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High Fives 2109 – Michael Butterworth

We think this one deserves a bit of explanation. Mike Butterworth, good friend of the Riot Squad and  bloody good bloke, was recovering from a very serious illness when we launched 2019’s High Fives in December last year. He still managed to write about a compilation of his favourite live performances of 2019 and give us some cracking images from each gig, just a little bit late. Then things... [Read more]

“Keep On Running” – Joe Edwards

The Kennet and Avon Canal might not be the Mississippi Delta but Devizes, one of the towns it passes through, is the home of Joe Edwards, and its café and bar scene gave Joe the chance to develop his intimate style and delivery. My notes for this album use the word intimate a lot; actually, I use it an awful lot, because it sounds like it was recorded in an empty basement bar. The actual recording... [Read more]

My First Gig – Steve Jenner 1974 – Status Quo

Aaaaaagggghhh!! My ears!! AAAAAGGGGHHHHH!!! That is SOOOO chuffing loud. In an attempt to impress The Girlfriend (later wife, must have worked) I purchased two tickets with intelligent deployment of pocket money in December 1974 (could have been December ’63, why let the truth get in the way of a good yarn) in order to get to shake the dandruff to the latest and greatest exponents of your heads... [Read more]

22) High Fives 2019 – Sam Baker’s Music to Paint By

Allan reviewed Sam Baker’s album “Horses and Stars” this summer. It took him a few listens, but when he got it, he really did get it. Sam’s songs are powerful stories of the everyday triumphs and tragedies of ordinary Americans, ‘the single mothers, the alcoholics, the drug addicts, the widows and the guilt-ridden’, the people getting on with their lives whatever challenges are thrown in... [Read more]

21) High Fives 2019 – Allan’s Top Venues

What makes a great venue? Well it’s certainly not the size – have you ever really enjoyed an arena or stadium gig? There are all sorts of factors involved; sound, light, programming, staffing, ambience, and the list goes on. The best venues make decisions about how they want to define themselves and focus on getting this absolutely right and they understand that this approach will always involve... [Read more]