Some weeks are shorter than others…

Some weeks are shorter than others. They contain less days which explains why blog day comes round quicker sometimes. The week gone wasn’t too hectic for FG, just one night out, but the week, nonetheless, contained only four days.

To explain this, and other space time conundrums[1], Be Welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…

I have blogged in the past of the prowess of Julian, guitar wrangler of top acoustic folk contemporary roots duo ‘Sellotape[2]’. His playing has to be heard to be believed, if not appreciated.

He has however branched out and is producing a tutorial DVD to share his wisdom with new, aspirant plank-spankers – much like myself.

Therefore I have managed to get a pre-order of Julian’s DVD, entitled “I hold it this way round”.

It is unusual as it is basically hand-written notes filmed by a hand held camera. When he gets excited by a particularly good note, Julian’s camera work gets a bit wobbly, but hey, he’s done it. It is narrated in the manner of a sultry siren by wife Sandy and other half of Sellotape.

Some of the advice is very interesting to guitarists. I’d like to share the section entitled ‘Top Tips’. I hope I got this right, as the camera work was especially erratic.

Top Tips for New Guitar Players in the Folk Club Setting

1.       Always make sure the wires face the audience. That way they wobble better when you hit them – the more they wobble the better the noise from the guitar.

2.       Your guitar will come with wires, after a while they will need to be changed. Guitar wires come in different sizes, I use 15 Amp.

3.       Tuning is very important. Always get the man to tune your guitar before you buy it.

4.       Always take your hands out of your pockets.

5.       If you use a tortoise shell pick, discard the rest of the tortoise before commencing play.

Thanks to Julian for sharing that invaluable advice.

I suppose the big news is; that as of Easter, Fool’s Gold will become a bit more intensive as Carol leaves the world of Academia[3] and I drop to a 20% workload – the better to pursue doing what we love most. Then, after polishing our portraits, there’s the music.

It’s difficult to see how we can get much more intensive, but you can be sure we will be trying.

We will get some new recording done over the next few weeks. Honest. Yes. We will.

As an example, if you’d like to hear us play some of the new material, you can catch us over the next few weeks at:

Core Music Hexham (FG Guest Night, 22.2.14)

Croxdale Folk Club (FG Guest Night, 28.2.14)

The Cutty Wren FC Redcar (FG Hotspot 11.3.14)

And somewhere called Sage, Gateshead at noon on 16th March. Wherever that is.

All the gigs are on the website.

Commercial over.

Talking of hotspots, we just did one at the Foggy Furze Folk Club in downtown Hartlepool. Thanks to Kay De’Ath for the opportunity to play. The Foggies is a nice place, and like many clubs it has seen numbers ebb and flow in recent times. This week there was but a handful when we arrived, but it picked up later on. Although it may not have been packed, we had a great evening, pounding through some of the new stuff. Some grand turns from the floor too! Nice to see Gary Bliss – haven’t seen him or his lovely guitars for a while. The Highwayman song “Moonlight Pavanne” went down well – very pleased with reaction to that, and top marks to all The Foggies for being great clappers and singers-along as ever. Photo’s once again from the Senior Snappers, the bewildered bashers of the Box-Brownie, our very own Wrinkly Wroadies.

We have a Probus function on Monday which will be the first real outing for our new Samson ex 150 PA. This box is really tiny. The whole PA carried in one hand. The stands, mic stands etc are more fuss to carry than the PA itself! Despite a tiny footprint, it kicks out a good sound, good quality and plenty of reach. At the price point it is very hard to beat.

Finally, we are still adding gigs to this year. More interest from Libraries, a Help for Heroes big gig in October and more village halls coming out of the woodwork. Currently we are in serious conversation with several, and it looks very promising.

So, all we need is a few more days next week, and we will be sorted. So until the sound source of fate hits the mixer of destiny and the PA of life gives us all industrial tinnitus, I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] I thought it was ‘conundra’, or even ‘conundrae’. Apparently not.

[2] They wanted a name that would stick…

[3] No, not the pound shop on Stanley Front Street


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