Sunday, October 25, 2009


Halloween 2009 @ Blaker’s Park

Halloween 2009 @ Blaker’s Park

Next Saturday 31st October 2009 is Hallowe’en.

As usual, Blaker’s Park in Brighton is the venue for a great Halloween party hosted by Dishy’s Café.

The event runs from 4pm until 9pm and activities include…

Fancy Dress
Apple Bobbing
Doughnut Dangling
Pumpkin lantern Competition
Mulled Wine free with every large coffee
Seasonal foods

Creepy music supplied by Spin Doctors Mobile Disco

Be there to be scared!

Brighton Urban Rangers in attendance – OOO-OOO-OOO


Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Blaker's park Community Picnic 2009

We are getting together a list of names of potential helpers for this year's picnic. Although the date has not yet been fixed we'd like to ask you to consider volunteering as early as possible.

Jobs on the day will include preparing and decorating park, stalls, setting up stage etc, marshalling bouncy castle, litter collection, general dogsbodying etc, etc, etc

Also anyone wishing to take on tasks prior to the event such as publicity, printing, liaison etc would be welcome to step forward too

please get in contact by emailing or ringing 01273 270501

In anticipation of your generosity - "Thanks"


Monday, October 20, 2008









SCARY SOUNDS FROM Spin Doctors Mobile Disco


Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Abi Rhodes' Zigzag Wanderings

Abi Rhodes' Zigzag Wanderings
Twenty Thousand Lemmings Can't be WrongBlaker’s Park Community Picnic 2008
Blaker’s Park Community Picnic 2008

If you’ve been in the Fiveways area for some time now, you will probably know that every year The Friends of Blaker’s Park hold a Community Picnic in the Park every year, in conjunction with the Stanford Avenue Spring Fair. The Picnic is essentially meant to be a break-even affair aimed at giving the local community chance to get together in a spirit of neighbourliness and enjoy some simple entertainment whilst sharing a bite and a beverage.

This year’s event is due to be staged on Saturday June 28th running from 11am till 6pm. So far, a number of plans have been hatched and preparations are being made as you read this. Besides the traditional attractions which occur as the Spring Fair, there will hopefully be a Bouncy Castle and a variety of fun and games. Entertainment will be provided by local bands – about 15 booked so far – linked together with music from Spin Doctors Mobile Disco. Any performer wishing to appear should contact Ian on 270501. Besides stage acts, we would welcome jugglers, acrobats and other entertainers who might like to busk it around the site, showing off to small groups of picnickers etc.

Food and drink will be available at Dishy’s wonderful Blaker’s Park Café and the Cleveland Public House for those who wish to supplement there own picnic and anyone who forgets to bring sustenance.

Any local group, society, business or individual wishing to run a side-show or a stall selling art and crafts, or workshops displaying activities and skills or demonstrating services such as therapies etc are welcomed – there is a charge of £10 for most of these – money which goes towards covering costs. Prior booking is advised and can be arranged by phoning Philip Smith on 553330.

We would be pleased also to hear from any person or group willing to help out with preparations and on the day itself. As well as the above-mentioned organisational stuff, there is distribution of publicity newsletters, tidying of the Park and Garden Beds, stage building and technical jobs associated with the music, decoration of the site, various stewarding tasks and litter clearance afterwards. The main burden of the work is usually shouldered by a few trusty stalwarts, but they will not always be available. New blood is always welcome both to lessen their load and to ensure continuity from one year till the next. So please consider offering your services – ring Philip on 553330 or Ian on 270501.

We look forward to welcoming you at Blaker’s Park for our 2008 Community Picnic. Please come with your hamper and a cheery smile. If we’re lucky we’ll all be blessed with a warm sunny day which will see us through till next year’s event!

Visit to keep up to date on progress and news.

Abi Rhodes


Sunday, April 13, 2008


Blaker's ParkCommunity Picnic 2008.....

... will be held on Saturday 28th June. Go to to read full details.

If you wish to have a stall, perform or help out on the day please contact us at 01273 270501 and ask for Ian or email


Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Record Reviews

Lots of new reviews of Brighton gigs and new record releases can be found at

Abi Rhodes ZigZag Wanderings

- the blog that proves that 20,000 Lemmings can't Be wrong



Christmas at Blakers park

This Saturday 22nd December 2008 - Blaker's Park

Sally of Dishy's Cafe has organised an afternoon of Christmas Joy

Santa will be there as well as Festive Food and Drink

Music provided by Spin Doctors Disco


Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Halloween Party @ Blaker's Park

Halloween Party in Blaker's Park 2007



It's time to get out your scary cossies and get down to Blaker's park for the annual Halloween bash. Sally at the Cafe has organised all sorts of goodies to eat and join in with. Special scary food, lantern competition, apple bobbing etc etc etc.
Music supplied by Spin Doctors Mobile disco.

Witching Hours 4pm- 9pm. Wednesday October 31st - of course!

Come for a trick or Treat


Sunday, June 03, 2007


Up A Gumtree???

Brighton Gumtree is a brilliant site for info and ads about Community Events and Small Ads of all kinds.

I have directed you to the Brighon section but press the link anyway if you're somewhere else and you can navigate to your locality.


Saturday, February 10, 2007


By Joshua!

Waking up…where do we find ourselves?......

The sun streams in through the over-arching fingers of the tree canopy hundreds of feet above our little dugout as we drift down the Mekong Delta, the air stiff with cordite and Nepalm and bristling with the threat of gookish eyes watching from the lush shadowy banks on either side. It’s another day of constant fear and sunburn as we patrol every inlet in search of….

Or perhaps, we’ve wandered in off the dust of Haight Street into the gloom of the vast auditorium of the Dandelion Tearooms as The Dead idly noodle on for a thirteenth or fourteenth hour of directionless stoned labyrinthine boogie through their psychedelic gazetteer of inner spatial awareness playing only to rats, cockroaches and a few hair-infested bodies who left the planet the day before…..

Or else, it’s…..

…but no, on closer inspection we find we’re actually listening to the brilliant new recording to be issued by Gulcher Records.

It’s called JOSHUA JUGBAND 5 (and/or) DAMASCUS DOLDRUM and every home should have one – it’s so good!

The tracks are handily totally devoid of such misleading things as titles. This allows you, dear reader, to go about supplying the filmtrack which it is so obviously in need of completely unhindered by any preconception attached by its maker thus limiting the commentary you can apply – you are absolutely free to let the music [for this is MUSIC to be sure] lead you where it likes and you allow it to. This is artistic liberation to the highest degree. Be assured.

It took us a long time to reach this happy plateau. Now it is our duty to stay and enjoy life to its full extent. Let us pray…

Oh! Mighty Gulcher!

You have thus far supplied us with many many wonders. Now you have brought us into the ecstasy of The Damascus Doldrums where we wish to remain forever and for always, if not longer.

Please continue to nourish our souls with many equally edifying and glorious sonic landscapes in which we may pass the rest of our days in peaceful contemplation and orgiastic revelling.

World without end.

Friday, February 02, 2007




Mercury Records 967138-8

Picked this up in a charity shop and when I got to hear it, I was totally blown away. I'm always cynical about quotes on the packaging. In this case it was emblazoned with "A frenetic collision of rock & dance that welds screaming guitars and roaring vocals to Funky House beats," from Heat magazine.

Oh Yeah?

Well, Yeah, actually. In fact, it's probably the most crossed-over record I've ever heard. Starting out with a bit of Classical (Handel on Your Face), it then goes into their clubby hit, 'I like the way you move.' Further great numbers follow, amalgamating all sorts of styles and voices akin to Heavy Metal, Edgar Broughton, Jim Morrison, High School Hop, Space-rock, ZZTop, electro, some cool jazz and plenty more.

On top of all this, there's no doubt... it got da funk!

My only regret is that with 11 short tracks, there's just not enough of it.

There's no getting away from the fact that this is one hell of a record. If it wasn't a smash hit album when it first appeared in 2005 then why not help to make it one now.


Long Time Coming

I should have reviewed this CD a couple of months back but somehow never got round to it. But I think you'll agree, it's been well worth the wait

CRAWLSPACE : The Spirit of '76

Gulcher Records 607

Right from the very first note that opens this record, you know you're onto a winner. It's exactly the sort of disc the term 'garage music' was coined for. It sounds like a hotch-potch of local kids just threw it together for open mic night down at the milk bar. And the dear little lads really do pour out their hearts, souls and everything else [including their warts] to put on a good show! Spirit of '76? More like '64 when everyone who heard The Beatles for the first time, rushed out and got a cheap acoustic in the local second-hand store and got it wired up with a pick-up and was gonna be a star.

There's a brilliant interpretation of Patti Smith doing Hey Joe, their 'Fight for Liberation' sounds more like 'Jesus wants Me for a Sunbeam' [Bless!] and their big finale is 'Sympathy for the Devil,' which once the instruments all find the same tempo and near-enough the same key, floors you and leaves you breathless enough to just want to go home to get a good night's sleep. In between there's all sorts of fun and games to excite the jaded pallette and leave you wondering when you'll be able to get your hands on the next piece of pure Crawlspace gold.

Another real treasure from the Gulcher hoard!

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Stoned Soul Picnic

Noel Redding with 3.05AM : West Coast Experience
recorded live in San Francisco & Los Angeles in 1998
Prism PLATCD 723


I picked this up for a pound in FOPP with no great hopes of it amounting to much. You probably already know that I'm not generally a fan of live albums, but I'm surprised and pleased to announce this could just be one of the all-time great live recordings.

Noel Redding spent part of his prime backing perhaps the greatest musical innovator of the 20th Century so he has little if anything to prove. He's also spent the best part of 30 years in the wilderness having to cope with the aftermath of the fame and adulation gained in those few short years at the end of the sixties - the man's been through the mill and I'm sure he wouldn't be out to create a carbon copy of the former Experiences.

This album is totally unpretentious. It's simply a good time old fashioned psychedelic blues jam like they used to be - with the addition of one great ingredient which is only available after all this tume - that is MATURITY.

Noel and the band don't even try to stun us with new tricks - they just get on with the business of entertaining us with a spectrum of old favourites from across the board as it was in those days - the Beatles' 'Rain,' Dylan's 'She Belongs to Me,' Bo Diddley's 'Not Fade Away' and of course a selection of Hendrix tunes. They are all executed in a thoroughly professional manner, not even pretending to be anything more than a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane. Much of the credit has to be given to the excellent backing by 3.05AM especially the horn section, but Redding is also very amiable and relaxed in his terse communication with the sympathetic audience to the extent that the CD-listener almost feels present at the event.

There is no clever stuff in the production - it's more than adequately clear but has those fuzzy edges which add extra feeling to the whole laid-back atmosphere generated by the record. It's a great buy.

Real Cool, Man.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Bionic Bare

Bobby Bare Jr: The Longest Meow
Bloodshot Records BS 132

This is one of those rare records which pop along every now and then that make you sit up and say “Now this is REAL music.” The level of creativity is one step beyond today’s norm and the clear enjoyment invested in these grooves is palpable. You can measure it with a yardstick.

The name Bobby Bare is known to many as one of those Legends of Country from way back, so one tends to assume this must be new country or similar. Then one notices ‘…featuring members of Morning Jacket,….Trail of Dead, Lambchop, Clem Snide’ on the cover and draws the obvious conclusion. Then read, ‘A genre-bending Bobby Bare Jr.., do NOT damn Bobby to the alt-country ghetto!’ and one’s credulity begins to sag.

But it turns out to be right. This is no formula album for that particular cliquey genre. It’s a really eclectic eye-opener. Starts with a short avant-garde noodle ‘Bionic Beginning’ which you want to linger longer over, then it dives into ‘The Heart Bionic’ a brilliant pounding rocker on the subject of techno-reincarnation, in which we learn Bobby runs on electric blood. Cool!

Yer Man has a fascinating adenoidal voice which sounds like it sucked too many Zubes. You can’t fail to love it. Jonathan Richman with a sore throat is the nearest comparison I can provide.

Although there is an underlying country style to the music the predominating vibe is a 70s southern rock groove, enhanced with an appropriate bit of mariachi here, some modern jazz there as the individual number’s mood requires.

This CD’s a great discovery and I want to share it with everybody. So do me and Bobby a favour – get on the net and track it down.

Saturday, January 20, 2007



Eddi Reader: Peacetime Rough Trade RTRADCD233

This record will undoubtedly hit the mark in the folk charts, but it remains to be seen whether it will appeal to a wider audience. Given enough play on the easy listening programmes at weekends on BBC Radio 2, I guess it stands a very good chance. And chance is what it’s all about – success I mean not the record!

Eddi has a very fine voice in terms of quality but I question whether she has the required definitive characteristic which will mark her out from the ever growing field of fierce competition for success among female vocalists. I think we have probably reached the stage not too far off market saturation, so it will take something special for yet another big name to hit the heights.
Eddi Reader already has some recognition gained from her half dozen previous albums especially the success of her Robbie Burns project, and the choice of songs, arrangements and musicians here is clearly of the highest order. I just find her voice that little bit uninteresting enough to query whether this record is good enough to break through any significant barriers. In other words, perhaps it’s just a little bit dull.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Live at the Fillmore East

Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Live at the Fillmore East

I don’t know just what to make of this one. I guess it really comes down to what you think about live albums. Sometimes they can really add to the artist’s cannon of recorded music – other times they just look like an excuse to milk the fans of a little more of their hard earned cash.
My difficulty lies in the fact that this is rather a fine recording of what was seemingly a great performance. But there is no ‘live’ atmosphere to boost the album into a different ball park than the same songs appearing on the more thoughtfully put together studio records [in this case mainly ‘Everybody Knows This is Nowhere’ – one of my all-time Top 5 LPs].

Apart from the slight variation in playlist I would say that unless you’re an NY completist, there is no good reason to spend good cash on this when you can get the original probably much cheaper and the world is brimming with great new music to buy.

So, in short, a very good recording – but of little consequence. It’s up to you.




It is almost impossible to pick up a leaflet issued by B&H City Council without being struck by the PC virtues it apparently espouses. Whether it be their consideration for the environment, the concern they lavish on minority and disadvantaged groups or the lip-service they pay in encouraging community initiatives, they impress by the commitment they seem to give to every section of our very diverse society.

The Fiveways area is noted for a lack of facilities for the youth in its community and The Children's Musical Playhouse, currently operating from Beaconsfield Road, has been struggling to fill a gap in the culture of the area for several years now. Apart from the classes in music and dance provided to the children of local families, there have been successful projects working with handicapped and mental health groups - the very sections of the community the Council is so keen to support.

I was therefore saddened and somewhat surprised to hear that the Environmental Health Department has just refused to allow the music workshop to carry on its normal activities from the present address. This is about the sixth time this popular and worthwhile organisation has had to seek new accommodation. It must be very frustrating indeed for the folk who have put so much effort into developing each venue as they have moved from place to place. It is a mark of the importance and commitment they have in the community that supporters have not allowed them to become totally discouraged to the point of giving up. This is not to mention the amount of expense incurred and the time wasted in finding new funding at each relocation.

Is the Council incapable of putting its money where its mouth is by finding this excellent community initiative a permanent home from where it can get on with the job it has striven so hard to do for so many years without having to worry just how much longer it has to wait before it is forced to move on yet again?

Monday, December 18, 2006


Spin Doctors at Blakers Park

During thebusiest Spin Doctors' weekend to date, we spent 6 hours providing a musical background to the goings-on at Blakers park on Saturday 17th December. Go to Blogging for Blaker's for a full report of the afternoon. Yours truly even got to chat with the guest of honour....

Monday, December 11, 2006


Queuing Up for Art

This is a painting entitled Brass Band by Artist Tom Walker

From 15th January until 3rd February you can view paintings from this new series of pastels entitled

SNOOKER IN THE FRAME by Tom Walker at the Star Gallery in Lewes

visit his website to see further examples of the work on display and further details of the exhibition

During the coming week Tom will be travelling upto Sheffield to be interviewed about his snooker pictures by the BBC during the UK Snooker Championships. Watch out for Tom on the Box!


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