Welcome back ! Yes- the website’s back up and running again – Well, sort of ! Let me explain what’s been happening !

If you have been trying to access the website recently you will have encountered the ‘Oh No !’ caption and may therefore have realised that it’s been down for longer than originally intended. This is due to unforseen and ill-timed technical problems. Joel, whilst encountering much frustration and teeth gnashing as a result, is in the process of sorting out these technical blips. So in the meantime, we’ve currently got a semi upgraded site.

Those of you who visited the site before the changes will note a few alterations :

The ‘click on’ buttons ( except the ‘Home’ button ), have been moved from the top header into the grey column on the right. Note that ‘Photos’ has now been given 4 sub-divisions – just click on the one you want to look at ! – Easy, innit ? !

Videos are still accessible through ‘YouTube’ for the time being but this will change with the next part of the up-grade, which should be for the better ! Click on ‘Videos’ to see the current selection, which includes clips of ‘Rob Live’, ‘Riff-Raff’ and Jam Nights.

You will also see brand new features –‘Random Photos’ and ‘Recently Added Photos’. Pretty damn good -eh ! ? ! ?

So thanks to Joel for his on-going efforts on the site. He will be completing the up-grade over the coming few weeks as the technical hitches are resolved, so there should be some new stuff coming soon.

Well, I hope you enjoy the new changes and features, and don’t forget there’s more on the way soon.

I’m rehearsing with the ‘Riff-Raff’ chaps tomorrow (Wednesday) night and of course Jam Night is still on – every Thursday at The Middlesex Arms – so see you there ! Don’t be shy about telling me what you think about the website. Hopefully, you think it’s ‘Marvellous !’

BFN, Rob.

Friday night, I was privileged to be involved in a 60th Birthday celebration in honour of Alan, the landlord of the Woodman in Eastcote. A well attended bash which, no surprises, saw plenty of musos in attendance.

I played a few old favourites with Gavin on bass and Drew on drums, including a botched and aborted attempt at a Pink Floyd number or two. All this before the comedy double-act of Adam and Steve took the stage with lots of audience participation.

Of course, the night wouldn’t have been complete without ‘The Pekkers’, fronted by Martin and Alan with the unique sound of his electric madolin. The mandolin numbers are a personal favourite of mine probably just because I like the jangly sound. So I particularly enjoyed ‘Maggie May’ and ‘When I’m Dead And Gone’.

Drew was next up to front his appreciation of ‘Paul Rodgers’, kicking off with ‘Seagull’ which I nearly got right. Thanks to Paul for allowing me to play his acoustic guitar which is great to play and has a great sound.

It was also good to see Graham Radley, on MC duties – my old cricketing mate from Ruislip CC days.

So all-in-all, I think everyone had a great night – especially Alan on his special day -Congratulation Alan and keep on playing the Burns and of course the mandolin.

“Marvellous !”

Well, yes indeed, it’s Friday again !!  Here we are at the end of another week and what a week it was.

Monday – 5-a-side footie.

Tuesday – a rare relaxing night in.

Wednesday night – Rehearsing with ‘Riff Raff’ with more tea drinking and kicking around some more new songs. I must get a new brain so I can remember some of them !

Thursday – Not one but two hours of 5-a-side followed by Jam Night.  And it was another great night, well attended, with some enthusiastic new participants and some more old friends we haven’t seen for a while. It’s good to see everyone getting into it. Apologies if I was seen yawning. It was the 2 hours of footie taking its toll and not a reflection of the music. So, if you’ve been to any of the new Jam Nights at The Middlesex Arms in South Ruislip, keep coming down. If you haven’t been to one yet, then, in the words of John Lennon, ‘ A splendid time is guaranteed for all’. And in the words of the Jam Night crew : “Marvellous” !  So, see you all next Thursday.

Friday – I’m sitting here typing this onto the website (hoping that someone might read it), still yawning having got home from Jam Night at about 1 this morning and then having got up again at 6.30 for work.

And so, looking to the future –  what about tomorrow ( Saturday) ?   – In short :  QPR v Preston.

BFN,                    Rob

Wednesday night saw the first ‘Riff Raff’ rehearsal of 2008, round at John’s.  – Yes, Riff Raff comes to West Drayton or Yiewsley or Cowley or whatever the place is called where you live, John !!

As is usual for a get together with the ‘Riff Raff’ chaps, it was an evening full of fun, merriment, and of course the musical collage that makes ‘Riff Raff’ the force that it is in the music world. Well, maybe that’s a touch exaggerated, but we played some good stuff amongst the mis-fingered chords, duff notes in the soloing, and the odd bit of croaking in the vocals.

Still, more importantly, John‘s tea was up to it’s usual high standard. Tea wot you can really taste. That chimpanzee on the ad was right : “It’s the taste !”      Talking of chimpanzees, Derek came round, banging on his bongos like a chimpanzee ! Where have I heard that line before ?  – e-mail me the answer for no prize whatsoever !    OK Derek, I know it’s an African drum and OK you don’t play it like a chimp – These drummers can be so picky !

Ian continues to embelish and vary the band’s sound with his keyboards but where was the tambourine ?  The same place he usually leaves his keyboard stand – at home !   With Pete‘s basslines, me head scratching ( can’t remember all these blasted chords and scales) and John on guitar ( when we’re not making demands on his tea caddy) it’s clear for all to see – ‘Riff Raff’ are still the greatest rock’n’roll band in the world … or is that someone else ???

Well, here we are, nearing the end of January and, to be honest, not much happening on the music front at the moment – still rather quiet. Sadly, many pubs still appear to be suffering from the smoking ban, at least, that’s the direction in which the blame is being apportioned !

Still, there may be no gigs for me at the moment, but I have had the opportunity go and see “Fast Buck” lately, in Eastcote, South Harrow and Shepperton. They always play good stuff and their followers are always friendly, making the whole “Fast Buck” experience most enjoyable.

Oh well, it looks like I’m off to a model railway exhibition this afternoon – makes a change from QPR !  What an exciting life I lead.

                   Till next time,                    BFN,               Rob.