The world of folk music orbits the musical sun of all music. Like it or not, (and there are plenty who don’t) folk is part of a wider musical existence between which the boundaries are a least blurred and usually have been knocked down by a tractor and have several families squatting on the site. Still, each to his/her/not sure own. The Ostrich Folkie may be happy with the head thrust firmly in the sand.
Better than other places I suppose.
Be Welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…
We do a lot of driving.
From home to club, or venue and back again, or trolling round people who might be interested in what we have to offer; the miles soon mount up.
So it was t ‘other day, that we were sailing down the road out of Stanley (please do your own gags) and there, crossing against the lights, were three… Youths.
Youths I suppose is accurate. Slouch-laden nee’r do well rapscallion might be a tad harsh, I mean; a job would just get in the way of looking bored.
What was notable though was the marked and casual insouciance of the walk, which would have been a slow swagger if that term did not indicate too much urgency.
As we approached the crossing, the likely lads slowed down, dawdling at international level and staring down the rapidly approaching ton and a half of petrol propelled metal. Not wishing to spoil the paintwork, I was obliged to slow right down applying anchors with half hearted vigour. So incensed was I that I timidly used the horn, allowing me, in a very English way, to convey my displeasure.
The chaps were unmoved by this and continued to dawdle across the front of the car. They crossed, eventually, and I drove on, in the rear view mirror I noticed that the bloody great police patrol vehicle that had been right behind me had pulled over for a quiet word.
It’s nice when it happens, and sometimes we see it in the clubs. When the superstar breaks a string, or the beginner gets it spot-on for the first time, or when the guy with no money wins the raffle – it’s nice innit?
Some of you may know Chairman Dave. Some of you (more than you realise perhaps) will have been to his club The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club, which he runs as a benign dictator.
Without the benign bit.
He is however, also a bit of a performer.
It was a quiet night last week so Dave, resplendent in black leather waistcoat, black T- shirt and black joggers (the red plastic clogs were a present from the missus, and on reflection, a mistake) took to the stage. He began with a couple of jokes, which were very inclusive as they managed to offend everyone there, and many groups of people who weren’t. He followed this with a whistle tune, it might have been ‘Over The Hills and Far Away’ it might have been radio static – it was so high and shrill that it buzzed yer lugs and made the audience dizzy – maybe this is a new weapon for the American Military to consider.
Nonetheless, it was good to see Dave leading by example. Finishing his tune, he called the next performer, rejoined his pint and talked loudly all through the set.
It’s good to see the Tradition being upheld.
Last week I mentioned that we had dancing at Clennell Hall, a few people have commented so here’s the tale…
We were doing an hour spot in the Cellar Bar, excellent and atmospheric room that it is. We started with no-one there but the place filled up as we began singing. Two lovely ladies arrived early on, quite clearly intent on having a great time. They sang every song, even ones they’d never heard before and generally enjoyed themselves.
These ladies reminded me of members of my own family, specifically my mums mum.
Although our two didn’t have a moustache.
They sported the home knitting, the cheery demeanour and had an exclamation for every intro.
What I didn’t expect was the appetite they had for engaging with the music.
The opening bars of Rake Down the Moon rang out, and the two looked at each other and sprang to their feet, scattering chairs to the walls and began a lively jig to the opening instrumental, complete with whoops, hollers and the odd dosie-do.
I haven’t had so much fun for ages!
This week we headed out for South Shields Folk Club. Not having been for a while it was as ever, nice to see Acoustic Chums and enjoy some grand music and tunes. The evening was notable for us more for the fact that, due to the wonders of the mobile telephonic device and a roving inter web connection, we went in with no gigs that day and left the night with three.
Which begs the question, when is a gig not a gig. Some might quibble that library shows or Care Homes are not ‘real’ gigs.
Or maybe not, we always take every show very seriously, whether for twelve people at a Care Home or two hundred at a U3A. Also, if you think folk clubs are tough audiences, Care Homes require a whole new set of skills to engage the audience. Our opinion is a booking is a gig and we’ll always go for it!
This week we intended to go to The Bridge and The Beamish Mary, life got in the way of both, but we are packing the car for Festival on the Moor at the weekend.
Should you wish to do so, you can catch up with FG over the next week at
Fri 23 – Mon 25 May
Festival on the Moor Botton Village various times
Thurs 29 May
Lyme Folk Club, Cheshire
Fri 30 May
The Fuse, Prudhoe (Arts Week Big Concert) 9.00pm
Sat 31 May
Brockbushes Farm, nr Corbridge 1.00pm
So as the fiddle player of fate awaits the first tune of her first Celidh and suddenly discovers that she prefers music, I notice it is the end of this blog,
Until next time, Acoustic Chums
 But a bit faster, and in the wrong direction.
 Prejudiced? Jaundiced? Moi?
 The horn on our car sounds like an apologetic flatulent duck with a staunch Catholic upbringing.