So, at least in part, the has descended into the usual thing of old men arguing about whether folk clubs are any good.
I don’t go to them very often, but I do know this. Two minutes from my house, I can attend a gathering of people in a room in a pub who sing mainly traditional songs, some accompanied, some unaccompanied. Some of the singers are fucking marvellous, some are a bit shit, most are somewhere in between. The choruses always sound fantastic. There are no guests, no residents, no hierarchy - it’s all about the singing and the songs. It’s not really a folk club, with all that implies, but something far more primal and essential than that: a small community of people gathering together to do what people do - bringing themselves and each other pleasure by singing together.
It’s good and it’s enough. The fact it doesn’t meet some arbitrary folk standard set by someone who is not part of it matters not a shit. It’s what we do, it’s what people have always done and in some ways, it’s a reclaiming of traditional songs from those who would tell us shit we really don’t need to know.