Reading Time: 4 minutes

Apologies. I’ve been a bit crap this week with the blog. No excuses really. I’ve had time, but after my evening’s training I haven’t really felt like sitting and writing.

Saturday morning was a fairly relaxed affair. Shelli and I didn’t rush about and after breakfast we took a stroll into the village to get some bits in for lunch. It was nice to walk instead of drive – all the extra miles help towards my year’s challenge – and it was a lovely, if not fresh, morning.

Shelli went for a run on the treadmill, but knowing that we’d be doing more walking later I decided to take a break from the running as the walking miles would do for the day.

Once lunch was out of the way we walked down to the station to get a train into London – gig night! We were off to see Clutch and Thin Lizzy. Well, to be honest it was Clutch really but I was certainly intrigued to see Thin Lizzy seeing as Ricky Warwick [Almighty] was singing for them now.

To get some extra walking miles in for the day we strolled from Paddington to Carnaby Street, heading for the John Snow pub on Broadwick Street.

I’d walked past the pub countless times before but I’d never been in there. It was a small place – made smaller due to the upstairs lounge area being closed – and had a rather unusual divide between the two sides of the bar, with a “doorway” you had to duck under to get through. Very strange.

The beer was perfectly acceptable – Sam Smiths – and Shelli and I managed to get a seat while we waited for Andy and Marina to arrive, which wasn’t too long.

After a couple of sociables we headed over the road to Mildreds, a vegetarian restaurant Andy and Marina recommended, for some dinner. Not the biggest of restaurants, which meant it was already packed even though it was early, but we got a table straight away and checked out the menu to see what gastronomic delights they had on offer. I went for the risotto cake while Shelli went for the halloumi burger with sweet potato fries.

I have to say that the food was really very good. I’m not sure you could call Shelli’s fries “fries” as they were more wedges – very big wedges – than fries. Still, all good.

Satiated, we headed off to Hammersmith to the Apollo, the venue for the evening’s entertainment. Weather-wise, there having been the caution of snow earlier in the day, things were looking okay. That was until we got off the tube at Hammersmith where we were greeted by snow, quite a lot of snow. Not good.

Not a lot we could do about it as we were there, in London, and I for one wasn’t about to go home without seeing the mighty Clutch as it’d been far too long since I last saw them live. So we went in. The journey home could be worried about later.

It was pretty empty when we got inside and it wasn’t long before the first support band came on – Triggerfinger, a three-piece from Antwerp. They were pretty good and certainly got everyone’s feet tapping even if they didn’t really look the part. The lead singer looked as though he’d just left the office before getting on stage. The bassist looked like he should be on the door of a nightclub somewhere. The drummer was wearing what can only be described as a suit made out of a deckchair. All very strange but they did a good job of warming the venue up.

It was a shame that Clutch were only supporting but their 50 minute set was fantastic, reminding me why I like them so much. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them put on a bad show and I always love the way they play around with their songs live, adding new fills, reworking them slightly.

All too soon – and without their [what used to be traditional] set closer Impetus, a definite favourite of mine – they were off stage and we stood around waiting for the roadies to do their job [waste time?!] before Thin Lizzy came on.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Thin Lizzy and let’s face it, it’s not exactly the same without Phil Lynott fronting the band, so we decided to see a song or two and then hit the road home, especially considering the snow outside.

So we listened to the first two songs, including Jailbreak, and yes, they were good but I don’t think I’d pay money to see them again. Ricky did a good job and the old boys looked like they were having fun and played well. Still, it wasn’t enough to keep us any longer with the thoughts of a nightmare journey home.

It was still snowing when we left the venue – the roads were beginning to get covered now, even with all the traffic – and a quick check on my phone showed no delays/cancellations from Paddington so we were hopeful of getting home at least.

It wasn’t long after getting to Paddington that Shelli and I were on a train and homeward bound. It was a bit of a trudge through the snow from Twyford station – it really had settled quick thick by this point – but we were home before 11:30pm which was considerably better than I though the journey home was going to be.

Shame it wasn’t so good for Andy and Marina. After getting on a train from Victoria this then broke down, leaving them stuck. It eventually made its way back to Victoria – breaking down again – and so the nightmare began. I think it eventually took them 6 hours or so before they got in at 4:30am! Not good. Not good at all.

Great to see Clutch again though!