Lyrics? Schmillicks.

There is only so much you can cram into a week – or a blog for that matter – before the walls begin to bulge and you need to ring the plumber. This week, as is becoming typical, we have had to run through the local gazette to contact a whole range of tradesmen to come and help keep the week in the bottle. This included a time electrician and a santity inspector, who, predictably, found fault. However, we got a certificate to prove our sanity, and have arrived, more or less unscathed at Blogday.

Be Welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…

boo gallery

I’m not a lyricist.

I don’t even feel that I can call myself a songwriter, and certainly not a lyricist.

What I do is tell stories in line sized lumps, sometimes they come out ok:

“As the gulls fly, far above your head, you,
Raise dead eyes to the sky.
And wonder why,
They can fly,
while you are rooted here,
Tommy on The Bridge”


Stories in line sized lumps.

But not lyrics.

But it does mean that I take an interest in language, words, their order, meaning and sense. As well as the strange and awful things that people do with them, often causing a wry chuckle deep from within.

For example: a posh Kaff near Day Job HQ has a ‘specials’ blackboard outside. The board is piloted by someone who knows that English works as a medium of communication, just not quite how.

So today’s chuckle was the legend:

“Bowl of Soup
And Prepared Baguette”

God preserve us from an encounter with an unprepared baguette.

The Moorings is another Kaff. Rather more than a Kaff in fairness, it is, in point of fact an Eaterie. I know this to be so, as it proclaims it to be so above the door.

And very fine it is too. Glynis and Mark run a really nice place to eat, spend social time, drink and listen to music. The food is great, the welcome warm and friendly, and as a venue it has a lot to commend it. It’s small enough to be intimate and big enough to get quite a few in. The place is interesting, cosy and comfy – and it has a fantastic aspect over Hartlepool Basin; from where we stood to play I could have seen the Trincomalee, had I but glanced in that direction. By now, Gentle Reader, you may reasonably be expecting a ‘but’.

Au Contraire, mes enfants.

Mark and Glynis run the place with a mission. Part of which is to make a living, which is not only fair enough, it’s downright sensible. However another strand to said mission is to support local (in our case ‘localish’) musicians by providing a forum, and hopefully an audience, for them to showcase what they do. Not only that, but they feed and pay, (imagine; pay) the artists for their efforts. Best of all though, they listen. And if they like it, they say nice things and ask you back.

Now come on, let’s hear it for Mark and Glynis.

We think they’re worth a round of applause.

As are Jack and Mike. Burness and Orchard, who are not nearly as good at funny dances as the double act the name might suggest[1]. However, they are very good at organisation, especially when it comes to Flash Folk events. We only dropped in last week at Knitsley Mill, but as a proof of concept, there were certainly enough people prepared to come along and play in an extended session, then stay for what looked like (we weren’t there by that point) a more formal spot based concert in the evening.

Anybody who thinks that it is easy to put something like this together is, sadly, misguided. Therefore, for keepin’ it live, giving people the opportunity and generally doing a grand job…

… Ladies and Gentlemen, your appreciation for Jack and Mike.

We have a Facebook presence, as Gentle Reader, in all likelihood, do you. It is very useful for chasing gigs, venues and generally following Acoustic Chums in their various adventures. However, my interest is more or less confined to the musical. Gratuitous bad language I find tedious and lacking in imagination; but there are worse horrors to endure.

So, in order merely to assist, may I proffer the following useful bits of personal information?

I don’t care for cats, however cute it is, or how it is cooked.

  • Games with slidy gems in them are best reserved for people with slidy fingers
  • Generic comments on the Human Condition are redundant, as there are no Generic Humans
  • Your online petitions are very interesting. To you.
  • I really do not care if you are off to bed.

Oh, I do feel grumpy sometimes[2].

Wednesday, and we by barge for Ovingham and there with my Lords Canny Crack[3], made much of various musiks and great times besides. The Bridge End pub was packed this time round for the OBE Folk Club. It was also a very hot evening, so it was quite exhausting. There was a quite a lot of session playing this time round – I seem to be attracting sessions as Actresses attract Bishops at the moment.

Canny Crack ran the usual good natured, round the room; mandolins, whistles, pipes, fiddles, a harp, a viola and the odd guitar were all on show this night. The Wrinkly Wroadies once again took the pics. Their Facebook page is picking up; soon we’ll be able to pack in the music and lug stuff round for them.

Friday and Radio Tyneside with old Acoustic Chum Kyle Thompson. If we thought OBE was hot, it was as but the tepidarium to the caldarium of the radio studio. Double double glazing, sound proofing, June and central heating might have had something to do with it. However, we dripped our way through the show and enjoyed the experience as always. The show goes out to a number of large North East hospitals, so if you were on your bed of pain, headphone clamped to your bandaged bonce and unable to move; you have our heartfelt thanks for listening.

Finally this week and we for The Ballarat in North Shields. Karen has opened this former pub as an artistic complex of great ambition. Studio and exhibition spaces are slated to work alongside performance and tuition areas. As a space it has much to commend, and we enjoyed playing an acoustic (apart from Dave the Bass, obviously) set. The occasion was to accompany a book signing event as local author Charlie Steel promoted his latest local history book, this time on the subject of North Shields pubs – how apt! We must have done something right as we are on the books to perform there again, as an evening do, in a few weeks time.

We wish Karen all the very best with this brave, nay, exciting venture.

And so, once more, as the sands of time trickle down the underpants of eternity and at least a few grains get stuck at half past comfortable, I notice it is the end of this blog,

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] ..or are they?

[2] Please feel free to do own dwarf joke, and post it on Facebook.

[3] Now; you behave.

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