Another week older, but; wiser?

Another week down and a few more rehearsals in and we are still playing with new arrangements and getting things wrong. Such is acoustic life, or on some cases a lingering and painful death.

Be welcome Gentle Reader, and read on.

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I’m not at all sure where the time goes, I must ask Ms Denny if ever I bump into her, but this week it has raced away faster than the exit of an anxious curry. We have been writing, chasing down gigs, rehearsing and playing. In fact we signed up our first gig for 2015, which frankly, is ridiculous, but in a nice way. Our thoughts continue to migrate away from folk clubs and towards other venues, and yet still we go to the clubs because it’s fun and the people are great to be with. Mind you, the price of fuel may well mean that we begin to make less long distance trips.

This news should occasion great rejoicing in clubs more than a few miles away from FG Towers, those clubs nearer have a little while longer to organise camouflage, new identities, and such obfuscations as may occur.

You may hide, but we will find you…

Cherryburn on Sunday was a first visit for us. This is a tiny National Trust property, the birthplace of the lad Bewick who hacked dextrously at lumps of wood until he could print dead good spuggies[1]. We were outside in the paddock and played under the sky for a couple of hours. Great fun, a good audience and cd sales; all goes to make a good day

Thursday found us at the Copper Beech in Darlington at the Folk Club. Now well settled into their new home, it’s interesting to see the club moving with the times and having a number of club nights as open mic with eleven 15 minute spots available on a first come and signed up, first booked basis. Another good night in  good company and the privilege of finishing the night.

The lingering death referred to at the beginning of this steaming pile, occurred this evening as we went into one of our new songs.

  1. Carol forgot the words and the flute line, and where on the body of a flute, it is most advisable to blow.
  2. I forgot the chords, rhythm, and how a guitar works, although managed to remember that if you hit the wrong strings at the wrong time it sounds awful.
  3. Dave the Bass never knew the bass line in the first place, so was in much the same boat as us.

A very long three minutes later, we emerged, slightly soul scarred and no bl**dy wiser whatsoever.

Friday and we by road for York, there for sport to take and merriment to make. Copmanthorpe to be exact to play to the Boo Designs gallery. A great place to play with space for only 15 in the audience, but we had a brilliant evening, thanks to Sandra and Ken for having us on, we hope to return soon.

One of the rock n roll excesses that can be indulged in as a bona fide prog-folk egotist is of course the B and B bath. You may well ask, ‘do they not have baths in Stanley’ to which the answer is ‘some do, but we burn them as witches’.

So it was, that before the gig I decided to bathe the royal extremities and luxuriate. The bath chamber was an addition to the original room, but looked large enough. However some filling later, it was discovered by your favourite lead widdler that appearances can be deceptive and I found myself waist deep in water, idly wondering why my shoulders were cold, but my important little guitarist places were in fact, being sautéed. I played the gig feeling like a half stripped pine door.

Images this week courstesy of our septugenarian support staff, The Wrinkly Wroadies, our thanks go out to Doug and Pauline for their sterling efforts.

The debate about Folk Clubs rages on and on via the Internet. Much soul searching, crystal ball gazing, navel gazing and opinion collecting is going in to a big examination of ‘what’s wrong with folk clubs today?’

Some of the responses are great, “if you don’t like it, don’t go” being one of my favourites.

I have, of course, got the answer.

It is, like all great ideas (and me), simple. If the standard is falling, if new people are being encouraged (gasp) and some people are apparently better than others (shock horror probe ) something Must Be Done. As the clubs wrestle with the concept of doing something about it, as long as that something is the same something they did last time; here is the answer to the problem.

Instead of turning up and letting the Chairman know you are there – a process traditionally achieved by the rustling of folding money, there will now be an audition process. When acts turn up at the pub, before they can get in to the club room, they are met by three members of the committee sitting behind desks. They will have armbands to denote their status and importance, and at least two will have small, almost toothbrush moustaches[2]. The first asks you to play a few bars on your instrument, in order to check you can play, the second asks you to tell a joke, in order to check if you will be ok on stage, and the third asks you if you know all the words to the Fields of Athenry, in order to see if you can get in at all.

And Finally…

Carol and I were wandering through a certain low-cost supermarket when my eye chanced upon a large tin of WD-40. The price was right and we had need of such a substance, so it was duly purchased. It came home and sat on the kitchen bench. Mrs. Wrinkly Wroady was spotted reading the can, which said:

  • Stops squeaks
  • Drives out moisture
  • Cleans and protects
  • Loosens rusted parts
  • Frees sticky mechanisms

The tin disappeared and Mr Wrinkly Wroady now smells oddly sweet.

And so as the word and indeed page count climbs ever higher, and the closing guitarist discovers his tuner has a sense of humour and so faces the audience that doesn’t,  I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’


[1] Other dead good animals were available.

[2] As this blog is fully inclusive, it is important to note that the ‘tash is not restricted to male committee members.

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