And so this comes from foreign shores.
Thanks. I’ll have a pint and a wee one with it.
And with that; be welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…
Yes I type, tap and fume against the internet from the relaxing(ish) part of the world known to visitors as Italy – that way they can all agree where they’ve been.
The beer is good, the weather fine, the hotel marvelous etc. etc. But I do not have a guitar, nor the fair lady Porkie her tenor axe nor flute, and somehow, life ain’t complete.
However, there is plenty to report as this week’s blog (or blurg if you’re in Ashington) is our report from the Saltburn Folk Festival 2014.
Cos we wuz there and we wuz playin’ ‘n that ‘n everythink…
And so you find us here, in sunny Italia, on the first and only leg of our (non playing) European tour. There are few sights less likely to cause comment than the beshorted Englishman abroad, so it’s a good job that you cannot see your favourite guitar slinger tramping about the place resplendent in a pair of legs that could, if pushed, do service as pipe cleaners. We have learned some useful conversational Italian already, such as ‘breezio’, ‘coldio’ and the ever employed ‘hoyin’ it doonio’.
However all is not lost, the first person we met was a muso (or should that be musio) on his way to a blues festival in Malchesne, and, of course he came from Corbridge.
Apparently, the Italians call ‘Croissant’ ‘Brioche’.
Dang Italians, can’t talk proper English.
The main report in this edition of the widely read and much disregarded FG blog, is of course the Saltburn Folk Festival. We were very pleased indeed when John Taylor asked us to play, and even more chuffed to discover we had three spots to do.
Saltburn, for the uninitiated, is a small seaside town, retaining considerable dollops of Victorian charm, situated on the Costa del Teeside, just south of Redcar.
Which is just south of Middlesborough.
Which is just south of reality.
The festival has been going some considerable number of years and this experience quite clearly shows in its organisation. Wristbands, itinerary, maps, prs sheets and the ever popular cheque, awaits artists at the properly manned festival office upon arrival. Signage and advertising is all around the place, street entertainment is pretty constant and stewards police every event to ensure smooth running and time keeping. Venues are varied and all good, big halls, small rooms, PA, acoustic, pub sessions… you get the idea fairly quickly that they have done this before and know what they are about.
And so it proved.
We had an amazing weekend, a hackneyed phrase, but in this instance, true. We stayed with our good Acoustic Chum Ray Freeman (at whom gratitudinous howls of thanks must be hurled) and generally had great fun. Three sets and no song repeats; we seemed to go down reasonably well. Everywhere we turned there were streetfuls of Acoustic Chums, as well as the odd Gentle Reader, (and, face it, you’re all pretty odd) and the weekend was simply very good. Good music from all the people we played with or saw (Colin Sands being a standout, along with the very good Winter Wilson), good food, good beer and good company.
It goes without saying that we hope to return next year…
In associated musical news, there will be some new photographs of me wrestling a guitar appearing on the blog, probably next week. But wait, what fettle? That’s not a Taylor; the headstock is all wrong, and… Horrors…. It’s not a dreadnought, more like a GA… What can it be? Is it a bird? Is it a… Well it’s obviously not a plane or a man, but as to what it IS can be my little tease, to you, Gentle Reader, more on this next week.
By the time you read this rubbish we will more than likely be back in the UK, more than likely bumping into each other in the the thick murk that Stanley knows as sunshine, and more than likely ready for a few gigs… so, as I said before; Folk On!
And so as the Italian folkie of fate tenors his way through such folk classics as ‘The Mountains of Mournio’ and ‘O Sole Mio’ (a song about a bloke who loves a fish), I notice it is the end of this blog.
Until next time, Acoustic Chums,