Eddie and the Hot Rods Jardins
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Braintree 12/09/14

A big Thank you to Nick Garner of Blues in the City and It’s your music fame for putting on this gig. A bargain at only a tenner. It was a bit of a long trot from the heart of the City out to Braintree but well worth it. This was my first time to Jardines and the pub was exactly as I thought it would be from the outside, a typical estate pub, think of the Clay Pidgeon or the the Red Beret but don’t let appearances deceive you. At the front there is a locals bar which we were made welcome in, a good selection of ale, we had Maldon Gold which tasted fine. At the back of the pub there is a big hall which could quite easily house 300 to 400 people with a great acoustics.

Unusual for us we actually caught the support band, Jeff Chapman’s Roosters. A typical Essex band from back in the day, a hard rocking, high energy 3 piece rhythm and blues band. A fantastic covers band playing songs from the Feelgood, Wilko Johnson back catalogue. They started with “I can tell” followed by “All right” “Roxette” “Don’t let you Daddy know” “Back in the night” “riot in cell block number 9””Ice on the motorway.” A great version of Iggy’s “passenger” and finishing with Chuck Berry’s “Tulaine.” They played more I seem to remember “Louie Louie” in there somewhere as well but as usual my memory goes a bit after a while. Anyway a super start to the night.

Next up were who I think are still one of the best live acts from the 70’s who still play. I spoke to Barry Masters after the gig and said this to him, he explained that at every gig they played, they gave it their best as they realised how much we had to pay and how much it meant for his audience to have a good time. They played the usual Rods set with all of the hits “Teenage depression” “Quit this town” Power and the glory” “Do anything you wanna do” my favourite “Telephone girl” “Get out of Denver” and of course ending up with probably the best song ever written for a RnB band “Gloria.” The gig seemed to go on for ages so we certainly got our money’s worth. There was a lot more played but I must be getting old, I just can’t remember things. I think I was dancing to Wooly Bully.

On a negative note it was a shame that more people didn’t turn up, I can see people like Nick not bothering any more. Shakey another Chelmsford promoter was there as well and he also works hard for not much reward putting on gigs. The Asylum was nearly closed down due to no one turning up and we all had to put in a £20 whip round to keep it going. I think you can still donate. The Saturday after this gig, a massive do at Hylands was pulled and reading between the lines it was because not enough tickets were sold. A shame this one because my wife hates live music but we bought tickets for this as she likes Billy Ocean (don’t tell anyone but so do I). Don’t get me wrong I am not out every night watching bands, I am 55 and my time is at a premium but I do try 2 or 3 times a month, sometimes more, but if everyone did this we would have a lot more healthier music scene in Chelmsford. It has to be better than watching Big Brother or Downton.
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Summing up a fantastic way to spend a Friday night, a great venue, great beer, great company and we managed to get home alive from Braintree. It’s a shame that we don’t have a venue like this in Chelmsford, about the same size as the Army and Navy but actually built for bands. Biggest smile of the night was Nick Garner playing harmonica with the Rods.

Duncan, September 2014.