Time for a spot of news from Blackpool. No you haven't strayed into the pages of Salut! Sunderland by mistake - Blackpool suddenly being what we thought we'd never have this season, relegation rivals - but are about to learn a little about a festival being held in the resort next month.
It is a measure of my absences from England in recent years that I am familiar with none of the artists listed as taking part in Barefoot in Babylon, a one-day folk, blues and acoustic music festival on Saturday May 28 (by which time relegation will have been long settled).
So I am going to take my informant Karen Duckworth's word for a lot of things here. First, that it is a "lovely" festival being held a quarter of a mile out into the Irish Sea in the stunning Victorian conservatory at the end of the North Pier".
Can it be as long ago as 1988 that I received a phone call from Hughie Jones telling me the Spinners, formed way back in 1958, had decided to retire?
In those days - and until 2007 - I wrote about folk for The Daily Telegraph.
Whether the call was in 1988, the year usually given for their retirement, or a little later (fittingly, the band played before the Merseyside FA Cup Final of 1989 and more dates in the early 1990s), it was an awful long time ago. As I have mentioned at Mudcat, I remember it vividly for Hughie's mock-defensive opening line, before even introducing himself: "Are you a Spinners hater?"
Show of Hands are touring some of England’s architectural treasures. That is the good news. The bad, for admirers of this duo - actually a trio these days given the welcome inclusion of Miranda Sykes - is that some dates are already sold out.
The 14-date Spires and Beams tour began last night, Oct 22, in Cropredy, not far from the field where I saw them perform so well at the 2007 Fairport Convention festival, and runs to Nov 9.
A young singer songwriter Ruarri Joseph, from Cornwall, provides support.
Show of Hands have their detractors, as a recent thread at Mudcat proved.were I in England, I'd consider the cost of a ticket well spent if they did no more than Cousin Jack, Country Life, Roots, the White (or is it blue for them?) Cockade and one or two others, songs that would istinguish any repertoire.
The remaining dates are:
Thurs Oct 23 BECKENHAM, St George’s 020 8663 6996
Fri 24 FOLKESTONE, Tower Theatre 01303 223925
Sat 25 EASTBOURNE, All Saints Church 01323 841414
Sun 26 LONDON, Union Chapel 020 7605 5255
Wed 29 MARLBOROUGH, St Mary’s Church 01672 512465
Thu 30 CAMBRIDGE, Emmanuel UR Church 01638 603986
Fri 31 WINGFIELD, St Andrew’s Church 01379 384080
Sat Nov 1 ELY Cathedral 01353 740999 SOLD OUT
Tues 04 DARTINGTON Great Hall 01803 847070 SOLD OUT