Hello, is that Morris..?

It seems that one can no longer rely on Aunty Beeb to tell the truth. At least not at the time, or about themselves. The newspapers similarly seem bent on printing anything that isn’t so much news as gutter gossip garnered from private voicemail. And a guy works down the chip shop swears he’s Elvis…

What is needed in this world is a beacon of clarity and truth.

Yes, clarts-free reportage is what’s required.

But where to find it?

Be Welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…

It is with sadness that we record the passing of another club this week. Hot on the heels of the Richmond Folk Club closing its doors; Acoustic Chum Stephen Matthews has informed us that The G String Acoustic Club held at The Angel in Topcliffe is to follow suit.

While I am very sorry to hear it, I cannot blame Stephen at all for making what must have been a hard decision to contemplate. Falling numbers and lack of support to the club from the pub and low numbers through the door are cited as the main reasons, as well as all the work that goes in for little reward coming the other way. Pity ‘cos this was nice venue with a nice ‘feel’. We wish to record our thanks to Stephen for his efforts to get things going; it was fun while it lasted.

This week we have been busy bunnies. It isn’t often that you get the phone call unexpectedly, but we did this week and FG will be heading to Snod’s Edge soon to provide suitable minstelry to the community there assembled, for the purpose of Christmas Celebration. We will do our entire Christmas repertoire at the gig; there’s the Christmas shipwreck song, the Christmas Smuggler Song, the Christmas ghost story…

…I’m sure it will be fine.

Plans are well advanced for our next year giggage, I may be able to report more in detail next week, if it all goes to plan.

If not, I’ll stay stumm and pretend I never mentioned it.

We played at a number of new places this week. Firstly on Sunday at The North Terrace in Newcastle. This is much more of an open mic kind of night, but with acts booked to do half an hour or so on the night. This we did, and met new Acoustic Chums and must congratulate Jonathan Tait for running a tight ship (Sinead- you were great) and we found out that we can survive a pub gig. Pub gigs are different to clubs or halls, insofar as people studiously avoid listening, but still seem to appreciate the face that you are there. In my case, not all there, but you get the idea…

I mentioned a blog or two ago that I hooked up with my old band mate Ian at a Jez Lowe gig. Turns out he runs Durham Folk Club at The Tap and Spile on a Thursday (Framwellgate Moor). We went down and had a lovely evening with some chums. ‘Some’ means about six, but it was meeting of friends with good songs, company and ale. We had been to Croxdale on the Tuesday where ‘some’ meant us and two others. Now come on chaps…

Well done to Jackie for keeping the evening afloat, and it was great to see Sheila Finn (who many of you will know) playing her whistle. Again we like Croxdale Folk Club, many’s the happy memory of Fred and others there, so support for it would seem to be needed.

Chris Milner is guest there this coming Tuesday (27 Nov 2012), if you can make it, please do and support old Turkish and give him our love.

Or you could come and see us play at The Candlelite Club in Newton Aycliffe.

You pays your money…

This week’s Grumpy Rant is brought to you courtesy of the letter ‘F’.


In common with many Facebook newbies, when we launched FG onto the Facebook Ocean, we plotted a fairly open course. Friend this, like that, message the other. The result is that we have hundreds of ‘friends’ whom we do not know.

And it is becoming apparent that we do not wish to know some of them either.

I am not, in the general way of things, especially prudish nor yet prurient[1]. I have been known to employ descriptive[2] language from time to time, when the occasion demands it.

I am however sufficiently world weary to become disenchanted with the number of Bucketmouth Posters on Facebook who need to display their stunted vocabulary in meaningless posts. We saw a post from a ‘friend’ who had a cold and described it in terms most graphic, every swearword that could be forced into the art of describing a cold was employed in his post.

I don’t know if he got better or not as he is now an ex-friend. As are quite a few others – basically because I can do without it; and now I know where the ‘unfriend’ button is.


You will, Gentle Reader, doubtless be aware that I am full of good ideas about how to inject new life into the apparently ailing club scene. Regular Readers (and if you are not a Regular Reader, I hear prunes are very good) will recall my idea ‘Strickly Go Folkin’ [3], well; I fear I have surpassed the idea with great goodness and ingenuity.

This involves Morrismen.

For those not from this manor,[4] and who may never have encountered a Morrisman (well done) then a little explanation is in order.

First take a dozen strapping middle aged men of varying sizes (that bit is important, if they are all the same size it isn’t nearly as funny). Next strip them naked, cover them with glue and push them through a jumble sale. Add bells to taste and blacken faces. Do not attempt to get them p*$$£d, as they will do that bit for themselves. The result should be like a tinkly scarecrow minstrel who smells like a sweaty brewery.

Having successfully distilled some English folk history for you; what is it, I hear you ask, that I wish to do with the Morrismen?

No; not that, shame on you. It is illegal and their mums wouldn’t like it[5].

No, I have a wonderful idea:

Morris on Ice.


Just dwell on that thought for a moment or two and savour the entertainment value to be have of a full Morris side, complete with Old Dame and Accordion, gaily skipping onto the ice – and then the fun would begin…

…sometimes I think I should be Prime Minister.

And so as the sands of time invade the underpants of life and the nurse of destiny delivers the E45 of weekend, I notice that it is the end of this blog.

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] I’ve done things with jelly I’m not proud of, although, when I think about it, the night went well.

[2] For which read: Saxon, Profane, Rude or just plain filthy.

[3] Last ish – Ed

[4] This rubbish gets read all over the globe –imagine!

[5] Neither, I fear, would they.


2 thoughts on “Hello, is that Morris..?

  1. Good morning you two, David the Drum from Man With The Stick here. Chrissy and I have just started going to a sing around on Friday nights at the Bishop Blaize in the market place in Richmond. Run by John Deighton, it is the friendliest gathering folk could wish for. It starts at 9pm. MWTS have played, and also Phil and I as Out on a Limb. Get yourselves down there and we could meet up. Very sad about Richmond Folk Club, but the music goes on in Richmond.

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