A mad week in music

Here we go again parped Glen Miller. But he had a band behind him. Since there’s no-one here but us chickens, I suppose I’ll have to take the rap for the blog by my own big self.

Be Welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…

People in shops who refuse – sometimes a bit bluntly – to put up a Fool’s Gold poster on a half empty noticeboard on the grounds that they “have no room” are not, necessarily, bad persons.

It may just be that they have a predilection for spit roasting babies or enjoy polishing their bust of Hitler[1].

It doesn’t make them bad.

Indeed in misery, they have great riches and their reward will surely be deep in the cleansing flames of the seventh circle.

There.

I feel better now.

This week, Tuesday 25th February as ever was, we will be guests at Croxdale Folk Club[2]. I know from fellow wandering troubadours that the club has an erratic record of late and sometimes, because of that, folk don’t risk it. Just so that you know not to risk it, we will be there, live, kicking and hopefully not screaming. It would be rather pleasant to see a few AC’s there!

I know it’s me.

Honest, I know it is, and to be honest Acoustic Chums, it usually is.

Last night I watched the BBC Folk Awards.

Really, really; it was probably me.

But. If you wanted to make sure that folk music seemed as inaccessible and obscure as possible. If the aim was to re-enforce stereotypes of insular, out of date anachronistic and plain ‘hard to listen to’ music, then this was a work of great reference. There were ‘names’ aplenty. Some of which people who do not, as a rule, shove fingers in their ears may even have heard of. But if they watched this, they probably did[3].

This week we got a gig in Preston, which is lovely. What was interesting about it is that one of the clinchers in getting the gig seems to have been You Tube.

We had done all the usual promo: the flier, email, polite follow up, link to website and all the rest of it.

We got a lovely email back from the (very) nice man with the gig offer, and one thing that was singled out for mention[4] was one of our new videos on the You Tube Channel. This is indeed interesting.

T’internet, the superhigway of rubbish is, without a doubt, a powerful tool, but because there is so much out there it is difficult to have an impact.

However we will also be having a bash at a NuMuBu live web streaming performance on Sunday March 2nd at 4.00pm (GMT, 11:00am EST), will it bring results like the You Tube channel?
Hope so.

I think the quick link to the screen is here

A very busy retirement practice week for FG this week. Tons of admin done and bookings coming in which is extremely nice. So more Care Homes, Libraries and a great gig in Preston are lined up. Thanks to everyone who has shown an interest, believe me; we appreciate it!

A few clubs visited too, Cramlington where a good crowd was gathered, good to see friends from the North again and grand sets from all concerned including Pete Dilley on grand form. The Club is on the wander again. Leaving behind the Mediterranean climate of the Concordia Swimming Pool (honest, Keith had his bathers on this week) and back to their old home at The Hind. Except it isn’t The Hind anymore, it has a strange name; The King’s Head and…. no, that’s not it, still, it has been ‘done up’, renamed and rebadged. March 4th is I think the moving date.

Wednesday saw us sally forth to Ovingham and the OBE Folk Club. This was a lovely evening, in good company with good noises being made all around the room, with a good proportion being joiny-in. This is a very friendly and welcoming place, and as long as you can find

a)     Ovingham

b)     The pub – The Bridge End

You’ll be fine.

Photos abound somewhere around this edition.

Thursday? Oh, that’ll be Jez Lowe at The Beamish Mary. Good floor turns and a smashing atmosphere in a truly packed room. Jack as always ran the evening very well, but it was Mr Lowe who unsurprisingly stole the show. I think he’s probably best as solo performer, and especially so in a small intimate space like the Stables Bar. Jez delivered an abject lesson to us learners on how to deliver a tight, entertaining set. Really good songs, singing, banter and some very deft playing too. Top Marks.

Core Music in Hexham finished off a busy but very satisfying week for us. Mike had booked us as guests, and we duly turned up. Core music is a community music shop, and has many little breakout rooms for recording, rehearsal, teaching, meeting and performance. It’s a grand shop too. What is particularly nice about it is the people who are indeed, very nice folks. The large room upstairs was the venue and it was just about packed. Locals all, apart from a couple of folks who had travelled to see us, the room was filled with very capable, very polished, very traditional players and singers.

No pressure.

As it was we need not have worried. The room responded well to the ol’ FG sound and they sang their little hearts out. ‘The Guiding Light’ sounded great with a choir and ‘Rake Down’ did move the rafters a bit! A great night and thanks to Mike and new Acoustic Chum Steve Fry (don’t bother, I’m sure he’s heard it) – pics as usual courtesy of the Confused Camerapersons, the Befuddled f-stoppers, our own Wrinkly Wroadies.

The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club revival gathers pace. Since Chairman Dave’s conversion to a more open approach, more varied acts have been booked. The forthcoming guest list is below:

Top Melodeon player: Tom Bowler  (no raffle)

Top American banjo artist and dietary adviser: Slim Pickens

Top Indian harmony troupe – performed for royalty: The King’s Singhers

An unusual act next, made up of homeless persons. They don’t stand but sit down to perform. Ladies and gentlemen, will you welcome to the stage: Bums on Seats.

And with that, I think I should quit while I’m all behind…

As the raffle ticket of fate meets up with the winner of destiny who discovers that for them, good luck looks suspiciously like Lambrusco, I notice that it is the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’


[1] Funny shape for a bust I know, but she was a funny lady

[2] The Daleside Arms in Croxdale. Usually about 8:30 start. Cover charge, but it isn’t excessive!

[3] Like I said, it’s probably just me…

[4] Apart from my prodigious talent for self-promotion, obviously

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