Here; it’s getting dark tho but.

Not just sun-down dark, but life gone down dark.

That’s the effect of the onset of winter and the hour changing you see. When out and about after eight pm, there is an oppressive feeling of darkness that leads the young folkie down the path that leads, through Human League to Leonard Cohen and, therefore inevitably, to suicide.

We need some light to penetrate this stygian gloom.

Good job you found the blog then.

For cultural enlightenment and a chuckle or two, be welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…

This week has been a holiday week. Great, thinks we, we can get all the jobs done that are outstanding, maybe do a bit of recording and some playing. Did we do it?

Let’s see, what happened this week…

I tuned in on the old bbci to see Alice Cooper on the Jools Holland show. How refreshing it was to see Mr Fernier kick some serious bottom, and blow the other acts, in my humble opinion, not so much just ‘away’, as to a place far beyond the distant horizons, not too far from never never land, where the agents of some modern ‘musical’ acts presumably live.

We went, last Sunday, to the north east guitar show. It was held in a nice venue that we had to drive a while to get to. It was six quid to get in. Hang on, there’s two of us: um, that’d be £12 of this princely[1] realm, then.
No matter, mes braves, surely within will be an embarrassment of riches.
Well, Gentle Reader, I must report that it was an embarrassment.
At least initially, because we managed not to find the main hall, and for a little while thought that the first rooms was what you got.
For six quid.
It wasn’t, to be fair; there was a big hall, full of chaps with beer bellies who had guitars on tables. This of course, is not a bad thing. I was quite happy for half an hour wandering about and eyeballing some very nice instruments. Howsoever , I feel the need, nay the compulsion to point out to the organising authorities that £12 for half an hours worth of trotting about is not my idea of a good deal.

Originally we’d intended heading South for the winter – or at least Thursday – to The Duke William at Skelton, home of course to Cutty Wren Folk Club. We were there recently and had a great evening and so had vowed to don snowshoes, sou’wester and absorbent pants (can’t be too careful) and revisit as soon as we could. The best laid plans are soon laid to rest as Acoustic Chums Andy and Catherine, collectively the acoustic dreadnought that is ItsAcoustica got in touch and asked us along to The Grey Horse in Consett to do a spot on their bill. Now here’s a funny thing; the last few times I’ve been there, either playing or attempting to listen, it has been apparent that it is a very nice pub and is exactly that – a very nice pub. One which folks go to in the evening for a few beers with the prospect of some live music that complements, but does not replace, the art of pub conversation. In the past it has been very noisy. Fair enough, that’s what it is, but not really for me. So it was that last night was a lovely surprise. A clean, scrubbed and freshly attentive audience who listened to what all the acts had to offer. Some good turns, and nice to see that Andy and Catherine can Turn It On Again, and that thankfully, Andy’s jokes have not improved.

A very nice man even asked where he could get our songs from.

And I was happy to tell him.

The Wrinkly Wroadies were in attendance to point their cameras in the faces of players from near and far. See the pictures around here somewhere!

So that’d take us to Friday then.

A very busy day this. Firstly some secret negotiations regarding giggage next year.

I could tell you, I suppose – can you keep a secret?

So can I.

Next getting the FG Big Show ready for Saturday Evening. Acoustic Chum Michael Whip asked us to trot along the PA, so it was into the garage, leads cupboard, various flight cases etc to get out all the gear – considering the bass pedals are also in the offing, and we are doing an hour, this means a serious amount of kit.

Soon my creation lay on the dining room floor; the pieces had collected and loosely joined – but; would it live?

Igor[2] was ready with the first switch.

“Throw the first switch”

“Yeth Mashter”[3]

A howl of feedback ;

“Throw the SECOND switch”


A crackle a hum, plug in  a guitar and…

“Throw the THIRD switch”

“Not the THIRD…”

“Throw it, throw it”[4]

A few moments fiddling with power supplies, a brief howl of feed back; and…

…a power chord lives!

So did all the mic channels and bass pedals, FX loops and aux ins – we’re in business for Saturday.

But first…

…there’s Friday Night.

We’d heard of the acoustic night at the Gibside National Trust place and had attempted to get in touch, but their internet is the old gas one, and we never heard back.

So we just went.

A very nice bloke called John welcomed us to the log cabin café and we put our names down. Several hardy folk sat outside[5] in the dark, round braziers and listened from there. We hooked up with old acoustic chums now called Lynch Mob and generally had a good time. It was cold, there weren’t too many people there, but the company, beer and evening were good. We wish them all the best.

Next week, I hope to report on the King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Annual Committee elections. Chairman Dave is up again for re-election (twelve years running) and we will have to see what happens. Or at least wait a week until we report that he has won by a landslide, because that bit doesn’t happen until next week.

As the blog goes to bed, we are packing for the show at New Hartley, more of those adventures, no doubt, anon.

And so as the light of charm pierces the stygian dark of gloom then the batteries of destiny go suddenly flat, I notice it’s the end of this blog.

Until next week Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] This realm is of course, more Queenly, than Princely, but the Princely geezer wishes it was a bit more Kingly than Queenly. So there y’go.

[2] Carol

[3] Yes; she was *&^%%$£ again

[4] Shows you what fun we have at home.

[5] Either music lovers or loonies.


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