So, what will you wear?

It’s an ill wind that blows no good. So sayeth the old saw.

If that is, in fact, the case, then Mr. I. Wind must have been at the baked beans, as the Zephyr of Fate has been particularly gusty of late.

More of that anon.

Be Welcome Gentle Reader and read on…


I have always been suspicious of music you have to dress up for.

As a die-hard wearer of jeans and a shirt, I feel uncomfortable having to don a uniform in order to access a tune or two.

There are many culprits of this dark art.

Classical music is of course one of the worst.

The Symphony Orchestra does not feel itself to be properly tuned up unless they turn up in white tie and tails. Once arrayed on the stage with various instruments, the visual effect is akin to a flock of penguins wrestling a hardware shop[1].

It’s not for me.

Then there’s Heavy Metal. Denim, Leather and Sweat here forming not so much the uniform as a description of the layers[2].

And then of course the Prince of Sparkly Darkness; Country and Western. Why anyone would want to wear a shirt like that (unless you’re Andy Higgins) is quite beyond me. The look can be likened to a cross between an ill-fitting fashion show, an explosion in a sequin factory and a Milky Bar Kid advert[3].

Finally (and we got there in the end) there’s Folk. There are of course sub genres. Let’s look at Shantymen. There are two sorts of shantymen (and not all are men); the ones who are mad, and the ones who are completely off their chump. The Tradition is like The Force and runs deep in their veins. But the merely mad ones look normal; it’s the ones who feel the need to do the whole Captain Birdseye thing that is really odd. Oh, they have all been to sea. Often it’s the Woolwich Ferry[4].

Of course mainstream folkies have in the past been accused of being addicted to sandals, cable knit sweaters, beards, Guinness and pipes. Some of the blokes also fall into this look[5].

Thankfully, I espy a new movement in some clubs. People with jeans on. People with a sweatshirt or even (gasp) a hoodie. Does this herald a new movement of development and acceptance?
But it looks better.


This week has been one of sad news. Mr. I.Wind has been busy, and has blown his mate, Mr. G. Reaper hither and yon across the scene. While it is easy to feel a pang of regret at the passing of a Rickman, Bowie or Frey, it’s sadly much easier if you know the people chosen to join the great folk club in the sky[6]. So it is with sadness that we bid farewell to Roly Hindmarsh, wonderful soundman and lovely guy, and to John Kelly of Croxdale folk club. John was a fairly private guy and we know little about him, but he supported FG loyally when many others got stuck in their sandals. RIP both.

This week we’ve been as busy as ever. Some Care Homes and an FG big show. We played at Cleadon on Monday. There were about 160 folks in the hall and – what a belter! Great fun, lovely folks and a nice stage too, all of which helped.

The Care Homes too were lovely. An elderly Gentleman talked to me afterwards. A torrent of words tumbled forth, none of them especially related, and none of them forming a sentence or anything that could be worked into a tale. His daughter was on hand to say it was his way of expressing he’d had a lovely time.
And so did we.

Friday we attempted to help at the CD launch event for the Refugee project headed up by Gerry Beldon and Maurice Baker. This charity project is intended to help Refugees who are in need in the area, and the launch took place in St Joseph’s in Wallsend. Lots of The Berkley Taverners turned up, plus a decent audience and played valiantly in a huge space. Hopefully much money was made. No pics this week as the Wrinkly Wroadies have sadly been diagnosed as ‘Too P****d to Travel’. I should wish them a speedy recovery, but I don’t think they’d want it.

So my mate Knocker Gibson was walking down the road the other day. He was on his way into town, when he passed a new eatery on the West Road. It was bright and gay, and even sported a little table outside with a tablecloth decorated with little pictures of football hooligans.

A blackboard outside proclaimed “Pancakes”.

Knocker took this in, then passed by, muttering:

“Ahm not gannin’ in there. Them’s crepes”

Soon, he found himself outside a new betting arcade.

A blackboard outside was advertising the new games available.

‘Blackjack’, it shouted in bold letters.

“Ahm not gannin’in there” muttered the irascible Knocker, “That’s craps”.

Soon he was outside a pub. The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs had a blackboard, by the door, on the pavement. In fancy chalkings, it read: ‘Live Music: Fool’s Gold’.

“Ahm not gannin’ in there neither”


And so as the costumier of fate sighs and cuts me yet another pair of jeans – but this time with extra room for ego, I notice it is the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] I wonder what the collective noun for Penguins is. Not being motivated to look it up, can I suggest A Floe of Penguins?

[2] The collective Noun for Heavy Metal fans? A Hair of Metallers

[3] In case you’re wondering; it’s an ‘Ee-Hah of Country Fans’

[4] A Yo-Ho of Shantymen?

[5] There is no collective noun for folkies. Just eighteen verses and 22 choruses (that includes the extra ones at the end where someone makes the roundy-roundy-handy-wavy gesture)

[6] I don’t think heaven can be a folk club though. For a start, it would close Bank Holidays.


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