Bland On Bland – Street

Photo By Jools Thatcher
Photo By Jools Thatcher

The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is  “…. Street’

Last year I spent three months in the UK, most of the time in Coventry, which those of you with a good head for geography will know is in the Midlands.

Suffering withdrawals, having not picked up a guitar in anger for a couple of weeks, I wandered down to an open mic night at ‘The Tin Angel’ a cafe/bar/venue/even record label on the Spon Road.

A terrific little venue and a great bunch of people, one of whom, Elaine Tierney, invited me to a session the following night at ‘The Nursery Tavern’, already my favourite pub.

Convenor of the night was Dave Bennett and his partner Brenda.

Originally from Wales, Dave lived and played in Coventry for forty years and was one of those people you warm to immediately – passionate about his music, supportive of others and still running two or three sessions a week at various venues around Coventry, as well as doing gigs and festivals.

I made a point of attending and performing as often as possible at the sessions Dave ran -‘The Nursery’, ‘The General Wolfe’ and ‘The Warwickshire Club’ on a Sunday arvo.

On my return from ‘The Apollo Bay Festival’ this week I received an email from Elaine to say Dave had died suddenly, having just come off stage at an annual Folk reunion at ‘The Maudsley Hotel’ – by all accounts he played, as usual, superbly and was chuffed with his performance.

He was a wonderful guitarist and a wonderful bloke.

I did not know him long and I did not know him well – but well enough to appreciate his enormous contribution to the grassroots music scene in Coventry.

He leaves big boots – they will not be filled easily.

The music playing in the background this week is a piece by the late Dave Bennett – Blues In D

You can hear some more of his work over at

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Bland On Bland – Apollo Bay Music Festival

Ian Bland: Photo By Tim Chmielewski
Ian Bland: Photo By Tim Chmielewski

The JVG radio Method was broadcast live this week from “The 18th Annual Apollo Bay Music Festival” – naturally enough in Apollo Bay.

Rather than the usual single word theme, Jon, our benevolent dictator decreed I should write general observations about the festival and those locals who contribute to it’s success.

As a consequence I was still adding/deleting as I was reciting.

It was a great weekend – no, it was one of the great weekends.

Great bands (both international and local) a great crowd and great organisation.

As Wes Harrington from ‘The Large Number Twelves’ (one of the standout bands of the festival) noted over a beer on the balcony of the surf club during the final gig “We won’t forget this in a hurry”

He’s right there, but after another ten or twenty beers no-one can say we didn’t try!

I now have an insight into what a ‘community festival’ involves having witnessed the Festival Secretary changing bed linen for “Lil Band O Gold”, the Festival Director selling CDs at the side of the stage and the Festival President cleaning up the streets on the Monday morning.

Hopefully we will again broadcast the show from the festival next year and I look forward to making a few more observations – only next time not on an empty stomach!

There are some great shots taken at the show over at Tim Chuma’s site

No Ed Bates this week, but audience do a nice job of accompanying us

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