Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Movember Bash - 29 November 2011

Rock Bottom and Axial View will be playing at a Movember celebration night at the Hatchet in Bristol city centre on 29 November. The do will start early so you can drop in straight after work, take in some beer and some music and still make it home at a sensible hour.

Come along, there's drinking involved :)

Should be great fun and will start you off in good stead for the festive drinking season!

Update: Much fun was had by all and I even managed to find somewhere to park. Oh, and lots of money was raised for the Movember charities so many thanks to all who took part.

Rock Bottom, masters of the comedy chord change

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Mitsubishi The Third

Rock Bottom will be at Mitsubishi Bristol on Saturday afternoon for a set which, it is to be hoped, will be witnessed by the hordes at the latest Family Fun Day. The place is on Feeder Road and looks like this:

Just in case any staff were wondering...

And, of course, you can also catch the band later in the evening at the Afghan Heroes Night being held at the Queen's Head in Fishponds Road. Go on, make a day of it!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Now, About The Moustache...

It's because it's Movember, it's not a sign of premature senility, honest. Look, go here and you can read all about it!

Howling at the moon: all part of the Movember fun

Grow, my little beauty...

Friday, 28 October 2011

Afghan Herores Night At The Queen's Head, Bristol, 12 November 2011

Well it's that time of year again. Another of Hazel's birthday bashes, this year (as last, indeed) it's in support of Afghan Heroes and, of course, you're invited. Once again we're at the Queen's Head, Fishponds Road, Bristol, a joint famed for it's friendly atmosphere and remarkably cheap drinks. You really can't not love it.

Parking is available

The boat has well and truly been pushed out this year and, in addition to an Afghan Heroes stall manned by Denise Harris - the lady who founded the charity - there'll be four (yes, four) bands on. Who are they? Read on. In no particular order...

Why do they get through so many guitar players?

The Fraser Road Race Band are Shepton Mallet's second most popular export after cider (Blackthorn, Natch and countless other chemical follies come from there, you know) and are substantially better for your well-being than is the otherwise obscure market town's primary export. Unless you're a guitarist, that is, in which case you may mysteriously disappear after being exposed to them, but that's another story.

Axial View are blissfully unaware of the Curse Of The Vanishing Guitarists, so may have a slightly different line up on 12 November than they do on subsequent gigs.

Thankfully they appear to have guitarists to spare

The band, experienced giggers despite their youth, hail from Blackwell and Portishead and have an EP out shortly. Think Buzzcocks/Green Day and you'll be in the right ballpark. You can read more about them on their Facebook Page.

Variety being the spice of life, there'll be a break from the relentless onslaught of testosterone-fueled rock'n'roll'n'brew in the form of the oestrogen-fueled groove of the Sisters Of Swing. Time to grab yourself a mint julep and get dancing to classics like Chatanooga Choo Choo and Tuxedo Juction.

Women. What can't they do?

Rock Bottom will be familiar to regular patrons of the Queen's Head, who may be pleased to hear that the band have promised to drop the Walt Disney sing-a-long for this particular occasion. So you should just be in for some good-time Pub Rock. Just as it should be.

Men. What can they do?

And finally, whether you can make it on the 12th or not, spare a thought for those that Afghan Heroes is there to support.

Update: Many thanks to everyone who came along! Over £730 was taken for Afghan Heroes at what was a really great night. Cheers!

Axial View

Sisters Of Swing

Fraser Road Race Band

Rock Bottom

More photos when I get them.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Joe Trohman Squier Signature Telecaster

At the risk of making this blog look like a Fender love-in, here's yet another new model from those rogues in California. And a right cracker it looks, too. It's the Joe Trohman signature Tele and it's a Squier, so it should be affordable. If you think it looks cool (and it does) wait till you see the spec.

We've got a 22 fret board with a very cool 12" radius, twin humbuckers in neck and bridge positions and a Strat single coil in the middle. Control layout is a tad quirky with a five-position rotary selector and an upper-bout kill switch, but there's loads of potential here for someone handy with a soldering iron. You also get proper traditional Tele through-body stringing.

I don't know if it's been a deliberate response on their part to the awful economic state of things (though I suspect it must be), but Fender really have put some great guitars into the just-about-still-affordable end of the market of late. Fair play to them, as they say around here.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Gig Alert - Monday 17th October - Sisters Of Swing

Go and catch the gals at the Pill Music Festival. They're on the same bill as "Whispering Pauline McDade and Her Pleasant Pluckers", apparently. Awesome I suspect.

Look like a chirpy bunch, don't they?

Where's it at? Pill Memorial Club Dance Hall from 19.00. Half a dozen acts for a fiver - sounds good value to me.

Gig Alert - Friday 21st October - Rock Bottom

Rock Bottom are back at The Star in Tickenham on Friday 21st October. It's a bit of a drive to get there, but the pub's a friendly, lively place with plenty of food on offer in addition to a decent range of brews. Big car park, too. Why not come along?

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Another New Fender

This looks interesting, a revival of the Marauder in the apparently entry-level Modern Player series. Note the "triple bucker" bridge pup...

No prices yet, but "entry-level" sounds good to me...

Update: there are now a few ads out offering these, going rate around £340. Not bad. Far Eastern or Mexican, I wonder?

Friday, 9 September 2011

National Star College Benefit - 24 September 2011

Rock Bottom will be playing at a benefit evening for the National Star College on Saturday 24th September. Here's a groovy widget for the tech-savvy:

No, I don't know what it does, either.

The event is being organised by Mitsubish Bristol and will feature a BBQ and a raffle. Should be good fun for all. If you haven't already guessed, it's at the Queen's Head in Fishponds Road. With any luck they'll have finished digging up the road by then...

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

A Rainy Day In Bristol

Raining here. Rather lovely actually, we've a great view up here on the top of a tower in the centre of the city and the drizzle has a sort of gentle freshness about it. A propos of absolutely nothing, I thought I'd stick this video in. Well, not exactly a propos of nothing, it's because I really like it. So here you are:

Meanwhile, I came across a band called Miss Skarlet on Twitter - they seem like a pretty decent lot, hence the plug. They've a couple of gigs coming up in Bristol in July so I hope to be going along. Come along too and we can do some drinking, as Caro is wont to say :)

Keep smiling. Or at least smirk from time to time.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Slightly Off Piste, As They Say

Welcome to the whacky world of the Shepton 4's Mr Fisher, aka SpiderGod (something to do with cider, I suspect). It's not the usual rock/blues fare you'd expect here, and there's not a (real) guitar in sight, but nonetheless this ambient stuff crafted in deepest Wells is well worth a listen.

The link? Click here. Free download, too! Please give it a click/spin and leave some feedback - either put a comment here or mail Mr F direct.

Enjoy! Oh, and don't forget to vote!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Mitsubishi Japan Aid Gig - Update

Many thanks to everyone at The Star on Saturday night, you raised £270 on the evening itself and there'll be some more to come via the collection jars on the bar. Excellent stuff :)

No, that isn't a "simulated earthquake" in the video, it's the effects of beer on the mobile phone operator I suspect.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Saturday 30th April - Japan Benefit - BS21 6SE

If you've still any energy/money left after tomorrow's celebrations, BBQs, street parties and the like (well, all right, all-day drinking) then please come along on Saturday night to:

The Star Inn
Stone Edge Batch
BS21 6SE

for a Japan Disaster aid fundraiser organised by Mitsubishi. Rock Bottom will be playing, there'll be food and drink and a raffle featuring as prizes items as diverse as a barrel of cider and a car service.

Ample parking, I'm told.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Thank You Twitter People

Thanks to the many Twitter users have taken a look at this blog via @julien's suggestion. I've received loads of really constructive comments on how to improve things - I've taken these on board, as some people are sadly wont to say, and you should see some changes and groovy newness here soon. Once again, many thanks for your help!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Lusting Through The Window

These look fantastic. Something rather different that look like they really might do the job, at least for my tastes.

Mind you, I won't be able to afford one, so I shall just drool through the window. But a nice job, Fender, nonetheless!

Update: current prices, dependent upon model/dealer etc, between £550 and £650 or thereabouts. Fair, but I still can't afford one :/

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Goldfish Don't Bounce

They can boogie a bit, though. I saw them on Sunday at Bristol's excellent Golden Lion (not been there? Shame on you!). AC/DC, G'n'R and such covers and some originals served up with considerable style and energy and even smiles, which is as surprisingly nice as it is rare. A cracking way to end the weekend!

Their website is here - there are links there to various facebook pages if you're into that - so go there, find out when they're playing near you and go see them.

Friday, 1 April 2011

DR Neon Strings

I spotted these a while back and thought an orange set might be rather fun at a charity do this weekend, since they match the charity's colours. Since I bought them they've been getting terrible reviews so I thought I'd chuck in my 2p's worth, writing up as things go along.

Fitting the things/Initial impressions: well they're guitar strings, and despite all the dire warnings on the packet about handling etc they fit just like normal strings. They *feel* like nothing on Earth (well, perhaps very rough, rather stiff cotton), but that's another matter. Bizarrely, they're packaged two-to-a-paper-packet (you know, the standard little packet that every one uses) 6th and 3rd, 5th and 2nd, 4th and 1st. Why?? Even the cheapest sets manage one packet per string. These things cost over £13 a set! This packaging is a bloody nuisance and totally unacceptable at this price.

I'm a little puzzled by the comment on the packing saying that the strings "aren't designed for contact with metal" - something of a design failure for a fretted instrument string, I'd have thought. There are also some fairly pointless comments about preventing the windings coming off the bass strings - unless you attach your strings with blu-tac this isn't likely to be an issue as far as I can see.

Well they're on there now and stretching in. I have to say I'm approaching using the things with some trepidation and will be making sure I take a back up with me. FWIW, John The Bassist has been using a set of the bass Neons for a couple of weeks and they sound OK. In fact, he really likes them. But then he's a bass player. The trepidation is rapidly becoming angst.

In use: The first thing I noticed once I'd started playing was that the claim of 180 minutes survival for the coating was likely to prove optimistic - a lump came off the top E on the first contact with a pick. The next thing I noticed was that these strings feel very, very odd. A little like nylon strings, perhaps, but an awful lot more like rubber bands. Whether or not this is a good thing is entirely a matter of opinion - I can't say it bothered me, but it would take a bit of getting used to if you're used to normal tension strings.

DR Neons - somewhat brighter on the DR website than in real life.

In practice I have to admit that I found the DR Neons to be pretty much as reported in the reviews I'd read: they lack volume, the string-to-string balance is awful and those strings you can actually hear (the top two being all-but inaudible) manage to sound both wooly and thin at the same time. Meanwhile, even under lights/camera flashes the stings don't look too clever - in fact, they have a curious "out of focus" quality which makes them quite uncomfortable to look at. Half way through our set I'd had enough and switched to another guitar strung with Ernie Balls. The difference in sound quality was staggering (and not in favour of the DRs) and the EBs sounded way, way louder (and this on a Strat with 56-style pickups as opposed to the Texas Specials on the one with the DRs on).

Conclusions? Well the DR Neons have a number of unique features, but none of them IMHO are actually good. The packaging is substandard, the finish neither looks particulary good nor lasts well, the playing feel is weird and the things sound awful. And they're staggeringly expensive.

"Just say no" I think sums it up.

Monday, 14 March 2011

2 April 2011 - Night Of Respect

Come along to help support the excellent Afghan Heroes charity with a night of music, drink and food at the Queen's Head, Fishponds Road, Bristol on 2 April 2011. 19.30 onwards, though the pub's open all day.

Live music from The Fraser Road Race band and Rock Bottom. Cheap drinks. Hog Roast by Roastbusters.

Should be a great night and we'd all love to see you there!

Update: £469.49 raised for Afghan Heroes. Many, many thanks to everyone who came along.