I See No Ships…

Yo, Ho and not to forget; Ho.

Who indeed could forget Ho Ho, the Chinese pirate, astride the heaving deck of his deceptively decrepit junk, telescope to his good eye, deep glittering as he scanned the horizon for signs of plunder?

Yes, we are here again, the weekend where, for one reason or another, we acousto-folkies adopt the ways of the sea, and at once begin the business of climbing an imaginary rope, humming the theme tune to Blue Peter and dust off anything in the repertoire that could be construed as being vaguely wet and salty.

I refer of course to Seafest weekend, this year to be found in the appropriate venue of Whitby. FG will be on hand to join in, but not climb an imaginary rope.

For, like Ho Ho, our telescope is glued on far horizons, and perhaps we spy distant plunder?

Be welcome Gentle Reader, and Read on…

“May it please the court and Your Honour…”

Oh no, it’s him again.

Seems I’ve been pulled in again by the Folk Police and charged with some other crime against Acoustic Music Society.

“May it please Your Honour…”

Yes, we heard that bit; get on with it.

“…the facts of this case lie before me[1]

The leaden air, moves as the dry hum of a dying PA crackles into stillness. The jury, just your regular cross section of rednecked musical reactionaries, plus Denis, who’s a menace with his ‘anyone for tennis’,  look up from their scratch cards.

“The Accused”, a meaningful glance aimed at me would have felled many an Acoustic Chum; I smile back encouragingly, “has with malice aforethought, hindthought, and liquorice allthoughts, acquired ideas above his station in music.

Spittle flies, but I apologise quickly and gesture Learned Counsel to continue.

He Does.

“…and has accordingly de facto, ipso facto and ishouldcoco, booked a THEATRE”

Gasps from the body of the court, the Beak looks perturbed and stops reading ‘Playjudge’, and peers over his pince-nez in my direction, then meaningfully, at his black banjo.

Oh heck; my number is up this time.

Penance, should it be handed down would undoubtedly be three decades of The Wild Rover, and two Mountains of Maun, just for having the temerity. Regular Gentle Readers will recall how, last week, I revealed that we have indeed booked Cluny2 for a show next year with Acoustic Chums Blue Sun. It’s all part of wanting to broaden the audience for what we do, get a few new folks to hear us and hopefully, if they are just a bit potty, like what they hear. The publicity machine of the Cluny will be behind us so maybe we’ll get a few faces there to swell the massed ranks of the faithful (that’d be you, then). One thing I am sure of, is that we are going to have a bl**dy good night!

More info as it becomes available.

Many Acoustic Chums are aware of our Help for Heroes fundraising giggage and CD-EP. The latest instalment of that saga is that Tuesday we and the Wrinkly Wroadies for Hartlepool. This time it was Yorkie Gibson playing host at The Nursery Inn Folk Club. Yorkie is one of the characters of the local folk scene, piratic of visage, irrepressible of energy, Yorkie does his best on the local acoustic scene to help, promote, agitate, stir, jump up and down and generally keep the interest going. He invited us to play at The Nursery, and in a lovely touch, organised a collection for the charity before we even got there. The Nursery is an interesting venue – ordinary on the outside, and on the way through the Lounge, then into a large Music Room, complete with stage, lights and sound system – and, Heavens be Praised, a Man What Knows.

Regular waders through this river of rubbish will recall that we have met, and been beaten by sound men in the past. In this case, it was great to realise that The Nursery has a Man What Knows. Mick  sorted out a sound for us that sounded really good, full of tone and punch but not deafening. The PA rig looks like it belongs to Hawkwind’s rehearsal studio, but Mike coaxed a super sound for us – to him, much cap doffing.

A singaround, including some excellent extemporisation, then FG for ½ hour, a beer break and more of the same again. CD sales take us over £800, we played well and people said nice words, some of the old FG stuff including ‘Sundown’ on show, and a great night had by all.

One last word on the subj before I lay it to rest. We met a new Chum on the night, can’t call him acoustic as his instrument is lenticular rather than sonic. Photographer Andrew Dorrian was on hand to take photos to accompany an article Kay D’Eath is writing for the Hartlepool Gazette (which we are agog to see – look, this is me full of gog). We have his permission to usurp Doug (official FG Wrinkly Wrecorder) for one evening and show some of the images that he took. The photos are top notch, all arty an’ moody an’ everyfink, we thank him mightily and wish him the very best in his business. Look for ARD Photography on Facebook. And in the gallery herewith appended.

As far as the sound of distant plunder goes, Carol and I are making our long term plans. New recording, new venues to play and parts of the firmament to visit. New songs too, continue to trouble our rehearsal time, but all as ever,  is concentrated on making FG as good as possible and driving the juggernaut onward.

Full details?

You’ll have to wait!

(And next week, there’s some special news from The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club too!)

Very finally, our very best wishes to AC Graeme Carroll who is inconvenienced by matters medical this week. We understand that all will be well, but that there are steps to be taken on the way – keep proggin’ Graeme.

And so, as the elderly seafaring folkie of fate dances the arthritic jig of agony; and the piratical promoter[2] of destiny, cancels the fee but provides free[3] ralgex, I notice it is the end of the blog.

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] …is there really? Chris de Burgh you say? Well I never.

[2] Is there another sort?

[3] ish


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