17 December 2007

Don’t worry, I didn’t slit my wrists during last Monday's shopping trip into Derby! In fact, the whole experience was rather enjoyable. No, you didn’t read that wrong, I did enjoy the Westfield Centre in the run up to Christmas! I was in Derby for just before 9:00AM, the shops were more or less deserted and there were no queues worth mentioning. Only problem is I didn’t take full advantage of the situation… I need to go back and face the hoards once more before the big day!

So, onto the rest of the week. Every day was very cold, but dry, with temperatures below freezing each night. This enabled me to use the mountain bike to get into work again and, more importantly, to get back at night without having to be stuck in traffic jams - the traffic in an evening was horrendous as people battled to get into town for the late-night shopping. The cold front looks to be here for the rest of the week at least, so I will be using the bike up until Christmas I think.

Last Friday saw the long awaited release of the new Bluehorses album, Thirteen Fires; it has been almost three years in the making! *(Check out the comments, at the end of the end of this post, for the official word on the release of Thirteen Fires!) Friday was also the first gig on a three day Christmas mini-tour for the band. The Flowerpot in Derby was the venue and as usual, it was a great night.

Liz - getting ready to try and kick my head in!

The set list was made up of 17 tracks, seven from the new album and the rest old favourites from the past few years. Highlights for me included Witch In Wedlock, Dance With Me, Ray Of Light, Calling My Loves and the mighty Skyclad. The biggest hit of the night almost came during Waes Hael, a new track from the new album. Liz kicked out in time to the music and her New Rock boot missed my face by a matter of inches! Being so close to the stage at The Flowerpot does, at times, have its disadvantages!

Lyndon Price.

Due to the recent departure of the bass player the band had a bit of a change around for these gigs - Jay, the lead guitarist, changed to bass player whilst Lyndon Price from Redrock Studios (birthplace of the new CD) stepped into Jay's boots and picked up the lead guitar role. The result being a four-piece band that totally gelled with each other. Lyndon had just two weeks to learn the set but you’d have thought he’d been with Bluehorses for years!

Lyndon, Nic and Jay.

On Saturday evening, Lynda and I were at Pride Park Stadium, home to Derby County Football Club. Luckily, with the results that Derby have had so far this season, we were not there for a game but for Lynda’s work Christmas party. The plan had been for me to be driving us there and back so that Lynda could enjoy a drink or two, in the end I finished up drinking and Lynda took the driving role. This was nothing to do with me… Lynda hadn’t been feeling too well during the day so alcohol was the last thing she could face!

The food was great, for such a big party night, and the service was okay too. Maybe if one or two of the staff were transferred from waiting on tables to playing on the pitch then The Rams may start and get one or two wins under their belts! Then again…

Liz, at The Robin.

During the week, I had been alternately talking myself into, and then out of, going to the Bluehorses gig at The Robin, Bilston, last night. In the end it was the band themselves that convinced me that I should indeed be there. As Jay said after Friday's gig… “It would be rude not to”! So, off I set last night at 6:30PM on the hour-long drive to The Robin. It was already -2° c when I set off from Derby and felt much colder as I arrived at the gig. A large tray of chips and mushy peas, from the chippie just across the road from the venue, warmed me up a little but not half as much as the heating in The Robin, the place was like an oven! No need for coats in there last night!

Liz, Nic and Lyndon.

The set list was the same as Friday night, and it was well received by the crowd once again. There was no close shave for me from Liz and her boots this time - the stage is higher at The Robin and the sound monitors add extra “crowd protection” here!

One little extra bonus for me at this gig was the attendance of Matt and Rachel from The Reasoning, another band I love to listen to. I was fortunate enough to get to spend a good while chatting with them before Bluehorses came on stage and to receive a “live” CD of an earlier Bluehorses gig that Matt had for me. It’s evenings like last night that make the music scene so enjoyable. Come January, it will be The Reasoning that I will be off to see play live - and I can’t wait!




  1. Glad you had a nice time at the gigs. Sorry to hear Lynda wasn't feeling well. I hope she's better now.

    Hugs to you both.


  2. hiya rich and lynda

    hope you had a fab new years eve!

    excellent pics of the xmas gigs...

    but just to be pedantic, if i may :o)...

    we actually only started writing the new album in may 2007 and recording in july. we had been working on some other stuff off and on over the previous couple of years, but scrapped all that after i had a vision following a late supper including a large wedge of tescos' finest picant gorgonzola and half a bottle of a rather nice red. it all came together pleasingly quickly after that... :o)

    all the best both, nicx