Oh well, I'd managed to not read MC for about a day and I only seem to keep coming back for these threads. Here is what I will try to make a final comment from me:
JeZeBel, I can't remember reading one single instance of Mike objecting to anyone bringing anyone along to play music.
Anyway, here's a little tale from me. I was invited to a session in the Bear and Bells, Beccles on Friday night which I think was a one off event or idea during a carnival.
I got down there, the pub was full and there was a fair ammount of noise in the pub. There were four musicians when I arrived and although the pub was busy, space was made for me and later for a few other arrivals so that the musicians could all sit together. We ended up with 9 players, 3 of whom I'd met before.
Anyway, even though the pub itself was noisy, we were in a corner where we could here each other and things went really well - just trying to think of a few tunes... Willa Fjord, St Annes, Tobins, Lark in The Morning, Salamanca, Silver Spear, Miss McCleods, 9 Pts of Roguery, Muscical Priest, Cooleys, Athol Highlanders, Jig Of Slurs, Dingle Regatta, The Scholar, The Traveler, various polkas... were some of the ones I remember joining in with.
Perhaps the most amazing thing to me was the "audience" decided (I guess as it was a carnival night) to have a whip round for us and we each made £8 on the night (£72 collected for us - plus the landlord got us all a drink).
OK this was exceptional and I can't remember experiencing a night quite like this one before but it is something that obviously can happen on the right night when others get into the music...
I also made a few new friends on the night, in particular, a fiddler who also turned out to be an excellent tenor banjo player - he played mine for a couple of tunes and sounded superb. Another young lad who had a guitar with him also played my banjo and did really well...
Apart from me, there was one other person that since meeting him a few months ago, I learned was a Mudcatter and the rest to the best of my knowledge aren't.
Mudcat can be a great place to make new contacts and new friends - people with similar interests, etc. but life outside can also be great.
I guess my bottom line is: Musicians with Mudcat could be great; Mudcat with Musicans could be great and in both cases, people can gain. But to get the most out of situations, perhaps the main focus of an evening should always be remembered. That way, everyone can enjoy the night.
This IMO goes for any venue.