Live at the Bull

The Eskalators live at the Bull
The Eskalators live at the Bull

The Eskalators kicked off a season of live music at The Bull on Shooters Hill last night in great style with a brilliant ska set that included one of the best versions of Hey Joe I’ve heard, and that includes the Tim Rose version I heard back in Leeds more years ago than I care to remember. I’m frequently very pleasantly surprised at how talented the musicians are that play at small local venues, and the members of the Eskalators were no exception. They were all good, from the lead singer who looked a bit like author Ian Rankin but with the attitude of Paul Jones and with a great ska voice, through to great rhythm, keyboards and trombone but especially the bassist and sax player. A brilliant evening!

The atmosphere the Eskalators generated in the Bull is captured in this audio clip:

There are also several videos of the band playing at last year’s Danson Festival on YouTube.

The full list of bands playing live at the Bull are:

Band Dates

February 23rd            Eskalators

March 9th                   Cross Logic

March16th                  48 Thrills

March 30th                 The Rant

April 13th                     Hard to Handle

April 27th                     Caretakers

Well worth a visit. The beer was good too!

Jazz at the Grand

Woolwich Grand Theatre
Woolwich Grand Theatre

Those of us who didn’t make it to the Jazz Evening at the Woolwich Grand Theatre last Friday missed a real treat, as you can see from the video below. The music was performed by the Nick Ereaut Band, who the Grand describe as:

Hosted by The Nick Ereaut Band with Rachel Bennett – Voice, Theo Erskine – Tenor Saxophone, Sam James – Piano, Nick Ereaut – Double Bass, Harry Pope – Drums
The Nick Ereaut Band formed early in 2012 and have since been taking on London with their unique sound. Their influences include Miles Davis, Beethoven, Jimi Hendrix, Nik Bartsch, Ahmad Jamal and Jean-Michel Basquiat. They are currently planning a tour for January 2012.

I hear that they may be playing at the Grand again in the future. That will definitely be an event not to be missed.

Nick Ereaut Band Live at the Woolwich Grand

Shooters Hill Supergroup

Last night the audience at the Bull were serenaded by a supergroup of Shooters Hill Musicians. The bassist and both singers from OCD joined Stardust and Sequins for much of their set, and the singer from the Longdicks guested on an Iggy and the Stooges track (see pic).

The main band have played at the Bull a number of times, and attracted a big crowd, at one point it got so tight that someone took the opportunity to make a “We’re all in it together” quip – it was certainly encouraging to see the pub so busy. Last night they played more material from the art rock side of their repertoire, drawing from Ziggy Stardust, The Velvet Undeground, and Roxy Music. They also played a bit of surf rock to give the drummer a chance to perform some trickery, and some Jimi Hendrix, allowing the guitarist to do likewise.

stardust and sequins

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The next instalment of live music at the Bull is Rockabilly band
Si’s Smokin’ Aces on Saturday 10th September.

Afrikan Boy – What Took You So Long

Afrikan Boy is a young, up and coming, Woolwich musician. He first came to prominence a couple of years ago when he produced the hilarious “Lidl” about his short lived career as a shop lifter and getting barred from Asda. Since then, he has collaborated with M.I.A, and handled various topics to do with Nigeria such as Visas, Lagos, wearing Traditional clothes, and the music of Femi Kuti. More recently he has produced a whole series of songs about his life as a student and graduate, which constitute his newly released mixtape, most of which can be heard using the player below. He still makes lots of witty observations, although these now mingle in with additional moments of vexation.

In the Woodland Chamber

Today was the day of the Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival and Dog Show during the day, plus an evening of Storytelling and live chamber music. Two years ago the day also included an archeological/historical study of the 1920’s Open Air School, which continues to be investigated by Plumcroft School.

Well, here’s the opening number from Plumstead String Quartet’s evening performance, which was possibly a Haydn piece, complete with the sound of children playing, making it very much a ‘live’ live music experience.

Plumstead String Quartet Shrewsbury Park 20110702

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Plumstead String Quartet

The MC closed with a friendly request to people to let their councillors know if they had valued the activities of the day, in order to try and preserve civic arts at a time when events like this (such as the Plumstead Make Merry) are being removed from the public calendar.


Transpontine has just done a post on a local folk club, which led to another post from a year ago which mentioned Georgie, a Martin Carthy version of an old song, sometimes called called Geordie. The song itself is about a poacher operating on Shooters Hill.

Martin Carthy sings Georgie (performing in Deptford on May Day 2010)

Once I had such a good little boy
A pretty boy quick as any
He would run five miles in one half an hour
A letter to pardon my Georgie

For what has Georgie done on Shooter’s Hill
Was it stealing or murder of any
Oh he stole sixteen of the lord judge’s deer
And we sold them down under the valley

Oh saddle em up cries my lily-white breast
Oh saddle me up cries my pony
With bright guns in his hand and a sword at his side
Would you spare me the life of my Georgie

And Georgie’s fathered six babes loved
There’s a seventh one into my body
But it’s with it part with all I have got
If you’ll spare me the life of my Georgie

And George shall be hanged in the frames of gold
For the frames of gold you won’t find many
But it’s with it part with all I have got
If you’ll spare me the life of my Georgie

For what has Georgie done on Shooter’s Hill
Was it stealing or murder of any
Oh he stole sixteen of the lord judge’s deer
And we sold them down under the valley

Wish you was stalled all in the grove
All in the grove standing ready
With bright guns in your hand and a sword at your side
I’d fight you for the life of my Georgie

Once I had such a good little boy
A pretty boy quick as any
He would run five miles in one half an hour
A letter to pardon my Georgie

The timing of this find is something of a neat coincidence as the header image was recently changed to one of a picture from the times when Shooters Hill had its own gibbet, which has been removed from the picture, allowing the viewer to instead concentrate on ye olde mobile mast, a telegraph relay.


Shooters Hill Telegraph and Gibbet

Experiment IV

Having recently been enjoying the video of local singer Kate Bush’s Deeper Understanding[1. Courtesy of arthur pewty, a rather wonderful weekly Erith blog], it felt quite serendipitous to stumble across a recent forum discussion regarding the filming location of her music video for the song Experiment IV, from 1986.

The film was recorded at the Royal Herbert Hospital before it was partitioned and turned into flats. At around 2 minutes into the video there is a clear view of one of the old wards (with Kate Bush flying around as some kind of Banshee), and there are a couple of scenes filmed in the corridors.

Kate Bush herself grew up in East Wickham I believe, and is currently returning to the spotlight to publicise some new material – she’s going to be on Radio 4’s front row show tomorrow, although I suspect that her childhood home will not be one of the subjects of discussion, as she’s famously reluctant to give confessional press coverage.

Experiment IV, including scenes filmed at the old Royal Herbert Hospital.

Live Music at Shooters Hill Bull

As someone said recently, why go to the dome to watch a band on a screen when you can see the real thing at the Bull. I went to a great little gig there last Saturday, it was one of those so bad it’s good kind of gigs, with much hilarity ensuing over their demolition of the music of David Bowie (well, Suffragette City was ok, but Starman has got some pretty ouchy high notes in it)… anyway, this was made up for with some great glam stompers and iggy pop, the nation’s favourite insurance salesman. I think there’s a Rockabilly night there starting tomorrow from 7, with the Smokin Aces on at 9pm.

Another band that sometimes plays there (and at the woods café) is OCD, and here’s a little video of them to give an idea of the live music offering at the Bull; it’s worth listening through to around 3:30 minutes at which point the drummer turns into animal from the muppets!

For those who prefer to observe and perform, I believe there’s also karaoke at the Red Lion this weekend, courtesy of @pitstopmark although i’m still trying to confirm this, i think it’s tonight.
–update Yes, it’s confirmed that karaoke is on Fridays from 8:30 at the Red Lion, and this has been (perhaps) neatly timetabled so as not to clash with the Live music up the Hill.

Fever Pitch Carols at Woodlands Farm

I went to the christmas fayre at woodlands farm on Sunday, and to my eyes numbers were down on last year despite the increase in the amount of stalls. In other events this year, the apple day was well attended, the summer show a bit quieter than last time, and the lambing day was absolutely massive this year. On balance I’d say it was a good year for enjoying festivities at Woodlands.

In other farm news, Bella the pig (saddleback I think) had five babies in November. The piglets are very sweet, and they also remind me of the days when the co-op made bacon there.

The accompanying audio is a short clip of some nice multipart harmonies recorded live at the farm, I’m not familiar with the second song, but it’s an interesting arrangement. The date of the event also marked the advent of Christmas, and I am trying out a new christmas pudding recipe which is mainly beeton #1:

Fever Pitch at Woodlands Farm Christmas Fayre by eshootershill

Well, I wish you well this Christmas.

hilly's christmas pudding (as yet untasted)
4 oz organic fairtrade muscovado (carbon footprint marks coming soon, will probably be shocking for tropical goods.)
4 oz suet (lawson uses butter)
4 oz sultanas
4 oz raisins
2 oz currants (or dried flies as my dad calls them)
2 oz shredded mixed candied peel (some people hate these, and there are less victorian ways to get the taste of oranges and lemons in)
2 oz of plain flour
2 oz breadcrumbs (now possible to buy these in packets from polish shops, very good for fried fish too)
1 oz almonds (ground, flaked, or best of all hand blanched, peeled and shredded)
The grated rind of a 1 lemon (I didn't have a lemon handy so I just hope the mixed peel did the trick)
2 eggs
½ teaspoon of nutmeg grated (if you like nutmeg then put more in)
½ a teaspoon of salt
18 pint of milk
1 small wine glassful of dark rum
lawson also puts in couple of ounces of cocoa

pack in a heatproof bowl cover with greaseproof paper and tie with string.
steam for 5 hours.
steam it for at least 2 hours on christmas day, and serve with rum butter.