Aeroplanes and ships have Radar, the better to detect one another. Bats and submarines have Sonar, some people of a certain disposition reputedly possess Gaydar; and why not; while burgers merely have Shergar – which is a diversion. So what early warning system is possessed by Folkies and Acoustic Musos to give them an early heads up on the gig that lies ahead?

Be Welcome Gentle Reader and read on…

Not as much outage and aboutage this week for us. The day jobs have been rather demanding and the fact that the big car has been undergoing medical attention has curtailed it a bit. But, we for The Bridge on Monday evening. The Bridge proudly announces itself as one of the oldest folk clubs in existence and is run by the genial – as long as you know the rules[1] – Dave Minikin. As ever, it was good to see a few Acoustic Chums in the room, and there was a great turnout, the room being pretty full with performers and a few listeners too. We once again had the honour of closing the night, one which we are very grateful for, and gave us a small conundrum to juggle[2]. This was an outing for the three piece FG which meant that Dave joined us on bass. The first set went well enough. Dave is fitting in well, we got the volumes more or less right – although Dave is on electric bass, we only use a small floor wedge and Carol and I play and sing acoustically. A first outing for the 8 string Uke doing a (gasp) traditional song went well and so, all to the good. Then at the end of the evening we had about eight minutes to fill, and most of our songs are about five minutes. I suppose we could have played one quickly – the Pinky and Perky version, or one very slowly, The Barry White rendition, but in the end, it was an outing for ‘Sundown’, which including the short intro is eight minutes long. Huzzah.

The photos this week are all from the Long-standing Lensmen, the Senior Snappers, the Rusty Recorders that we know and love as The Wrinkly Wroadies.

A new recording of an old song – in fact I don’t think we ever did record it properly, is linked below. This is ‘Baby Blue’, which is inspired by a photo I saw of Carol (Wor Porkie) as a baby; wherein she is possessed of the most fabulous Baby Blue eyes. The song develops the idea, and tells a tale for those with ears to listen.

Other events this week. Too late for last weeks blog (a bumper number of hits this week, thank you all), came a meal Chez FG, with Graham and Doc Brotton, the guitar playing and managerial brain respectively of Blue Sun. The March 23rd double header gig at The Cluny 2 is a landmark event for all of us and we were talking that through as well as socialising in a musical sort of way.  It ended up with Blue Sun having a website, which the good Doc is operating on as we tap.

Another revelation regarding this gig was that the listings sites trawled the Cluny gigs page and added us to the ticket sales gig listing.


No, not really.

They added us before the Cluny put the details up. That means they felt free to make their own up, and so confused us with another Fool’s Gold from Los Angeles. Can I point out that we are not an Afro-Fusion ensemble? Thanks[3].

A good friend of FG is a certain Mr Bert Draycott. Bert is undisputed World Champion Spoons Player, and a turn of note on the circuit. His songs, generally about miners, mines and mining life, are full of flavour and history and never fail to engage and entertain – but how, I hear you murmur darkly into your beard, does he ensure that all present understand that this, is a folk song? The answer to that, oh Gentle Reader, is simple. At the end of each song he sings a long drawn out concluding note which goes: “Nyyyyaaaaahhhhhhhh”. Now, you know it’s a folk song. Those who have seen him before await the Nyyyaahh with anticipation and delightedly join in. Thus is it in Bert’s honour that I commend to you the Folk and Acoustic Early Warning System – Nyahdar™.

We all possess Nyahdar™, it’s just that some have a more recent model than others. Some artists Nyahdar™[4] starts pinging before they walk through the doors, others have to wait until halfway through the first half before the first green blooop appears on their mental screen. Nyahdar™ goes off to alert the visitor to a new club as to just how trad a given venue is likely to be. Nyahdar™ is sophisticated and scans the room for evidence and, based on what it tracks, will thus alert the user.

It goes something like this.

You walk into the venue.

It is a pub, not a hall or theatre.  Nyah.

It’s a pub that has not heard of carpet, but prefers floorboards, or better still, lino. Nyaah.

The room is full of men. Men of a certain age and deportment suggesting that it is possible to live on real ale. Nyaahhh.

The first three turns are unaccompanied singers. Nyyaaahhhh. They all sing with their hands thrust deep in their pockets – what’s down there? No one knows[5]. Nnnyyyyyerrrarrrrhhhhhh.

So you can see that Nyahdar is quite a useful assessor of the climate within a room. And the artist can thus navigate carefully through the sea of choices when it comes to deciding what is likely to work in the room.

If in doubt, it is advisable that Acoustic Chums stick to their setlist.

Just make sure you finish each song with “Nyyyyyaaahhhhh”.

And so as the Radar of Fate bleeps the presence of the iceberg of Destiny, and the Captain of the ship suggests you turn it off and on again, I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until Next Time, Acoustic Chums

Keep Strummin’


[1] Things like – thou shalt not natter while the turn is on and Thou shalt get a fat lip if thou shouldst wander about when the turn is on. All perfectly fair.

[2] Jugglable Conundrums are a right bugger. Try juggling yours and see what I mean.

[3] The only fusion we do is Con.

[4] If I plug mine in it updates. Can I counsel against plugging yours in, as it might do more than update.

[5] And I’m not looking.


2 thoughts on “Nyaaah!

  1. I’m disgustingly late reading this but it’s given a smile and a giggle to my sunday morning. I’ve missed rather a lot of your blogs of late – remiss of me, I know and I am giving myself a note saying “Must do better!” because I know you always inform and entertain me like no-one else can and I feel part of your world – so thanks for that and sorry for being so tardy!

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