The Digital Jump

I have made the digital jump, and you can blame the decorators. Given that the decorator was me, this means I catch it in the neck, but then: I probably deserve it, for I, the ‘Fool’ bit of Fool’s Gold, have made the digital jump.

Be Welcome Gentle Reader, and read on…


For years I have made the religious trek to the record store. I have a pile of very probably mouldy vinyl in the garage, all that remains of a much larger collection plundered by Scotswood bandits many years ago[1]. I have only recently sent my huge collection of cassette tapes to Jesus, largely on the rounds that I no longer have a cassette tape. And they sound rubbish: that too. And this week, following the redecoration of FG Towers, and the consequent streamlining of large racks of CD towers, the CD collection has followed.

But not to landfill.

At the moment they are in huge boxes and adorn the dining room still with their silent digital legacy.

We have spent significant amounts of time ripping all the CDs in the collection and dropped them onto a large external drive, also backing them up (or at least, soon). This renders the CDs themselves obsolete. They could go in the garage with the vinyl, possibly to occupy the space so recently vacated by a large box of cassette tapes, but no – Mes Braves – this shall not be!

Technology shall ride to our aid on a white iPad. We’re planning to scan the barcodes and send them off to an online place who promises, yes promises, to pay us substantial Wonga for our old CDs. So far about 50p each seems to be the going rate.


The best bit though, is the fact that the company offers a Freepost service. I wonder what will happen when we struggle up to the Post Office with a wheelbarrow and the first installment of Eighteen and a half tonnes of CD’s?


This week has been another very full one for FG. Last week was six gigs, this week only five (I think), but busy and in the main, great fun. There were some disappointments along the way, however. We did our show at the Alun Armstrong Theatre in Stanley on Wednesday night, and the turnout was – to say the least – disappointing. We made double figures, but not by much. This has brought home to us the importance of marketing and promo, and the importance – nay necessity, of overseeing it even when it’s really someone else’s parish. The show itself was good and everyone there enjoyed it – we actually sold more CDs by percentage than usual. During the interval, I was talking to a bloke who’d seen us last year and come along again. At one point he said:

“I don’t know what’s wrong with this place (Stanley) when it comes to live music”.

He went on to inform me that he’s recently been to the same theatre to see the Acoustic Strawbs.

Apparently we had more in than they did.

I know it’s very wrong of me, but it did make me feel a wee bit better.


The pictures this week are the work of our venerable wroad crew, the Access All Areas (especially the loo) wretainers that are The Wrinkly Wroadies. They turned out for the Stanley show, although it was hard getting them in, as you have to walk through the bar first. They did make it for the second half, but had to leave early to avoid the bar crush at the end.
As far as I know, they’re still there.

Other gigs included a show at City Library, which was really nice, and Care Homes and something at Gibside for the National Trust.

I fear that the job at Gibside is our swansong for that event. We’ve done their evening beer garden shows for a few years now, and it has always been unremittingly freezing. This week it was down to 2 degrees, outside, under a Gazebo that offers as much protection from the elements as a Nun’s honour is protected by her wimple when there’s a randy Borgia about.

It was bl**dy cold. The flute refused, the whistle was so out of tune it sounded like a squirrel announcing a deathly flatulent fanfare, my fingers packed in and the lead runs all wandered astray[2]. The rain and snow (yes, it did) got on the gear. The instruments didn’t like it.
And you don’t get paid.

So I think that next time it comes round, it may be a game of soldiers that we do not play.

Everyone seemed to have a good time though.


This week coming should be good fun. It is we for Hertfordshire and Essex, to play some big U3A shows. Last year was great so we’re looking forward very much to this one. We will probably drop in to a couple of clubs if time and curry allows.


And so, as the digital drive of MP3 Destiny spins into life and the PC of Fate looks at it through the USB of Circumstance, then digitally shrugs it’s shoulders and decides it’s not really there, I notice it is the end of this blog.


Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’



[1] When I think about it, it was many years ago. One of the most recent albums to get nicked would be something like Marconi’s Greatest Hits.

[2] How fortunate, then, to have the weather to blame.


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