The Achievers Live at Temperance

The Stroud, Gloucestershire UK Americana, Gospel & Blues & Roots group The Achievers finished off their well-received 10 year anniversary tour at the Temperance Café in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire last weekend. They were joined as support by the brilliant Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire Blues guitarist and singer Greg Brice.

Greg launched his first Album ‘Greg Brice’ last year at the same venue, with Jack Thomas (Bass) and Aron Attwood (drums), both of who are members of the main act The Achievers.

Greg split his set into two parts with the first section singing with acoustic guitar, and the second section with his electric guitar, and his expert finger picking style.

His numbers included some of his own compositions ‘Together But Long Distance’, which was about a Megabus journey from University of Aberdeen (where Greg was studying for a Zoology degree) to see his then girlfriend in Paris (now his wife as of 2022) and ‘Brother’ which is about Greg’s younger brother who studied Law and doesn’t play guitar!.

The covers that Greg sang/played included the Chet Atkins instrumental ‘Windy & Warm’, the Professor Longhair song ‘Tiptina’, the Wood Brothers song ‘One More Day’, A ray Charles number ‘Hallelujah I Love Her So’ and a song Greg translated from a piano based song to a guitar based one with the Paul Simon number ‘Still Crazy After All These Days’. He finished with the singalong Sister Rosetta Tharpe song ‘Up Above My Head’.

Then after a short beer break The Achievers took to the stage. 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). They also included Toby Wilson on slide guitar and vocals, who joined for this tour. For this tour the band were playing acoustic, which they had launched to great success at the 2022 Upton Blues Festival, Upton-on-Severn, Worcestershire.

They launched straight in ‘Como Blues’ before Steve welcomed the audience with the first of many witty comments, with support act Greg Brice taking some stick (in humour). The band sings with a wonderful four part harmony, with Rufus on the bass parts and Robert of the higher parts with Steve & Aron in close but different harmony.

The first half also included ‘Qualities’, The Cuckoo’ their first song to be recorded and ‘Sabrina’. The story around the song ‘Sabrina’ seems to get more fantastical every time I hear it, but it is about the time the band were on a European tour and is about their Hamburg, Germany gig. A fan Sabrina enjoyed the show so much she wanted to get into the bands accommodation upstairs!. Being all spoken for they had to barricade their room with a bunk bed so she couldn’t get in. Or so the story goes!

After a longer beer break the band returned for the second half and with more banter from Steve they performed their longest song title ‘Don’t Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down’, before singing ‘Just Keep Going On’ and ‘When I Go Away’ before they moved onto some alternative songs they created during lockdown with the ‘Sha Na Na’ based song that was suggested by Steve’s daughter. It got even more crazy when they played part of another song as the Uncle Touchers which was about a gentlemen’s private part!.

The set finished with crowd favourites ‘Seabird’, ‘400 Rabbits’ and ‘Shelter’. After much applause and More More the band came back and finished with a audience request ‘See You Back Jesus’ which was about a Portuguese guy actually called Jesus who used to help Steve reverse out of his driveway in a very quiet street in Stroud.

Steve at the end thanked all for coming with special praise for Temperance owner and sound man Adrian Gaines.

The Achievers will be playing on New Year’s Eve, local to them in Stroud, with the next announced gig being a Charity concert at Stroud Brewery on 20th January 2024, with several other blues bands, organised by Bob Porter. Their next European gig announced is on Saturday 6th July at the Hookrock Diepenbeek in Belgium.

Greg Brice will be starting a tour of his trio with a gig back at Temperance, Leamington Spa on 30th March 2024

The Achievers Live at Temperance
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 11 December 2023
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