journal

Roadhouse Live at the Memorial Hall, Newmarket, with the Ben Poole Band, 16/2/2013

Roadhouse Live at the  Memorial Hall, Newmarket, with the Ben Poole Band, 16/2/13

Thanks to the wonderful Cambridge Rock Festival (especially Dave and Adrian) team for inviting us to play on this great night. A giant stage, fantastic crowd and superb performance from Ben Poole, who is fastly emerging as one of the UK’s top guitar players. It was great to see our old bass comrade Barry Peters too!

Roadhouse live in Newmarket
” Roadhouse live in Newmarket

We played ‘God & Highways’ and ‘Hell on Wheels’ from the forthcoming CD, Gods and Highways and Old Guitars. Both numbers went down really well. The Band put on a great show, with lots of movement and energy on the big stage.  Mandie and Sarah were both on point with their solo songs and the tactic of opening with ‘Tellin Lies’ paid dividends, as the crowd were with us for the whole set.

Mandie rocks outIt was great to see so many friends that we last saw at the Skegness festival and they were rewarded, in my opinion, with one of the best Roadhouse performances in recent years. With a bit of luck we will now be on the bill for the Magnificent Cambridge Rock Festival taking place over the first weekend of August. Keep on rocking!

Gary

Roadhouse Live at the National Festival for Rock & Blues – Skegness – 2013

Roadhouse Live at the National Festival of Rock & Blues, Skegness – Sunday 17th Jan 2013 Our main festival appearance was from 20.30 – 22.00 on the JAKS stage on the Sunday evening. the previous year was the first year JAKS had been open on a Sunday night and the good sized crowds delighted all. However, this time we were up against both main stages as only one had been operating in 2012. With 10 minutes to showtime I thought ‘Well at least its a reasonable sized crowd’. However, from 15 minutes into our set the room was packed. I cannot tell you how much the Band and I appreciated the support.

Danny leads to way into the unknown (New numbers)!
Danny leads the way into the unknown (New numbers)!

This set was all about featuring new numbers from the forthcoming CD, ‘Gods & Highways & Old Guitars’. Mandie has the lead vocal on the title track and its first play went really well. We’ve been playing the new song ‘Hell on Wheels’ for quite a while now and the heavy rock/country riff catapulted us through another winner. Sarah performed another new song, ‘Slow Down’, in which the chorus has a duet style trade off with Mandie. this was also well received and you can see a video of this performance on Youtube, as filmed randomly from the crowd, by the following the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DAXtb8xpDc

 

We had opened up with ‘Tellin Lies’  =  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lHc9rJEByE    –  and then we played the new nummber ‘I Can’t Say No’ followed by a cracking version of ‘Dark Angel’. Suzie.D took centre stage for a brilliant version of ‘The Big Easy’ from the Broken Land CD. How she can remember all these songs and immediately create 3 part harmonies is beyond me, ‘brilliant’!

I toasted the crowd, very sincerely at the start of our drinking song ‘The Working Class Gospel Drinking Blues’. That little rocker turned into a nice little 4 minute kick arse party. The encore was, as ever ‘Preacher Man’. The reaction was superb and as many have told me, “It was the best Roadhouse gig  for years”. As we accepted loads more advance orders for the new CD it was great to see our good friend Robin Bibi take the stage with his usual blend of excellent musician and showmanship. A great weekend!

Here’s to next year, thanks for the great support!

Gary & The Band

Roadhouse Xmas Party Gig – The Bullls Head Barnes – 10/12/12

One of the best ever Roadhouse Xmas party gigs. a great crowd, a great bunch of guests and a night to remember.

This was our 5th succesive Xmas gig at the Bulls Head, so it is becoming a firm tradition. those of you that have been to one of these fun nights will know that we love to share them with past memebers of the Band and great musical talents that have supported us over the years.

Kelly on stage in Oxford

Kelly on stage in Oxford

First up was the excellent Geronimo of Screaming Lord Sutch fame, with John Scott (USA) on bass and our our own Roger Hunt on drums. this was followed by a marvellous set from legendary UK Blues Man, John O’Leary and ex Roadhouse guitar god, Jules Fothergill. Tim Mathewman joined on bass and solo’d really well (he must have played at least 4 solos on the night). Along with our own Rog and Danny on drums and guitar respectively, these guys produced some awesome stuff. Next up was Jimmy Dublin who played a couple of well received songs with ex Roadhouser Funky George on the drums.

At 9.35 it was time for the Roadhouse set. With Sarah dressed as a sexy Santa and Mandie as a Xmas fairy (fully equipped with in dress light show) the stage image was a little different. We opened with a belting ‘No Place to Hide’, much to poor Sarah’s chagrin as she has only ever sung it twice before, followed by ‘Rainmaker’ in which both girls vocal performances went down a storm with the crowd. This was followed by a belting version of the new song ‘Hell On Wheels’ which went down really well. Sarah then sung a great version of ‘The Lying Game’. This was the first time that her family had come to see the show and they really  enjoyed this performance and the overall gig. Mandie sang a killer ‘House of the Rising Sun’ before our special guest Kelly joined us and delivered a storming version of ‘The Big Easy’ and then sang brilliantly with Mandie on ‘Rock Me Baby’. Danny and I had a decent guitar battle in the middle of that one. Talking of guitar, we were then joined by ex Roadhouse guitar god, Jules Fothergill for the last two numbers. ‘Tellin Lies’ was delivered as a kind of Wishbone Ash twin riff thingy and then the encore, Preacher Man decended into some epic Skynyrd style mahem. What a great crowd reaction, I really don’t know where the hour went?

 To finish we had an epic instrumental from Pete Sargeant and Jules followed then by a show stopping couple of numbers from the amazing Robin Bibi. A massive thanks to Pete Feenstra for having us and the wonderful Bob Bonsey for running the night.

A happy Xmas to all our friends and heres to rocking in 2013

Gary

Roadhouse Live at Clowne Rock & Blues Club – Derbyshire – 28/11/12

Well this was our 7th gig since our return from the enforced sabbatical. All had been brilliant, but the run came to an end here.

The last time we played this club probably about 25 Roadhouse supporters came (plus a good few locals) from pretty long distances to see us play a rare gig in this part of the world. Well not having gone North at all since our return, I thought it would be a good idea to stay in touch with people even if with the petrol involved, this gig would cost us money.

Bad decision, as it turned out. I remember the room (a modern concrete sports hall with a high stage) being a bit poor for sound.  As we arrived the memories came rushing back and no matter what volume we set things at things were out of proportion in different parts of the room. Apparently the promoter, Alan Robson, usually puts up a curtain to stop a bit of the sound bounce, but he was full of flu and obviously didn’t have the energy.

Well the good news, about 15 Roadhouse supporters came (plus some locals) and we saw quite a few special freinds and talked about future shows with some promoters. At the end of the first set we came off knowing that we’d played a really good first set and totally happy.

It went wrong at that point as some people thought the sound was fine others said it was too loud, others said they couldnt hear the girls , others could abut could not hear the guitars in balance. It all depended where they were sitting in the room. We tried our best to address all this and by the end we’d turned in a really good performance with improved sound.

 

However, the promoter said that some people had complained about the vocal harmonies being out of tune. Now Sarah’s monitor 95% failed from early on in the gig, but I could hear the vocals throughout and there were only a couple of times that they went fractionally off, so I’ve no idea what he was talking about?. He also started the you need to bring more people rant. Well my answer to that is as ever we’ll bring the quality and as many people as we can, you promote!!!!!!!,

Its only a band thats was rated by music writers as being the top 15 best live bands in the UK in 2011, Dark Angel as being the 4th best UK release in 2011, that has played Glastonbury and has two great looking and fabulous sounding female vocalists. Can someone sell that???

We need more people like Alan. Here he is running a club with little support and often making a loss. How brave and dedicated is that. We (Bands) need more people to be like him and do this to keep live music alive. The pressure on these people is vast as they gamble with their own money. Its tough in a recession with a shrinking market for live music, so I have a lot of empathy here.

What I do know is that this is a very hard room (the hardest we’ve played for years) for sound.

Well it was great to see our friends

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roadhouse Live at the Beaverwood, Chislehurst – 25/10/12

A great night at Pete Feenstra’s excellent venue. A lot of big names have been playing this club in recent months, it was an honour to play here again, thanks to Pete and Eric for having us.

I was hoping for a crowd of over 80, but with more than 50 paying punters it was still a solid night. Amazing to see so many old friends.  A major thanks to all who turned up, with a special thank you to Alan Harvey for the pictures.

Rocking at the Beaverwood

Rocking at the Beaverwood

The new songs ‘Hell on Wheels’ and ‘ I Cant Say No’ were given a good outing and were well recieved. This was the first time that many Roadhouse stalwarts had seen Sarah sing and she made a very positve impression. Dark Angel was one of the highlights of the night, for some reason we seem to be really hitting top form on this song at the moment. We played ‘ No Place to Hide’ for the first time in ages and it sounded really fresh.  Well played Bill on bass who has been playing really well over the last few gigs. There was a big shout for a second encore, But I had promised Mr Harvey that I would not run over the time limit, so apologies to all for not rocking on for more. We would have loved to.

 

A really good night

Gary

Roadhouse Live at the Famous Monday Blues Club – Oxford – 22/10/2012

Now the legendary Philip Guy Davies club has moved to the Jericho Tavern, (other than the parking situation), everyone is loving it……

A great night for us saw the return to vocal duties of Kelly Marie Hobbs. Mandie and Sarah are currently the bands main singers but Kelly is top of the Dep list when we are playing in the South (Suzie.D when in the Midlands) and we really excited about her doing more work with us. What made this night even extra special was that Sarah came too and we had all 3 top female vocalists rocking out……

Roadhouse live at Blues At the FarmWith ten minutes to go crowd numbers were really thin, but by the time we were into our third number  things were much better. A large group of young foreign students came to the gig and loved it, we were posing for pictures with them afterwards.

 

Kelly was amazing, it was like she had never been away (other than the new hair colour!). It was great to be able to play the ‘Big Easy’ again and Kelly really blasted that one out!…..We are looking forward to her doing more shows when either Mandie or Sarah are not available

 

The crowd reaction was great all night and Sarah joined us on stage as we tried a 3 girl vocal with Mandie on lead, on ‘Knocking on Heavens Door’….Kelly was so full of sass she was even dishing out the verbals on stage, and ‘ Tellin Lies’ brought the set to a powerful close. Sarah joined us once more for the encore ‘Preacher Man’,… A great night at this nice new venue and we look forward to coming back next year

Great to see Darren Wisdom back in the crowd!

Gary

Roadhouse Live at Blues at the Farm

 

 

 

Roadhouse Live at Blues at the Farm – Essex – Saturday 6th October

Our first gig at this great venue. It took a few years to arrange but after the audience reaction and the great comments on their website we know that we will be back next year.

With a 14.15 start and bright sunshine outside, I wondered about the crowd, but this place has a lot of very knowledgeable music lovers and they stayed with us through two full on sets. Danny was on top form and by the end of the afternoon at least 5 people came up to me and said that he was the best guitar player that they had seen for years. He was using a different amp set up and his sound was sensational.

Sarah Rocks!

Sarah Rocks

The vocals were not quite as good as usual as we struggled with the venues single monitor. However the girls nailed their solo numbers. the music however was really spot on.With the crowd totally behind us we really piled the rockier stuff on. The first set was a blast just like the second. The girls were well ‘looked after’ and in favour with the crowd. Mandie was out and about and dancing in and with the crowd towards the end. There was a good version of ‘Voodoo Dance’, plus ‘Rainmaker’ went down a storm. The new song “I Can’t Say No” was given a decent outing and I reckon that will be up to standard again by the next gig .The twin guitar section worked a treat!

The best gig yet since the return from our enforced break………We’ll be back to this great place! Gary

Roadhouse Live At the New Crawdaddy Club Essex – Blues In The City Charity Gig – 29/9/2012

Thanks to the incredible work of Nick Garner who pulled together a stunning line up of events in aid of the wonderful J’s Hospice, we happily played this gig without even expenses.

Sarah and Mandie Rock Out A double header with Tim Aves excellent Blues Band, Wolfpac; it was great to be back at playing a big gig for a great cause. With Tim being very much the local DJ and  well known musician I was happy for us to go on 1st.

As a band I think we have done well in the first two gigs since our forced break, but tonight was the night that Roadhouse returned to form. In a nice big venue with a good crowd and full PA, the band really played well. The hour and 15 minutes flew by. Due the the excellent monitoring, the vocals were the best they have been in a long time. Mandie and Sarah’s voice gell together nicely and both girls were on great form despite Mandie’s sore throat.

Bill was also back on top form and along with Roger’s drums the rythmn section powered us through the first few numbers. Third up was the new number ‘Hell on Wheels’ which again was given a good outing and was very well received. ‘Dark Angel’ featured some really smooth as silk harmonies and a fabulous solo from Danny.

Nick Garner himself got up and joined us on harp for a nice, jam style verion of  ‘The Roadhouse Blues’. Sarah did well with a nice version of ‘The Lying Game’ and then Mandie brought the house down with her version of ‘House of the Rising Sun’. ‘ Tellin Lies’ culminated in a big shout for an encore and a decent version of Preacher Man ended the night on a high. There was a great crowd reaction, but the people at the Crawdaddy know their music and these were those generous souls who were also supporting Charity. A big thanks to Paul for having us back at his venue for the 6th time and the rest of the guys in that great band ‘the Heaters’ who run the PA.

Rocking at the Crawdaddy

Rocking at the Crawdaddy

A massive thanks also to Steve’s amazing photographs a few of which a featured in the last two gig reviews. Thanks for all your great support Gary 

Roadhouse Live at The Wrotham Arms – Broadstairs – 21/9/2012

Thanks to Geoff for promoting and looking after the Band. This was our fourth show at this friendly pub music venue which features as a key location in February’s Broadstairs Blues Bash.

Sarah Makes an impactThe second gig after my operation, the Band showed its lack of matchfitness with a few mistakes in the first half. A good start with cracking versions of ‘Too Tired To Pray’ and ‘Rainmaker. then wobbled with mistakes in the new song, the epic ‘Skinwalker’. Though the new song ‘Hell on Wheels’ went very well

The second set was a different story with the Band delivering a typically powerful set. By the end of the show the crowd was totally engaged with the performance and ‘Tellin Lies’ lead into the usual encore of ‘Preacher Man’. The gig was notable for it being Sarah Harvey Smart’s second appearance in Roadhouse. Her voice has a fantastic bllend with Mandie’s and she continues to make a great impact. We will be back at this lovely venue for the Broadstairs Blues Bash on Friday the 22nd February.

Gary

 

 

Roadhouse Live at the Halling Festival – 18th August 2012

So after the longest break in Roadhouse’s 21 year, 11 album history we returned to live performance. I’d like to thank everyone for their support over the long period of my recovery from major surgery (especially for the week that I was effectively blind).

Thanks to the people of Halling for choosing us to be the main act for their annual festival. A special thanks to Trevor and his team for looking after us so well. The community centre hall was enormous and though the gig was on the hottest day of the year we kicked off the first set to nearly 100 people which I think in the current climate of recession is pretty good going.

After a layoff of over 3 months we were surprisingly good and star of the show was debute Sarah Harvey-Smart, who has the voice, image and talent to go on to become one of the best ever Roadhouse female vocalists (and the whole performance just based on about 3-4 hours coaching with Mandie). The harmonies in Dark Angel were amazing, the entire vocal textures sounding rich and creamy on what was a great version of the song…She did well on her solo vocal too

We threw in a few judicous covers to help the non initiated relate a little more easily to the experience, but overall it was a night to celebrate original music. The new song Hell on Wheels with its storming electric ‘Yeehah’ fiddle sounding riff, had quite a few people asking to buy the CD it’s on. All we have to do is record the new album!

'G Force'      There was time for a second encore, after a big Tellin Lies, Preacher Man finish, we had to sing the intro of Working Class Gospel Drinking Blues to Danny who was having a mental abberation……For me personally the night was a big success. The hurdle of that first gig has been jumped and with plenty in the tank to spare (so to speak)….so well done Sarah, upwards and onwards

 

Come and see us soon, its fresh and improved, keep us rocking

Keep the faith

Gary