Keswick? Wet? Never!

It is said by some that the British excel at it. The Welsh and the Scots, through lack of opportunity to the contrary, simply get on with it. The Irish probably do something green with it, I couldn’t say, but the Emerald Isle is presumably so named for a reason[1]. Naturally I refer to the great UK sport of playing in the rain; where, when we are supposed to be enjoying ourselves a little rain is unlikely to dampen our enthusiasm, just our clothing down to underpants. Yessir, when we are meant be enjoying ourselves, we will, even if it kills us.

Presumably by drowning.

Welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…

A change to the FG schedule this week forced these ruminations upon me. The Nugget is not only a bass player of some standing[2], but also a soundman of renown. Good sound chappies are very hard to find, especially ones that don’t equate ‘loud’ with ‘good’, and so it was that friends itsAcoustica had the benefit of Nuggetsound at The Bridge this Saturday evening. That meant the Fool’s Gold was represented as a duo over in the far flung Kingdom of Cumbria, where men are dressed in waterproofs and the women are entirely indistinguishable from the gentleman as Outdoor Wear (capitalisation imperative) is known for its thermal and water-resistant qualities rather than a flattering emphasis of the female form.

So Carol and I for The Heights Hotel in Keswick at the invitation of Richard and Debbie Roe, aka Wytchwood for an inaugural event, a day-long musical festival of largely Folk, Folk inspired, singer songwriter – you get the idea.

We arrived at The Heights on Friday night to be welcomed by Van and Barry, mein Hosts, who proved to be welcoming, friendly and very generous hosts over the whole weekend. The Friday Session in the bar was great, good to see many old friends and as usual meet a few more. The pictures should help a bit where names have escaped me. The bar is tiny and very snug and proved a smashing venue for an old-style singaround, probably a good job the Nugget was otherwise engaged as the Count would not have got in! We had a few beers and songs then retired, with the session apparently running until 2.30am.

The next day we were fine!

Stocking up on a hearty brekkie, we lent  paw and trotter to the business of setting up a one-day festival. Essentials such as the beer tent, beer and glasses were already in place, as was a stage. Erecting a marquee took the combined brainpower of three hundred and seventy two folkies, but notwithstanding, it was soon withstanding. The rain, came, went, held off and looked half-way promising, as long as you don’t believe in Weather Forecasts. Nice to have the chance to chat with Mic and Susie Darling, whom we have seen but never had the chance to natter with, really nice folks, and I wish I could dance and play like that!

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Thanks to Richard for the photographs – nice job!

The day began when Dan the Sound arrived with his van from York – there will be a reason for that, I imagine. The sound man, as mentioned already, is often the death-knell of these events, but Dan was a consummate expert, quickly and efficiently providing a superb sound with enough, but not too much, volume. Amazing!

The music began and it was very nice to see Richard & Debbie, Peter Taylor, Steve & Sue, Mahogany Monkey (nice one Barry) and The Busby’s perform some extremely good traditional music. The weather stayed fair until…

…our turn, when it absolutely *£$&”$% it down. However, undaunted, and thanks to the marquee undampened, we took to the stage for our first duo performance for ages and… it went rather well. We enjoyed the set, and it seemed to go down well in the Hotel Grounds, with the fells and lakes as a backdrop to the stage. Gladys was with us too[3], and she enjoyed the trip out and sang rather nicely, I thought.

Another session (4.30am by some accounts) closed the day is style.

Once again, I think I’ll labour the point that these things take time and effort to set up, and very probably some time to become established. So ‘tis my hat that gets doffed in the direction of aforementioned Barry, Van, Richard, Debbie and Wayne. Well done, thank you and keep it up!

This week, we for The Bridge for Jez Lowe, mayhap Jack’s to see itsAcoustica – get along if you can, after that we have more walpoling to do, which you can find on the website. In closing I’ll mention that I am currently fiddling with the website on a scale not seen since Hadrian fancied a garden wall, so have a butchers and let me know what you think so far.

And so as the rain playing folkie of fate discovers that electro-acoustic guitars and rain, can inject energy to any performance, I notice it’s the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] We have never been to Ireland, only Dublin

[2] There will be a gag here about playing Double Bass sitting down, but I insist you do that one yourself

[3] For the uninitiated, Gladys is a good friend of ours, people do look at her oddly, almost as if they’d seen a body with two heads.


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