“Oh”. (and that ‘oh’ is very important, believe me). “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round”.

This begins a very important entry in the grimoire of the English folk tradition. It stands as a testament to the art of the lyricist, the craft of the tunesmith, as well as being an allegory and a touchstone for all that is good within the tradition.

To further tease out why this is the case that, it behoves us well to analyse further. Lest the listener lose interest or indeed lose track of the central theme of the story the writer continues:

“The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round round and round”.

Finally, the profundity, of this most learned and erudite of songs is triumphantly concluded by taking the lyric to a new level of sophistication.

“All day long”.

Not only is this an allegory, a touchstone, a moon at which to tilt, for the aspirant lyricist, it is also a mirror, in poetic form, for life itself.

How so?

Be Welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…

NMC poster

As you can gather from the introduction it has been another very interesting week for Fool’s Gold. If I go on to tell you that I am still standing, on a Sunday morning, in the bedroom talking to an iPad, you will also realise that my old soldier wound (which of course I do not like to talk about) is still present.

However, the wheels on this bus, continue apparently, to rotate.

This week we have been as busy as usual in terms of gigging, although it must be said I have been quieter at home and there has possibly not been as much rehearsal as usual. (Yes we do sometimes rehearse, even if you can’t tell, we do, so there). This week we have played two care homes and one science club – you can’t say we don’t play at different places!

We played at a summer picnic for a group of care homes organised by the charity Mind Active. This involved once again playing a flute into a PA in the wind. This is one of the fair Lady Carols’ greatest loves in life. She likes nothing better than a jolly good parp into her flute, with every good chance of absolutely nothing at all parping out of the other end. In the event of course, we all had a good time, and all of the residents seem to enjoy being outside in the sunshine, in some cases a rare experience.

Our next engagement was to support an initiative begun by Acoustic Chum Jim Wigfield. If you have met Jim on The North East club circuit, you will not need me to explain to you that he is indeed a rare flower, one with an unusual bloom and quite possibly fragrance – I wouldn’t know. He does however, write some of the most singularly unusual (and entertaining) songs that you are ever likely to encounter – especially in his choice of subject matter!

He runs a small music event at Druridge Bay Country Park and had asked us to pop along which we were very pleased to do. So it was that Fool’s Gold and John (The Power) Jeffrey entertained the troops who happened to be on the premises at the time. Not, in truth, hundreds of these troops, but we were very very pleased to play for one particular family group whose children were operating perfectly happily within themselves under restricted computational  resources, and they really seem to enjoyed the bouncy music – that was really lovely.

Acoustic chums may be interested to know that we hot footed it from Druridge  down to Blyth to call in on another set of acoustic chums, they being the rock powerhouse of low end dirty boogie which many of us in the club and secretly part of the underground metal tinkle scene, know as jiva.

As many will know, Jimmy’s health should be sent back to the original manufacturer along with a sternly worded note of complaint. However, at this point, it would seem that medical science does not offer this option. We were very pleased to drop in on Jimmy and Val and are delighted to report that the Jimster was on great form and as usual, we spent a very pleasant hour or two busily engaged in an analysis of the local musical scene. We hope to see them again soon.

Our final outing was to a care home we have visited before. It is without a doubt one of the most challenging playing experiences we are likely to ever encounter. The residents in this particular institution are severely challenged by dementia and much reduced in their engagement with the outside world. ‘Outside world’ is a relative term of course, in this instance, it refers to anything which lies more than a centimetre beyond the end of your nose. When we play, there is generally no reaction at all from the room, thankfully years in folk clubs has prepared us for this particular experience. However every time we finish (in perfect silence) our set at this place, the organiser hurries up to thank us, assuring us of how much the residents have enjoyed the music. We also always get a number of repeat bookings. It just goes to show that you can never tell.

The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round.

new stories poster

This coming week is just pure madness, we have some really big gigs as well as a couple of smaller engagements too. We have our Stanley Town Council music festival gig in the company of Jack Burness this coming coming Saturday, in the Alun Armstrong theatre in town. Potentially, this could be a very big gig, we shall just have to wait and see. We also play Newbiggin Maritime Centre on the Friday evening. Throw into the mix a care home or two, a WI and a farmers market and you will see that we need to get rehearsing.

Round and round round and round.

And so, as the tour bus wheels of fate continue to go round and round, round and round, I notice that the highway to hell is paved, not with good rock and roll, but with looks like a shed load of nails, I notice that this it is the end of this blog,

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’


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