Your Vote Matters…

Now, what time to you call this?

I’ve been waiting here since this morning waiting to tell you all this news; and you? Don’t give me that ‘practicing’ story – you can’t kid a kidder – you’ve been anxiously scouring the media for the latest election updates haven’t you – I know how caught up in it you are.

Still it’s not really relevant to us musos is it.

Is it?
Be Welcome, Gentle Reader and read on…

We received another royalty cheque from CD Baby this week. It wasn’t for very much but it was nice to get. There has been much made in the media recently about the likes of Spotify exploiting artists and essentially robbing them of income derived from internet play royalties.

If you are Taylor Swift I don’t doubt that is true.

If however you are Fool’s Gold there is an added twist to the story, and it cuts both ways.

Working on a very rough rule of thumb, over that last year FG tracks have been played on the likes of Spotify, iTunes etc. once or twice. Or to put it another way, based on fag-packet calculations somewhere in the region of 54,000 times. Give or take a thousand or so.

That’s a heck of a lot of plays.

That’s a heck of a lot of listens.

Many of them were contiguous too, so people listened to whole albums rather than the odd track, although that happened plenty of times too.

So, here’s the conundrum; are we as minor fighters in the Acoustic Bullring, pleased with the number of plays, or conversely are we a bit hacked off that such an apparently large number of plays gains us a pittance in royalty?

After bank fees and currency conversion, we’ll get about £35 for 54,000+ plays and all that exposure.

Fair enough?

Discuss.

This week has again been a busy musical one for us. We went out to Ovingham Bridge End and had a grand evening in good company. The pics are of course the handiwork of the Wrinkly Wroadies, who between then took 156 photos. I have trimmed that down just a bit so that you don’t spend the rest of the day clicking. On Friday we went to the Lamplight Centre – sorry, the rebranded Alun Armstrong Centre, which is the same as the old Lamplight Centre but with the council in it too. This is actually a good and quite large theatre.

Which is a good job as it was pretty full.

Acoustic Chum John Wrightson, his band and chums have been developing a musical play/presentation about the Seaham Mining disaster of 1880. Part concert, part dramatic narration, part multimedia presentation, you can see why we’d be interested. It was in fact very well done. John’s songs were as ever very good indeed, presented by a great acoustic band and a sequenced piano track. This caused a couple of musical chums present (of whom there were a great many) to comment, but Joe Public (of whom there were a great many more) probably never noticed a thing. The sound was very good indeed, at the end I turned round to see Roly Hindmarsh grinning down at me from the mixing desk, which explained that. All in all a very interesting and well presented evening, and it was great to see a hefty turnout (there must have been 120 -150 folks there) and at the end, the vast majority rose to their feet in standing ovation – for folk/acoustic music in Stanley – wow.

In other developments, we’re producing a CD for a certain acoustic chum and have thrown the kitchen sink into the project. Country covers is the name of the game here, and we’re busy using software to build a very meaty sound. This will be very interestin’ when we get it completed later this year.

A couple of care homes filled in the gaps – again really good to do, nice to see folks enjoying themselves.

A couple of bookings arrived in the week too, can’t say too much about the Folk Clubs, but I might mention that the 2016 booking we took midweek will once again see us travelling to Dutch Holland for at least one gig, this time in the North at a place called Den Hagg. I’ve never met Den, but apparently he’s a really cool bloke.

You may have noticed that there is a forthcoming election. Dave, Nick, Ed and that Lady from the Greens along with Nice Mr Farage[1], have identified Folk Clubs as a key marginal battleground and are hastily bringing forward policies to win over folking voters.

Dave the Tory of course has it all taped. Folk Clubs will be made more efficient by trimming all the excess and performance targets will be introduced. Mr C has suggested that there are too many redundant chords, and that many of them sound quite like other ones anyway and all this duplication is inefficient. It seems that the government think tank for folk, (Tories Organising Singer-Songwriter Event Redundancy Services) have suggested that B is really quite close to C and that E is pretty darn near F and so downsizing the scale to make C and F redundant would result in much greater efficiencies. To this end a Tory government would bring forward legislation in the new parliament to make it illegal to play C or F. Enforcement would be by all guitar players sending their instruments to a Government modification centre where all the notes on the fretboard which produce these tones would be welded shut. Whistle players would have their offending holes blocked up (which would be uncomfortable to say the least) and singers told to avoid illegal notes on pain of a fine and three points on their singing licence. There are of course exemptions. There are two; one is for anyone who is a Tory, and the other is for banjo players as they have no idea what notes they are playing anyway.

And neither does anyone else.

UKIP of course have all the answers at their fingertips, just next to fags and pint pots. It’s really very simple, all Folk Clubs would play traditional folk English Folk Songs (with exemptions for the Ireland, Wales and the other place, wossname?) and songs from other parts of the world would be gradually phased out and relocated back to where they were originally written. Calypso rhythm would be redesignated ‘Lake District Rhythm’.

Ed, on t’other hand has decided that all singers would have to sing through the nose. Dunno why, he jusht dihd thatsh all.

And so as the swingometer of fate gyrates wildly between rapturous indifference and rabid disinterest; it seems that in the end, nowt much has changed.

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] Yes, well I have to say that, as Carol won’t let me write what I’d really quite like to. But it would be a mixture of twerp and prat. You work it out.

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