Belt and Braces

The sad news of the demise of HMV got me thinking (and that’s always bad news!).

Just for a while put on your ‘drug addict I must get a fix’ head on. So the people down the street go to the folk club or for a pizza every Monday without fail. I’m going down there to help myself. You get in and what do you take? Is it the 500+ collection of CD’s in the rack along one wall? Or is it the nice PC, Laptop or TV? It’s a ‘no brainer’ grab the laptop and hop it.

What the hell has that got to do with HMV? Well, two of the main reasons they have gone are our music buying habits. If we want that CD ‘in the flesh’ we go to that site on the interweb named after a long river. But more often than not we download it in the format of our choice. If we get round to it, it may get as far as our phone but that’s about it. Even when we upgrade our laptop the guys at PC Thingamybob transfer our not to be lost files over to the new machine before we give it to next door for the kids to play with. The same goes for our photo’s. One day I’ll print these off, but we never do. Your laptop or PC exits through the patio doors and so do your tunes and pic’s of Aunt Mauds 100th birthday party.

I will get to the point. For £40-£50 you can get yourself an external hard drive the size of a paperback book with enough storage space for a city centre library. To which you can send all those ‘never to be lost’ memories. Then all you have to do is use a few of those brain cells thinking of the best place to hide it!

When you get home following a great night at the folk club and your 60″ TV, XBox and laptop have gone you can rest easy in the fact that your contents insurance will take care of the hardware and your portable hard drive will take care of your memories.


Next week will see the return of gig listings, news of albums and EP’s just around the corner. Also hope to have an ‘essential album’ review.

So it’s love and best wishes from Mr G, Annie and myself, enjoy the folk awards!


I have a feeling you will not have seen one of these before?

Welcome back folks. We have a varied blog for you this week starting with the views on the first edition of the new BBC Folk Show and the explanation of this weeks blog tital.

Following one of our ‘power’ meetings here at FTF Towers Annie was told to go to the listening room with nothing more than headphones a bottle of Merlot and a long straw to give a good listen to the new show. She must have been very nice to Mr G to get that job. I only ever get a bottle of pop!….Over to Annie for her report…..

Bellowhead the energetic 11 strong band opened the show and, in all, played three numbers, 10,000 Miles, Lillibulero and the ever popular Roll the Woodpile Down. Replacing the ‘sacked’ Mike Harding (host of the show for some 15 years) is the nervous sounding Mark Radclffe. The Folk Show must go on and rumour has it that despite the publicity both are still good pals. The show remains true to it’s folk and acoustic traditions and in my opinion the live interviews and sessions give it a contemporary feel which I like.With a glass of Merlot in my hand I felt I was at the gig! Could Mike Harding have presented this new concept? Yes, did BBC Radio 2 want to play folk music while avoiding beard growth!!! Maybe.

Thanks for that Annie and hope you enjoyed your wine?

Now back to that strange tital to this weeks post.

Now take a look at the following photo….what do you see (apart from a well used case)?

A bouzouki…right? Wrong, take another gander…a bouzouki with half the strings missing? Wrong, now here is where the quality of photo does not help. Now go to the fifth fret and you can just spot a tuning peg. Yep you have got it, a bouzouki body with a five string banjo neck! A ‘banjolouki’? Well thats what Rosie @banjoloukiHQ says it’s called and is the proud owner and as far as she knows it started life just the way it is now. I would love to know how it sounds. Maybe one day. She is a first class ‘tweeter’ and well worth a ‘follow’ any day of the week.

Sorry must cut short here as I managed to delete first copy of this post so this is a ‘rush job’. Promised mentions and links in next post….bye for now.

Louki 1

I am not about to do a ‘Septic Peg’ and guess what 2013 holds…..

All the same, “Happy New Year” to one and all. One thing I will do is place a bet that 2013 is going to be drier but I could be wrong!!!!

First, a quick catch up from ‘our Annie’ who (lucky girl) managed to catch the Bristol leg of the Kate Rusby ’20’ tour. The 20 meaning 20 years on the road!!!

Anyway, take it away Annie :-

Colston Hall, Bristol, 13th December.

If you think the likes of Wham or Slade have the perfect compilation of festive tunes you clearly have not seen or heard Kate Rusby at Christmas. Kate is a folk singer of the highest order from deepest South Yorkshire and in addition to those tunes she has a warm heart and many a story to tell which she shares with all on a regular basis and you never tire of hearing them, just super!

Kate opens with a rendition of ‘Cranbrook’ which is interesting in itself as three versions of ‘While Shepherds Watch’ in different guises appear throughout the set.

She also performs ‘Little Town of Bethlehem’ then tells the story of the school nativity play and playing the part of Angel Gabriel required wings which her mum kindly made from feathers from the family cushions.

Post interval Kate appears clutching yet another ‘cuppa’ as well as scarf and gloves and jokes that the heating could have been turned on a little earlier!

The highlight of the set was ‘Here We come a Wassailing’ and her ‘band’ from all corners of the country just add to the overall Rusby experience. All the people who came away from this concert were full of Christmas cheer and the enjoyment Kate Rusby has given us and best of all, we have another 20 to look forward to. I for one cannot wait and I bet she makes a great mum too!!!

Thanks to Annie for that.

It’s ‘plug time’ again.

I have had my ears on ‘Under a Banner’ for what must be getting on for a year now and I’m pleased to let you know that if you drop Adam a mail ( he would be very happy to help part you from a very small amount of money for one of those CD things full of ace tunes to boogy on down to. Seriously they are good.

At long last I seem to have all the contact details for Louise Hamilton aka Flaming June all in one place. As we know by now she wears several ‘hats’ so here goes.

Flaming June the band :- Twitter @flamingjuneuk (this will also reach her for her anti abuse work), Her anti abuse blog, No doubt if I have missed owt she will let me know!!!

Just ‘afore’ I go I have a quick ‘One to Watch’. That should say, three to watch, ‘Said The Maiden’ are a trio of lady types with real belting voices and tunes to match. Catch them at Will do a ‘bio’ on them next post.

Last of all. Jools Hootnanny last night (new years eve), what a mix as usual but good to see the Dubliners with Gerry O’Connor standing in for ‘Banjo Barney’ a good choice if ever their was one!

Anyway have a great 2013, hope to catch you at a gig or festival this year and hows about a party for my 60th birthday!

Twitter:- @folktalkinfolk, Mail:-, Moan:- 07563949114