Down the Washbasket of Time

Three shows in one week, and two of them on one day. Added to that the ups, downs and sideways of life in the acoustic music world and we have had a busy old week.

As you know, I am not keen on overly inflating the word count with spurious, convoluted or unnecessarily unwieldy sentence constructions, so: better get on with it.

Be welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…fuse poster

Yes, a week of ups and downs. That’s fine with me because:

a)     you need to go up to come down

b)     I have ten thousand men

c)     I got stuck half way up

Apart from that, the ups were much higher than the downs were low.

The lows:

We have had to postpone the gig at The Hearth in Horlsey on 4th April. This was pretty much beyond our control and has taught me a great deal about working with venues (not that they did anything wrong at all) – still, learning is an ‘up’. If you need a refund, let us know, or come to The Fuse on March 28th. We will re-arrange the gig for a date later in the year.

The other significant low was me having man flu this week. It did linger on until that last gig, but I struggled heroically on, as you would expect. Man Flu is still invariably fatal (as it has been every time I’ve had it) and Doctors cannot understand:

a)     How to cure it; or

b)     Why women think we are such a bunch of wusses

The ups.

Lots of them!

The Sage – wow! Fantastic experience. We arrived at The Sage on Sunday morning to be greeted by a whole different level of organisation and management to anything we’ve encountered previously. Reserved car park space, Load in bay, trolley ready for us, guide, PA engineer ready setting up, with our spec sheet in front of him, good gear and – most important – a good set of acoustic lugs.

We did a sound check and nearly fell over – the sound was IMMENSE. Carol’s flute coming back off the roof was fantastic. Anyway, the café filled, lots and lots of folks in the café and leaning on rails listening and watching as a one hour FG set was delivered with, as it were, at full tonk.

Excellent experience, one which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Steve’s Top Tips for playing a posh venue:

  1. On arrival hand the Sound Man you jacket to hold: this makes him feel valued.
  2. Demand that the dressing room is changed before you see it – it shows you are professional
  3. When asked what you want to hear in your monitor say “Me Dahling” which indicates that you have done this before

Follow the steps above and you will have a night you won’t forget.

That evening and we for The Victoria in Whitley Bay at the kind invitation of Acoustic Chums Trev and Renata who had gathered about their delectable little persons like minded folk of an acoustic bent, music for to make.

So we did, and jolly chummy it was too! Well done T & R for organising. Nice to see friends old and new and see Christine and Paul developing a strong set. See pics (courtesy of the Wrinkly Wroadies) to see who was there, who played what and so on.

After that the man flu pretty much kicked in, but in the meantime we had other bits of jolly fortune; the phone rang a couple of times, so now we need a 2015 year planner, as well as some gigs for the end of the year – all good stuff. And our first Royalty cheque (sorry – ‘check’) arrived from the States – not lots of money but a heck of a buzz, and more download sales. Blimey.

…which gets us as far as Friday and The Hive Radio Live Lounge at Bede’s World. Interesting times with the PA, but it all went well, streamed live to the world by the wonder of the modern world – the Interweb[1].  Great to see some old pals in the band Se Ganainm, who performed a sterling set of standards, FG up next then new pals Jinski. Jinski are professionals, and it was very, very interesting to kick back and watch their show. Nice songs and harmonies and lots of polish – nice sound.

The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club is a grand place.


We’ve never been, but have heard a heck of a lot about it.

It is, to be fair, an old fashioned English folk club; loveable, dirty, smelly and with an administrative system the National Health Service would struggle with and an artist booking policy originally penned by Pol Pot. It is inhabited by regulars who sit in the same seats, sing the same songs and if you get too close you will notice they wear the same underpants week after week.

Things change at a glacial pace, it was only two years ago that Dylan songs were allowed and even then they had to have a committee meeting when it was realized that Dylan does not in fact play the harmonium; he just sounds like one. So guitars were allowed too. That caused a rumpus and several of the committee left. Or died, it was hard to tell. That allowed Chairman Dave to take absolute overall control of the committee, which he cheerfully stuffed with his supporters in a bonanza of gerrymandering worthy even of a Tory. Outsiders were welcome, but only as a source of protein.

And then it changed.

Chairman Dave had a much chronicled Damascene conversion, saw the light, heard the angels and washed his underpants.

Things got better.

If ‘better’ means happy-clappy, flowers-in-your-hair, clean underpanted people with guitars with rabbits painted on them.

Thankfully, it seems that Chairman Dave has been snapped out of it when the rest of the committed persuaded him with an old snooker cue. Now that Dave has woken up, he has donned his leather waistcoat, ordered a Guinness and was last seen rummaging down the washbasket in search of the lost underpants.

Next week, I shall report on the first guest night of the new –old age of the KHWLFC.

Or should that be ‘gusset night’?

And so as the Guitarist of Fate follows the sheet in the jam session of Eternity and encounters the hemi-demi-semi quavers of Destiny and discovers that Daz does not, in fact, wash whiter, I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] Whether anyone was in, is unknown.


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