A HOBROYD S TALE.
PROLOGUE Stardate 1973 and a bit. In the dim, dusty recesses of time before Cold Flame (for yes, dearly beloved, there was indeed such a time), in the foothills of the legendary Snowy Mountain could be heard the unearthly screeches and wailings of a little group of Hobroyds.
After leaving school in the early 1970's, three chums who had been together all through their school lives had got together to form 'a group' - my first ever band. Our parents recognised a good name when they saw one, so we had Dave Jackson on bass and vocals, Dave Mather on guitar and vocals, and me also on guitar and vocals. Drummers were then, as now, something of a problem (control yourself, David ) and at various times we had Alan (for one rehearsal only, for some reason that escapes me), Grenville and Geoff on tins and skins.
We rehearsed in the basement of our old primary school in Glossop, in the shadow of the Nab, a.k.a. the dreaded Snowy Mountain. The road up to the Nab is called the Hobroyd, and this inexplicably became the Band's moniker. I suppose 'Grenville and The Three Daves' would have been a bit naff even then. We were all learning to play our instruments at the time (silence at the back), and material consisted of covers by the likes of Status Quo, the Beatles, Cream - including Sunshine of Your Love, which I ve just realised I must have been playing for the past thirty bloody years - and Wishbone Ash.
We also did original songs such as Laid Back and Starry Eyed, Home is in My Head and the ever popular Is Man Is What Man Is? Killing three birds with one stone, this last one contained the immortal line In a fast car to the Hobroyd , which meant bugger all to anyone not from Glossop! Another song included the gem 'Dare you Hobroyd your best friend'. The least said about that the better, methinks.
The pubs in Glossop were surprisingly well disposed to the band, and we did gigs at a number of them, including the Nag's Head - our spiritual home. I think we got 20 quid a gig, if memory serves (so no change there then...). We didn t have proper transport, and we were often to be seen trucking amps and cabs around Glossop on an old wheelchair. In later years and bands, including early Cold Flame, I moved up to a sacktruck which I 'borrowed' from work (see photo). We had to make our own entertainment in those days.
Time passes, people move on...
CAPTAIN'S LOG: Stardate late 2002. DM and I had remained in touch over the decades, and a chance encounter on the Friend's Reunited website with DJ lead to a few reunions in a Glossop pub, reminiscing about the good old days. It was only a matter of time before the inevitable 'Bugger this, let's get the band back together. Er, what about a drummer?'
Alan Broadbent, who had remained in contact with DJ since the glory days, was asked and was eager to play drums. Thus, dear friends, was born The Granite Project. (Granite = old grey rock, dummy.) Thirty years down the line, and suddenly Hobroyd has some unfinished business to attend to.
Because we are now living away from Glossop (Manchester, Suffolk, Shropshire and Leicestershire at the last count) rehearsals could have been problematic. However, turning the situation to advantage, we take it in turns to host a 'Granite Sesh' weekend at each other's houses. These combine mega day-long rehearsals for the band while our womenfolk go out, followed by all of us getting back together in the evening for a curry. We then give a performance of what we have been working on during the day; Kinks, Beatles, Monkees, Radio Head (old fogeys, us?), simply whatever we want to play.
The bottom line is four kids, whose total ages add up to 200 years, just having fun playing music.
Fantastic , to quote our number 1 fan.
EPILOGUE: Stardate August 2004. Our first gig looms at a party at Alan's place in Shropshire. This will be, essentially, Hobroyd's thirtieth anniversary bash. Talk about rave from the grave - it makes Cold Flame seem like the new kids on the block! My other half can t believe that we ve actually pulled this off.
Must go, I need to practice Sunshine of Your Love again. Let s see now, Cold Flame do it in A , so what pesky key do Granite do it in? No, don't tell me. I'm not in my dotage yet
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