FIRE RECORDS "THIS CORNER OF ENGLAND" FESTIVAL 2017 LONDON FIELDS BREWHOUSE, LONDON
FIRE RECORDS, as mentioned in the 'NEWS' section, have bought up the rights to the GROUNDHOGS back catalogue, and are releasing it (on CD and new HQ vinyl) over the past year and coming years. 'SCRATCHING THE SURFACE' was released in late 2017 and 'BLUES OBITUARY' in late 2018, with 'THANK CHRIST FOR THE BOMB' due to be released later in 2019 . . .
As such, we were invited to play the Fire Records 'This Corner of England' festival in 2017, a shindig consisting of various artists on that label - a motley and esoteric lot (and that's just us!) Headlining the day were veteran psych-rockers 'THE BEAVIS FROND' (with whom we'd played in Brighton the previous evening) and, amongst a packed program, the angular stylings of 'THE JAZZ BUTCHER' and Stiff legend 'WRECKLESS ERIC'.
Apart from the busy line-up, cosmic psychedelic lighting and a generally brilliant atmosphere (despite the rainstorms that periodically blighted the outdoor eating and smoking area), the day was memorable for two reasons: firstly, the chance to meet Rich Hall, who was lurking in the aforementioned eating-smoking deluge area, and secondly the presence of original GROUNDHOGS bass player PETE CRUICKSHANK, who not only came along for the day, but also sat in with us for the second half of our set.
And it was truly memorable. As we steamed through 'Times' with two bass guitars driving us on, we found ourselves stting back, instinctively losing the slide guitar dual that usually takes the end section into territories unknown, and leaving space for Pete to launch into a bass solo, the like of which I've never heard! Slaps, runs and pulses whipped the tune into a whirling frenzy as Ken picked up on that long-absent-but-never-forgotten chemistry, rolling back the years into a delicious crescendo and giving those present a glimpse of what made the Hogs such a great live act in those halcyon days. We then roared into an epic 'Cherry Red', leaving us- and the audience - in a state of astonishment and exhaustion.