Shakespeare? Not him, surely…

Shakespeare probably said it best when he wrote the immortal lines; “By ‘eck that were a good ‘un”[1].

History does not recall if he spake thusly following his performance in front of the Queen or after a particularly fine trip to his little Tudor facilities; either way he accurately describes a week in the life of your favourite Stanley based male/female duo, loosely performing in the folk vein.

Or most of it, every week must have a cloud, and we had one pass overhead this morning.

More of that anon, I’m sure.

Be Welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…

Yes we have been busy again.

One museum, one library and two care homes – a big gig pre-visit and packing for Barnsley Folk Club tomorrow. As well as me fiddling hopelessly with technology, and quite a lot of practicing to polish up the folk club set has kept us busy. We’ve also had a huge amount of FG admin to wade through as we try to organise stuff for the future – that is getting more and more challenging as we get busier.

And I had to do a little bit of work work too.

So here it is, Sunday morning, and I sit tapping to you Gentle Reader, wondering which bit might tickle your tiny fancy[2], deciding, suddenly, that it might be what we (or rather me- Carol is sensibly content) are trying to do with music experimentation.

For big gigs, I’d like a full band sound.

I haven’t got enough hands and nether has Carol, unless it has to do with finding my wallet.

We don’t have a drummer, bassist or keyboard player.

Perversely, we want to be a duo.

So, technology then. I’ve had a dalliance with bass pedals in the past, to mixed reviews it must be said, they can fill the sound out, but it gets tricky.

Backing tapes then?

Nope. We’ve seen people do that and don’t like it; it always seems very wooden somehow.

So, the answer must be the most British of all solutions.

Compromise.

I am at the moment recording phrases, bits of bass and percussion, perhaps a keyboard pad but no more. Sections of songs, maybe an intro, or bridge. I can trigger these samples from the pedals as and when I need them.

It’s a bit like playing with yourself[3].

At the moment I can’t say if it will work or not. I don’t know if it does work that we’ll ever use it – it would have to be better than good for that.

But it is great fun playing with midi, recorders, sample libraries, editors and sequencers. Which, I think, is what it’s all about.

There goes that cloud again, the forecast in some parts seems a bit dark. However, I’m sure that all will become clear from other sources at the right moment…

The Folk Club set has been polished nicely, with a mixed set of FG originals and our arrangements of some well known songs, so we’re looking forward to Barnsley, and Bishop Stortford, and Essex, and Devon and Carlisle and of course, South Shields Folk Club. We will do our little Foolish best. If you want a fix of what we do, we’re at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens on Saturday 16th between 6.00 and 8.00pm. It’s a ‘Museums at Night’ event, and we will be performing a full concert set.

Here’s some images of the Bede’s World show. There was an audience but that all sat at the back of the Conference Room! Pics courtesy of The Wrinkly Roadies who lift all the heavy gear, as long at it’s in a glass…

There was a conference for managers locally; looking at management style, cascading information, sharing, devolving responsibility and open governance. Perhaps it was the seminar entitled “Nurturing: the next generation” that caught Chairman Dave’s eye. He went along, grumbling that although the course was free, the tea wasn’t.

Not the fact that it was 50p, just the fact that it was tea.

Dave sat and listened; his little leather hat in a whirl. Apparently, he thought that it was about a new trad band called ‘Nurturing’; and when he realized that people were suggesting that it is possible to have new ideas and do things different ways, he suffered a small internal explosion, and was required to leave.

Still he did take something away from the experience.

The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs is pleased to announce that it now does tea at 50p a cup.

And so as The Bard assumes his place at the scribing desk and prepares to write his next play, set in a gloomy folk club (it’s a tragedy, naturally) I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] The Tragedy of King John, Act IV Sc II. The bit where John is discovered inflagrante delicto with a lamprey.

[2] Look, I’m only going on what I’ve heard…

[3] Go on, go on – ohhhh; you’re sooo predictable…

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