Hedgerow in the snow 

Posted in birdlife, Didcot, Family life, wildlife with tags , , , on December 10, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Had a blue tit on the feeder…

…and then this morning the hedgerow was covered in snow! We’ve had a robin, long tail tits, blackbird and the usual sparrow group. Record so far for sparrows is twenty in one go.

Yesterday to add to the bird species tally seen in this hedgerow was a chaffinch. Hopefully will see more of this brightly coloured little fella.

Save Loyd Fields update

Posted in Didcot, News with tags , , , , , on December 8, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Although the planning permission for the proposed housing development on Loyd Fields was turned down by South Oxfordshire Council, the developer has appealed. You can get more updates at their Facebook page Save Loyd Fields 

More proposed development this time by Taylor Wimpey at Hagbourne Fields. There is a campaign page here Hands Off Hagbourne Fields to keep up to date.

On a more local level, we have a lovely little bit of hedgerow next to a local footpath which has just been closed Taylor Wimpey as part of their ongoing GWP development.

field

They used a digger to move a small pile of earth and in the process removed some hedgerow – sledgehammer to crack a nut springs to mind! This patch of hedgerow/brambles is home to nesting wood pigeons, a pair of magpies and we have regular visits from sparrows, starlings, blue tits, wrens, dunocks and great tits. Hopefully it will survive Taylor Wimpey’s construction although understandably it will disturb the local bird life and wildlife.

Albums of the Year 2017

Posted in Albums of the Year, AOR, Folk, Folk rock, hard rock, indie, Melodic rock, metal, pop, Pop rock, Power metal, Power pop, Prog metal, Progressive rock, rock n roll with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

1  CATS IN SPACE Scarecrow
Their debut was pretty damn fine, so high expectations and they delivered! A marvellous mix of 70s’ rock, pomp, pop and more melodies than you can shake a stick at.

2  THRESHOLD Legends of the Shires
Returning vocalist Glynn Morgan helps the band to make one of the finest albums to date. A real return to form.

3  LONELY ROBOT The Big Dream
Part two of the trilogy and another fine set of musical adventures. No name guests this time as John Mitchell does it all bar the drums and some backing vocals.

4  BOULEVARD IV
Finally we get a new album from Boulevard. Fantastic tunes and production, deserves a place in every melodic rock/AOR fans collection.

5  THE YOUNG ‘UNS Strangers
Folk acapella from this talented three piece. Each song is based on a true story and the songs are all positive and uplifting.

STEVE WALSH Black Butterfly former Kansas vocalist returns with an album chock full of melodic rock treats.

7 SONS OF APOLLO supergroup featuring Jeff Scott Soto, Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinan and Billy Sheenhan. Fantastic joining of music talents and the music lives up to expectations.

8 LIONHEART only 20 odd years since their last album…with Lee Small (Shy/Phenomena) on vocals, Lionheart deserve a place in any melodic rock fans collection.

9 IT Home thought provoking and timely progressive rock backed by oodles of melody.

10= H.E.A.T. Into The Great Unknown they have changed their sound a bit which may upset some fans, but for me they are heading onwards and upwards.

10= PUGWASH Silverlake the power pop album of the year. If you like ELO, Duckworth Lewis grab a copy of this.

Honorable mentions…

HAREM SCAREM United they keep on churning out classy melodic hard rock and long may that continue.

THE BITERS plenty of retro on this one, with the T Rex sounding songs

JEFF SCOTT SOTO Retribution not as instant but stick with it

BIGFOOT one of the debuts of the year. Modern hard rock and the singer doesn’t half sound like Tyketto’s Danny Vaughn at times!

THE NIGHTS more classy Scandi melodic rock with hook filled choruses big enough to land a whale.

THE NEW ROSES One More For The Road good time hard rock, no frills and plenty of riffs.

NIGHT RANGER Don’t Let Up they show no sign of letting up quality wise, another ‘must have’ for fans.

DANKO JONES Wild Cat if you like 70’s rock, Thin Lizzy and foot tapping tunes look no further.

THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Amber Galactic like Brother Firetribe their ‘day bands’ are heavy yet here they show their love of 80’s melodic rock and AOR.

Fellow GRTR! reviewers choices can be found here

Crouch signs one year contract extension

Posted in Football, football transfers, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Peter Crouch has signed a one year extension to his current contract taking him up to 2019 at the club. At 36 he still has a few years and goals in him and one of the best Stoke signings in recent years.

January we could see Charlie Adam and Glen Johnson shown the door, whilst Stephen Ireland, who’s current short term deal finishes in January, could also leave after being offered a reduced terms contract until next summer. Lets hope Johnson goes absolute waste signing him for another year as he is way past his best.

 

The Darker My Horizon – Acoustic Couch, Bracknell

Posted in gigs, Melodic rock, Stoke City FC with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Second time seeing the Darker My Horizon this year and like February’s gig, again at the Acoustic Couch in Bracknell. Joining the core duo of Paul Stead and guitarist Mark Stephenson are drummer Steve Hauxwell (ex-Marshall Law/Winter In Eden) and bass player Paul Hamilton, who was in a previous line-up of Sacred Heart with Paul and Mark.

A nice, up-tempo and hard rocking set for a Saturday night, with a little acoustic interlude from Paul Stead as the support band never materialised. Plenty of riffs to be had in ‘Perfect’, ‘No Superhero Part 1’ and ‘Closure’, and it is always good to hear ‘Dear Olivia’ played live.

The new boys slotted nicely into the band’s sound, a steady bass from Paul Hamilton and as for drummer Steve Hauxwell, he had the flash and style more associated with American drummers like Eric Singer and Tommy Aldridge. Impressive to watch and a great addition to TDMH.

Two new songs were aired from the band’s new album ‘Seize The Day’ due next year – ‘Carpe Diem’ in acoustic mode and ‘Sleaze’, a nice and loud hard rocking tune. Bryan Adams’s ‘Summer Of 69’ was given an enthusiastic run through and the other cover as Bob Dylan’s ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ (popularised by Guns ‘N’ Roses), which will form part of an EP ‘Phoenix’ due out in January. The other songs on the EP are re-workings of Sacred Herat songs with this new line-up.

Glandular fever #10

Posted in Family life, Glandular fever on November 20, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

This time last year I was in the worst stage of glandular fever (GF), hardly able to walk far, feeling very ill and losing weight. However, now a year on I am much better 🙂 My body still sends out warning signs via an itchy, red rash on the left side of my neck and at the top of legs. The rash gets hot and can be very uncomfortable for long periods of time.

It appears to get worse if I get stressed/emotional, do too much – the fatigue comes back although it does mean I am out like a light night at bedtime! – and it shows itself as the neck rash. Bizarrely this clears after a night’s sleep, almost as if my body’s warning system is resetting itself.

Has anyone else experienced this at all? It is a strange lingering part of GF.

 

RIP – Dionatan Teixeira

Posted in Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags on November 6, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Sad to read about the death of former Stoke City defender Dionatan Teixeira. He was only 25 years old and played twice for Stoke (plus a short loan spell at Fleetwood Town) after signing for the club in 2014. His contract was terminated with the club in January 2017. He then signed for Sheriff Tiraspol in February 2017.