Sleighbells ring (but we was out)

Sleigh bells ring,
snowflakes tinkle,
children’s faces, start to crinkle,
As they realise,
With tears in their eyes;
Santa’s a cheap merchandising device dreamed up by corporate business, with greater interest in profit than festive goodwill.

And with that; Be Welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…


Yes it is that time of year.

We have been very busy doing Christmas shows. This is about the time of year that I feel I have the hang of the songs, just about got my head around the arrangements, and have even stabilised the fiddly bits in ‘White Christmas’ and
…Christmas is over, and I forget them all in time for next year.


Although we still have four shows left to do, unusually for the end of December, one of them is a ‘Beat The Drum[1]’ show at Heugh Battery in Hartlepool.

And then, our thoughts will turn to Crimble. We will be having a family Christmas consisting of us and The Wrinklies, as the kids are all off doing kid stuff, which is as it should be.

However, gifts, as per the aforementioned Mr. Claus, will be involved. Thoughtful presents are the FG way, and we will be trying to get suitable gifts for all our Acoustic Chums[2].

There are many gifts available from the shops, which are suitable for Acousticians, and for their audiences too[3].

The music shops and websites are full of brightly coloured images of musical tat that purports to be of use to the musician, and in reality is of limited use to anyone of a musical bent[4].

There are gloves for drummers. You know they are for drummers as, in addition to the obligatory ‘L’ and ‘R’ labeling, the fingers are numbered. This confuses the intended clientele as ‘5’ is one more than the usual requirement.

There are tuners that glow in the dark and peep at the appropriate time, which is useful as many guitarists tend to parp at inappropriate times[5]. Come to think of it, most guitarist think they glow in the dark.

There are songwriting aids too.
Pads in all shapes and sizes to record those moments of genuine inspiration[6]. And crayons to do it with.
Singers are of course not left out. There is a medical application that helps the singing – it’s called Gaffer Tape, and of course a small LED lamp that affixes to the top of music stand. It’s not to help singers with early onset laziness to remember the words, it’s to forewarn the artist that the audience is about to storm the stage, so that legging it remains a viable option.

However, none of you will receive any of these.

I have Acoustic Chum Ant Wilson to thank for this idea – he has suggested the creation of a Fool’s Gold Annual[7].
Brilliant idea.

A series of strip cartoons comically chronicling the misadventures of your favorite idiots. A few puzzles and a cutaway drawing of a guitar. Instructions (a la Blue Peter) on how to play the flute (You blow in one end and move your fingers around the outside), and a hefty price tag – well, it is Christmas.
Unfortunately this profound inspiration was offered too late to get the printers sorted out for this year – you’ll just have to hang on until next year, and in the meantime, accept from us, our very best wishes for the Christmas you wish for, and for the year to come, may it be as musically fulfilling as possible.

Which is our way of saying:

Keep Strummin’

[1] For those not in the know, this is our WW1 show, all about the fun that soldiers (and wives) had in the trenches. The music is good, the stories are strong and the show is generally well received.

There are, however, few sleigh bells.

[2] It is at this point, that you should begin to feel worried.

[3] I’m sure that you expect me to predictable wander down the ‘ear muffs’ route. Well, just for that; I shan’t, so there.

[4] It’s nice to know that sometimes, I can just leave you to do your own gags – go on; get stuck in…

[5] Must be the Guinness.

[6] Some of the pads are really quite small.

[7] Annual what, was not specified.


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