Posts Tagged ‘Sea Power’

Holker Old Boys v AFC Blackpool, Saturday 27th August 2022, 3pm

August 30, 2022

This was a day that started with a dawn-chorus of birds and snores in a tent at the Krankenhaus festival organized by Sea Power at Muncaster Castle. We’d rented a house less than a mile along the A595 from the venue but there wasn’t a path by the road and so the most direct accessible route meant an hour long walk through a golf course in the wrong direction and then up over the fells.

Harry and Isla were keen to camp and so we set the tent up at the festival. There was plenty for them to do in addition to watching bands and we toured the grounds and castle, watched a bird of prey display and walked into Ravensglass via a Roman bath house.

There was also a dog show with categories judged by Sea Power’s Neil, Abi and Scott, as well as Martin’s parents. Henry failed to win a rosette in categories such as ‘Dog most like a drummer’, ‘Best Trick’ and ‘Walking like a Cruft’s Dog’. In one category he was beaten by a soft toy.

The main reason I was at Muncaster though was the music, specifically Sea Power’s music. They opened the festival on the Friday afternoon by playing Open Season in its entirety. It’s a great album which I still like to listen to, but my main thought afterwards was how far they have progressed in the seventeen years since it was released.

Saturday night they played a ‘regular’ set. Or near enough. I’d been expecting a similar set-list to that of their recent tour, but they dipped into the back catalogue for some songs from ten years or so ago before finishing with the usual classics. Two Fingers was probably the highlight.

Sea Power closed the festival on Monday afternoon with what was trailed as a ‘gentle rarities’ selection. It lived up to its billing with some so rare that I’d forgotten they existed. I was hoping to hear ‘Lovely Day Tomorrow’ and I wasn’t disappointed.

Anyway, back to Saturday. After the dog show Harry and I headed south for a game in the tenth-tier North West Counties Division One North between Holker Old Boys and AFC Blackpool. I’m not sure if Holker is a place in its own right, but the Rakesmoor ground was on the outskirts of Barrow, up a narrow country lane.

We arrived around ten minutes before kick-off and with plenty of space in the car park. It was a fiver at the gate for me with Harry and the dog getting in for free. We took seats in the covered stand behind the goal at the top of the slope and had views of hills to our left, with Lakeland mountains behind them.

I reckon there were probably a hundred or so watching by the time everyone arrived. Holker were in green, with Blackpool in what I presume is a traditional orange kit for teams from that part of the world. The visitors had some early opportunities and came closest when hitting the bar, but it was Holker that struck first from a direct free-kick mid-way through the first half.

At half time I nipped into the clubhouse for a drink and noticed that the gents toilets were labelled the Jim Redfern Suite. Nice touch.

Blackpool started the second half well, equalizing after a striker latched on to a long ball and rounded the keeper for a tap in. They went ahead on the hour after the Holker keeper could only parry a shot to the feet of a fella who gratefully finished it off, before increasing their lead after a low cross from the left provided another easy tap in.

At three-one down with ten minutes remaining it didn’t look like Holker’s day. They pulled one back from a penalty though after the Blackpool keeper clattered someone and then equalized with five minutes to go from a close-range glancing header following a corner.

The drama wasn’t over at that point with Holker pushing for a winner. They missed a couple of good chances before nicking an injury time winner that sparked a mixture of celebration and argy-bargy as Blackpool tried to get hold of the ball to quickly restart. When they finally did get the opportunity the ref blew almost straight away to signal a victory for Holker that just ten minutes earlier did not look remotely on the cards.

Bournemouth v Middlesbrough, Friday 15th April 2022, 3pm

May 2, 2022

At the start of this season, I still had four Championship grounds to tick off. Everything had gone to plan so far and prior to this game Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium was the only one remaining. I didn’t really fancy heading there and back in a day trip, particularly with Bank Holiday traffic and so I went down to London a couple of days in advance and then got a train from Waterloo on the morning of the game.

As there is always stuff to do in London I’d gone along to a Sea Power gig at the Roundhouse the night before. They were as good as they always are and back up to full strength with Phil being available due to it being a school holiday and Abi having found someone to look after the sheep.

The train journey took just under two hours and passed through Southampton and Brockenhurst, both places that I’m familiar with from working down there thirteen or fourteen years ago. I passed sections of the New Forest that I’d walked in, pubs that I’d drank in and the seven a side pitches that I played on after work.

There were plenty of Boro fans on the train, but on leaving from the station most of them headed into town whilst I followed the signs for Boscombe Beach.

I walked for a few hundred yards parallel to the sea and then went for a stroll along the pier. Strolling seems compulsory on a pier. There was a bloke fishing off the end but I couldn’t see if he had managed to catch anything. There were a few holes of crazy golf with a sign warning that lost balls would be charged at a quid-fifty a go. It’s hard to imagine anyone playing a round without hitting a ball off the edge into the water.

After some lunch and a pint overlooking the sea, I headed for the ground. It took around half an hour. There was a drinking area outside but for home supporters only. That seemed a bit inhospitable, do they think that we are incapable of having a drink without being an arse?

With nothing worth hanging around outside for I headed in and after being extremely thoroughly searched I was able to watch the back end of the Luton – Forest game in the concourse.

For some reason I’d assumed the Vitality Stadium was a new ground, but it seems that it’s just a new name. Dean Court was rebuilt apparently twenty years or so ago with a ninety degree rotation but I think some of the stand to my left had been kept. It looked that way anyway, surely nobody would build a stand in the twenty-first century that still had columns obscuring the view.

It was good to see Jones back on the pitch, but he seemed off the pace and with a much less sure touch than normal. Perhaps his illness was still affecting him. Bamba had a good game again filling in for Fry. He didn’t ever move quickly but rarely had to as his positioning was spot on and that invariably gave him the time to do whatever was needed. Daniels returned in goal and put in a solid performance, but we never looked like scoring.

Still, an away point at a promotion contender is a decent result and with all the Championship grounds now ticked off it made for a decent day out.