A weak in music

Wake and remember musical jobs to do; rehearse, writing, practice, recording, arranging gigs, meeting people updating websites, blogging, following the scene on facebook to see what is happening.

Then, after breakfast, more of the same until bedtime (which might be after a club visit or if you’re lucky, a gig) then dream about music until it is time to wake up and do it again.

Blimey, we need to go back to work for a rest.

But what else could fill the week of your crusaders for the lost chord[1]?

Be Welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…


This week has been pretty much a revolving meander through the list in the paragraph above, but with a few additions and diversions along the way.

Monday saw us visiting The Bridge Folk Club in central Newcastle. I am aware that this rubbish is consumed around the globe, and that you, yes you, Gentle Reader, may not know what The Bridge in central Newcastle actually means.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then…

The Bridge is reputedly the oldest club still running in Newcastle and it is certainly based in one of the oldest pubs. The Bridge (much refurbished now, but still nice) is situated at the North end of the High Level Bridge, a double deck affair with rails above and road below. When I say it is at the end, it might be better to say on the end. From the club room upstairs, performers and audience could cheerfully wave at punters on the buses below or the chuff chuffs above as they pass – oddly it isn’t particularly intrusive. The view from the other window must be the envy of every other club in the land as, filling the window there is a rather impressive vista containing a large Norman keep, built in 1067 by one Mr Bob Curthose, mate of the new King Billy the Oneth (also called William the B*stard, and that was by his mother). This is of course the new castle that gave the city its name; just as well as if it had been named after the builder we’d all be living in Shortpants.

The club is fairly traditional but very welcoming. Completely acoustic, which is nice, and a wide variety of talent wanders up the stairs on a Monday evening. You will be welcomed by one Mr Dave Minikin who will be very nice to you (until he gets to know you). Dave runs the club very well, keeping all and sundry to time and on task. The absence of PA in the room is welcomed by us as it allows plenty of freedom, and less to worry about. This Monday saw a variety of regulars (see pics, courtesy again of The Wrinkly Wroadies, photographers to the stars, or at least of the stars if Doug falls over after a couple of Peronis[2]) and several visitors. The highlight of the evening was seeing Richard Ridley and his band Devil’s Water launching their new CD, ‘The Channels’ and filming a bit of a video too (with another Acoustic Chum, the talented Ian Brown).

Richard and the lads put in a sterling set, and showcased their brand of traditionally contemporary maritime music. The CD is available from Richard and the band and is very well worth a listen, especially if you are occasionally moved to the odd “Yo Ho’, then this would be right up your, er, channel.

Expertly recorded, (the sound is very good indeed – which really helps), the four, sometime five, piece band run through a mixture of traditional and original maritime songs. The original stuff is mostly Richard’s and is much more than proficient and sits well into the theme of the band. Expect to sing along, expect to enjoy, expect to be entertained.

Oh, we played too.

The rest of the week was a round of jobs. Mostly musical. A good few more bookings too, thankfully, and lots of work on the Beat the Drum show, the first gig for which is very soon. No pressure.

Friday and we for SWAP, the songwriting group that we grace with occasional presence. Run by longtime Acoustic Chums jiva, the honorary patron of the group was in attendance, this ‘een.

Anthony John Clarke is well know on the circuit and his address to the group was very ‘tresting – hearing his take on subjects like performance, songwriting, audiences and a number of others was very helpful – thanks to AJC. He also played a couple of songs and demonstrated rather capably, that it is one thing to talk about it, but it is also useful to be able to do it – which Gentle Reader, yes he can.

The last outing this week was to Saltburn to hear the Colin Holt band (feat. Snake Davis). This was a house concert in the abode of Ray Freeman who thinks I won’t write about him in the blog.

Right; where to start?

Ray is a new Acoustic Chum and a very good AC too. He doesn’t know it yet but he (and son Ben) will apparently be appearing soon on the stage of The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club (in the back room as long as the leek show isn’t on). He will be doing his standard set of Judas Priest, Kiss and Iron Maiden covers, all played on a battered old guitar he has (just the one, poor lad). He really needs some space to rehearse in too, so if anyone could point him in the direction of, say, a fully appointed performance area (preferably with bar) I’m sure he’d be grateful.

The Band played a solid set, very professional and very musical, with Snake Davis showing exactly why he is a world class sax player, and it was nice to see Ben joining the band on piano for a couple of numbers.


Now it’s time for bed, then we can get up and do it all again.


And so as the ship’s bell of destiny is answered close by in the mist by the Ferry Foghorn of fate, I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’


[1] It’s usually a C7

[2] The Peroni is on draught, and mortgage application forms are available at the end of the bar.


2 thoughts on “A weak in music

  1. Er, I hate to be a tedious pedant, but the Bridge is next to the HIGH LEVEL BRIDGE, not the Redheugh Bridge (D’Oh!!!!) Never mind.

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