Joanna

Another week tumbles past. At this rate we’ll be catching up with Doctor Who.
However another eventful week, full of playing, phone calls, emails messages and promises.
And I cut the hedge.
Well, it wouldn’t do to be bored, would it?

Welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…

 

Recently we played a charity gig and shared the bill with a classical pianist. He was very good too. This put me in mind of the first time we played with a classical plonker[1].

Our first experience of playing with a tinkler of the classical ivories, was with an undoubted virtuosi, who had far more fingers than is strictly necessary to judge by the cascade of notes he could coax from the imposing Grand Joanna.

But, and there is also a ‘but’ in such stories, he also had a classical mentality when it came to musicians. My friendly ‘Hello Musician Chum’ nod was met with a frosty stare that clearly communicated the idea that while he considered himself a musician. He considered us, that is guitar players, and worse, folk guitar players, as not so much something the cat dragged in, as something the cat left behind.

Not musicians.

Later, we were thrown together in the social maelstrom, and he sailed across our bows, nose in the air and a classical mince in the gait. We chatted awkwardly, while I explained that we write our own songs about mining, people, events etc.

He studied the celling.

I enquired as to his repertoire.

His reply began with “Well, of course…” which I took to be a bad sign.

It was.

A catalogue of names, few of which meant much, tumbled past me lugs. Word like ‘Opus’, and ‘variation’ where bandied about.

Eventually, he paused.

“Oh”, says I, innocently, “you do covers do you?”

He minced off with a face like a Scottish weather forecast.

 

This week we have played two Care Homes, a Church Social (not ours)[2] and a concert evening at Path Head Water Mill.

Path Head was the last of our little ‘experiments’. We have been dabbling with putting on our own gigs, The Cluny, Weardale Town Hall and Path Head being the programme. We’ve hired the halls, done the posters, made the tickets, done the door, played the music and fallen over afterwards. We have been supported by some good Acoustic Chums, and have done one of the evenings by ourselves.

The verdict?
Good, really. It is quite stressful wondering if anyone will actually turn up. So far, they always have. Not in numbers we would necessarily like, but they have turned up – and increasingly we notice folks showing up that we don’t know. I take that to be an encouraging sign. All of the gigs paid their way, some made a few bob – but the most important thing is what we learned; both about the business of gigs and the work of performing. That’s all for this year – we will have to decide if we are going to do it again, but I suspect that we will.

Last night ItsAcoustica and Ian K Brown both played sterling sets in an increasingly midge’d marquee, and our heartfelt thanks to them for their efforts. We haven’t seen Ian do a long set before, and it was nice to experience his original material close up. Andy and Cath are old chums and old hands too, as they showed through wonderful musicianship and, thankfully, some of the worst intro jokes to grace a set of original, Americana tinged contemporary folk.

Next week, is quiet. So some clubs and maybe – just maybe – some recording.

Lionheart Radio on Saturday though – should be good!

And so as the festival field of fate is returned to the bovine owners of destiny who take one look at the state of the place and head off down the pub, I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

 

[1] If only I meant the piano…

[2] Are you kidding? As Groucho Marx said, I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.

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