Golden Gigs

New Gentle Readers start here: The Fool’s Gold blog is the weekly adventures, sometimes true, of a folk tinged acoustic duo and their doings, comic, tragic and sometimes just painful on the folk and acoustic circuit. They also report faithfully on the famous King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club. It is published weekly on a Sunday morning (UK). Now read on…

Last week the blog hit tech problems. It went up, then had to be taken down instantly due to a problem with the photos. It went back again, but the notification had to be recalled, re-written and reposted. That didn’t work properly, so it had to be done again. By which point, I was a bit fed up and could do with cheering up.

Which is when I remembered this story:

Be Welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…

“You mutht be joking” spat Goldy, her little voice heavy with contempt.

“Is there a problem Ms Locks?” Enquired Chairman Dave, nervously.

And well he might be; Goldy Locks was the latest overnight sensation in the punk folk arena and had been booked to great fanfare to mark Chairman Dave’s triumphant return to The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club (in the Back Room every Thursday). To prove her punk credentials she wore a bra on her head, the effect lending her the air of a confused Biggles. The folk bit was exemplified by the fact that she wielded a guitar bearing the Woody Guthrie legend “This guitar kills fascists”. Some wag had crossed out ‘fascists’, and substituted ‘music’. She hadn’t noticed.

“It’s the stage” She lisped, “its too high[1]

Dave scribbled hasty notes on the back of his vallium packet.

“And that mic stand? Too low, and that chair – it’s far too soft”

Chairman Dave, to be fair, tried. He ran hither, lowered this, ran thither, raised that; then ran yon in search of a harder cushion. He arrived, panting, a few minutes later at the feet of the Diva, all emotional and anxious: “Is that better, your Highness?”

She didn’t look. Just sipped her pint of mixed, and replied:

“Too low, too high and too hard[2]

There must be a Goldilocks gig.

Somewhere.

I’m sure you all know what I mean.

One where the stage is just right, PA is not too loud or too quiet (that bit is seldom a worry). One where the sound man is not too bored or too… relaxed. One where the audience has all stayed in the room (or field) for the right spot – yours; I’m sure you know just what I mean.

We have managed a couple of gigs that come close, The Cluny probably being the nearest yet. I suppose I’m talking about luck. The Lady.

We all need a bit, no matter how good, or how hard we are trying. It’s what keeps us going – the thought that one day, somewhere, we’ll be in the place that is not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

One place that was pretty close this week was, to our great pleasure, Croxdale Folk Club.

We have been down a few times recently only to find that things have been a tad on the quiet side. In fact they were so quiet that it seemed a shame to disturb the shadows, so we came home.

However, I’m very pleased to report that we arrived at The Daleside this Tuesday to find Brain Willoughby and Catherine Craig setting up, and one by one a steady stream of punters and players trotted through the doors. We were very pleased to see John Kelly arrive, looking well and completely vertical. He says he is on the mend, and as far as the folk club is concerned, back in harness. We wish him a continued recovery.

The standard in the room was very good, as it might be with Marie Little and The Old Age Travellers on hand. Some very good floor spots too, singers, Rab and Kitchy Retro, oh and yours truly; we did an un-throttled version of ‘Tommy on the Bridge’ which seemed to go down well.

But the main part of the evening belonged to Brian and Catherine who did two spots of super music, lovely songs and stylish delivery. Brian’s guitar tone was the envy of many the fret wiper in the room, there are some photos in the gallery showing how he achieved it. His rig was all Yamaha guitars, some specially modded for him, a small pedalboard and a wonderful 5W amp the Yamaha THR 5A, which was exactly the Goldilocks for the night, not too loud as Catherine played and sang acoustically, and with a lovely, lovely tone.

More gigs added to the list for next year. Detailed announcements can come nearer the time, but for the first time, three months before the end of the year, we have fifteen bookings for next year.

That’s not too bad; it’s just about right.

And so as Goldy Locks returns to the stage for her encore to somewhat strained applause, she notices that the three remaining regulars have stood up, turned their backs and provided, as it were, the bares.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,


[1] I know, it should be “Ith”, but I don’t want to be sued by the estate of Richmal Crompton

[2] Look, if you’re going to do your own gags…

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