Category Archives: woking

Cow live at Bed Bar, Woking – July 2011

“Cow” are an acoustic 4-piece soul and pop band with a California sound and a kinda sixties-style kookiness concealing a modish edge, flavoring both their sound and their image. This band would not seem out of place supporting The Mamas & the Papas  on the Ready Steady Go! show circa 1966…

The band has already ably supported the Woking ‘Modfather’ Paul Weller and has created quite a lot of buzz and excitement on the music scene. I went to see the band as they launched their superbly packaged “Sunrise” E.P at the sumptuous Bed Bar in Woking.

The band is seated in a half-circle and play acoustically, without drums. Female vocalist and guitarist – Maxine  – is located in the centre of the group, looking relaxed and regal. She provides the warmth and depth to vocals, but Mark and Ben (on guitars) provide some interesting harmonies and generally descanted sounds. Michael is twanging the bass guitar. They reminded me of the kind of band that would be warmly appreciated on the Val Doonican show! But their insightful lyrics and creative compositions, and the constant intertwining, reminded me more of songs by  Loves  Lee Arthur in Los Angeles in the 60’s … together with the delicate air of mystery that lies beyond every song, and the vaguely uncomfortable feeling you get when you realize that you are being  taken up the-garden-path by the lyrical sub-texts and the arrangements.

“Sunrise” the ‘Side A’ on Cow’s new E.P. is like a sixties fruit-cup of love. Not unlike anything by the Mamas & the Papas in aspirations or moodiness. At first glance, this could be put down as a light pop song, but by rubbing its delicate surface, it reveals darker secrets. There is a flourishing yet controlled burst of chukka-chukka rhythms set amongst a profusion of squelchy guitars, but the flamenco style beats and the pervasive chords get heads nodding and feet tapping.

“New Day” ( this song went town well at Wembley Arena when Cow supported Paul Weller) is a foam-wrapped eerily haunting song, shrouded in mysterious folksy froth. And ‘One in B’ sounded like a less funky ‘Long Train Runnin’ (‘Dooble Brothers’).  This song evoked (for me) memories of joss sticks, turtle-necks and snuggling up in your Afghan, on quilted cushions, listening to Jefferson Airplane.

“Get To Luv You” sounds every bit as dippy and preppy as anything by the Partridge Family – a saccharine sweet and high-pitched jaunt. If the haunting emotions bring a tear to your eye and a slight ache to your heart, never mind, because the songs are joyful and  tender enough to lighten your mood and put a shake in your hipsters. Perhaps I could have done with some keyboards to ‘flesh the sound out’ – it felt a little like a watercolor wash at times. But, nonetheless, enjoyable.

“Fragile Foundations” has lustrous autumn gold vocals from Maxine against mellow chords and feel good bass lines.  ‘leaving ain’t no good when you’re misunderstood‘ she sings, while lofty harmonies provided by Ben tend to lift you to a higher place.
Gentle ‘Donovan’ style sweet sixties vibrations linger long after in your mind, even once the sweet chorus finishes…

Passionate, inspiring, folksy, Amercican style sixties soul – from this intimate and creative group. For your gentler side!

© Neil_Mach
July 2011



Rocky Horror Show- Woking Theatre OCT 22

RHSI have to admit I have been a regular Frankie fan for over 30 years but I must say that this production of the cult Rocky Horror Show is one of the best I have seen.

Starring David Bedella as Frank ‘N’ Furter who, in my humble opinion, is the best Frank since, well since Tim Curry – this touring production is essentially the same show as the 2007/8 show but with a few  tweaks and tassels here-and-there.

In this show we have Haley Flaherty as Janet (she recently toured in Mama Mia!) instead of Suzanne Shaw (from Hear’Say) … and if I am honest I think that Haley does a better job playing Janet – who has to transform from uptight hometown virgin to sexy vampish diva before your very eyes (similar to the character Sandy in Grease.)

Ainsley Harriott was our guest ‘criminologist’ (narrator) with his bulging eyes, chubby faced grin and none of the normal pomposity that comes with the character. As it happens, Ainsley did a very fine job and the crowd were delighted.  Magenta was played by Australian Kara Lane, and she played the character with more slinky, sassy style and a darn sight more sexily than I have ever seen before.

Bright-as-a-button Columbia was played by Ceris Hine. Our Brad on the night was  played by understudy Stuart Ellis and the small but perfectly formed Rocky was played by Dominic Tribuzio (High School Musical.) This glossy acrobatic Charles Atlas styled ‘monster’ bounced around the stage with enormous gusto. A nice touch was that Rocky first appeared to the audience as an ‘airfix’ model complete with Village People accessories.

It is hard to imagine that the Rocky Horror Show first came to the stage in 1973. Since then tens of millions of fans around the world have dressed up to act out, sing-along and heckle the actors in the show and also at special get together  film showings.

Nowadays rice and water pistols are forbidden in the theatres (but I once went to a production in Key West, Florida where the management gave each member of the audience  a large ‘party bag’ containing every prop needed for all the one-liners and the ‘in jokes’.)

But the show is not caught up in a celluloid jam- and this 2009 production is a spicy, fresh and frequently naughty jaunt into an erotic, freaky world … cool enough for the noughties audience to enjoy. It is a measure of the sophistication of the 21st century audience that the famous bed scene is now appreciated as a hearty joke for the whole family to enjoy, where internet-educated grans sitting alongside their teen grand-daughters, and chuckle along together to the sexual innuendos involving oral and anal sex and activity tantamount to rape. Back in the Seventies, when I first saw this show, the scene was considered to be shabby and scandalous enough to earn the show an ‘adults only’ stamp of disapproval.

For those of you who have not seen the show (and I was sitting next to two older ladies who had never seen the show or even the film before – so they are still out there)  the second half fairly zips along and is almost a ‘rock opera’ rather than a musical, using only songs  and very few words to paint the pictures. The band, directed by Steve Hill (Wicked, Mama Mia! etc) is above and to the rear of the stage (rather than in the pit) and this elevated position is also used for some of the solos and gives the stage the atmosphere of a sleazy club. The band was vulgar and bold enough to get the audience hot and alive and very much in the mood for dancing. The band pushed out the sounds in great waves when required.

The big numbers of the show are the famous Time Warp ‘theme tune’ (you must have heard that) and Frank ‘N’ Furter’s entrance song ‘Sweet Transvestite’ but I have always also loved Eddie’s ‘theme’ (in this production Eddie is played by Nathan Amzi) for it’s sheer joyful celebration of rock n roll life. “All he wanted- Was rock and roll porn. And a motorbike.”

On the weak side (I thought) were Riff-Raff (played by Brian Mcann) who lacked the ‘other worldly’ quality of Richard O’Brien’s character and whose voice was a little too wispy for me, and Brad – who seemed like a little lost bunny rabbit constantly dazzled by the headlights.

This show is definitely value for money and I guarantee that it will put a smile on your face and a glow in your heart for days and days after … … one of the striking things about this show (which explains its longevity and it’s loyal fan-base) is that it truly brings out the best in people. Folk are never happier than when dressed up in silly pantomime clothes and joined together to sing and dance to some doo-wopping, good old fashioned rock n rolling show-tunes.

Oh, and if you if you intend to catch this show as it tours the UK, please please make an effort to dress-up … even if it is just by wearing a red feather boa.  This advice is for your own good, because nothing, absolutely nothing feels worse than being the only ‘straight’ boy or girl (or as they say in ‘mortal’) at a Rocky Horror Show. You have been warned.

© Neil_Mach
October 2009

Rocky Horror Show
Theatre Royal Brighton

Monday 26 October 2009 to Saturday 31 October 2009

On Saturday 31st October at the Brighton Sea Front the cast and many, many fans are going to attempt a ‘world record’ for

doing the longest (as in distance) Time Warp … come down and be a part.  Don’t Dream It – Be it.

Mon 02nd Nov 2009 to Sat 7th Nov 2009
Hippodrome (Birmingham)

Mon 09th Nov 2009 to Sat 14th Nov 2009
Empire (Liverpool)

Mon 23rd Nov 2009 to Sat 28th Nov 2009
The King’s Theatre (Glasgow)

Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES

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HMS Pinafore – New Victoria Theatre Woking


I must admit that I was a bit concerned about the choice that Peter Mulloy (Artistic Director, Carl Rosa Opera) had in mind to play the pompous desk-pushing first sea-lord (The head of the Queen’s Naveeee) Sir Joseph Porter in the latest production of Pinafore. Corrie Street butcher Fred Elliott was not a face that I had previously connected with the works of Gilbert & Sullivan. But the 71 year old actor, John Savident, had previously performed in Phantom of the Opera (as well as giving 11 years exalted service on The Street) and has enjoyed a brilliant career on stage, television and in film. In many ways he makes the perfect Sir Joseph Porter.  Just the right amount of parody and pastiche.

Gilbert & Sullivan went to painstaking lengths to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of the original work, even going to Portsmouth to make detailed drawings of a real quarterdeck to be replicated by D’Oyly Carte. At the time (1878) the operetta was a huge box office success- and so it was with some pleasure that I noticed that the same kind of attention to detail was present (in production) in the new show at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking. I was also pleasantly surprised that the theatre was full.

Beverley Klein (Orlovsky: Die Fledermaus – English National Opera and Golde: Fiddler on the Roof – Savoy Theatre) presented a relaxed and rosy bumboat woman – Little Buttercup. Wyne Pencarreg (winner of the Erich Vietheer Memorial Award from  Glyndebourne) played an efficiently capable Captain Corcoran.  Perhaps baritone Gareth Jones (Dick Deadeye) could have been more forceful in vocal style and – at times- his voice was lost in the huge auditorium at Woking. But Josephine (Olivia Safe) was a pleasant and lightly agile soprano.

The best thing about all Gilbert & Sullivan operas is that they stand the test of time. When Sir Joseph sings “I grew so rich that I was sent – By a pocket borough into Parliament….I always voted at my party’s call” the audience cheered and chuckled. You could not help but be reminded of the ignominy faced by many of today’s ‘Sir Joseph Porters’ in a Parliament scandalised by a bunch of pocket-lining over-promoted junior clerks. Likewise, how many people do you know (family and friends) who, “In spite of all temptations – To belong to other nations – Remain (probably begrudgingly) English Men” ? Almost everyone I know is thinking of moving abroad for the sake of their own sanity!

And so the performance zipped merrily along – and all too soon- we found ourselves at the finale ‘Oh Joy, Oh Rapture. Unforseen’ and the jubilant celebration of right over wrong, good will prevailing over wickedness and a really English kind of muted successful conclusion – in other words a bit confused and bedraggled with everyone facing an uncertain future.

All in all, the show was light and frothy in all the right places but stern and stubborn when required. The choreography (by Steve Elias) was spot on – I particularly enjoyed the lines of pattern – almost like coiled ropes being rolled and unrolled on stage- and the gentler hornpipes, vortices and flourishes. Stage management was excellent and the costumes were efficient and convincing. The lively ensemble proved to have plenty of gusto and moved the show onwards in leaps and bounds.

Very highly recommended – whether you are a Gilbert & Sullivan ‘vet’ or new to comic opera – please try this show…

© Neil_Mach
May 2009


Next Shows (last in series)-   Tuesday 16 June to  Saturday 20 June at Theatre Royal, Windsor (01753 853 888)

(This autumn Carl Rosa Opera will be reviving their West End production of The Pirates of Penzance with Jo Brand as the
Sergeant of Police)

Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES

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WE ARE NOW preparing our 2009 AD PONTES STAINES LIVE MUSIC GIG GUIDE and Jan, Feb and March 2009 are already up!

If you are a band, frequent a venue, or you are a friend/fan of an artist or just know of a forthcoming hot gig in your area, then why not let us know so we can ADD YOUR GIG for FREE in  our whats on guide.


There are no hidden charges – we just want to support live music in our area and help YOU to succeed!

We cover the STAINES and SPELTHORNE area – but anywhere that is within about 30 minutes easy travelling time from STAINES…. we will ADD FREE to our guide.

We are currently averaging 780 HITS A DAY on our main site…so that’s an amazing 22,000 hits per month…. can you miss out on that kind of coverage and potential for success?

We are ALWAYS LOOKING FOR NEW BANDS & ARTISTS to cover in our STAINES magazine- so if you would like us to arrange a FREE photoshoot and/or story for publicity for your band YOU ONLY HAVE TO ASK….. LET US KNOW.

If we don’t know that you are out there, then how can we help you get where you want to be?


Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES

5 Things – This Week in Staines


See The Comanche Cipher at Staines

Comanche Cipher at Staines

Sep 25 2008      8:00P The Hobgoblin     Staines

The Comanche Cipher

“London five piece The Comanche Cipher deal in progressive hardcore that’s big on hooks and aggro and has landed them support slots with the likes of With Honor, Enter Shikari and Send More Paramedics. Their debut EP comprises of five tracks
of from-the-gut metallic bluster that has been honed to precision and is primed to inspire the kind of mosh pit melee that will leave noses bloodied and limbs bruised. With diamond-edged riffs hacking and scything at you throughout, they know
exactly when to unleash a thick breakdown or an anthemic melody to ensure that intensity levels are never given the chance to flag. A damn good introduction”
3/5 – Kerrang!

You can purchase the new Comanche Cipher EP Here >>>

Ludovico Technique
~ Comanche Cipher (Artist)

Price:     £6.99


Catch some Contemporary Folk – at Staines

East of Ealing

East of Ealing Sep 25 2008      8:00P Staines Riverside Club

London based, but including global themes at times political, dark, humorous,irreverent, but always dancey with influences from Celtic to Cajun, Ska to S.African and Reggae to Russian their original numbers takes passengers heads around the world and feet to the dance floor.

At the helm,Stephanie Graffitti steers the band with her full steam ahead rock fiddle Madshipman Mik P bales them out on acoustic and electric guitars while Paul Castleman on drums keeps the engine room pumping to the E.O.E beat.
Jim Bean’s squeeze-boxing and vocals repels all borders as the band journey into the great unknown!

Check out these pirates for the 21st century at a gig or festival and enter the mosh pit with like-minded hippies, gremlins, rock chics, grockles, mums, dads, saucepan lids, punks, skunks, grannies and groovers all dancing to the soaring sexy fiddle, stompin’ squeeze-boxing, drum thumpin’, guitar hammering sound that is EAST OF EALING….take no prisoners!

other dates:

Nov 1 2008      8:30 Roots @ The Red Lion    Isleworth

Nov 15 2008     8:30 Filthy’s             Twickenham



Get your lycra on and Dance- at Woking

Flashdance at Woking

Flashdance – until Saturday 27 September 2008 Woking Theatre

Take Your Passion Make It Happen !

Bruno Langley (Coronation Street), Bernie Nolan (The Bill, Brookside), Noel Sullivan (Hear’Say) and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt star in Flashdance

Sparks will fly this autumn as the World Premiere production of Flashdance – The Musical explodes onto the stage in Woking starring Bruno Langley (Coronation Street), Bernie Nolan (The Bill, Brookside), Noel Sullivan (Hear’Say) and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt as Alex.

Set in Pittsburgh, USA, Flashdance tells the story of 18 year old Alex, a welder by day and ‘flashdancer’ by night, whose dream is to obtain a place at the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy. It’s an unmistakably unique musical about holding onto your dreams and love against all the odds. The show features an iconic score including the smash hit Maniac, along with Manhunt, Gloria, I Love Rock & Roll and the Academy Award winning title track Flashdance – What a Feeling.

Full of pulsating raw energy and breathtaking choreography by Arlene Phillips (Strictly Come Dancing, Grease, Starlight Express, Saturday Night Fever) Flashdance – The Musical promises to be the theatrical event of the year – so take your passion and make it happen!

New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Some tickets still remaining- mention ADPONTES when booking!

Box Office: 0870 060 6645 4.

Prepare to Rock, Classic Rock at Egham!

Blue Fuses at Egham

The Blue Fuses Sep 27 2008      9:00P The Crown     Egham

Rock Party Time!

The sensational finish to the first half of the show is their version of the famous Floyd classic (and I begrudgingly acknowledge now a Scissors Sisters ‘classic’ too)- Comfortably Numb. The light touches and the gentle imagery of this set-piece gradually build up to an earth shattering climax when Doug really comes into his own and gives the audience several minutes of truly exalted classic rock guitar. Almost holy…

Review by Neil_Mach Sept 08


If you miss ’em at Egham, try to see them here:

Oct 25 2008      9:00P Cardinal Wolsey     Hampton

Dec 27 2008      9:00P Cardinal Wolsey     Hampton



Classic ‘Covers’ Party band at Staines

Brainscape at Staines

Brainscape Fri 26 SEPT 2008 Staines Riverside Club 8:00P £4

This band takes classics and rocks with them. A perfect PARTY band, so come on down!


Get Your Tickets for Beck Theatre, Hayes

The Beck Theatre
Grange Road

Visit AdPontes-Staines Regularly for Staines Arts

So Long Cynical with Tessa Jones + Get Set Radio

So Long Cynical


With Tessa Jones and Get Set Radio

So Long Cynical


New York Loose feat . Brijitte West
Punk / Rock

Fighting Cocks, Kingston Surrey , Sep 19th 8:00P

Fighting Cocks


Keep checking ADPONTES-STAINES for news, reviews, articles, gig-guide

5 Things- This Week in Staines


See the Kast Off Kinks

Kast off Kinks

Kast off Kinks, Eeel pie Club, Twickenham Wed Apr 30th 2008 8PM

Having gone from British Invasion hitmakers to late Sixties cult heroes to
bonafide arena-filling rock stars in the Seventies and Eighties, the Kinks are, it
would seem, cult heroes again for the time being – a position that their bright
and sometimes discomfited leader no doubt savors. On the eve of their induction
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, Ray Davies had this to say: “The
Kinks have always been outsiders. I’m an outsider. To be accepted is unique for
us. I’m pleased for the people who believed in me all along. It’s nice for them to know that their faith wasn’t misplaced.” To quote a slogan popular with those who love the band, “God Save the Kinks.”

John Dalton, Mick Avory, Dave Clark, John “The Baptist” Gosling are the remaining ‘kast off’ Kinks !


Go to listen to the Nashville Teens at Bracknell

the Nashville Teens Bracknell

The Nashville Teens at the Silver Birch, Bracknell. Sat 3rd May 8:00PM

One of the Worlds finest R&B singers, Ray Phillips (vocalist) has stayed loyal to the Nashville Teens through thick and thin, turning down offers to move to other groups, including an offer from Jack Bruce to be lead singer with Cream. Ray is a keep fit enthusiast and as well as his dynamic performance with the Nashville Teens, he also works with the World Class Maclaren Motor Racing Team.

Colin Pattenden (bass guitar)cut his teeth as a session guitarist for the likes of Englebert Humperdink and Leapy Lee in the sixties, but made his mark as a founder member of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band in the early seventies. He has also played with Mungo Jerry, The King Earl Boogie Band and The Jackie Lynton Band.

Simon Spratley (keyboards & vocals) is a music teacher by day and has played with many other bands, including Cheques In The Post and The Ian Campbell Blues band.

Ken Osborn is an accomplished lead guitarist who has played with other bands including Spank The Monkey, The King Earl Boogie Band and the Jackie Lynton Band.

Despite his youthful looks, Adrian ‘spud’ Metcalfe has drummed with the Teens for 25 years, and – apart from Ray – is the longest serving band member in the Groups history.

The Jackie Lynton Band is playing Staines Riverside Club on Fri 9th May 2008 9:00pm


Go see the Agency Girls at Beck Theatre

The Agency Girls at Beck Theatre Hayes

The Agency Girls at The Beck Theatre, Hayes, Thu 1st May 8:00PM

1ST MAY 2008

Running time 70 minutes

With the characters rushing in and out of doors at one hundred miles an hour, The Market Theatre has slowly made this style of comedy their theatrical trade mark and this year’s show will not disappoint!

The play is set in a remote cottage where two unsuspecting men have both, unknowingly, booked the same venue for a weekend away with their respective mystery women. One of them has used traditional booking procedures, to secure the property and the other the infallible internet.

70 Minutes of sexual innuendo, comic confusion and ridiculous reasoning will make this a night to remember and a farce not to miss. However, you will need to book early as this show is only on for one night!

From the company that brought the hilarious adult panto Beauty and the Big Beastie.

Adults only!

Click here for tickets for Thursday 1st May at Beck Theatre


Go to see Nigel Havers at Woking

Single Spies

Single Spies- New Victoria Theatre, Woking 5th-10th May 2008

By Alan Bennett

Monday 5 – Saturday 10 May 2008
New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Stars Nigel Havers with Jack Ryder (Eastenders) and Diana Quick (Brideshead

Single Spies opened to ecstatic reviews at the National Theatre in 1988 and went
on to become a huge Wet End hit. The two plays, An Englishman Abroad and A
Question of Attribution sparkle with Alan Bennett’s trademark wit and delighted a
public intrigued by espionage and fascinated by forgery.

Box Office: 0870 060 6645


Simply Ballroom – One Night Only !!!

Simply Ballroom

Sunday 4 May 2008 at 8:00 pm New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Featuring a cast of International Championship Dancers, with choreography by TV’s Dancing Stars Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag.

Simply Ballroom is a lavish production where the colour and spectacle of ballroom dance fuses brilliantly with live theatre.

Featuring a cast of outstanding world-class dance champions whose performances in the Waltz are exhilarating; their passion in the Tango breathtaking and their Paso Doble – just one of the many highlights of this spectacular show – has astounded audiences in every venue around the country.

This electrifying production showcases the exceptional talents of the cast through a number of styles, including the Cha Cha, Salsa, Rumba, Quickstep and many, many more.

Running Time
2h 10m

Box Office: 0870 060 6645


Get Your Tickets for Beck Theatre, Hayes

The Beck Theatre
Grange Road

Visit AdPontes-Staines Regularly for Staines Arts