Saturday, July 08, 2006


Beggars Fair 2006

Being the avid Pressgang fans that we are, it was off to Romsey today for the Beggars Fair. Best part of the day was that it was free to listen to or take part in any of the activities - even the programme was only a quid.

 First event for us in the afternoon shift was "The Travelling Talesman" in King John's Garden. Cliff Eastabrook was having a busy day as not only was he telling us a couple of tales, he was also sound engineer and bassist at other times too. Which was why he was 10 minutes late - not that we minded as at least the weather was good and saxophonists had stopped playing. Cliff specialises in stories from mythology and history, such as disposing of Don Hugh and the cursed wolf-man that we heard today, and works the audience well.
By the time Cliff had finished, it was getting on for 5 and most of the venues were closing to reopen at 8pm. We had left it a little late to get to Romsey in the first place so missed a few hours of music beforehand too. Samantha decided that she liked the sound of "Pokey" so we retired to The Tavern to wait for them to start (they were supposed to be playing 4:30-8:00). Bit of a down-market place, packed for the fair and charging THREE POUNDS for a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale! And I thought Reading was bad.
Eventually Pokey started and we soon discovered that they were an adequate covers band (there being no write-up for them in the programme). After a few not-too-loud choruses of "Hi-Ho-Wolverhampton" as the band played Jeff Beck's classic, we slipped off to find somewhere to eat. Eventually we decided upon the Purbani Indian restaurant on Bell Street - if you do decide to eat here (and the food was nice), try to get a table at the front of the building (few tables) rather than the larger back (much busier).
The high-point for us was to be the Pressgang sets so we finally set out (fair in town means restaurant staff a bit overwhelmed) for The Abbey Hotel. Skimmington Ride were already playing standard fiddley stuff and the place was packed with a lot of overflow into the car-park. Luckily, after Ride's fans left we were able to get in and take up positions at the front.

Track listing for the 1st half:

The intervening session was a humorous set from Johnny Jet where we were regaled with tales of Batman Pyjamas, (every line rhymes with) Priscilla and being beaten up by Keith. I thoroughly recommend checking his website as a lot of tracks can be downloaded for free.

Track listing for the 2nd half:

Pressgang are:

Damian (nothing to do with The Omen)George (nothing to do with Rainbow)Tony (for those who can't see the bleedin' obvious)Cliff (wondering if the lady should really be dancing without a sports bra)

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