More pages, more drummers, more malarkey…

Another page flutters from the calendar on the wall, it does so slowly and in black and white, but as the camera pull slowly back to reveal the room, it slowly fades into colour, and we realize that we can see a blog slowly taking shape before our very eyes. A baldy bloke sits hunched over a keyboard. The sound of clicks is heard, and a muttered expletive (mild)[1].

The camera cuts to show the screen, it says ‘Be Welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…”

Then a long slow fade into…


We’ve been playing a huge variety of venues this year – with a huge variety of attached clientele and vast assortment of management styles.

One thing we have noticed quite strongly is the mixed approach that exists with regard to publicity and promotion.

We worked with one place that was fantastic – they involved the local community, put up the posters we sent, made their own additional material, informed the press (who turned up!) and generally got stuck in well in advance.

The result was that the place was heaving, we had folks sitting on the floor and hangin’ out the doors. And it was a great gig.

We have worked with other places who book us for a performance and have a slightly different approach to promo.

One place advertised the gig just the day before, on the webpage where the afterthoughts are posted, another place put one poster up, inside the venue, behind a pillar – they did put seats out though – three of them in fact. The biscuit however, must be taken by a venue which booked us as part of an extended programme of events and did precisely nothing.

Nowt, nix, nihils, sweet BA; nothing.

No website mention, no prior promo of any shape or form at all – and we sent stuff through – short of including blu-tak as an email attachment there wasn’t much more we could have done.

There were no posters up when we went in and consequently, not very many people in the audience for the sainted reason that no-one[2] knew about it. Our website can do only so much.

However, as we left, we noticed that a few hastily hand scribbled posters had appeared – they had been put up after the gig had started.

It makes you tired.


We would never hire a drummer – most of the ones we have met are high enough already – but obvious gags aside, the problems with keeping a drummer are immense. The licence, the stabling, feed and the cost of those self-help tapes, y’know the ones that have a guy chanting “one, two, three, FOUR” over and over again in the hope that the last bit sinks in. Then there’s the beer overheads which can be considerable, and the mopping up afterwards…

…so no, we don’t own one.

We do however have musical chums that :

  1. a) play drums (did I say ‘musical’?)
  2. b) need to be in a band


  1. c) know an acoustic prog duo who, let’s face it aren’t too fussy.


So; I wonder what would happen if Dangerous Dave, Drum Ninja, auditioned for The Iron Pirates? Nothing could possibly go wrong…

(with deep and abject apologies to our good mate Dangerous Dave, Drum Ninja)



However this week has been very good – or mostly very good. The mostly rider is just because we did a show for some lovely folks brought low by dementia, and which had reached a pretty advanced stage. It is difficult to play for a room which is not there, but play we certainly did. And danced, and leaped about a bit, and did the choruses enough times to make you dizzy and by the end, the reward was a few smiles.

And a clap, and finally, yes, a dancer!

The rest of the week has been two folk club visits, The Monkey and Croxdale (who’s on in February? Are They? Wow)

Then to a few Care Homes, a music shop gig, and a Library.

Today (unless you’re reading the repeat) we’re off to Cherryburn National Trust for a few hours of playing. I hope the weather holds as it’s an outside gig, usually its great fun though.

Then next week there’s six gigs, including one inside a large (but not that large) plastic box[3], and then the week after another six, including two in Cheshire.

It’s lovely to pack in work, and have a nice rest, put your feet up and…

…sorry got to stop; off to a gig.


And so as the sand of time respond to market forces and go up as well as down, I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until Next Time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’


[1] Not ‘Bother’ mild, more sort of ‘Bugger’ Mild, nothing stronger, it was ‘PG’

[2] A bloke from the venue, in what I can only assume was deep shame, went round the whole place and asked everyone there to come along.

He was back inside a minute.

[3] No really, we’re playing in the dark, inside a plastic box, to an audience of one. Folk in a Box is touted as the smallest theater in the land, and the audience is limited to one person at a time.

It’ll be nice to double our audience.


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