Long ago, in 2011, the autumn and winter issues of Barrow Voice contained articles on Barrow’s bands. There were four of them then. To find out what they are doing now, after Covid lockdowns killed live music for months on end, I contacted each of them. Two didn’t get back to me, one, Soundogs, is no more but one of its members has joined Heart of Oak, and not only is The Potholes still in existence, it has sprung an offshoot FOGG. Great – band life has re-emerged in Barrow!
Heart of Oak
Since forming in 2016 Heart of Oak has established itself as a firm favourite on the local music scene with a reputation for getting people on their feet and singing along to the semi-acoustic take on feel-good hits from the 60s to the present day. The band will hopefully be familiar to many of you. Over the last couple of years it has played at pubs including the Soar Bridge Inn, The Moorings and The Navigation Inn.
All four members of the band live locally and Vicki Wallin (vocals, percussion and guitar) actually lives in Barrow. Alongside Vicki, Chris Barlow and Neil Budworth (guitars, mandolin and vocals) are based in Quorn, whilst Paul Meneely (drums and vocals) is from Loughborough.
You can catch Heart of Oak playing a short set of festive hits on December 4th at the Barrow Christmas Lights Switch-On. After that they are a busy bunch appearing at The Knighton and Clarendon Club in Leicester (also on December 4th), The Needle and Pin (Loughborough) on December 11th and The White Hart (Loughborough) on December 17th. Their final gig before the big day will see the band in action at The White Hart Inn (Quorn) on Christmas Eve.
To keep up to date with news from the band go to their Facebook page.
The Potholes band is still going - playing gigs for fundraising events and to raise money for charities. It too plays well-established pop covers from the 60s onwards. The members are Peter Beckett, Colin Lockwood, Andy McWilliam, Dave Snutch, Anne Beckett and Ali Preston. Unfortunately, the lockdowns meant that gigs were cancelled and rehearsals stopped. A big fundraiser for prostate cancer was planned in July 2020 at the Cons club, together with other bands but it had to be put on hold. Hopefully it will take place next year.
Peter has also started a new band called FOGG (Five Old Grey G*ts) and this band, too, is available for fundraising events. FOGG members are Peter Beckett, Dave Snutch, Keith Butler, David Highton and Chris Middleton. Both bands are busy rehearsing at present, neither has a gig booked in the near future but they are planning to get into full swing next spring. They are willing to play at charity events, or other events, as long as there is a charitable donation given for their time. If you are interested contact Peter Beckett: firstname.lastname@example.org