Working on a TV tan?

Yes, it is.

Honestly, it really is.

There.

Now you all know the answer, you can relax, kick back and chill.

Perhaps only one small further piece of information may make your acoustic life complete and remove that tiny nag down the back of your mind sofa.

But to find out the question, you will, as you know, be bid Welcome, Gentle Reader and read on…

sacriston poster

The last gig of the year for us is at The Old Church Sacriston on Saturday 16th Nov. Kick off is 7.30pm; we’re joined once again by the wonderful Chris Kelly and admission is £4.

So what do you do to chill out? As evening falls, is it back from the office, the coal mine or the replica chip butty works, out of the suit/overalls/teflon smock, into the onesie, a refreshing can of Fosters[1] in your fist and another evening spent working on your TV tan?

No, us neither.

When we get home life begins.

The TV often doesn’t get a look in. Or indeed at. After a brief period of semi conscious recuperation the musical activities begin. Being Fool’s Gold is hard work. Most evenings, when not playing, it’s run through time, if we have a gig coming up it’ll be that to prepare for, or more usually it will be endlessly re-arranging new material to get it just the way we want it.

Might not be the way you want it, but that, my little Acoustic Chums, is what Hercule Poirot might have called “Tough *&^%, my dear ‘Astings”. If there is any time/energy left after that it might be mess about with instruments, a bit of writing or whatever until the admin starts. Admin is emails, facebook, venue chasing, website updating, soundcloud, YouTube and a hundred other linked cogs that keep our little machine running.

Incidentally Jeff Brigg’s wonderful videos are continuing to be uploaded to our video channel. You can get there through the website or directly here. Our gratitude again to Jeff; the results he’s got for us are fantastic.

This week we were very lucky to be invited to the home of new Acoustic Chum Ray Freeman, to see a wonderful performance by Flossie Malieaville. Well known on the local circuit Flossie, who is French by birth and Tesside by inclination[2] has a great line in patter and stories as well as an amazing singing voice. Drawn to the North East to improve her English, the error of that plan was soon apparent and the acoustic music scene called. She has built up an enviable following and is in great demand. It was a super evening and you can find out more about Flossie here.

We played a couple of songs, and then crawled home. Hors de Acoustic, you might say. Ray is a nice guy.

And so… donning our finest designer puntering outfits, we, in the Puntermobile trundled down to the Davy Lamp this Friday, for the purposes of appreciation the fine artistry of one Mr. Vin Garbutt. We’d not seen Vin before, but had of course heard much offered in praise. The club was packed to the rafters, as it apparently always is. This, Gentle Reader, is rare. A big audience, and one not clutching guitars. An informal session, a few floor spots – Pete Dilley who we know from Far Away and Long Ago, rendering one of his fine new intricate songs, then the main event.

What can you say about Vin? His delivery is, frankly, hilarious. There is for me, a conceptual gulf between the between song banter and the subject matter of the songs themselves, which is, to put it mildly, deep. Racial Prejudice, Global Destruction and political oppression rubbed shoulders with in between stories which were vastly entertaining, my favourite being how Ry Cooder was advised to change his name from the original family name of Spudding. Easy to see why Vin is so popular. Another highlight was seeing a gentleman playing a Hurdy Gurdy. I was fascinated, as I love that sort of music technology. I am left with the indelible impression that a Hurdy Gurdy sounds rather like a cat, constantly surprised by the inquisitive digit of a peripatetic proctologist.

Next week, I hope to put up a gallery of gear that I’d like to shift. I have a small music shop’s worth of gear that I no longer have a use for, or to be more accurate, no longer have space for. I’ll put up pics of the gear, which will include a couple of guitars, other stringed instruments, some recording gear, a couple of effects and outboard and anything else I discover and decide I want to clear. The second hand gear market is as robust and healthy as the transatlantic Zeppelin trade, so I’ll not put up prices; rather invite (sensible) offers. Email me if you see anything that floats your Santa Boat.

This week we hope to be featured in the special remembrance edition of Stan Tunstall-Otterburn’s wonderful podcast ‘The Durham Ranger and She-Bear Show’ Apparently much of Beat The Drum is to be featured, about which, observers say, we is ‘geet chuffed’. You can find the podcast (later on Sunday) here or by looking for Stan on facebook by searching for The Durham Ranger.

The question?

This year, has been astonishing for us. At last count this year we have played 49 shows of different sorts, not counting Folk Club floor spots. That count started from March. So we have worked a bit hard. We have travelled hundreds if not thousands of miles, played the songs tens of times each (nearly enough to learn them), met scores and scores of new and old Acoustic Chums and even shifted CD’s into three figures, which is a bl**dy miracle. We’ve hired halls, played to near empty and packed houses, played clubs, theatres, libraries, old folks homes, houses and goodness knows where else.

The question then is “is it fun being Fool’s Gold?”

I refer you, gentle Reader to the top of this blog.

And so, as the last poppy petal flutters down from the darkness, I still remember…

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’


[1] Other really bad lagers are available

[2] And therefore, quite mad.

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