Good News? Bad News?

There are those who receive good news, those who give good news and some who claim to have heard the Good News. Sometimes, no news is good news. That would have been the case this week.

On that conundrum, be bid Welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…


I may have mentioned, (and even mis-typed in my excitement[1]) that we have a concourse gig at The Sage next year. That means that, for an hour on a Sunday Lunchtime (16 March – see you there) we get a fully set up stage, PA and everyfink.

I know this to be true, as we have just had The Form through.

Now this is a great excitement (and feather in’t cap) for us, The Sage is a big venue and does things proper-like.

Hence The Form.

We have to fill in and return a detailed document listing requirements, set, instruments, inside leg et alia.

We would not be silly on the real form[2], but it’s far too good an opportunity to miss for the blog…

Name: Farnham Astroblast

Band: Fool’s Gold

Music Style: That’s a good idea, we’ll sort that out before the day.

Preferred form of payment: Smarties[3]


Performers and Instrumentation

Please detail the artists taking part in the performance, including:

It’s me and Wor Lass. Of course if the kids come along there might be more; The Wrinkly Wroadies will be in on the act, of that you can be sure, and I can’t rule out a crowd surge.


I’m glad you mentioned that. We have flutes ‘n guitars ‘n whistles ‘n stuff, but we also have a Magic Bing Bong machine and, if I’m allowed, a set of bass pedals.

(Yes, I know; I’m sorry)

Please detail any access or medical information that Sage Gateshead should be aware of

  1. Terminal Sobriety – medication for this condition is constantly required
  2. We need doors. Doors are our friends.

Please detail your technical requirements – please provide a stage plan and as much information as possible, including, but not limited to:

  • The number of microphones that required and what for;

Please can we have a mic for me and one for her indoors, we sing through ‘em in geet big rooms. I haven’t seen the concourse at The Sage for a while, but I’m guessing….

. When I say mic, if you want details, please can I have a Neumann U-47, through a Joe Meek compressor, into the desk (Studer) and from there to the PA (Pink Floyd’s should do, they’re not using it). Porky would like the same. And her own Pink Floyd PA too. Thanks.
A wire for her and a wire for me would be nice

  • Are monitors required;

No monitors are needed, unless for heartrate. And Security. Do you have silverware[4]?

  • Is an electrical supply required;

Electricity would be lovely, thanks.

  • Do you have your own engineer;

We do got our own engineer; it’s me.

  • A channel listing;

A list of channels? (you know what I’m going to say now, don’t you) BBC1, BBC 2…

  • A detailed stage plan.

Our stage plan is to get off it alive and having had a blast. Ta.

List of resource requirements the artist/ensemble have – please state quantities where applicable, for example:

Just a table and some glue for the mid-set raffia workshop…


This week has been an uppy-downy week. A number of people have been in touch to offer or arrange gigs for next year, and new places also loom on the horizon. However, just before the weekend, the phone rang…

“Ringgg-Rinnnng, Ringgg-Rinnnng, Ringgg”  – you get the idea.

Me: “Hello Steve Robson, Superstar”

Them: “Hi Steve, you know the gig on Saturday?”

Me: “Yes, looking forward to it”

Them: “it’s canceled”

Me: “Ulp!”

That’s the first time this has happened to us and it was a surprise and a real disappointment. The cancellation wasn’t down to us – there seems to be other forces at play, but that did put a dampener on the week…

…so we found a new place to drop into. A little shack in the country called The Bowes Museum. They are starting an Acoustic Open Night, so we thought: “Why Not?” Thus it was, that Friday saw us in early order (it starts at 6.00pm allegedly) heading for Barnard Castle. As that’s where the museum is, it seemed like the thing to do.

Turns out that an Acoustic Chum, Malcolm (you know; the Old Age Traveller Malcolm) had been asked to run it. I have to say that this is the grandest place we have ever played, it was in the Café, but even that was a huge space. The Museum was playing host to umpteen events that night, many musical. There was Salsa, a Brass Band, Soul, Acoustic and more besides. The weird thing was that they were all well supported. There were folks at everything we saw, and more milling about. Contrast that with – don’t get me started.  The café had a constant supply of punters through the doors, with just a few acts to play on the night, there was a good rotation. We did six, which if you are familiar with the old FG epic canon, is about an hour and a half. If you’re a precious soul, this is not for you, as several tables of the Punteroni treated the musicians as aural wallpaper, though others did listen. It was well organised and a comfortable venue. There are no other acoustic venues that I can think of where you get waiter service at the table and called ‘Sir’ a lot. Pauline had an issue with that, but after a couple of Budweisers was OK with it. If it gets the support, it will do well. Pics once again Courtesy of The Wrinkly Wroadies who did manage to behave on this occasion. We find that threatening to leave Doug at the venue usually has the desired effect. Although strangely, Mrs Wrinkly Wroady doesn’t seem to mind that too much…

And so if the phone bell of fate sounds the last clarion of opportunity; and on answering, you find that someone wants to buy your windows, sell you a kitchen or fix a problem on your PC – flog them a CD.

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] Ace Higgins spotted it first.

[2] Of course not; what do you think we are?

[3] No, I know you don’t get paid. This is a joke: look, if you keep interrupting…

[4] Did.


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