Friday 7 June 2013

Show Us Your Favourite...with Diary of the Evans-Crittens

Please say hello to today's guest blogger Claire from Diary of the Evans-Crittens, who is going to tell us all about her favourite band!

Hello all, I'm Claire, a mum of four who lives by the coast in South West Wales.  I'm a Primary School Teacher by trade, but currently a Stay at Home Mum and Blog Writer. I love blogging about family life and our days out as a way to treasure all our happy memories.  We also blog about our crafts, music, cooking, style, beauty and favourite Theatre Shows.
I'm here to tell you about my favourite band which is the Welsh hard rock band, Hate Gauge.

You may think that I'm being biased when I tell you this, as I have to be honest with you and explain that Dave, my long term boyfriend and father of my four children, is the Bass Player in this aforementioned band. However, I think I can get away with this as my love of the band actually came before my love for Dave.

I cannot tell you when I first met Dave as it seems to me that I have known him my whole life.  We grew up living just around the corner from each other.   He is seven years older than me, which is no difference today, but when we were younger and in different schools it seemed like we were a whole generation apart.  

As we got older the age gap narrowed and we would see each other in the pub or on the bus.  I remember his tight jeans (cringe), denim jacket covered in badges and his trademark long blonde hair.  We both recall that I would be on the left side of the bar of the Starboard with my friends and he would be on the right.  We would smile and say "Hi" to each other, but I'm not sure if we even knew each others names at that point.

One day we got on the bus at the same stop.  He asked to go into town, but then departed the bus at the college like me.  I explained to him that he could have saved 25p if he had told the driver his correct destination!  He still teases me for saying that to him!
Favourite Band, Hate Gauge, Concrete Beach, One Room Down, the Jiffys, pledgemusic
Then I started going to watch the band that he played in, Concrete Beach.  We were never "available" at the same time so there was no chance of a romance.  He was just a guy who I instantly "clicked" with and felt relaxed with and loved his band and music.
Favourite Band, Hate Gauge, Concrete Beach, One Room Down, the Jiffys, pledgemusic
Just before my seventeenth birthday, my friends Thomas and John organised a local gig, "Gigawatt".  This meant many a relaxed night sitting in the pub with my best friend, Sarah, Thomas and John and the band as they discussed details!  I had no idea that at the next Gigawatt, years later, I would be watching as Dave's "girlfriend".  

I loved Gigawatt and my obsession with Concrete Beach escalated.  I kept every clipping from the local paper and even dragged my young sister to one gig they played at the college as all my friends were away at uni.  I really wanted a copy of their "tape" (yes, cassette tape!) but somehow it never happened!
Favourite Band, Hate Gauge, Concrete Beach, One Room Down, the Jiffys, pledgemusic
Then in 2000.  Something finally happened.  We were both in our local, the Starboard,and both available!  I had gone away to Leeds Festival with my boyfriend and had an amazing time watching great bands and soaking up the festival atmosphere.  My boyfriend loved the music, but got moody about the rain, the mood and being festival dirty- so I knew he wasn't the man for me.

However as I was fresh back from a festival and Dave had just attended his drummer's wedding,  we had lots to talk about.  I just walked straight up to him and started talking.  We talked all night and looked into each others' eyes, stared deep into each others' souls and fell in love.

I got my Concrete Beach tape, I discovered that the "tramp" on the tape cover was Dave.
We texted each other beautiful messages and our favourite lyrics from the songs.

Dave programmed my favourite Concrete Beach song, "You" into my phone ring tones (do you remember when you could do that?)  Happy, butterflies in my belly, memories.

I had to go back to Uni, but Dave would visit me most weekends and I came home for the holidays.

The next Gigawatt took place while I was at uni.  I travelled home by train.  The train was delayed in Carmarthen.  I was going to miss seeing Concrete Beach play.

My wonderful Mum and my darling, late Dad came to my rescue.  They drove the hour long journey to Carmarthen to bring me home, just in time to see the band play.  I loved them so much for doing that for me.  

I was planning to stay in Manchester as I had lots of teaching job offers there.  We knew we wanted a future together, so Dave decided to uproot to Manchester.  Then, when my graduation was getting closer, he changed his mind and asked me instead to return to our hometown, as he didn't want to leave the band.  I understood, so agreed, although it was hard career wise to have given up all those opportunities.  

I needn't have worried as nine months after my Graduation Ceremony, my priorities had changed and we had a baby!  I had also lost my Dad suddenly the year before, so it made sense to be home with family.

Unfortunately, our son, Danny was very ill.  We were told that he might not live, however with major open heart surgery, he has been given a fighting chance.  Concrete Beach didn't.  I remember us standing together in the hospital carpark as Dave rang Al, the lead singer to tell him to find a new Bass Player, as he didn't know how long we would be in Birmingham or what our future would now hold for us together.

However, if Danny's illness was a factor in the ending of Concrete beach, it was also a factor in a fresh start for some members of the band.  Once we were home and Danny was a thriving, happy baby, we decided to put on a gig to help raise money for Little Hearts Matter to thank them for all the help they had given to us and Danny.
Favourite Band, Hate Gauge, Concrete Beach, One Room Down, the Jiffys, pledgemusic
Members of Concrete Beach reformed for one night as "The Jiffys" in fancy dress, dressed as our friend, "Jiffy" (you had to be there!).  
Favourite Band, Hate Gauge, Concrete Beach, One Room Down, the Jiffys, pledgemusic
B*Movie Heroes headlined but the highlight of the night, and our weekend, was Danny McCormack from the Wildhearts kindly coming to the gig as a special guest and replacing Dave on bass to play some Wildheart's covers with the other Jiffys.  It was a surreal moment.  We raised over £700 and the band were back!
The Wildhearts, Danny McCormack, Favourite Band, Hate Gauge, Concrete Beach, One Room Down, the Jiffys, pledgemusic
After performing a couple more times as The Jiffys, they were ready to get serious into  their songwriting again.  One Room Down was formed.  As with Concrete Beach, they crossed the Genre of Punk and Rock, but this time with added Metal.
Favourite Band, Hate Gauge, Concrete Beach, One Room Down, the Jiffys, pledgemusic
One Room Down successfully gigged, sold CD's and had a huge crowd following.  The Pembrokeshire gig scene appeared most lively during their top moments.

Favourite Band, Hate Gauge, Concrete Beach, One Room Down, the Jiffys, pledgemusic
But, as the lads matured, so did their music and in 2009 they formed Hate Gauge, the band they are today!
Favourite Band, Hate Gauge, Concrete Beach, One Room Down, the Jiffys, pledgemusic

Hate Gauge are the band at their heaviest!  As Dave says, "Hate Gauge is the band we always felt we should be.  We're all metal heads and this finally feels like what we're supposed to be doing.  A bit like coming home." The line up today is Al Muir, lead vocals, Kevin Davies, lead guitar, Dave Critten, Bass player and youngster (he wasn't even born the others started their first band!) Tom Lewis, on drums. 
Favourite Band, Hate Gauge, Concrete Beach, One Room Down, the Jiffys, pledgemusic

The band have made videos, singles and mini albums but they've never had the opportunity to make a full length album - until now.

As Dave says "We've always wanted to make a grown up album, but never had the resources to do it, so we've teamed up with to finally give us the chance to do something awesome."

Favourite Band, Hate Gauge, Concrete Beach, One Room Down, the Jiffys, pledgemusic
I would love it so much if the lads get enough pledges and get to make this album.  I'm pledging to have my name in the liner notes!  It's the only way that I'll ever get my name on an album!  

Whatever happens, they will always be my favourite band.  It's been an experience growing up (not old!) with you and to me, you guys will ALWAYS rock!  

Claire xxx

Aww what an awesome romantic get together story, all because of Claire's love of a band! Thanks for letting us in on your story Claire and I hope Hate Gauge manage to get he pledges they need!

Don't forget to enter my great giveaway to win either a Vivienne Westwood or Digital Photography Book

 photo homeeee_zps214aed0e.jpg


  1. Hi Chantelle,

    Thanks so much so much for letting me Guest Post on your blog today.



  2. This is lovely Claire, it made me cry, it made me smile and it brought back lots of memories. It also made me laugh, reminding me of how I used to say to you "the boy with long hair is over there" when we sometimes used to pass him in the street. Funny to think he is now like the brother I never had!
    I remember going to see Concrete Beach in The Kings (which is no longer so :-( ) It was an amazing night, I loved their music and we danced like we didn't have a care in the world...and I could fit into my leather trousers! What good memories! :-)

  3. Nice and lovely story...

  4. Aww Such a lovely romantic story :) I remember Dave texting you when we were at Oakwood once and you were very excited!! hehe ;) And I remember the college gig well, Adam wasn't a fan haha xxx


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