Happy Wossname?

And a Happy Easter to you all.
Or Eastre, Chaitra Varsha Pratipada, Ching Ming or the birth of Attis.
It all depends on your point of view or the length of your memory.
Whichever it is, do have a nice one.

Once you hit a certain age, you will find that all your chums – acoustic and otherwise – will start to retire. The warm glow that surrounds them is palpable, and generally they look a great deal fitter and happier than previously. They will also say, whether the question is asked of them or not, “I don’t know how I had time to go to work”.

Well, yah boo knickers to that lot, as I am going to get one up on them as we don’t (partially retire) until Tuesday, and we already don’t know how we found time to work.

The reason?
Too much music to enjoy!

Be Welcome, gentle Reader and read on…

It is very soon the 2014 incarnation of the Clennell Hall Folk Festival (16 – 18 May). It must be said that a certain Mr D Foreshaw is doing his very best to make sure as many people as possible find out about it and have the opportunity of getting tickets and supporting what is certainly a grand event. The least we can do is append a poster here, which contains links and essential info. That and play – we’ll be there!


So this week in the pink and fluffy land of FG.

…which brings me to a question straight away. Carol and I have a name that we use to perform under. It is useful to preserve anonymity, hide behind and generally obfuscate the fact of those responsible.

That name is Fool’s Gold.

As you might imagine, the name Fool’s Gold (with or without the possessive punctuation) is quite popular when it come to websites, Facebook names, YouTube and what have you. So much so that we couldn’t get http://www.foolsgold.co.uk and had to go for www.foolsgoldacoustic.co.uk which we felt kind of gave the idea.

The same thing happened on Facebook, and YouTube and so on down the line. Unfortunately, this does mean that we are now getting booked and billed as Foolsgold Acoustic. H’mm.

Not sure I mind too much, but if you do want to make the cheque out to someone, could it be Fool’s Gold please?


So, this week: busy?

Yes, I don’t know how we ever found time to go to work.

It is the Easter Holiday, which is Handy Harry, as it lets us get on with some recording and some writing, and some playing out.

The playing out was at The Iron Horse, run by longtime Acoustic Chum John Snowball. It was nice to catch up with the regulars there after some time since we last went down. We had a lovely night, enjoyed the floor spots, and as usual gazed upon the wonder that is Bert Draycott (world champion Spoons Player) and got booked for next year. Good start to the week.

The other play out was at Jack’s Club, less well known as the Beamish Mary Acoustic Club. Always a good welcome and grand evening of music and banter here, and tonight was no exception. Good floor spots and a grand feature showcase from Jim and Marilyn – well done them.

I realise that our Korean readers may not know who Jim and Marilyn are (although they probably do know who Bert Draycott is). To explain, Jack has started offering some folks feature spots at the club. His standards may have slipped when he offered us one, but they are great fun to see. J & M are longtime regulars at the club and produced a very nice, gentle, selection of (mostly) self penned originals; Jim on a rather nice Martin cutaway and Marilyn on a violin bass that I’m sure used to be Jims…

Good stuff.


Pictures this week courtesy of the Wrinkly Wroadies without whom life would be… quieter.


The last few studio gremlins have bee sorted out this week. It turns out that my bargain midi interface from eBay (total purchase price of £2.49) was not such a good buy after all. Because it didn’t work, but is was cheap. Once we had taken some good advice from the nice people at Sounds Live and bought something that did work, we are up and running. The new studio layout means a new approach. The room isn’t really big enough for live playing and recording as there is just too much spill from one mic to the next, so it’s back to guide track and rebuild approach. So far we’ve had a go at a few setups and are working on one of our greatest hits ‘Jarrow Song’ to get going. Early indications show that the system is working really well, and is as before tremendous fun to play with. What it sounds like in the end, you will have to tell us.


A quick update on Acoustic Chum Phil Graham. We dropped in for a quick natter with Himself this weekend, and people who know Phil will be pleased to hear that he has continued to make good progress in his battle to recover from Guillain-Barré Syndrome. He has much more upper body movement and his legs are coming back slowly. The right paw is being a bit reluctant so vocals for Phil for the moment. We wish him a continued and speedy recovery.


From the hospital we went straight round to The Stainton Inn in Stainton (sic) to help Acoustic Chums Ray and Ben Freeman who were organizing the musical input for a charity fundraiser for the Great North Air Ambulance. We arrived just in time for the end of Ian Tyzack’s set, then it was straight on. One hour later, we stepped off the stage having trundled through something old, something new, nothing borrowed and no blues.

The day continued with a vast range of musical styles, generally categorized under the heading ‘good music for pubs’. The main point is that the pub was full, and hopefully so was the circulating bucket collecting donations. Well done to Ray and Ben for organising the day. Pity we couldn’t stay for the whole thing, but this rubbish does not write itself.


Some of you may be aware of SWAP which is an august body set up by AC jiva, the better to understand Songwriting. As I don’t understand it, my input has been slight, with the exception of preparing for a session for the group on the theme of presentation.

In that spirit, here are the top five tips for successfully presenting your music that I will (not) be sharing with the group…

  1. Always check your trousers before going on stage. If they are there – proceed.
  2. When you forget the words don’t worry – you will remember them as soon as you get off the stage (the same goes for chords).
  3. Remember the audience is on your side and in most clubs lynching has more or less disappeared.
  4. Be prepared – take a cub scout on stage, head ready sharpened to hurl at the restless natives.
  5. Sing loudly, play loudly, don’t stop, keep going especially if it all goes horribly wrong – keep going .

If you follow the above rules, it won’t help you get a gig, but it might help us get one; we’re on after you.


And so as the evening falls over the festival campsite and the amber air ripples to the distant sound of the regurgitating folkie, I realize that for him the festival is over as is for you, this edition of the blog.

Until Next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’






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