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STRAWBS, UK TOUR - MAY/JUNE 2008

Updated: 17 June 2008
Part 2 - from Bilston (29 May) to Hailsham (7 June)
Lindsay on Tour

Contents
The First Four
  • Get Out And See This Show As Soon As You Can - Review by Nigel Bennett
  • BoardWalk, Sheffield - Wednesday 21 May 2008
  • Just One Heck Of A Set From Beginning To End - Review from Alison Brown
  • Light The Blue Touch Paper - Review by Mike Barker
  • Setlist from Alison Brown
  • Glenfarg Hotel, Glenfarg - Thursday 22 May 2008
  • Setlist and photos from Alison Brown
  • The Ferry, Glasgow - Friday 23 May 2008
  • Setlist and photos from Alison Brown
  • The Ferry, Glasgow - Friday 23 May 2008 and The Platform, Morecambe - Saturday 24 May 2008
  • Terrific From Start To Finish - Review by Lindsay Sorrell
  • The Platform, Morecambe - Saturday 24 May 2008
  • The Time Of My Life - Review by Bjorn Nilsen
  • Setlist from Alison Brown
  • The Inn At Lathones, St Andrews - Sunday 25 May 2008
  • Long Playing Record - Review by Brian Cairney
  • Setlist from Alison Brown
  • The Stables, Wavendon, Milton Keynes - Tuesday 27 May 2008
  • How Varied The Mood - Review by Pete Bradley
  • Comments from Philip Delafield
  • Setlist from Alison Brown
  • Wyeside, Builth Wells - Wednesday 28 May 2008
  • Enjoyment Second To None - Review by Nigel Bennett
  • Comnents from Ceri Roberts
  • Setlist from Alison Brown

  • THE FIRST FOUR

    GET OUT AND SEE THIS SHOW AS SOON AS YOU CAN - Review by Nigel Bennett

    The first 1000, a number similar by some quirky fate to the pre-ordering offer at Witchwood records for The Broken Hearted Bride, was the mileage I travelled in taking in the first 4 gigs of the tour. Actually, mine was1045 to be precise, but close enough to draw that comparison

    However given the flavour from the tour, of "The Call To Action" and the title track itself, makes me think this CD is going to be a fantastic addition to the Strawbs catalogue.

    And so to the first leg Sheffield and a venue that has become familiar over recent years, although with the City's traffic arrangements changing at frequent intervals it seems, one can never be sure if you are going in the right direction to get to the show.

    But once at the venue, standing in the queue outside and listening to the final track of the sound check the stunning "The Call To Action" was enough to roll back the years and stimulate the senses of many at time patiently waiting for the doors to open.

    Managed to say hello to Barbara and Deb over in from the States who shared the same queue and not long after the boys appeared en route after the sound check to return to their hotel just across the road from the venue., but not before they had said hello and expressed an element of "surprise " at our presence. Not long afterwards we were joined by Ali, Mike Barker and Andy Slack and as soon as the doors opened grabbed a table close to the front for a primary viewing spot.

    What a surprise but powerful opening in this rock venue with the PA giving full value to the outstanding "Out In The Cold" and "Round And Round" and the rest of the single set. I think I read either Mike or Andy had said this made a "statement of intent for the tour" and the power was there for all to see and drew very worthy applause and Deb who had not seen the band before and was here on Barbara's recommendation thought they were fantastic. Another BB Kings attendee in waiting.

    And so on to Glenfarg, now I had stayed in this Hotel a few years back and couldn't imagine where they were going to hold the show, but it turned out to be a small cellar type room underneath the building. Purely by coincidence and rather spookily, Ali and I arrived within a minute of each other despite travelling from different places and mine had been a trip of about 7 hours that took in a very leisurely lunch in the outskirts of Newcastle.

    Ali and I both scratched our heads fearing for our ears given the huge sound created the previous night by the Boardwalk PA. We needn't have worried this turned out to be a wonderful intimate evening, the sound balanced well. A truly remarkable experience likened to having the full band playing in your front room with the stone walls acted in such a way that they and Paul on sound was able to hold the volume to such a level that it was a real rock show without being overpowering and making our ear drums melt like a fiery candle. Fantastic. The intimacy allowed great banter between the band members and members of the audience.

    By now Ali and I had been joined by Neil (from the Beeb) and a number of other Strawbs enthusiasts, two of whom had come down from Inverness and were camping locally just so they could take in the experience. They both had been at Cropredy last year and been to Nettlebed when they lived in Oxfordshire, but unfortunately my failing memory fails to recall their names, but hopefully having suggested they do a review they might pop up somewhere and that particular mystery will be solved. The set list changed in running order from Sheffield and also included "We'll Meet Again Sometime" as the encore, a pattern established also for the following two gigs.

    Before departing Glenfarg there is one further thing to put in print their spectacular bar staff. The girls who were most "obliging" when asked got pots of tea and coffee for us and the band to share when we arrived they didn't even want any money when offered. It was the barman was the piece de resistance. Les C will recall this chap from our visit almost 10 years ago. Not the speediest on the planet and also dubbed "Mr Happy". For some reason he seems against late night sessions despite "residents" having that opportunity to indulge "after hours". Reports from 2.00 a.m.suggest he has not changed, stoically serving whilst muttering something about wanting to go home.

    After the long drive the previous day, there was just a short trip of an hour into Glasgow for the next show. Lindsay has travelled up by overnight coach from London and it was important that Ali and I met her early enough to prevent an excessive attack of shopping therapy (Many thanks for my pressie) in the high fashion area of Glasgow centre after the long coach ride. All worked to plan and we met up not much more than 10 minutes from the appointed hour.

    A quick taxi ride from our hotel found the ferry "moored" in the same place as a couple of years ago. After a few deliberations with the staff about what was happening, when and where we managed to find our way to a prime spot on the balcony, right above the stage where the band were playing, just like the last time we were there, two years ago.




    Photo from Glasgow gig from Alison Brown - more photos from Alison

    A little wink from John at us from the stage below let us know he had seen us and the stage was set for an outstanding gig particularly as we had been joined again by Neil from the Beeb who was once again kind enough to offer to be our late night taxi for which we will always be grateful. Everything about the show just fell into place well appreciated by the audience who to a man (or woman) gave them a standing ovation at the end and clamoured for more.

    With the band needing to hit the road for the trip down South the next day and the bar closing immediately the show finished, no reason to hang about other than our obligatory "cheerio's" we were off for a midnight stroll down Glasgow's Clyde river bank and mighty impressive it was too with our appointed guide ! Neil also showed us a few more sights on the way back, notably the tributes left at Celtic park following the death of a one of their ex players and management team. Without exaggeration the tributes of green and white scarves, banners and shirts must have covered almost an acre of ground.

    So next morning saw us heading in the direction of Morecambe with its beach fronted shoreline (when the tide is out ) and a meeting with three more of our intrepid travellers. Bjorn, Dick and Pete Rand, then made into a magnificent 7 with the addition of Les who was Bjorn's constant guide, chauffeur and hotelier during his trip. Let's just say there was more than a little excitement for Bjorn for his first Strawbs gig ever in the 33 years listening to the band and to do this he had flown in from Poland.

    A meeting at the pub (correction - restaurant which we learned later to our costs. It seems restaurants close rather early in this Northern hotspot.) which then closed at 10.20 disallowing any chance of an after show on site drink.

    Again we were treated to a terrific show much appreciated by those gathered in what used to be an old railway station building (I think ) with a glass roof. Good pre gig planning saw Dick reserve our places for us right in front of the band although Chas had to come to our rescue when the local management moved them off the chairs, putting at risk all Dick's hard work (someone's got to pat him on his back sometimes)

    By now the excitement levels of Bjorn were mounting as we made our way in and the opening strains of "Lay Down" opened the evening's entertainment in a fine fashion. I am sure the time passed quickly for Bjorn, indeed as it did for us all and as the darkening room left shadows on the faces as the night sky crept across the glass roof the on stage lighting took real effect.

    Far too soon it was time to be leaving, the gulls flew ahead of us bobbing and weaving as we made our late night way down the promenade looking for a hostelry to quench our thirst. We found a nice quiet little one to finish our entertainment and stayed long after closing time thanks to the generous welcome and our reluctance to leave. (We did learn of one local custom where someone goes along tapping the pub windows to let them know the "old bill" is about once the time has passed the allotted drinking up time in this sort of abode.)

    A cheerio to Bjorn and Les as they set off for their trip home, a quick look at some more of Ali's photos before the day came to a close, bringing to an end my particular Northern leg but not without being able to say "hello " to Pete and Lynne Madeley on the trip back further South.

    If anyone is wavering, get out and see this show as soon as you can. You will, like Bjorn, be rewarded with an evening which will plant itself for a long time in your memory.


    Setlist from Alison Brown

    Out In The Cold/Round And Round
    You And I (When We Were Young)
    The Broken-Hearted Bride
    Burning for Me
    Heartbreaker
    Autumn
    New World
    Grace Darling
    The River/Down By The Sea
    Here Today Gone Tomorrow
    The Call To Action
    Drum Solo
    Hero And Heroine
    Round And Round Reprise

    Lay Down

    BOARDWALK, SHEFFIELD - WEDNESDAY 21 MAY 2008

    JUST ONE HECK OF A SET FROM BEGINNING TO END - Review from Alison Brown

    I'd never driven into Sheffield before and if Mike and Andy hadn't been around to guide me in, I don't think I'd have found the venue yet. A lowly turn out of around 70 due to some football match being on the telly so I think us Witchwooders made up nearly 5% of the audience! Great to meet up with Barbara and Deborah, over from the US and taking in a few gigs on their holiday.

    From the opening notes we were in no doubt that this was a ROCK show. Don't expect to recognise previous versions of "The Call To Action" or "The Broken Hearted Bride". "The Call To Action" was given a heavy rock meets the Middle East treatment and was utterly stunning whilst "The Broken Hearted Bride" was almost unrecognisable with changed lyrics (sadly DC's vocals were mushed in the wall of sound) and full on rock treatment. This is just one heck of a set from beginning to end. There was also a very touching moment when Dave dedicated "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" to Mike Gebhardt.

    After a pleasant hike back to the car park we said our goodbyes and Mike led me out of the city to an M1 sign which made the exit about an hour and a half quicker than the entrance.

    Scotland here we come!




    Photo from Alison Brown - more photos from Alison


    LIGHT THE BLUE TOUCH PAPER - Review by Mike Barker

    .... and retreat to a safe distance - that's the lesson from Sheffield's incediary performance last night. They may be a bit ring- rusty but this was a high octane performance with DC delivering one of the most sustained and powerful vocal displays I've seen from him. RC delivered some blistering drumming supplemented by DL's power chords.

    If you've got ear plugs, take them because my ears are still singing some 24 hours after the event - if I make it to Bilston it will be with a newly purchased set of them [ear plugs that is not ears!!].

    Fraternal greetings abounded when we met up with Nigel and Ali [Ali will explain her flight path from the M1] plus Barbara and Deborah all the way from NYC, US of A.

    As to the set - watch out for "The Broken-Hearted Bride" and "The Call To Action" - the latter being a real tour-de-force. Nice to see "Here Today" dedicated to Mike Gebhart and the return of "Grace Darling"; "New World", "Out In The Cold/Round And Round", "The River/Down By The Sea" and "Hero And Heroine" plus "Heartbreaker" and "Lay Down" were testimony to DL's comment at the end that 'they were adopting a new approach' i.e. hit them hard, hit them fast and, if they're still standing, hit them again.

    Hang on to your hats it's going to be an interesting couple of months.


    Setlist from Alison Brown

    Lay Down
    Out In The Cold/Round And Round
    You And I (When We Were Young)
    The Broken-Hearted Bride
    Burning For Me
    Grace Darling
    Autumn

    New World
    The River/Down By The Sea
    Heartbreaker
    Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
    The Call To Action
    Drum Solo
    Hero And Heroine

    We'll Meet Again Sometime

    GLENFARG HOTEL, GLENFARG - THURSDAY 22 MAY 2008

    Photos from Alison Brown


    Photo from Glenfarg gig from Alison Brown - more photos from Ali

    Setlist from Alison Brown

    Lay Down
    Out In The Cold/Round And Round
    You And I (When We Were Young)
    The Broken-Hearted Bride
    Burning For Me
    Grace Darling
    Autumn

    New World
    The River/Down By The Sea
    Heartbreaker
    Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
    The Call To Action
    Drum Solo
    Hero And Heroine

    We'll Meet Again Sometime

    THE FERRY, GLASGOW - FRIDAY 23 MAY 2008

    Photos from Alison Brown


    Photo from Glasgow gig from Alison Brown - more photos from Ali


    THE FERRY, GLASGOW - FRIDAY 23 MAY 2008

    THE PLATFORM, MORECAMBE - SATURDAY 24 MAY 2008

    TERRIFIC FROM START TO FINISH - Review by Lindsay Sorrell

    Afraid I am rather pushed for time, but I just HAVE to say a few words about the dates on the tour which I've seen so far.

    Firstly, at Glasgow's gig on Friday at The Ferry, a lovely venue - I was completely blown away by virtually every single aspect of seeing the band. Everyone played absolutely superbly - it's so difficult to pick out any one instrument of course as the sum of the parts is what makes Strawbs what they are, but Chas's bass seemed to sound more powerful than I've ever heard it before, absolutely thumping away with imaginative bass lines, Rod's drumming was incredible (loved the way the solo which followed "The Call To Action" seemed to start off continuing an Eastern feel), and John's keyboards were sublime, always so perfectly complementing everything else which was going on.

    The sound was excellent, the atmosphere amazing, and the company delightful. Vocally, Dave Cousins gave it his all, evidenced by his contorted (and scarlet!) facial expressions in many astonishingly powerful passages (bound to have been captured in some of the photos). He also made overt references to topical religious/political world turmoil during song introductions, which really pleased me. Strawbs always had something to say rather than just singing pretty songs and courting popularity, which was one of the things which attracted me initially. It's so good to see that time and apathy haven't mellowed that desire to speak out, and that the band are still able to create stunningly good new material worthy of silencing critics who might wrongly assume they belong to an earlier era. Dave Lambert was absolutely mesmeric both on electric guitar and vocally (his harmonies on "The Broken Hearted Bride" are still ringing in my ears!) You've probably gathered by now that the concert was terrific from start to finish.

    Extremely grateful thanks to Neil from the Beeb for showing us the sights of The Clyde at night, and for the lift back to the hotel.

    Morecambe - well it couldn't possibly be better than Glasgow...or could it? I suppose the bar could have stayed open which would have been an improvement. Apart from that, any sort of attempted comparison seems a complete waste of time as it's impossible to quantify the passion, power and emotion which is pouring out of these gigs. Even seasoned Strawbs-gig-goers like myself have been in complete awe at the quality of the band's performances on both these nights. Bjorn, who had flown in from Poland to be Les's guest for a couple of days seemed virtually speechless following his first ever Strawbs concert after 33 years as a fan! He did manage to make one comment straight after the gig though, which I shan't repeat here, this being a family show, but I got the impression he enjoyed live Strawbs rather a lot!

    These Strawbs gigs really have been utterly spell-binding. Anyone who doesnt take full advantage of the current opportunities to see this amazing band, if they possibly can, undoubtedly deserves to be banished into the Witchwood forever more.


    Setlist from Alison Brown

    Lay Down
    Out In The Cold/Round And Round
    You And I (When We Were Young)
    The Broken-Hearted Bride
    Burning For Me
    Grace Darling
    Autumn

    New World
    The River/Down By The Sea
    Heartbreaker
    Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
    The Call To Action
    Drum Solo
    Hero And Heroine

    We'll Meet Again Sometime

    THE PLATFORM, MORECAMBE - SATURDAY 24 MAY 2008

    THE TIME OF MY LIFE - Review by Bjorn Nilsen

    It's early in the morning and i am on my way to the airport in Warsaw. A few minutes ago my love of life kissed me goodbye and wish me a safe journey and be back soon. My car stereo is playing one of my favourites "Nearly There", but soon there will be Strawbs tunes filling my ears.

    Everything goes according to plan with check in and after a very short hour of waiting i am on my way to my first Strawbs concert. Upon arrival in Manchester I wonder how Les Cotton is in real life, but when we finally meet it was like to say hello to an friend I have known all my life.

    After an hour drive on a busy highway we arrived at the Cottons' home in Lytham St Annes, a very nice place to live.. Les parked his luxury 2seat automobile and a few minutes later I had the pleasure to say "Hello" to Sue "Mrs Cotton", a very nice lady I must say. I was invited to the local Pub/restaurant for a nice meal, and fish and chips is always a good choice together with a few beers to calm down my Strawbs nerves.

    Next day Les took me around Lytham St Annes and into the local Witchwood. After we went to see the famous Blackpool before we had lunch, and then it was time to set our course for Morecambe and The Platform.

    What a day, the sun was shining, and after the car was parked Les and me had a walk before the show. Did not take long time before Les spotted D. Lambert outside the platform. And like the English Gentleman Les is I was introduced to Dave Lambert, we spoke a few words before Nigel came out of the blue and I started to get the feeling that this would be an evening I will never forget. Mr Lambert went to sound check and we aimed for the bar. Soon after Alison and Lindsay and Peter Rand came, and the last but not least person to have a seat at the table was Mr. Witchwood himself Dick Greener. What a great bunch they are and i felt more than welcome, so I was sitting there with the feeling "Home at last"

    After a drink or two it was time for what I have been waiting for, to see Strawbs playing live. And what a great show, totally fantastic.

    Time goes too fast and suddenly the show was over and it was time to say "Hello" to the band that have given me so much through the years. I was told that normally they meet in the bar after the shows, but not this time (what a shame). But the bar closed early and the band had to go to next city, Lancaster, because no hotel rooms available in Morecambe. Anyway the Witchwood group did find a pub that was open so we had a say good-bye drink/beer before returning home to Les.

    And for me everything was over all to soon, it was fantastic to see and meet The Strawbs, but i had to say it was great to meet the Witchwooders (Dick, Alison, Lindsay, Nigel, Peter) who came so we had a chance to meet. A special thanks to Les and Sue Cotton who open their home for me and made it possible for me to see Strawbs.

    So here I am back in Poland, maybe a little happier than a week ago, I don't think there is very much more to add than - I had the time of my life... Thank you Strawbs.




    Photo from Morecambe gig from Alison Brown - more photos from Alison


    Setlist from Alison Brown

    Lay Down
    Out In The Cold/Round And Round
    You And I (When We Were Young)
    The Broken-Hearted Bride
    Burning For Me
    Grace Darling
    Autumn

    New World
    The River/Down By The Sea
    Heartbreaker
    Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
    The Call To Action
    Drum Solo
    Hero And Heroine

    We'll Meet Again Sometime

    THE INN AT LATHONES, LATHONES - SUNDAY 25 MAY 2008

    LONG PLAYING RECORD - Review by Brian Cairney

    I drove over 130 miles to see this gig. The Strawbs are a band I have seen live on and off for over thirty years - the ticket cost a massive 30 and approx a little over 30 people turned up. I could also add that a long playing record plays at 33 and a third but that would just be plain silly !

    This is a remote place to have a five piece band stop on tour and although Cousins appeared unhappy at the start the band as always turned in a first class gig. The music got better as the show progressed, but why is it this Hero And Heroine line up (as the group is referred to) play the same songs at most live gigs from the Hero And Heroine and Ghosts albums - there are stacks of great Cousins material which could do with a dusting down for the live treatment. There was a cracking version of "The Call To Action" - a song from the forthcoming Broken Hearted Bride album. The audence clearly enjoyed the intimate performence and Cousins ended up promising to see us all again in thirty years !

    Can't wait for the long overdue CD release of Nomadness - lots of live material available from this most underrated Strawbs album.


    Setlist from Alison Brown

    Lay Down
    Out In The Cold/Round And Round
    You And I (When We Were Young)
    The Broken-Hearted Bride
    Burning For Me
    Grace Darling
    Autumn

    New World
    The River/Down By The Sea
    Heartbreaker
    Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
    The Call To Action
    Drum Solo
    Hero And Heroine

    We'll Meet Again Sometime

    THE STABLES, WAVENDON, MILTON KEYNES - TUESDAY 27 MAY 2008

    HOW VARIED THE MOOD - Review by Pete Bradley

    Hadn't planned to go to Wavendon as we were supposed to be under canvas over the Bank Holiday weekend, not expecting to get home till the early hours of Tuesday morning. However, the predictions for precipitation made sleeping in a tent seem far from appealing, so we chickened out. That left us free for a last minute dash up the M1 to Milton Keynes.

    Even then, we were a bit dubious about going.to the Stables. Last time we saw the band there, the sound quality was pretty ropey. It looked from the reviews that we had read the the boys were likely to be even louder than normal, and that could well have meant that the sound was even more distorted. Not only that, but remembered that the Stables has a strict No Cameras policy.

    Needn't have worried about the sound. I thought that Paul had done a really good job with the sound. Must admit that there were a couple of squeaks of feedback from the keyboards, but I'm pretty sure that John meant to do that. Was right about the cameras though. Not even Dick or Ali were able to blag permission to take a snap.

    Strangely, even though we bought tickets at the eleventh hour we had better seats than Dick, Nigel and Ali. There were only two rows of seats in front of us, so I could have got some fairly good pics if it had been allowed. Never mind.

    DC was wearing that amazing flowered shirt that Ali photographed at Sheffield. Have to say that DC was looking quite tired. Think that coming on top of his solo tour, this tour must be quite gruelling. Noticed that DL didn't do his famous jump during "Round And Round", either. Whether that was due to tiredness, or whether he isn't doing it this tour, I don't know.

    Despite looking tired, I have never seen DC sing with such gusto. I think he must have popped into an Italian School of Fortissimo singing whilst he was over there. There probably aren't many people who think that DC's stage persona is shy and retiring, but they would have to reappraise their opinion of him after seeing him signing "The Call To Action".

    Chas played the twelve string rather than his bass for "The Call To Action", leaving DC's hands free to simulate cobras (the snakes, not the Lager), in time with the arabic sounding refrains from John. "The Call To Action" has been significantly revamped from the High Seas original. Think I still prefer the Conny Conrad version. At the Stables, it sounded a little disjointed in places, and possibly a bit unrehearsed. However, if you want to listen to studio perfection, go and see the Spice Girls miming to a recording. [DG comment: think the problem was not under rehearsal, but inaboility on staeg to hear each other.]

    I had wondered how on earth the electric band could possibly tackle "Grace Darling", without a choir, but I hadn't taken John's ingenueity into account. John had secreted an entire couple of pews of choir boys somewhere under his keyboards, each boy trained to squeal a particular note when John hit a certain key. The effect was stunning. Most remarkable track was "Round And Round". DC has invested in an echo machine (either that or there was a DC clone hidden amongst those choir boys), so for the spoken part - "After all, it's just the revolution I despise...", there was loads of echo. However, there was no electronic gimmicry in the length of the note that DC held on the last "go" of "round and round and round we go". Sure I've never heard him hold a note like that before. Wow. Quite disappointed that they didn't finish with a reprise of "Round And Round" after "Hero And Heroine".

    A new innovation which I didn't think quite worked was that Rod stopped after the drum solo for applause (of which there was plenty) before they went on to play "Hero And Heroine". I used to love the way that the last two beats of the drum solo lead directly to the opening crashing chords of "Hero". Can't stress enough how varied the mood of the music was. Massively heavy rock numbers like "Down By The Sea" contrasting with the beautifully gentle "Remembering." (just keyboards and wire brush drumsticks on cymbals) that bookends "You And I When We Were Young". The choral accompaniment to "Grace", contrasting with the Arabic accompaniement to "Call to Action".

    All in all a great night. Well worth missing out on the joys of a soggy tent for.


    Comments from Philip Delafield

    We thought the boys put on a great performance last night. It was crisp, with tremendous passion, there was a great mixture of songs representing the last 40 plus years, the sound was generally very good and they seem to have been enjoying themselves. The keyboard is a great part of their sound, as are the drums. Where does RC get his energy from? I hope they felt the same way.


    Setlist from Alison Brown

    Lay Down
    Out In The Cold/Round And Round
    You And I (When We Were Young)
    The Broken-Hearted Bride
    Burning For Me
    Grace Darling
    Autumn

    New World
    The River/Down By The Sea
    Heartbreaker
    Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
    The Call To Action
    Drum Solo
    Hero And Heroine

    We'll Meet Again Sometime

    WYESIDE, BUILTH WELLS - WEDNESDAY 28 MAY 2008

    ENJOYMENT SECOND TO NONE - Review by Nigel Bennett

    What a nice surprise, After driving for what seemed like miles through the barren land, virtually free of all habitation turned in to this nice little oasis and into found the lovely theatre and the Greyhound Hotel to get fed and watered.

    It's a real shame that its future has been under threat because as soon as you walked in the ambience and atmosphere was all there to see. Lighting was superb with Rod's drum kit bathed in red and purple showering down from the ceiling above.

    They always say that the best sound is from where the sound man sits and tonight being literally feet away from Paul in this cosy theatre we were treated to a fantastic show where everything the playing , the lighting, the sound and the audience melded together as one creating an enjoyment factor virtually second to none.

    One of the members of the audience was heard to comment that "Strawbs provided the 'wow factor' at Cropredy last year" and that was the reason that they had come again last night even though they had not been a long term fan

    OK, with hindsight perhaps I should have stayed over rather than driving back, but then again, what did I know of the hospitality on offer at the Greyhound and may be with Bilston the following night, it was probably best I remained totally sober !

    Good luck to those who are trying to preserve the theatre as a going concern, I added my signature to their petition as did all the others in the travelling party and the band.


    Comnents from Ceri Roberts

    Please could you pass on my thanks to the band for the concert last night at Builth. It was brilliant. Spent the whlole night with a big grin on my face and am still smiling and singing 1 day later. THANK YOU.




    Photo from Builth Wells gig from Alison Brown - more photos from Ali


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