Crikey. I mean, no, really – Crikey.

Time moves on. We have fog of the sort of thickness usually used to describe a politician’s intellect, cold wet and general yurgh[1]. We need some writing of sunshine, words of wonder, expressions of hope and love.

All of which means you’re knackered here, as it’s the usual rubbish this week.

Be welcome Gentle Reader and read on…

Firstly a word to you, Gentle Reader.

Chums oi brasileiros, ótimo ter você aqui!

Thank you for reading these poor words. In fact, thank you for reading them a lot. Last week saw us break the 1000 clicks mark, and we are, not to over egg it; somewhat geet chuffed.

Now to get on with this week’s rubbish…

Our congratulations to Mr & Mrs Robson, who tied the knot in some style yesterday. All our love goes to the happy couple.


This week we have only played out once. This remarkable lethargy is due to the fact that Carol has a cold, so when she plays her flute, it can be dangerous to stand on her right. Cold notwithstanding, we headed for Saltburn Folk Club to be among many the Acoustic Chum for another promo of the Help for Heroes CD ‘ Beat The Drum’. We’d also been nominated MC’s for the evening so that meant we had to be on wor toes. A good selection of musicians in the room, some great talent and several friends also. Can’t name them all – it would take forever, but we did enjoy the music. Good to see the old Lyre back in poetry. Maggie Gee made political comment in the style of Stanley Holloway- there’s something to think about; and if you like a challenge, how about a caption competition for the photo of her in the gallery below. Don’t worry if you don’t know her, she hasn’t toured Indonesia yet; you will spot it I’m sure.

We did a half hour hot spot. Due to the odd croak it was a bit of a 30 minute snotfest, but we did have fun. People listened appreciatively, then, as we got warmed up, we had a good belt of Rake Down the Moon, and a communal jam to finish. All good stuff methinks.

Thanks to the club as another £50 goes into the charity pot. Thank you to everyone for the support.

The Wrinkly Wroadies were on hand to take several hundred photies[2], some of which are here elsewhere appended.

Other news of the week?

There must be some, afore the rubbish begins?

Of course, did you think I’d leave you lying when there’s room on my horse[3] for two?

I blogged some time ago about a song I wanted to write about Tommy Ferens, ‘Tommy On the Bridge’. This chap, way back in the late 1800’s was a blind beggarman, who stood on the Swing Bridge between Newcastle and Gateshead, berating the passers by in language a stevedore would have been justly proud of. There is much to his story to make him a worthy subject of a folk song. He was unfortunate, to say the least. Blind, disabled and poor, Tommy begged each day in all weathers, taking only Christmas and Easter Day off. He stood in the middle of the bridge, under the impression that this granted him immunity from Newcastle and Gateshead police, as he had one leg in either jurisdiction. Any road up; it is more or less finished. A real belter, Carol and I (and Dave the Bass) will have to grapple with it for a bit, then change it, alter the words, chords and tune. So you can see how finished it is.


I note that on the pages of Facebook the debate rages as to why Folk Clubs are dwindling, why no-one goes to gigs, and why people are not supporting the clubs. My twa’ pennorth’ is simply that there is so much choice and so many players. If we wanted to we could be out every night of the week, either playing or watching a Guest Act. Some guests are very good, some require counselling; in any event, we wouldn’t be paying £4 each more than once a week – the rest of the time we’d like to play.


Finally, we have managed to cobble together a report of the recent gig performed by Stormcrow at The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club. It has been a long time in the collection, but apparently the evening was a blast. The words below are extracted from an anonymous correspondent, who wishes to remain unknown. Thanks Brian.


The evening augured well with a packed room in excited mood half an hour before the show. Friendly banter greeted the floor spots before the main act – two were stoned, one bombarded with fruit and one simply lynched from the lighting rig.

In the build up to the band hitting the stage, the club regulars pushed forward and a folkie mosh heaved up and down rhythmically chanting (or was it praying) “Stormcrow, Stormcrow”. Simple lyric, yet effective.

The lights went down, and Chairman Dave ascended the stage to be greeted by the obligatory applause. This is not a turn of phrase, it is actually obligatory. Consulting his notes on the back of a freshly peeled beermat, he announced the main act of the evening

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to”… his lips moved silently for a moment, then: “Stormcrow???”


At which hysteria reigns; amidst the chanting Mark and Amanda burst onto the stage, particularly Amanda as she launches herself both into a Stormcrow anthem, ‘Here be Dragons’ and also into an impressive swan dive aimed vaguely at the front few rows.

Let me tell you, Gentle Reader, there is little that can still a hysterical bunch of folkies quite as effectively as an airborne Amanda, hitting a high ‘D’, just turning supersonic and heading your way. A sort of acoustic exocet, and a hell of a way to start the set.


Mark, resplendent as a fabulous historical hybrid; part Highwayman, part Buccaneer, mostly Buccandrunk, hefted Cyd the guitar to the fore and let rip with some double strums that lesser folkies could only marvel at, throwing shapes and givin’ it the beans, and Stormcrow were on their way to a memorable evening.

All the big hits were covered, Basil the Pink Pirate, I’d Walk The Plank For You, The Dead Highwayman’s Gavotte; all of them were there.

Without the aid of a safety net, the stage was demolished to matchwood and after a short 40 minutes Stormcrow had left the building. They’d been booked for a 45 min spot, but experience is a great teacher. The live DVD will hopefully available soon, but only from the club, so you’ll have to get along and pick up your copy in person.


Soon you can catch us live at New Hartley Community on November 3rd doors open around 7.30pm . £5 in advance and £6 on the door. If you search Facebook for Michael Whipp (impresario) you’ll find the poster and more details. This should be a grand night of music, FG will be doing the main spot, and will, Gentle Reader, be up for it!


Until then, I notice the page numbers going up again, so as the Acoustic Artist of Fate arrives at the Open Mic of Destiny and discovered that it is better to pass through the Window of Opportunity when it is actually open, I notice it is the end of this blog,

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] General Yurgh lead the armies of the T’Pau dynasty, until he led a revolt and became Emperor. You could say he had China in his hands.

[2] They are delivered to my door on an SD card. The card is A4 size.

[3] In point of fact, I do not own a horse. If I did, I can’t imagine I’d get the two seater.


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