The Born Again Folkie

There is, apparently, a sub-species of Homo Sapiens, known as the ‘Born Again Biker’. This genus is populated almost exclusively by 50-something former Alpha males with large tummies, who either:

  • were not allowed a bike when they were younger


  • fell off one and waited till their knee got better.

Now that the career has gone well, the kids have left home and the coast is, as it were, clear; the BAB turns his thoughts back to the joys of the open road, and led by the example of Mr Toad, purchases something big, shiny, expensive and usually too fast.

Apparently in biker circles, it is commonly held that the greatest number of fatalities belong to this group.

This is also true of the Born Again Folkie.

Be Welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…


As usual these days, we have been pretty much full time FG. A couple of grand gigs in nice places and the prospect of a full scale festivule this weekend and life is pretty full.

We played the first live show of ‘Beat The Drum’ at Bede’s World on Tuesday, a few people came specifically to see it, which was lovely, and a few passing visitors were drawn in by the narrative and music. Bookings are picking up for that show, with a big event planned for Consett later in the year.


Wednesday evening and we in finery for Newcastle, the City Library for to visit.

It’s always fun to go into a big place like this through the back door – it gives you a good idea of how the place ticks. In this instance the City Library in the Centre of the.. well.. City is a big shiny new edifice and runs along with clockwork precision. The performance area where we’d been booked to perform the ‘Stories with Strings’ show is lovely, a great stage, nice atmos, great lights and, importantly, a fantastic projector and large screen system for our visuals.

For those not in the know[1], ‘Stories with Strings’ is a musical concert with the addition of lots of slides and video, all about the songs. We tell the audience all about the characters, events, history and any odd-bod snippets of stories that caused the songs to leap into existence. It’s bit like a Folk Club with very long intros that are meant to be there. It goes down well.

Any road up – a good few folks turned up – no musos at all, (with the exception of my bass playing son, who was on hand to decide if I was up to scratch or not… the jury is still out) just Joe Soap Public, which was great. The show went very well (pics here) and we had a great time performing and talking afterwards – and plenty of CD’s sold too – bonus.

This missive is being tapped out before we hit the road to Saltburn Festival where three shows await – hope to see a fair few of you there.




There seems to have been a bit of an explosion of home produced albums at the moment. Rumour is that FG even have new stuff out…[2]

Among the current crop is a welcome release from Acoustic Chum Ian Tyzack. Ian is well known around the Teeside music scene, playing thoughtfully arranged classics and originals, mostly in an easy sounding open tuning delivered with a laid back style.

This CD “Out of the blue” was recorded by Bob Fortune – another stalwart of the Teeside scene – and he has adopted an almost documentary sound for the proceedings. There may be the odd overdub, a bit of bass from Bob, percussion from Stormcrow’s Amanda Hadlett or Hayden King (unknown to me), but the overwhelming feeling of this recording is an intimate live record of Ian’s singing and playing. It is clearly ‘live’; the room, setting, ambience and feeling of the recording sessions are all very evident in the mix, with Ian back off the mic adding to the live feel. It’s bit like having him singing in the room. There’s no real post production to speak of, it really is a live representation of Ian as he is in the club. The CD comprises some 13 tracks, a nice, easy mix of classics and self – penned originals, all delivered in Ian’s distinctive style. I’d have reduced the room sound a bit if I were producing, but it works here. The whole is nicely packaged and presented, the profits from all the CD sales are destined for the Prostate Cancer Appeal, making it worthy on a number of levels.



So, the Born Again Folkie eh?

The born again Folkie has a similar lineage to the biker variety, but instead of a motorbike, the money goes on a very, very expensive guitar. Or, if an unaccompanied singer, a very expensive waistcoat. If a returning lady Folkie, it’s just expensive. These good worthies are welcomed into clubs around the land and with gusto and élan give their all. Sometimes a rare gem emerges – a real lost talent, a shining star in the folkie firmament is revived and flares – however briefly – in the rarefied atmosphere of local fame.

Mostly however, they either get a puncture or fall off.

As do we all.

See; ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same…’


And so as the Deep Orange Sunset of fate slides down on the Born Again Biker, the Born Again Folkie simply slides slowly beneath the bar, I notice it is the end of this blog, until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’






[1] And for those who couldn’t give a bugger, as I’m going to tell you anyway.

[2] The new ‘Beat The Drum’ CD, with the original four and three new songs is available at gigs as of…. Wait for it…. Now!


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