There are those who are born great, those who achieve greatness and those whose greatness exists firmly within the boundaries of their own imaginations.

I know mine does.

However, being great in your own head has several advantages. You always play well, you can do the sound yourself, you never forget the chords and the lightshow – wow! Strangely the need for a widdle mid-set is never an affliction of the Folkie Headspace Hero either. But there are some real heroes who should be recognised.

Be welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…

Ian Tute should walk with a pronounced stoop.

He doesn’t but he perhaps should. The stoop would be caused by the enormous medal placed around his neck by grateful members of the Durham musical fraternity.

Now, these are folkies of whom we speak, for whom gushing and fulsome praise comes as naturally as waltzing to a battleship, so it ain’t gonna happen.

But it should.

Sunday saw us and the Wrinkly Wroadies on our own doorstep in Lanchester Club for the latest incarnation of the acoustic music club – as far as I know it hasn’t really ever had a proper name – run by said Mr T. We have dogged Ian’s footsteps for years now, as he has struggled to find a suitable home (and to lose us) for a bunch of acoustically minded toping musos on a Sunday evening in Lanchester. It was years ago, during the Babylon days, that we first went to The Queens Head, then The Three Horseshoes, The Cross Keys, The Black Bull, back to the Queens Head and latterly, and we all hope finally, The Club in Lanchester. In all that time the format has remained the same, low key, laid back, round the circle with a beer break. The biggest difference probably is that this is a ‘joiny in’ club, you don’t wait – you twiddle, widdle, strum, flick, parp or bellow as the spirit moves within you.

Well done to Ian for keeping going, the night was very pleasant, good friends and playing – we hope that this latest move will provide a home for years to come.

And so does Ian, ‘cos he said so.

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We’ve just finished (as I tap here) a second rehearsal with Dave, the bass plonking middle son, and it’s great to hear the FG songs with a bass back in ‘em. The difference is that bass guitar gives a lot more drive, something we will a) control and b) enjoy.


This week has been a poor one for playing but an amazing week for us as FG. The aforementioned trip to Lanchester was Sunday, and Monday, we for the Metro Centre to the shop with the big Windows to take in a Taylor Roadshow, AC’s jiva were there early (I know, we were shocked too) and had already pounced on the guitar of their dreams. So we sat with them while the two very personable Taylor reps demoed woods, body shapes and sizes and pretended they couldn’t really play that well. Jimmy kept a close eye on the details and only disagreed with the reps on 327 occasions – and we know which one of them was right too!

It was a very enjoyable night, although trying the instruments was a complete circus, as everyone else bashed away as if their life depended on it while one was trying out a different guitar or another.

Still – Freebies eh?

Taylor have a deal with Elixir strings, and we were sat at the front, and we had washed, and we did smile, so a pack of strings, a T-Shirt and a packet of plecs with ‘Taylor’ written on them, and a couple of effortlessly stylish ‘Taylor’ Coasters came home with us[1]. No guitar though – which is more than can be said for certain black and purple troubadours of our acquaintance. The guitar? Well, we’ll see what happens next.


The rest of the week has been really busy with rehearsals for shows, and that’s the biggest news. Response for the Beat The Drum CD EP project has been really good – and it’s only a ‘so far’ situation.

In case you’ve been on the moon – and it would have to have been the dark side[2] too – we have a charity CD –EP of four of our songs, it’s available for a donation to Help for Heroes as an officially sanctioned charity activity. We’ve asked a bunch of clubs if we can come and do a bit and offer the CD to those who are interested. The response has been wonderful, with a 100% ‘yes’ response up to this point. So we will be playing at:

Saltburn Folk Club

Guisborough Rugby Club

The Nursery Hartlepool

The Studio Hartlepool

The Ball Alley Stanley

South Shields Folk Club

The G-String Acoustic Club Topcliffe

Richmond Folk Club

More at:


A huge thanks to those clubs who have supported us so far, and we are still waiting to hear from others – who knows?


The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club has also had a charity night. This time (actually last time too) it’s in aid of The Chairman’s Benevolent Fund. The fact that the chairman is as benevolent as a starving Polar Bear is charitable to a naked Eskimo covered in tabasco, is a mere detail and should not trouble us. The night will be in two weeks time, when the beer has gone up, and will feature local stars Sellotape playing an extended set of what are probably Dylan songs, interspersed with one or two of their original songs, which are probably Dylan songs played backwards. Julian has a new mouth organ neck brace, unfortunately wife Sandy hasn’t. On the plus side, everyone can join in with their set, in fact everyone always does.


Julian will be sporting his new chord. As he says, after forty two years of playing the guitar, there’s always something new to learn. This time it’s ‘D’, apparently.

Back to rehearsals for the Bridge with ItsAcoustica on Friday 18 May, will Dave be there, will the bass pedals be there, will theses questions never end? Tune in, same time, same place…

And so as the mailbox of expectancy pings and the sad realisation of fate reveals yet another mail identifying one’s shortcomings, and the new guitar of guaranteed stardom produces the same noise as the old one, but more expensively, I notice it’s the end of the blog.


Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’


[1] I wonder what was on their undercrackers?

[2] …as a matter of fact…


3 thoughts on “Medals

  1. Hello from Coco – custom build Jumbo 6-string, Cocobolo back and sides, sunburst Spruce top, all the trimmings… twin brother of Chalise 12-string. 🙂

    • Then again, we’ve always been


      off the wall and unconventional.

      …which is a bit like saying “The Titanic was a bit sinkable” or “The Great Wall of China is a bit long”…

      only one thing to say: ‘jivaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!’

  2. Disagree with Taylor? “No, Nay, Never” (to quote a certain song).

    The reps and roadshows are giving us a much better understanding and appreciation of how different wood combinations and body shapes can affect the sound. The general consensus seems to be that smaller body shapes are normally more suited to fingerpicking, but we have found Dreadnought and Jumbo shapes combined with Rosewood (and more recently, Cocobolo) seem to fit the bill for us. Then again, we’ve always been somewhat off the wall and unconventional.

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