An interesting week. A busy week. A week back at work, full of songs and music, some live playing and attending some really good nights. All this in the north east of the Uk in winter. It just goes to show.
Quite what it goes to show is a mystery to me, but by your forbearance Gentle Reader, I’ll show it to you.
Be Welcome, Gentle Reader and read on.
I think I’ll start at the end and work backwards (I’m sure there’s a rude joke in there somewhere, but please feel free to do your own). The highlight of the week just gone had nothing at all to do with FG, except perhaps in the sense of us being members of the wider acoustic community who were all assembled, with a fair number of the Great British Public to share in a very memorable evening of music.
Andy and Cath Higgins, collectively itsAcoustica presented their new CD for the approbation of the mutable and rank scented many at The Cluny 2 on Saturday evening. Not to put too fine a point on the place was packed out. Lots of Acoustic Chums (far too many to list) were in attendance. Carol and I did the door and were seriously considering at one point deploying ‘House Full’ notices. The Cluny 2 is a great venue just outside Newcastle City Centre in the basement of an old distillery and despite a peculiar shape and an odd setting, it is a characterful venue, very popular with muss and punters alike. The photos show some of the flavour. It was great to see the music community turn out in support, both of Andy and Cath but also of Ronnie, with whom (as Los Zimmos) they performed a first half of driving acoustic blues. The second half showcased the new CD, wonderfully recorded and produced by Ron Angus, which featured new and better known itsAcoustica numbers. Both Andy and Cath were on fine form vocally and musically, and buoyed by the supportive audience turned in a tremendous performance. Highlights included Andy wrestling with a banjo trying to get in into tune. How we laughed.
A great evening and a wonderful suite of music; recommended.
I suppose it behoves me to point out that FG and Chris Kelly will be there next Sunday (19th Jan).
Another full house and surprise for us on Thursday Night. Ian McCulloch is the lad who runs the Durham Folk Club at the Tap and Spile in Framwellgate Moor. Anyone who knows the pub will know that the room is pretty small and that sometimes the turnout can be, a bit like wild asparagus in the Arctic, a bit sparse. However this week saw 15 or so good worthies of Folk in the room, which constitutes in that room, another full house.
It was a grand evening, full of humour, good natter and music. A lot of unaccompanied stuff and of course the odd guitar. We did quite a lot of numbers, using the occasion to try out some new stuff. As well as forget some new stuff too. Still, it went down (once remembered that is) really quite well. Another grand evening.
Apart from live out and aboutness, the world of folk seems to revolve, in some cases less like a globe and more like a spin drier. Facebook is a necessary curse these days and it is interesting to see that, as with the world at large, the Folk Community is beset by the same rivalries, jealousies, factionalism and all out total nuclear war that characterises daily life. Pity really, but Folk are after all, folk and folk will as folk do. However, other than to observe that it is happening, I think I’ll keep the old FG snout right out.
However the same cannot be said about The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club. This club, under the careful nurturing of Chairman Dave, has managed to avoid the sort of internecine strife and nepotism that has beset other places. This has been achieved by the simple, and it must be said effective expedient, of banning anyone not immediately related to Chairman Dave. Visitors are welcome to the club and are regarded more or less as fresh protein. Visitors keen to explore the possibility of a guest spot or similar are regarded as fresh plankton. Unless there are related to Chairman Dave of course. ‘Related’, incidentally can be defined by the Uxbridge English Dictionary with a subsidiary definition:
related (rɪˈleɪtɪd/) adjective
1. synonyms: someone who buys the Chairman lots of drinks, over lots of weeks and eventually, in this manner gets a bloody gig.
All human life is there. As is the rest.
This week kicks off with us at The Surf Cafe in Tynemouth and concludes with the gig next week at The Cluny 2. That report will have to wait two weeks as it’s on the Sunday, but, you’ll all be there anyway… won’t you?
And with that, as the Wandering Minstrel of Destiny arrives at the Folk Club of Fate and discovers that Wandering also has a subsidiary meaning: running.
Until next time Acoustic Chums