There is, I’m sure you will agree, something quite majestic about a Fire Appliance steaming under full sail and battleflag, lights ablaze and claxon wailing as it labours up an incline on the motorway. Other traffic obediently jumps out of the way, and I, on the opposite carriageway, marvel at the sight as the pyropugilistic leviathan lumbers past, singing the nee-naaw song for all it is worth.
Something quite monumental.
I mean, if a fire engine has to use a motorway to get to a job, how far away is the fire? Is that really the nearest fire engine available? If it is, by the time the appliance reaches the scene all the fire crew would be able to do is toast their muffins by the embers of my treasured collection of cheap guitars.
No connection to Acoustic Music.
You should know better by now.
Be welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…
…and welcome Dave the Bass, our errant erstwhile bass player, currently reading this wholesome pages from San Diego, where he assures us, it is warm, sunny and full of golden tanned bodies. Same as Stanley then, except it’s nicotine.
National transport infrastructure is hot acoustic potato at the moment – at least it is here at FG towers as we ponder the wisdom, or otherwise, of gigs far away. It seems that we can get gigs, real proper full headlining the night paid with real money, with people listening and liking what we do – gigs. We know that from a few test forays to parts south and west.
So far we have a number of invitations to play in Essex, one in Coventry, another in Leicester and we have tentative enquiries from other places too. The question is: should we do it? The pay is minimal (even a headline spot in a club these days is not exactly a King’s ransom), but our current thinking is, if the pennies go some way to covering the petrol; let’s go for it.
So, it doesn’t matter how far away the fire is, we will it storm towards, singing the nee-naaw song as we go.
We continue to write and practice. As the day job term gets into full swing, we can start to get a routine going. We have a number of songs that have survived the frenzy of writing a couple of weeks ago, and I think three, maybe four will survive through to the setlist stage. At this point we can start learning songs with Carol on bass, building from the ground up. The winter months may well become recording times, so the long shelved Folk Prog Concept will come to fruition.
I bet you can’t wait.
Friday and we for Jarrow. The ancient home of many cultures, Anglo Saxon, Roman, and latterly, Geordies. In this instance it is home to the fledgling Live Lounge run by Hive Radio, which is a sort of musical offshoot of the Bede’s World open air museum. If you imagine a small scale, Anglo Saxon version of Beamish, you’d be on the right lines. The good worthies at the Live Lounge have not long been in the game of gig promotion, live broadcasting or indeed live sound mixing. It is to their great credit that they face this mountain undaunted, unburdened as they may be by experience, they have enthusiasm delivered by the bucket. Man and womanfully they strove to overcome the PA and mixing desk, eventually coming out, if not exactly on top, at least facing upward.
We had a wonderfully bittersweet moment the other week. We have a Gentle Reader who is, to be fair somewhere on the Autistic Spectrum, and nearer the red end than the blue. She saw us play for the first time in a while.
“Are we as you remember?” I asked, conversationally at the interval.
“Oh, no” she replied, “Much better”.
That kind of feedback is exactly what keeps us going.
The Wrinkly Wroadies are continuing to help with live outings. I must warn Gentle Readers and Acoustic Chums that this may change as Doug has been diagnosed as suffering from talking terminal b*ll*cks. There is no known (without the G) cure.
Finally, we nipped in to see The Minnikin and Keith Blackburn, as Beeswing playing at Cherryburn this Saturday. Wonderful as they may be, we’d dropped by to evaluate the amazing new PA that Dave has sourced on t’internet (regular readers will remember this from the last issue). A full 2 mic wireless mains or battery self contained PA for £170?
As it goes, it sounded fine. Pushed, it laboured a bit (this was outdoors) and I think FG going full tonk through it would stretch it well beyond its capabilities, but for singer songwriter/small venue applications, at that sort of money, it’s well worth a gander.
And so as your favourite prog folk duo arrive at the far flung folk club of fate, and find that our music is still ablaze; fear not, I know where there is a fire engine.
Until next time, Acoustic Chums
 No not that one: it wasn’t cheap. Or that one. Or… come to think of it…
 Unless it’s Jason King. Mr Wyngarde is still with us, he is now 80.
 Geordie is not of course a’ culture’. It is a ‘Kulcha’