The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77143 Message #1374117
Posted By: asirovedout
07-Jan-05 - 06:48 PM
Thread Name: Folk music in England.
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
I agree that concerts, musicians' sessions and the dance scene are alive and growing. But clubs are the place where the common folk (not the professionals) sing.
Even as an Old Fart (who never tried to learn guitar, luckily for everyone), I can still agree somewhat with anonymous GUEST's point about old farts.
Quite a few young performers must be grateful that old farts had the patience and empathy to listen to them while they gained performance experience.
But the many clubs where the regulars don't seem to have much to teach them (besides patience) can't expect to appeal to young listeners who grew up with professionally-performed music on call 24 hours a day, or young performers who are passionate about what they want to perform.
Most folk clubs have become comfort zones, and still doing a great job for their regulars - me included - but they don't have enough younger regulars to survive another generation. Then only the concert-style venues will be left. I don't want singing to become purely a spectator sport.
It will unless more clubs manage to dissociate themselves from this image.
Perhaps the very word 'club' - which reeks of exclusivity, antiquity and comfort - should be avoided.
A good example is the 4th Sunday 'singing session' at the Kelham Island Tavern. I reckon that the average age is usually around half that of other clubs I know, and is always well attended. Admittedly it has the advantage of a few regular semi-pro young singers, but older singers that have my respect also go there, and the youngsters can learn from them too.
The word 'session' implies that most people will take an active part, and in this case you get what it says on the tin.
It suggests to me that the established clubs who really want to get younger people through the door need to put a lot of effort into selling whatever they think they have to offer them.