Poppies

Time is strange, ask any Time Lord, he’ll tell you the same, and then tell you the same again yesterday. When you have nothing to do, not that that happens very often, you always have plenty of time. Then, when one is a busy little Folkie, there’s never enough of the stuff. Ask any Time Lord in a day or two. But there is always time to tap a few words for you, Gentle Reader, so, be bid ‘Welcome’, and read on.

 

Early indications on the election of the week are coming in; we hope to have the final count before the end of the blog. I refer of course to Chairman Dave’s successful attempt to secure the helm of The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club for an unpresidented (sic) thirteenth year.

Of course we don’t know that he’s successful.

At least not yet, we don’t.

 

I may as well come clean. Make a clean breast of it and stand humbly before you to seek the forgiveness of my peers, who are in some cases, of much the same species.

I’ve bought another instrument –perhaps one you may not have expected from me either.

What?

No, not that, I said instrument.

An eight string uke has found its way into our armoury. Ashbury, so a budgety one, but with ‘lectrics and a nice tone. I don’t usually go for ukes too much, but my six string uke is very nice and the tinkly[1] nature of the eight string sold it to me straight away, we are already playing with some nice combinations of instruments to experiment.

 

We continue to try to record, but it’s a back to the day job week so the trousers of time are even more restricted round the waistband of opportunity than ever, but I have decided that we’re going to re-record a vocal on a track that I thought was finished – funny how you live with something for a while and your perspective alters. Talking of which, the Tommy Ferens song which I thought similarly complete, now isn’t. Thankfully Carol was on hand to point out that what I’d written was not a song, but three completely different songs, loosely connected by theme – not tune – just theme. I’m working on a radical improvement.

I’ve got it down to two songs, connected by tune.

Just not theme.

 

A recurring theme in this tome lately has been my grumpy rant about the state of the folk club scene, guests, open nights, decline and possibly too much choice – especially for audiences. In that regard it is with great sadness that we read an email from Acoustic Chum Paul Cullen of Richmond and Swaledale Folk Club. This club was held in the atmospheric upstairs room of the R&S Outdoor Centre, featured a great bar, and hosted many grand evenings – in some of which FG have been privileged to feature. The  eagle tensed Gentle Reader will have spotted my use of the past throughout the previous sentence and will gather that Paul, for more or less the reasons outlined in my grumpy rants, has decided to call it a day. We fully understand the decision, while feeling sorry that such a great venue is heading into the west, to join the Valhalla of former music, acoustic and folk venues. However it cannot be allowed to pass without a send off and a vote, nay a rousing chorus of thanks to Paul for his (and Mrs C’s) efforts; without people like Paul (and Mrs C) there would not be a scene to be part of – thank you Sir (and Mrs C). The final R&S Folk Club will be at the outdoor centre on 1st December 2012 at 8.00pm.

 

Country music is really not for me. I don’t like music you have to dress up for, and I look daft in a Stetson. Mind you, many of them do. Line dancing – nope, a mystery to me; if you ever see it on the telly – everybody looks so happy. That said, I have been listening to a lot of Brad Paisley this week. Some of it is sooooo cheesy it makes you proud not be American, but based on the experience of these lugs this week, if you want a superbly crafted, interesting song, beautifully written, wonderfully played – and crucially – with that special extra mojo, look no further y’awl.

Eeee, or to put it another way; Hahhh.

 

This week we were ‘followed’ on Soundcloud by Mike Harding. Yes, I know that he doesn’t do the show, and that he probably follows hundreds of people. But that doesn’t stop one feeling a warm and spreading glow, the like of which has not been felt since we waved nappies a fond adieu. Happy days.

 

So the much awaited evening at The Comrades arrived on Saturday. Acoustic Chum and Roadie John (The Power) Jeffrey and Eileen were playing an intelligent game of bottom shuffle in a valiant attempt to keep us seats as we arrived forty minutes before the start to be greeted by a packed room. The basis of this evening is to raise money for the British Legion through the auction of a genuine Flanders poppy. Bugles, vicars, mayoresses, readings and jokes  are all in a various roles involved, and your pals FG were on hand to provide the assembled masses with musical entertainment. That’s what it said on the programme anyway.

A grand evening of fundraising ensued, what with the buglin’ and the vicarin’, and around £1000 was raised in room for the work of the British Legion.

Excellent.

Then it is time for us to do the Beat the Drum pitch; and so we perform a half hour or so set including a racetrack version of ‘Sundown’ as we have thoughtfully brought Dave The Bass along for the ride. Not expecting  a folky onslaught, the audience responded well and even bought a few cd’s. However the main winner of the evening, just as it should be, was the poppy appeal.

Just as it should be.

Ahhhhhhhhhh; …I can hear a report coming through on my earpiece… yes… it seems that the count is in and we can go live to the returning officer at The Kings Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club Election count…

“…being therefore nominated as returning officer, can announce that of the thirty-four votes cast, the following results have been collected. Daniel Dougherty (Banjo) two votes. Amanda Dougherty (vocals, possibly; it’s hard to tell sometimes) two votes. Chairman Dave (Loony, possibly, just not monstrous or raving yet) one hundred and seventy-six votes. I therefore declare that Dave is Chairman for the next season of the club. I can also confirm that my guest night is confirmed, which is nice, and that the Dougherty’s Guest night has been cancelled, which is not entirely unexpected”.

Ah the democratic process in action.

Missing in action.

 

And so as twiddly-diddly fingerpicker of righteous destiny races down the fretboard of fate only to find the unimpressed audience of justice running back the other way, I notice it’s the end of this blog.

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’


[1] ©jiiiiiiiivaaaaaaahhhhhhh

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