From orchard to Orchard

And so the days unfold once more and the leaves of another week pass more swiftly than a Witch in flight, and we find that we arrive, gasping, at the threshold of another blog.

Such poetic enumeration of the scenes to come should convince all, especially you Gentle Reader, that you are bid Welcome, and to read on…

We discovered last week that we had an Orchard[1].

I know.

Not the sort of thing you can mislay easily.

No, you really have to try.

One minute we had an overgrown bramble strewn allotment, unloved for the turn of  a slew of carelessly dealt cards, then, with only the scant application of  a mini jcb, a bloomin’ big rotovator several hundred man (and mostly wumman) hours, grass and, erm, wossname… trees – and Presto!

An Orchard.

So what does a self respecting (and by now somewhat sweaty) folky do with such an object?

Obviously you use it to play music on. Really; sometimes I do worry about you.

So it was that Acoustic Chums and Gentle Readers foregathered in numbers to partake of the fruits of the barbecue (piloted by Dave the Bass) and play a few tunes in the early evening sunshine.

Then, as it is Stanley, it got cold so we came inside.

And played some more.

Beers, good company and good music. Who can ask for more?[2] A few of the pics in this week’s gallery give an idea. Thanks to Chris, Alma, ItsAcoustica and their extended tentacles, and of course to Sean for coming along. We must have another soon.

You may by now be aware that we have done some work with The Fuse media centre in Prudhoe.

You should be aware of it, as I have been ramming it down your throat for three weeks now.

However, be that as it happenibum; I am very pleased to announce that FG will be playing a theatre gig there in March 2014. The full details will be announced nearer the time, no point in doing it now for the simple reason that I have no idea what they are, but, rest assured, oh fevered reader, that we will be givin’ it the FG beans on that night.

So Thursday and we, in raiment merry, for Jack’s Club. Officially, this is The Beamish Mary Folk and Acoustic Club, but for us it has always been Jack’s Club – just not always at The Beamish Mary. Now well settled (back) into its ancestral harbour, ‘neath the golden blossom-laden bowers of No Place, this is still one of the friendliest clubs about. We have not been for quite a while, and so it was very nice to discover that we knew virtually everyone there. The company was very good, the night itself well paced and good banter-ridden fun. We did two (as did all 13-14 participants), Lynne Goulbourn visiting on her travels was without usual partner Steve Hicks and proved to be a very fine solo artist. Jack Burness, dancing attendance on the many, provided another grand evening. And congratulations to Alan (Stanley Market) Crawford too! The photos are of course, the work of the access-all-areas Wrinkly Wroadies.

 

We have a couple of CD’s recently completed and are in the process of submitting them for review in various places. This is a fraught business. The amount of care and work that goes into producing your own songs, recording, producing then finally packaging is the musical equivalent of parenting. Granted the process of conception is slightly different and much less laid back, but the thinking of England is pretty similar. So awaiting the judgement of others is fraught. Will the opinion be favourable, will it unfavourable, or worse still, will your precious 3 minute (hah) children be overlooked and ignored?

So in order to gird my musical loins[3], I have been reading reviews of other peoples CD and have discovered, to my considerable concern, that code is used. Just as in estate agency or school reports, reviewers have a language, a shorthand of their own. What they say, and what they mean, must be unpackaged…

“An interesting CD…”- I fell asleep listening to it

“A unique recording” – I’ve never heard anything like it

“Jazz influenced vocals” – she can’t sing

“Interesting harmonies” – neither can he

“Unusual instrumentation…”- or play

“It took a few listens to appreciate” – I hate it

“One to watch” – and avoid

…just be aware if you send yours in.

Finally this week before we scuttle south to play at The Moorings Eaterie in Hartlepool, a brief word about The Flash Folk Gathering, the first of the ilk, held at Knitsley Mill this Saturday. We dropped in briefly to support and see what was going on. The Mill is a lovely spot and we were greeted by a packed car park – good sign. The place was pretty well full of wandering folkies from around the area – the photos this and next week will give you an idea as to whom. The format while we were there was basically a number of singaround circles which more or less blew and drifted between three four locations around the site, two in the Marquee. I’m a pretty inept sessioner, but noodled away quite happily until it was time to go. It was an excellent social occasion as there was plenty of opportunity to chat to folks around and about the place. Well done to Mike Orchard and Jack Burness for organising the event.

A lovely evening with heavy metal folks jiva last night must remain unreported until next week as time, tide and the word count are rolling by; this week we may see you at Ovingham or Online.

As the Great Sinaground of Fate launches into the final[4] rendition of Whiskey in the Jar, we realise that Mr Morecambe may well have been right when he said “they are all the right chords[5]; just not necessarily, in the right order”, I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strumin’


[1] Not Mike, he comes later

[2] now; don’t you start

[3] Sort of diatonic diapers

[4] Out of forty-five

[5] Yes I know: notes.

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