This is a brand new monthly country event which will be held monthly at Rango's Spaghetti Western at 7 Delamere Street, Winsford in Cheshire. It will be hosted each month by Cinder Hill who are British country twins Katie and Hayley Mogford with their lead guitarist Deon Looker.
We arrived about 7pm which was later than we had planned and purchased our value for money tickets at the bar. Just £5 on the door or if you eat in the restaurant tickets are only £3. We then made our way upstairs to The Rafters Bar and were very pleased to see that the room was already full of people. Cinder Hill were meeting and greeting people as they came through the door which was really welcoming.
It was nicely set out. The stage area had a backdrop of a cow hide and a wall sized banner with information on it. There were 5 bales of straw to make it feel even more country and the lighting was subtle shades, none of these in your face colours that make photography a nightmare. We sat at tables decorated with a red and white gingham runner and a jam jar of fresh flowers and further back from the stage there were barrels doubling as tables with high stools. Homemade bunting was strung across the rafters which was the finishing touch.
Right at the back was a brand new bar serving all your usual drinks plus plenty of Jack Daniels with honey or without, and I am sure I saw moonshine for sale too although I could be mistaken. You could smell the fresh paint but you could tell that a lot of thought had gone into the planning of how this room was to look and it looked stunning.
We sat at a table in front of the stage set up our dictaphone and camera. It was great that we got great photos, voice recordings and video without having to leave our table.
Cinder Hill took to the stage. Katie introduced herself and told everyone what the evening had in store for us all. They opened with their single Fairytales. They were however missing a member tonight although he was in the audience. Deon Looker their lead guitarist had broken his wrist that week so was unable to play. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Cinder Hill's very enjoyable set lasted about 45 minutes and then there was a quick 10 minute break while the stage was reset for Simon James who was performing next. It was just enough time to get more drinks. I will just mention the sound guy at this point. He did a fantastic job all evening. The sound was absolutely perfect.
Simon took to the stage. I always look forward to seeing him perform. His set tonight was mainly new songs and I loved them all. The audience were quite chatty. Catching up with their friends and generally enjoying themselves but Simon told the story of his father-in-law passing away 3 weeks previously and he wrote the song he was about to sing in an hour. The lyrics poured out of him. This song was stunning and the audience went silent. They listened to every word and you could have heard a pin drop. A couple more songs and Simon's set came to an end. This called for another visit to the bar.
Emily Lockett was our next songwriter. She had stepped in at the last minute to cover Emma Jade Garbutt's set as Emma was unfortunately poorly. We first met Emily in about April. For someone so young she impressed me. She has gained in confidence since then and did a fabulous job of entertaining us. I know we will be seeing a lot more of this young lady.
Another quick 10 minute turnaround and Cinder Hill came back to the stage to finish off the evening. Their first set had concentrated on songs from their first EP and this set concentrated on their newer material. Katie and Hayley then thanked everyone for coming which was lovely.
From start to end this was a wonderful evening. 110 people walked through the door on opening night. We will be regulars I think. It will be held the 3rd Saturday of every month except January.
The next Rango's Country Club will be held on 22nd December so come and celebrate your christmas this year in the Rafters Bar with Cinder Hill, Emma Moore and the fabulous Backwoods Creek. Be there or be Square.