Monday, 18 March 2013

Gigs, colds, snow, driving, fans, show, cake, hi fives.

    I bet you thought we’d forgotten again, hadn’t you? Or maybe you know us better than that and realise that sometimes we just can’t be arsed. But, never mind all that. Here’s a blog that actually contains references to our music. Hooray!

   I’m here to bring you up to date with all our musical shenanigans, and guess what? Our 2013 gigs have begun with screaming vengeance. In a good way. Truth be told, I personally can’t say I was looking forward to getting back in the gigging saddle. Our winter break had left me lethargic, I couldn’t remember any of my parts to any of the songs  and I certainly didn’t want to have to practice. Well slap my face and hush my mouth because every gig so far this year has been awesome. In fact, I’d go as far to say they have been AWESOME.

  It all began again with the rather odd task of setting off for a gig at 9:30am. We had been booked to play two sets on two stages at Moonbeams Folk Weekend in Driffield, the first at noon. The audience could have been described as sporadic, but keen none the less. It was actually an ideal first gig back as it felt like everybody was just waking up from a deep sleep and finding their way into the day. It was helped in no small part by some excellent sound courtesy of  Ian ‘Hippy’ Baker, the only soundman who has ever offered us a choice of entrance music and not batting an eyelid when questioned about his rap and metal collections.
Setlist on the hand.

  Having time to kill until our next set at 8pm, we set about exploring Driffield’s charity shops, eating too much cake, listening to the football and nodding off. Motley Crue we are not. Our second set went well enough and gave us chance to air out some different songs. Despite a distinct lack of Guinness, the audience seemed to enjoy themselves with one particularly enthusiastic man complementing the ’metal’ of my finger-tapping guitar solo during our version of Michael Sembello’s Maniac. I get the impression he’d waited along time to hear such out of place guitar widdle.

  Next, in celebration of International Women’s Day, came a rather rare solo set from Holly. Myself, banished from the event for not being an International Woman, was given the night off to tediously categorise sound equipment (this I actually love to do. Really). Despite reports of Fibbers being “freezing cold and smelling of wee,” the gig itself was considered a success and a wide variety of performers made for an interesting night. Holly reports that even though she had rather wobbly legs from being nervous and her head being cold because of her new ‘up-do’, it was a good thing to test herself on stage playing without me and also airing a new song.

Fibbers (good job no smell-o-vision yet)

   Our busy schedule continued with our own show, The Underground Acoustic Club which takes place rather exclusively twice a year. This time we opened the show for the quite simply wonderful Alastair Artingstall (, who not only played an excellent set but gave us insider knowledge into some top sound engineering skills and helped us pack away, all the time in Cuban heels. Brilliant. Closing the show were our scarily good American friends Stephanie Lambring (www.en-gb.face and Ben Danaher (, who’d come to England all the way from Nashville and seemingly brought some hidden York fans out of the woodwork at the same time. It’s wonderfully refreshing to hear Americana done by actual Americans and everyone seemed very happy with the mix of music and cake (is there a theme here?). Top marks must also go to both Holly’s mum Tricia and brother Mark for manning the doors and the raffle (we raised over £50 for Arts in York Hospital) and to my mum and dad for dealing with the cake requests and braving their loft for fairy lights. Also the fact that anyone came out and paid money for a gig on such a rainy Saturday night was greatly appreciated. Also apologies must go to Ben Danaher, who rather too late realised that our inflatable camp bed had a hole in it.

Underground, overground
   What followed next was that we opened the show for Stephanie and Ben again, this time at the fantastic (makes me very jealous) Wombwell Wheelhouse. It’s a log cabin. For music. With excellent sound. In a garden. With beer. After playing, we were fed pie and peas. I squeezed in more cake. We met Rory, a dog who looks a lot like the Luck Dragon from The Neverending Story, but smaller. Minus the flying (as far as I know). It was an excellent night and huge thanks must go to Hedley and Lynne for being such wonderful hosts.

Rory (Roary?) - AKA The Luck Dragon
   The week after saw us both struck down with various cases of lurgy, myself with the sneezes and Holly with the coughing. We had a gig booked at Cambridge Folk Club at the end of the week, and while I recovered somewhat, Holly’s cough got worse and worse. A quick run through on Thursday night left Holly sounding a bit like Kurt Cobain and a phone call to the promoters telling them it was touch and go. Friday came and it turns out it was go. Were we going to drive the three hours to Cambridge in the pouring rain to snuffle and splutter out way through five songs and then drive all the way back again? You bet we were. Our sound check did little to dispel the idea that we’d made a mistake. Holly was really struggling with her voice and I didn’t have enough breath to sustain long notes, meaning we had to hastily rearrange our setlist to include songs we hadn’t really practised. It wasn’t looking good. To compound all of this, we were supporting local based band The Willows ( who were not only excellent, not only one of the nicest bands you’ll ever meet, but had also sold the club out. It was standing room only. People were hanging out of the fire exit. Suffice to say, when stepping onto the stage, we weren’t at our most confident. What followed was an exceedingly bizarre situation whereby the worse we sounded, the more everyone cheered. We apologised several times. People didn’t care, they loved it. They laughed uproariously at all our befuddled Northern banter. Upon leaving the stage to rapturous applause, people were patting our shoulders and congratulating us. I felt a lot like Hulk Hogan, which was nice. Holly had promised that any money made from our cd sales would go directly to Comic Relief. After stuffing my face with Nachos and Guinness, I wandered to the merch table in the interval to find a queue of people waving cash at me. For some crazy reason, our snotty, coughy set earned £150 for Comic Relief. Top stuff Cambridge, top stuff.

To prove how nice we are.
   Much medicine and Red Bull later, we find ourselves here, right now in the middle of our month of March madness. The end of the month will see us taking in a Southern Tour again, so be sure to stay tuned for more accounts of our travels and hopefully a continued run of excellent gigs.

Until then,