Wait for it, Wait for it…[1]


Or should that be Tension?

As I tap this on the Friday evening, we are starting to pull the kit together for tomorrow evening’s first big theatre show at The Cluny 2. As you all went, you all know how it turned out, which gives you the benefit of historical hindsight and me the benefit of prospective tummy disorders.

So; how did the first big independent evening for FG and of course our Acoustic Chums Blue Sun, actually turn out?

Be Welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…

This week we have been, as usual, busy. The day jobs continue to form an unjust impediment to the business of making music, especially this week, but gamely we continue to battle on. The search for new venues continues, and another place has confirmed this week. Methinks not to release the full spiel at this point, but it seems there will be another FG theatre show…

The new CD’s are packaged and ready to go, and we have been rehearsing quite hard – only once with Dave for Saturday, but heavily ahead of going to…

…The Bridge End in Ovingham on Wednesday evening. We had a secret reason for wanting to go, as this saw the first public performance of ‘Tommy on the Bridge’; which is the new FG epic. This song tells the tale of Tommy Ferens who around the turn of the 20th Century was a well known Tyneside character – in fact a tourist attraction of the day. More than partially blind, and physically handicapped, he spend his life begging on The Swing Bridge[2], which spans the Tyne at Newcastle Quayside, being built by His Lordship Mr Armstrong, for the purposes of getting raw materials to his Armstrong Works at Scotswood, and the resulting munitions out again.

002062:'Tommy on the Bridge' Unknown Undated

This inconvenienced Mr Ferens more than somewhat; as the name implies, the Swing Bridge, not to put too fine a point on it, swung open to allow ships passage up and downriver. Tommy regarded the bridge as ‘his’ pitch on which to beg, and remonstrated loudly with the bridge operator whenever it opened, as he regarded this as lost working time. Possessed of an acute form of Tourettes Syndrome and a fine set of lungs, Tommy’s remonstrations were, apparently, entertainingly descriptive as to the lineage of the luckless Bridge Driver. In the winter of 1907, Tommy was found unconscious in the snow at the end of the bridge. He never recovered and died in the Workhouse Hospital soon thereafter.

The first performance seemed to go well. Chords remembered, words recalled, tune more or less met, harmonies working, flute parping heroically through the high section – the song is set fair for the summer.

Another good evening at the OBE, a few less than in the past not surprising in view of the inclementness outside. Jim Wigfield on fine form as he sang of another bridge, The Forth (or was it the Fifth Forth to Fife?) and John ‘The Power’ Jeffery out and about again and singing well. Great to see them all and good to hook up again with Mike Orchard whose playing is very fine indeed.

The pictorial record below comes courtesy of the Winkly Wroadies[3]. The blurred images of the end of the evening attest to the fine quality of the Bridge End’s San Miguel.

…and the Cluny gig?

After what seem like months of waiting[4] the great day finally arrived.

(Reader’s Voice) Yes, yes, but how did it go?

We turned up for a sound check at about five, to find Blue Sun already there and ready to rumble…

(Reader’s Voice, exasperated) How did it GO?

…which was the start of a truly excellent night for us all.

(Reader’s Voice) Thank the Lord; I can die happy.

This was a real leap into the unknown for us, especially as The Cluny 2 is a well known venue. It was such a blast to use a pro sound system operated by Ross, who knew his onions more than somewhat, and got a great sound from both bands. We had a great stage on which we could move, we had a nice venue, bar, even dressing rooms.

But what’s even better, we had an audience.

There were loyal family members (Happy Birthday Sarah) in attendance and some Acoustic Chums, who are more personal friends. There were a couple of pals of Dave who was on bass duties for the night. But, there was a good filling of faces which belonged to the great collective known as Joe Public. We had no idea who they were, but they had come on the strength of the promo. And stayed, and nodded along, and said nice things, and bought CD’s and signed up for mailing lists, and made nice comments on the blog.

Eeeee and then again; Haaaa.

Blue Sun played a lovely set of their intricate music. Sam was on oxygen, and if you stood on the pipe you could find out why it’s Blue Sun. Graham’s intricate playing is always a joy to listen to, and their forty odd minute set went by very quickly. Next up FG. Thanks to Ace Higgins of Acoustic Leg Ends ItsAcoustica for MC duties and giving us the right royal build up. We started with Sundown, which should give you an idea of the mood of the set. The bass really helped to fill out the sound, and to be honest, we had a blast. We played an hour and it went past in a flash. There were more in the room when we finished than when we started, so something worked.

It was a great night. See the photies, and thanks to the WW once again.

Regular Gentle Readers will remember that the Cardinal Chairmen of all the Folk Clubs retired in conclave into the back room of The Horse and Bucket to elect a folk Pontiff. The election of a Fope to rule over the United Evangelical Reformed Fat-Reduced Church of Folk ended without white smoke.

It turns out, that just as no-one can ever agree how many verses there are to a whaling[5] song, neither can a room full of Folk Club Chairmen (and they were all men, even the women) agree on anything – especially on which among them is best. It has been decided then, to run the Church of Folk along ecumenical lines, with each club showing respect and appreciation for the tastes and views of the others, reciprocally receiving each others members as guests on a respectful, rotational and fair basis.

I imagine that this largely Papal Bull.

And so as the dust settles over the big gig of hope and the harsh realities of the cashbox are contemplated, the folkie progsters of fun continue on the mission…

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] Corporal Jones’ voice is, at this point, optional; but you all did it, didn’t you?

[2] Historians will tell you that he originally begged on the old Newcastle Bridge before the Swing Bridge was built. Know what – they’re right.

[3] I have been called to task by several Gentle Readers who seem to suggest that the term ‘Wrinkly Wroadies’ is abusive. Yes it is, isn’t it.

[4] Largely because it was booked months ago.

[5] Or is that ‘wailing’?


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