For the first time in my life, I have an acoustic guitar. There have been times when I’ve had the use of one, and a flatmate at university was very complimentary about my playing, even saying that he preferred my playing style on acoustic to electric.

And yet, I’ve never owned an acoustic guitar. I’ve had my eye out for one for a while. A few years ago, I saw just what I wanted on Gumtree, but when I went to try it out I discovered a crack in the heel that would have cost more than it was worth to fix. I kept looking.

Finally, this week, I saw just the thing: a Vintage V300 small-bodied guitar (because I neither need nor want the volume and unwieldiness of a dreadnought) with a solid spruce top, in perfect condition, for a steal of a price only two stops away.

Guitar Magazine called it “the best acoustic guitar under £1000”. For under £100, I’m delighted with it. It will be even better once I’ve adjusted the nut height.

On the other end of things, I sold quite a few bits of electronic musical equipment that I wasn’t making use of. I mostly buy things second hand, which means that I can sell them without much loss. It’s almost like renting. Occasionally, I sell them for more, as is the case with a couple of Mutable Instruments modules that I wasn’t using and which, now that the company has shut down, sold for twice as much as I paid.

It was a real treat to see Eugene Kelly (formerly of the Vaselines) play a few songs at Scotland House on Wednesday. A couple of the numbers (Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam and Molly’s Lips) took me back to playing in a band with a huge Nirvana fan in the 90s.

A man, dressed all in black, plays an acoustic guitar on stage, and leans
forward to sing into the microphone. Behind him, banners read 'Scotland House
London' and 'The Sound of Scotland: A Fantastic Racket'.

Eugene Kelly singing about how Jesus does not, in fact, want him for a sunbeam.

The rest of the event was also excellent, as was the free food (catered by the amazingly-named Auld Hag) and drink (including some very unusual mango and “iron brew” beers from Vault City).

I spent Saturday in Brighton and it was a fantastic day to do so. It was the first time I’ve dared to hope that spring will come again this year.

I finally remembered to look up what on earth the “brass” refers to in “Brass in Pocket” by the Pretenders. I knew that brass means “money” in Northern England, but coming from Chrissie Hynde’s American accent I discounted the possibility. But, apparently, it does mean just that:

I overheard someone inquire if anyone had, ‘Picked up dry cleaning? Any brass in pocket?’ I thought that was a good line.

One less mystery.

Tip of the week for UK denizens: put your postcode into your phone’s custom dictionary, with the first two letters as a shortcut. In my case, this means that I only have to type se to see my full postcode as the first suggested completion, which is far less hassle than juggling between capital letters, digits, and spaces on the phone keyboard. Steve also recommended @ and @@ as shortcuts for personal and work email addresses, and I’m sure you can think of more: phone numbers, the names of your seven or eight children, a favourite curse (I like “Go n-ithe an cat thú, is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat”) etc.