Good Grief, Godiva.

I am advised that we should be careful what information we share online. Be careful on Facebook, I am cautioned. Part ye not with thy email, nor yet thy surname, and definitely not thy phone number. Thy address shalt thou keepest safest, and sharing thy web address is right out.

Makes you wonder how to get any blinkin’ gigs.

But there is a way.

Be Welcome Gentle Reader and read on…

So, Coventry eh?

Lady Godiva or Godgifu to give her a more likely appellation, as the story goes rode in the nuddy through the streets of the city so that her nasty-pasty husband Leofric might lift his oppressive taxes, and generally stop behaving as a caddish panto villain. Out of respect for her selfless and decidedly chilly act of noble altruism, the townspeople turned their backs, closed tight their shutters and generally averted their gaze.


Peeping Tom, for it was famously he, copped a bloody good eyeful, and according to legend uttered the medieval equivalent of “Phwooooar” before promptly being struck blind by a kind and merciful God.

But good for him[1], because someone should always check. It is due to Tom’s mindful peeping that we are sure that Lady G was not in fact a right royal minger[2], [3]and that the legend can stand as a testament to something or other.

And put Coventry on the map too. As we shall in October when on the 29th inst. we play The Shakespeare Folk Club.

You didn’t see that coming, did you?

Oh; how did we get it? From a nice man we met on Facebook. Thanks Ian.

So the FG bandwagon continues to roll and we are busy planning plans and plotting plots for 2014. So far 2013 has been our best year ever in terms of developing, playing and doing some memorable shows. And still the clubs…

…and so it was, Gentle Reader, that we, with thought for neither consequence nor highwaymen, for Aycliffe Village. John Snowball is the main man here. He runs a distinct Folk Club in one end of The North Britton. It has regular guest artists and singarounds. The singarounds are generally populated by a group of firm friends, who enjoy the company and camaraderie of the evening every bit as much as the music. It is also often home to Bert Draycott, shy and retiring unless awake and all round Good Egg. Bert is The All England Champion Spoons Player (and bar) although he is reluctant to mention it. Much.

A very nice evening, relaxed and laid back and good to see George and Bob playing in a new formation as North Road with Dave (fiddle) and Tony (vocal and octave mandolin) – a rousing noise they create; very good too. The last twenty minutes or so is now an all-join-in session. Photos are courtesy of the Wrinkly Wroadies, who are setting up their own Photo Agency to be called “WrinkleVision”. Anyone interested in this venture needs their head seen to.

I was asked again this week: “why have you got it in for banjo players?”

The simple answer is of course, that I haven’t. If a consenting adult wishes to enter into communion with a device undoubtedly spawned in the deepest pits of hell, forged upon the burning anvil of Beelzebub’s own bum, it has nothing to do with me. The fact that they choose to carry on this practice in public places is a matter for their own conscience and social standing, and the fact that a game of Ker-Plunk is not only more satisfying but sonically very similar, is neither here nor there.

Each to their own says I. Tolerance and appreciation to all. I mean there will be those who think my playing is rubbish.

Of course, they should be shot.

And so to the end of the week, which for the purposes of the blog is usually Thursday, but this week, confusingly, is Saturday.

Because I wanted to put a report about the new, old Dorman’s Folk Festival. New because the Dorman’s Club is the new venue for this two day carousel of North east music, and old because at the previous venue, Nature’s World, it has been going on for many years.

The event has a strict 15 minute policy. Everyone gets 15 minutes, which is not a long time. The rule is the same for the great, the good and for us too. And it’s strictly enforced. I’m pleased to report that the new venue is very good – a big field with large club attached. The day was hot and sunny and the stage and PA (manned by the ever resourceful Yorkie Gibson) in fine fettle. David Kidman was MC for the day and kept everything running to time and in good order. There was a good procession of folks across the boards (see photies), and it was a pleasant day. Fifteen minutes is tough to get right, a bit raced and difficult to project what your music is about, and – it doesn’t half go quick when you’re up there. Lots of Acoustic Chums present on the day, good sets from Ian Tyzack and good chums jiva – they were in fine purple form, on a ukulele high that saw Jimmy sport his sixties headband. Just Us Kitchy Retro and Kay Death in good form. Well done to the organisers and all involved – I hope Sunday is as good.

The songwriting has moved on and Ascension Day is ready for practicing. Oh, and the Highwayman song has re-surfaced in an new guise – jolly good so far, I wonder if that is two songs, or one; time will, as they say, decide. We may get it/them ready for playing out at some point, but there is so much to do…

…recording, the website, more new songs, a video and a trip playing in Essex. Theatre gigs and more theatre gigs for 2014.

And that’s just next week, but we will be on the road at some point.

And so, as the festival litter picker bumps into the Country style flatpicker, then falls into a twelve bar banjo driver and we end up in a whole mess o’ blues, I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] Tom, not The Big G. Hence the small ‘h’. Please mind your grammar.

[2] Minger is defined in the Urban Dick and Harry as someone who fell out of a tree at birth and hit every branch on the way down. You see, you should always check.

[3] The Scottish usage of the term is less pleasant. It would be.


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