The Groundhogs Original Line Up reunited 2003/4

The Groundhogs Original Line Up reunited 2003/4
hogsphoto3 In 2003 the unexpected happened and the original, classic, Groundhogs line-up of Tony T S McPhee, Pete Cruikshank and Ken Pustelnik reformed. It was great news that the guys had decided to play together again, and I was lucky enough to see them twice when they came to the North of England. The first occasion was at the Maryport Blues festival, where they shared the bill with Zoot Money, and a couple of other acts, on a hot Sunday afternoon in July 2003. This was my first visit to the festival, and really enjoyed it. Since then I have returned to Maryport Blues a couple of times. hogspics2 David came along and took some photos. It was great to see the original line-up again after 30 years. The bands played in a large marquee down by the harbour (this was before the festival moved to its more recent home up at the Rugby Club). Their set was quite short on this occasion, and consisted of the classic songs.The next year I had the chance to see the original line-up again. David was studying in Leeds at the time, so I took the opportunity to go and visit him, and then we both went to see the Groundhogs at a great venue called the New Roscoe. The New Roscoe is close to the centre of Leeds, and has live gigs almost every night. groundhigsnewroscoe The set was drawn from the first four albums; Scratching the Surface, Blues Obituary, Thank Christ for the Bomb and Split, and included all the classics: Split 1, Split 2, Groundhog, Eccentric Man, Mistreated, Still a Fool, Garden and, of course, Cherry Red. Ship on the Ocean and Soldier may also have featured at the Roscoe gig. Tony was playing as well as ever, with some serious soloing. At the Roscoe gig, I can recall lots of use of the whammy bar, and Tony running his hands up and down the neck of his strat. The support act was a young band called Shearwater, who played a set of rock classic. hogspics1 We got to the venue early and claimed a couple of seats close to the front, for a good view of Tony and the band. David was on camera duty again. The Leeds crowd gave the Groundhogs a great reception and called them back for a couple of encores. The last encore was Time, which I don’t recall ever seeing them play live before. In 2004 the Groundhogs split. However, this wasn’t the end.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitch on January 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    These Groundhogs blogs have been a great read. They have always been my fave band (alongside Wishbone Ash). I saw this reformed line up at York Fibbers (26/7/03) – a dreadful venue. The band appeared under rehearsed and a couple of numbers had to be started again as Pustelnik missed his cue. Sad really as I was hoping to see some of the old magic but left disappointed. Set list was Ship on the Ocean, Eccentric Man, Garden, No More Doggin’, Still a Fool, Split P1, Split P2, Natchez Burning, Split P4, Mistreated, Cherry Red. Encores: Boogie Chillun/Groundhog Blues. Eccentric Man (again).


  2. Posted by vintagerock on January 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Glad you’ve enjoyed reading them. Many thanks Peter


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