Happy, Smiley Folkies…

There are weeks that last seven days and other weeks that last a lot longer. These weeks go on for ever, or so it seems, sometimes without a great deal being seemingly accomplished. This week then, you will gather has been something of a mixed bag.

The will be reasons for this…

Be Welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…


This week I have had another belt of near-fatal man flu, requiring lots of rest and, curiously, beer. As a result the projected trip to Cramlington fell through the holes, and we did not get out as much. But we did get something sorted which is most exciting.

At least we think so.

Last week I wittered on about Internet Concerts.

Yes, I know, but stick with it…

So from by bed of pain, I was able to find the website, account and software to enable us to do exactly this.

On Monday 27th May at 8 of the clock, if you point your browser to:


you will be able to join us for an online, free, live performance. This will be the trio lineup, playing a few of the greatest hits J and we intend to play for half an hour or so.

It sounds like a lot of fun, so I hope a few of you can come along. I think there is a chat function too; so watch out!

The free version (which we are using) has a 30 second advert which runs before connecting to our channel, so maybe a minute or two early would be good – otherwise you won’t get a good seat… (stop press: our channel has just been validated – oo-er. Apparently that means there on no seat limit, so you can watch in droves, if you still have a drove that fits.)

 netgig poster


The Folk-Prog-Concept-Album-Thing has moved on a bit too. We have managed to bash a few of the songs into a semblance of shape and structure. I’ve been rewriting some words and adding other bits. The whole thing is slowly starting to feel; like it belongs together. We still have not recorded anything, but it will happen soon. We have recorded using the Zoom R-24 (a marvellous bit of kit). Normally this beastie controls Cubase for me, but I’ve been using it as a stand alone recorder to make rough sound notes, and it’s great! In this way, I have jotted some bass ideas for ‘Tommy on the Bridge’ to give the boy bassist an idea of what is happening inside my head. Of course, I think I’m a cross between Chris Squire[1] and Pete Trewavas[2] (and the great Jon Tout[3] RIP) but in reality, I am to the bass playing what Nana Mouskouri was to cage fighting.


The pictures this week (many courtesy of the Wrinkly Wroadies, who both say hello, by the way) was a challenge. I decided to put up pictures which demonstrate that folk and acoustic music is an enjoyable experience – pics of happy people. Blimey what was a challenge, what a serious lot we are. Anyway, here are the results.

If you like trains, you can buy timetables and books (and seek medical help); if the birds of the air are your particular bag, then books, guided walks and whole organisations dedicated to spotting our feathered friends as they sit on a tree and do bugger all are available to you. However, if you are an acousticist or folkie, no such rudimentary guides are available to help you to identify the main generic types of performer that appear in clubs up and down this sceptred isle. As an act of philanthropy[4]; here listed are some of the main types you may encounter.


1. The Tuner-Upperer

This player, and it can be any instrument including the spoons, is intent on making sure that they are in tune before a song. This involves looking at a digital tuner, after a several long minutes of not looking at a digital tuner. Interestingly, when they do start the song, they are often out of tune. The only people never afflicted by this complaint are banjo drivers, who know a lost cause when they see one.

2. The Apologist

Before playing, this performer tells the audience a number of things:

  1. They don’t know how to play the song
  2. They won’t remember the words
  3. The song isn’t very good

In the majority of cases, they are correct.

3. The Enthusiast

This is a lovely type, as the amount of energy expended could power a small civilised town, or Sunderland, should anyone wish to power Sunderland. Volume is set to max, dancing while playing is required, and walloping the guitar like a cross between a demented Pete Townsend and a cocaine fuelled sewing machine is considered de rigueur.

4. The Lovely Person that Really Shouldn’t

We all know ‘em. And love ‘em too.

But, good God, it hurts.

5. The Obscurist

This person usually dresses as an afterthought. They know everything there is to forget about The Jacobites, The British Navy c.1805 and 17th Century Coaching Inns, but bugger all about colour coordination, soap or buttons. Their set is very similar to a history lesson delivered in plainsong. To an Obscurist, Folk music is a very serious business, so please do not laugh unless the song is funny, in which case you will have been informed.

..and what sort are we?

All of the above, at some point or another!

But if I do it now; shoot me.

Well, that’s not too bad a blog for a week when we didn’t get out, if you got this far, may your God bless you (assuming she goes in for that sort of thing), and as the Sun of Opportunity sets over the Yardarm of Fate and the folk club audience breaks out a new cask of Rotten Tomatoes, I notice it is the end of this blog.


Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] Yes

[2] Marillion, Transatlantic

[3] Nobody much at the moment, but it used to be Renaissance

[4] I went to school with Phil, nice lad, dentist now.

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