Dr. Gold will see you now…

Music is fun, life is fun, it’s just the bits that aren’t life or music, such as work, that get in the way. However, Dr. Gold has the best antidote to the working (or retired) week that money can’t buy. Just consume a once-a-week injection of something that will make you feel better.

Such as?
Welcome to the cure, Gentle Reader, and read on…

The FG Blog is nothing if not a public service channel[1].

F’risntance, where else will you find out what to do with your Acoustic Anklebiters this summer?

To keep the little darlings entertained, educate and elevate their musical appreciation all in one go would be too much to ask of some blogs.

But not this one.

Oh no…

To entertain and educate, engage your snotty brood in a new music game that is sweeping the nation. What you do is hide various classical music CD’s all around the house and the dears have to search and find them, with extra points being awarded to those who find the bonus composer.

You may have heard of the game; its name?
Haydn Seek.


This week we have been as busy as ever; in the old days, the run in to Summer was heralded in schools by a devil may care attitude, when such fripperies as sports days, trips to the coast and mock witch trials sprang forth from many a primary classroom. They still do now, but Teachers are much travailed by the need to invent spurious learning outcomes to justify making school fun.

Just sayin’.

That aside, of course; the music.

We have had a few practice sessions this week and managed to resurrect an old song we never really got right in days of yore[2].

The song is a very short ballad originally recorded by Finnish Melodic metallers Stratovarius. Of course we do it differently, on account of me not having the hair.

We also got down to Mr Minikin’s ‘other’ club, The Monkey in Tiddly Bay last Sunday. As usual a relaxed evening, with much micky taking given and received, and some lovely music from the regular crew. We ressurected a few from the back catalogue, and enjoyed the evening muchly. If you are in the area you can find info about the place on the website here.

The t’internet has been abuzz of late with much highbrow debate on the future of the Great British (or at least, English) Folk Club. It seems that a few Gentle Readers and Acoustic Chums, who hold positions of high authority in clubs around the land have noticed over the rim of a Guinness glass, that there is, in the main, nee bugger there[3]. There are of course many venerable exceptions; in our area Cramlington, The Candlelite and Beamish Mary Folk Clubs are packed out week after week, and I could grant honourable mentions to many others but won’t as that means NOT mentioning some. Therefore much discussion and venting of spleen had been made in the cause of Putting It Right.

‘What shall we do?’ Echoes the plaintive call. Shall we have less, more, shorter, longer, pinker Club Nights? Shall we have less or more guests? Shall we have another raffle? Maybe two more raffles?

The answer, Mes Enfants, in the humble opinion of this writer (no it isn’t book FG, although that would be a good start) is simple.

Take a risk.

Shake it up.

Try something else.


No, not a theme night where everybody has to sing songs about West Cumbrian Sheep Mines, just shake it up, book someone young, have hotspots, do a support slot from regulars and shorter guest spots. Book (gasp) different guests (hang on, I’ll get the defibrillator), move rooms, have a guest MC, invite a poet to do a spot, share a video link (alright I know I went too far there, that uses electricity, still banned in many clubs).

As I said; take a risk.

Or die.

Your call[4].

Apropos of the above, in some ways, our search for new venues and places to play has been rewarded again this week, and we are proud and pleased to announce that FG will be thumpin’ the boards at:

  • Aug 4 Cherryburn National Trust, Prudhoe
  • Aug 15 The Ballarat Studios North Shields
  • Sept 20 Bede’s World Live Lounge, Jarrow

Such fun.

And it is too.

Thursday and we, by road in finery, for Barnard Castle Folk Club. This was a quiet evening with only a few players in the back room of the pub adjoining a noisy bar. Could have been a quiet evening then?

However, it was a very enjoyable evening in good company, with some good music. Which is what it is about, isn’t it?

The pictures are courtesy of our Personal Paparazzi, the Wrinkly Wroadies, who will put up with anything for a pint of Stella.

The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club is trying something new. They have decided to move with the times and have a festival. These days, ‘festival’ is a somewhat abused term as we have sometimes discovered, but no, Chairman Dave and his scurrying minions are to put on a whole day of folk and acoustic music, no theme or restrictions, even banjo drivers will be welcomed with open machetes. The barbecue has been lit, the stage in the smoker’s yard erected and some of Sandy’s old underwear drafted in as bunting. The rest has been drafted in as the Marquee.

All players are invited to apply for a 30 minute slot, with a break for a Barbie and a pint, a small PA is provided with a good sound man and in the evening an act you have heard of and who are good will do a full set. There will be a singaround indoors for those minded to sessioning, a merch stall for all to share their CD sales on, and even an exhibition of unusual instruments in the function room upstairs, next to the Ladies, and some paintings done by a local artist. There will a be a email list to sign up to, as well as a full published list of guest artists for the forthcoming season with a list of support slots for regulars to apply for.

With a programme like that, how could KH&WLFC be fictional?

And so as the word count of doom approaches the monstrous lair of overload and the Editorial Hero armed with the Magic Delete Key approaches the page I notice, it’s the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] Feel free to agree with at least the first part of the statement.

[2] What Yore’s – thanks I’ll have a pint.

[3] If you exclude the players, the two ladies who always come but don’t know why and the strange bloke in the corner who looks like he is hiding from the Molestation Squad, you’ll realise I speak truly.

[4] You have no idea how much better I feel.


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