April Fools?

Oh for the open road, the Martin Backpacker slung, casually across the, well, backpack obviously. A pair of sandals, shaggy beard, drooping roll-your-own and not a care in the world save the music.

This was not a good look for Carol, so we have tidied her up in time to present this, the next instalment of the wittily entitled, Fool’s Gold Blog.

Welcome Gentle Reader, here you will find out the do-ings and don’t-ings of your favourite (sic) folk-rock-acoustic-prog-trio-with-a-twin neck-double-bass and a bird for a singer. All you have to do is read on.

Poorly Parent Problems once again occlude the FG event horizon and necessarily curtail our walpoling, however, we have been busy a bit.

The first outing of the week was to Stockton Folk Club. This was our second visit to this friendly club, and once again it was nice to see some friendly faces belonging to performers and audience from the Cleveland area. We did a couple of floor spots and had a nice time in general. Good to see Dogwatch and Sylvie-Anne and her Shaun pipes. We always like the opportunity to play full acoustic, and for more of that, see later.

Steve Wilson has been mixing the alum and we have, as usual, made two steps forward, one step back. Some tracks need a bit more work, but most of them probably just need me to adjust to what I’m hearing – do we really sound like that? The artwork is slowly progressing too, slowed by time availability. The artistic talents of Mnsr. Mark Hadlett have been procured to produce inimitable artwork to grace the inside of the package. We plan to seal the lot to protect it from the eager grasp of the flocking customer horde, so the only way for you see the art work will be… J

Now, here’s a thought.

We went to see Show of Hands on Wednesday at The Gala. More of that in a mo’; but before all that prattle, at the end of the gig I bought a Miranda Sykes CD. It was £5 and contains 14 mins of music. No complaint from me, I just wonder if we should be thinking, (we means you, me and all of the tribe of musicians that FG rubs crotchets with) outside the jewel case and producing something other than 45 – 50 min CD’s at £10 or so that can prove hard to shift. If you have a feeling on this, please jot it as a comment, I’d be interested in what folks think.

Show of Hands were, of course, excellent. Two blokes, a lady, a double bass, variety of strings and great songs and harmonies. If only they added a flute, their Fool’s Gold tribute act would be almost perfect. Their set was seamless, well paced, and very relaxed. I always try to shove too many songs into a set; this was an object lesson, not just in musicianship but also in presentation.

So to the weekend. And FG for Middlesbrough. Richard Grainger he of piratical visage, great songs and crucially the desire to organise events, invited us (once I’d finished twisting his arm) to take part in the inaugural Middlesbrough Acoustic Festival. On Friday night we played at MIMA. PA was provided by the venue, so we played acoustically (it was interesting, to put it mildly, although I did want to try Graham Brotton’s AER). Actually, the acoustic move was a Good Thing, because the acoustics in the place were great and we managed to make the room ring. As always, it was great so see so many friends, The Stormies (Mark & Amanda, in battledress) Chris Milner and Jane, Graham and Sam (Blue Sun)[1], Richard of course. Sara Dennis opened the evening, battled valiantly with the PA and showed the rest of the way forward. Nice songs well presented tho’. Chris did a relaxed spot, some great songs, that I’m gradually getting to know. I love the one with the a capella section in the middle- wossname? Excellent. FG next, and then Richard to close the evening with some great songs and stories. Greenland Whale and the song about the Tees (I want to call it Big River, but I think that was another guy) high points for me.

We also turned up at Middlesbrough Music Centre on the Saturday to do a short spot. A small but perfectly formed audience (note: audience, not just a collective bunch of muso’s awaiting their turn) actually sang along to our stuff. We missed out on Saturday night, but I certainly hope this event goes from strength to strength, thanks to Richard for putting it together. Good job someone does.

That about wraps this one up, so until the folk singer of destiny meets the slipknot fan (in a Middlesbrough music shop on a Saturday[2]) of fate,

Until then Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] Pauline was of course there too – hi Pauline, it’s me back Doctor…

[2] Chris’ years of experience as a youth worker, at the front line of the interface between Yoof and establishment were not wasted, as he showed us how to ignore the babblings of the adolescent


6 thoughts on “April Fools?

  1. For an April Fool’s Gold trip to Middlesbrough it was fraught with dangers, but I had a great time in the end.
    I even got to play with Mark and Amanda on Saturday eve. Bonus.

    Oh! the blogs a canny un too. ta. He he

  2. CDs… we’re firm believers in full length albums and we expect to pay the going rate (usually around a tenner for a professionally recorded, professionally packaged, good artwork design hopefully with a booklet containing lyrics).

    That’s therefore what we aim for with our own albums.

    Not sure we’d buy short EP-type CDs – if people want only a few tracks then they’ll probably look for the performer’s/duo’s/band’s website or MySpace or iTunes, or Amazon.mp3 or CD Baby etc… our ‘Best Friends’ album and all constituent tracks are available in those places – and we may occasionally add bonus pre-release tracks too!

      • As slowly (and I do mean slowly) the possibilities of adding photos, links, polls etc make me think that this method of communication is actually more useful than the trad website.
        What and interesting world we live in; I’ve just used ‘trad’ to describe the concept of websites!

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