Begin chanting…. NOW!

Weeks are usually seven days long, but ours seem to be a bit longer.

Or is it shorter?

Maybe we get extra days for being good little folkies?

Maybe we get deducted time by the God of Folk (that’s the one with his finger in his ear[1])

Which gives me an idea…

Be Welcome Gentle Reader and read on…


As a small person, I ‘benefited’ from a Catholic education. As 1960’s educations go, it was fairly normal. Rote learning, casual beatings and a boy’s loo smell which could knock out an elephant at 50 yards being, in those days, normal.

The Catholic Value Added bit (apart from rote learning and more casual beatings) was, obviously, added God.

But even here, the rote learning crept in, as in those days there was the catechism. This useful little book answered all the questions that a nine year old needed to know the answers to, like who made you, why and what the resale value was likely to be. This little book was learned by rote, with a bored teacher shouting out the questions while the class listlessly chanted the answer in unison. Or at least mouthed it, hoping that one’s complete ignorance of the actual reply might be lost in the general drone[2].

But that gave me an idea.

Perhaps at the start of each Folk Club the MC could stand up and shout out questions from the Folky Catechism, the audience would be obliged to chant the responses; if a punter got one wrong, they could be roundly chastised with a mandolin.

Imagine the scene….

Chairman Dave “Welcome everyone to the King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club, we have a good set of floor singers and a special guest artist this week. But First… quiet please…. Who Made You?”

(audience shuffles nervously, one of Chairman Dave’s aides has already produced the mandolin)

Audience (chanting) “Folk made me”

Charman Dave “Why did Folk Make you?”

Audience “Only Folk knows”

Charman Dave “To whose image and likeness did Folk make you?”

Audience “Martin Carthy or Peggy Seeger depending on which way you swing”

Charman Dave “Of which must you take more care, of your voice or of your banjo?”

Audience “Obviously it’s the banjo, you can lose your voice, but you can never get rid of a banjo”

Oh, I could so go on[3]



This week has been brilliant. Really very good.

Four gigs, all of them very enjoyable. A care home, that went well – got asked back again so goody good; then a fantastic outdoor performance at Ministeracres for Save The Children – we played outdoors in a courtyard to about 60 folks, it was lovely playing in the sunshine to a bunch of people who had no idea who we were but who sat and listened and were very complimentary. Then The Beamish Mary hotspot, that seemed to go ok and was good fun, then to round off the week, an FG show at Upper Weardale Town Hall. This was a ‘Stories with Strings’ show, and we did the whole night ourselves.

Guess what?

It went really well. We managed to get a 20 something audience out[4], they had a great time and as a result, so did we. The stories went well, the songs went even better and we even turned a profit on the night. CD sales, the whole bit. Excellent.


Another five gigs next week, especially the one with ItsAcoustica and Ian Brown at Path Head Water Mill (Blaydon) next Saturday night – it’s a lovely setting, it should be a good evening of music with three sets, if you fancy it….


And so, as the last question of the folk catechism rings out and we all realize that we have no idea why most guitars are called Martin, I realise it is the end of this blog.

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’




[1] I think its his, and I think its an ear

[2] It has since been rewritten and has now been distilled to a handy 2856 statements.

[3] …and on, and on…

[4] and proud we are of it too.


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