Thursday, 3 March 2011

MEMORIES: My first gig - The Boys From County Hell - Corsham 1994/1995


So my very first proper gig (not including my Dad's mate's awful covers band playing at a rugby club in about 1993)...

My Dad used to own a venue in Corsham called Bentley's, a hybrid of a night club, pub, sports and social club and music venue. Many of the live acts there were poor, but when my Dad came back home very excited after seeing a gig in 1994, there was a band he was about to book who would prove to be awesome. 

The Boys From County Hell were a hard-drinking folk-punk band from Calne, who as well as bashing out the expected Pogues covers had an impressive set of their own songs, about drinking, fighting, drinking, shagging, drinking, gambling and more drinking. Needless to say this band liked a drink. Hardly suitable material for a 10-11 year old, but nonetheless my Dad allowed me to attend, and what a night it was.... after the gig I remember lead singer Dave "Riff" Mehaffy giving me the gold tin whistle he played on their brilliant recorded version of 'Jesse James'. 

They played there a second time not long after, where the guitarist was wheelchair bound after falling down the stairs pissed the night before... a few years ago it was revealed to me that in return for playing the band were offered either their usual cash fee or a night of free drink. They opted for the latter, as a supposedly "cheaper" option, however by the end of the night the entertaining drunkards had consumed three times the amount in drink than was intended, working out not so profitable for the club. 

The band managed to pack the venue out on both occasions, and soon my Dad was aiming to book more high-standard acts... and the best he could follow that with? West Country crooner Fred Wedlock, that's who.... and I WASN'T in attendance at that one....

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