Burning the Midnight Oil…

What light through yonder window shines?
If it’s our house, it’s the Midnight Oil being burned, that’s for sure.
Be Welcome, Gentle Reader and read on..



(last time I’ll post this; honest!)

The dining room resembles the assembling area for the battle of Agincourt. There are bits of PA, projection, musical instruments, stands and discarded coffee cups strewn abundantly to the far corners of the room[1]. The bits that should, according to reason, be there (chairs, tables, lamps and such non-musical rubbish) are piled ingloriously in heaps to the walls, the better that the floor may function as our stage.


I don’t want to be famous, me.
I don’t think I could deal with all the decisions, the red Ferrari, the white Porsche…
The very big Taylor, the very, very big Taylor – it’s too much for me.

So fame is out. Riches too, by the same token. I imagine many acoustic chums feel the same way, and are not too bothered if it isn’t the local club on Wednesday then Carnegie Hall on Saturday. Although it would be nice.
That being the case what do we do it for? Not the money, the adulation (hah!) not the respect and admiration of one’s peers…[2]

It must just be something in the musician gene; not the bit that defines that you are a good musician or just an average guitar plonker, not the bit that grants you the voice of an angel or the atonal grunt of a flatulent foghorn, just the bit that makes you a musician. That bit makes you want to play, get people to listen to what you play, and then against all sense, go back and do it again.

It’s a grand life

Help for Heroes
Some of you with long memories will remember that, last year, we did a series of shows in support of HfH, and released a CD of our World War One songs, all proceeds to the charity. Those of you with retentive faculties will also recall that I have not reported on this project yet: no reason other than I failed miserably to get around to it.

The project raised a magnificent £1500, and our grateful thanks go to all those who bought a CD, made a donation or supported us in any way. Especial thanks to all the clubs who gave us floor time, and especially to those who donated the door take to the charity. The CD is still on sale through electronic media:

CD Baby

and from us; any further pennies raised by it will go in the same direction.
Thanks to one and all who supported.

This week we haven’t been out to play more than once, just rehearsing for Sunday (that’s today if you’re quick) and the gig at The Cluny. We’ve decided to use the projection system and so as well as guitars, vocals, flutes, running orders and all the usual shenanigans to sort out, there has also been images, movies, timings and traditions to fiddle (I cleaned that up) with too. Still, it’s all ready, the invites are out and have been for a bit, the rehearsing has finished and the gear checked and packed away. Now just the setup, soundcheck and the anxious wait until showtime. 7.30pm Sunday 19th, Cluny 2 Newcastle since you ask. See you there.

The ‘once’ was our first visit to the Surf Cafe in Tynemouth. A mixed bag for us, as we had to work to find the audience, but it seemed to go well and we’ve been invited back to do a longer session in the summer, so all must indeed be well. The other performers seemed well known and produced some pretty up to date cover songs, nice place, nice managers and great beer! Thanks are due once more to Stuntman Doug and his glamorous assitant Pauline for the photos.

So, that’s why we need a dining room stage. I have perfected my guitar hero pose, and can wield the twin neck in the most convincing manner, flowing seamlessly from guitar hero shape to rock god posture with the ease of a well greased haddock. Carol has parped and tooted, binged and bonged (it’s legal) and warbled mightily. Today we can put the furniture back, but the dreams live on…

It went in this manner…
Saul, the local Roman official and accredited Nasty Pasty was making his way along the Via M25 on his way to Damascus, Christians for to persecute. All of a sudden (as these things so often are) a blinding flash of light revealed to him the Word and chucked him from his cuddy on the earth to grovel[3]. And Saul became Paul, the soon-to-be Saintly all round good guy. It was, as they say, his Damascan Conversion.

Chairman Dave has had one of those too.
Not that he was on his way to Damascus, more on his way to Asda to put the lottery on, when a blinding light smote him, similarly, to the ground.
From the clouds of the sky above, the finger of the God of Folk pointed at him, witheringly. He knew it was the finger of the God of Folk ‘cos it was stuck in the earhole of the God of Folk. In his head (where, to be fair, there is a great natural reverb) Chairman Dave received his message.

“Be not you such a colossal wazzack,
be not you such a chump,
run your club right fair and square,
or you’re for the high jump.”

At which point the God of Folk made a circling motion with his finger with the ear on, and the message was repeated, with harmonies.
Chairman Dave had his Damascan Conversion.
So this week at The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club, it is an open night where all are welcome. And will be welcomed. It might be Secretary Malcolm who does the welcoming as Chairman Dave hasn’t come out of the loo yet, but it looks like there might be a bit of a sea change in the air…

And so, as the banjo of fate meets the musician of destiny and would make beautiful music together if only he could get his mittens off and stop dribbling, I notice it is the end of this blog. Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] I suppose that means many of you now presume that the Battle of Agincourt was fought between two armies of amplified orchestras…

[2] Have you ever been to a folk club?

[3] He hadn’t done a lot of groveling, and wasn’t good at it.


2 thoughts on “Burning the Midnight Oil…

  1. Well done on raising so much for HFH, Hope to read further posts on Chairman Dave.
    Thanks again for a great Blog and pics.

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