Paul Henshaw Music at Percy's, Whitchurch

03rd May 2015

Arkwrights til at Percy's in Whitchurch ;)

It has been a while since my last news/blog post. Sorry life does occasionally get on top of me. Ok Fibromyalgia! Constant rounds of Chronic Fatigue tests! Spinal issues and dealing with Diabetes sugar spikes gets on top of me! Life in general is good! If one can ignore that rubbish.

Tragically this rubbish has led to me missing several gigs by a band I came across at Shrewsbury's Big Busk an awesome local group called Paul Henshaw and the Scientific Simpletons. Paul and his lovely wife Nikki also perform on their own and I missed one of these as well. GUTTED :( Hey always another day.

Well last night was that day! Makes sense in my world believe me ;). I had a Pop Up Meeting in Shrewsbury to go to and from there I did some meandering around bought some Earth Magic resin from The Cave in Shrewsbury (must get that out the car, along with camera bag) and tried to get my jammed boot sorted. DARN! Should of asked Paul Henshaw and Andy Bradbury seeing as they are geniuses at getting into locked cars ;)

Anyway I'm going off on a "Tangent" again ;) So I decided as I was out and about I would take my camera and get to Percy's in Whitchurch to see these guys rock the house live. Now I suffer a mild form of agoraphobia since my accident and I'm very wary of strangers and being around folk I don't know as mainly I am now walking with a stick, somewhat unsteady and well broken. Definitely fraggle anyhoo. When around friends that know me and my limitations it is easier for me I don't have to put on an act and I can just be me. Even when that means I'm going to collapse and hit the deck cos I have done to much.

Liking the Lights!

I left Shrewsbury about 4ish I guess and took a leisurely drive to Whitchurch and toured round the town 3x as it was so familiar to me but for the life of me I cannot recall why!. Anyway finding where I should be parking I grabbed my camera and bits and headed to the venue! SOMEWHAT EARLY as gig not listed till 8pm. I was welcomed with open arms and the young lads behind the bar clocked my camera and realised I must be the random text person who had asked about photographs and venue conditions etc. One of them whipped off to get the owner whilst the other made me a very welcome coffee! I needed food but had no energy to go elsewhere so crumpets were whistled up. Now the deal with me and crumpets is they need to be almost burnt but most assuredly crispy. So the first attempt were a bit to soft for me. PS 2 portions in Percy's means FOUR crumpets. Very generous indeed! I'm very particular on me crumpets so had to say something and without quibble they were whisked away and because it was a certain brand of crumpet which I know only to well doesn't work and I have stopped using they only did me two and produced two beautiful scones with butter and jam as well. Sadly being diabetic these were off for me. BUT HELL SERVICE WITH A SMILE you don't get in many places that's for sure. Looking around the venue it really appealed to me not unlike the Dug Out in Leicester Square, mixed with the Rock Island Diner and that well known burger chain Ed's Diner. In fact I spied an Ed's diner jukebox on the wall! I am sure of it. Sitting comfortably in an old cinema/theatre chair I was thinking 'wow this is so neat', really it's so very quirky an off the wall kinda joint def me. A lot of care and attention as gone into making it so. I think a proper hot dog stand would go down a treat for gigs serving hot dogs an onions and it wouldn't look out of place at all. Also and old fashioned pop corn machine would fit right in. The alcohol selection is very cool and I was gutted I was driving as there were several rums there worthy of trying. Mark and Karen the owners have put so much effort into this place, with love and passion and it shows. Very enthusiastic with big plans. By this time Shane the sound guy and band organiser had turned up and things started to take shape in the stage area. Really is a great venue with a fair sized outside patio and stage totally enclosed. Log burner on the stage and all sorts of things one would not normally expect to see but they work.

Terminator Time

Suicide Cider! Homebrew Cap'n Jack

By the time the band started to arrive I had been made to feel like part of the family. I had only really met Nikki at Shrewsbury as the other band members had been lugging gear up to the roof of St Chad's for their set. NO IDEA! how the hell they achieved that but they did. Even so each band member came over said hi before going about their business. I have learnt over the years bands are set in a routine and change is not good for them so I keep out the way as much as I can. Don't want to ruin the creative flow of the night. Paul arrived and I got a huge hug and thanks for coming. This guy is tall and a giant compared to me. However I was made to feel like a good mate and not at all out of place. Nikki arrived and again I was greeted like an old friend. This really was going to be a good night for me.

We are about to take off ;)

Totally out of practise with gig work and to be honest I printed more than I shot most of the time. It was fun to get back into it. To work out the lighting sets and work out where and when to be in a certain place to attempt to capture the dark areas of a stage without killing the mood and also deal with a very enthusiastic crowd bouncing around all around you. I must admit they were amazing Andy Bradbury recently recovering from surgery was on a stick! Yet the band play on. Real Pro Musicians!! I was on a stick! Paul the bass guitarists wife Claire was on crutches. Chairs were moved to make her comfortable, space was given around us and as I tried to get shots without getting in the way, or being deafened by speakers, crowds parted and good humoured banter encountered. It really was a great night and despite being way past an hour I am normally out I made it home and enjoyed a thoroughly good social night, not something I have done in many years due to illness.

Paul Henshaw

Minor hiccup when Paul realised he had forgotten his merchandise box and had to dash off home and get it. No grumbling at the late start no ill feeling from the management nothing! "One of those things mate, go and get it we don't mind". How many places would be so accommodating? Not many I am sure.

Stage heating!

So if you're a band and you want a venue to perform real music with your own stuff and no covers and no Simon Cowell chasers than Percy's in Whitchurch is the place to be and I would seriously get in touch. Alternatively if you need a band with quick wit a sharp repertoire and belting good set of songs and audience camaraderie then Paul Henshaws Music are your guys.

The Stage itself in all its glory!

Right I am off to edit some images.

Love n Light Tracey

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