Electric Finish with The Achievers in Stroud

The Achievers, is a Blues/Americana and Gospel Music band who finished off their 10th Anniversary tour with a New Year’s Eve gig at The Ale House in Stroud, which is their home town.

Their line-up was Steve Ferbrache (guitar & lead vocals), Aron Attwood (vocals & drums), Rufus Fry (vocals & harmonica), Jack Thomas (Bass) and Robert Holmes (vocals & lead guitar).

Full Gig Image Gallery

This was their first full Electric set for nearly 4 years with last time Aron Attwell played his full drum kit was for the International Blues Challenge Blues awards gig in Memphis Tennessee in January 2020. They won the UK Blues Challenge in 2019 and so performed at both the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, USA and the European Blues Challenge.

This electric setup is a harder sound that their acoustic set which they have mostly been playing since Upton Blues Festival in 2022

They played through in evening in three sections and the numbers included ‘Como Blues’, ‘Run On’ and ‘Qualities’ – with the lyrics coming from an  argument heard in Acre Street in  Stroud where lead vocalist Steve Ferbrache lives.

Next up was ‘Easy going Days’ which works really well with full electric sound and drum kit. This gig was the 10th anniversary, at the original location, and the next song ‘The Cuckoo’ was the first ever song performed in the Ale House in Stroud in 2013.

The next song ‘Careful Sabrina’ was written after a German groupie who liked gang bangs with bands who pass through the venue in Hamburg. The Achievers had to barricade themselves into their upside rooms to avoid her attentions. This was initially played at a slower tempo sexy version and then quickened into the pub rock version.

Steve is friendly with Bath/Frome songwriter Kevin Brown and the band next played his song ‘Your Train will come’.

Before the first beer break the band played ‘Voodoo Working’ with great Rufus harmonica, ‘Easy Life’ with its lovely four-part harmony, ‘Seebird’ a song by 1970s twins the Alessi Brothers and finished with a Nashville artist Amos Lee song, but re-arranged in The Achievers style ‘Darling’

Then after a beer break the band continued with ‘Don’t ever Turn Around’, ‘Just Keep Going On’ a Rev Dan Smith song he wrote in 1960 which has also been covered by Eric Bibb.

Next up was Gospel song about death, from which the band wanted to take the positives and live a prosperous life in 2024. ‘If you go Away’ -with its sumptuous four-part gospel harmonies.

Then we had a Rufus Fry led vocals with ‘Ru’s thing’ with its harmonica solo. This was written after he had his harmonicas and microphones stolen 5 years ago, but generously fans raised £3500 so he could in a few weeks have his kit and mics again.

The another The Achievers classic with ‘400 Rabbits’

The we got into the ‘Uncle Touchers’ section, which was a side project that the band created during the early days of COVID after they were offered somewhere to rehearse (for work purposes and socially distanced) but with no toilets etc ..and helped with a huge amount of weed!. This was Funk, Jazz, and Arthouse/ Prog Rock sound with songs lasting up to 15 minutes. So, we were played a section of ‘Sha Na Na I like to eat Stuff’, which was inspired by Steve’s then nine-year daughter.

Then back to The Achievers songs with ‘Don’t take it Out on Me’ and then ‘See me back Jesus’ This was about a local man seen in Stroud, but who was from Malta, and helps steve back his van out of his drive. He claims to have fathered fifty children around the world and washes his car every day. But he is very friendly and kind, and lives in Painswick. This song featured Aron Attwood on lead vocals.

Next up before the second beer break was a No regrets song ‘No One Remembers’ before a singalong song ‘Will You Come Along’ which included brief solos from Aron on drums, Robert on lead guitar and Rufus on harmonica.

Singalong song - recovery song - Will you come along - do you like the sound of it - Aron solo, Robert & Rufus solo breaks

Then after the second beer break, in the runup to midnight, the band played ‘Shelter’ a Joe Tex song ‘Pneumonia’,  ‘I’ll take care of you/Tender Women’ with the traditional ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at Midnight.

The set finished with a John Lennon number ‘Oh Yoko’ which the band sang as ‘Oh Nigel’ for the Alehouse, Stroud Publican Nigel and then as an encore with ‘Loving Machine’  a boogie woogy song, with evolved into ‘Shake your Money Maker’.

The band are planning a quiet 2024 to allow time for new songs to be written, but will perform in the local area around Stroud, with the next date confirmed of Saturday 20th January at the Stroud brewery as part of a five band charity concert (for the NHS) organised by Bob Porter.

Electric Finish with The Achievers in Stroud
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 1 January 2024
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