A folk train.

Sounds beautiful doesn’t it? Catching a train from a station. Traveling across a beautiful autumn landscape whilst being entertained by live musicians. Stopping off at a delightful country pub and having a bar meal and some real ale, all whilst being entertained by the same musicians; before returning home.

I tried it a couple of times a few years ago – and the reminder just pinged up that we were on it.

Sadly, I stopped going because even though I thought folk fans would be gentler people, it turns out they aren’t. One time – this time – we played on it.

Meeting at the station – the crowd gathers. A large crowd. Over 150. This isn’t good as a standard British Rail carriage holds about 75-90 people depending on the layout.

The train then pulls in. It’s a Pacer. The words pacer will strike fear into the hearts of any northerner. These things have been the staple of our rail travel since the 70’s – and many of them were built in the 70’s. With horrible hard bus seats, rock hard unforgiving suspension, and a slow shuddery ride they’re at the end of their life (and slowly being replaced).

The train arrives and the push begins. People force their way into the first carriage to see the “main band”. We’re the “caboose” band so we are in the overspill carriage. Problem is because it’s a standard train and not a charter there are passengers on there who really don’t give a flying fuck about the music and just want to get home on a quiet evening train after a hard day at work.

Arriving at the pub it’s a free for all. We head up there with everyone else and find that the same people who pushed into the first carriage are the same ones who push up to the bar and take the best seats.

Photo of the pub from a previous visit.

Once in the pub we finally get a drink – and stand up for a while. There aren’t any seats. Even though we are obviously one of the bands there is no reserved seating.

Two ladies ask about us and I explain that we are in the second carriage if they want to sit in there for the return journey. One of them tells me quite bluntly that “they don’t care about support bands, they’re here to see X” (X being the other band with us, a bunch of guys we know and actually appreciate as musicians).

The return journey has exactly the same chaos. Idiots fighting over seats. Pushing each other. Again we’re in the second carriage playing. Again we see the same faces who got pushed out of the lead carriage by the idiots.

Our journey home is met by heavy rain starting. Very heavy rain. We’re parked in Rotherham though so it’s only one train from Sheffield to Rotherham for us, and then a quick drive home.

But, you remember the two ladies (both of whom were “front of the line” when it came to pushiness), well they were also on the train to Rotherham; but unlike us, they had buses to catch home after leaving the station – a walk from the train to the bus station in the cold rain, and then a 30 bus ride to their homes (Herringthorpe).

I could have given them a lift. But I didn’t. Fuck ’em.

Burns Night at the RS Bar

Last night was my first gig of 2019. Ethryll had been asked to play Burns Night just before Christmas.

It started as a bit of a disaster. Jake’s car was playing up so we had to pick him up from Warmsworth whilst his dad dealt with the AA. We finally made it to the RS Bar just after seven and met up with our support, the amazing Chris Butler.

We met Chris previously at One Mole For The Road last year and hit it off straight away.

Once we had set up and sound checked (all within about 20 minutes) we had a chill out and enjoyed the atmosphere.

Chris took to the stage at about 8 and played about 45 minutes. His stuff is politically motivated with a strong socialist agenda. I rather like his commentary on life; particularly the people he would love to put on his bus to oblivion including Katie Hopkins.

We then took to the stage ourselves. This was the longest we’ve ever played as Ethryll! Over an hour in total. The audience loved us. They danced loads, and our final track – 500 miles – got virtually the entire pub singing. It was a superb night!

Lifestyle change is the key.

I’m hardly the perfect advocate, but you know when you see those photos online of before and after? Well these are mine.

It’s just over 12 months since I began my lifestyle change from an unhealthy fat potato with plantar fascitis & knee pain to become what you see on the right.

It was the photo shoot for the covers band on the left which horrified me. I looked disgusting! I was enormous and in an ill fitting suit which at the time I actually thought looked quite good.

Now I can shop at normal shops, delve into the middle of the rack, and when I see something really unusual like the PVC suit from ASOS I can actually buy it off the peg.

It’s not a diet that did this; it’s a lifestyle change. Less food, more exercise. For me it’s about the high fat foods. I now have them as occasional treats and only then as a small portion.

This photo was the shoot taken with my folk band a few weeks ago. The transformation is unbelievable!

Blidfest

So we played Blidfest yesterday. What a truly wonderful festival!

“The pub with a view” couldn’t be more apt to describe the Bird in Hand. The view from the audience could not have been nicer!

The festival ran a little late and our stage time was about an hour and a half later than projected, but it was all cool. The place was really nice to hang around and the weather was perfect.

Time for stage. Unfortunately at present there aren’t any onstage photos.

New Jeans

As my weight loss continues I’m finding myself looking at more figure hugging clothing, in particular slimmer fit.

At one time I would have seen slim fit light coloured clothes and shuddered.

Now I own some! Matched with a purple shirt and my Burgundy pattern waistcoat they look rather stunning! Perfect for Ethryll stage wear, but also good for general summer wear.

The clincher though? Cotton Traders, £18!

At one time I went down the route of 501’s only at £80+ a pair because I thought the brand made me look good. It’s not that way round though, it’s all about you making the clothes look good no matter what the brand.

One Mole for the Road

Yesterday was a day of celebration of the life of Adrian Price (Mole); drummer with Kingfisher Blue ; who sadly left us suddenly in January.

Ethryll had been invited to play as we are a fellow band in the same scene as Kingfisher Blue and have performed many gigs with the guys.

The gig was held in a small marquee at The Brothers Arms in Heeley, Sheffield. A pub with a beer garden featuring magnificent views over the valley. Such a poignant location as it was also Mole’s local.

It was a stunning gig and was also the first full 5 piece Ethryll gig with all the band together including new guitarist Jake.

It was also a perfect day to play our song Burning Blue which is about a perfect Summer day. As the festival continued we were treated to a magnificent sunset.

Quite a few pictures were taken – the gallery is below.

I suspect more photos will come in over the next few days so keep checking back!