Closing Time?

This blog is written is stereo and is mastered to read well on all monitors. Should you have an earlier mono monitor, we suggest that closing one eye and standing on one leg[1] may give the illusion of the full effect. Alternatively, if you have a surround sound system, please patch the blog into this and enjoy the full sensurround experience of drivel coming at you from every angle. If you have a mono pickup fitted to your computer, please upgrade as soon as possible; if in doubt, please contact your dealer who will be pleased to assist[2].

And some of you will; which is why we like you.

Be Welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…

Early this week we for The Brecon. This is a friendly club held in the back room of the Dun Cow, near Bournmoor, in the North East of the UK, where it is always sunny and mermaids serve cocktails to visitors. We haven’t been for a while, but the crowd was all there, Ernie on fine form and a good scattering of Acoustic Chums including John Twist – fine player, and Eric and Bill, the original Ancient Mariners. A grand evening of songs ensued in a round the room format. Basically, a good social night had by all. See the visual record provided by the perambulate paparazzi, the Wrinkly Wroadies.

Which brings me to…

..this weeks rant. Perhaps not a full rant, more of a rantette; as it has no target, more a selection of random thoughts loosely associated by theme, but unconnected with reason. It seems that more and more clubs are becoming sing-arounds and are stopping booking guests altogether[3].

Shock, horror, sit-down, gasp etc.

For the vast majority, this should elicit a grand raspberry and a loud, rafter shaking “So what, we’re quite happy”.

Well we bleedin’ aren’t.

We, is not the royal we, I suggest it may cover many Acoustic Chums, who aspire to more than a social gathering, but want to get their music ‘out there’. Maybe not even get rich (further shock horror), but just get an audience for what they do – assuming it’s any good. What that means is more and more Folk Clubs are not venues for the aspirant – or even the established- artist, but localised social, and occasionally musical evenings.

It seems that the audience isn’t there for the guest nights, so the clubs can’t afford them.

So what’s the answer then..?

This week we will be planning our Cluny2 gig with Blue Sun. Running orders, publicity, promotion, running around – hopefully they’ll do all of that, then we can swan up on the day and behave like superstars.

No; hang-on, I’m frightened of Pauline; better do some work then.

Acoustic Chums Stormcrow were up before the committee of The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club this last week. All guest artists must audition; it’s a rule Chairman Dave adheres to even after he forgets his name[4]. Apparently they did rather well; it was one of the very few occasions when the auditioning panel was more terrified than the artists. To be accurate, they were terrified of the artists, but soon warmed to The Stormies, who apparently sailed through with battle flag resplendent, dragon slain and whipcord breeches more or less intact[5]. They will be on the bill next week. Stay chooned for a review. Hope we can get along. Tickets will be available from the website.

Thursday, and a punt, a whim, a mere notion of a good time to be had took us to Billingham and to the Catholic Club. This proclaims itself not to be a club nor Catholic. As a former expert in these particular dark arts, I beg to differ. The evening was notable on two accounts, firstly the heating had bust and the room was a tad on the chilly side, and secondly, we got to meet up with Acoustic Chum Norm Rookes, whom we have not clapped eyes on for quite a while. So, much fat-chewing later, and a couple of rather fine real ales, and it was down to business. This is billed as an acoustic evening and anything therefore goes as long as the electricity isn’t too obvious. In fact during the time we were there no one got especially electrical. Norm kicked of and showed that he has a fine and rather gentle touch to singing and playing, then it was us and we did four songs,; which as some of you will know is code for at least twenty minutes. After us followed a tidal wave of local players, all clearly out for a good time and strutting their stuff accordingly. We chickened out early as Norm warned us the night goes on late and we had the day job and a brace of Wrinkly Wroadies to get home, mucked out, straw and water to put down, set the phasers to stun.

Friday then, and the week almost at a close as far as blogs go, which means soon, you can stop reading, mop your brow and wonder why you did it for so long[6].

Off we headed as guests of Graham and Doc Brotton, in the presence of Ms Sam Coles, aka Blue Sun and Management. Pauline had created some impressive comestibles, and we managed to formulate a grand plan of campaign for the Cluny 2 gig. More of that when the paint is dry, the dust settled, the heat is off and the sun over the yardarm. Mines a pint, thanks.

Carol’s flute is now in the capable hands of new Acoustic Chum Keith, and his tender ministrations should get it back into tip top form as it is currently full of flautist spit, and not nice to be with.

So as the flatulent flautist of folk gets an unexpected round of applause and doesn’t know which way to turn, I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] No, it doesn’t matter which.

[2] Will he knickers.

[3] No; not that the guests are all together, then they’d book nine hundred artists on one night; I mean ‘altogether’. Nada, finito, period, that’s yer lot.

[4] Round about half past eight

[5] The devil is always in the detail

[6] Which applies to many things in life


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