Thursday 24 November 2011

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Starshine..Strawberry Fools Live 15MAY2010

Live at the Hythe Centre, Staines, UK 15MAY2010

Video by Andy Slack, filmed on Flip HD Digital camcorder, sound direct from soundboard

Mix by Les Cotton

Monday 24 May 2010

Strawberry Fools...Deadly Nightshade

Live in Aldermaston Village Hall, UK, 14MAY10. Video by Pete Bradley, sound direct from desk by Dick Greener, mix by Ralph Tonge, video edit/conversion/re-sync by Les Cotton

Sunday 23 May 2010

The Flower and the Young Man...Live Video

Video by Pete Bradley, sound multitrack from the sound desk, mixed by Dick sync by Les Cotton

The Flower and the Young Man from Strawberry Fools

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Strawberry Fools World Tour reviews

The Strawberry Fools at the Hythe Centre Staines – You talk of me with acid rain

..a Review by Nigel The Badgeman

Sadly I was only able to make this show and not the one the night before at which apparently all sort of microphone drooping and other shenanigans happened.

A band on the wagon, sworn to no Bacardi until it was all over, I rather suspect there may have been just a little ad libbing on that front, as a few cans of liquid refreshment were cast to the floor inside a bin upon arrival.

Onto the night, or last night as it is now, and a goodly gathering of friends, musicians and spiders witnessed some fine playing which kept us entertained all night long.

Claridge fronted the band (most of the time) hardly dressed in his vibrant grass snake green but resplendent in what could be termed his royal gardening attire, forestry green and invisible within a forest, or stalking for a dear. He certainly cut a dash with his bongos between his legs.

To the left, Rand “he” “Pete the Fool” tinkled away on the old ivories like he was a Wakeman in waiting,. If the truth is known, it probably wasn’t ivory, more like plastic or bakelite, although as no chemical testing was allowed on the night, it may have been either. Pete was wearing the designer t-shirt emblazoned with the Fools logo (available from Foolish enterprises at £8 ) His mug also appeared a few times on the interactive screen used as a backdrop as sponsor of tonight’s event. Next time a BT directory, or is it yellow pages drops through your door, be thankful, you helped the show, remember the Fools and look up their number.

In the midst sat the “Dick”, being a Saturday night I imagine there were many plaudits coming the way of a Dick way right across the country. Vocalist , guitarist and yes…historian par excellence about all things like the development of the western world, but majoring on lecturing everyone on the history of tonight’s songs and their place in the history of Strawbs albums. “Let the worrying start”, if any of it filters out

Sitting to the left of centre, but to me on the right where the Prince is normally seen, was the King of the lead guitar Ralph the “Tongo” Fool. Studious interpretations and little tinkles were very much in evidence through the sets, enhanced by the use of ebow and slide in very special places. Very special places indeed and the excellent inserted additions made those special places, special.

Finally, there was Les the Fool Cotton, bassist and interpreter of gadgets. How I loved the bits where the bass shone through and thumped me square and fairly in the ear. But that is not the full story, a quick change – of position ! saw Les swap places with the green cross dresser taking the lead for Starshine…OK there may have been no Angel wine, but the voice rang out sweetly.

Starshine from Les Cotton on Vimeo.

A goodly gathering, oh I have said that once, spread from far and wide across the globe and UK, indeed fans had even travelled from Holland for this special weekend, although Roy Hill trumped that as he had a fan that had flown… OK, really got them them bussed in from Germany which is a little further, just to show who is le boss.

While seasons change… yes well

Why seasons change we were treated to two exhibitions of this line at the very start as the band found their groove and then flowed seamlessly from classic to classic, except of course for the little history lessons in between.

Some great interpretations of songs and the harmonies were absolutely spot on. When you were a child, you probably didn’t know the Fools, but if not, tonight by this second number you certainly did. This is no foolish operation, even if in name, certainly not in their playing.

It was good to hear so many tunes that don’t usually get a live airing and as I never copied down a set list, I‘ll leave that to another compiler or the historian in residence.

Whilst a Strawberry fool or two may have been the main attraction tonight, we should not forget the support of Wychwood or the undoubted talents of Mr Roy Hill who had the audience, both new and old switching between laughter and intensity of songs… in the split of second….in much less time than it takes to do the atom. What a coop.. Baa !

I picked up a copy of the Fools first CD release – Antiques and Cheerios. When I said “picked up” , I would have done, but the security around the merchandise was so tight, ever seen the size of their bouncers ?? never got my fingers any where near it. …nor me … so I went along and bought one.

Got to thank the Fools for the drinks and e mail check on the cover and also the free advertising, but if you think your e –mails are indecipherable you should see the ones Mr. Hill sometimes gets after my Friday night on the cider.

Ever the glutton for punishment I thought I would listen on the way home. As if an evening the company of Fools wasn’t enough, I was all set up for that little extra. A very fine album it is too, with one or two or three or four originals. The only complaint I have is that it is so long, by the time I turned into my drive it was still playing.

So the answer would be to either slow down a bit or throw it out of the window before I get back. Certainly not the latter, it’s available,…… again from Foolish enterprises (£7 – plus or minus postage, I have no idea on that ) and well worth my recommended investment. It may become a classic….no, it will become a classic.

When is the Best of the Fools compilation coming out ?

Nigel The Badgeman

Wednesday 28 April 2010





The Strawberry Fools are a Strawbs tribute band featuring:
# David Claridge - guitar, dulcimer, percussion, vcls
# Les Cotton - bass, guitar, vcls
# Dick Greener - guitar, percussion, vcls
# Pete Rand - keyboards
# Ralph Tonge - guitar, ebow, vcls

They made their live debut as guest at the Strawbs Christmas Party in 2008, by kind invitation of Dave Cousins, and were to have played a slot at the Strawbs 40th anniversary celebrations in 2009 but had to pull out owing to family illness. This and the following night's show at The Hythe Centre, Staines, Middlesex are their two first full-scale shows, and they'll draw on the rich vein of Strawbs music, often selecting material that is some way off the beaten track. Selections for this show are likely to include: "Fingertips", "Tell Me What You See In Me", "When You Were A Child", "The Golden Salamander", "The Flower And The Young Man" and many more.

Doors 7.00pm, show 8.00pm

ALDERMASTON - No bar - BYOB - Bring Your Own Bottles (handy pub just down the road)
HYTHE CENTRE - Licensed Bar

Tickets: £8.00 - NB Tickets must be purchased ahead of both the shows.

Info and Tickets HERE