The Captain's Blog 2007 - 2012

The previous band from begining to end. The new band starts here.


Drawing a Lion under it..

It has been a year since the last of these missives and much has happened, water flowed under bridges, pages flown off calendars and all that kind of thing. Time to let you know what has been going on.

That Legendary Wooden Lion passed back into legend after the gig at The Real Music Club last October. The whole logistic  of band members living in three different cities / towns had always been a strain and there were other factors tugging at out boundaries. Steve and Chris Mott called it a day just before last Christmas but the Cardinal, Chris Cottage and I continued to try to  find replacements. That carried through until this summer when I recruited a couple of Brighton musicians. At that point they too cried off and I was left to  decide what to do.

I decided I was not going to leave things there and so I began talking to other local musicians. The guitarist who was about to join the Lion stayed with me and we now have the beginnings of a new outfit. The current line up is Gav Cantrell - guitar, Andy Power – bass, Cliff Dowding – keyboards and myself on vocals and guitar. A drummer will be announced shortly. We have been in rehearsal for a few weeks and there are already two new songs sitting alongside some of the songs from the last CD  at the moment there is no band name and we will not be going out under the Lion banner.

In the meantime some of the other members of That Legendary Wooden Lion have continued to play together and have a new bass player and guitarist. They have no name as yet either but I will let you all know what they are doing (and when they do it) as well.

As a Spinal Tap moment the CD is about to be released in Japan and will continue to be available from out website.
There is also an article about me and the Last Post  in the December edition of Shindig Magazine :

So that is the news so far. I look back on the time that we played together as That Legendary Wooden Lion with a great deal of fondness. We did some really good gigs and I think we made a very good album. I will miss working with the Cardinal and I will miss Steve's creative and fluid guitar playing but we remain friends.

New things will rise and life is a process of change and evolution – standing still is not an option.

To be continued...........



After a period of quiet we are cleaning out the Lion's Den and brushing off the Ringmaster's costume so we can get the Lion's Travelling Circus and Freak Show back on the road.

Chris' arm has healed to the degree that we got through a full evening's rehearsal although he still sports a bandage and we are preparing ourselves for a few gigs in October. Here are the details:

Saturday 1st Oct. The Woodbine Inn, Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey, EN9 3QT –
This is a new venue for us but there is a buzz of enthusiasm for the show on Facebook.
Sunday 2nd October, The Bridgehouse II, Bidder Street, Canning Town, London E16 4ST
Back to the venue we have played many times before

Friday 28th October, The Real Music Club. Upstairs@ The Hydrant, 75 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JF (with Stone Cold and Running With Scissors)
The Hydrant is a cracking venue and the other bands on are pretty strong so this should be a good show ( )
Now we are back into rehearsal mode we will be continuing to work on  new songs and I hope to get some of these into the set soon.

The CD will be available for sale at all of the venues we are playing We hope to get some more gigs into the diary in the coming months. There is also some interest in gigs in Russia and we will keep you informed about these.

Join us on Facebook, as they say, and we will see you at a gig soon.



There has not been an awful lot of news coming out of the Wooden Lion HQ of late but we have been working on new songs and preparing for, what looked like, a busy end to July. Then it all threw us another wobbly. Our drummer, Chris Mott, has damaged one of his arms and it is currently badly swollen and in a sling. He will be unable to play for at least three weeks which means that the shows we had booked for July have all now had to be cancelled. Missing out on the Kozmic Ken gig was particularly annoying. Tony Morley, our usual stand in when a band member goes AWOL or is ill, is also busy on these dates so we are well and truly stuffed.

We will be getting on with writing stuff for the second album, which we hope to start recording sometime next year and I will keep you posted on that. In the meantime We will start looking at booking some shows for late August and through till the end of the year.



We had a pretty busy spate of gigs in April. Kicked off at the Bridgehouse II with our old friends, Bruise opening the evening in sweet acoustic style and going on to close the evening with their savage electric set. It was a shame that there were not more people there to see it but an Easter Sunday with half the transport system in London not working did us no favours. We played our best set in a while. Chris Cottage, who suddenly left the band in December last year, rejoined for this show. We have been rehearsing with Dave Loach from In Cahoots on bass duties but the time constraint meant that he did not quite have enough of the set under his belt.

The following weekend we were at the Bishops Stortfold Music Festival. all a bit rushed but we played a good set which was, unfortunately cut short because of time restraints. Still we collected a good crowd and will be back up that area again. after the show Chris Cottage decided he would rejoin the band so we are, once more, back to the original 5 piece that set out on this journey. The revolving door continues to spin.

We rounded off the bunch of gigs with a return to the Classic Rock Club. It is always a pleasure to go back there. There were one or two train wrecks during that show, precipitated by a lack of sound check caused by various members being held up in traffic. Still that is what music is all about, the interplay, or brief pause in it, between a bunch of musicians. We will be back there again.

Right now we are working on new material with an eye to what will be on the next CD Two songs are already in the making and we are working on other ideas.

We have no shows planned for June as yet but there are three confirmed for July.

There will be a return to the Bridgehouse II with Slam on July 22nd for the pre High Velocity Festival night.

Then it is the Horningsea Music Festival in Cambridge on the following day, 23rd July.

The following weekend sees us at Kosmic Ken's Psychedelic Dream Festival in Devon with a whole host of bands. Tony Morley will be taking on bass duties for that show because Chris Cottage's daughter gets married on the same day.

Other shows are in the pipeline. There will be an autumn show in Brighton at the Hydrant (poss September), on at the 12- bar in Swindon with the astounding Whimwise and a monthly slot at the Bridgehouse II. I will put the dates up on the gig page when I have them.

The CD is selling well and we have had some very positive responses. I hope to see you at a gig again soon.


I had intended to make this a much more regular journal this year but the last month has been a bit hectic to say the least. anyhow here is the news.

It would seem to be the year of the incredible shifting gig. The first show of this year had to be moved so we could fit it in with Bruise. If you have not seen them before then you should definitely come along. They are one of my favourite bands. This will be a special show because we are planning to open with their acoustic set, then launch into the TLWL set and then bring Bruise back on for their full on electric set. They are a superb band and well worth seeing. This will also be the first outing  for our new bass player, Dave Loach.

Next up we have a show at the Classic Rock Club – always good to get back there. The original date was the 29th April but apparently a couple of toffs are getting hitched on that day so the club was not allowed to have the venue. This gig will now be on the 6th May.

There is another special show being planned for the Bridge House on the 22nd July but we cannot announce details as yet.  I will let you know as soon as possible but it threatens to be an interesting reunion for a long long time ago – and before you Dogwatchers out there start to get excited – it predates Dogwatch by a few years too..

Later that month. 30th   July to be precise, we   will be playing Kozmic Ken's Psychedelic Dream festival in Devon details of that are on the website but there are some great bands playing there over three days. More dates are being looked into including a gig in Swindon with the superb 'Whimwise', a Real Music Club show in Brighton,  and a couple of other festivals in Essex and Cambridgeshire.

I was recently interviewed on the Real Music Club Radio Show and you can listen to that here:

I am doing a few more shows of my own as part of the Real Music Club radio spot and I will post the links to these as and when they come up.

The CD is selling well and we are now available in digital format on i-Tunes,.

Amazon and various other outlets including, I believe, Spotify. I am not sure I can buy into this piecemeal digital download world. But times are there to be moved with and the zen in me can handle it. I suppose, in the end, if the music is out there it will find its own ears to nestle in.

I hope I will get to see you at a gig soon.



The new CD has been flying out of the doors of Turquoise Road Music and we have had some very favorable comments. I have added a 'reviews' page so you can see what people have written about it. The first two comments are up there already so feel free to use the contact us tab to let us know what you think.

The first couple of gigs we have booked for the coming year are now up on the gigs page and I will be adding to these, hopefully, over the coming months.

Towards the end of last year Chris Cottage, our long standing bass player, decided he wanted to leave the band to pursue other projects. He has been a loyal member since we started up this current line up back in 2006 and is a great bassist, so we were sorry to see him go. We now welcome new recruit, Dave Loach, to the band. Dave has played with many different bands over the years and I will get him to post a list of those at some point soon but he also currently plays bass and keyboards with our label mates, 'In Cahoots' a very different band with two superb CDs out on Turquoise Road. I think he will bring something new to the band.

First rehearsals suggest he will be a good member of the team.

Don't forget to check out our Facebook and MySpace pages and leave messages, We like to hear from you. Let us know if you want to be on the mailing list too.

I will post more news as it happens.


Happy New Year to you all

So we roll into another year with all sorts of stuff ahead. We are already looking into gigs and there will be more news of that at a later date

Better news:
After an age, after all that work we finally have physical CDs! Thank you all for your patience. I am really very pleased with how the sleeve has come out and it has all been, somehow, worth trauma and work. I hope you will enjoy it. Those of you who have already ordered copies will receive them in the next day or so. They have already left the building via Elvis, our friendly postman.

You can buy the CD direct from the website shop via PayPal.

I will put up a downloadable form at some point this weekend so that you can also order by cheque but, if the excitement is too much for you and you have no PayPal account and are compelled to whip out a your chequebook right now the details are:

The CD Costs £8.00 + £1.50 P&P
Send the cheque, made out to QBranch to
Turquoise Road Music
20 Locks Hill
BN41 2LB

Don't forget to include your address.

We have also moved over into the dark side of things and have a Facebook page:

This is a band profile so you can only come along and 'like' us but there is also a Roy Weard profile and from there you can link to the other members of the band.  Do come on over and leave a message. <

That's all for now.  Gigs and more news will be up soon.



Ever spoke too soon?

Way back in the days when music was delivered on a slab of black plastic that required infinite care and a needle to be heard a 12" disk containing forty five minutes music was called a 'Long Player'. Tempus has fugited its way through the years and we arrive at the state where you can get smaller, shinier digital disks with twenty extra minutes of music on them or even instant downloads. Well, the CD that we have laboured so long over has hit yet another obstacle. Reluctant as I am to mix my metaphors, the road we have travelled along to get to the final release of this CD has been littered with roadwork's, speed bumps and diversions. Just when we thought the end was finally in sight someone plonked a great boulder in the thoroughfare.

Bit of history here. We started out with four tracks recorded live at the Bridgehouse II in Canning Town. Soon after that we laid down another six backing tracks. At that point we thought it was going to be plain sailing. It then became a task getting the studio time together to put down the overdubs, vocals and finally get Nick Pynn and Darren Reynolds in to add violin, viola and double bass to a couple of tracks. This stretched on throughout 2009 and, when we were firmly into 2010, we started on the mixing. At that point I saw the release date as being late summer, maybe autumn. Mixing dragged on until the winter. I even built myself a new computer, bought the software, and taught myself to use it to enable me to do preliminary mixes. We fixed a release date and I was happy with the mixes, just the mastering to do. A couple of weeks before the release date we had it mastered - apart from one track which sounded wrong. I went back into the studio and remixed it from scratch and we remastered it. OK, much better. We missed the launch party release date but the CDs were ready to go.

During this process I was also getting the artwork assembled. Penny Marler's cover art was marvellous and I had assembled the lyric booklet. Turquoise Road sent the material off for manufacture all seemed set for Dec 15th release. The boulder came on the 13th December, in the shape of an email from the manufacturer. They had gone into administration. A short note to the effect that they had gone bust and they were 'sorry for any inconvenience caused'. Inconvenience!? The worst part was that we learned that , although the administrators were going to complete some projects that were ongoing these would only be for those who had not so far parted with the money for the goods. People like Turquoise Road Music who had paid upfront were out in the cold.

That was a bleak Monday. After a few more emails we learned that the company did not even make the disks themselves but subcontracted to a company in the Czech Republic and the CDs were partially made. After a bit of negotiation the production was restarted and we should receive the CDs in the first week of the New Year.

So we move on to a New Year. Christmas will be upon us next week in all its tinselled tackiness followed by the weeklong lull while people recover. I apologise to those people who have already placed an order but it will be another couple of weeks before I can start to ship the CDs to you. You can place an order for it from our shop.

2010 has not been the best year for us. I, for one, am determined to make 2011 much better.

I wish you all a great Christmas and a suitably frolicsome new year.




It has been a long wait but the new CD is finally available for order!

You can buy it direct from our website at our shop.

Making a CD is never easy. It started off as a track or two recorded live at a gig in the Bridgehouse II in Canning Town London. I invited Cliff Dowding, who was in the final year of his degree in music production to come along and record the show on a 24 track Hard Disk Recorder. This simple collaboration turned into an offer to record a track in Northbrook Studio that he would put into his degree submission. This turned into six tracks, numerous vocal overdubs and before we knew it we had the basis of this album. I then invited my good friend and exemplary violinist and multi-instrumentalist, Nick Pynn, along to one of my Birthday Parties to play. He got up and played a couple of songs with the band and came along to the studio to add electric violin, acoustic violin and viola to a couple of tracks on the album. Darren Reynolds then stepped forward to play bowed double bass for us making Blank Moments something of a full moment.

Mixing, as always, takes a while. You walk off with a track you think works and then find, when you listen to it the next day, in your car, in the house, wherever, that it is wrong somehow. What sounded vibrant in the studio sounds flat in my car, what sounded perfectly mixed in my car on the way home sounds uneven when I hear it on the stereo in the kitchen - but not the one on my desk here in Chateau Coeur de Lion.

Standing behind a desk at a live gig is so much easier.

In the middle of all this Nick finished his wonderful CD 'Colours of the Night'. I had heard many of the earlier versions of this, from demo to final mix, and was impressed by those. When he played me the mastered version as we were driving up to London for a gig it sounded just great - but he was not happy. Some small detail was wrong to his ears and he wanted to change it. The man who had mastered it came up with some sage advice. 'Let it go. There is no such thing as a perfect album'

So I went along with Cliff and mastered it. In the end I had to remix one track because it was not quite right and then I let it go. Of course then I had to deal with the printers who made me change the artwork slightly and the CD manufacturers who said they could do what I wanted only to say they could not later. So I had to find someone who could. Still we got there in the end.

So many thanks to the people who stood behind me on this. To Cliff for his patience in putting up with me pushing him to give up his spare time to do a little remix here or tweak a track there. To the two eminent doctors who leant me bones for the CD photos - yes, real bones on my bedroom floor being photographed for the artwork - and to Penny Marler for painting such a superb sleeve for us.

We give you 'Writing in a Skeleton Key'

Order a copy from our website now.



Well time has crawled on again and tonight we will be playing the Bridge House. This was originally planned as the CD release but a last minute glitch with one of the tracks has meant that we will not have it physically available on the night. 9 of the tracks are mixed and mastered and I have updated the website with track listings and information, but, after spending most of the last week playing with one of the tracks I have decided I have to do a complete remix to fix it. These things happen and I will post a full update later in the week. The cover and lyric booklet are all ready to go so it is a source of great frustration that this last minute hitch has meant we have to hold it over. We will be playing the Bridge House II on Saturday October 9th with two other bands and we will be on stage at around 9pm so do come along. Plans are afoot to record the gig for a Bridge House Live release. John Trelawney, famed violin and brass player from Dogwatch had promised to make a guest appearance but I just heard that he will not be able to make it. He has said he would like to come and play with us soon though so maybe we can arrange something. All in all it should be a good night. I will post more details of the CD as soon as it becomes available.


We had a cracking gig at the Classic Rock Club last week thanks to Mark for inviting us along. Great to play there again and I hope we can do it again before the year is up. I have three DVD of pictures, courtesy of Tony Firshman who came along especially to take the shots. With DJ Chilli's lights going it really took me back to the sixties. I will post a few of the best ones on the website and the MySpace site when I get around to sorting them out . Newsletters have been a bit sparse this year, as have the gigs. Some of this has been down to a few problems that the various band members have had with their own personal lives but we hope to ratchet up the gig rate from the end of the summer and we will keep you informed of this. One little glitch has been with the forthcoming Bridgefest. I got the dates mixed up and not only advertised the wrong date but also told everyone in the band that we were playing the Sunday. During this week it was confirmed to me that we are, in fact, booked for the Saturday. Two members of the band cannot make this date and we tried hard to work out a compromise but were unable to do so. This means that we will not be playing the festival. I will be there all three days running the sound rig so do come up and say hi if you are going. We do have a date booked in at the Bridgehouse for October 9th and we will be making an announcement about that a bit later. There is also talk of a special show at Christmas. In the meantime we will continue to work on more dates. The album is at the mastering stage now and I am actively working on the cover. More news on that soon. Thanks for your patience and do get in touch with us. See you all soon.


It has been a while since we last put out a message. I apologize to those who have wondered what has been going on with the Lion in the this year. Among the things we have been doing is mixing the CD. I must confess it is beginning to feel like the bad old days of the 70s when bands spent ages putting an album together. Although it has not been completely like that but I have been in and out of the studio changing things and then deciding I didn't like them and going back in. In the end, though, you just have to let go. To that end I hope to have one last session of tweaks and then master the disc and get on with getting it out there. We all sat down last week and listened to it and decided that, with a few minor modifications it was pretty much there. I will put a couple of the tracks on MySpace by this weekend. They may even be remixes of the old tracks. We have also been working on a couple of new songs and reviving one old one that Steve and I wrote at the close of the Last Post days. At the moment these are still in the prototyping stage but I expect that at least two will make onto the live stage. I am very aware that we need to be looking at material for the second CD - especially if we are going to be this slow about it. The Good news it that there are a couple of gigs up on the MySpace page. We have been invited back to both the Classic Rock Club and BridgeFest which is good news. Details will be up on the MySpace site and the Gigs section of the website. Look forward to seeing you all again soon.


Those of you who knew 'Roy Weard and Last Post' from the White Hart pub in Woodford will surely recall the landlord of that venue Ron Richardson. I was just told by Terry Murphy that he sadly passed away last week and was buried today. As always with these things the sadness of someone dying is tinged by the memories of the times we played the White Hart and all of the good people we knew from that place. Ron Richardson was one of the good guys. Without people like him, Terry Murphy and Joe Lucy there would have been a lot less music around and a lot of good bands would never had got their first taste of performing. For that I, personally, thank them and I am sure that will go for many of you out there too. As always, a death makes me more aware of getting the most out of the time and the life that we have here. More inclined to make more music, hear more music and have more fun. We will be back with a less sombre bulletin soon.


Buzz! Click! Whirr! Fizz! Scplatt! Sizzle!

We have been cooling our heels far too long here in Lion Land. After the 'Feed Your Head' gig, hosted by the wonderful Deviant Amps we had decided to take a month off and find a new drummer. We tried a few. It became obvious that the stuff we were playing was not quite as straightforward as we though it was. The snow did not help. It may have brought a touch of pristine beauty to the industrial wastelands of Dagenham but it effectively locked us out of rehearsals for a few weeks. (I am sure that Mous - Lady of the Light for Dogwatch and the Post, and who now lives in the Orkneys would think it a mere dusting). Anyhow we set up again and started a few rehearsals with Wal Blimey-Yeah - original Wooden Lion drummer. He was doing well and it was great hooking up with him again after all this time but it was clear it would take a while to put the band back on its feet. Then up popped the Mighty Mott again. He was now free of the problems that prevented him continuing to play with us and could rejoin the band. So we are five again - as Enid Blyton would have it. We are planning a few rehearsals over the next few weeks and hope we can get a new song or two dealt with by the time we hit the boards again. Obviously gigs will not be immediate. On the album front I have two days booked in at the end of March to run the final mixes down and then it is all down to mastering, artwork and pressing. Hopefully that will all go smoothly and we will have the album out in the Spring. On another, slightly diverse note, I was recently contacted by Al Haines who was with me in the band 'Grope' way back in the beginning. He provided me with a bunch of memories and sparked off a few more of my own. To that end we are collaborating on a new page for the site dedicated to the 'Grope' stuff. It will feature some even more cringe worthy photos of me (fortunately blurred with age). I will let you know when it is up there.


You may have noticed we have been a little quiet. Part of this has been deliberate. after two years of, fairly intensive, gigging we decided to take a break and recharge ourselves. at the moment we are looking into getting a new person on the drumming stool and, to that end, we went into the rehearsal studio yesterday to run through a few songs with the original Wooden Lion drummer Wal Blimey-Yeah. (of the Sarfend Blimey-Yeah's). This was quite a good session and it was nice to see Wal again. The Cardinal and I sat in the pub round the corner from the studio and swapped stories about when we all did the 70's thing and shared a house in Woodford Green. No firm decisions on either side as yet but we will let you know when there is. We will be back in the studio with him in the next week or so.

One thing that did come of this was a re-affirmation of the fact that we enjoy playing together and that we will be pushing the band forward in the coming year. I have also been arranging to get into a recording studio to do the final mixes on the album and hope to see that released this coming year too. We will have to wait for the final decision of band line up before we start to book shows but we are determined that we will be back on stage as soon as possible.

2009 had its ups and downs for us but I have the feeling that 2010 will be a brighter and better year for the band. Over the past couple of years we have done some great gigs, met some old friends and made a bunch of new ones. We would like to thank the following people : The two Tonys from The Bridge House II for their continued support and encouragement, Terry and Geoff from Bridge House Records for re-releasing the Roy Weard and Last Post album on CD, John Brown and John Allen for the use and hospitality of their two studios for rehearsals, Cliff Dowding for the recording duties, lighting and general support he has offered, Nick Pynn and Darren Reynolds for their musical contributions to the new CD, Tony 'Mr Jaun D'Erful' Morley for stepping in and playing so brilliantly, The Real Music Club, Brighton for the gigs, Gregg McKella and Paradise 9 for both the support slot at The Inn on the Green and for supporting us at the Bridge House as well as for being good mates and a cracking band. Deviant Amps for 'Feed Your Head' and being a similarly great band. DJ Chilli and the Classic Rock Club in Cheshunt for believing in us and all the people who came to see us last year and sent messages.

Lastly, and most importantly, We would like to offer our extreme thanks to Steve 'Wrekka' Wollington for being the man at the desk and the rock on which we have relied for the last two years. Roadie supreme and good friend.

I wish you all a loud and musical New Year - see you in it.


Those of you who have been to see us, or read some of our blogs / newsletters over the past few months will know that we have been having some problems with our drummer, Chris Mott. At first he had decided he had to leave the band and Tony 'Mr Jaun D'Erful' Morley stepped in. We had a few good shows with Tony on drums but we knew, due to his commitments with Jefferson Starship and a few other acts, that he could not be a permanent replacement. Chris Mott came back and played the Classic Rock Festival at the Bridgehouse and, after that show, he decided he would stay on. However, since then, we have still problems getting time to org anise rehearsals together and he had to drop out of our Harlow show with the wonderful Deviant Amps. Tony jumped in at less than 24 hours notice and, although the show went well, we knew by then we had to solve the problem.

We have, therefore, decided to cancel the last two shows we had booked for this year and concentrate on getting a replacement drummer, finishing the new album and rehearsing the new songs that we started working on. We do have a couple of drummers who are interested in getting involved so we will get to work on this immediately. I am sorry we will not be able to perform at the Rock of Ages Festival but I hope we can reschedule a show for them in the New Year. The same goes for the live DVD recording which we will re-arrange as soon as we can.

Thanks for all your support in the last two years, We enjoyed playing and we will keep you all informed of our progress.

We will be back, stronger, louder and more committed in the New Year. Watch this space.


Most bands run on a mixture of chaos and inspiration - well most bands that have any soul or feeling do anyway - I can't speak for those which are pressed from a single sheet of plastic and come preformed on that Airfix spiders web of small parts that can be assembled by following the numbered instructions (don't get any glue on the moving parts). Last week chaos stepped up to the ramp and gave us a hefty shove. After our performance at the Bridge House Classic Rock Festival Chris Mott, who has been our drummer from the start, decided he would stay on with the band and was down to do The Square, in Harlow last Friday. Late on Thursday we found out he was stuck in Liverpool until Saturday and couldn't make the gig. What do you do in those circumstances? I have always regarded pulling gigs as being the last possible option so we called on Tony 'Mr Juan D'Erful' Morley and he stepped in. No time for a rehearsal and, because he had other commitments earlier in the day, no time for a soundcheck.

The Square, in Harlow is pretty nice venue. Good PA system and it has a good crew too. First up was Electric Dub Guru, who had his own little bit of chaos to contend with. His act is Dubstep Electronics and he managed to wipe the hard drive on the computer the night before. Still he produced some pretty good sounding stuff. Towards the end of the set he was joined by Deviant Amps for an extended jam which set the place rocking. Next up Deviant Amps themselves. Great band. Just a three piece but some great playing that filled the spaces with a running groove - and a really nice bunch of guys too. I hope we get to do some more with them.

Tea for the Wicked followed from them. We have played with these guys before and liked them then. Some real 70s / early 80s prog rock feel going down here with good guitar and keyboard playing nailed down by the bass and drums. A good tight little band and well worth seeing.

So next it is us. We were pretty stuck with the set we played a few times now because Tony had not had time to work up any new numbers with us. The stage sound was a bit swampy with some sort of reverb on the monitors. I was struggling to hear my vocals and managed to blow a hole in my voice box by the time I had to sing 'Blank Moments' which was annoying because that is the song I really have to SING. Still I got through it and we power on through 'Happy', 'On The Blink', 'The Writing' and finally 'Insufficient Data'.

I had a good time running round the audience in 'On The Blink' although Paul from the Amps was concerned I would injure myself. I am kind of used to that kind of mayhem by now - not to say I have not injured myself (and others) in the past. Thanks to MyChoonz for looking after the merchandise and, as always, to the ever present, long suffering Steve 'Wrekka' Wollington for his good work on the soundboard.

We made a few new friends - that was nice too - and then I had to go home.

The next day Steve and I were doing the sound and recording the show for that other Legend Mick Farren. I will write about that on my own MySpace blog tomorrow.

Till the next time, guys - and gurls.


Halfway through September already and I have not posted the blog - how remiss of me. So, a swift report on the gigs.

The Royal Standard show was an interesting evening. We were pitched in with three thrash metal bands and were seriously unsure how we would go down. I didn't catch the name of the band that went on after us but they were really good, as was the one that preceded us. Our gig went well though. I think there is a lot of leeway in some people's musical taste and the audience warmed to us well. It was a short set but we crammed in Triangle, Harpies, On The Blink, Blank Moments, The Writing, and Insufficient Data. The monitors were a little 'creamy' as far as my vocals were concerned so I pretty much blew my voice out by the end but it was still fun.

I have talked a bit about the Bridgehouse Classic Rock Festival on my personal blog but the time came, during Sunday evening, for me to swap my Sound Engineer's hat for my performer's rags. It was a good sized stage and we launched straight into Triangle. Chris Mott, who had been away on holiday for a couple of weeks prior to the show was buzzing and played his heart out. Tony Morley, who had been playing drums for us for the last few shows was supposed to be away in Sweden but that got cancelled so he came along to the show and got up to play 12-string on Blank Moments. It seemed like only a few minutes before we found ourselves playing the closing bars of Insufficient Data and leaving the stage! Steve, 'Wrekka' Wollington did a great job on the sound desk and Cliff 'Xanthus' Dowding was excellent on the lighting - shame we were in daylight!

So on to the future. Good news is that Chris Mott is staying with the band so the drummer problem is alleviated. We have also been offered some time in a studio to mix down the CD so I hope we can get on with that soon. I will tell you when that gets closer to being finished and post some more tracks up on MySpace. The band has been asked to record a live DVD at the Bridgehouse. We are talking about dates at the moment but I expect it to be early November - get ready to get yourselves on film.

Next gig up is The Square in Harlow with Tea For the Wicked and Deviant Amps. That promises to be a superb evening and we have been asked to repeat the same line up at a couple of other venues. We are planning to rotate the headlining act so we all get a bash. Watch this space for more details.


Bit of a quickie this. Two new gigs are up on the board. Next Thursday (27th) we will be playing the Royal Standard in Walthamstow as a replacement gig for the one that got cancelled a couple of months back. Again a bit rushed but this was partly my fault because I was told about it and then would not confirm because we had not resolved the drummer situation. That is still up in the air but Tony 'Mr Juan D'Erful' Morley with be thrashing the kit at that gig. At the weekend we will be playing the Bridge House Classic Rock Weekend - see their site for the full line up.

The next show is a special event at the Square in Harlow, Essex. We will be heading a three part bill with two other excellent bands Deviant Amps and Tea for the Wicked so this should be a great evening. More details on that will be up soon.

Look forward, as always, to seeing you all there.


Last Saturday we played at the Inn on the Green in Ladbroke Grove. I picked up Gregg (the main man in Paradise 9) and his gear equipment and we set off up the A23 just as it started to rain. We passed a few of the Gay Pride people whose costumes were growing steadily soggier as the proceeded into Brighton and felt glad that we were in the dry and that we had avoided the crush that would be Brighton for the day. We left early because Greg had arranged an early get in so we could get everything set up and have a good soundcheck. When we arrived at the gig we found that there was a Tango class going on so we could not actually get in till 5pm. The next chore was doing a load in through a market because the gig was in the lateral extension of Portabello Road. Ah the very axis of swinging sixties hippiedom. I remembered seeing Hawkwind play under these motorway arches back in the 70s - long before they built these buildings here.

Anyhow we got in Paradise9 began to set their stuff up. Tyrone, the lead guitarist, was late because he was trying to finish a copy of the band's video. Delays, delays, and more delays. Slowly it began to come together. Tony 'Mr Juan D'Erful' Morley called to say his ex partner had refused to take the kids back (didn't he keep the receipt?) but that he would be there. Chris Cottage had no transport because the van he was using was not available and his car had broken down. Somehow, I thought when I started this band, that it would be easier now we were, to use Steve Boltz's phrase, 'all grown ups now'. Obviously not. Anyhow it all got resolved. Everyone got there somehow and although we missed the soundcheck slot we were raring to go.

The venue was hot, it was raining outside fit to burst and I was beginning to think I should be building an Ark not going onstage. Inside the venue it was Calcutta in the rainy season. I was waiting for Sidney Greenstreet and Humphrey Bogart to show up and make us an offer. Jeanette Murphy took to the stage and stunned us all into silence with some great songs. she has a good strong voice and plays guitar accompanied by a Bodhram player. Great start to the show.

Then it was out turn - straight on and straight into it with only a minimal amount of tuning and fiddling - although it felt like and age to me at side stage. Of course the first number was Triangle - Flying Jacket and Helmet on I marched into the Monsoon heat and we were off. Only a couple of glitches I thought. Steve lost the line at the start of 'This Torch' and then the 12 string would not work during 'Blank Moments' but, on the whole we were happy with the set. Mr Juan D'Erful was even better on the kit this time spot on in fact. Short and sharp because Paradise 9 were next up.

They played up a storm, swirling electronics pierced through the solidity of Carl's drumming and Neil's bass playing - best rhythm section I have seen in years. I always enjoy their set and we have played together a few times now. All of them play well and the songs surge on hypnotically. Great set.

And then it was over. Standing on the balcony of the gig trying to cool down but still boiling over. Chatting to our various fans who came along to see us. Time to pack up and go home - Gregg you need a peddle board!!! On the way back Greg regaled us with tales of the munchies and 29 crunchie bars interspersed with 'I got drunk in that pub' and 'I have drunk in every pub in this road'

Great night, a good time was had by all - thanks for inviting us Greg. And bigger thanks to Big Steve Wollington who mixed the sound superbly for the whole night.

Now to sort out the new drummer and finish the CD


I approached last Friday's gig with a great degree of trepidation. as I wrote in that last blog here, our drummer, Chris Mott, had to leave the band and that threw us into the situation where we had to find a replacement. That search is still going on but my long time friend, Tony 'Mr Juan D'Erful' Morley said he would step in and play these two shows we had booked for the end of July / start of August. We convened in MusicTek studios to rehearse. Tony knew a few of the songs - either because he had co-written them with me or played them in The Last Post. Arrangements had changed and, to make things even harder, he had been playing either bass, keyboards or guitar on them with tech previous bands. Anyhow the first rehearsal went off OK, ragged, but given another three or four rehearsals we were sure we could get it tight. Next thing to happen was that Steve taken into hospital for a hernia operation. 'I'll be OK' he said, but, when he came out it was obvious that he would not be able to rehearse that week or the next. This left us one week before the gig. Plans to do Tuesday and Wednesday in the studio turned into just the Wednesday and it was plain that Steve was still in pain at that point.

We hit the stage on Friday, pitifully unrehearsed, but enthusiastic. 'Triangle' took off like a rocket as did 'Harpies' and the rollercoaster was off. There was the inevitable bit of derailment here and there, nothing too drastic - but we knew. The most noticeable was in the middle of 'On The Blink' when the guitar drums and keyboards were locked into the riff waiting for a cue to come out into the third verse. The Cue did not come and I was motionless, as usual at that point,waiting for the same cue to leap into the song again. When they did break it there was a 30 seconds pause before I lurched into action. That, and Steve forgetting the lyrics to 'Insufficient Data', compounded by me giving him the wrong verse, led us to the end of the set. Not perfect, but that is what live gigs are all about. Seize a moment of wonder from a lurch in the wrong direction and off again - I would not have it any other way. Tony made less mistakes than the rest of us. During 'Blank Moments' he played 12-string and Chris Mott, who had turned up to see the band, was tempted to get up on the kit at the end. He should have done.

The Classic Rock Club is one of favourite gigs. A great audience, and DL Chilli, host and promoter, is a great guy who always looks after us well. I hope we can get back there towards the end of the year.

Two other things made it a good night for me. One was seeing our old Roadie Dave Ryder and his wife Bev. I have not seen them in 25 years and it was good to see them looking so well and happy. The other was getting to say hello to Will who had seen the original Lion back in the 70s.

So, next Saturday we are playing at the Inn on the Green, 3-5 Thorpe Close, Ladbroke Grove, London, W10 5XL, with Paradise 9. This will be the launch of their new EP and it should be a great night. Paradise 9 are a superb band. they have supported us a couple of times and it is good to get a chance to return the favor.

We are still looking for a new drummer, although, because Tony's UK gigs with Jefferson Starship have been postponed, we have a bit more breathing space. I am also itching to get the new CD finished and out there.

I hope you can all make it along to the Inn on the Green. - See you there.



We have been a bit silent recently because we have been trying to resolve a problem. Our drummer, who has been with us for the last two years has had to leave the band. There were two possible replacements but neither of those can join us so now we are faced with the prospect of having to audion and rehearse in a new drummer. Obviously, with the new album being mixed at the moment that is a very annoying situation to be in but we will resolve it. If any of you know of a drummer who would be interested in filling Chris' position please let us know. We have a few gigs lined up and a few other things which will now be put on hold until we can find a suitable replacement. In the meantime we have a couple of shows coming up at the end of this month. at first we were thinking we would have to cancel them but Tony 'Mr Juan D'Erful' Morley has offered to sit in on drums prior to going off on tour playing drums for Jefferson Starship. We had a rehearsal last Thursday and that went pretty well so, with a few more under his belt we should be OK for the next two shows. As many of you will know Tony and I go back many years and, not only was he in the early line up of Wooden Lion but he co-wrote several of the songs we are currently performing. The next two shows should be interesting. Tony became the guitarist for Wooden Lion when it reformed and I stopped playing guitar myself to take over the vocals. Years later he joined Dogwatch on bass guitar and then The Last Post playing keyboards and guitar. Playing drums with us means that he will now have played the full range of instruments in the bands we have been in together. So coming up: Friday 24th July - The Classic Rock Club in Cheshunt Football Club. Saturday 1st August - Inn on the Green - Ladbrook Grove, London This will be supporting the amazing good Paradise 9 - good friends and a great live band who have supported us on a couple of occasions. They will be launching of their new CD. Come along and see us - bring your friends - especially if they happen to be drummers looking for a gig.


Having been suddenly told, last weekend, that we had been booked for The Royal Standard this coming Thursday we have now been told the whole gig is off. It seems that the other two bands pulled out and that, coupled with a 48 hour rail strike and the fact that we were told way too late to do any real promotion for the gig, has led to the promoter deciding to abandon the whole night. The fact that there was no advertising on their web site for the gig was always a bit ominous. We will be rescheduling the show and, as ever we will let you know by the usual means.


It seems we are playing at the Royal Standard in Walthamstow on Thursday. It would have been nice to have been told about this with a bit more notice but the guy who processed the booking was taken ill and forgot to let us know. I am not sure what time we will be playing or who else is on the bill but, if you are able to get along do try to be there. I have had my head down for the last few weeks, working on the new album. It is all recorded - barring any last minute overdubs - and the first track should be mixed this weekend. I will let you all know when we are closer to a release date but I hope to put 'Blank Moments' onto the band's MySpace site before I go off to Devon for a week next Friday. This is a special version of the song featuring Darren Reynolds on Double Bass and Nick Pynn on Violin and Viola. There are not too many gigs booked in at the moment but we hope to add more in the Autumn when the CD should be out. We will be back at the Classic Rock Club on the 24th July with 'Tea for the Wicked' One other date to note is 1st August/ We will be playing the Inn on the Green in Ladbrook Grove supporting our good friends, Paradise9 (nice to do one with them as a support act since they have supported us a couple of times) This will be a special gig for the launch of their new CD. They have not finalised the line up for that show yet and I will drop you a line closer to the day to fill you in.


I have been a little tardy in writing the latest blog but then there has been a lot going on so I will submit that as an excuse. Last Sunday saw the re-release of the Roy Weard and Last Post album 'Fallout'. We celebrated this by a gig at the Bridge House. DJ Chilli, of Classic Rock Club fame came along and hosted the event for us in his usual, inimitable style. He played some great records and did a superb job introducing the acts. The opening act was Bruise. I have known Jim Kimberley for a few years, having first met him when he was drummer and backing vocalist for a band that were so underrated it was criminal - n'6Foot3'. Steve 'Boltz' Bolton was lead guitarist, singer and songwriter for this outfit and, when you look at the list of people he has played guitar for, you will be amazed. He started off with Atomic Rooster at the age of 17, and went on to play guitar for the Who on a World Tour in the 80's, was a founder member of Paul Young's Band and.......well, have a look at his MySpace profile and you will see what I mean. I did sound for them on several occasions and, for a band with only three people, they had a sound that dwarfed Canary Wharf. As usual, they could not get a deal and split during the late 80's, although they do sometimes reconvene for a gig. Anyhow, Bruise continue this trend of sounding several sizes too big for a two piece. Isabel's playing and singing are beyond description and, backed with Jim's drumming and vocals the whole thing is a wonderful experience. Go see them they shine like an entire galaxy and are one of my favourite acts. We got up and had a good time on stage too. We played one of our usual sets comprising of Triangle, Harpies, The Machine Stops, Sulphur and Heat, (just some of those) Skeletons, Happy, On the Blink, The Writing, This Torch, Blank Moments and were joined, on guitar, by Dave Munday for Insufficient Data. Ending the set with Follow My Leader (in the dark) and Man in a Cage. Six of these tracks are on the Last Post CD and the rest will be on the new one when it is finished. A good time was had by all. Speaking of the New CD we now have most of the tracks down. I'm not sure what order we will put it in when we finally release it but we have six studio tracks; The Writing, Harpies, The Rage, This Torch and Another Slow Day (for fast women) plus we have re-recorded Blank Moments (More on that in a moment - as they say). We also have four tracks recorded live at the Bridge House II, Sulphur and Heat, Follow My Leader (in the dark), Happy and (just some of those) Skeletons. I was in the studio with Nick Pynn on Wednesday last week and he put down some swooning violin and viola on Blank Moments as well as some madcap electric violin on The Writing. At some point in the next few weeks Greg McKella from Paradise9 will be adding some clarinet and then we will be into the mixing stage. Next Month we have two shows, one at the Fleece in Chelmsford - good to be going back there again - and then, the next night we are at The Real Music Club at the Green House Effect in Hove with 'Whimwise' featuring Jaki Windmill from Space Ritual and 'The Wellingtons. That should be a good night. I will post a newsletter out during April. See you all soon.


The Friday before last was another trip down Memory Lane for me. Strangely, though, I had never been in the venue before. If that sounds a little like Steven Wrights's 'I like to reminiss with people I don't know', I will explain. The Royal Standard is in Walthamstow in London's East End. I lived in that area for a good few years, back on the 70s and early 80s before moving 'across the water' to Greenwich. The early Lion rehearsed under the railway arches in Leyton and we played in many places round there. Having negotiated the deep cut that the new(ish) dual carriageway makes between Startford and Leyton I then turned off across areas I had not driven in for years. Unfortunately, the only thing that had changed were the number of cars trying to use those crowded streets. Needless to say, having come all the way up from Brighton, I got there late. The Standard is a good venue though. A big stage, good viewing angles and a good PA. We had missed soundcheck but the sound onstage was no too bad and the Wrekka handled the FOH with aplomb - must get him to stop putting soft fruit on the desk.We had been specially invited to play by the main act, Slam, and it was not until we got there I realised why. Steve had played in a previous band with a couple of the guys and they used to come and see us back in he Ruskin Arms. It was not a bad gig for us. The Cardinal had a bit of a glitch at the start of 'The Writing' and I was a mess at the start of 'Skeletons' because a couple of strings had drifted out of tune while the guitar sat there onstage and I was thrown a bit but I think we played Ok and went down well. I hope we can go back there again. There may be some very positive outcomes to that gig but I will let you know what they are when they are finalised. Then, last Friday, we played the Classic Rock Club in Cheshunt. From the outside it does not look that promising. A smallish building lost in the Cheshunt Football Club's vast car park. Once inside (as opposed to offside - given the circumstances) we found it to be a very pleasant place. I got some of the PA rig up because the Wreeka had not arrived yet and Chris set his drums up. DJ Chilli already had all his gear up and running. The support act, "Rocksmith", were an odd bunch of chaps. Steve has mentioned their lack of communication in his blog but what got me was the way they behaved when they got there. I have never really subscribed to the 'star syndrome' - maybe because I never got a chance to be much of one - but there is a degree of protocol to be observed. We have been the support act ourselves on many occasions and I'm sure we will be a lot more and there is no way I would consider walking in to a venue, where the main band is still setting up and just setting up in front of them without a word. I looked around from the desk and there was half a drum kit set up. I did think about turfing them off there and then but decided to let it go. What it did do was to make it take twice as long to get everything plugged in. Then we had to soundcheck around their gear. In the end, they did themselves a disfavor because we did not get the monitors fully set up and they did not get any monitor mix. Oh well. The gig went well with the usual handful of minor snarl ups and traffic accidents that are what makes playing live such fun. Steve was on top form on guitar, pulling out some blistering solos and the rest of the band played well too. With DJ Chilli's psychedelic light show flashing in our faces it felt like going back to the 70s. The audience were great too, a really warm bunch of people. Two people who used to come to see Dogwatch turned up and it was great to see them again - especially since they had celebrated their vinyl wedding anniversary - 33 1/3 years. The club gave us a great review which you can read on their blog on MySpace. We are back in the studio next week putting down vocals and guitar overdubs for the next album. In the meantime the next gig is the 'Roy Weard and Last Post', 'Fallout' CD release show at the Bridgehouse II in Canning Town. as I have said before, this is not a new CD but the one that Steve and I did back in the 80's being re-released by Bridge House Records. It now contains the single Triangle / Monopoly and two other tracks, The Machine Stops and Insufficient Data both of which we do with this band. DJ Chilli is going to try to be there to host the event and we have a great support from my good friends Bruise who are stunningly good. I hope the show will start around 9pm so get there early and catch their set.. CDs should be on sale. More News as it happens.


First off I need to clear up an area of confusion - mostly on our part. We were first offered a gig at the Royal Standard in Walthamstow for the 12th Feb. and then one on the 20th. It seems that the second gig replaced the first so we will not be playing on the 12th. All in all this is a better result because the first show would have been a very short set (and given the length of some of our songs that would have been 2 or 3 numbers) as part of a four act bill. On the 20th we are the single support act to Slam and will be able to give a longer performance. We went into the studio yesterday and laid down the backing tracks from the rest of the forthcoming album. On the whole it went very well although the tracks are a long way from completion. We have six basic tracks down now to go with the other five five tracks we recorded at the Jimmy Carl Black Benefit show. A couple of the live tracks may appear on a CD being released as part of that Benefit show but I have no dates for that as yet. We will be working towards getting the studio stuff down soon and then it is the laborious process of mixing and mastering the material. Still it has been far from a chore so far and I am quite looking forward to doing the fine tuning and production work to bring it to a final conclusion. Time to start wring the next one! To that end the band is meeting next week to run through some ideas for new songs - as always my folder of lyrics without a musical home is bursting and I have a couple of tunes in my head too. Watch this space! I went along to see Richard Thompson perform at the Brighton Dome last night. It was a great show (I will post more about this in my personal blog) and the man behind the desk was Simon Tessano - the man who engineered and co-produced the Last Post album back in 1981. It was good to see Simon again and he produced a really good live sound.


I have held off a while writing the next blog so I could get all the news into perspective. Although we have not been doing any live shows there has been a lot of activity at Chateau Coer de Lion. We have been in and out of the studio, playing with the live tracks from the Bridge House show. I have put some new mixes up on the MySpace site. They are, of course, not the finished item, but closer to what we are trying to acheive.We are also making a start on the studio tracks soon. These recordings were a little delayed by people's availability over the Christmas and New Year but we are booked into the studio for the weekend of 31st Jan for backing tracks and that should see a start. Nick Pynn has agreed to add some violin to at least one of the studio tracks since he played so beautifully on 'Blank Moments' at the show down here in Brighton. I will post some more information on the recording process as it happens and I will also post a new blog on my own MySpace site with regard to the mixing process for those of you with a more technical interest. On the live front we have started picking up gigs from mid February onwards. We start with a couple of shows at the Royal Standard in Walthamstow. One of these is supporting Slam. I don't actually know the band but they asked for us specially so I am looking forward to that. We will be back at the Fleece in Chelmsford and doing a special show on the 22nd March at the Bridgehouse. This will be the launch of the re-issued Last Post CD. Bridge House Records have been doing a little re-mastering on the tracks and I have just finished working on the new fold out sleeve with pictures of the band and full lyrics. There are four bonus tracks: Triangle and Monopoly (which were the two tracks put out as a single on Parasol Records) and Insufficient Data and The Machine Stops which were to be the start of the next album. John Trelawney, of Dogwatch fame, plays trumpet on Monopoly and Insufficient Data. We will be selling these at the Bridge House show and the other members of the Last Post may well be there to sign them. In addition we will be supported by some good friends of mine called 'Bruise'. This is a two piece band which are well worth looking into. It will be an early start, being a Sunday, so be sure to get there by 9pm to catch their set. In case you ,missed it there is a new discography section on the website with details of the various albums and Links to the Bridge House Records site. We are looking into more shows and more places to play and have had some tentative approaches with regard to festivals later in the summer. I will report on these when I know more. Details of these shows can be found on the Live Shows Page. That is about all for now - the year has started - let it continue.


So, we are coming up to the end of the year and, what an eventful year it has been. As I said a while back, I was not sure, when we started this, that it be something we would or could carry off. As it is the whole thing has exceeded my expectations in almost every way and it has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. So much so, in fact, that I am straining at the leash to get back to the next set of gigs and recordings. My fellow band members have played with exemplary prowess and we have grown over this first year on the road into something more than just the sum of our individual efforts. I have just put a few tracks up on the MySpace site. These are some of the unmixed live tracks from the Jimmy Carl Black Bridgehouse II show. Pretty raw and untreated but they give some indication of the band live and are a taster for what will follow in 2009. We will be back in the studio in early January, working on tracks for a release next year (I know I said we would have it this year but it takes time). We are looking at gigs for next year too and planning some writing session so there will be new tracks as well. I'd like to thank you all for your support this year. Those of you that came to the shows, wrote emails, commented on MySpace and encouraged us along the way. We need you all. Special thanks go to Steve 'Wrekka' Wollington for his dedication (over 30 years of it in fact!) and to Cliff Dowding who has been to as many shows as he could make, provided lighting, on road support and recorded the Jimmy Carl Black gig.

Have a good Christmas and we will see you in the New Year.


Last Friday's show at The Fleece in Chelmsford put a grand seal onto a year of gigging. Not the most obvious rock venue but the audience were great and really got into the show. As the oldest of a bunch of old geezers who are not up there, trying be The Arctic Monkeys, or Franz Ferdinand or any of the other bands who are flavour of the day, just writing and playing what we like, it was gratifying to have young people come up and say they enjoyed the show and ask for the website. We will be back there again in the New Year. We have also been asked to play the Classic Rock Club in Cheshunt sometime in February and I look forward to doing that. The provisional date for that is February 27th. Our old chums, the Real Music Club in Brighton are also looking at dates as are a few other venues. For the moment though we will be taking a break from gigging until the New Year. We should be in the studio laying down some tracks on 13th. There are a couple of possible guests lined up to pop in and play with us - and, after the beautiful version of Blank Moments that we did with Nick playing violin I strongly suspect that will be one track and guest we will have to have. I will keep you all posted via this blog. In the meantime work progresses on the re-release of the Roy Weard and Last CD via Bridge House Records. I have also discovered a small cache of the 7" vinyl single we did just before the band split up. The A side is Triangle and the B side Monopoly. If you would like a copy of this get in touch. £3.50 + P&P More later.


We are coming up to the band's first year anniversary on the road. We have had our ups and downs and it is odd how the intervening space between my previous musical efforts and this one have put a soft focus sheen on the problems of being a gigging band. From my point of view, after a lot of rehearsal and a year of gigging I can say that I feel this is the best bunch of musicians I have ever had the privilege of stepping onto a stage with. Working with Steve Bensusan again after 25 years is magic and I have always felt he was up there with my favourite guitarists of all time - so fluid and inventive. The Cardinal, too, has been a solid force within the band and it is good to be up there with two of my oldest friends. The two Chris's just made the whole thing work and made it such a solid band. No band does it all on their own and, without the stalwart and steadfast help of Steve Wollington (the Wrekka) and lately Cliff Dowding we would have struggled to get things happening. It has been hard finding an audience and some of the recent gigs have tried our friendship and determination to carry on but there are little gems of support. Old fans who come along to see us, new fans who find us for the first time and all the kind words from people at gigs keep us going. Not to mention the support from people like the Bridge House II who have been so solid behind us from the first show we did there. Last weekend I hosted my birthday party down here in Brighton. We played and were joined by the magnificent Nick Pynn on violin for 'Blank Moments'. Loads of my friends got up on stage and played and the whole event was a joy from start to finish. The Chelmsford show will be the last for this year and we hope to crank it all up a notch next year with a, much delayed, recording for release and a whole load of gigs. I hope those of you who have been along to see us during the year will come again and I hope you will bring your friends. The best is yet to come.


I have been a little lax in writing the blog of late because there are so many things happening that I have not had time to sit and write. I am adding this quick note as I prepare for the 'Concert for Jimmy'. I only met Jimmy Carl Black once and that was in Germany when I was doing sound for the Grandmothers and the Muffin Men at a small venue south of Wuppertal in Germany. He seemed a great guy. It was a shame to hear that he passed away last week after a struggle with cancer. I am looking forward to doing the show tomorrow and I hope there will be lots of money raised to help his family in these difficult times. Like so many musicians, I believe he never made that much money from his gigs with Zappa and Captain Beefheart. The band is marching forward and, although there are problems getting dates fixed for studio recordings to take place, we hope to get in and start laying some stuff down soon. 'Skeletons' is now firmly in the set and is a slightly different beast to some of our more recent numbers. Steve has done a great new arrangement for Blank Moments and we find we are enjoying playing that song afresh. I reach the ripe old age of 60 on the 16th November. I find it feels really good to be able to get up on stage and storm through a rock and roll set, even at this age, and I feel as fired up about making new music now as I did back in the 60's when I first started doing it. I just hope I can be writing the same words when my next decade rolls around. I will add some more to this after tomorrow's show.


After a break while various members of the band went of to other countries in search of a suntan etc. we are back in the studio rehearsing two new songs - 'Skeletons' and 'Cover Me'. One of these will definitely be in the set for the nest show at the Bridge House in a couple of weeks. Our gig in Southend got called off because either the venue or the promoter have ceased trading. Information is scant on this. We are working on a few more shows at the moment and the gig list should start filling up in the next few weeks. We already have a Halloween show lined up for The Greyhound in Carshalton. Two more events are booked in. The first is a show at Music Tek in Dagenham on the 22nd November. This is a great venue near to Dagenham East station. It was the area where the original Wooden Lion first started up and where Johnny Lyons, original bass player lived. I have not seen him in years but it would be nice to get him along to the show. Several other musicians who played in the original Lion line up also come from round there too. Before that we have the honor of being asked to play a benefit gig for Jimmy Carl Black - original drummer of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention and the 'Indian of the Group'. This event will feature a lot of Zappa related bands including the incredible Muffin Men so that is one to come along to if you can. Finally we are going into the studio in the next month or so to put down a few tracks for release. I will digress here for a little bit of history. Back in the days when music came on black vinyl a single was a 7" disk with two tracks on it, an EP was a 7" disk with four or five tracks crammed onto it - hence the title EP (Extended Play). These days, when music comes on Compact Disks with 14 or more tracks on them people still call a disk with 4 or five tracks an EP. It is not extended play it is Reduced Play so our release will be a RP. More on this story later


So, barely a week and a half into the Lion's little break and already I am missing it! It is a bit odd really, if anyone had told me a year and a half ago, when we started rehearsing this band in earnest, that I would become as addicted to performing as I used to be back in the 70's and 80's I would have laughed at them. but here we are with 18 or so shows under our collective belts and I am feeling as intense about it all as I used to back then. those of you who have read the website blogs from the start will know that it started off quite slowly but I suppose the hints were there. standing in the barn at the ruined nursery Mr, Juan D'Erful was living in and singing a couple of the old songs took me right back and it was frustrating then, not to get the whole thing up and running immediately. Even then, though, I thought it would only be good for a couple of gigs and now it is fully fledged band. What next I wonder? We had a couple of interesting gigs at the end of July and start of August. The Roundhouse lived up to it's unusual promise. Yes! We made it into the building, albeit underneath the main hall in a strange circular room which, I suppose, must have housed the original engine for the turntable (if you know the history of that place). We played a good set I thought, although the audience was a little sparse. Good to see Dolores there. I did have one mishap in that I jumped onto a chair during 'On the Blink', which skidded across the polished floor and cracked into the knees of a woman sitting at the back! Friday 1st August saw us in Stevenage at tech Red Lion. What a great rock 'n' roll pub! We had opted to use the pub's PA which was a mistake because it lacked monitors and was a little underpowered for what we needed. Steve was a little taken aback by the sound and felt we had not performed too well but the audience enjoyed it and we will be back there sometime in the winter. One of the Lion's original drummers, Bob 'Bison' Marsden turned up and, as it turned out, knew another of my old friends, Alec Nisic who does the lighting for Van Der Graaf Generator. Life is so full of co-incidences. What made it even odder was that someone in the audience recognized the Cardinal and I from the Windsor Festival gigs back in the 70's! So here I am at Lion central wishing the weeks away until we resume in September. The next gig will be The Bridge House with our good friends Paradise 9 on September 26th and we will be working on filling the autumn / winter date sheets over the next few weeks. There is another new song in the set - 'Skeletons' (the lyrics will be up soon) so stay with us, come and join us or whatever - see you all soon.


We have been invited to play at a charity fundraising event at the Roundhouse, Chalk Farm. Somewhat of an unusual event, I believe and details are very scratchy but come along if you can get there at such short notice. The Roundhouse has a long and varied history for me. Way back in the mysts of hippieddom I used to go there for the all nighter events. I saw all sorts of people play there, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Floyd, Soft Machine and many others that I was too psychedliced out to recall clearly. A while later we called the venue and asked about getting a support gig there and were immediately booked! Not, it turned out, by the Roundhouse itself, but by a guy who ran a cafe round the corner and happened to be in the Roundhouse office at the time. I don't know who was the most surprised. Us, to not be playing at the Roundhouse, or him for the strange band he got. A year or so after that we were again booked to play at a festival in the car park there. The Cardinal and I turned up but the bassist(Terry Morley), drummer (Wal Blimey Yeah) and guitarist (Mr. Juan D'Erful) got lost and never made it to the gig. The Cardinal and I did a duo spot, all improvised, with me on guitar and vocals and him on electronics and 12-string acoustic. I still have the tape. So let's see what Monday brings........title for a song there I feel.


So, the damaged digit of the Bensusan guitar monster is now healed and we played a full set at the Bridge House last week. The support act for that was Jerkin the Rat, who were very good and playing some interesting, and often very quirky, songs. The Bridge House show had a couple of interesting visitors. Our old friend, and veteran soundman for the Last Post, Peter Victor showed up. He did a lot of show with the Last Post, came out with me doing sound for my little PA company when we did people like the Remipeds and the Higsons back in the 80's. He later taught himself to play bass and played with a number of people (including a band Steve, Tony Morley and I tried to put together after the demise of the Last Post) before going on to become news editor of the Independent on Sunday. Good to see him there. We were also honored by the presence of Anthony from APD who traveled all the way from Copenhagen to see us. We need a gig there so it is easier for him to come and see us again. The next show is set for the Red Lion in Stevenage, Hertfordshire on August 1st. This is a new venue for us but I hear it is quite good. so do try to get along if you can. after that we will be taking a short break from live gigging and resuming in September. In that time I hope to make a start on some recording and get a couple of new songs finished and into the set. One of these, '(some of those) Skeletons', is pretty far along with the writing although there are some tricky passages we have not yet nailed down. It is a new direction for our writing an came from a short riff I was playing at the end of a rehearsal. I played electric guitar at the Bridge House last week - the first time I have done that on stage since the original Wooden Lion, way back in the mists of time. More on new songs and gigs as it comes up, One last piece of news. There is now a Dogwatch myspace site to promote the re-released CD and the Wrekka is putting together a Last Post one too. If you have a MySpace site yourselves do link to it and if you have any good pictures from then send them over. Stay with us and do join the mailing list, if you are not already on it.


I had not realised I have not written for a while. There was a gap in proceedings during June so I could go off and pursue my diving down in Devon and, when I came back I was hoping we would resume with a couple of gigs in new places and one back here in Brighton but Steve Bensusan managed to neatly slice the tip of one of the fingers on his left hand and we had to cancel three shows. Last weekend we went along to Blaker's Park in Brighton and did a short 30 minute set which he got through but was very painful for him. This is the reason we have cancelled the show in Hove this week. He should be fully recovered in time for the Bridge House show on the 11th. I have just finished the inner sleeve for the Last Post CD and I will send that for approval up to Bridge House Records. If all goes to plan we should get the CD out this month. What we need now is a TLWL CD though.


Bit of a gap this week in writing the blog because I have been so busy. To carry on from the last posting (so to speak) I have now got a copy of the Dogwatch CD and can confirm it has all seven of the studio tracks on it so that is good. I will be adding a ' discography page soon with full details. On that front, by the way, we are sorting out the details of getting the Last Post LP onto CD as well. This may take a few weeks because I plan to do a redesign on the cover and incorporate the full lyrics but Bridge House Records are going to add it to their list. Last week's gig at the Bridge house 2 went down very well despite a slight hiccup at the end of the journey up from Brighton. I had invited Gregg McKella's band to play the gig with us and Gregg came with me in the car. Most of the journey was quite pleasant until we got to tech South Circular Road and tried to turn off down to tech Blackwall Tunnel. The gig is about 10 minutes drive from the North exit to the tunnel and we were well on time so it was all looking good - and then there was an accident which closed the road or the tunnel (we never found out which). We were, therefore, diverted to Rotherhithe and spent an hour and a half struggling through the traffic. The worst thing about it was that we had all the microphones and D.I. Boxes in the boot of the car so no-one could soundcheck. We finally got there set up and ran a swift soundcheck. Paradise9 did the same and then went straight on. They played a great set with the new bass player delivering some very solid rhythm along with Tyrone on drums. Great gig. Our gig went fine too - and the new number was pretty well received. so we were quite happy. It is nice to see many people back from tech previous show there. We have a few more booked in for the Bridge House so do try to get along to one of them. The rest of May is without shows because various members of tech band are away so we pick up again on 20th June in Lennon's bar in Dunmow, Essex. We will, of course be busy in the interim working on new numbers.


First up, for all you old Dogwatch fans out there, the Live Dogwatch LP is now available as a CD from Bridge House Records . It has extra tracks, including the singles we released after it's original, vinyl, release, , 'Cutouts' (mixed and produced by the legendary Laurie Latham of Paul Young and Dammed fame) and 'Mornington Crescent' and a batch of studio stuff that we recorded over a long period with various line ups. I have not got my copy here yet so I cannot say which of the tracks that I sent them has been included. Anyhow go buy a copy and keep the Bridge House name alive. May is a bit of a sparse month, gigwise, but we have added another new song to the repertoire 'Follow My Leader (in the dark)' should be premiered at the next show which will be at the Bridge House 2 on Saturday 17th May. On that night we will have our good friend Gregg McKella and his band Paradise9 playing with us. They are really good so do get along to catch their set too. Gregg may also come up and guest with us on clarinet again. We have added a couple more gigs in June to the gig list - one in Dunmow in Essex so those Dogwatchers and Last Posters who have moved up that way can make it over to see us. As always we are are still writing and trying to sort out studio time to get some new recordings done. See you at a gig soon I hope.


It was was a difference of a couple of miles - and almost a whole world. Last nights show at the Bridge House 2 was great fun and we would like to thank our audience for coming out, and giving us such a warm response. What a contrast to the gig at the Ruskin the week before. As always it was good to see a few old Dogwatch and Last Post faces there and even better to meet a few people who never saw these two bands but heard the albums from way back and came to see what it was like live - and to cheer when we played Blank Moments for an encore! The Bridge House 2 may not be a huge gig but you turned it into a stadium. Great support act too, 'The Sylencers' - check out their MySpace site. Last week's rehearsals saw a new song enter into the list, Follow My Leader (in the dark) will make its way into the set list for the next performance. At the moment we are taking a short break in live performances to try to get some demos done in preparation for the CD. If these come out OK I will post some onto this site and our MySpace site over the next couple of weeks. They will not be the final versions of the tracks but should give you some idea of how it will be. Our next show (unless something gets put in at the last moment) will be back at the Bridge House on the 17th May and we have a special guest band that night, Paradise 9. Do get along early for that show as they are one of my favourite bands. Please do drop me an email and sign up for our email news flash service. This will give you all notice of upcoming shows etc. Finally, a big thank you to Steve 'Wrekka' Wollington for sound and general crew duties for the last month, struggling manfully with the vagaries of various sound systems and the complete incompetence of what passes for a public transport system - the cheque is in the pocket of you tour jacket, mate.


What can I say about the Ruskin Arms? A big question really. Those of you who know anything about the history of music in the East End in the 70's and 80's will know this pub. It was one of many that were the breeding ground for many performers who went on to become big names. People like Iron Maiden, Marillion and others cut their teeth at gigs like this back then and there were a few other venues like this dotted around London which performed a similar function. ( If you want to know more about one of these venues read Terry Murphy's entertaining book about the Bridge House) The good thing about these venues was their accessibility. Usually free entry to the public, not too concerned by trying to look flashy or being 'themed' they allowed many bands to get up and play to a crowd who would come down for a drink and have a listen to whatever was presented to them. If they didn't like it they would say so - if they did they would turn up again and again. Dogwatch and the Last Post both played there a lot and gained much from doing so. Is there a scene like this today? From my experience so far in returning to the stage after such a long break I would have to say it was not easy to find. The Ruskin itself was barely changed from the late 70's when Dogwatch and Iron Maiden first played there. There is now a nice looking Indian restaurant in what used to be a bar at the side and the two bars that were at the front of the venue are now one big area but the performance space at the back is essentially the same. It now has a house sound rig (in a poor state of repair) and light system but the rest remains the same. What is missing is the audience, the people who would come along to listen, whoever was up there playing. The area has now become much more asian in flavour and that may mean that many of the bikers and rockers who used to fill the place now no longer live locally or it may be that this kind of venue is now extinct. Many other pubs that put music on cater solely to the 'Tribute Act' circuit which, in my opinion at least, is a creatively sterile area. However good you may be at sounding like Hendrix, The Stones, Genesis, Thin Lizzy or whoever you will never be as good as them because they created that sound from nothing, it was theirs, and, if you sound exactly like them, then why not just play the records? True, unknown bands are a gamble, you don't know what you will get, but then the other side of the coin is that, that was the whole excitement of doing it. Sometimes you hear something wonderful and sometimes not. As a writer, I get a lot of buzz out of making a song, honing it with the band and then playing it to the audience. If the reaction is favourable then the feedback from that is part of what always kept me doing it. There are still bands out there doing this, the 'hit' being recycled in a bar by a tribute band was once and unknown song in someone's head and that artist had the courage to put it on a stage and say 'this is mine - I made it. What do you think?'. As we continue to play in various clubs and bars we meet up with a lot of bands like this so they are still out there trying and fighting against the tide of tribute acts and cover bands. 'Tonight Matthew I am going to be....................original!'. This is not reality entertainment - this is reality. Time to live it. Rant off.



There are gigs.....and the are GIGS. sometimes the least flashy, small places turn out to be the best place to be - strange the way that this is but it is what makes the music business fascinating. The Real Music Club in Brighton has long been one of my favorite haunts. I like the people who run it and I like the ethos of the place - the idea that you shove an acoustic band up against a punk act or an electronic band. I have discovered a few really good acts there and we got the chance to play there ourselves last night. This proved to be one of the most enjoyable gigs of the year so far. Ok so the stage was the size of a moderate drum riser and the Cardinal was hidden behind a pillar, we all had a great time and I think the audience did too. Gregg McKella came up and played clarinet for us again. We will be back there again but, if you are in Brighton on the 10th May you can catch his band, Paradise9 at the performing there. They will also be playing with us at the Bridge House on 17th May so that is also a date not to miss. The Bobby McGees were great, I enjoyed their set at the end of the evening but I missed most of Captain Stupidt's because I was outside trying to cool down. I will catch him next time. Next week sees us returning to the Ruskin Arms and it would be good to get a few people along to that show. I have not been there since the Last Post played it back in '82 so I will be interested to see if it has changed. I look forward to seeing you at a gig soon.


So the cycle comes around. We have just been given a gig at the Ruskin Arms in East Ham which is the venue where Dogwatch and the Last Post made their name. Getting this gig somewhat makes up for the closure of the Quebec Curve after the gig this coming Friday. The rollercoaster ride which has been this new band continues. Frank Zappa once wrote 'you only get one chance in life to play a song that goes like this...' Well I am happy that I have had more than one chance. Right now enthusiasm for the project continues. There will be a new CD this year, there will be more shows.


Saturday's show at the Portland Rock Bar in Hove was good fun even if the bad weather decimated the audience a bit. It proved to be a bit challenging in that both Steve's, Bensusan and Wollington (our esteemed engineer and all round road tech- in more ways than one) fell foul of the transport system. In Steve Wollington's case he, once again experienced the wonder of the privatised railway system and in Steve Bensusan's case he was in the queue for the Blackwall tunnel, two cars before the entrance, when they decided to close it. Both of them arrived late and so we had no chance of a sound check. The evening was redeemed, however by the great opening act, GlassEye who played a blinder and were real nice guys too. It was then further enhanced when Gregg McKella got up and played sublimely killer clarinet on 'On The Blink', 'Insufficient Data' and 'Blank Moments'. I just wish had not misjudged the recording system so we got none of it down. We had a good evening. Gregg's band, Paradise9 will be appearing with us at the Quebec Curve in April and he is going to repeat the performance so do try to make that show. 'Another Slow Day (for fast women)' made its first appearance and went well. Our next show will be back at the Quebec Curve, London, on 28th March - see you all then.


It was a shame that we had to cancel the gig at the Benfleet Tavern at such short notice but our guitarist's wife, Sharon, has been in and out of hospital over the last few weeks after some major surgery and that day was completely impossible for us. We are however looking forward to the gig this weekend at the Portland Rock Bar. Opening act will be Glasseye. This is a band I have seen a few times and they are really excellent so do get along to catch them. We also hope to be joined, onstage, by Gregg McKella who will be playing clarinet on a couple of numbers. Gregg is the main man from Paradise9, another great band and we are hoping to organise a couple of gigs with them in the future too. I feel it is important for bands to try to co-operate and work together. We have added a new song to the list, Another Slow Day (for fast women). This came from a bass riff from Chris Cottage, lyrics from me and then a bit of arrangement from everyone. I hope to debut this on Saturday.


We have a surprise gig this coming weekend at the Benfleet Tavern, The Benfleet Tavern, Richmond Avenue , Benfleet , Essex, SS7 5HF 01268 882031. Not sure how this will pan out at such short notice but do come along if you can make it. In the meantime the band are working on two new songs, 'Award!' and 'Another Slow Day (For Fast Women)'. The latter of these is much more of a band composition than the other ones have been. Lyrics are mine, of course, and I will put them up on the lyrics page as soon as the song format has settled down. Just to explain how the compositions work. The writer who thinks up the main idea presents it to the band and then we all take it apart and rebuild it. Sometimes it fails in the reconstruction process and sometimes it becomes a full song and gets onto the playlist. 'Another Slow Day (For Fast Women)' started with a bass line from Chris Cottage and some guitar work from Steve Bensusan and then I added the lyrics. Chris Mott and the Cardinal threw other ideas into the pot and it is beginning to sound quite good. It should get an airing at the next Hove gig. When it comes down to saying who wrote what it is always quite difficult to decide but we usually base it on the originator of the main components of the song; in this case music: Chris Cottage/Steve Bensusan and lyrics: Roy Weard. Arrangement is always by the whole band.


Well, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the Bridge House 2 last night - what a great place! A bit small but a great atmosphere and good people who have plans to develop the venue. We will be back there again. Terry, from the original Bridge House was there with his book. If you do not have a copy of this make sure you get one. It has loads of backstage and behind the scenes stories from band who played there and people who were involved. I really enjoyed reading it - an it opened my eyes to a few of the things that happened there that I did not know about. You can buy a copy here . . He said to me, before we went on, 'I'll say goodbye now because I will not stay until the end. I have to drive and so I can't drink and I don't like sitting in a bar without a drink'. Well, at the end of the show he was still there and, when I went up to him he said 'I couldn't leave - great show'. Now that is a compliment we will treasure more than any other. At the moment Terry is planning to re-issue the Dogwatch album on CD I will let you know if that happens. One of the other people who were there at the gig was Dave Owen, ex-second guitarist from the Last Post. Good to see him there too. For now it is onwards and upwards as they say. At least three new songs wait in the wings and the next show is down here in Brighton and Hove on 15th March.



All set for the gig at the New Bridge house this coming Saturday. Terry Murphy, fabled landlord of the original Bridge House has emailed me to say he will be there so I hope that there will be a lot of old Bridge House veterans joining in too. We are still writing new stuff and looking at studios so we can go in and start work on the new CD. Exciting times. We also have a couple of gigs confirmed down here in Brighton including The Real Music Club with Captain Stupid and the Bobby McGees. Should be a fun evening. see you all on Saturday I hope.


We had a good time at the Quebec Curve last night ably supported but a young band called 'Allegro'. The band is settling into a good a good groove now and last night was the best gig of the three so far. Of course there were the odd 'glitches' - I walked off the stage during 'Happy' with one verse still to go. The band looked puzzled but I realised and slunk back sheepishly to do the last verse. 'Sulphur and Heat' and 'The Writing' went well and we enjoyed ourselves on stage. It feels good to be back on a stage again. A big thanks to the lively and vocal audience for the support. Nice to see a few old Dogwatch/Last Post faces showing up too. The venue have asked if we would do a regular gig there, once a month so watch the gigs page for more. If you want to sign up for our gig update email do so on the Contact Us link and choose 'Email List' in the options. Right now we are looking forward to the gig at the new Bridge House on the 23rd.


This week's rehearsals allowed us to put the new song. 'Sulphur and Heat', firmly into the set and we will be playing it at our next show, the Quebec Curve, on Feb. 8th. We are also working on another new song which, when it is finished, should give us enough material for the CD recording to commence. I have never been too happy in recording studios. On the one hand there is that buzz of excitement at the process of creation and then, on the other, the endless hanging around while one of us re-takes a sequence to 'get it right'. Inevitable, I suppose, because, when you listen back to it after it has been released every last little blemish starts to shout back at you. I did try to be a recording engineer in the past but I lack that finite attention to details that a good studio engineer has. Give me a desk, a reasonable PA, a hall full of people and a good band and I will crank you up a good live sound but, after the fiftieth take of a 2 minute keyboard break I glaze over and pass into a coma. Anyhow I am looking forward to getting our first CD out. Things are looking good for the Bridge House show at the end of the month. Terry Murphy, original Bridge House host emailed to say he would be coming along and a few other of the stalwart Dogatch / Last Post fans from back then have also said they will be there. Let's make this a reunion evening then.


Quick Message We have a short notice return gig at the Quebec Curve on Friday Feb 8th! Do come along and support us.


Shaking off the slacker effect of the Christmas and New Year we have, once more, ventured out into the real world and played our first gig of the Year at the Portland Rock Bar in Hove. Home turf for me and, for once, I did not have to spend 2 hours behind the wheel to get there. It was fortunate that it was so local because my Soundcraft desk decided not to work when we started to do the soundcheck. I rushed off home and The Wrekka and I manhandled the old Allen and Heath board down from the converted loft. This is usually linked up to my ADATs for doing demos and stuff but it saved the day and the show went ahead.. We had a good night, ably supported by Stacey Marks of the Fire Llamas and Simon Beavis from In Cahoots both doing great solo spots. I was so pleased to have them with us and I will be doing the sound for Simon at the Portland this weekend when he has, as a guest, an amazing singer called Doon MacDonald - if you are in the area do come and see it. The band and I enjoyed our gig and we got a good reaction from those who came. Thank you one and all! AND NOW SOME BIG NEWS ! A new Bridge House is rising in the Canning Town area. The first few gigs have already started and we will be there on the 23rd Feb. The gig is not being run by Terry Murphy but has his blessing and support so we want to give it ours too. Spread the word. Some of the old Bridge House acts will be performing there so lets try to make as good as the old was - a hard task but I am sure the spirit is there. There will be another show at the Quebec Curve in February too - I am just waiting on the date. Watch the site for more details. Happy New Year to You all.


This time of year most of the newspapers are full of highlights of the year so I thought it appropriate to look back at our first year in existence and make a few comments. The first attempts at setting up a band in 2005/6 were not too successful so, as I set off for the first rehearsal of this one, I was prepared for the worst. The best thing that came out of the 2006 experience was that I 're-found' the pleasure in being in a band again and I think it was that enthusiasm which put an added bounce into that first meeting. The previous attempts were really trying to re-assemble the original band and I had already decided, as I drove to that first rehearsal' that I would try to push this band in a direction of its own - whatever that would turn out to be. We were all so rusty that a bath in WD40 (in the form of some of the old Last Post songs) was needed to get the music muscles moving again but somewhere in the course of those rehearsals we stopped being individuals and became a band. By halfway through the year I was very pleased with the way we were progressing, by the way we all worked together, and by the amount work people put into learning parts that were, in one way or another, in a form somewhat unusual to them. The new songs we have added to the set have a style of their own which is very much this band and not any of the previous units we have been in. We had not intended to start gigging until 2008 but, when the Rotherhithe gig came along we jumped at it and that went better than expected. All of the members of the band have built upon the their strengths and I have been very pleased to be working with them - they are a great bunch of musicians and good friends. So, what now for 2008? We have a few gigs in the pipeline ad they will go up on the Gig page soon - one is already there. We are also planning to get into a studio and produce a new CD. A lot of this is already written but, since we are not keen on repeating stuff from before, we still have a few to write before we can get a full release out but I hope to have something available by the Spring. Stay with us. This will be in interesting year. Happy New Year to you all.


I have just finished uploading some photos of the new band onto the the TLWL section of this site. Click on the thumbnails to get the larger pictures but, be patient, some are quite large. We were back in the rehearsal room last week and the consensus was that the gig went pretty well although there were areas to be tightened up and we are working on those. We have another new song , 'Sulphur and Heat', which should see the light of day at the next gig. The next one booked in is down here in Brighton on 12th January see the Gig page for details. We are arranging more shows so keep watching. There are also other pictures on the MySpace site so have a look there too.



Well that is the first one in the bag! I approached the whole thing with a degree of trepidation because, having not done this for a very long time, I wondered if I might have forgotten how to do it all. As it was I think it all came back - even if some of the words didn't! Having spent the previous week learning the words to 'The Rage' because they are the hardest I proceeded to forget some of 'On The Blink' and ' Man In A Cage' - two songs I have sung with three different bands now. Oh well - we are imperfect machines after all. The band played well and, most importantly, we enjoyed ourselves. Some amazing people showed up too. Part the way through the first set I looked down and saw Tom Barrett, original road crew for the Lion (1973!), standing there! I was amazed, not only because I did not know he was coming but also because he lives on the Isle of Skye. John Brown, 'Suicidal' Stevie (original pyro man for the Lion in '73) and his lovely sisters, Dolores (who saw us in Watchfield in 1975), my daughter, Jemima and her fiance Marvyn, and more people from the old Dogwatch & Last Post days than I can list on this page. Thank you one and all for coming. We would also like to extend grateful thanks to Steve 'Wrekker' Wollington for duties on the sound desk, Tony Firshman for talking masses of pictures ( I will add these to the website as soon as I have had a chance to go through them all and choose the best ones) and especially to John Brown, Elliot, and Middle Eight Studios for the loan of PA equipment and all their support over the last year. Onwards and upwards now, I suppose. Now we have strutted our collective stuff for the first time we are ready for the next one. We will be back at the 'Quebec Curve' in the New Year and gigs in Brighton, Swindon, and Hitchin are being planned. As always - watch this space, MySpace and yourselves.


It has been a busy week. Started on Monday with the Cardiacs playing in Brighton. I had not seen them for some time but the show was far better than I remembered. Tight, well played and so much fun. They have to be one of the worlds most unusual bands and are right up there with Van der Graaf Generator in my all time favourites. Then on Tuesday we had The Fiery Furnaces down here too. Another band full of odd rhythms, dense lyrics and great ideas. I thought, at first, that the crew were doing the soundcheck when I arrived but it turned out to be the band, onstage, casually checking their instruments and doing the soundcheck. When they did come on they were so relaxed but still a very tight unit. After all this I was ready for our rehearsal on Thursday. We have added The Writing, from the Weard and Juan D'Erful Songbook and it should be in the set for the first show. I am really looking forward to doing this. I hope some of you will be able to come along to see it. As far as I know it is free to get in - so that is a bonus. Once we have done the first show there will be others to follow so keep watching this space. If you want to be added to our email list then please select 'Email List' from the contacts page and we will add you.


We have just had our first show confirmed for 30th November ! I will post details of the venue here as soon as I have them all. Watch this space.


Blisteringly good night at the Real Music Club last Saturday. I enjoyed every act on the bill, especially Bird Eats Baby , an unusual and very intense act with an unconventional line up. I was so enthused by them that I volunteered my sound engineering services. I think they will be a very interesting act to mix. The band are still rehearsing and fine tuning the material. We have added another new song called 'The Writing' to the list. There are currently four venues offering gigs starting at the end of January and I hope to announce dates for these in the next few weeks. One of these will be the aforementioned Real Music Club. Time to crank up the publicity machine I think. This blog is being echoed on the MySpace site.


I have now set up a MySpace site for the band. You can get to this from this link If you have a myspace account log on and be our friend! (that all sounds so twee) To go with that I have created a new section on this site with some photos of the current band rehearsing at Middle Eight Studios. You can get there from the main page or by from here. There will be a couple of shows in the new year down here in Brighton and I am in the middle of arranging these now. I hope to get this sorted soon and put the dates up. A few more shows are being arranged in other places so things are beginning to happen. More on this story later......



Rehearsals restarted with a bang a couple of weeks ago and we all now now feel we are ready to gig. Having taken a three week break for family holidays, we decided to run through the entire song list and see how it stood up. It passed with flying colours although the two newer songs still need a bit of polishing. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a gig at the Ocean Rooms in Brighton. This is the current home of the Real Music Club . I went along there again last night to meet up with Greg McKella from Paradise9 and I got talking to the club's orgamisers. I really like the idea of the club which is to try to put three very different acts on, once a month. I am trying to line up a gig there for us. Brighton has a wild and varied music scene and one of the best parts of it is how much these different strains of music overlap and cross fertilise each other. I got an emergency call from Nick Pynn who wanted me to put together a system for a gig he and Arthur Brown were doing at the Anchor Inn just outside Lewes. It was areal hodge-podge of bits borrowed from every mucian we knew but the gig went well and, somewhat amazingly, sounded good too. Architecture in Helsinki were very good in spite of the poor revue they got in The Guardian a week or so ago. They played with great gusto and enthusiasm and created all of the great sounds from their albums. I was particularly impressed when the percussionist at the back stopped playing the percussion and pulled out a trombone! This week, in my capacity as sound man, I am doing the Brighton Beach Boys at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London on Friday 28th and In Cahoots in the Anarchist's Club in Brighton.


There has been a gap in rehearsals because of various band members taking their families on holiday (how suburban!) but we resume this week. and are really pushing to get some gigs together. After all this time away from the sharp end of getting gigs it is hard to remember how to get started but, once we are rolling..... In the meantime I have been quite active in other areas. A couple more engineering gigs with The Brighton Beach Boys and a few other local acts have kept me busy and I saw the amazing 'Battles' playing one of our local local rock venues. I sent Kev Hopper a few of the photos I had taken on the Stump tours we did and they are being used on the new Box set CD which will be out this month. Last week I went along to see a few bands at another local venue and was most impressed with two of them. Scandal In Bohemia are a very off the wall and hard to describe act and Paradise9 were an excellent band with strong rythmns, good songs and some great guitar work. Well worth checking out. I sent the link to the Cardinal who was also impressed. I am off to see Architecture in Helsinki on Sunday. More news on the rehaersals later. This last few weeks I have been mostly listening to Architecture in Helsinki -Places Like This, Carina Round - Slow Motion Addict and Asobi Sesu - Citrus.


The fact that I have had a bit of a gap in this journal does not mean that we have not been active. In fact we have been slogging away rehearsing, writing and putting the whole thing together. I have also been wearing my Sound Engineer's hat with a few acts and going to gigs so 'sitting at the computer' time has been limited. On the band front we have a few new songs and one song in progress that I am very keen to complete - 'This Torch'. At the last rehearsal we ran through the set and realise that we now have that magical hour and fifteen minutes which means we can go out to look for gigs. If you would like us to play in your area get in touch. I have been to a few gigs over the last few weeks -again very varied. Everything from the Scorpions at the Carling Apollo to Laura Viers at the Concorde 2 on the Brighton seafront. At the latter I ran into Kev Hopper who tells me the Stump albums are to be re-released by Sanctuary Records. I also went to the Bridge House Reunion on Friday 3rd August. That was quite a night. Both Dogwatch and the Last Post get a mention in the book, although just a passing ones. Terry, Rita and Glenn Murphy look in good health (Glen now has an MBE) and I ran into a whole bunch of people I had not seen for years. Suddenly I was signing the book for old Dogwatch and Last Post fans - I almost felt like a star! Nick Sack, Dogwatch drummer of note, was there, as was Milton Reame-James from the first Cockney Rebel, Be Bop Deluxe and later Warm Jets (Paul Balance's outfit after Dogwatch). Chris Thompson, the singer famous for so many records, including Manfred Mann's Earthband, and Bridge House stalwart with Filthy McNasty among other acts, got up and performed with Remus Down Boulevard and all in all it was a great evening. I just checked and there are no photos on the website as yet but lots were taken and I I expect there will be some soon. What a great evening. As usual I have been listening to a lot of music 'Glory Bumps' the new Shriekback CD is great, as is the Sound of Silver from LCD Soundsystem and Pere Ubu's 'Why I Remix Women'. One of the most listened to CDs at the moment is 'Where the River Meets the Sea' by Ungagged (a band I do sound for) who are worth checking out.


More rehearsals and more new songs appearing all the time. It seems the band are throwing themselves fully into writing now and this week's rehearsals were the best yet with all band members coming up with song ideas and arrangement contributions. There are several new songs on the drawing board. More of this later. My current listening is very varied. The new Queens of the Stone Age CD is vying for palce on the machine with the new Richard Thompson release which was mixed by Simon Tassano who did the Last Post Album. I also went to the Dr Strangely Strange gig at the 12 bar club and bought the album they have just released. They are a band from the early seventies, produced by Joe Boyd and their new CD comprises of tracks recorded for release in the 70's but never finished and a few new recordings.


Rehearsals resumed this week with gusto and a quick, arbitary timing revealed that we are now well on our way to having enough material down to start looking for gigs. We added one, completely new, song to the cannon this week. 'The Rage' is a bit of a departure from some of our other stuff but we were pretty pleased with its first outing. We have two more songs in the wings which I hope we can work on this Thursday. Time, I feel, to be thinking about costumes and stage lunacy. I will keep moving the set list up as it grows. I did say, in my last writing here, that I had finished my tasks as sound engineer for the Brighton Festival but I have two more shows for the wonderful Nick Pynn and Jane Bom Bane (one featuring Arthur Brown again). Both they and The Brighton Beach Boys won awards during the Brighton festival. On the basis of their talent not my engineering skills I hasten to add - although I like to feel I contributed. This week I have been listening to 'Battles' - Mirrored which is a great CD, 'Lucky Pierre' - Dip and a CD by another band I do sound for, 'In Cahoots'. Work for Idle Hands is their first release - gentle enchanting stuff featuring acoustic / slide guiars, appalacian dulcima, violin among the instrumentation. I would also direct you to Kev Hopper's website (ex bass player of Stump). A man of great talent who needs more support and exposure.


Little has been happening with rehearsals since the 'last post' here mostly because of my involvement with the Brighton Festival. I am doing the live sound for my last show tonight. Normally I regard tribute bands as being a waste of the world's eco resources but that is down to a personal feeling that creation is what it is all about and not carbon copying. Having said that, my last two bits of involvement have been with the Brighton Beach Boys, who performed the 'Pet Sounds' album and the Beatles 'Sgnt. Pepper'.The normal 8 piece band is augmented by a string quintet and a brass section and that is somewhat special. It also presents a bit of a challenge to my sound engineering capabilities - using every one of the 40 channels on the board. Back on track I have been pointed at the Bridge House website and been told there is a launch for Terry Murphy's book on July 7th at Canning Town Town Hall. I will try to attend that. Rehearsals are back on course next week. As always - watch this space.


Rehearsals continue apace and we have added a couple more songs to the cannon,' Man In A Cage' and 'Blank Moments' - with me playing acoustic guitar on the latter. Although I played guitar in the original Wooden Lion and have continued to play at home since, I have not played guitar on stage for some time. We are also looking into adding 'Strange Pictures' - a song on which I played slide guitar. That should be interesting. No rehearsals this week because the Cardinal is away in Ireland and I have my recording engineer's hat on. I am recording the whole week's music at Bom Banes as part of the Brighton Festival. Tonight was Arthur Brown and Nick Pynn and the rest on the week will be equally interesting. If you are in Brighton go along to this restaurant and enjoy the great food, Belgian Beers and mechanical tables. I went to see Pere Ubu on Sunday and the Bar Academy in Islington, London. I was really quite blown away with how good the band was. I had met David Thomas a couple of times and seen some of his other shows and he gave the impression of a somewhat shambolic , if inspired, performer. This show was superb and his louche stage persona was offset by the savage precision of the band. Well worth seeing if you are lucky enough to have a show near you. Support band 'One More Grain' were also very good. The evening was also odd because I met someone who remembered me from the old Wooden Lion. That is not something that happens every day. This week I have been listening to Low - Drums and Guns, CSS - Cansei de Ser Sexy, and the two Tea and Symphony albums from '69 & '70 which I found on CD recently.


Just to bring the story up to date and kick off the blog here is what has happened since the start of 2007. The first rehersal took place at the White Room Studios in Rainham. This was the first time the the band tried to do anything together. It only took an hour of so before we had a few songs sketched out and it was beginning to settle in to sounding like a band - albeit with a lot of rough edges. Chris Mott - the drummer said he had been in a drum shop which had a few rehearsal studios attached. He knew the owner and when he told him what he was doing he immediately suggested that we rehearsed there. The studio owner was John Brown - original Wooden Lion Roadie! One of life's little parallels. We have been rehearsing at Middle Eight since February and I am very happy with the 'noise'. Chris Mott and Chris Cottage are settling in to be a good driving rythmn section, Steve's guitar playing is as good as ever and The Cardinal has even added real keyboards to his skills in the electronic noise arena. Tony has been present, playing guitar with his usual virtuosity but, since he is a full time musician, other gigs have meant he has missed a few sessions. He recently played drums for Jefferson Starship on their European tour. I hope to get some pictures of the new band up on this site soon. And..... I also thought I would add a few bits about what I am listening to at the moment and who I have seen - partly to give a bit of general publicity to other bands and musicians and partly as a bit of general musical background. Live. Last week was dominated by two acts which have been part of my musical soundscape since the late sixties. I was at the Barbican on Monday 16th April having my head taken apart by Van Der Graaf Generator. I first saw Peter Hammill perform as a solo act in 1969 at the Lyceum Ballroom in the Strand, London. In the middle of a bunch of bands (Yes, The Nice, etc) one man with an accoustic guitar stood out and played with more passion than any of the other acts. Best of all he has maintained that passion over the intervening years and the show at the Barbican was stunning. At the other end of the week was a visit to the ICA for the 40th anniversary of the 14 hour Technicolour Dream. I went along with my good friend, (and one of the most amazingly inventive multi-instrumentalists on the planet) Nick Pynn who is the whole band (all at once) for Arthur Brown - The God of Hellfire himself! If you get the chance to see Arthur perform, do so. There is no voice to match his and he is still an unbelievably hypnotic and powerful performer. Records After the Barbican show the CD player here has been fairly fully occupied with the new Live Van Der Graaf CD 'Real Time'. Apart from that I have also been listening to 'Enter Shikari', John Cale's 'Circus - Live'. Pere Ubu - 'Why I Hate Women', Deerhoof - 'Friend Opportunity', The Mars Volta - 'Amputechure', and Bonnie Prince Billy - 'The Letting Go' - all recommended.