The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #146268   Message #3387097
Posted By: Jim Carroll
07-Aug-12 - 07:57 AM
Thread Name: Peggy Seeger on BBC
Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger on BBC R4's 'Loose Ends'
True I wasn't there - my wife was around the time of the move to the Singers Club, which I visited several times as early as The Pindar of Wakefield and the Boys Club just off Red Lion Square.
Beside the point really - I lived in London for thirty years and visited many/most of the clubs there - we helped start several - Hammersmith Traditional Club, Putney Bridge Folk Club, The Court Sessions, The Railway, Stratford...
I managed to visit most of the traditionally based ones at least once.
The fact remains, if I wanted to hear traditional and traditionally based songs sung well, without compromise in either standard nor in what was presented, The Singers Club always did it for me right up to the time of its demise - I never found that with another club I visited.
I have no idea of how good or bad the Ballads and Blues was - it had gone the way of all flesh when I moved south. From talks with some of the people involved, MacColl and Seeger, Bert Lloyd, Seamus Ennis, Joe Heaney and others, I get a 'curate's eggish' impression, backed up by a poorly recorded radio feature I have here somewhere.
When I moved to London the residents were Ewan, Peggy and Bert, ably backed up by members of The Critics Group, with a guest list to die for - The Stewarts, Jeannie Robertson, Lizzie Higgins, Kevin Mitchell, Willie Scott (I think I saw Harry Cox there once)..... enough to inspire a lifelong interest which hasn't yet diminished.
As far as the Singers Club policy of singing songs in your native language - that's what it was, a policy for the club; it was first mooted by Alan Lomax some time in the early fifties (got to hear him talk about it at Ewan's 70th symposium) to encourage singers to examine their own repertoires rather than to sound like cowboys riding the ranges of Walthamstow and Crouch End - worked like a charm as far as I'm concerned.
Jim Carroll