Thomas Tripp, Christchurch

Butcher Blues Fondation

20th Anniversary Gig

Almost 20 years to the day four school friends formed a fledgling band that little did they know, 20 years on would be delighting the locals in their hometown. Originally known simply as “The Fallen” they took a few early gigs at various gatherings-birthday parties, local pubs etc; honing their skill(s), choosing to go down the cover version route at first before embarking on their own material. Their first actual gig was at a now defunct pub-The Fairmile. Once a thriving pub with a great atmosphere, but now a CO-OP – how time’s change!

Where I discovered the band was purely by chance. A work colleague and brother of Rich Dean (guitar) mentioned during our tea break that his brother’s band were playing at (the now defunct) local nightclub. A school/college showcase no less featuring 3 bands from the area – the year was 1999. Two of the bands were decent but it was The Fallen who left an indelible mark on me. Fast forward 6 months and a legendary gig at another work colleague’s 21st Birthday bash; fuelled by cheap drinks and a set list to die for, including “I Wanna Be Adored” (Stone Roses) and this 30-year-old had found his new favourite (covers) band.

The line-up remained the same for almost a decade – Dave Crowfoot (vox/guitar), Rich Dean (lead guitar/backing vox), Rob Gillard (bass) and Steve Merrell (drums/transport)! However, with marriage and family commitments Rob quit and the band became a 3-piece. This coincided with the first signs of genuine ambition and a move to London in the hope of getting signed. Despite that elusive deal never quite materialising they stuck it out until 2007 whereupon they decided to take a break. This break was short-lived as they reconvened once more as a covers band, recruiting Rob’s younger brother Andy on bass duties.

Fast forward another 3 years and at least 3 names changes; (The Feverkicks, The Zephyrkicks and Butcher Blues Foundation) for the anoraks, and that elusive record deal did arrive. On the back of that came their first official single, the quite excellent self-penned “Ride It Out”. A launch gig was well attended at another now defunct Bournemouth pub, The Orange Rooms, (there seems to be a theme running here) and the single garnered good local radio output as well as a chart position just outside the official top 100. Sadly, not long after the record company went bust! One would think by now they would be considering throwing in the towel but no, they stuck it out. Facebook became a game changer for a lot of bands and the ones who know how to promote. Sticking with the covers/functions circuit they all carried on with their day jobs and kept the musical dream alive.

Back in the day The Thomas Tripp was a regular haunt for this band both as customers and performers, so it seems fitting that they should return for their 20th Anniversary gig. At around 9pm a packed pub awaits their arrival onstage. And what follows turns out to be one of their finest shows (to date)!

Butcher Blues Foundation
Butcher Blues Foundation 123456

They announce themselves, Dave (vox) reminiscing while pointing to their old ‘Fallen’ banner, still holding pride of place on the pub ceiling. They open with a classic, “I Saw Her Standing There” (Beatles)-this gets the party started and the classics duly follow. “Get Off My Cloud” (Stones) stays in the same era, while their takes on Cream and Deep Purple keep it rocking. It doesn’t take long to get a few punters up dancing as they go more up to date with a rip-snortin’ “Last Night” (Strokes) and a heavy “Molly’s Chambers” (KOL). The first set just gets better with every song. “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” (Jet) gets the place jumping before a heavy slice of Pearl Jam allows Rich (lead guitar) his 5 minutes of fame, with an intricate yet wholesome solo. They move more up to date with Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys before an excellent take on U2’s “Where The Streets Have No Name”, inducing hearty singalongs. Reef’s “Place Your Hands” is the perfect prelude to the first set closer Oasis’s “Don’t Look Back in Anger”. The whole pub sings in unison before they take the shortest of breaks.

They return with Oasis (Wonderwall) keeping everyone interested before Dave announces his love of the Stone Roses. Hence the next song being “Love Is the Law” (Seahorses). Kasabian and the Killers are well represented tonight but they throw in one or two surprises to keep us guessing (Royal Blood, Fratellis, Duran Duran even)! Dave announces “Mr. Brightside” (Killers) as the perfect pub cover song. Looking around me at the reaction he isnít wrong-cue dancing and mass singalongs. Steve (drums) is a powerhouse throughout while Andy (bass) spends most of the night shoegazing. Rich (lead) is chief shapeshifter while Dave (vox) is the all round rabble-rouser tonight, leading this crowd like a toast master! At some point during the 2nd set they play their (IMO) best song-‘Ride It Out’ is an Indie/Club gem invoking elements of Primal Scream in their heyday. Dave bellows the chorus out while those who don’t know this song wonít forget it in a hurry. Going against the grain somewhat they perform an ‘interesting’ version of ‘Save A Prayer’ (Duran Duran)-it’s the only time during the entire set I can hear the audience talking. For me, however, it worked as it broke up the reliance on Indie/Rock etc.

As we near the end of the show a brilliant “Suspicious Minds” precedes set closer “Champagne Supernova”. This local crowd put in a great, accompanying performance and sing along right ’til the end. A fitting end to what has been a great evening. 20 years and counting, this band will be around for a little while yet, and for that we can only be grateful.

Set 1
I Saw Her Standing There (The Beatles)
Get Off My Cloud (Rolling Stones)
Sunshine Of Your Love (Cream)
Hush (Deep Purple)
Last Night (The Strokes)
Molly’s Chambers (Kings of Leon)
Are You Gonna Be My Girl (Jet)
Alive (Pearl Jam)
Take Me Out (Franz Ferdinand)
R U Mine/I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor (Arctic Monkeys)
Where The Streets Have No Name (U2)
Place Your Hands (Reef)
Don’t Look Back In Anger (Oasis)

Set 2
Wonderwall (Oasis)
The Day We Caught The Train (Ocean Colour Scene)
Underdog (Kasabian)
Figure It Out (Royal Blood)
L S F (Kasabian)
Mr. Brightside (The Killers)
Chelsea Dagger (The Fratellis
Dakota (Stereophonics)
Ride It Out (Original ‘BBF’)
Save A Prayer (Duran Duran)
All These Things That I Have Done (The Killers)
Suspicious Minds (Elvis Presley)
Champagne Supernova (Oasis)



Review, Pictures and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone.

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