Empire Affair - Red LightAfter a select gathering of friends for a mates birthday, I continue my night out at my geographic local, The Athelstan. Empire Affair are there, I noticed when slipping in earlier in the month with mates for a drink. As is expected they are full on, taking up the stage area by the door.

They’re covering Flyaway when I walk in; move into their own material, as they promote their Red Light EP, then back to the covers for the crowd pleasers. All of it is musical, loads going on from all three guitaists, with Neil (vocals) in particularly shouty mood – small wonder, halfway through their newest song, he leaves the band to it and slips to the bar for a red bull!

Oxjam Crew & Ski @ Shindig, fri 28 octOn to the Winchester, and this months Shindig; dedicated as the Oxjam closing party, Tapioca are just finishing their set – good rockin blues. As they end host Ski Daddle gets the Oxjam crew onstage for a little thank you, before the rest of the Kentucky Fight Club join him for a final rock out and mosh.

KFC @ Shindig 28 October - thanks to Steve Biddle for the photoThere are solid rock drums and tricky mandolin parts to the pumped up numbers, even their slow-at-the-start song, Wild Wild West, featuring gentle soft key synths gets the KFC pumped up action – there’s a reason these guys call their event Shindig :). Thanks to Steve Biddle for the photo.

Ski Daddle close up @ shindig Fri 28 OctThe covers they throw in also get the KFC stomp around treatment, Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling is tricked up and fancy with the string tie effect, as is their take on Iron Maiden’s Run To The Hills and the Cult’s She Sells Sanctuary. I’m exhausted by the time they finish, as seem most of the others in the crowd.  Totally made up for by the presentation of a bottle of bourbon from host & frontman Ski Daddle – goes down very well as I write this up!

Andy Grant Trio @ Cellar Bar fri 28 OctI hook up with friends Old Bloke and Mia (with others) and head off to Smokin’ Aces, where Disco’s Out (Murder’s In) are supposed to be playing ’til midnight.  However, they ain’t – they’ve been long packed up and gone by the time 11-ish comes round as we walk in.  Ho hum off to my true local the Cellar Bar for some fun and frolics…and the Andy Grant Trio are holding a late-finishing session :).  They look like they’re loving it, the crowd they have are loving it, and top tunes are emanating from the stage as a result – need to catch these guys live if you can, particularly when they pump it up for a venue like the Cellar Bar.