It’s a little secret…

Another week bites the metaphoric dust. The FG tour bus burns the dust up and down the old A1[1]. The dust settles on one or two projects. And as for the gig where the riot happened?

You didn’t see us for dust…

Be Welcome, Gentle Reader, and read on…


We all have one.
Even you.
Actually; especially you.
Yes you.
I can see you.
And we know about it.
Your guilty little secret.
We all have one.

But not perhaps one quite like yours, as it takes too long to dress up, it’s difficult to get that thing in your size and the mayonnaise gets everywhere[2].

Mine is less messy.


Yes, Gentle Reader, it’s pedals[3]. I seem to have a small peddily fetish going on here, and I can often be caught browsing websites with alluring pictures – of stomp boxes and enticing text about what it does to your sound.

I’ve been browsing again, but have so far resisted the call of the darkside. But we are using a few pedals and will be using a few more. I’m using a volume pedal, not, as nature intended, to control volume, but to mute a signal. I’m using a graphic equalizer, not as you may have fondly supposed to equalize something in a graphic manner, but to provide solo boost. The Fair Lady Porkie, pretty parper of this parish has pedal too. It’s a reverb pedal to add cathedral-like-shimmer to her parping tones.

Not that we needed it this week.


We play for many U3A branches and always have a grand old time. It has meant that we have visited many U3A venues, halls, clubs, libraries, meeting rooms, community centres, and this week, a massive brick church.

Middlesborough U3A meet in a huge brick church, which has been recently, and very extensively, renovated.

There has been some effort expounded on the place. It looks and feels great inside, bright, cheery, warm, well decorated and a nice overall feel. People bang on about Durham Cathedral; I’ve always felt that the Normans got a bit carried away with the stone when building a new shed[4].

But this place had the real cathedral ring and Porkies Parping Stick rang into the rafters rather nicely.

They had also splashed the ecclesiastical cash on the AV setup too, and in true Spinal Tap fashion, a huge projection screen descended behind us, and two more were drawn down on either aisle. Rather t’riffic.

Best of all, a warm welcome, a warm reception for the show and lots of nice noises afterwards.
Very nice.


This week coming we will be limbering up for two nice big shows. Friday evening sees us at Torpenhow Village Hall in Cumbria for a ‘Stories’ gig – should be great fun; then on Saturday, it’s the Lanchester Community Centre gig. We have been blessed with really great publicity for this one so we are hopeful of a decent turnout. Even the Wrinkly Wroadies have been busy promoting by sticking posters in the car windows. I have suggested to Doug that next time the side windows might be a better idea, and the windscreen really should be kept clear. It makes no difference to Pauline, as her eyes are tightly closed all the time anyway.

The Community Centre room is lovely and it too, has a huge screen to play with. It should be grand!


We received an email from Chairman Dave this week. He’s Head Mushroom at The King’s Head and Washerwoman’s Legs Folk Club, and he wanted to know where we’ve been. He says that he’s noticed that the singaround nights have been a bit quiet as some of the regulars have now been officially declared dead[5]. Several of the dead members still attend, and apparently a couple got up to do a song last week – caused a bit of a stir.

So Chairman Dave was wondering if we’d like to drop back and do a little feature spotette, maybe as many as three songs, if the night isn’t too busy and the room contains less than 20% of the walking folk undead, the Fombies.

We’re considering reply.

Because we’ve never been.


We’ve begun the promised clearout of old equipment. Several boxes of CD’s have left the building and our old PA system has been offered to the world via a certain medium known, apparently, as Facebook. There’s a good local page called North East Music Mart and it seems as though it is well supported by local musos attempting to move on unwanted – or often simply unused – gear.

Who knows, if we sell it, I may get a pedal and service my guilty little secret.

Speaking of which: would you put that down?
No, not there.


And so as the Fombies of Eternal A Capella lurch through another chorus of Fisherman’s Green, and the Chairman of Musical Integrity reaches for a the nearby shotgun of Final Justice, I notice, thankfully, it is the end of this blog.

Until next time, Acoustic Chums,

Keep Strummin’

[1] © J. Burness

[2] I was on about Steamed Artichokes with eggless mayo dip; but you; you were in a whole different place. Have you no shame?

[3] Thank Gawd for that.

[4] Controversial? Possibly. I’m sure Durham Cathedral is a very spiritual place. It just doesn’t feel like it to me, if you shoved a stone shed into Photoshop and hit ‘enlarge canvas’ a few times, I wonder what you’d get…

[5] This required a second and third opinion; in the end they just asked the guy ‘are you dead’? When he said ‘yes’, that just about sealed it.


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