Armoured Angels

Running up a mountain, dressed in full 15th Century armour (made out of recycled war surplus Kevlar® underpants), simultaneously juggling a lap steel guitar, baritone ukulele and a small drummer can be tiring[1].

Especially so, if, with great forethought, one has previously invested said suit of underpanty apparel with a mixture of warm, yet gritty, swarfega, a small collection of Egyptian toenail clippings and a horde of disgruntled ants[2].

Like I said: tiring.

And yet I shall do this thing.

And to make it even more fun, I shall lug along a backpack containing the entire collected wisdom of Bob Geldof, and because there will be plenty of room left over, a small collection of percussive toys (with instructions) in case the drummer fancies a bop when we get to the top.


Because I need a rest.

Be Welcome, Gentle Reader and read on…

Yes, even in the annals of FG, your very favourite proto-folk progster duo to feature a flautist and an idiot, this week has been busy, and it ain’t over yet, we have another couple of gigs this week.

Still, before we get to that…

…previously, in the FG world…

We’ve been slowly getting back up to speed as my back improves. Sessions with the Physio and Chiropractic chaps have proved that violence is sometimes the answer, and despite my bleatings and pathetic pleas for mercy, they have managed to straighten, pop, click, dig, rive, twist and otherwise thoroughly invest their artifice into my spine, with the result that, I feel quite a bit better.

Thanks for asking.

All this has meant that there is a heck of an FG backlog in terms of admin. Half finished songs litter the desk, ideas for chord sequences lurk on torn yellow post-it notes, peeping from beneath a pristine notebook – the one intended to contain all these things in one handy reference place, and so, consequently, ignored. The ideas for S2[3] are still bubbling in the metal pot, gear which has been amassed is sitting awaiting employment, and ideas for the new presentations are in the computer somewhere.

Then there’s the gigs. The admin is incredible, emails, contracts, keeping check on who paid who, what and when (they sometimes ask us ‘why’ too). The Care Home arm of the enterprise takes a particular amount of chasing up. So obviously, while feeling a bit better:

  1. I’m not doing it, Carol is; and
  2. Instead of doing it, here I am tapping out (yes, not dictating) rubbish for you to read.

All I can say is; I hope you’re £i**%7 grateful.[4]

This week we’ve done quite a bit of playing, several Care Homes, some new to us and a couple of visits back to older haunts. They’ve all gone well, with a mad rash of dancing and singing along. The set we play for the Care Homes is selected for their benefit, not our gratification, so I find myself playing stuff they like, not necessarily the stuff I’d choose to listen to. However this altruism has its benefits for us too. Looking at some of the old (and boy; are they old) songs is really helpful. New chord progressions, new ideas for stories, different places to play a tired sequence, some nice opportunities for instrumental bits – quite good fun, and great when you see Residents enjoying it.

So a few of them; then off to Tanfield Lea Community Centre, in the company of Acoustic Chum Chris Kelly (The Languid Lanchester Lark), to do a ‘Waters of Tyme’ show. There were, shall we say, ‘administrative issues’. The brochure put out in all its glossy goodness was well intentioned but sadly challenged when it came to little details like dates, and we had to overcome that with the help of nice Mr. Internet and the Stanley Facebook forums (or it that ‘Faura’ – as in: “How man, giz faura yah bags a’chips). We got a good room full, and the show went down very well. Chris was on fine form as ever, and we managed to present our show reasonably well – I could have done better with the sound I think. Nice to see Acoustic Chum David Pratt there; he’s a drummer you know. He came in his car. It has some gears. How many? I’ll check… 1 – 2 – 3 – …damn… is it five?

Then on Saturday, off to Hartlepool to do a mixed show at Heugh Battery ‘Beat The Drum and Other Stories’ – I’m sure you can work out what that’s all about. We played in the café, and despite worrying early on ablout numbers, enough people did turn up to this after hours museum show to make it work, and make it a really nice evening. Thanks to the Wrinkly Wroadies for the pictures. Pauline has been a bit under weather, in fact so much so, that Doug had to finish her wine for her. The first crate went down ok, but he struggled a bit after that.

So, to recap this week then:

Four Car Homes, one Community Centre (full Waters of Tyme Show with Chris Kelly), One Museum Show (Beat The Drum and other stories, full show, all the gear), then Monday is Cherryburn festival, and then Tuesday is Birtley library.

Eight shown in nine days.

Where’s me suit of armour?

And so as the Boomtown Rat of fate makes way for the X Factor winner of destiny and we find that after all, the river of talent has run dry and the bottom is muddy, I notice that it is the end of this blog,

Until next time Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] The really worrying thing is that drummer does not notice anything unusual…

[2] Well they would be disgruntled, wouldn’t they?

[3] My shorthand for Stories II: a string in the tale. That’s the working title of next years’ show, which we are currently putting together. Obviously, as it requires this much explanation, it isn’t much of a shorthand.

[4] And, quite clearly, it is not all I can say…


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