September 28th, 2011

Having just returned from holiday, I was at a bit of a loss what to do last weekend so went on the web to see what was on. Although one of the bands that I shoot was playing, the gig was about 40 miles away and, having driven 1440 miles in 13 days driving through England, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France I wasn’t really in the mood for travelling far.

We (that’s me and my partner) decided to go shopping in Banbury and, since we’d made a late start to the day, set off mid-afternoon. We’d seen what looked like might be an interesting gig on at The Wheatsheaf: Mantleday, which is an annual day of music in memory of Dave Mantle, who used to be a roadie for the band Leatherat.

We arrived at The Wheatsheaf around 6.30pm, although the event had started early afternoon, and after a short wait for a band to arrive, settled down to watch Daisy E and the Unsteadies, who I’d describe as a rockabilly/punk band. I did speak to Daisy after their performance, and was told that I looked like the mum of one of her close friends. I think that was a compliment! Although I didn’t get a good shot of Daisy, this is the band’s bassist:


We didn’t watch all of the bands, but were impressed with the next band we caught, a young band called Six Bullet Chamber: their lead singer was a very striking performer:

Mantleday - Six Bullet Chamber


The third band, Jackhammer, were a good rock covers band who’d come down from Lincolnshire for the day. Both Carl, the guitarist, and Andy, the bassist, were excellent front men:

Guitarist with Jackhammer


Andy - the bassist with Jackhammer

Bass guitarist with Jackhammer


Fittingly, the final band of the evening was Leatherat, in view of the fact that Dave Mantle had been their roadie before his unfortunate accident. A really excellent folk/rock band with very enthusiastic fans – I had hoped to get more shots but the back room at the Wheatsheaf is not very large and the moshing was a bit frantic, so this is what I did manage to get before I beat a hasty retreat:

I’m sure that I’ll be going to see at least several of these bands again.

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