The Callahans
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The Callahans at the Star and Garter 20/08/16

20/08/16 To Bieber or not to Bieber, that was the question. A decision was to be made, whether to go to the V Fest and watch the latest stars of X Factor and Britain’s got no talent, or go to the Star and Garter to see a mod band. Not really much of a choice so a couple of phone calls and emails and there we were at the S & G drinking some decent beer without the 45 minute queue.

The Callahans are named after Dirty Harry and are a covers band which play songs from the 60’s, 70’s with a couple of more up to date ones. They are lucky enough to have my favourite instrument in music, the Hammond organ. Due to having a drink in the Hop Shop first (highly recommended) we missed the start of the set which I believe had “Green onions” as the opener, Anyway we arrived to the start of “Teenage Kicks” which was followed by the Stranglers “Something better change” after this as usual it all gets a bit mussy but I am sure that I heard songs from the Hives, Cream, a great version of “Midnight hour,” “Cum on feel the noise” “20th Century boy” “Roxette” and finishing the first set, a most enjoyable cover of “Down at the doctors.”

As usual you get your money’s worth (even though you don’t pay anything), as with all bands in pubs you get a second set. This was more on the moddy side with songs from Spencer Davis, the Kinks, Small Faces and the Who. A few rnb covers “Heatwave” Shake” and “High heeled sneakers.” Of course no self-respecting mod band would be without Paul Weller in its armoury. This mostly finished the gig with “Changing man” “Sunflower” “Floorboards up” “Blink and you’ll miss it” and “Start.” A hugely enjoyable night, which finished with an encore of “Town called malice” “My generation” and “Eton rifles.” Maurice managed to get them back up with his extra loud mores and we had “Down at the Doctors again.” I had a great night with good friends with my highlights being “Sunflower” “Tin Soldiers” and “Down at the doctors.” We even had a drop of Northern Soul while the band packed away.

The band are playing at The Essex Arms, Brentwood on the 2nd of December and if you like this kind of music the Kubricks (good time Ska band) are at the Bassment on the 2nd of September. The Mint are playing the Star and Garter on the 10th of September, as an alternative to this if you have itchy feet and fancy dancing, there is a night of Reggae, Ska, Northern and Motown at the White Horse, Townfield Street. On the 17th of September, the Boss and Small World are playing the Bassment , this one will be a top night. As an alternative to this one Chelmsford Northern Soul Club are putting a do on at the Cherry Tree in Witham as well as the Star and Garter hosting a whole day and night of Reggae. On the 23rd the Mannequins (top, top band) play the Essex Arms and finally on the 30th Gerry Dammers is doing a DJ set at the Bassment with the Rubbersoul Collective. Somehow or other I have to fit in 5 nights in Vegas in the middle of that lot. It doesn’t really matter what you do or where you go, just go out and enjoy.

Summing up please support Chelmsford pubs like the Star and Garter who put on live weekly music. We are very lucky living in Chelmo, on the same night within 200 yards of where we were, there were another 2 pubs putting on live music and another with a soul night with DJ’s who play at Caister Soul weekend and Stomp radio (If you like that kind of music, they are high quality DJ’s). Also at the better end of town (where I live), at least 2 pubs with live music, 2 clubs that had all day and all night mini festivals, as well as all of the youngsters bars in the middle of town. Let alone the 75,000 people who were at the V festival. If you don’t support them they close down.


Duncan, August 2016.