Sunday, June 17, 2007

Do Bears......?

What a weekend. My close friend Steve took a weekend away from his busy career travelling the World and blowing things up on behalf of H.M Government to come and visit. An overnight stay turned into a whole Friday to Sunday experience. We started off with a trip from my place up to Belvedere village to the Victoria, a small back street pub that has just won Cask Marque accreditation for its' well kept Fuller's London Pride and Shepherd Neame Spitfire. We then met up with school friend Debbie at the Royal Standard in Nuxley Road. After leaving there we took a somewhat circuitous journey back to my house via Franks' Park.

Next morning after several restorative cups of tea and fresh orange juice, we headed up to Bexleyheath to the legendary Robin Hood & Little John for lunch. The multiple award winning pub is undergoing a sympathetic interior facelift - new carpets, soft furnishings and restored varnished oak woodwork throughout. It promises to look great, though there was a temporary preponderance of Magnolia coloured wood preservative on the wall panelling as Steve and I ate our delicious lunches, and supped a couple of superbly served pints of Adnam's Broadside.

Onwards thereafter to visit Debbie in her new part time job in Lower Belvedere's Halfway House - a pub that could be described as having a unique local character - the trouble is, that character would seem to be appearing in a uniquely British version of the movie "Deliverance". Enough said - but do wipe your feet upon leaving the place. We than repaired onwards to the Erith Working Men's Club in order for me to photograph Ian's main band Xenon, first in sound check and then in full performance. My digital camera eats AA sized batteries like they are going out of fashion, and I did not capture as many shots as I had hoped. See and click on any photo above for a larger version, as always. you can also visit my Flickr photo gallery online to see a far larger and more varied selection of photographs taken over the course of the weekend.

This morning was rather civilised; Steve and I drank tea, watched TV (appropriately, a documentary on the Falklands War), and ate organic scrambled eggs on hot buttered toast accompanied by grilled smoked Turkey rashers (they taste, smell and have the texture of bacon, and are a great substitute, as unfortunately I am Pork intolerant and am unable to eat the real thing without feeling ill - they make a really good alternative).

We then spend several hours overhauling my rather sad and shabby looking back garden; five large bags of garden waste later, things are looking remarkably improved. Steve has now left to go back to the officer's mess for dinner and a good night's sleep after a busy weekend. No doubt the explosives and ordnance will be back on hand forthwith.

Normal whingeing service will be restored shortly.


  1. A good night was had by all.
    Thank you
    Good night...

  2. HAHA!
    Great Blog as usual!
    But PLEASE do tell me WHY is this Blog called “Do Bears…”??! Cos you don’t really explain yourself…UNLESS it’s SOMETHING to do with your midnight ramble through Frank’s Park, cos Bears are known to…#AHEM# eat honey??

    Love your description of the Halfway’.
    Yeah it IS a dumppub BUT the people in there are friendly its just like 90% of the pubs in the area incredibly rundown. Although I’m against the impending smoking ban for various reasons (TODAY fags TOMORROW…any beer over 2%..cos it interfears with "society"! you mark my words...) hopefully it will mean a lot of pubs will get done up.
    Mind you, you can’t polish a just sprays up the walls.

    Got to say HONESTLY Saturday was my worst singing in a long time.
    In fact I can’t remember the last time my voice gave me problems like that. Can’t believe the first song and…“Highway to squeak!”, I was fine earlier when we had a little rehearsal and at the soundcheck. Throat felt ok too, I know I was tired but SO embarrassing (I may have been tired but not as tired as Joe the bassist: baby Harrison born 7am, turns up for band 2:30pm, 1st pint 2:33pm…can’t decide if that’s “ROCK n Roll” or irresponsible to be honest but each to their own). I didn’t really get into the 1st set at all apart from "Land Down Under" plus what with the bloke interrupting for the raffle or whatever it was it threw me abit, strange as I’m usually unflappable. Mind you I think or rather I hope I kept things entertaining/going Frontman-wise (as opposed to Morecambe and...nevermind) and everyone who spoke to us said they enjoyed it which is the main thing plus all the CD’s of our E.P were sold out within 20 min’s.
    Enjoyed the 2nd set more but then always do as its louder/heavier and faster.
    Actually I think having Mrs.ReV and the kids there for the first time threw me abit as I just kept watching my oldest (3 years old) attacking her cousin and kissing some little boy under the pool table!

    Lets just say I just HATE having a bad gig!

    Was GREAT to see so many old faces or rather faces I’ve known for a long time come to the gig!
    I was watching my cousin Nick looking stony faced (his default setting! HAHA), Mrs.ReV’s head bobbing as she ignored me playing and chatted, China singing along to Paranoid (when are we going to see you playing drums then?!), Xav’ watching Gary’s fret work (same going for you), Steve and his “harem” of women, Alan’s heckling (really laughed at some of his comments, difficult when your singing!) etc etc, it was great, also nice to have Oxide (see Hugh’s FarnFest Blog entry from a couple of weeks ago for more info') come down and watch us.
    Thanks for the photos to Hugh, I know now not to wear that Flash Gordon t-shirt again as you can see the sweat marks GROSS! Its only the second time EVER probably that I’ve not worn a black t-shirt when gigging.
    Also although the club is a bit of a...spit and sawdust sort of place its round the corner from my 66 roomed mansion/hellicarrier and across the road from Jon the drummers house AND we can leave the gear there overnight which is a bonus! Actually it’s nice to play on abit of a stage too, we “guess-timated” 80+ odd people were there which apparently is about double the clubs usual Saturday nite attendance so not too shabby.
    They also said if we want we can rehearse for free there but to be honest I don’t think we can be arsed to lug the gear there and back just for a couple of hours unles someone wants a job!

  3. Hugh,

    Looks like you had a great weekend. Photos are great too. Will have to check out Ian's band sometime, not something I've done in a long time, but used to do a lot.
    Missing a certain amount of bile and invective, look forward to normal service being resumed next week.
    Am going to Asian Mela on Plumstead Common on Sunday as doing a stall for Plumstead Common Environmental Group, so hopefully the sun will be shining as I am looking a bit pale and not very interesting at the moment. Hope you are having fun,