Would you pay £45 for a bath?

I would.

I do.


As Fool’s Gold has become a more peripatetic beastie, we have been found scurrying down the dusty lanes of Old Englandshire, seeking to parade our harlequin wares before the peoples of foreign parts.

Like Essex.

We perform our songs and tell our tales to the assembled masses, then pack up our bag of dreams and slip away into the gathering mist of the night.

Unless it’s a morning U3A then it would be Macdonalds.

If it is too far, or if we simply feel like it we will not return by return of post, but overnight at a traditional hostelry, where the welcome from the Ostler will be warm, the timbered beams smoky in the lowering evening as locals spin yarns over a foaming tankard.

Or a Travelodge.

BUT: they provide a bath.

I know I’m northern, so you probably expect me not to own my own bath[1], but the truth is, that a few years ago we redid the bathroom and made it into a rather pleasing shower room.

Sans bath.

So it is that I spend some time semi-submerged in hot water contemplating the universe.

My poorly back appreciates this greatly, and I find it a peculiarly productive atmosphere for the business of thinking.

Schemes, plots and plans swirl with the steam.

New songs come and sometimes stay; others drift out under the door.

And, Gentle Reader, do you think it is a good place for the mental composition of a blog?

That’s for you to decide, you’re the one reading it.

And so, before my iPad gets wet, Be Welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on.

From all of this meandering, you may gather that we have been away this week, and it is indeed, just as you suspect.

Loughton Folk Club, near Epping made the call, and like the musical harlots we may be, we went running. Our second visit to this club, I must confess I was concerned beforehand that it would be a test for us.

If it was, heavens be praised, we passed.

We had the best night in a folk club for a while (yes, it was the first night in a Folk Club for a while), and we had a really good night. We look forward to returning at some point. Thanks to the club for a lovely welcome and a great reception, you made our night!

We leapt back up the A1 (following the obligatory bathtub soak of course) to take part in The Banners of the North festival at Bede’s World in Jarrow. As always, nice to hook up with some Acoustic Chums, and especially nice to see Chris Kelly deliver a superb set, with a great sound. ‘Well done’ noises should be hurled in the general direction of the organisation team, and we hope that they can build upon the festival in coming years.

‘Irons in the Fire’ is a curious, yet widely understood expression, used by people with nothing immediate to do, that they will shortly be sooooo busy.

With one gig this coming week, we will be busy re-arranging our irons in the fire. The policy of getting next year sorted out is bearing fruit, as we have 40 ‘things’ on the board, all proper shows[2].

However, as a lifelong malcontent, I prefer not to count eggs but continue chasing hens[3].

So it is that we have a veritable brazier burdened with faintly glowing metal rods. This week, we shall be pursuing them; one in particular is very interesting[4].

More anon.

It has been a while since we visited, via these pages, The Kings Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club. I am pleased to report that we have heard (we’ve never been) that the club is still going. It is usual to describe such a club in medical terms to express health, so ‘Glowing, Ruddy, or even simple Sound’ can be used to describe how an institution is faring. In the case of the KH, it would be wiser to use, ‘Inoperable’, ‘Terminal’ and possibly ‘Dropping Off’.

Chairman Dave, despite advancing years and galloping senility has retained overall control by virtue of a lively personality, thick skin and occasional violence. At this time of year the guest list for the following year is decided and the committee of the KH&WLFC had foregathered in numbers to say yes to whatever Dave wants. Usually the meeting is short, as the guest list is the same each year, only changing when an artist actually dies, although it is sometimes a little difficult to spot if that has or has not happened, or simply unfolding before ones’ eyes.

This year there has been dissent.

Young David, pretender and University Graduate[5], has suggested that the club bring in some fresh blood.

Apparently this encouraged some lively debate and a near fatal stabbing. The club motto was trotted out and waved, as a Colour to which the Old Guard can rally.

‘Non faciam curare opinatur; quid agat est iens futurus accordion ludio ludius’

All of which might mean:

‘I don’t give a **** what you want, it’s going to be the accordion player’[6]

Some photos from Loughton are from the Wrinkly Wroadies, who this week maintained their sobriety at the gig by virtue of not drinking Fosters. As soon as we got them back to the Travelodge, it was a different story.

Still, they had a bath to sleep in.

And so as the clouds of war gather and lower, I see the Wincey Willis of Folk promises us all a brand new tomorrow.

I’d take a brolly if I were you.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] We do have a communal bath that it is possible to rent, by the quarter hour. It’s in Leeds somewhere.

[2] Which is a shame, as it is our improper shows that could really make the press sit up.

[3] That one has got to be worth an ‘Ooo-errr Missus’

[4] Notice that you are not told what it is. It’s not so much of a ‘cliffhanger’ more of a molehill clingon. Which, if anything, sounds much worse.

[5] Two terms studying Journalism at Solihul Polytechnic in the 1984 makes him the club intellectual.

[6] Somewhere in the offices of Google, an operative has just turned to his colleague and said “You’ll never guess what someone just looked up…”


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