday morning and we head off for the famed Christmas market - only to discover that it did not start till next day - which cocked up the present buying plans completely. Instead we take a long walk - as nearly everything was shut - in the direction of our alternate venue for the night...'Kölsch un Leader' - a snug venue to be sure... but looked OK. A FAB nosh in a Turkish place followed by a nap and we were ready. Did I mention the snow? It was heavy now... and the girls were having trouble navigating...

Well as it turned out - it was a FAB night - but not without drama. A mix up over start times meant we started late - while we were eating at a nearby Italian restaurant we got a call to say the audience were getting impatient. We hurried back through the snow and got on at speed. A small but highly appreciative crowd... we were in full flow - then the Police arrived - apparently complaints had been made about the noise and we were playing later than the license permitted... so things came to a swift but energetic end with a rousing "Down to the Doctors".

Beer time!

 

Date: Monday 24th November Fade2Black return home:

We set off to discover that the girls were taking us a different way home and soon we did not recognise anything - not that our sense of european geography was that great to start with. The place names were unrecogniseable and our direction... in doubt. Suddenly, both the girls went sat nav crazy and were giving impossible directions - near Eindhoven. After much exasperation we manage to turn around and stop at a services. We asked a guy "Do you speak Engish?" when he nodded "Where are we?" to which he laughed. It turns out we were in a big sat nav black spot and there are signs telling people to switch them off - but of course we could not read the signs!!!! As it happenned we were not far off track and soon on our way.

Another minor drama as Willow leapfrogs Calais and we have to back track a bit to find the ferry... all safe and sound or so we thought. The forecast was for gales... I for one was nervous. Taking Andy's advice of facing front and keeping eyes on the horizon we set off. Waves crashed into the side of the ferry... water coming right over the top of the boat. Spectacular - yes - but I for one was very keen to get off. Unfortunately, the bad weather meant that the docks at Dover were having trouble berthing the boats and there was a queue - so we had to wait mid- channel for a space... some 2.5 hours later we landed!!! We hit the M25 at rush hour and progress was very slow... we are all very tired now.

But we did not realise the excitement to come. We discover another side of Andy - whose desire to get home and see the missus and a promised curry took him over and he took to the wheel. Tony closed his eyes, Willow gripped the seat for dear life and I trusted in a higher being as Sparks did a demon Lewis Hamilton impression.

So - we made it back all in one piece... and hopefully we will do it all again next year.

 

October 2008

The Doctor goes to the Doctors - no, not a new song, a nasty chest infection has made the last few weeks a tad tricky - but thankfully a course of meds strong enough for a horse seem to be getting me back in shape. Thankfully too, I was well enough to play at the Riverside on Sat 4th Oct - a great night. The KOD crew in full song... "three more...three more" echoing into the night.

Another nice surprise - the prodigal Pops returns - an appearance of Dennis Pops Callaghan and Jo - enjoying a night out and mingling with old friends - great to see you.

We are looking forward to play the New Barrack Tavern too in two weeks time - it has been a long time away from our 'second home'... but then it is off and away across the sea - as we will spend a few weeks rehearsing for our mini Germany tour.

Amelia, sadly, is not able to join us so we will be performing as a 4 piece - so we will re-arrange a few songs and add a couple more... so if anyone fancies seeing us a new venue... see our giglist! It will be an experience and a half

It is Monday 27th Oct - and I sit here, sun streaming through the windows, reflecting back on a most FAB gig at the New Barrack Tavern on Saturday night. It was good to be back on our old stomping ground for turned out to a good old stomp indeed. We always try hard to get the sound right - but it is true to say that sometimes it just clicks together smoothly - and that was so on Saturday.

For the techy amongst you - I was also trying out a new pedal board and a different combination of clean boosts - to give us more dynamic range when mixing between guitars and styles - worked a treat. For guitarists - I really cannot speak too highly of the Keeley Katana which I use to boost my clean sound and the Toadworks Meat Jr that I use to boost the overdrive sound.

So as we end the month - our sights are now firmly set on Germany... November will be a time of adventure, drama - full details to follow as the story unfolds...

... so for now... auf wiedersehen

 

September 2008

6th/7th: What a start - "Art in the Park". With the weather forecast looking more than a tad dodgy - we approached this event nervously - but apart from a short shower on day 1 - our sessions on both Saturday and Sunday went great - even some sunshine. We were all packed away by the time the big downpour happened.

Willow had to compete will a team of models, Miss Sheffield and a belly dancer in terms of 'best (un)dressed' - I will leave others to decide who won that one!

Chris Fox did a great job on the sound for us and we went down really well - if not controversially - with certain other exhibitors feeling we were 'not-in-keeping' with the tone of the event as well as being too loud. But, the crowds did not agree and we went down a storm - our CDs selling out in minutes - and a lot of good feedback (not just from my amp!) - and anyway - what did the Victorians ever do for us! A FAB day out - beautiful gardens and lots of things to see & do.

Sadly, a mix up and complications of a mysterious nature meant we were not not able to play the New Roscoe in Leeds - but hopefully we will get another chance either there or at the Duck&Drake soon.

 

August 2008

Well, a most interesting and different start to the month as the world of F2B takes on new dimensions.

Through the wonders of MySpace and making online friends - we have moved from a simple "comment" on our myspace page to making friends with Deiter (Chicken Head - a German blues band) - and now to a full blown German mini-tour in November, with Deiter settings things up for us - thanks Deiter - we feel a great adventure coming on. There is bound to be lots to tell... so stay tuned for news!

And on the 'stay tuned' them - another first, I have been interviewed for an online radio station programme called "unsigned Heroes" - Real Hit Radio

The interviewer is budding radio music journalist, Paul Mallatratt - who is also the bass player for the Steve French Band. A mix of chat and live 'in-session' solo work - it was a great - if slightly scary experience. I also had the chance to play a range of music and styles that I love - including some of the instrumentals I play 'live' with the band - plus a collection that are new.

Add in a few tracks from our Fait Accompli CD and conversations about the band, our approach to music, my approach to guitar playing and some personal stuff too - well, what can I say... tune in and have a listen...

17th Aug: And the sun came out... well nearly... well actually it did a bit... just as we finished playing our long awaited 'bandstand' gig in Weston Park. We were nervous given how the weather has been of late - but it was a nice afternoon, overcast and only a very short shower. The hardy and well prepared audience had their brollies out in an instant and the band played on - great fun. With fans travelling from afar (Hi there to the "Glossop Girls") - we were so pleased it turned out so good. Mild health & safety concerns with Willow and then myself throwing caution to the wind and standing aloft on the bandstand walls... excitement getting the better of us.

We were also trying out our new "expanded" PA system - it worked a treat - a FAB sound that could be heard from a afar - I am sure the council will get letters!...

23rd: Kev's 50th Birthday Bash - what a night! The Crowd went wild - a goodtime had by all...

25th: A quick burst of the old 'acoustics' and a new departure for us - a mix of acapella, instrumentals, new songs and some old favourites played in a laid-back way... Rudi's multi-band charity festival event was a success. A bit of an experiment and we were pleased at the response. We hope to do some more of this in the future

29th: Our first gig at the Blues Bar, Harrogate - I would have to say it gets the accolade of being the prettiest venue location we have played. A little quiet at first... but then - WOW. The place was heaving and buzzing and we went down a storm. Audience participation - dancing and singing - an absolute pleasure... It was a long way home, but well worth it. Hope to return.

 

July 2008

It was that time again - summer has come and the legendary "Reg Fest" loomed large - and the weather went pair-shaped. But the rain & wind did not dampen spirits as we rocked and bopped the night away in Blidworth - the new home of the annual bash.

All the ingredients for a goodtime were there, a killer punch, more beer and wine than you can poke a stick at, sausage, mash & mushy peas a plenty (with mint sauce, for the true connoisseurs in the audience) + plus the great hospitality of Polly & Reg.

As usual, the jamboree featured a whole host of players, duo's, combo's and bands - with F2B on late on. Great and varied music and when the punch fully kicked in - people coming out from under cover to dance in the rain. All in all - a splendid do

Roll forward to the 11th July and our debut at the Duck'n'Drake in Leeds - and what a splendid night. With echoes of The Running Horse in Nottingham - this a true old 'boozer' with a great muso crowd mixed with many people using the D&D as a stop off on their night out - so a full lively and happening place. So after hours, the doors closed and three encores later... the crowd was still dancing and calling for more. We look forward to going back...

 

June 2008

How can I put this... the weather was not kind to us for our first open air park gig - and what a shame!!! The Millhouses Park Family fun day is an annual event organised by students as part of their university course - with all profits going to charity. The good news is that the event did make it into the "black" - but not a big turn out people wise...

I really liked the Jazz Swing band - all members of the University Music Society - they kicked off proceedings - electing not to go on stage, they played
un-amplified to a huge audience of ourselves (F2B + partners and family) and some members of the other band - "Don't Shoot The Messenger", Lynne - who enjoyed the music from the comfort of a small tent and the occasional walker-by. I am not sure what Willow's dog made of it all...

When we went on stage, the park audience was then reduced by 5!!

Having sound-checked earlier - we got on stage to an eerie silence... the power generator had run out of fuel. Mild panic from the organisers - who sped off in search of a petrol station. In the meantime - a brainwave... I approached a fairground stall guy - to see if they had any spare... hoorah! We were in business.

With the long wait... people had evaporated away... but once we started we managed to attract a few... hopefully - all the nearby woodland critters liked it too... better luck next year!

It is now the 10th of June - and I am just beginning to recover from the most stonking of gigs at The Riverside over the weekend. The KOD crew in full swing... literally - with much dancing - fortunately there were no H&S inspectors in - as when the floor filled up there was a move to dance on table tops - our own esteemed lead singer being in no small way responsible for the wildness!

I am sure I am not the only one who needed a little lie down after that one. Steve "Redders" Redhall also popped in to see us too, the first time he had seen the new line up - so nice to have a catch up - and he is keeping very busy with "The Call" - and you can check their website to see where they are next.

Well June is a turning into a big month - it is Monday 16th and time to look back at our most splendid debut at Rudi's Blues Cafe, Rotherham. What a splendid venue, lovely people - a really pro setup - with a soundstage and resident sound engineer - a FAB sound - and even better - a good night music wise - and asked to return!!! You have to go a long way to beat the acolade "Just because they're local - doesn't mean they're shit" - worthy of a tee-shirt to rival any FCUK can make - Rudi - you are a star and a gentleman, we look forward to coming back.


The Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance can fly a little longer
- a good night at the Running Horse in the company of Phil Tanner's Bluesdog, New Tricks and the legendary Colin Staples. All monies went to charity and a great atmosphere all night. A big thank you to Dave for organising it and making everyone welcome. The buffet and coffee went down a treat too... Thank you too to George Zukowski - for a very cool photo of yours truly... cheers George...

...all that was on the 20th June and then on the 21st we crossed the Pennines to the infamous Moon and Sixpence in Glossop. Our first time visit was a cracker. I have to admit the stage is a little snug and the combination of 'sticky-out' guitars and Willow's long limbs - all waving about with great gusto - had the makings of a H&S incident and a trip to out-patients. Thankfully, we all survived unscathed and enjoyed a very warm and enthusiastic reception from the locals. A good music venue - well worth a visit. We especially liked all the 'Hollywood' posters used to promote the bands. Movie buff's will enjoy the challenge of identifying the original movies. I did quite well... but there were a few tricky ones - good game!

So there you have it - June was a busy month... and after a little lie down - July awaits - the infamous 'Reg' fest and our debut at the Duck & Drake in Leeds


May 2008

It is a "creative surge" time again - with a push for some more new songs - as well as putting in some more recording time to capture our of favourites - for posterity if nothing else.

...actually there is another reason too - our advancing years (with the exception of Amelia - Woman of Mystery, of course) means that memories are not like we remember them!!!!

With so many songs and so little time - what we "keep in" and "leave out" on the night is getting harder and harder - as well as the challenge of remembering them when we bring them back!

Usually, it is not the song itself but more the arrangement - how many verses before the solo... but hey, good to be spontaneous too and 'create on the night'!
Occasionally you have a "I've never heard that song in my life" moment - or is that just me

Recording wise, amongst others, we now have stonking versions of "You upsets me baby" and "Tore down"

New songs wise - the ones in pipeline for a venue near you soon include: "Since my baby she left me", "Shame Shame Shame" and "Get over it". A few more rehearsals and they should be ready to unveil live - oh the dilemma - what do we leave out?

...ideas on a postcard!!!!

Sun June 1st will see the first of our open air park gigs - as I write this - the heavens have opened - so let's hope for sunshine very soon!

 

April 2008

Well, what a month that was! A most stonking of stonking nights down at the Riverside - with the KOD crew in full and gloriously vocal form from the very start. The place was packed with new and familiar faces and the night ended on the echoing chants of "Three more...Three more..." - very fun indeed. We can only imagine what a night we will have later in the year when we play Kev's (KOD) 50th Birthday. I suspect we will all need a little lie down after that one!

Our return to The Running Horse was fun too, a small but enthusiastic audience made the night go well - and for me personally - some old friends I have not seen for a long time came along and made it special - hi Anton and Mimi!

I have to mention the 'girls' too - Fi, Dawn & Donna - who as well as dancing gave a good KOD crew impersonation with cries of "Three more... Three more..." FAB indeed.

Another bonus - the night was filmed, actually filmed twice from different angles - so we hope to get some footage up on YouTube soon - we just have to decide which of our profiles looks best!

There should be some great pictures too - with Reg and his trusty new megapixamathingy camera snapping away all night too - thank's Reg - looking forward to the slideshow!

So, there you have it - great gigs - the new songs going down well and a year getting busier and busier dates wise. We are hoping for a dry summer - well at least when we have our "gigs in the park" days!

...see you in the beer tent!

 

March 2008

There was some beer, more beer, even more beer and when all that was drunk - more beer! That was the night that was at the Moon's fabulous beer festival weekend. More beers than you could count (or drink!!) from old favourites to many that were a first - or is that thirst - for me. Add in some blues - courtesy of ourselves - and despite a very cold artic feeling wind - all the ingredients for a great night. It is really good to see this pub and music venue doing well - and we appreciate all the hard work that has gone into making it so.

Band wise - we are continuing our surge on new tunes... we have road-tested "You upsets me baby" already and that feels really nice... and "Tore Down" will get it's first outing at the Riverside (5th April) as will another new song featuring the vocals of Amelia - woman of mystery - the Bonnie Raitt classic "Love me like a man"

As March ends and April begins - a busy month ahead with a new venue for us - "Ye Derwent Hotel" in Bamford as well as being very excited about our return to The Running Horse in Nottingham.

 

February 2008

'Twas a fantastic night indeed - and treated so well. Our debut at Millers was great fun. Thanks for all the support from the KOD Crew. With a dressing room, a buffet for the band, cup of tea on arrival (which was most welcome as it had turned so cold and was snowing as we unpacked!) we were so well looked after and all had a great time. The sound was clear and balanced (I know some like the guitar to be louder ) but it all clicked and we played well. We even sold a few CD's too!

Ever hungry for new sonic challenges - we are also working on a new batch of songs - starting with a rather different version of 'You upsets me baby' and 'Tore down' - so listen out for those... coming to a pair of ears near you soon!

 

January 2008: Happy New Year!

Well, what a start to the year - with old friends re-discovered as F2B will return to The Running Horse, Nottingham - The home of the Blues - in April, and the most welcome return of Barry Middleton promoting music as only he can. Barry gave us a break early on in our career and it will be great to play those famous boards again... and I recommend catching the other Bands he has planned too...

We have new places to play too, Millers Snooker Club later this month and we have just been booked for the recently opened Rudi's Blues Bar in Rotherham. We will be there in June - but again - check out their website - they have some great bands lined up.

After many hours of playing and recording, Sparks has been hard at work do the production work for our CD - and it is now finished. We are all very excited by it and very pleased with the recording - as it really captures that F2B vibe.

Actually, we will have have 3 CD's - 2 sampler CD's called Fade In and Black Out with 6 different tracks a piece - for people who just want a flavour of the Band and the main CD Fait Accompli featuring 15 tracks + 2 Bonus Tracks of yours truly - The Doctor - playing two original Blues Instrumentals: "The Broken Poet Blues" and "Moondog Blues"

We also have made our YouTube debut - with a special photo-montage version of "The Broken Poet Blues" - check it out. Hope you like it.

 

December 2007(2): We arrived at The Broadfield full of festive cheer, stuffed from much eating, drinking and merry-making - to the news that it might be a quiet night! It seemed that everyone else was similarly stuffed and may need to stay at home for a little nap - well, the night did not turn out that way at all - with a good turn out and a lovely night .

We got a nice balanced sound - aided by the venue acoustics and we settled in for a good groove. Great fun and a great way to end the year... and what a year it has been!

New band members, new songs, new venues - new friends... alongside long-time fans of the band seeing us through the changes - F2B has ended the year on a high - and you cannot ask for more than that.

2008 will see us release our new CD - Sparks has been a very busy boy, doing the production work on the recordings - and it sounds really good.

We hope to spread our wings to new venues and places - in fact, we start the year at a new place - Millers Snooker Club - and Willow's working hard to get us more gig dates in Leeds and Harrogate - news to follow.

So, thank you all very much for your interest and support - it is a pleasure to play for you - and have a happy new year.

 

December 2007: T'was a cold December night - but the atmosphere was warm and friendly at The Riverside on Saturday 15th. We were in a cool laid back mood for the first set but this was followed by a rockin'-stompin' second set with a dose of Resonator magic in-between. Fun night all around.

An old friend turned up too - Hi Les - and it was the first time he had seen and heard the new line-up. It all feels so normal to us now that we forget that we have changed a lot over the last year - a heady mix of the familiar F2B classics and very new!

Another new song for Amelia - woman of mystery - "If the sea was Whiskey" which we played instead of "Me and my Gin"... is there a theme emerging..?

We are making good progress on the CD front, we hope you like some of the early mixes we have put on our myspace site.

So, one gig to go - The Broadfield on the 29th December - so come and join us and end the year with an F2B bang!

 

November 2007: Have you heard and played them yet? - our new tracks that is... we are very pleased with the tunes we have completed so far and there are more on the way If you have not had a chance to check them out: click here

Last Saturday - the 10th November was a great night at The Moon - as we played in their newly finished function room. It was not just that we had more room to play (and jump about!) but the shape and fittings of the room gave a lovely warm sound. I think this will be a winner for the Sheffield music scene - and it was really nice to be the first Saturday night band - and only the second band to play there.

The evening was finished off by some FAB dancing by a great audience - always a pleasure to play when the crowd is jumpin'

And Willow would never forgive me if I did not mention the fabulous November the 5th at The Rising sun - a Monday night, a great crowd, and FAB way to start the week - and musically - fireworks indeed - sometimes you are just on fire

... but the month is not over yet - with The New Barrack Tavern on Saturday 17th November - always a great atmosphere with ace beer thrown in... so see you there or be an equi-sided quadrilateral...

 

October 2007: It is mid October and the weather has turned for sure - Autumn is definitely here. With a surge of gigs over the last few weeks - it nearly felt like we were on tour!!

The Riverside was another great night - and the KOD crowd did us proud once more. It was a very busy night too - a near miracle considering the level of roadworks and the reduced access by road - I admit to needing assistance and to be escorted to the venue through a myriad of back streets to finally arrive at the front door. But once we got relaxed - or rather I got relaxed - we had a great night.

We played a new venue too - The Broadfield. A place with a rich musical history - with great names from the past starting out their musical careers there, Joe Cocker, Def Leopard - in decades past. The new landlords had decided to bring the music back. While they had other band for previous nights, we were the first Saturday night band - and it was a pleasure to be asked to kick the off for them. It was also FAB to have so much room to set up in - a luxury. It all went down a storm and we are looking forward to going back in December.

We are making progress on the recording front too - with finished songs done so far including; "I've had enough of the blues", "How blue can you get", "Baby, what you want me to do?" and "Texas Strut" with songs like "Black Magic Woman" and "When a Blind Man Cries" close behind - it is all rather exciting.

Next week - we have The Moon - and after that I am looking forward to a holiday in Spain - and will come back fully energised for a burst of gigs in November.

...so all smiles here... and I have also treated myself to a new guitar - a flamed maple topped - resonator guitar. You cannot beat that Drop D blues sound... a very hard guitar to put down.

 

September 2007: September is a busy month for us - with 3 gigs ahead. We have just played a great night at The Moon - and it was lovely to see the KOD coach party crew arriving to support us once again - always a pleasure to play to such a FAB bunch of people. It was also nice to fit in a few acoustic instrumentals too - to such an appreciative response.

We have had a surge of new numbers added into the set - with Pride & Joy (SRV), Phonebooth & Down in the Dirt (Robert Cray), Wade in the water (I am sure someone will tell me who wrote that one...) along side other new numbers we have added recently, Down to the Doctors (Dr Feelgood) and Fool for your Stockings (ZZ top)

This has been a good energy boost to the whole band as well as giving the vocal talents of Amelia and Willow a good work out - FAB stuff indeed - with more new songs on the way... keep listening

 

August 2007 (2): From 'cold and wet' to 'phew-what a scorcher' and we are not talking just about the weather! What a great night at the New Barrack Tavern. Hot, sweaty, down and dirty rock and blues all night. The Do$ch Boys were on fire and we F2B fair sizzled ourselves too. This year we plugged into Do$ch's PA and we would like to say a big thank to Do$ch's guitar maestro Mr Ian Bartram for his mixing skills on the night and giving us a great sound - and as they say... the crowd went wild.

Another mention has to go to Kev & Steph for putting on a wonderful festival weekend - oh, I must not forget the hot spicy chilli too... memorable! We cannot wait for next year...

 

August 2007: As months go - words like cold and wet come to mind - but we had a great time at the Rising Sun. No shortage of the summer vibe there! It felt odd playing on a Monday night, but it was a great night. We played well - and a highlight was our new version of the "The Thrill is Gone" with Amelia (woman of mystery) on violin. F2b-ulous

From a relatively quiet spell things are turning into a busy and fun time ahead. We are all very excited about the double-header with Do$ch on Aug 25th at the New Barrack Tavern. As I write this - the sun is shining and forecast looks good. A F2B weekend ahead!

September has us at The Moon, The Riverside and hopefully The Broadfield. Our very own Sheffield boy, Sparks, knows the place well and remembers it's musical heritage fondly. I am sure many of you do to. So, fingers-crossed, we will have another new venue to weave the F2B magic, meet more great people and enjoy some splendid beer. We will keep you posted!

We have been rehearsing hard - listen out for the welcome return of some Robert Cray into the set... a personal fav.

Hope you like it too.

 

July 2007: It has been an intense time indeed - with the weather dramas and the Sheffield flood problems, the last week has been very difficult for many - our best wishes for all those affected. The New Barrack Tavern thankfully escaped despite the water reaching the front door steps... a nervous time for all!

Playing both 29th and 30th June was fun - but admit I needed a nap on Sunday - two great gigs and the band is really coming together as we perform more and more. It is always a good sign when we can have a musically 'off-piste' moment and improvise and then get back on the main track all at the same time! - magic indeed.

We now have a little gap before the next gig in August - but we are going to busy. Rehearsing more new songs for the live gigs and also working on some new recordings... things are going very well and we will have a new CD very soon - we will keep you posted on developments.

We also have some new artwork on the site too - for those who have not yet managed to catch the new line up yet - check out the Band Members page for the latest group picture...

 

June 2007(2): Well, what a good night it was. Some familiar faces, some new ones and the new full F2B line up in full swing. Add some cool lights to add to the atmosphere and a very pleasant evening - it all added up to a great occasion. It was FAB to see the Do$ch guys popping by for the occasion too - make sure you catch them - when they play a venue near you!

Thank you for all the nice and supportive comments about the new look and sound of the band. There is a rumour that over 200 photos were taken on the night - so hopefully there is a good chance that at least one has captured my 'good side' - and we hope to put some on the site soon...

Don't forget to check out The Moon (previously The Office) - another great venue in the making... with great beer. See you there.

June 2007: We have been working hard rehearsal wise - getting used to playing as a 5 piece again - and exploring new ways of playing old favourites as well as adding new songs into the mix. It is all very exciting. The next gig at the Riverside will see us all together for the first time and we are looking forward to it...

We have different arrangements for Black Magic Woman and Help Me, and some new songs too; Down to the Doctors and Fool for your Stockings and a more besides... see you on the 16th...

 

May 2007: The new phase of F2B has begun - with our first gig with John "Willow" Wilson at the microphone. The venue was the The Rising Sun and a splendid first gig it was too. With a mix of old friends in the audience who have followed us through the years and some new faces it all came together well. As usual - a few tweaks on the PA mixer to get the sound just right and we were away. Even I if say so myself - "Need your love so bad" and "How blue can you get" were fabulous!!!

It was a bit of a marathon feat of memory for John - 20 song lyrics in three weeks and only three full rehearsals - I take my hat off to him (or would if I had one) as some days I can hardly remember my own phone number! "Willow" on the other hand... is big on hats.

This was just a first step - as Amelia has yet to join us live - as other commitments meant she was not able to join us for this night.

A special mention too - for Tony "Jack" Roberts and Jill - the artist whose work we feature on the website - travelling over from Liverpool - it was their first experience of the band in live performance - and what a night to pick!

So, come and see us soon and see how things develop... it's great fun for us - and we hope you enjoy it too.

 

April 2007 - pt2: Well - what a night it was!! Thank you to all who came to see us at The Riverside for Steve's last gig as part of F2B. We had a great night - made more so by the warmth and enthusiasm of the crowd.

We were all really touched that the King of Diamonds crew came en masse and gave Steve such a send off - and thanks again to Les for his support for the band and getting things organised.

It was also great to see Rosie the Roadie (& Mum) there too, putting aside Do$ch for one night to mark this special occassion - a compliment indeed.

So, what's next? Many people have asked what the future holds - and we are pleased to announce a new line up for F2B. We have have two new band members; John "Willow" Wilson joins on Vocals and Amelia joins us on Vocals, Rythym Guitar & Violin.

There you have it - a new look and a new take on the music we love to play. Their profiles will be added to the website shortly so you can get to know them a bit - and of course - meet them in person as we all perform at future gigs.

See you soon...

 

April 2007: This is a big month for F2B, after 5 years Steve "Redders" Redall has decided it is time to leave the band - the end of an era - but hopefully
au-revoir and not goodbye. Steve is a passionate singer and performer and his mix of soulful melodic blues and powerful rock voice has been an absolute pleasure to all in the band as well as our audiences over the years.

Playing together is a wonderful and intense affair... and going on stage and performing live knowing we can move from tight arrangements to "off-piste" musical moments is sheer magic - and Steve always gives 100%... and then some. The interplay between voice, harmonica and guitar has been one of the hallmarks of F2B.

I know you will have your own "Redders" favourites - but my personal ones include "Need your love so bad", "Stormy Monday", "How blue can you get", "The Sky is Crying", "Walking on Sunset" and "Take me to the river"... but hey, they're all good!

But, never fear, you can still enjoy "the big voice" as Steve will still be performing with The Call - who, with the addition of Tom on guitar, have an ever expanding range of songs to enjoy.

So, please join us at The Riverside on Saturday April 21st - for a Redders au revior F2B gig special... see you then.

As for the F2B future... stayed tuned for news

 

March 2007: Sad news this month, changes at the King of Diamonds mean no more music and another great music venue seems to have bitten the dust. A great shame, we have always enjoyed playing the KOD - lovely people who love their music - and F2B would like to especially thank Les Davies for his dedication to the Blues and arranging all the gigs - and his personal support for us as a band - Thanks Les. KOD will be missed.

Things are changing for F2B too... look out for an announcement shortly.

2007 is proving to be a most dramatic year for us all so far- as a band and in our personal lives - new and exciting times ahead... and if favoured by good fortune - good blues and beer too.

 

January 2007... again...even more news... What a splendid night indeed - Bossman's Birthday Bash was a great do - and the Bossman himself did a star turn - getting up with the band and performing a spirited version of... you've guessed it... "Bossman" - resplendent in cool duds and a bluesman's hat. A crowd pleaser and no mistake. We also learnt a lot of the goings on in his life in 1966... but I think Michael has a few more tales to tell, but we may have to wait for his 70th to hear more!

It was a joint band affair, double header with The Call - each playing a set and then joining forces for a full on finale - you cannot beat a good 'Mustang Sally' to make the crowd go wild...

It was also good to meet and play alongside The Call's new lead guitarist, Tom - great fun and great music

 

January 2007: Happy New Year to you from F2B. Well 2006 was quite a dramatic year - personal dramas, band dramas - but also some great gigs and great music. Thanks to everyone for giving us your support - playing to familiar faces and meeting new people is an absolute pleasure. I have no doubt that 2007 will have it's share of dramas too - but the band and blues goes on, we will be adding new songs as well as developing our 'old favourites'.

Highlights of 2006 include crossing paths with the fabulous Do$ch, the passionate music lovers @ the KOD and the pure pleasure of playing and great people @ the NBT - you cannot help but feel - "... it does not get better than this..."

So best wishes to everyone for 2007... see you soon

 

November 2006: What a welcome - what a night!! Playing at the King of Diamonds is such a pleasure. Great venue, great people and a great reception. What they lacked in numbers on the night was more than made up for in enthusiasm and a love of music...

... thanks Les - for some great feedback - it is so good to know how people feel us and our music and that it is onwards and upwards for F2B.

Playing as a 4 piece has been both challenging and fun - one of the nice things is being able to flex how we play - and sometimes we suprise ourselves as to how songs come out on the night!!! In this format we have the 'playing room' to be spontaneous and have what we call 'jazzy moments' - and it all adds to the excitement.

In the meantime, we are looking at new material and also revisiting stuff we have not done in a long time - listen out for a very spirited version of "When Love Comes to Town" a song we have revisited after a long break.

See you soon - check out The Rising Sun in December

 

October 2006: I guess it had to happen at some point, but then again you can never predict these things - but Dennis "Pops" Callaghan has decided to leave the band - so it is farewell to Dennis. Chordmeister extraordinaire, Pops (& Jo) have given so much to the band over the last, nearly, 5 years - so please join us in saying "Thank you 'Pops' - and all the best for your next musical adventure.."

In the meantime, we have re-arranged the set ready for the next few gigs as a 4-piece and are thinking about the next stage of F2B. As each musician adds their own unique something we are looking forward to having a new member of the band... and the seeing where the blues takes us next... stay with us and find out.

 

September 2006: Well we have been busy little F2B's and we have been recording again. It is early days but it is sounding good. There is much more to come, but in the mean time there are two new sample tracks to get your juices going... we hope you like them. Why not email and let us know what you think...

We have some new venues in the pipeline too, check out our gig dates...

 

August 2006: It has been a while since the last update. The summer has been a mixed affair, some great gigs and some not so great. The world cup certainly affected many venues with low turn-outs and not enough beer drunk. We enjoy playing - but can be hard too if the crowd is not there or not into the music.

Then, there is the flip-side - a fabulous night with a great crowd. "Life is like a box of chocolates...never sure what you are going to get" (What movie is that from?) Well our bag of 'Revels' has been varied indeed - and last night we revelled in the fabulous atmosphere at the New Barrack Tavern. We played their new bank holiday festival event - and what an event. On Friday - there was the great Frank White. On the Saturday night - we played a double header with Do$ch. We played first, then Do$ch rocked the joint to the wee hours. The bar was packed, the beer was great - and I have to mention the special occasion chilli - hot and spicy - just the way chilli should be (and a bargain @£2.75!)

It was a pleasure playing with Do$ch - great band and great guys - we worked together well - sorting the PA out and such stuff - it all made the evening go very smoothly technically (thanks for the lights guys). It is also good to see a FAB band in action too - and I love that telecaster sound.

The new stage has made a real difference too - the extra height and space means everyone gets a better view of the proceedings. So all in all - it has been a bank holiday as they should be... we are already looking forward to the next one!

 

April 2006: What a night!!! The Sheffield Philadelphia Beer & Blues Festival gig at the favourite home - The New Barrack Tavern - was one of our best ever. A marathon too, at about 3 hours, we played a full range moody slinky blues to full on 'stompers' by way of some classic toe-tappers - and the crowd went wild!!!!! And a great crowd it was too - definitely a standing room only occasion. If you were there - thank you for being so good to us - it was a night we will not forget.

 

March 2006: What a start to the year! Dramas and surprises all around. Playing The Running Horse we found ourselves being filmed - and the occasion captured forever on DVD (Thanks to Terry Ashton) but as well as capturing a great night - it was also poignant as soon after we heard the things are changing at The Running Horse. Barry Middleton who ran the venue and organised the bands is moving on - the end of an era at the runner.... I would like to thank Barry for his support over the years. He gave us an chance early on and stuck with us - and to be able to play there alongside the other great artists he has had grace the runner stage has been a fantastic. The audiences we sometimes small - but always very appreciative. We do have a gig there in May - but not sure if it is going ahead - but we will keep you informed.

We hope to be able to play at Barry's new venue - so keep your eyes open for that.

Across the band we have a mix of family dramas for myself, exotic travel with Sparks, yet again, visiting his second home - India (some people will go to any lengths for a good curry) and a major birthday in the Pops Callaghan household - discretion means we will not focus on the vintage - except to say - it was a great year!

Good news this year - we are part of the famous Sheffield Philadelphia Blues & Beer festival - in April-so whether you like blues or beer - or preferably both - this is the event for you. Check out the great bands - but do not forget to come and see us of course!

 

December 2006: Well, another year and we have ended on a high. The new venue West Street Live in Sheffield early in December was a fabulous gig - some of our regulars saying it was one of our best ever - helped by a great venue and a superb in-house PA system. Add a stonking night at Joplin's in Chesterfield and then a near surreal Xmas event in Coal Aston (nr Dronfield) and you start to get the picture. It is not often that you play on stage with a Guinness drinking Santa and a 10ft inflatable snowman. Playing alongside other bands - ranging from a Shadows tribute band to a get down and dirty Cajun music outfit with pogueque vocals - capped by a mean dancing from 'ye olde folk' and you get the idea that 2005 is going out with a bang. Have a great Christmas and New Year......Fade2Black look forward to seeing you along in 2006

 

November 2005: It has been a while since I have had the chance to give an update - but that does not mean things have not been happening for us. Not so many gigs of late - many due to the guys having holidays in exotic places - the USA being a popular destination. Gigswise - more dates at the King of Diamonds and The New Barrack Tavern - both fantastic nights. The NBT really feels like home now - with many regular faces appearing in the audience - Pops Callaghan knows how to pull a crowd - "He's the coolest of the lot of you" said one - I think ale might have been involved but good judgement none the less - the chord maestro is cool indeed.

One moment of drama - an unseen knock to the tuning keys of Spark's bass - meant we were playing in different keys for one song. Not a problem for me, as I am never sure what key we are in anyway - but it did mean we had one of our more 'jazzy' moments!

From famine to feast - we have three dates in early December - and one is a new venue for us - the revitalised West St Hotel, West St Sheffield. We are looking forward to it - dedicated sound stage and in-house 4K PA (for the "non-techy" that just means it will sound great and pack a whollop!!)

See you there...

(next year's diary is starting to look good too...)

 

June/July 2005: A FAB month with some great gigs.....great crowds.....and great fun. The King of Diamonds (thanks' Les) and The New Barrack Tavern both worked really well.....we are looking forward to going back. Joplin's, (aka The Barrow Boy) under new management, gave us a lovely welcome too.

We are working on some new songs - but with all he gigs and some of the guy's going on holiday....getting together to rehearse has not been easy. The current song getting the Fade2Black treatment is 'You Upsets Me Baby' - so listen out for that one soon.

Last night we played our first gig at Rockaholics (aka G&T's) - and after an initial electrics problem which sounded like the whole PA was going to blow-up - scaring both us and the audience - things settled down to a great gig. See us in action - check out the pics in the gallery section @ Rockaholics - courtesy of
DJ Rossi
.

Some of the crowd thought we may be a Metallica tribute band because of the name being one of their songs - though we actually took the name from a jazz/blues song of that title by Dire Straits - all I can say is - there is no metal as heavy as Pops Callaghan at full throttle!

 

May 2005: A bit of a mixed month. We had a great gig at The Running Horse and after a few initial sound set-up challenges really kicked into gear - great audience. Sadly, The High House in Rotherham, a great venue, lacked an audience altogether - but the few people who were there certainly enjoyed their 'personal performance'. Another blow has been that our Chesterfield venue 'The Barrow Boy' has closed down (not because of us I hasten to add). Hopefully we will find another Chesterfield venue - as both Fade2Black and The Call have worked very well there.

We have some new venues coming up in June and July - and that is very exciting - so we look forward to meeting friends old and new... see you there

 

March 2005: Here is the review of our last gig The Running Horse - hope to see you when we next play there on the 7th May:

Fade2Black - Friday 28 January

Notwithstanding a poorish turnout, this Sheffield five-piece gave a thunderous performance that sent us home happy. They're a seasoned outfit who play tight, dirty versions of classic blues songs. The first half included "Walking By Myself", "Oh Pretty Woman", "Further On Up The Road", "Before You Accuse Me" and "Since I Met You Baby". Good stuff indeed but they stepped up a gear after the break, hitting us with mesmerising versions of "The Sky Is Crying", "Take Me To The River" and "Stormy Monday". A generous second set included "Statesboro Blues", "Stop Messin' Around" and "Help Me". I was particularly impressed by their spirited treatment of Brit Blues - Mayall's "Walkin' On Sunset" and "I Was Lookin' Back To See", Winwood's "Keep On Running" and some original numbers, all excellent. Great vocals, some accomplished guitar work (both acoustic and electric), a solid and responsive backline - I can think of lots of people who would have enjoyed this one. Never mind, the band had a good time and so did we.

Dave Kingsbury


Thank you for your kind words, David, we really appreciate your interest and support

 

February 2005: Bad weather did us no favours this month! In search of better conditions - I decided to have a break and disappear to Tunisia for some winter sun. Things did not go to plan. Not many people can say that they went to the Sahara Desert - and it rained! How 'blues' is that!! Have returned with a mild tummy bug - the details of which are best left to the imagination - but hopefully we will all be up and running (unfortunate phrase) for a new gig for us - "Capone's" at the end of the month.

 

January 2005: It was good to play The Running Horse again this month - a great gig - shame that there were not more people there. Considering we have had a little gap gig wise.....we played well and had a great time - our energies fueled by a good Kebab shop nearby Redders did an excellent job while struggling with 'man-flu'. We took the opportunity to throw in a few new numbers too: "Walking on Sunset" and "Stop Messin' Around". We have a few more in the pipe-line that we are working on. Listen out for our version of "Bullfrog Blues" soon..

Gig dates are looking really good now....moved from famine to feast - it will also be nice to play the new venues too and meet new people as well as play our old favourite haunts. Sparks and Pops both doing a sterling job on this front.

See the gig list - see you there................

 

December 2004: A mix of news this month - a few problems and a case of missing diaries has meant we missed out playing at The Barrow Boy, Chesterfield again - but the good news is the diary for 2005 is looking up - and when I say up, I mean it literally too - up to Barnsley and beyond! Keep your eyes on Gig Dates. We are constantly looking for new venues where our brand of rock'n'blues will go well. Am I talking about your local? If yes, put in a word - and we could be playing at a venue near you soon!

Christmas is coming - so Fade2Black would like to wish you a very merry festive season - and a happy new year.

 

November 2004: Sorry to say it - but another quiet month for us. A problem between a venue and the Council made the month very quiet indeed - as it meant we could not play at all. Sparks has now disappeared down the Nile - hopefully to return soon. Meanwhile, we have plans for new songs to add to the growing set - expect some more blues harp, slinky blues and full-on stompers - and a surprise or two.

I have added a Fender Strat to my growing collection of guitars - (a Hardtail for those who know about these things) - I owned a Strat many years ago but sold it so I could buy the Lucille, while getting her was wonderful - I always regretted the loss of the Strat - so now all is right with the world...well nearly - all I need now is that 59' Les Paul!

 

August 2004: A little quieter this month, gig wise, but with some stonking gigs at The Running Horse, Nottingham and The Barrow Boy, Chesterfield. Great atmosphere and much dancing.

When I say quieter, I should mention my new amp. For the 'gearheads' amongst you it is an - Ampeg Reverberocket, a vintage reissue valve amp - fitted with Groove Tubes (12AX7-M Mullard reissue pre amp and 6L6C power amp valves) and a great 'blues' sound'. For the non techies - it is a cute blue box and looks like an big old radio - just like your Grandmother had!!

See the gig list - see you there................

 

July: Well, 2004 has certainly been a lively year so far - on and off the stage. SNAFU was a great gig - and we are looking forward to going back. Great crowd who like it loud! Rotherham at its most lively.

Wendy's birthday party was a great hit, and not often you get the chance to get to share the stage with 5ft inflatable cans of lubricant - WD40 did her proud - you had to be there! Wendy - thank you for passion and support for the band - a pleasure to play for you, your family and friends.

Pop's has a new guitar, Redder's a new monitor amp - who is also blowing some mean harp by the way ...... and the band is sounding great.

We have quite a few new songs too, "Mad Dog" and "When Love comes to Town" to name just two.

 

See the gig list - see you there................