Red Letter Day?

The clock changes and the world become a darker place. Not just that it gets dark earlier, it’s darker somehow. What we need, Acoustic Chums, is a little ray of sunshine to brighten up our darker days.

I haven’t got one, but here’s a blog that when you find yours, you could light it with.

Be Welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…


What a lovely word ‘lugubrious’ is.

It gathers about it the mists of miserable, the pallor of the downtrodden and just a whiff of bl**dy mindedness and wraps them up neatly into a parcel of flat faced woe, dismally presented.


Our Postie is a lugubrious fellow.

I think I would be too, if I had to carry that burden about the streets day in, day out. A sackful of broken promises, his bag turns out to contain bills, summonses and vouchers for a new takeaway run by a pair of newcomers called Sam and Ella.

In this day of email, our Postie, unfeasibly named Pat, does not even have the occasional joy of delivering a Red Letter, just letters in red ink.


A Red Letter Day is therefore an unusual event. Sources disagree about the derivation of the term, but the Church seems to be at the back of it. I think we’ll go with the practice of marking Holy Days on a calendar in Red, therefore marking them as important, special, and as they were unlikely to involve work, nice.


So a Red Letter is nice?

But in these days of email, what is it, I wonder.

A Red email?
Sounds like something that got trapped for too long in the spam filter. Or worse, one of those emails from someone you have never heard of but is incredibly anxious to give you prodigious amounts of cash. And all you have to do is give them your bank details: I mean, how generous is that?


As you, Gentle Reader, know well enough, I am not given to unnecessary verbiage or moved by the desire to twist a sentence or phrase until as Sir Eric Geddes had it “the pips squeak”, so I think an especially good email should be called ‘An Especially Good Email’.


And we got one too.

This week we got an offer to play in a lovely gallery theatre. It seats about 80 and the offer is on the table for FG to play a midweek set (after all, we are unknowns) and be paid for the privilege. The venue will arrange publicity, and as they do a lot of gigs, it is likely to mean something, they provide sound, soundman and even look after your merch.

The money isn’t brilliant, but not too bad, only a couple of hundred dollars.


Oh yes, I forgot, the gig is in Los Angeles.

Yes that was Red letter day.

It’s unlikely that we’ll be going[1], but that day can be marked on our calendar in red ink.


This week we have again proved the adage that retired people did not have time to work as once again we have not stopped. One library, three care homes, a folk club and a Christmas Fair and we are steaming towards the busy weeks.

We travelled North on Thursday to visit Ashington Folk Club; the first time in many months. The Portland, for such is the new home, was deserted downstairs, but upstairs in the function room a warmer welcome awaited. A small but perfectly formed crowd had assembled for the purposes of folk and singer songwriter material and we were treated to a wide ranging exhibition of the things people get up to. Squeeze boxes, Taylor T5’s, poetry, Jazz guitar pyrotechnics and a smattering of FG. Quite an evening. It seems that we are on their radar for 2015. We shall see as that would be nice.

The library show at Crook Library was another interesting Stories with Strings event. This time we got accosted by the local worthies all anxious to help us promote the next show about the town: that’s a good result by itself. The Christmas Fair in support of Willowburn Hospice was naturally enough a fundraiser, and I hope they raised shedloads of the stuff; the work they do is without compare. We were very pleased to help out, nice to meet Ray and Terry, local troubadors and also catch up with Chris Kelly, Lanchester’s answer to Leonard Cohen, but with laughs and also ‘Turkish[2]Chris Milner, whom we have not seen for a while. He tells us that he’s off on another round of Hall shows soon, if he is in your town, turn out.

(photies courtesy of The Wrinkly Wroadies)

The care homes set and the Christmas Fair shows brought home to me how much we have changed. FG hitherto was stubbornly about FG music – probably too inflexibly. FG was about Folk Clubs. Definitely too inflexibly. Today we are about playing. We prefer to play our own stuff, but can cast a skin to reveal a suit of dazzling colours fit for the occasion. Care Home? Songs that people remember, like and will sing if they can. It makes them smile. Christmas Fair? Oddly enough Christmas songs with a few others thrown in. Folk Clubs, Theatres, Art Galleries, Museums, Libraries, Cafes or theatres in Downtown LA? Ah, that’d be the FG set.

Horses, as they say, for courses.


Who’s that knockin’ at the door, who’s that headin’ my way?

I don’t know,

I can’t say,

It might be Mr. Postman, on this Red Letter day.


And so as the Sunday of restful peacefulness is threatened by a Monday of Workaday tedium, until the scented tin of ‘Soditall’ wipes away the pain, I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strumin’

[1] Common sense must at some point impact upon the little spinning world that is FG, it would be fun, but there is a lot more we could do with the resources such a junket would require.

[2] Long story. It has got to do with Turkey though. No, not the Christmas Comestible, the Country.


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