It’s Raining, Raining on my act…

It took God the best part of a week to make the world[1]. Admittedly, he spent some time on frippery, Heaven, Seas, Animals and stuff, and he had to take half an hour for lunch each day ‘cos HR said so. But, it took me just five days to create chaos out of order (see what I did there?) as the working week resembled a tumbling comet of crashed websites, busted wireless, and non-resolving ip addresses – none of which meant a great deal to me. So come the weekend and bringeth the blog and some blessed acoustic relief: be Welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…

I have mentioned, in my own little way, that South Shields Folk Club has moved to The Customs House from The Rugby Club.

A good move says we.

Not if you want to hire the room, though, as it costs a fortune, I know, I asked. They told me and I laughed. But not a lot.

However, last Sunday we headed back unusually early as we had Dave available for the night, so wanted to run a few trio songs past an audience.

This is a nice club, very friendly, the new room a vast improvement over the old. I notice they are experimenting with PA much in the way a grandma experiments with the internet or a nun with contraception[2] – suspiciously, and involving gloves.

A nice evening it must be said, nice to see Acoustic Chum Angie on leave from Broadband performing solo, as well as the regulars turning in sterling performances. The Wrinkly Wroadies took some great photos (don’t tell them I said that if they ask you to read this to them – the egos…) which are hereabouts somewhere.

We did a few of the bass numbers, and all, I think, was well.

Next up in a week of acoustic adventure was a recce to The Marquis of Granby in Sunniside, or Streetgate if you live in the posh end. This evening is run by Acoustic Chums John Brindle and Dennis Makepiece, who, we decided, have known each other in different bands and guises for 35 years at least.


This evening is in the big front room of the pub and is a bit more open mic than folk club. It has a relaxed feel and a late-ish start at around 9.00. The PA system is needed – it’s a big room. It uses Acoustic Guitar amps for the vocals, which terrifies the wossname out of me. Braver men (and wimmin) them than I.

Again nice to see chums we haven’t seen in an age, although we didn’t stay too long.

The photos of The Marquis are nowhere near as good as the ones the WW take, as their equipment is better than mine – and you must do with that statement, whatever your sordid little mind wishes[3].

Next a series of rehearsals for the Internet Concert which is now but a week (and a bit away). Dave is really getting into both the bass parts and the whole concept. This time round will be simply done to prove the concept, but next time, when he can wear the producer’s hat, it seems that an audience, multi cameras and hi-definition midgets will be involved. To remind you all, it’s Monday 27th May 8:00 pm (UK Time), free to join; it can be found at:

just hit the link, kick back and enjoy. There is a chat stream I think, so feel free to indulge…

<stop press – the Facebook event has done very well, so it looks as if at least a few Acoustic Chums will tuning in to see what japes transpire>

A call from the National Trust saw us preparing to do a spot at The Farmer’s Market at Gibside on Saturday. A call from the Met Office made us scamper up the loft ladder and emerge with the underwater guitars and a divers helmet[4]. And, as it turned out, we needed them. Gentle Readers with fully functioning memories will remember Saturday. It widdled from the heavens like a large widdly thing widdling a lot. Certainly it did down at Gibside. A rather damp National Trust operative showed us the gazebo that they had erected, in honour and anticipation of our visit. Most of it was visible above the waves, but the thought of an exposed electric PA and an expensive Taylor and Martin in the driving rain did not, as it were, fill me with enthusiasm.

So, the café then.

It must be said the weather may have had an impact on visitor numbers, as apparently when the sun shines they get some. This time we performed for the stall holders and NT staff, who had, frankly, bugger all else to do as Peter Punter, his missus and all the little Punters stayed well away.

But; we did play. A lot, as it happens. They liked us, said nice things and we got asked back. So; fair enough.

This week’s gallery – more well deserved thanks to the Wrinklies, who turn out in all weathers, drink beer, get bladdered and then get taken back to the home. I don’t know how they manage it…

(New Gentle Readers, begin here. The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs is a pub in the area and has a folk club which meets in the back room. You can go if you like. Chairman Dave has been having problems with committee insurrection and falling numbers. Now; read on…)

The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs continues to try to win back an audience by re-inventing itself as a more avante-garde venue. To this end (and a few others) local heroes Sellotape – Julian and his (allegedly) Mrs; Sandy will be performing their version of Les Mis, performed entirely by the duo, acoustically, on guitar and kazoo and very definitely in D.  All songs will be in D – all the way through. To add further spice (if it wasn’t exciting enough already) Julian and Sandy will be doing the whole thing in costume, apart from the love scenes, where they feel that the costumes will not be necessary.

I’ve got my ticket.

Another booking this week rolled in from a Community Centre in Newton Aycliffe – expect the FG Big Rig to roll in there in September. ‘Jolly Good’, quoth we, merrily.


As the big black rain cloud of fate approaches the festival crowd of destiny and a thousand damp folkies discover that cider is not, in fact, a viable substitute for an umbrella, I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] Other Creation stories are available.

[2] “…what a bloody funny nun you are…”

[3] Made me snigger though.

[4] Y’see, the phrase ‘divers helmet’ just makes me smile. “And so to the pool, with divers helmet and friends..”. Probably just me.


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