Last time I wrote I was about to play in Leek with UFQ…well we did and jolly nice it was too. Many thanks to everyone who came out to the Foxlowe and apologies to the lady I spoke to on the phone the next day believing I’d left my ipod there when it was in fact down the cushions of my sofa at home I discovered shortly thereafter…Anyway not to worry, I then had a rare weekend off which was spent in the company of very nice people which is generally a rather good way to spend the weekend I’d say.
The next few days were spent teaching and a visit to Bridgewater Hall in Manchester to play a concert to children with learning difficulties and their families. It was a lot of fun and involved a lot of jumping around! I was also reminded of the huge pile of crap that is driving in and around Manchester. Loathsome.
Then UFQ were back in action with cracking gigs in Newbury and especially Hitchin which really was a belter. I read all kinds of articles hinting at the gradual waning of the folk scene and Hitchin Folk Club really does offer one some considerable reassurance! Reliably packed out with 150-odd people every Sunday night and growing – maybe a few lessons could be heeded from them. That’s probably for another rather-dangerous-from-my-point-of-view blog but here’s a shout out for Kieron and Maureen for doing such a great job and to the wonderful crowd who were up on their feet and boogieing long before the end!
After a couple of lovely Live Music Now gigs, I also had the nice and all too rare experience last night of actually going to a gig! I went to see the Henry Girls at the Gatehouse in Stafford and listened to the quite exquisite harmonies by the Irish sisters of the lovely accents (Donegal) particularly on a fine version of The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. On the subject of people being good for the folk scene, I want to give a shout out to Pete Morgan of Fish Records who has put on a series of wonderful gigs at the Gatehouse and brought top quality music to my hometown.
So a little rant for you. I was on the train today (which by the way I really enjoyed, I actually really like train travel when it works…) and I found my seat on the London to Chelmsford service and settled down for a bit of a breather after the joys of catching the tube with a banjo and a guitar. Then from behind me I heard a phone conversation begin. After precisely three minutes on the train I had heard the following:
‘I was like…’ and ‘he was like…’.
Now I’m not trying to demand that everyone’s grammar should be immaculate (I suspect mine probably isn’t) and I am a big fan of quirky regional peculiarities in dialect and occasionally deliberately skewed (if that’s the word I’m after) grammar is really rather effective in communicating the exact message (the expression ain’t springs to mind). But I really must register my intense dislike of the inane nonsense outlined above. I actually find it dashed difficult to understand what the hell anyone is talking about when all I hear is the word like in among the utter bilge that this person was talking about. I just about clarified that she was rather shocked by some chap’s drunken actions which revealed some hitherto unannounced sentiments on his part…but that was about it. Probably just as well.