The year kicked off with a storming night in the Wharf Theatre, way down in Tavistock, South Devon. It was a great night and packed out - a cracking venue. We could not be sure what the turnout would be like with it being so close to Christmas, but as soon as the doors opened, the box office went into meltdown. It was also a chance to meet the lovely Mule Followers.
April 2nd and back to one of the leading venue's on the circuit - The Robin2 had just had a major refurbishment and had asked Bluehorses to come and play. The day will go down in Bluehorses history as
"if it can go wrong, it will go wrong day"Nath stranded on the M25 with a smoking van, then it was realised the cymbals had been left in the dungeons at Bluehorse towers. A speeding van driven by Stan retrieved them and without too much delay. Also Hev. ended up with a flat battery ... It was the one and only time the band have had any problems on a gig day.... so at least it all happened at once.
The gig itself was great, a few old faces and many new ones. The Robin 2 looked great. Very smart, great lights and sound, with a stonking backstage area.
May 28th next, and the first festival of the year way down in Sussex - the Blackhorse festival on the outskirts of Hastings. The weather was as warm as the welcome we received. The festival was well put together. I think their motto must be
"think big"The venue was undercover in a huge marquee just like the one at Saul. All crammed into the back of a countryside pub. Yet a huge lighting rig, large stage, and a massive crowd.
It was also supported by Shooglenifty. A great day was had by all.
However Fluff was about to give birth any day, so sadly missed the gig. This was also the last time that we had the pleasure of Nath playing with the band. Nath is now the proud Dad and has his own band - Damage Case.
Rob Khoo was kind enough to take his place back in the Bluehorses ranks, after a few years absence, on a temporary basis. Seeing Rob playing was again a bit like putting on a corny pair of old trainers ... it felt and looked just right. It was like the guy had never been away. It did not take him long to get up to speed with some of the new material, but at his first gig at Derby Flowerpot, we ere treated to a few old favs. Not only a top bloke, and a great bass player, he's a damned fine cook! The gig was a storming success as always.
July was one of the highlights of the year, Two nights at the world famous Montreux Jazz festival. Much planning ahead was done .. mostly by Mike Furmston and Nic. The booking was made possible due to the good work from TP who managed to put several thousand good words in for us. A ferry from Dover and an 800 mile drive through France, with a stop off at Annemasse near Geneva via the odd supermarket. We stayed in some of the best accommodation available, played 2 superb nights to huge crowds of people who had never heard of the band or could even speak English in some cases, yet the DVD & Cds sold out with the speed of a thousand Gazelles. It was a huge success and worth the 1700 or so miles travelled. Not only a huge success for the band, but also an experience that will remain with us for the rest of our lives!
There was no rest after Montreux. Three more big festivals to play. Kicking off August 5th at Wickham festival. A new, but very well planned festival.
A bit of bad timing had us playing at the same time as the Oysterband. We were inside and they had the outdoor stage. We had no problems in the end playing to a packed hall. This must have been the hottest day we played. There was no escape from the heat. It was a great gig all the same. After we had packed up we just sat there in the hot summer evening and gassed the night away. Again another success for the band.
Farmer Phils festival in Shropshire was just the best. Nobody really knew what to expect from this one, and we were all surprised. A bunch of farmers had created a superb low key festival that had every element needed for a perfect festival. It was like Glastonbury, but on a tiny scale. No corporate bull, no prats, but loads of drunk people and staff out to have one big party and to large it up like it was their last ever gig. Bluehorses blew them out of the water.
They danced and sang their hearts out, the band fed off the atmosphere and played a blinder. It was a fantastic night, and nobody was less than 100% happy.
The day after Farmer Phils was a trip to do a live set fro Radio Caroline. AN hour set was recorded, and a few weeks later the set broadcast to thousands of people all over Europe.
Rockinbeer festival in Cambridgeshire was yet another extremely well planned festival. It was held in a huge hall, and was as the name suggests .. a beer festival as well. We played after John Ottway who put on a superb performance. Again we went down a storm, and sold oodles of CDs and DVDs.
Now to London for the Halloween Festival.
I couldn't make the Halloween festival, first gig I've missed in years ... gutted. However, I was back with a vengeance for the return to The Brook in Southampton. The band always get a massive following here, and looking at the fans you can see faces who have been coming to Bluehorses gigs for years.
The Brook itself =, I put into the same bracket as the Robin 2, as top venues on this size circuit. Twas a brilliant night, and despite it being bonfire night we had a huge turnout.
A return to the Robin 2 for the second time this year proved twice as successful, and this time all went without a hitch.
The two Christmas shows brought the bands gigs for 2006 to an end. First at Derby, then of course, the Railway inn at Winchester. Again there was a theme, ending up with most of the blokes in kilts. Both nights were a blast. A very fitting way to end the year!
That's it ..... 2006 finished. At the moment the band are working on the new album. Keep your diary handy folks for more Bluehorses live gigs
All the Best