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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Watch this space

It's been a couple of long weeks since we returned from John O'Groats now. We have had a night out to reaquaint ourselves and discuss recovery and complain about being back at our desks.

Warren's article has now been published in the independent sister paper the "I", and is available as a text only story here

I'll try and scan it in so you can see it in all it's technicolour glory.

We are off to meet the guys at cancer research on thursday to talk to potential volunteers and fundraisers. Let's hope we inspire some more stupid pub ideas to become a reality.

Saturday, 13 August 2011


I'm afraid that due to the mobile reception and general feeling of weather fatigue we haven't managed to keep the blog up to date... Or in the right order.

3 days before the end of our adventure we pulled into invershin. Far and away the easiest gig to organise. The youth hostel had a roof based incident that didn't allow for our stay, so we rang the inversion hotel. Warren asked Cheryl if there was anywhere she could suggest locally to play. There was. The hotel itself.

From the warm welcome, the music playing in the bar, the suprising number of extremely talented musicians who turned up to play, this turned out to be a very special night for us all.

This is also the pub Shaun should have picked to escape the oncoming zombie hordes. (rifles, bear traps and superior food, drinks and snacks... Plus clear views from the top of the hill.)

Highlights for me me included...

A stonking version of fishermens blues (and copperhead road)

Beautiful violin playing

Teenage kicks...And psychokiller... Folk style

Snacks at midnight...

Sitting in the bar after the customers had gone home and singing a king of the road/I kissed a girl mash-up.

Being persuaded to stay up until 02:30am when most night we were in bed by 22:00

Thank you for a lovely eve Cheryl and Angus of the invershin hotel.

Friday, 12 August 2011

LEJOG Ride Completed!

Wow! We are done!!
17 days later, the 7 wet and cold bikers rode victoriously into John O Groats to be met by the fantastic support team who had a banner, baloons, lots of cheers and hot soup.

It has been such an amazing trip for all of us and now we start the process of gradually returning to normal life. As the buskers make their way back home, watch this space for photos, more posts and maybe some detail of a homecoming gig in London.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

The journey to Loch Ness

Today we busked by a canal and cycled in torrential rain before arriving at the shores of Loch Ness.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Drouthy neebors gig

A fantastic night at the Drouthy neebors. Terry came along and gave professional help to Jonny who was suffering badly with his knees. Thank you Stirling.

Photos from facebook

These are on the facebook page, but they give a really nice overall picture of how the trip is going so far. These were all taken by Warren's parents on the first week of the trip.

From radio Cornwall, Exeter, Clun and Chester.

We're all tired but loving every minute.

New Lanark to Stirling

No gig last night, but a long 80 mile straight run up the side of an A road from Carlisle to New Lanark.

We stayed in a lovely B&B. All the snoring bikers in one room, with me and Jonny sharing a double bed in the Morecombe and Wise fashion.

Today Neil joined us for the 40 mile hoon over the 'hill' into Stirling. My legs refused to go up any gradient steeper than 10%. Tricky on a climbing stage of 2-3 miles but I managed without a search party being deployed. Just.

Sophie has joined us now so I'll have to stop complaining about the hills over lunch. Good to have her here, for obvious reasons, and we had moved in together about 2 days before I left for land's end!

Gig tonight. Tight schedule too. Eat, walk and play.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Carlisle Gig

Wow, we just finished playing at the Cranemakers in Carlisle and it was one of my favourite gigs yet. The pub at first looked a little rough around the edges, with it's biker group and pool tournament, but I quickly discovered it was full of some of the friendliest people we have met yet. Sam, the manager, had done a great job at promoting us including getting us on local radio, in the newspaper and putting up our posters. There was a good turnout for a wednesday night. Sam had put on some raffle prizes and the tickets sold well and he turned on the stage lights for us. How very rock and roll!

As we played through our set the atmosphere really warmed up and the crowd responded well to Warren's banter. There were some great sing-a-longs and people were very generous with their spare change (including the bar tips). A particular highlight was seeing a couple waltzing to "king of the road" and an impromptu rendition of "Postman Pat". At the end of the set we were joined on stage by Craig who did a couple of songs accompanied by the Buskers. His dad was so impressed he bought us all drinks. We were also joined by Tom who met us through twitter. He is cycling LEJOG the other way round and detoured into Carlisle to visit us. It was also lovely to be joined by Jenny and Jack, Brian's wife and son.

It was a really fun night at a lovely pub. Thanks for having us!

Journey to Carlisle and an early finish for once!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The ship inn, windemere

Latest adventures...

One of the great joys of doing what we're doing - apart, of course, from the nightly chorus of snoring, the neglected pants littering the back of the van and intimate conversations about cream for our sore undercarriages - is meeting a fantastic bunch of people along the way.

In Exeter, at the wonderful Bike Shed Theatre (or at least the very lovely bar underneath it), Dave, a local folk musician and songwriter who's just passed one of his songs on to Jackie Oates came along and played a blinding little set, with the kind of sparkling between-song banter that made me think of another folk great, Vin Garbutt. Not only did Dave treat us to a couple of his repertoire - he had also written a song especially for us. Fantastic stuff - we're hoping to get back in touch and get that little beauty committed to tape.

A stunning evening, too, in Chester, where we played at the Cross Keys pub. A whole team of local musicians pitched up to join us for a really special evening, the kind of night that was really what I was imagining for this trip - a whole load of folk knocking out some great tunes and knocking back a few ales (though, impressively I think, the Buskers on Bikes have been fairly sensible so far - anything over the 2-pint mark, and the wear begins to show the next morning... A huge thanks to Pam at the Cross Keys who organised a raffle that sent £100 rattling into the BoB buckets - and to the landlord, Kevin, like so many people on this trip so far, impeccably generous with his pub and with his donations...

Sandwiched between Exeter and Chester (albeit with a couple of non-gig days in between) was a rip roaring evening at The Sun in Clun. We've been massively lucky with the amount of people we've had showing up; almost every night has been packed to the rafters, and the mass singalongs are getting better and better. 'My Girl' and 'King of the Road' are taking on a life of their own, and the lads in general are starting to sound very sweet indeed.

There was so much that could have gone completely pear-shaped with this trip; thre was no way of knowing how we'd all react at having to get off our bikes after a long day in the saddle, jump in the shower, hoover up some dinner and then go and attempt to entertain our adoring fans - but somehow or other, it's worked out. In fact, the thought of a gig in the evening provides that little burst of adrenaline needed to help us through the (very!) long days. It's safe to say the whole thing is turning into a bit of a blinder...

That said, there's plenty more left to do. A gig in Windermere tonight (got to get going, actually), one in Carlisle tomorrow night, and some huge riding days coming up. Yesterday, in particular, was a killer, from Chester to Slaidburn in north Lancashire. A difficult route, and almost 100 miles on the clock.

But we're getting there, getting a little more tired, but getting a load of money and having a great crack...

More photos, more news, more silliness and stories to tell very soon...