A mixed bag of baubles…

Another week bites the dust.

This happens a lot. Almost weekly.

Some are better than others; some contain cause for celebration others deliver pause for thought.

Be welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…

Just a short comment on the weeks’ beginning. Others have had at it more eloquently than I; but it was the final hurrah for Jimmy. The jiva funeral was a fitting send off to a bloke who many, many, many called ‘friend’. Many also noticed that he was somewhat… organised.
‘Hah – they might have joked, you’ll even organise a gig at your own funeral’.

You betcha.

The service was nicely done, heavily demonstrating the jiva organisation machine, some folky heavyweights, Anthony John Clarke, Craig and Willoughby all pitching in. A churchful of local musos, all of whom clearly valuing the man’s footprint upon their own lifes’ turf. A nice eulogy, a slide show, and wait… what’s that; I recognize that voice from yonder PA, that uke (and the uke bass and harmony vox from Val) it’s…

Yes, the Jimster was there, sending us a message from beyond, the poignant lyric of farewell, passage and reunion clearly heartfelt – as it was in the church.
Oh, what the hell; one last time: jiiiiiiiivvvvaaaaah!

If you fish in the pond long enough, then you will get a bite.
Oh, and it helps if you are using the right bait.
For long enough we have been trying to persuade folk clubs that we are worth listening to. This has proved to be a somewhat one sided conversation, as the clubs were not minded to listen.
They say clubs are closing, failing, ailing, and have aging audiences.

No $4!T Sherlock?

We would still love (and do) work with Folk Clubs, when it works, it’s a great night, and not all Folk Clubs are the same by any manner of means.

But we decided to talk to other outlets as, it would appear, that FC’s are not, as it were, the B-all and End-all of live music in the folk tradition.
Just the B-all.
So we have been to halls.
Rooms.
Societies.
Organisations.
Clubs.
Libraries (that was a surprise)

..and a host of other places where people have rather open minds and like a good show.
You may think this is me having a go at Folk Clubs, but, it is not.
If anything, it’s a plea.
Folk Clubs: wake up, smell the coffee, adapt or (eventually and inevitably) die.
Simples.
Remember, the melodeon was new once.

Mrs. Wrinkly Wroadie has that ‘Dear Old Lady’ trick off to a tee. You know the one: she sits there, all sweet, smelling of peppermint and tweed and makes some simple statement.

About half an hour later you can see peoples face crumple as they work it out.

‘Hang on; that was filthy’.

Yes Mrs. Wroadie has that one taped.

F’instance; Mr. Wroadie was playing with his car one day and b*ggered up the windows. They would open, but obstinately, would not shut.
A garage is required.
Sallying forth, the Wrinkly Duo hit the Stanley ‘burbs.

Pulling up outside the garage, Mr. Wroadie found there was nowhere to park Starship Wrinkly, so elected to stay at the helm (lest it sank) and sent Mrs. Wroadie in to deal with the mechanic.

Adopting her most innocent expression, Mrs. Wroadie tacked towards the reception counter and addressed the young mechanic.
Long pause until he looks up at where the customer should be, then down to where she actually is…

“’Ere,” she says, “I think I need servicing”

Apparently the mechanic was released after a period of observation and is recovering well at home.
She is still giggling.

It will soon be time for our review of the year. I can tell you in advance of that most anticipated missive, the one you have been steeling yourselves for through heavy investment in absorbent underwear, that by the end of December we will have played about 190 shows.
That’s not bad.
Just thought I’d mention it.

We do not tweet. Not twirtle, twitter, twirk or indeed twonk.
Hang on no – we do twonk, but it’s none of your bl**dy business[1].[2]
Having established that, there must be some sort of relevance.[3]

We are developing a new web site. Time for a change, time for a refresh, a clean up etc. You can add into your website these days all manner of feeds, links, handles, gizmos, and gog (and magog) knows what else.
I certainly don’t.

I suppose we could Tweet. No idea what about:
“Today I played my guitar, the sun shone and the roses were pretty. No murdering today”
H’mm, not sure.

We could webcast, vidcast, soundcloud, facebook, vimeo, youtube or ooVoo. We could update status, notify, codify, spotify (we do do that) or failing any of the above borrow the Red Arrows and do a fly-by.[4]

However, I am conscious that we get one go at life and it’s the music that we’re interested in. So I am afraid that the new website will have the same content – or at least the same type of content, which might let me get some songs writ.
Which is something of a co-incidence.

Some Chums of an Acoustic bent in Weardale have seen ‘Waters of Tyme’ and have demanded a Wear based equivalent. I am not minded to steep myself in Wear culture as I’m not a native, but a Weardale Suite has commended itself to my imaginings. So this week, sprung unbidden from research by Carol, a new song has leapt onto the setlist. It took about half an hour to write, and is at this point in its development, quite strong.

The theme, the story, the life of a song is everything, so when Carol found out about Charles Derby Jeffries, better known round Sunderland way as ‘Charlie Chuck’, it was a gold dust moment. Charlie must have been active around the 1930’s – 50’s. He was a very well known Sunderland character, and as is so often the case, is a sorry tale. Charlie was simple – no two ways about it, he was disadvantaged out of the gate and paid for it all his life. However, he was an extremely gifted musician. Apparently he could breathe magic through a flute, tin whistle, ocinara, recorder… …all of which he had secreted about his person as he danced his way around the streets of South Hylton, leading a band of chanting children.
It’s nice to remember him in a simple song.

Oh well onward; I have an email here from a Village Hall that wants to book us for a show.
In September 2017.
If the Lord spares us.
Strange expression.
I did not know that religion did spare parts, but there you go.

And so as the sands of time run out, I can reveal that there is a giant bucket underneath. All you need to know is how to turn it over, and make it run backwards.

Litnu txen emit citsuoca smuhc,

Peek ‘mimmurts

[1] This is a good example of a time when you should use Google to find out what a word means before you use it. Especially if you hint that it might have horizontal implications.

[2] I just Googled it. If I were you I wouldn’t. But… you will; ohhhh, you will.

[3] Although, God knows why.

[4] “Red Leader to Red Flight, on my mark, the Diamond Nine, Inverted Swan, followed by the Baldy Tw*t…..GO!”

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