Sunday, 25 April 2010

Blues & Greys

We finally made it to Number 6 at 21-00 last night after what I can only describe as 'not the best meal I've ever had at The Swan'. There Andy and I first bumped into Guitarist Jon Storey and Vinny (The Chip) Johnson of the Marlborough Fish & Chip shop fame. A couple of pints with them, we then paid our 'tenner' and went into the gig where The Producers were just flashing up their first number. As indisputably one of the best blues outfits on the southern circuit it was a shock to find that only 30 punters made up the audience. The first half of the set comprised mostly self penned numbers but the highlight came with their own rendition of the Marshall Crenshaw classic Somewhere Down The Line. Andy and I were fairly sure that the last time we had seen the band was a number of years ago at The Flowerpot in Derby, but during the interval we checked up with Messrs Skinner and Saunders to find that we were right.

Drew-Drury, Skinner, Smith & Saunders

The second half continued in the same vein, with the highlight of the evening coming by way of a self penned number Long Dusty Road. Saunders relates the story then when backing the newly formed Splinter Band when former recluse Peter Green (ex Fleetwood Mac) re-joined the music scene and complimented the guys on this number. Dave went on to say that he had to admit stealing the riff from Green, who in turn informed them he had nicked it from Howling Wolf.

Harry Skinner - Lead Guitars & Vocals

Dave Saunders - Bass Guitar

Ray Drew-Drury - Keyboards

Biff Smith - Drums

As much as the gig I do love talking music with Number 6 landlord Pete Smith and last night was no exception. Andy had already met him at my 60th birthday bash and they immediately embarked on a discussion about Martin guitars. Andy has recently bought one and Pete had one of the original model, now worth a King's ransom. He went on to tell us at the time of purchase another potential customer arrived to look at a Martin with the store owner demanding a £30 non-returnable levy to protect his valuable instruments and avoid time-wasters before he would even get one down off the wall. It was chucking it down with rain by the time we were ready to leave, so in his usual generous way Pete piled us into his car and drove us home.

It was a late morning for us, but eventually we did get underway for a walk along the Rodwell Trail where apart from Blackcaps there was little bird life. However, there was one sight I had not seen before, a female Blackcap building a nest. It had been intended to look at the tide line at Ferry Bridge for waders but even from the FB public house we could see a number of dogs 'off lead' so there was little point. The blackboard outside the pub was advertising a roast pork Sunday dinner for £7.00 so we took advantage of that. Back to Weymouth by bus, we walked the promenade, pleasure pier and harbour-side before heading home. On the way we had Common Tern, carrying fish, a small passage of Swifts and noted some Coot activity where the nest with eggs had once been. Looking over the Westham Bridge parapet we noticed they had already made good headway building a new nest, and arrived just in time to see them copulating. Let's hope they have more luck this time.

Grey Mullet - there was a large shoal in the Backwater, more than I have seen there for many years, of about 3 -350 fish many estimated at 4 - 5 pounds. There was a time when someone would have had a net around them in no time at all, maybe the reason for the rapid decline in the first place. Not only good to see so many, but a good indicator that all is well with the water in Weymouth Harbour.

The pair of Coots moments after 'the act'.

A strange cloud formation hanging over Radipole.