Time for Tiffin?

Once there was a time when large portions of the classroom globe would be coloured pink. Pink being the chosen colour to denote the vastness of the British Empire. The sun never set, so they said, often over pink gin and tiffin[1].

Possibly not, but that was then, this is now, and things have changed. Now we have a world ruled by t’Internet and the Information Supercarpark, Now the globe is coloured according to whose blog you read, and I’m pleased to say that some little tiny bits of it glow a pleasing Golden colour. Welcome to all our new readers in Nigeria, New Zealand, Russia, the US of A, and Hong Kong.

Now, new and old Gentle Readers, read on…

Forthcoming Fool’s Gold appearances:

The Monkey Folk Club, Monkseaton link

Masham Air Ambulance Fundraiser link

South Shields Folk Club link

This week has seen your trusty troubadours return unwillingly to the world of nine to whenever and back to the day job. We deliberately left the diary under populated this week, anticipating that we may feel somewhat less energised than usual during the first week back. However, that does not mean that there is not much to report – ho-no.

Generate Radio had been playing our interview and songs this week and Kyle tells us that there has been a strong response. He did not say if it was a positive strong response or the sort of strong response that drives the good worthies of Duns out in an indignant expression of torchlit protest, burning effigies of acoustic guitars as they march the wet streets. But we hope not.

Also this week we have recorded and handed in our new song.

Handed in?

Yes.

Y’see The Woodhorn Museum has organised a song competition at which we decided to have a punt. The theme was Grace Darling. To Gentle Readers and Acoustic Chums alike who are not, for their sins, from this part of the Golden Empire; Grace Darling was a 22 year old lighthouse keeper’s daughter who in 1838 helped her father to row a small boat through a raging storm to rescue shipwrecked souls from a bare rock nearby. For this feat she was feted as a heroine; which indeed she was, she was also somewhat retiring, rarely left the rock and indeed died a few years later from TB.

Well known round this manor.

So Woodhorn have an event with a Grace Darling theme and invited all comers to produce a song; the competition element being that songs would be chosen to be used in their event. So I decided to try ‘writing to order’ and ‘Longstone’ was born, only 35 seconds too long, and certainly an FG song. It has been recorded, mixed, remixed, re-remixed and finally completed.

And handed in; so now we wait to see – I’m not holding my breath.

However, readers of eagle eye and sound memory[2], and those interested in Acoustic Music Recording[3] will recall that last week I mused about selling CDs and indeed about the worth of making albums at all.

Let’s look at the reality eh?

FG, like many of our Acoustic Chums put a great deal of effort into song writing and playing them as well as we can. We’d like to share the music with others. So we put much more effort, pennies and sweat into recording them as well as possible, designing nice CD covers, burning, printing, sealing and stacking until the back parlour looks like a minor distribution hub for HMV.

And there, largely, they stay.

Yes we sell a few. We’ve sold a shedload of Beat The Drum, but as a Help for Heroes CD that doesn’t count. We DO sell CD’s at gigs – but not lots.

So what to do?
Making another one would seem to be a waste if time. Certainly flogging it for £8 upwards is unlikely to change the minds of those who manfully resisted the temptation to buy the others. We need something different.

And we have got something different.

The Grace Darling song is available for free download (for now anyway) from our website. The link is below.

BUT, we haven’t just provided a link to an mp3 file. Soundcloud[4] does that, so could other ways.

Back in the day, when I were a lad; buying a new album was an event. The ritual of buying a new 12” album was enhanced by the unwrapping, the gatefold sleeves, the artwork, liner notes and give-aways – all adding to the music. CDs I respectfully suggest have none of that, especially when you can hardly read the damn text.

So you can download our digital equivalent. I called it a DiNgle – a digital single, (that’s because I work in ICT and we do that), but basically it offers something along the lines of the above.

If you like it let me know.

You can download it here

And more info below[5]

And so to The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club. Last week jiva were headline guests, Chairman Dave granting them the singular honour of 45 mins after the beer break, while he was in the bar. Sadly we couldn’t get along on the night, but reliable sources, alright; sources, tell me that the night was, as you might have guessed, a riotous success. jiva charmed the fierce crowd with their approach to gentle melodic tinkle-folk, and Val’s crowdsurfing won many hearts. Unusually, jiva decided to do a rock medley towards the end of their set, Steppenwolf’s ‘Born to Be Mild’ kicked off a string of heavy rock classics given the jiva treatment, Stairlift to Heaven, Back in Black (and Purple), Over The Hills and Far Way (The Sat Nav Song), Turn Down the Night – they were all there. The night was a rousing success and if you want to find what jiva are like when not playing for their lives at TKHWLFC have a look here. jiva have recently been honoured by the Vox company. They are making  a jiva signature version of their classic AC 30 guitar amplifier. It goes all the way up to 3.

Friday evening and a treat of sorts. Carol and I headed for the Sage to see a band I hold, or held dear. Mostly Autumn played in Sage Hall 2, which I like very much as a venue, and they pulled a fair crowd, the place not packed but well filled. They played one 45 spot and one of about 50 mins. They were good; very prog, very together and utterly predictable throughout. The musicianship and songwriting was in a league to which I can only aspire but the delivery was, to me at least, flat. Flat as a flat thing at flat time in flat town. Flattity flattity flat.

Sound and lights were grand… well, you get the picture. Two or three of the band looked as if they wished they were somewhere else, the drummer had got the hand of dum-chack, da-dum-dum-chack, and proceeded to practice the same pattern to every song, all night, every b*****y song.  Livvy Spaarman, the new front person was fine, dressed a-la un rock star, she did her best, but something, was missing.

Hats off to the bass player and to Ms Ann Marie Helder, tonight on keys, flute and backing vox. That lady should be at the front.

So this week, we begin to pick up the pace again. Lots of songs to record – though to do what with thereafter you will have to wait and see (we know, nur-nur). Masham on Saturday for the Air Ambulance fundraiser and South Shields Folk Club next Sunday (16th September 2012) for a Beat the Drum promo gig. We are looking forward to that a lot.

So Gentle Reader, as the guitar shop of destiny plays host to the Metallica t-shirted spottiness of hope, and the salesman of fate administers the power cut of justice as the main riff to Enter Sandman begins the fifteenth repetition and plays Smoke On The Water, just to rub it in, I notice it’s the end of this blog.

Until next time,

Keep Strummin’


[1] History does not record the colour of said tiffin, but if Sid James is to be believed, tiffin is more of a concept…

[2] Which is about 68% of you out of the running for a start

[3] …there goes the rest of you.

[4] Anyone like Soundcloud? I’m pretty sure I don’t

[5] PC Only, I’m afraid. It’s zipped to speed the down load. Extract the .exe file (virus checked) and double click on it. Explore, listen, and then take to the streets to riot.

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2 thoughts on “Time for Tiffin?

  1. Still coming down from virtually the best gig we can remember. The rock-tinkle medley came about as a direct response to the reception of “Folkie Lament” and “No Nay Never”… reckon we must’ve ruffled some feathers on the Folk Club Committee, so decided on a change of tack. Hopefully, it did the trick – but who knows? (Nobody knows… cue dramatic filmscore tinkle.)

    • Moles at the club tell us that you virtually slayed them. Talking of which, Chairman Dave was particularly impressed with your cover of seventies classic “come on feel the noize” , especially with the new refrain; ‘we go mild, mild, mild’.
      Well done, the mighty jivaaaaaaaah!

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