Noah Way

Rain.

It is a song in the asking. Status Quo and Mr B.Bacharach have both had punts at it, quite successfully too. Neither of them quite managed to capture the biblical quantitieth that He[1] provideth as it rain dropped (kept fallin’) on me head this week. Rain, as it were, stopped play a bit, but we have had a busy old week nonetheless. Doing what?

Be Welcome Gentle Reader and read on…

I didn’t choose to look like this.

I’m just lucky I guess.

I mean we don’t get to choose our looks, do we? Look at supermodels. No really, do; you might want to squint a bit, if you feel it helps. Presumably they didn’t mean to look like that? The only way you could look like that on purpose is to run at a door with determination and vigour, then follow up with a few sessions from a blind panel beater with a sense of humour.

The same is true of our musical tastes. You don’t choose ‘em; they sort of come with the territory. School, friends, radio, TV, even parents[2] might influence what you like, what you play and therefore what you eventually write.

So Fool’s Gold then. How come my prog-steeped roots end up with me writing stuff that sounds like it came from the late 1780’s? That bit is quite easy to explain. Inside my head, where there is a lot of room, the ideas for the songs ferment quite quickly then tip out, usually as result of a guitar line. Then the melody, flute lines etc follow. After that, it’s into the studio – and that’s where the prog magic happens. The synth layers, the mellotron patches, bass pedal drones, searing guitar arpeggios and repeated high ostinato sections over a lead bass line all get added into the mix.

Then they all get thrown out, and the result is what you hear.

Simple.

But it keeps me happy.

On Tuesday we had intended to head down to see Acoustic Chums in Acklam that we haven’t seen for ages. However, the weather had other ideas, and a swift phone call to Noah proved fruitless, he being busy. It seems that young Shem, Ham and Japeth were all doing their 25 metres badge down at the baths, and their Dad felt this might come in useful, so he needed the Ark[3]. Which is how the Teeside contingent escaped a dose of FG this week. Well done them.

Wednesday then, and we for The Berkeley. This is Gerry Beldon organising an informal song circle, basically of like minded chums. Always a convivial occasion, this is a relaxed night of music. Well, mostly relaxed as the pub provides an inclusive community welcome. Frankly, that’s a good thing. Photos herewith, courtesy of the Wrinkly Wroadies; the paparazzi of the folk community.

Thursday next (that often happens), and we for a very unusual Help for Heroes promotion. The Good Ladies of Annfield Plain Women’s Institute had their own charity concert night and wonderfully extended an invite to us to join in the fun. It has to be said that this was a great night. The Methodist Chapel was packed out with grinning faces and the ladies put on a show of which they should be justly proud (see some of the pics – these ladies were having a blast). We had a spot to promote our charity CD and then a stall afterward.

Where we sold out of stock, took well over £100 for Help for Heroes and written orders for more.

Phew.

Our grateful thanks go to Mrs Gill and her band of valiant ladies.

And now, Gentle Reader, a new service for the Fool’s Gold blog; the Public Service Announcement. Acoustic Chum Phil Graham and his band Man With The Stick has put out an APB, which I feel should be passed round the Brotherhood of The Drivel (that’s you, by the way). MWTS have apparently been compared to Lindisfarne, which means that twice a set they are cut off by the tide, but in any event, they find themselves in need of a keyboard player. Not a Wakeman, Moraz or yet even a late Bo Hanson, but more of a wash and fill player – you’d need to check with Phil. The job contact ad is here, for those whose musical inclination runs to large boxes with black and white teeth.

It impacted upon my consciousness this week that the annual convention of the British UFO society was held in London amid a writhing collection of hand knitted jumpers, pacamacs and very thick spectacles.

Sadly, although seminar after seminar considered the likelihood of extra terrestrial life, they lacked the all important hard evidence, first hand reports, photographs or sound recordings.

That’s because they were looking in the wrong place.

If they had merely cared to drop down to the King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club any week, they would have been able to discover the kind of redneck backwoodsmen regularly abducted and experimented upon by (apparently) undiscerning alien life – that’s the audience; and of course on the stage they would have found plenty of hard evidence for the existence of strange life forms and music that is clearly, not of this world. Nowhere better would this have been clearer than in the strange shape and form of this week’s hotspotters, Barry and Doris. BAD (as they somewhat accurately style themselves) have been on the folk and acoustic scene since most of the songs were originally written and have continued to deliver their own unique brand of music to the club since its inception some time ago. Barry and Doris are of a certain age, an age that could not be accurately calculated without scientific instrumentation and possibly an archaeologist. Doris plays Clawhammer Dulcimer, which is a kind of stringed stick you hit with a toolbox, while Barry joyously plays lap steel fiddle; which is very nearly as much fun as it sounds. Still we must be grateful that they stepped in at the last minute for Sellotape, who were again unable to perform as Julian (the male half of Sellotape) is still practicing D. He says progress is good, and any day now should be adding the second finger. Who say practice does not pay off?

Some Acoustic Chums have enquired about the best way to play at KHWLFC, and, as we have never actually been (but would love to go) I can only commend the website, and the contact form contained thereon. Our Acoustic Chums Stormcrow, apparently are on the cards for a gig. Of course there is the formal application process before the committee. As with many clubs, it goes like this:

  • Formal interview
  • Formal audition
  • Formal rejection
  • Formal bribery
  • Formal acceptance

We will keep you informed.

Finally this week a convivial evening in a quality curry house with Acoustic Chums jiva. Much chewing of the musical fat, plans made, plats hotched and jobs in abundance for Val to get on with[4]. That may or may not generate wondrous stories to regail you with. Time will tell.

This week you can find us in Billingham at The Greenholme on Thursday should the mood so take you.

And so as the jubilant banjo player of expectation leaps into his car to head for the folk club of hope, and the loose nut of destiny slips off the steering wheel of fate, I notice that we have reached the end of this edition of the FG blog.

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’


[1] Other ‘He’s’ are available. And a ‘She’, and several ‘it’s’. You pays your money…

[2] In my case, I still have a soft spot for Gilbert and Sullivan. Not saying where it is though.

[3] He has however moved with the times, as it now has a 25hp Suzuki two-stroke on the back. Mrs Noah says it smells.

[4] Serves her right for being good at organisation!

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