Clough Aid is a rip-roaring success!

As a proud Nottinghamian I was a little ashamed to discover such a wealth of musical talent on my doorstep at Clough Aid last night.  I arrived just as a solo acoustic set was finishing, and set about getting a drink after being accosted for raffle tickets by a couple of guys from the Brian Clough statue fund.  It wasn’t too long before John McGovern took to the stage as compere, told us a Cloughism, before introducing the first band.

I’d wanted to write a review when I got home, but was too tired after moshing around so I’ve successfully forgotten many details of the night – which in itself is probably an indicator of how good it was!  The first three bands were Lucky Bullet, who were a great opening act hailing from Hucknall in Nottingham, next up were Daddy Rough from (boo! hiss!) Derby, who hammed up their sheep connections like the  best of pantomime villains – and were very very good as well, leaving the stage open for Delta Red who I also enjoyed tremendously.

In between the bands John McGovern continued to compere alongside some DJing as each of the bands were setting up – the raffle draw saw me win nothing, typical!  And John read out a message Barbara Clough had sent to the statue committee, which was typically moving.  There was also a “big cheque” moment from the guys at LTLF to add another £1,400-odd to the fund.  The stage was – quite literally – now set for probably the two “headline” acts for the gig, and certainly the room was a lot busier in the run up to the fourth band compared to earlier in the evening.

The event-organisers The Fakers were up next, and were frankly brilliant – adorned in Forest shirts (the latest for the singer, Dave, and one of his guitarists) and the classic late 80’s Shipstones sponsored collared shirt for the drummer.  This was the first time the gig became overtly fused with football, with chants of “Nottingham! Nottingham! Nottingham!” and all manner of City Ground favourites interspersed with the music – it’s something I think we should certainly consider more of, a fusion of Forest and live music!

John McGovern had his last duty of the evening to present the last act – amusingly the statue fund committee chose this moment to present him with a canvas print of him as a rockstar; I couldn’t see too well but it basically looked like some cunning work with  Photoshop or similar to paste John’s head onto a guitarist, and was printed on a box canvas.  It certainly seemed to go down well with the former Forest captain, though!

Lastly, and by no means least, were Mint Ive, who were headlining the gig – I assume they were more established as their posters adorned the venue and they even had t-shirts on sale, as well as some amusing nutters for fans (including a couple of random stage invaders who decided to strip during one song!), but as with the Fakers, their music was catchy and infectious with an edge as well – I would really recommend keeping an eye out on where they are playing,

Huge respect is also due to the DJ who, upon the end ofMint Ive’s set launched into “We’ve got the whole world in our hands”, which sounds cheesy, but in the words of a hippy “You weren’t there, man!” – it was a real moment of celebrating our common cause, and roots – I don’t think enough bigging up of all things Nottingham goes on – and certainly this event was something that did – four Nottingham bands, and one from just down the A52, all in honour of a man who helped put us on the map – a fantastic concept expertly delivered thanks to The Fakers and the Brian Clough statue fund’s brilliant organisation.

I opened this by saying I was a bit ashamed to not be aware of the wealth of talent on my doorstep musically – so before you clamour for your Arctic Monkeys tickets (or whoever), why not check out where some of your local bands are playing – The Fakers and Mint Ive in particular are well worth looking out for, and all the bands on the bill for Clough Aid were briliant.  Let’s help make the next “big” band be one from Nottingham, the seeds are already sown…

And for the statue fund, they started the night around £54,000 – with the gig proceeds (no idea how much that would be, but it was busy so hopefully plenty!), over £1,000k from LTLF, the eBay auctions they have going on as well as the Desk that Forest have kindly offered the proceeds from, surely the £60,000 end is almost within sight – what a great way to celebrate Christmas that would be!