Whatever your name for it, it boils down to…

A Cold Nose.

Possibly, or even probably accompanied by chilly feet, a numb bum and a draughty sensation round those bits that our grandmothers reserved for the perusal of midwives only.

The joys of camping.

All of which can be avoided by a cunning plan, involving a bed and breakfast and the exchange of certain coin of the realm.

Of course, and by now you should know this, there can be only one way to discover the mysterious and musical context of these musings, which is, as ever, Gentle Reader; be bid welcome, and read on.

Last week, you will remember, little grey cells decay rate exceeded by generation rate allowing, that we had a great night at The Bridge in the company of good friends and members of the largely unsuspecting public. But the FG pantechnicon  rolls on, and laurelsproving largely uncomfortable, we turned our view to the next item on our agenda.


Ah yes, Mes Braves, that single word is enough to cause the blood to be a-pumpin’ and the chest to be a-swellin’ as the second Croton Folk and Roots Festival heaves into port under full sail and battleflag.

Held in a brewery (a stroke of genius for a folk festival methinks) the inimitable Mr Grainger put his show on the road and invited many a fair folky folk (and one or two not so fair, especially at eight o’clock in the morning) to attend for a weekend of musiking, accompanied by those strange and rare breed, paid musicians.

For the uninitiated; Cropton is held in the North Yorks Moors village of that name in The New Inn, on a weekend in September. Last year saw the first, this, unsurprisingly then, the second. The venue has a big conservatory (The Acoustic Stage), and a huge marquee (The Stage where everyone actually wants to be)

Steve ‘The Nugget’ Wilson, having elected for a sabbatical this year, meant that the original camping plans could be iced, while the wimpy remaining duo sallied forth in search of comfort, found in the shape of a B&B four miles away, where the landlady was up for the most ‘breakfast on one plate’ compo. Look out for Mrs Holliday (sic) and tell her FG sent you.

So that’s the venue then, the accommodation, the beer was good so only the music to dispense with and we can all go back to our tents.

Or B&B’s.

The usual suspects where there in abundance, Bob Fortune, The Stormies, Glenn (with two nn’s) ‘Almost’ Coggin, Blue Sun, Maggie Gee, Ian (The Sound) Swinburne, oh,  the world an’ ‘is dog –  innit?

MC for the main event was Meastro Chris Milner, with Jane there to do the actual work 🙂  Chris also turning in some especially nice spots on’t acoustic stage.

The standard was uniformly good, and even FG in the duo format seemed to go down better than we could have hoped for. We re-arranged some songs, dug into the back catalogue, which was nice for  us and I must say that Carol and I really enjoyed both the weekend and working together that way. Graeme Crowbrother Carroll did the sound and has beefed up his rig considerably, and what a pleasant sight to see when a big blues outfit rocks out, to be followed by a trad folk acoustic set, equally sounding excellent without ear bleed. Well done that man.

The main acts (or at least the ones I saw), were very, very good indeed. I could have (and did) miss most of the blues sets, but that’s a personal thing based on the ability to progress beyond ‘4’ or in certain circumstances, ‘12’. Just personal taste though.

A fill list of participants can be found here;

the FG judges especially liked Goldrush, and the Ginjammers – nice folks all.

A special mensh goes to Steve & Kristi Nebel. The FG entity has touched the outer extremities of the spiral arm of the Nebel Nebula on several occasions, they being chums of folk superheroes’ jiva, but this was the first chance for us to have a proper natter and appreciate each other’s sets in some detail. Steve and Kristi played some very pleasing songs, I especially liked the ‘Comin in’ song about a fishing fleet in a storm. They enjoyed the large stage setting and benefitted from it, producing an accomplished sound and appreciated warmly by t’audience. Nice to meet them and swap CD’s, anecdotes and information about music from across the pond.

Two main opportunities await the unwary should FG be on the radar, This Saturday coming October the Oneth sees us as guests of John Jeffery at the Comrades Club in Whitley Bay playing a bit of a spot, and then on Saturday 8th Oct, we’ll be at the Lamplight in Stanley for the final CD launch bash, in the company of Chris Kelly and (hopefully) a surprise set of chums.

So, until the eighteen string twin neck ovation of three day festivals causes a visit to the Chiropractor of destiny, I notice it’s the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’


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