Mail in, mail out…

It has been, all things considered, a quiet week for us.

Of course, ‘quiet week’, can mean many things to many different folkies.

In our case it means performing at three different care homes, doing a whole bunch of shameless (but apparently quite effective) self-promotion, and attempting to do a bit of admin. Fool’s Gold requires an awful lot of admin to function, apparently enough to convince someone that we are a business. Usually we do the admin in an evening if we are not playing, however, as I am still flying a little right wing low[1], we have not been doing quite as much as usual. However, this does mean that I have been able to catch up on my reading, I have read more books in the last two or three weeks then I have been able to tackle in the last two or three years.

That Janet and John eh?

Such larks!

Be Welcome, Gentle Reader and read on…

The reader is reading.

See the reader read.

See the lips move…

wot poster tanfield

Yes it has been another slightly strange week but non-the-less interesting for that. We have been involved in the Stanley Town Council music festival and as part of that we have been playing in a number of local care homes. It occurred to us that one of our contributions to the festival might be to take music to people who might not otherwise be able to get to the outside events, that would be Care Homes then.

So far it has gone quite well and members of the town council have turned out to see what we all get up to when we perform at a care home. Luckily, so far it has all gone well with residents deciding that our repertoire is ideal for our bit of fairly strenuous dancing. This can be quite interesting, as the people they decide to dance with is usually us. I’m not one for dancing at the best of times especially as when I’m playing I’m trying to remember what the next chord is[2]. But it is very nice to see folks enjoying themselves.

So, a few care homes, and some admin.

The admin these days is generally electronic, that and a substantial number of telephone calls. However email in the main rules the roost these days, either in its traditional ‘ping- you have mail’ form, to the new and wonderful Facebook message. I don’t know who decided that the world needed another communication system which was open to varying degrees of misinterpretation, but they certainly managed to develop it with that system[3].

On the email front we have received some curious emails during this last week. Our email address has obviously been sold to some mailing list or another which has decided that Fool’s Gold is a business. Well, I suppose it is; sort of. It has to pay for itself it’s true, and if it does that we are quite happy. However, the list that we find ourselves on through no fault of our own, seems to think that we are some sort of multinational conglomerate. The emails that we receive ask us if our car fleet is up to date, or if our payment system for all our employees could be improved. They want to know if they can sell us a new electronic sales system or improve our credit card transaction flow. Now, all of these things would be interesting if only they had the slightest relevance to what is that we actually do. I wonder if I could put these companies onto our mailing list and send them all of our (and your) gigs, I’m sure they would appreciate it.

We have also been added to the new Administration system for the National Trust. You may not be aware of it but we are in fact accredited and registered suppliers of musical entertainment to the National Trust.

So there.

However, they have updated their Administration system and gone over to a new online system called Practice or something like that.

This week, we have been asked to update our information on the database, things like contact numbers bank numbers all of that sort of stuff. As part of the system, you can also tell the system what services you offer, then the database will shove work your way. Apparently it matches what you have to offer, with what the National Trust (and others) need, and tries to put the two things together.

This is very clever indeed, or at least the theory is very clever indeed.

When we completed our registration and submitted the form we were duly added to the system. It immediately put 15 jobs are away.

‘Jackpot’ we thought.

I can’t wait to start some of them especially the installation of a new septic tank into in a car park in a Forest or the carriageway resurfacing contract for a local County Council.

How did they know?

We also got a very interesting email this week from somebody who had already booked us. From the use, in the last sentence, of the past tense, I assume you can work out for yourselves that we are no longer booked by this particular promoter. That’s fair enough, we may not be for everyone. Usually they decide that before they book us though. In this particular instance we have had a show cancelled. However we cannot object because it has been cancelled for a very good reason. The reason is that there has been no interest in the show consequently no tickets have been sold. The promoter felt that as a no tickets have been sold and no interest has been shown, it was not a good idea to actually advertise the show, or to offer tickets for general sale. That’s right, you’ve guessed it, the show was cancelled due to lack of interest before it was advertised.

Several months before it was advertised.

Onward, mes braves, onward.

One bit of admin that we are going to do this coming week, all being well, if God is in her heaven[4] and all is well with the Earth below[5], is to get a list of gigs out for 2016. Things are looking quite good for the future, yes, due to the aforementioned admin, we have a number of gigs ready on the books for next year. They are all ‘proper’ FG gigs. By this I mean they are all our bigger shows such as ‘Stories with Strings’ and so on. I might as well reveal that the new show is likely to be called “Stories II: a string in the tale’. It should come as no surprise to regular readers to discover I thought of that one.

It’s my fault.

The new show will build on the Stories idea and add some new instrumentation and visuals, while keeping he main idea pretty much the same. We will keep a couple of songs in from the current setlist, but most of it should be refreshed.

Be very afraid.

There are no care homes or similar events on the list yet; as such institutions do not generally book so far ahead. Hopefully they will arrive in time. We also have a lot of gigs all over the country Cheshire, Essex, and Cumbria have all offered to place themselves in the firing line for an FG gig next year. The full list will be released on the website this week but I can tell you, Gentle Reader, as things stand we have 32 bookings.

And so as the sun sets in the West, (which on the scheme of things it’s probably just as well) I see that the promoter of fate has picked up the telephone of destiny, and in true folk style, gets through to the answer machine of doom, I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] Thank you for the sympathy. I love you all too.

[2] G. It’s nearly always a G. I know G. Lucky me. Lucky them. See Steve play G.

[3] Humour in speech rarely translates to text. Having said that, it rarely translates in this blog either…

[4] What; you didn’t get the memo?

[5] As this includes Stanley, it’s a stretch; but we’ll get there…

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