Happy Eostre

It may be Eostre who was the goddess who gave her name, and her symbol; an ickle fluffy bunny, to the later Christian festival. Horus, Mithras, Inanna, and Sol Invictus all have festivals of rebirth around the time of the Spring Equinox. If one of them is yours, then Felicitatus to you one and all; and we hope that musical rebirth, or at least re-invigoration[1] will be up our path. And up yours too.

How so?
Be Welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…

Given that Easter or a time of celebration, generally of rebirth, whatever your faith, creed or musical orientation[2], it follows that it’s a good time to try something new. Like turning up nude to the folk club, hiding your modesty with a dreadnought or ukulele (depending upon necessity) and singing the hits of Demis Roussous backwards in Latin. Apart from improving the hits of Demis Roussos considerably, this may be just the thing needed to bring about a Spring Equinox for your stage show.

I know it worked for us.

Our New Year revolution is, in part fuelled by reaction to the show at the Cluny 2 last week. We had such a good time, didn’t lose any money, and had some really very positive feedback (thank you New Gentle Readers), that we have decided to do it again.

And then again.

So it is, that I can reveal that the FG theatre show will be rolling into town on:

September 14th 2013 Middlesbrough Little Theatre

and

October 20th 2013 Saltburn Community Hall

Full details will be released when we dream them up, but don’t worry.

I won’t let you forget.

Which brings me to the spot we call; ‘What did you do this week, Steve?’

Well thank you for asking, I’m touched, as, presumably, are you.

Just one outing this week as everywhere was busy the nights we weren’t, and vice versa. So we shot down to the Tap and Spile to join in the music and song session that lives down there on a Thursday. Sadly there weren’t nobody there but us bunnies, and a new Acoustic Chum John Dixon, a fine player and singer. So we had us a folk night, and managed not to drive away the others in bar, and generally had a very pleasant evening. Sad to see so many clubs quiet at the moment, but it doubtless a reflection of the economic climate, and probably the alignment of the heavens, and the trousers of time[3].

Pictures this week are courtesy of The Wrinkly Wroadies, now considerably more famous than us, and of John Devlin, who came along to the Cluny and took some rather splendid pics appended for your delectation, as it were, here. The building is the Saltburn Venue.

We are fortunate indeed to have many Acoustic Chums, whom we meet with in different clubs and venues as we travel about, much in the manner of a peripatetic troubadour with a hyperactive bus pass. Some even talk to us, others preferring the traditional two fingered hello, hallowed within folk circles.

One such worthy (not the two fingered sort though) is Mr Richard Ridley, currently incumbent of the Japan Islands, for reasons he doubtless finds persuasive. We run into Richard at Festivals and at Ovingham, chew over the acoustic gossip and generally catch up. Last week we went to Ovingham, and although Richard was in the Land of The Falling Yen, his CD wasn’t. “Small Pictures and Tall Tales”, the latest offering from Devils Water, fell into my grubby paws by virtue of fortuitous raffle ticket purchase, and so I fell to listening…

Last time I spoke to the great man, Richard was telling me about the new recording facility the band have, and it was within this that the new album was (very well)  recorded. Nine tracks present a goodly mix of Ridley Originals and traditional songs and tunes, interspersed, all with a narrative trait to them. As you might expect the playing is exemplary, and the full band (pipes, bass, melodeons, fiddles, harmoni-hi-hay and plenty of singers) makes a sound that is very full and sounds like a very good representation of the live sound – no need for overdubs or studio trickery[4]. This is a grand example of Northumbrian music old and new. Some nice arrangements too; I especially liked the arrangement of Cushie Butterfield – it works well as a slightly slower waltz, rather than the typical full throated ramming speed version commonly performed around the doors. A very professional package accompanies the disk, although my eyes struggle with CD notes, and some of the tracks seemed to be in a different order to the listing, but that’s probably me being easily confused. This is a warm, full and very entertaining traditional folk offering and should appeal to folk club goers, of whatever stripe.

News is reaching us of turmoil in the managerial underpants of the Kings Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club. Now tumultuous underpants is never pleasant (nor easy to explain; ask any ferret) but when it comes in the form of an attempted coup in a folk club[5], things can quickly turn nasty. It seems that Big Gwen has launched a challenge to the authority of Chairman Dave. Apparently Big Gwen feels it is time to change things (gasp) and have a new format (gurgle) and even some new music (splutter) in the club. Having met with a point blank refusal from Chairman Dave to consider such heretical notions, Big Gwen and her cohorts, Ralph the Fiddler[6] and unfortunately, Sellotape, she (and I use the term in a medical sense) has decided to form a breakaway group to meet on a Tuesday (I mean; Tuesday?). The new pretender is to be styled The Kings Head Acoustic Concerts (Khac for short) and apparently there will be some guests who are not regulars.

I know, I know, she’s clearly mad, I mean, the old way has worked well for years.

Hasn’t it?

And so as the new folk club of destiny opens its doors to the future, first through on opening night is a deaf harpist who plays songs on a harp made out of Ikea metal shelving written by her dead roman soldier spirit guide[7], and the future is suddenly brighter; or at least, colder.

Until next time Acoustic Chums

Keep Strummin’


[1] Musical. Anything else would be rude.

[2] There is a cult of banjo players that hold that Easter is in November; but then, they bloody would.

[3] Oh yes there is. The link is here

[4] Like what we do.

[5] Please do your own jokes at this point.

[6] If it was with a violin, it would have been all right.

[7] Incidentally, I did not make her up,

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