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Collapse of the Folk Clubs

Les in Chorlton 01 May 07 - 04:53 AM
George Papavgeris 01 May 07 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,It was the the raffle 01 May 07 - 05:14 AM
Pilgrim 01 May 07 - 05:25 AM
Les in Chorlton 01 May 07 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 01 May 07 - 05:29 AM
bubblyrat 01 May 07 - 05:43 AM
Sandra in Sydney 01 May 07 - 05:49 AM
Betsy 01 May 07 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,Helen 01 May 07 - 07:46 AM
Grab 01 May 07 - 07:49 AM
Liz the Squeak 01 May 07 - 08:00 AM
Mark Dowding 01 May 07 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,It was the raffle 01 May 07 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Sooz (at work) 01 May 07 - 08:24 AM
Les in Chorlton 01 May 07 - 08:37 AM
Leadfingers 01 May 07 - 09:08 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 May 07 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,RamblinStu 01 May 07 - 09:27 AM
Liz the Squeak 01 May 07 - 09:30 AM
George Papavgeris 01 May 07 - 09:48 AM
Folkie 01 May 07 - 09:57 AM
Tim theTwangler 01 May 07 - 10:07 AM
greg stephens 01 May 07 - 10:13 AM
Tim theTwangler 01 May 07 - 10:14 AM
Grimmy 01 May 07 - 10:42 AM
Folkiedave 01 May 07 - 11:13 AM
Grimmy 01 May 07 - 11:45 AM
14fret 01 May 07 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Geoff Wright 01 May 07 - 11:56 AM
concertina ceol 01 May 07 - 11:57 AM
Folkiedave 01 May 07 - 12:32 PM
greg stephens 01 May 07 - 12:35 PM
Dave Sutherland 01 May 07 - 12:47 PM
Darowyn 01 May 07 - 12:53 PM
Richard Bridge 01 May 07 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,SINSULL at work 01 May 07 - 01:05 PM
MikeofNorthumbria 01 May 07 - 01:16 PM
The Sandman 01 May 07 - 01:49 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 May 07 - 01:54 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 01 May 07 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,wordy 01 May 07 - 02:19 PM
The Borchester Echo 01 May 07 - 02:31 PM
Mikefule 01 May 07 - 02:34 PM
henryclem 01 May 07 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 01 May 07 - 03:52 PM
greg stephens 01 May 07 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 01 May 07 - 04:06 PM
Bernard 01 May 07 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 01 May 07 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Terry Mc Donald 01 May 07 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 01 May 07 - 06:22 PM
Bernard 01 May 07 - 06:56 PM
Les in Chorlton 02 May 07 - 03:53 AM
Dick The Box 02 May 07 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 02 May 07 - 02:03 PM
greg stephens 02 May 07 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 02 May 07 - 02:49 PM
greg stephens 02 May 07 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 02 May 07 - 02:56 PM
stallion 02 May 07 - 06:56 PM
GUEST 03 May 07 - 03:26 AM
The Borchester Echo 03 May 07 - 03:39 AM
GUEST,MAD JOCK 03 May 07 - 04:35 AM
GUEST,Mad Jock 03 May 07 - 04:36 AM
Folkiedave 03 May 07 - 04:55 AM
Hawker 03 May 07 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,Helen 03 May 07 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,Nicholas Waller 03 May 07 - 06:57 AM
The Borchester Echo 03 May 07 - 07:22 AM
The Villan 03 May 07 - 08:03 AM
The Borchester Echo 03 May 07 - 08:14 AM
The Villan 03 May 07 - 08:20 AM
The Borchester Echo 03 May 07 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,wordy 03 May 07 - 09:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 03 May 07 - 10:10 AM
The Borchester Echo 03 May 07 - 10:33 AM
Folkiedave 03 May 07 - 10:41 AM
The Borchester Echo 03 May 07 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,wordy 03 May 07 - 11:10 AM
The Borchester Echo 03 May 07 - 11:32 AM
Folkiedave 03 May 07 - 11:51 AM
GUEST 03 May 07 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,wordy 03 May 07 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,wordy 03 May 07 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,wordy 03 May 07 - 12:34 PM
Mikefule 03 May 07 - 01:17 PM
The Borchester Echo 03 May 07 - 01:27 PM
The Villan 03 May 07 - 01:33 PM
The Borchester Echo 03 May 07 - 01:45 PM
Folkiedave 03 May 07 - 01:53 PM
The Villan 03 May 07 - 02:14 PM
The Borchester Echo 03 May 07 - 02:37 PM
Folkiedave 03 May 07 - 03:01 PM
The Villan 03 May 07 - 03:13 PM
The Borchester Echo 03 May 07 - 03:40 PM
The Sandman 03 May 07 - 06:25 PM
The Sandman 03 May 07 - 06:26 PM
The Sandman 03 May 07 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,wordy 03 May 07 - 09:45 PM
GUEST 04 May 07 - 02:47 AM
The Villan 04 May 07 - 02:55 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 May 07 - 03:26 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 May 07 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,wordy 04 May 07 - 06:24 AM
The Villan 04 May 07 - 06:31 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 May 07 - 06:38 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 May 07 - 07:06 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 May 07 - 07:09 AM
The Villan 04 May 07 - 07:32 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 May 07 - 07:38 AM
The Villan 04 May 07 - 07:41 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 May 07 - 07:43 AM
The Villan 04 May 07 - 07:45 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 May 07 - 07:49 AM
The Villan 04 May 07 - 07:53 AM
Georgiansilver 04 May 07 - 08:23 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 May 07 - 08:26 AM
greg stephens 04 May 07 - 08:29 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 May 07 - 08:32 AM
Mr Happy 04 May 07 - 08:32 AM
Georgiansilver 04 May 07 - 08:36 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 May 07 - 08:37 AM
manitas_at_work 04 May 07 - 08:41 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 May 07 - 08:41 AM
Mr Happy 04 May 07 - 10:24 AM
Strollin' Johnny 04 May 07 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,Mr Middle England 04 May 07 - 11:38 AM
Mr Happy 04 May 07 - 11:53 AM
Georgiansilver 04 May 07 - 12:08 PM
Lonesome EJ 04 May 07 - 12:10 PM
Georgiansilver 04 May 07 - 12:26 PM
Les in Chorlton 04 May 07 - 12:27 PM
Joe Offer 04 May 07 - 02:44 PM
The Borchester Echo 04 May 07 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,wordy 04 May 07 - 02:52 PM
Partridge 04 May 07 - 03:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 May 07 - 03:52 PM
The Borchester Echo 04 May 07 - 04:40 PM
jacqui.c 04 May 07 - 05:09 PM
Dave Earl 04 May 07 - 05:24 PM
Georgiansilver 04 May 07 - 07:31 PM
The Villan 04 May 07 - 08:31 PM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 01:10 AM
The Villan 05 May 07 - 03:11 AM
GUEST,John Blanks 05 May 07 - 03:42 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 04:06 AM
stallion 05 May 07 - 04:11 AM
stallion 05 May 07 - 04:21 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 04:33 AM
Georgiansilver 05 May 07 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,John Blanks 05 May 07 - 04:49 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 04:52 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 04:57 AM
Georgiansilver 05 May 07 - 04:59 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 05:01 AM
stallion 05 May 07 - 05:16 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 05:22 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,John Blanks 05 May 07 - 05:29 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,John Blanks 05 May 07 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,John Blanks 05 May 07 - 05:38 AM
Dave Earl 05 May 07 - 05:39 AM
Georgiansilver 05 May 07 - 05:40 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 05:40 AM
Georgiansilver 05 May 07 - 05:44 AM
stallion 05 May 07 - 05:46 AM
The Villan 05 May 07 - 05:54 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 06:04 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 06:20 AM
The Villan 05 May 07 - 06:20 AM
Les in Chorlton 05 May 07 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,John Blanks 05 May 07 - 06:35 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 06:37 AM
The Villan 05 May 07 - 06:43 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 06:43 AM
Ian Burdon 05 May 07 - 06:44 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 06:45 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 07:14 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,John Blanks 05 May 07 - 07:44 AM
Dave Earl 05 May 07 - 07:47 AM
Dave Earl 05 May 07 - 07:52 AM
Georgiansilver 05 May 07 - 07:57 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 08:09 AM
Dave Earl 05 May 07 - 08:50 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 09:12 AM
Dave Earl 05 May 07 - 09:40 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 09:46 AM
Georgiansilver 05 May 07 - 02:15 PM
GUEST 05 May 07 - 03:00 PM
The Villan 05 May 07 - 03:10 PM
Lonesome EJ 05 May 07 - 03:10 PM
Georgiansilver 05 May 07 - 04:08 PM
breezy 05 May 07 - 04:14 PM
The Villan 05 May 07 - 04:19 PM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 04:50 PM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 04:55 PM
The Borchester Echo 05 May 07 - 04:57 PM
The Villan 05 May 07 - 05:09 PM
The Villan 05 May 07 - 05:14 PM
jacqui.c 05 May 07 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,The Folk Police 05 May 07 - 05:28 PM
The Villan 05 May 07 - 05:33 PM
Georgiansilver 05 May 07 - 06:18 PM
The Villan 05 May 07 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,A well wisher. 05 May 07 - 08:06 PM
Cathie 05 May 07 - 09:44 PM
Strollin' Johnny 06 May 07 - 02:09 AM
Richard Bridge 06 May 07 - 03:24 AM
The Borchester Echo 06 May 07 - 03:29 AM
Manitas_at_home 06 May 07 - 03:58 AM
The Borchester Echo 06 May 07 - 04:11 AM
breezy 06 May 07 - 04:14 AM
Sooz 06 May 07 - 04:24 AM
Dave Sutherland 06 May 07 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,SuperStar 06 May 07 - 07:20 AM
GUEST,The Mysterious Well Wisher. 06 May 07 - 07:40 AM
The Borchester Echo 06 May 07 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,TMWW 06 May 07 - 08:14 AM
The Borchester Echo 06 May 07 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,TMWW 06 May 07 - 09:01 AM
Tootler 06 May 07 - 09:12 AM
The Borchester Echo 06 May 07 - 09:28 AM
Jeri 06 May 07 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,wordy 06 May 07 - 10:10 AM
Tim theTwangler 06 May 07 - 10:42 AM
The Villan 06 May 07 - 12:31 PM
Tootler 06 May 07 - 05:08 PM
melodeonboy 06 May 07 - 07:13 PM
Tootler 06 May 07 - 07:55 PM
GUEST,Steve-Cooperator 07 May 07 - 04:40 AM
The Borchester Echo 07 May 07 - 04:50 AM
GUEST 07 May 07 - 05:17 AM
The Borchester Echo 07 May 07 - 05:58 AM
GUEST 07 May 07 - 07:01 AM
The Borchester Echo 07 May 07 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Guest. 07 May 07 - 07:57 AM
Tootler 07 May 07 - 10:35 AM
Jack Campin 07 May 07 - 11:11 AM
The Borchester Echo 07 May 07 - 11:25 AM
GUEST 07 May 07 - 02:06 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 May 07 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 07 May 07 - 02:44 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 May 07 - 02:54 PM
George Papavgeris 07 May 07 - 03:16 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 May 07 - 03:25 PM
George Papavgeris 07 May 07 - 03:36 PM
George Papavgeris 07 May 07 - 03:38 PM
shepherdlass 07 May 07 - 03:47 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 May 07 - 03:51 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 May 07 - 03:54 PM
stallion 07 May 07 - 04:01 PM
breezy 07 May 07 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,wordy 07 May 07 - 07:35 PM
Tim theTwangler 07 May 07 - 11:06 PM
Richard Bridge 08 May 07 - 02:21 AM
stallion 08 May 07 - 04:51 AM
Richard Bridge 08 May 07 - 07:18 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 May 07 - 07:19 AM
Richard Bridge 08 May 07 - 07:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 May 07 - 07:51 AM
Doug Chadwick 08 May 07 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Woman and Folk Club Organiser 08 May 07 - 09:34 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 May 07 - 10:18 AM
Richard Bridge 08 May 07 - 05:02 PM
Folkiedave 08 May 07 - 05:13 PM
Richard Bridge 09 May 07 - 03:04 AM
Folkiedave 09 May 07 - 04:35 AM
manitas_at_work 09 May 07 - 06:07 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 May 07 - 06:09 AM
Jack Campin 09 May 07 - 06:34 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 May 07 - 06:47 AM
The Villan 09 May 07 - 02:59 PM
breezy 09 May 07 - 03:59 PM
Folkiedave 10 May 07 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,Mad Jock 10 May 07 - 05:25 AM
GUEST 10 May 07 - 05:58 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 May 07 - 06:36 AM
GUEST 10 May 07 - 07:52 AM
stallion 10 May 07 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,jOhn 12 May 07 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,Richard Bridge in Nottingham 12 May 07 - 08:40 AM
The Borchester Echo 12 May 07 - 10:11 AM
Les in Chorlton 12 May 07 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Mr Gubbins (no, not that one) 12 May 07 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,Mr Gubbins (no, not that one) 12 May 07 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,Mr Gubbins (no, not that one) 12 May 07 - 01:32 PM
Les in Chorlton 12 May 07 - 02:34 PM
GUEST,Mr Gubbins (no, not that one) 12 May 07 - 02:35 PM
Les in Chorlton 12 May 07 - 06:44 PM
jargarmani 12 May 07 - 07:32 PM
Les in Chorlton 13 May 07 - 02:50 AM
Les in Chorlton 13 May 07 - 02:51 AM
Georgiansilver 13 May 07 - 04:00 AM
Les in Chorlton 13 May 07 - 04:21 AM
breezy 13 May 07 - 04:52 AM
The Villan 13 May 07 - 05:58 AM
breezy 13 May 07 - 06:14 AM
Georgiansilver 13 May 07 - 08:13 AM
Les in Chorlton 13 May 07 - 08:55 AM
Georgiansilver 13 May 07 - 10:29 AM
Georgiansilver 13 May 07 - 10:53 AM
TheSnail 13 May 07 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,FiddlyTee 13 May 07 - 08:43 PM
Richard Bridge 13 May 07 - 10:33 PM
melodeonboy 14 May 07 - 11:59 AM
GUEST 22 May 07 - 02:30 PM
Folkiedave 23 May 07 - 05:15 AM
GUEST 23 May 07 - 05:39 AM
TheSnail 23 May 07 - 06:44 AM
Pilgrim 23 May 07 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 23 May 07 - 07:12 AM
The Borchester Echo 23 May 07 - 07:17 AM
The Borchester Echo 23 May 07 - 07:20 AM
Folkiedave 23 May 07 - 07:39 AM
TheSnail 23 May 07 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,tom bliss 23 May 07 - 09:35 AM
The Sandman 23 May 07 - 10:04 AM
Folkiedave 23 May 07 - 11:42 AM
Backwoodsman 23 May 07 - 12:07 PM
Nick 23 May 07 - 12:14 PM
Folkiedave 23 May 07 - 12:30 PM
TheSnail 23 May 07 - 12:49 PM
TheSnail 23 May 07 - 12:57 PM
Folkiedave 23 May 07 - 01:28 PM
Les in Chorlton 23 May 07 - 02:11 PM
GUEST 23 May 07 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Spidey Bobe 23 May 07 - 02:32 PM
Richard Bridge 23 May 07 - 02:33 PM
TheSnail 23 May 07 - 02:38 PM
GUEST 24 May 07 - 01:55 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 May 07 - 02:34 AM
Ian Burdon 24 May 07 - 02:47 AM
Dave Earl 24 May 07 - 02:51 AM
Captain Ginger 24 May 07 - 03:37 AM
Richard Bridge 24 May 07 - 04:14 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 May 07 - 04:45 AM
Georgiansilver 24 May 07 - 05:19 AM
The Barden of England 24 May 07 - 06:30 AM
The Sandman 24 May 07 - 06:54 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 May 07 - 07:06 AM
Richard Bridge 24 May 07 - 07:18 AM
TheSnail 24 May 07 - 07:47 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 May 07 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,edthefolkie 24 May 07 - 07:52 AM
Folkiedave 24 May 07 - 08:14 AM
TheSnail 24 May 07 - 09:13 AM
Folkiedave 24 May 07 - 10:01 AM
GUEST,mad jock 24 May 07 - 10:05 AM
Folkiedave 24 May 07 - 10:15 AM
Dave Earl 24 May 07 - 10:46 AM
TheSnail 24 May 07 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 24 May 07 - 11:34 AM
Folkiedave 24 May 07 - 12:01 PM
Captain Ginger 24 May 07 - 02:51 PM
Georgiansilver 24 May 07 - 04:09 PM
The Borchester Echo 24 May 07 - 04:40 PM
Richard Bridge 24 May 07 - 05:38 PM
The Borchester Echo 24 May 07 - 05:47 PM
Richard Bridge 24 May 07 - 05:51 PM
Stringsinger 24 May 07 - 05:53 PM
Richard Bridge 24 May 07 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,wordy 24 May 07 - 06:28 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 May 07 - 08:41 PM
Nick 24 May 07 - 08:48 PM
GUEST 25 May 07 - 03:32 AM
TheSnail 25 May 07 - 03:47 AM
Richard Bridge 25 May 07 - 03:49 AM
Captain Ginger 25 May 07 - 04:08 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 May 07 - 04:09 AM
Les in Chorlton 25 May 07 - 04:17 AM
TheSnail 25 May 07 - 04:49 AM
TheSnail 25 May 07 - 04:53 AM
Folkiedave 25 May 07 - 04:54 AM
Dave the Gnome 25 May 07 - 04:55 AM
Richard Bridge 25 May 07 - 05:08 AM
The Borchester Echo 25 May 07 - 05:22 AM
Backwoodsman 25 May 07 - 08:05 AM
Tootler 25 May 07 - 02:18 PM
Folkiedave 25 May 07 - 02:25 PM
Richard Bridge 25 May 07 - 02:29 PM
GUEST 25 May 07 - 03:58 PM
Folkiedave 25 May 07 - 05:25 PM
Tootler 25 May 07 - 07:31 PM
Georgiansilver 25 May 07 - 07:44 PM
Richard Bridge 26 May 07 - 02:54 AM
GUEST 26 May 07 - 02:57 AM
The Borchester Echo 26 May 07 - 03:06 AM
Backwoodsman 26 May 07 - 03:56 AM
The Villan 26 May 07 - 04:20 AM
GUEST 26 May 07 - 04:32 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 May 07 - 05:03 AM
Backwoodsman 26 May 07 - 05:28 AM
Georgiansilver 26 May 07 - 05:52 AM
Richard Bridge 26 May 07 - 06:50 AM
The Sandman 26 May 07 - 07:02 AM
The Borchester Echo 26 May 07 - 07:12 AM
The Borchester Echo 26 May 07 - 07:20 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 May 07 - 07:35 AM
Backwoodsman 26 May 07 - 07:55 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 May 07 - 08:01 AM
Richard Bridge 26 May 07 - 08:06 AM
Backwoodsman 26 May 07 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 26 May 07 - 10:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 May 07 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 26 May 07 - 01:43 PM
Backwoodsman 26 May 07 - 01:59 PM
Folkiedave 26 May 07 - 02:05 PM
GUEST 26 May 07 - 02:44 PM
The Borchester Echo 26 May 07 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 26 May 07 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,wordy 26 May 07 - 02:58 PM
The Villan 26 May 07 - 03:03 PM
Big Al Whittle 26 May 07 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 26 May 07 - 03:51 PM
jacqui.c 26 May 07 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 26 May 07 - 04:07 PM
Folkiedave 26 May 07 - 04:37 PM
melodeonboy 26 May 07 - 05:55 PM
Folkiedave 26 May 07 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,wordy 26 May 07 - 06:36 PM
GUEST 26 May 07 - 07:06 PM
Big Al Whittle 26 May 07 - 08:05 PM
Backwoodsman 27 May 07 - 02:44 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 May 07 - 03:01 AM
Richard Bridge 27 May 07 - 03:03 AM
Georgiansilver 27 May 07 - 04:15 AM
GUEST,Spidey Bobe 27 May 07 - 04:23 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 27 May 07 - 05:38 AM
Folkiedave 27 May 07 - 06:27 AM
Backwoodsman 27 May 07 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Peter Stockport 27 May 07 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 27 May 07 - 10:01 AM
The Sandman 27 May 07 - 10:10 AM
Folkiedave 27 May 07 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Spidey Bobe 27 May 07 - 01:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 May 07 - 03:06 PM
Folkiedave 27 May 07 - 03:18 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 May 07 - 04:18 PM
Backwoodsman 27 May 07 - 04:56 PM
Folkiedave 27 May 07 - 05:15 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 May 07 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,Peter Stockport 27 May 07 - 06:15 PM
Backwoodsman 28 May 07 - 01:31 AM
Georgiansilver 28 May 07 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,Spidey Bobe 28 May 07 - 05:14 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 28 May 07 - 06:10 AM
The Borchester Echo 28 May 07 - 06:56 AM
Folkiedave 28 May 07 - 07:16 AM
Backwoodsman 28 May 07 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Santa 28 May 07 - 11:04 AM
Folkiedave 28 May 07 - 11:40 AM
melodeonboy 28 May 07 - 01:28 PM
the fence 28 May 07 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Santa 28 May 07 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 28 May 07 - 05:18 PM
Tootler 28 May 07 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Santa. 28 May 07 - 06:16 PM
Folkiedave 28 May 07 - 07:20 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 May 07 - 07:46 PM
Georgiansilver 29 May 07 - 03:28 AM
GUEST,MusicMan 29 May 07 - 03:48 AM
GUEST 29 May 07 - 03:58 AM
The Borchester Echo 29 May 07 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 29 May 07 - 04:45 AM
Captain Ginger 29 May 07 - 04:49 AM
Backwoodsman 29 May 07 - 04:58 AM
Folkiedave 29 May 07 - 06:52 AM
Kevin Sheils 29 May 07 - 07:30 AM
Folkiedave 29 May 07 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,Phil Williams 29 May 07 - 12:52 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 May 07 - 07:54 PM
Gulliver 29 May 07 - 08:57 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 May 07 - 04:12 AM
Folkiedave 30 May 07 - 04:35 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 May 07 - 04:37 AM
GUEST 30 May 07 - 04:50 AM
Folkiedave 30 May 07 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 30 May 07 - 05:26 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 May 07 - 05:45 AM
Dave Earl 30 May 07 - 06:18 AM
The Borchester Echo 30 May 07 - 06:43 AM
Dave Earl 30 May 07 - 07:14 AM
Richard Bridge 30 May 07 - 07:33 AM
The Borchester Echo 30 May 07 - 08:25 AM
The Sandman 30 May 07 - 10:19 AM
Dave Earl 30 May 07 - 10:27 AM
The Borchester Echo 30 May 07 - 10:52 AM
Dave Earl 30 May 07 - 11:26 AM
greg stephens 30 May 07 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 30 May 07 - 12:19 PM
The Borchester Echo 30 May 07 - 12:51 PM
TheSnail 30 May 07 - 01:08 PM
Vincent van - GO! 30 May 07 - 01:35 PM
Dave Earl 30 May 07 - 01:36 PM
The Sandman 30 May 07 - 01:49 PM
Folkiedave 30 May 07 - 02:21 PM
Folkiedave 30 May 07 - 02:21 PM
TheSnail 30 May 07 - 02:27 PM
The Borchester Echo 30 May 07 - 02:29 PM
Folkiedave 30 May 07 - 02:51 PM
The Borchester Echo 30 May 07 - 02:56 PM
GUEST 30 May 07 - 02:57 PM
Dave Earl 30 May 07 - 03:17 PM
The Borchester Echo 30 May 07 - 03:33 PM
TheSnail 30 May 07 - 03:43 PM
TheSnail 30 May 07 - 03:55 PM
The Sandman 30 May 07 - 03:55 PM
The Borchester Echo 30 May 07 - 04:03 PM
TheSnail 30 May 07 - 04:17 PM
TheSnail 30 May 07 - 04:25 PM
Folkiedave 30 May 07 - 04:26 PM
TheSnail 30 May 07 - 04:41 PM
Dave Sutherland 30 May 07 - 04:58 PM
Folkiedave 30 May 07 - 05:48 PM
Dave Earl 30 May 07 - 06:02 PM
TheSnail 30 May 07 - 06:06 PM
redsnapper 31 May 07 - 05:42 AM
TheSnail 31 May 07 - 05:50 AM
redsnapper 31 May 07 - 06:22 AM
GUEST 01 Jun 07 - 01:50 AM
Sooz 01 Jun 07 - 02:15 AM
Folkiedave 01 Jun 07 - 04:15 AM
Valmai Goodyear 01 Jun 07 - 04:30 AM
Dave Earl 01 Jun 07 - 04:32 AM
TheSnail 01 Jun 07 - 05:39 AM
Georgiansilver 01 Jun 07 - 05:44 AM
TheSnail 01 Jun 07 - 05:55 AM
TheSnail 01 Jun 07 - 06:03 AM
Sooz 01 Jun 07 - 06:31 AM
Dave Earl 01 Jun 07 - 07:21 AM
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Subject: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 May 07 - 04:53 AM

In the late '60s through to the late 70's thousands and thousands of Folk Clubs existed. Almost every town and city and lots of vil-lages had clubs.

Then they started to close - many never to re-open. Why did the Folk Club scene collapse?

I offer:

1. The quality of some, many?, was low
2. Their is a limit to the number of times anyone can enjoy the cannon of "popular folk songs"
3. It was a generational thing - we all went off to have children
4. The climate of 80s Thatcherism was running elswhere
5. Punk was much more exciting and then them New Romantics?

Things are looking more promising at the moment but what can we learn from last time?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 May 07 - 05:07 AM

No 3, then No 1 for me. But all of those have surely played their role, with different people.

The biggest single block for the future IMHO is still the generational thing; I mean, that it is viewed as a pastime for a certain generation, by many. Sort of like knitting or baking. This gets exacerbated by many club organisers simply wanting to preserve what they are used to, and are resistant to change or moving outside their comfort zone.

Old clubs that have broken the mould, and new ones inventing "new moulds" for the younger generations, stand the better chance, I think.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,It was the the raffle
Date: 01 May 07 - 05:14 AM

Why did the Folk Club scene collapse?

Simple answer is that it didn't.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Pilgrim
Date: 01 May 07 - 05:25 AM

In the Manchester area, I can go to a folk club any night of the week I choose. If I visit my sister in York at the weekend, the situation is the same. When I went on a training course in Milton Keynes, I just put Folk Club Milton Keynes in google and found a terrific little session in The Cannon, Newport Pagnell for that night. I'm in Liverpool tomorrow night and there is a session listed on Folk Orbit very close to where I will be. Coincidence, or indicative of a scene that, rather than collapsed, is flourishing? I know where my vote lies.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 May 07 - 05:26 AM

Perhaps collapse is too strong a word but a lot of clubs closed How many are left from a high point? 20% 10%?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 01 May 07 - 05:29 AM

Raffleperson, maybe you're right that collapse is too strong a word, but Napper tells me of the good old days when you could tour for a whole week in just Cornwall, say, or East Scotland. Towns had dozens of clubs, and many people went to a different one every night of the week. Now the distance between clubs seems almost to be defined as double the length of time people are prepared to drive home afterwards - like the distribution of market towns being defined by a day's walk. George is right. That's why we've started the new clubs e-list, and can only hope that a lifeltime's wisdom on what makes a good club good will be passed to new hands.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: bubblyrat
Date: 01 May 07 - 05:43 AM

I come from Henley-On-Thames, and,years ago, in the sixties, that area was a folk "wilderness ", no club, no local musicians, no morris sides, or none of those three that I ever saw or heard of !! But nowadays, it"s BRILLIANT !! Nearby Nettlebed has one of the premier folk-clubs in the country, and equally nearby Wallingford has at least 3 pub sessions a month, usually with Bill McKinnon, and of course the annual Bunkfest. Then there"s "Readifolk" every week at Caversham, and Knowl Hill isn"t that far away for seeing Leadfingers ( and George !! ).   What next ??---The Cookham Cloggers? The Rotherfield Rappers?? Mapledurham Molly ?? Who knows?? ( I moved back to Henley to live YESTERDAY ( !! ) , so lots of things to go to and see now, I"m glad to say ! )


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 01 May 07 - 05:49 AM

Fashions change - and generations rise & fall -

I have a good friend who had a folkie flatmate in the 70's & was overwhelmed with folk music, till he ran away! He won't come to my club, but he has enjoyed the singing at my birthday parties.

I have a newspaper clipping somewhere advertising a festival. It has an interview with a High School Irish band (The Forrs! - well, there are 4 of them) & they said all their friends thought Folk Music was for Seniors.

Greater Sydney now has 9 or 10 clubs spread between the coast & mountains, and an unknown number of Irish & other sessions in pubs, there would have been dozens in the 70's. The Bush Music Club's walls are covered with posters from long past concerts, festivals & folk clubs.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Betsy
Date: 01 May 07 - 06:30 AM

The concern is that there are not many young 'uns going to them , and if they don't learn the songs, tunes and dances , what was it all for?.
Any young 'uns that are any good - instantly go to the concert circuit.
They should get Folk into into school - and learn to play enjoyable music skiffly stuff / make their own tea chest base(s)- get them playing music for fun and see what rubs off   
Aye,the big problem was ,lots of us had Kids ,(and worked too
f#¤%king hard / mortgages etc. etc !!! ) but now it's a pleasure to drop in to a Club, where many people who didn't play or sing in their younger days are doing exactly that.
There's always money for Opera, Classical Jazz , and all that sort of stuff , but mention our own roots music and they all become sophisticated and cite that it would be socially devisive to encourage such narrow tastes as Folk Music.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Helen
Date: 01 May 07 - 07:46 AM

My guess is that there are about half the clubs now compared to say 1980 (perhaps 250 - 300 rather than 600.) But the big difference for me is university/college clubs. In the 70's every Uni had a club. Now ...? But things aren't so bad. Here in the NE I can certainly still get to a club every night of the week within easy travelling distance(although that is now probably 30 miles rather than 3!) and for some days there are choices of clubs. New ones opening round here as well and some young blood. But I agree with Betsy. School introduced so many of us to it and that doesn't happen anymore. Fashion plays a part too - Fairport & Steeleye were 'cool' when I was young. Groups like the Corrs nowadays are doing the same job of capturing the imagination in todays teens/twenties.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Grab
Date: 01 May 07 - 07:49 AM

Tom, would that mean that the rise in the use of cars and the tendency to travel further afield for a session has contributed, then?

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 May 07 - 08:00 AM

I'm sure that the demise of compulsory music lessons in primary education has played a large part in the reduction of folk and accoustic music, just as the withdrawal of domestic science lessons has lead to a huge rise in food poisoning and poor nutrition.

The lack of all inclusive music lessons has meant that children of all backgrounds are only exposed to the music of their peers. If your house is filled with folk music, they'll assimilate it, but if all their school friends are playing hip hop, garage, house or rap, that's what they'll be interested in. When was the last time you heard a kid in a playground or at a bus stop demand their co-horts listen to the latest Martin Carthy record?

Limpit attends a school that has a huge interest in music - there are several choirs, orchestra, recorder lessons, violin lessons - but there is no time when the whole class sit together and learn to appreciate the music of history or the music of geography. Consequently, she is only interested in the music she is exposed to by her peers and by us.

She has expressed an interest in folk songs, she's even sung one in public at the age of 5, but her school friends have had no exposure to folk music, so she gets laughed at; as a result, she distances herself from it and has turned headbanger (my influence... sorry!).

I'm sure she'll 'return to the true path' as it were, because we'll continue to expose her to ceilidhs, folk CDs and singarounds, but it could take some time.. after all, when did you learn to ignore those who laughed at you and to walk your own path?

LTS


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 01 May 07 - 08:05 AM

I don't know how many mudcatters are music teachers in school - not sure if music in primary/junior school is still part of the curriculum (or even secondary school come to that) but I know a couple of music teachers who get pissed off when somebody wants to hi-jack their lesson to get someone in to show them a load of instruments and sing a few songs. It means that whatever the teacher had planned goes out of the window. The music lesson is always the one that other teachers pull pupils out of for other activities whatever they might be.
I'd be interested to know what the opinion of teachers is regarding importing folkies into the music lesson. There will probably be a bias towards favouring this because of the nature of this forum but if anybody feels the same as the people I've spoken to then please feel free to vent your spleen!

Cheers
Mark


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,It was the raffle
Date: 01 May 07 - 08:14 AM

Raffleperson, maybe you're right that collapse is too strong a word, but Napper tells me of the good old days when you could tour for a whole week in just Cornwall, say, or East Scotland.

What we are comparing here is boom and bust.

In many ways (for a form of music making that has always existed and always will) - the 'boom' is far worse that the so-called 'bust'.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Sooz (at work)
Date: 01 May 07 - 08:24 AM

In my secondary school, all Year 7 - 9 pupils have a music lesson every week. They learn music theory and have a chance to try composition etc. (I'm not a music teacher but I do run a choir of sorts.)
With the support of our headteacher, we have concerts for the whole community as often as my stamina allows. The artist(s) perform to anyone who wants to buy a ticket in the evening but I try to have a session in the afternoon for smallish groups of pupils who are vaguely interested. These have included: Y7 pupils hugely enjoying a mini-concert from Tanglefoot, GCSE pupils singing in French and Spanish with Flossie, Y9 leaning about song writing from Jez Lowe and a largish group of Y9's doing an Irish dance workshop with Damhsa.
I would rate our folk club as successful but rather exclusive so this is a good way of bring live music into the school and local community. (I try not to use the word "folk"!)
I don't really want to try to enforce change on the club. Afterall, it is a club for its members and it supplies what they want at the moment, even if it may not always be what I might want.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 May 07 - 08:37 AM

I don't think either the first or second revival were much driven by people's experience of folk music at school. Changes in education policy are many and varied but it's hard to see if they matter much.

It's not uncommon for people who want something to happen or to be supported to think "Lets get it into schools". I have witnessed teaching packs called:

White fish across the curriculum
Concrete across the curriculum
savings, investments, insurance and pensions for Infants!

I kid you not.

Folk was, is and I think will remain "alternative" perhaps we need to stress this side but keep it a bit of a secret?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 May 07 - 09:08 AM

One reason why there are fewer Clubs now is that the Pubs have changed! The very few that still have a function room seem to want more for the use of the room tha a lot of clubs can afford to pay Guests !! And so many have knocked walls out to make one BIG bar , with NO space for a Pay To Enter club !


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 May 07 - 09:25 AM

Any time schools start trying to support any type of music that is liable to be disastrous for it, apart maybe for a tiny number of fast track performers.

Much better to have it denounced and banned.

It seems young people want to do stuff that they feel their parents know nothing about and don't approve of. That should mean that, provided we can get it seen as a bit dangerous and generally unsavoury, the next generation along should get quite interested in folk music.

Meanwhile there is probably far more actual music being played, and played far better, than was ever the case in the time of the last folk boom.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,RamblinStu
Date: 01 May 07 - 09:27 AM

Les from Chorlton, started this thread by asking why folk clubs declined after the 60's and 70's.

I was a young folkie and I attended and played in folk clubs back then, and thoroughly enjoyed both the clubs and the music, but as things must, the music evolved. Some folkies went electric, some folkies went heavy and the folk music of the time diversified into many different forms.

I went off in a totally different direction, sold my soul to the devil.

Thank goodness some people maintained the traditions of folk music and folk clubs, because the clubs have survived. I am glad because six years ago I returned to folk music, and many others are also returning.
The clubs that I visit in South East England are all thriving, the festivals are thriving.

What we should learn from the 60's and 70's is that music will always evolve and change; it is the nature of the beast. So lets us all enjoy the moments we have now in 2007, because currently there is an awful lot of very good music to be listened to.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 May 07 - 09:30 AM

So if we make folk music naughty and offensive like most Rap seems to be, it would suddenly be all over the place?? I'll start learning the Chastity Belt again!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 May 07 - 09:48 AM

To lead into the dance - the Cotswolds Massive, followed by the Gangsta Rappas.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkie
Date: 01 May 07 - 09:57 AM

The inferior clubs have died but the best ones are still going strong. Cheltenham Folk Club was packed out last Friday for Belshazzars Feast and the Somers Folk Club in Worcester which is a singers club is usually full.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 01 May 07 - 10:07 AM

Inferior clubs Best ones?
Well done sooz what we need is a sooz in every school and getting paid for it.
I am hoping to visit a club in Hartlepool later this month any one heard of it?
IS called the Pool or something similar they sound fun folks


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 May 07 - 10:13 AM

A few reasons:
1) Crazes happen. They pass. They may come again
2) In the 70's a lot of clubs became taken over by people playing new forms of music(which their adherents labelled, confusingly, "folk"). Naturally when the proportions of the new music outweighed the the original, people who liked folk (original definition) started leaving in droves. Unfortunately,many of them were not interested in the new stuff, and there was no law to say they should be. New people came in keen to try out their own compositions(or to listen to others'), but not in sufficient numbers to replace those they had driven out. The new people shouted abuse at the oldtimers, calling them folknazis. Not surprisingly, they left even quicker. QED.
3) The rise of the session. A lot of people found different ways to perform and enjoy their music( they took the music out of the folkclub seedbeds and released the plants into the wild, if you will). They liked what they had set up, and never(or rarely) went back to the clubs.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 01 May 07 - 10:14 AM

Pools Folk and accoustic club actually.
Any one been.
RE this thread I meant to say have seen afew on this subject and In my opinion there needs to be a lkittle deffinition as to whether our opinions pertain to left or right bank of the Atlantic,and what it is that makes a club good or bad and what we mean by the term collapse of the folk scene.
Sorry but lately if you are prepared to look around,ask on the cat and of the locals you can usually find somewhere to go and play,sing or listen in mast parts of the UK.
The other point needing clarification is.
Does the opener refer to clubs or clubs where you can get paid to play?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Grimmy
Date: 01 May 07 - 10:42 AM

Hey greg, some of those self-same clubs were actually started "by people playing new forms of music".

There are some hereabouts who seem to be trying to perpetuate the myth that if clubs had stayed traditional then there'd be one on every high street today, bursting at the seams. Get real!

If, like me, you want folk music to be around in 100 years' time, then you need to ask yourself just why the "proportions of the new music outweighed the the original" because therein lies the key to its survival.

Adapt or die.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 May 07 - 11:13 AM

I started getting into folk in the early sixties. Well, Ok then, very early sixties. I went to hear political folk songs and found myself listening to traditional stuff instead. I loved it.

What I would like to suggest is that there are many more people making music now then there ever was. In the "old " days, people played guitar, the odd person played fiddle and some banjo, that was it. There were few competing sessions, few festivals and so on. The first Keele Festival was 1965 and apart from Sidmouth and IVFDF I don't remember any others.

The dance scene was restricted to EFDSS dances, often to recorded music.

Compare to now - dozens of festivals, all with top line artists, more melodeon players than you can shake a stick at, fiddlers fiddling everywhere etc. Dances to bands like Whapweasel, Hekety, Bedlam. Sessions all over the place. Young bands like Devil's Interval, Kerfuffle etc.

Whilst I know it doesn't say precisely that - the thread seems to indicate the folk scene is dying along with the clubs.

From my aged position it is just the opposite. Sheffield does not really support a "traditional format" folk club. But sessions most nights, excellent dances thanks to the Ceilidh Soc. etc etc.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Grimmy
Date: 01 May 07 - 11:45 AM

Quite so, Dave. The future's not as black as it's sometimes painted.

It is also more instructive to compare the number of clubs now with, say, 1950 than with the 60's and 70's when the folk boom was at its height.

Remember also that folk (in the UK) has had to compete with the Beatles etc of the 60's, Clapton, Led Zep etc of the 70's, Motown, Reggae, Rock, Punk, New Age and goodness knows what else besides.

And it's still going strong.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: 14fret
Date: 01 May 07 - 11:49 AM

It's fashion, it's the folk police/nazis. The '70s etc; were open minded, open policy. From Blues to Bluegrass and all the stops between.
Then the 'folkies' stipulated that it wasn't 'folk' unless it came from your roots! How far do yours spread? 10, 20, 30 miles.
Let's keep it really parochial and myopic, say, 7.5 mlies and disappear up our own district.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Geoff Wright
Date: 01 May 07 - 11:56 AM


As a 50-something, I remember folk clubs had a standard of singing (probably governed by the standard of singing and playing in popular music, somtimes missing today). I don't find that same standard in many clubs on a non-guest night - in fact I dread having to listen to bad singers so rarely attend round-the-room singers clubs, prefering to go to guest nights. (Obviously there are still some with even higher standards than 30 years ago).
In those days, you went down the pit, you ate, you went to the pub for the evening so the folk club was quite a natural thing to go to. In this high-speed age there are many more pressures on our time and pubs are no longer as conducive (unless they sell real ale).

On the other hand, there were few folk sessions then and even fewer folk dances then (due to the amount of WMClubs running dancing and some attititudes of the EFDSS), so as a budding musician I learnt my trade playing for Old Tyme, Latin, Sequence etc in clubs.
As WMClubs with dancing became the minority, I moved more into ceilidh, and nowadays have more work than I can cope with - so the folk scene is not all doom and gloom. Tune sessions abound, many of a very high standard which are well attended.


There are still a host of modern artists setting the standard for singing - listen, learn and apply some of it in your local folk club tonight.

p.s.
I am not anti-singing, I am out doing it tonight at a trad club - I just have an aversion to unprepared or unrehearsed singers.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: concertina ceol
Date: 01 May 07 - 11:57 AM

Err.. Folkdave - Kiveton Park folk club should be open tonight as it has been every tuesday for several decades... I would class that as very much a "traditional format" club.

But I agree with the rest of your post. The scene has moved on, it has become more commercial, people like to go to festivals with big name artists. Also venues have become different. There are very few pubs round me with function rooms as the pubs have been adapted so they can serve food. This means it is much harder to find a venue with a bar that you can run a folk club in.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 May 07 - 12:32 PM

Hi And Let me apologise to Kiveton, you are absolutely correct and I have spent many a happy hour there.

What I meant to write was "Sheffield City Centre", where there used to be clubs at the Grapes, Three Cranes, Red Deer, Shakespeare, etc...


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 May 07 - 12:35 PM

It's no good saying what you think ought to have happened in history. Things did happen, whether they were Good Things or Bad Things. Maybe the traddies should have embraced the new. But they didn't.Or to be precise, a lot of them did, but a lot of them didn't. People left, and not enough new blood came in to replace them, overall. Obviously in some clubs things worked out fine, but not in all. So there was a decline. Arithmetic, not right and wrong. Yes, it would have been lovely if everyone had liked all the new songs being written and everybody had loved each other. But you can't make people like contempoarary folk if they like old folk and new rock taste is not a matter of argument or compulsion.
   I was not part of that change, one way or the other. In the 70's and 80's I was writing new music, but not in folk clubs.And I was playing trad music for dancing, not for listening to in folk clubs. I was no folk nazi saying what should be sung, neither was I a singer song-writer inflicting my diary on others(to take the two stereotypes that get trotted out in these arguments). But I did observe what was going on, from a distance.
There are places to play folk music in other than folk clubs and folk festivals: the places folk music has always been performed. Taking a broader picture than just the folk clubs, I'm sure the audience for folk music is larger and more diverse now than it was in 1965.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 01 May 07 - 12:47 PM

When I lived in the North East it was quite possible to have the choice to attend up to three different clubs on the same night every night of the week. Some were traditionally biased others had a broader outlook (in fact for ten years I helped to run a folk and blues club up there)but nobody worried about it. When I moved to Nottingham in 1978 I found less clubs there than back home so I suppose we were more fortunate. Like many fellow folkies, in the early eighties, I was to experience the majority of social/economic upheavals mentioned in the original thread which certainly curtailed time to spend in the folk clubs. This was also the period when Martin Carthy described the folk scene as becoming "flabby and constipated" and what I saw in place of the excitemennt of the two previous decades were clubs with an "anything goes" attitude and a general lowering of standards. All the items previously mentioned like the lack of function rooms in pubs and the enormous prices charged by some pubs who still have them plus the countless counter attractions for young people that have sprung up in the last twenty years have, of course, taken their toll on the folk clubs which when I was in my teens was one of the few places that you could go to hear live music. Thankfully the good clubs of today are coaxing some folkies of previous years back to the fold and that is certainly the case of the club which I have been involved with for the last sixteen years through the good and bad times and currently the very, very good times. However we have been told that we are "too traditional" so we must be doing something wrong.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Darowyn
Date: 01 May 07 - 12:53 PM

It's perfectly obvious, the demise of Folk clubs was caused by narrow minded trad folkies insisting on playing nothing but their boring old songs.

t's perfectly obvious, the demise of Folk clubs was caused by narrow minded talentless guitar strummers who insisted on polluting the tradition with miserable songs about their girlfriend leaving.

Delete where inapplicable.

Now, once we have got over the usual squabbles, it is worth looking at the bigger picture. During the same period, live music venues of every kind have vanished. A semi pro rock/covers band could make a full time living playing clubs at one time. Venues seem to have polarised into tiny and huge, and there are precious few folk performers who would fill the NEC, or Wembley- and not many pop acts either- unless they have massive marketing budgets or TV exposure. As concertina Ceol says music is commercial at that level.
For those who play without payment, in the tiny venues- commercial pressure has had its effect there too as Ceol says. The other aspect which struck me on visiting a pub that does run a Folk Club is what a dump the old style traditional pub is. Why should I go out and sit in a room which is shabbier and dirtier and less comfortable than my own house? Bare boards and oak benches might have been OK when people lived in houses floored with flagstones. So my final conclusion is that the demise of folk clubs was caused by the widespread adoption of the sofa.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 May 07 - 01:03 PM

Sex. In a folk club you sidle up quietly, make some conversation between songs, it takes time to get to the leaping on stage.

As the pill generation widened its intake and instant sex became the myth and maybe in some cases the reality of wiggly music clubs, guess where people went to get laid?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,SINSULL at work
Date: 01 May 07 - 01:05 PM

Discos disappeared too - they went out of fashion.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 01 May 07 - 01:16 PM

Perhaps it's true that there are fewer folk clubs now than there were in the 1960s - but has anybody actually counted? It does seem to be the case that the average age of punters and performers at folk clubs is higher now than it was then - probably because quite a lot of them are the same people, grown somewhat older, if not any wiser. (Me, for one.) Nevertheless, there are compensations.

There are certainly far more festivals, sessions and ceilidhs on offer now than there were then. We also have access to far more recordings, covering a much broader range of musical genres and styles under the umbrella of "folk". And while the number of youngsters actively involved in folk music may be relatively small, the quality of music some of these kids produce is astonishingly good. All in all, I don't think we should be too downhearted.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 May 07 - 01:49 PM

on my easter tour,three out of five clubs were well attended,40 plus,they showed no signs of collapsing.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 May 07 - 01:54 PM

The charismatic people who spearheaded the folk revival MacColl, Pete Seeger, Dylan, Baez, Jansch. these people were songwriters as well as performers of traditional material. these were the people who initially persuaded us there might be something in this folk music business.

In actual fact those people did more to popularise traditional material than many of the so called traditional singers.

If you look at the thread on AL Lloyd you will see pretty much what happened in my opinion. Gangs of middle class types who had read one or two books appointed themselves experts. they went round aping the mannerisms of traditional singers regardless of whether it would communicate with the audiences. In fact, when the audiences started voting with their feet - this was taken as proof positive that they were performing 'real' folk music.

Follow the lloyd thread and you will see these same people with vigour defending their bailliewick.

When I started performing in the 70's the pressure was intense to adopt a daft traditional accent and DADGAD tuning on your guitar.

Most of the people who started when I did, just gave up on the situation. Basically we lost a generation or two or maybe three of John Martyns, Davy Grahams and Bert Jansch's.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 01 May 07 - 01:58 PM

It would seem, to me, to be good practice to wait until confirmation of the patient's death before proceeding with the burial.

Folk clubs may, for many and diverse reasons, be struggling. They are not now, nor are they likely to be at the point of collapse.

These things seem to run naturally in cycles, and there are numerous indications that there is an ongoing upturn in what one might call "home made music", i.e. sessions.

There will be a knock on effect on public interest in the kind of songs which still have, wait for it, MELODY.

That's us folks!....and off we go again.

Some of us are old enough to have seen more than on cycle.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 01 May 07 - 02:19 PM

A lot of what are called folk clubs today would not have been classed as folk clubs in the 70's. Sessions are not folk clubs in the 70's sense. There was a huge nationwide circuit of clubs that employed proffesional performers and provided them with a good living. it was a bit of a musical free for all, but you got to see great writers, singers and comedians for a rather small entrance fee.
As the more successful writers, singers and comedians left the clubs the writers, singers and comedians who had previously been floor singers began to take over and the audience drifted away to have children.
The explosion of talent that was the 60's and 70's was unique in its breadth. Today the young musicians mostly play better than we did, but I don't hear them writing better, or entertaining better.
The festival has become less about the music in many (but not all) cases, and more about being a lifestyle statement. Something for the weekend, but not for life.
The pubs have not helped, many installing sound systems that make playing upstairs an impossibility, and a more sophisticated generation don't want the spit and sawdust. Today, there are so many things for people to do in their own homes, let alone for a night out, that the circuit we had can never be rebuilt.
Basically for those of us there at the beginning of the Folk club boom it was a tremendously exciting and innovative time. If the young folkies today organise themselves as we did they could have the same fun, but too many of the new performers seem to want to be "stars" without paying their dues or organising venues.
I hear this from arts centres and clubs I play. The things they want provided backstage that they list in their contracts really make me laugh!
Folk music was sexy back then and I know so many marriages begun in folk clubs. So, that's what the young have to do. Make it sexy, organise, pay their dues and work bloody hard.....and even then they might make enough to just about live!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 May 07 - 02:31 PM

I hadn't read any books till I started working at the EFDSS in 1969 and discovered there was a whole library of them. (Except, that is, for one book I found in Helston library while doing a summer holiday job). I thought I'd made a fantastic discovery and did Jennifer Gentle & Rosemary to death till someone told be that it was not only a Child ballad but the Harvard Prof's #1 hit).

Prior to that, I'd learned from my grandfather who had played many, many years previously for a then long defunct Morris side (now revived) and for village dances. Our extended family ridiculed him and me and I was packed off to a convent to rid me of my genuine (not daft) North-East accent. I didn't actually know that what I was learning was f*lk music. Nor did my grandfather, I don't think. Fortunately.

I went to stage-school classes at a miners' institute after school with the Ellwood family. Didn't realise THAT was f*lk either. Nor did anyone. We learned Northumbrian clogging and how to sing show tunes. Didn't realise till much later when working at said EFDSS that the Ellwoods were 'famous f*lkies'. To some.

And then I'd rush through homework or get in done in school time just to slope off to The Bridge in Newcastle at night. Not because it was a 'f*lk' club or session (don't think we knew the words) but because it was such fun getting into the pub well under age.

The music I have grown up with has been an integral part of my life. Not an add-on 'entertainment'.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Mikefule
Date: 01 May 07 - 02:34 PM

When I was first interested in folk music in about 1980, there were several busy clubs in and around Nottingham - and very many dance sides too. But I couldn't help noticing there was a huge overlap of membership. Some people were at a different club or out with a different side several nights a week.

Lose one of those people and (s)he counts as several - one fewer at each club or side that they would normally attend.

Darwinian selection then cuts in: the remaining people gravitate towards the best adapted clubs - those that are accessible, in decent pubs, with good beer. The less well adapted clubs become marginalised and fade. And anyone trying a folk club for the first time who turns up at a fading club has all his or her worst preconceptions confirmed: a half-hearted meeting of a few drab people in a drab pub. Is a first time visitor likely to try a different club, or give up on the idea? I suspect many do the latter.

I had several years when I was not involved in folk clubs at all, then I started to visit a few. Most of the ones I visited were poor shadows of the ones I remembered. I would have given up on the idea if a friend had not encouraged me to go to Grand Union Folk. That one club seldom has fewer than 25 people present, most of whom can sing or play pretty well. They have guest nights with 50 or more in the audience, and I have seen the "Folk Club Full" sign up at least once.

Too many clubs was the problem. It was great while the in crowd was young enough and fit enough (and rich enough) to sustain them all, but I am sure the sheer number of clubs contributed to the decline of the scene as weaker clubs were a poor advertisement to new people wanting to try folk music for themselves.

The hardest thing is to see ourselves as others really see us.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: henryclem
Date: 01 May 07 - 03:25 PM

I've had 40-odd years of Folk Clubs - when I first started (late 60's in West London, clubs tended to have headline guests 3 weeks out of 4, and only their residents tended to get a spot otherwise (how I first came across Don Shepherd, at Hammersmith). I wouldn't have dared to get up and sing then; indeed it was not until I came down to ChipSod that I found clubs which were much more encouraging in allowing me to get started. Some would argue that I don't do folk anyway but all I know is that my songs don't fit anywhere else but in an acoustic - and predominately folk setting (club or festival session). There is no shortage of clubs within driving distance for me - Devizes or Bristol (The Nova Scotia)Monday; Bradford on Avon Tuesday, Highworth every other Wednesday, Corsham or Minchinhampton Thursday, Swindon or Shortwood Friday; a bit further afield the Litton club thrives on a
Wednesday. Every one of these venues has a genuine vibe of its own which I am sure comes to a great extent from those who organise and sustain the clubs. Maybe its our area but I have never experienced anything less than a welcome, nor has anyone ever suggested that my songs are out of place because of some strict definition of what music is permissible in the context of a particular club.

I am not a professional performer, but I enjoy doing a couple of songs of an evening. I don't find it onerous to listen to other people who fall into the same category. I reckon a number of small clubs (limited by the size of the venue as much as anything) do struggle to survive because they are dependent on their weekly singaround takings to subsidise the occasional "name" guest nights. It's a 65 mile round trip for me to get to Devizes but to me its a club well worth supporting for the quality of its regulars (best choruses around) and the calibre of its guests.   I feel if I am going there for guest nights I should be putting something back in by attending other times as well. There are always times when attendances dip, for no obvious reason, and it is surely the weekly regulars who keep the clubs going, not those who simply go along on guest nights.

Folk clubs do come and go - we had a club which was struggling but at least ticking along but then ... they put a full-size snooker table in the middle of the room. No loss of interest in the music, just a lot of bad backs from having to crouch down in order to see past the gigantic suspended light ...

The better attended clubs, around here at least, may well offer a much wider spread of acoustic music than the old folk club, but folk is still the major element in the music on offer week in week out. No-one is being driven away by (a) the wrong sort of music or (b) poor quality performers of whatever ilk. It's when there is an perceived policy of exclusion for either category that numbers decline and may well lead to collapse.

It always surprises me when "folkies" appear to demand to be entertained to the highest standards of professionalism every minute of their deigning to attend a club ... this is not an attitude I have encountered amongst the pros themselves, who show interest and offer encouragement to many of the floor singers they encounter - they know what clubs survive and thrive on.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 01 May 07 - 03:52 PM

I feel one reason for the demise of the Folk Clubs is the lack of back rooms in pubs. They all want to be open spaces serving food.
We, in Wimborne, are fortuate enough to have our own room in a British Legion club and a singaround club has grown into a venue for good quality music making. We leave the other clubs in the area to book the 'stars' of the folk world while we enjoy a cross-section of music. However anyone under 50 needs a note from their parents.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 May 07 - 04:01 PM

I would hazard a guess that in the heyday of the clubs, say 1965, less than 10% of people went to folk clubs in cars. And now, less than 10% go to folk clubs without them. So the loss of beer sales must be enormous. Which must surely explain why landlords are not all mad keen to make space available for that sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 01 May 07 - 04:06 PM

Very good point, and the 10% that drove cars still drank!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Bernard
Date: 01 May 07 - 04:24 PM

A very successful club in the 1960s was held at the Cattle Market pub in Bolton, and Bob Williamson was involved in the running of it.

The club closed around 1970 because the owner of the pub was reluctant to spend money bringing the upstairs room up to the required standard for fire regulations, which needed to be met for the (then) new music licensing.

Sometimes things that are working for us work against us.

The Open Door folk club in Oldham is barely hanging on to an existence, mainly because we cannot find a suitable pub. Whilst the Royal Oak is very pleasant, very clean, and very welcoming, the room is tiny.

Happily, the Railway at Lymm is blessed with a good sized upstairs room, and welcoming pub staff. The club is thriving, but the room isn't very 'disabled-friendly'. I suppose it only needs someone to complain, and we'll be forced to close because there's nowhere else to go...


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 01 May 07 - 05:37 PM

I agree with my friend and colleague Warwick Slade about Wimborne, but as someone who returned to the 'folk scene' after a long absence (playing 'barn dances' in a folk band for fifteen years isn't being part of the scene!) I was struck by a num from their seatber of differences from the heady days of the 1965-1975 period. Firstly, the 'singaround' format, where everyone takes a turn, rather than getting on the stage or standing up in front of everyine to do their 'spot.' Secondly, it's common for people to have their words in front of them - when did the law change to allow this? Thirdly, most clubs in this part of Dorset are monthly (Wimborne's one of the exceptions) and are usually in very rural locations. Unknown in 'my time', when the Wessex and Free Xpress were Bournemouth based,and the other local clubs were also in the towns, e.g. Dorchester, every Thursday. Now Dorchester is a monthly (singaround) club. All enjoyable, but not what I think of as 'proper' clubs.

I agree with those who make the 'generational' point. I was always struck by the similarities between folk the trad jazz boom of the late 50s/early 60s. A generation took up a musical style and many stayed with it throughout their lives. I was originally a jazz musician (well...guitar and banjo in a trad band) before gravitating to my natural home, folk, and when I used to go and hear our local hero, Gerry Brown and the Mission Hall at a local hotel, I saw many of the people who who'd been stalwarts of the jazz scene in Bournemouth 45 or more years ago. Coming back into folk song, I found many people who I'd not seen since about 1975.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Terry Mc Donald
Date: 01 May 07 - 06:09 PM

Oops - that 'from their seat' bit in line two should have appeared after 'takes a turn.'


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 01 May 07 - 06:22 PM

All the estimates of the number of folk clubs up to about 1963 or 4 are low. From 1964/5, the numbers grew quickly and massively. By the mid 70s, Perform (remember that?) was lamenting the state of clubs, and by the time of the recession of the early 80s and the folk scene reached a bit of a low, folk clubs seemed to be losing popularity.
In other words, the heyday period for folk clubs was quite short really.
Where I live, in south Cheshire, we had a folk club in Crewe with a mixed approach .. trad, blues, contemporary ... and an intermittant club in nearby Nantwich, and then (still running) a club in Sandbach - these 2 towns are about 5 miles from crewe in opposite directions. Now there is just one club in Sandbach which does not have the range of music (mainly contemporary and blues) and does not have anything like the audiences that the Crewe club had in its heyday (but at least it is still operating every week!). In contrast to the heyday years, there are now music (with some song) sessions every night of the week in the surrounding area.
When the Crewe club had a reunion a few years ago, it had considerable difficulty finding a pub room to use .... fifty quid rental for a night compared with one pound when we ran the club.

In conclusion?
then heyday of clubs was short lived.
It was generational.
there are fewer suitable pub rooms around now.
people's tastes are more sophisticated and they require better surroundings for their leisure than a dusty upstairs pub room.
There are a lot of informal sessions that reach out to the ordinary pub goer, but they tend to be participative rather than for a passive audience.
There are arts centre/theatre venues that programme folk music (but not in Crewe!).
There is a gap in the middle - something reasonably accessible, local that would hook people into a wider interest in folk music.

Or I could just be reflecting a local situation, instead of national trends....

Derek


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Bernard
Date: 01 May 07 - 06:56 PM

Hmmm... people having their words in front of them... hate to see it myself, as I've taken the trouble to learn the songs I sing.

However, it does mean that people will have the confidence to sing who otherwise may not. A double-edged sword, 'cos some of them shouldn't!!

At the Railway we use both formats for 'Singers Nights' - more usually we will all sit facing the middle, and sing from our seat. Sometimes, when we are featuring a 'big spot', we give people the option of singing from the stage (the seats are all facing the stage) or from their seat during the first 'half'; after the break, the 'big spot' guest takes to the stage. We don't allow 'floor spots' on a full guest night - the residents take it in turns to do the 'warm-up'.

The real answer has always been to give the punters what they want - but finding out what is an art-form in itself!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 May 07 - 03:53 AM

Seems the thoughtful flexible approach works?

And then their is the snug?

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dick The Box
Date: 02 May 07 - 05:34 AM

I agree that there are a lot fewer clubs than there used to be, especially once you move out of urban areas. There are less clubs and they are more spread out i.e. fewer venues and more travelling for the professional musician. This means that it is harder to earn a decent living which means that they have to charge more. This leads to higher door prices and fewer guest nights. This leads to smaller audiences which leads to clubs closing which leads to...... A bit of a vicious circle here?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 02 May 07 - 02:03 PM

Singers with the words in front of them??? Alright, I confess, but I also often find myself upstairs with no idea why I am there! Anyway I went to see the Glasgow Orpheus Choir and they all had the words so if it is good enough for them......................


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 May 07 - 02:41 PM

Singers with the words in front of them I do find a bit off...with the exception of the Copper family of course. But the worse thing I have experienced(well one of) was singing a song and having certain members of the audience loudly joining in with a different version of the same song which they were reading out of a book.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 02 May 07 - 02:49 PM

Why with the exception of the the Copper family? Is it because they are old? Well so am I!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 May 07 - 02:51 PM

They've always used the book, so it's traditional!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 02 May 07 - 02:56 PM

I've always wondered why the Coppers sing from the words - after 200 years you think they'd have learned the songs by now.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: stallion
Date: 02 May 07 - 06:56 PM

The first time we recorded was the first time we realised that we were not all singing the same words, now we take the words with us to record and take a bit more care learning them!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 03 May 07 - 03:26 AM

I'm not going to be able to finish this argument - holiday.
Of course folk clubs declined - count them. Listen to the dross performed in them, listen to the poor performances, the idiots popping their cheeks "then out of his knapsack....", hear the bad manners of people joining in when they have not been asked to, visit the folk clubs where you will never hear a folk song all night.
Some time along the line the clubs became refuges for lazy, untalented and indifferent performers who simply don't feel it necessary to work at what they are doing - I've even hear it argued (not so long ago on this forum) that good performances are detrimental because they put off the mediocre.
In many cases the clubs became refuges for those who failed to make it on the pop scene.
Why did they decline?
A whole raft of reasons; the main reason being that they fell into the hands of people who don't like or understand folk music (recent thread - folk clubs that only do folk songs are boring).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 May 07 - 03:39 AM

Jim Carroll is, of course, utterly and completely right but he has the good luck of being able to escape far away from the indignant wrath likely to erupt from the 'good enough for f*lk' brigade.
Chaps, you'll just have to scream at me instead. I won't be listening.
I just noticed this quote above:

Groups like the Corrs nowadays are doing the same job of capturing the imagination in todays teens/twenties

The fucking CORRS?
Even THEY say they don't do f*lk music. Presumably to try and stay clear of people who don't like or understand it.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,MAD JOCK
Date: 03 May 07 - 04:35 AM

To many people though they were just full of a bunch of jumpers with their fingers in their ears singing inane lyrics ...fall de di rol da da rol da.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Mad Jock
Date: 03 May 07 - 04:36 AM

And some still do!.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 May 07 - 04:55 AM

I used to go to folk clubs that I expected would be not all that good, because I hoped I would hear someone who would be uplifting, a young performer learning his/her trade etc. The odd good singer, musician.

I gave up going on such a frequent basis because I heard so much dross. Others maybe able to listen to a night of people singing their teenage diaries, I confess I can't.

At least one folk club do attracts a young audience I am told, - anyone here been to the Magpie's Nest?

http://www.themagpiesnest.co.uk/


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Hawker
Date: 03 May 07 - 05:22 AM

Well! Folk clubs demise eh?
The Bude Folk Club re-opened its doors on Sunday 22nd April 2007, and has moved from The Globe To The Falcon in Bude. There has been a need for a club ever since the last club died, but the porblem was getting someone to run it and getting a venue. The Carriage room at The Falcon is ideal and has great acoustics.
Our first gathering had people from 11 to 78, all joining in. Some sang, some played and some just listened.
Once again in this thread, I see the discussion about whether it is right or wrong to sing with the words in front of you. I have been to many performances by prfessional musicians and singers, singing non-folk. They always have their music and their words in front of them and nobody condemns them for doing so, why do the folkies seem to think its so wrong?. For me, it matters not if they have their words/music in front of them,, what maters more is that its not the first time they have sung it, and that they are familiar with the words, flow and feel of the song and the tune. There is nothing worse than someone squinting and mis-reading words that dont scan in performance, as they have not practised or prepared beforehand. As an aide memoir I'd rather see words in front of them than see someone spend 10 minutes dying in front of an audience as they try desperately to remember the missing verse!
Perhaps I am just more forgiving than the average folkie!
Bude Folk Club next meets 13th May and you can bring your words if you like!
Cheers, Lucy


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Helen
Date: 03 May 07 - 06:42 AM

To Countess Richard - no need to be offensive. I wasn't trying to imply that the Corrs sing folk music, only that you can detect the 'Celtic' influence in their music. Sometimes if you try to explain Folk to people who aren't used to music it's useful to be able to refer to something that is widely known. When I'm talking to people at work or socially, especially teens/twenties, then they know who The Corrs (or several other Irish groups)are through their chart presence and although we may think it's all 'pop', todays youngsters know that a mandolin or whatever in the line up is different. Believe it or not I have on several occasions had people want to know more about 'Celtic' music as a result, and perhaps borrow a CD or two. And the occasional one from there 'gets the bug' and explores deeper into the wonderful body of traditional music from which so much, even 'The Corrs', has come.

It doesn't pay to be too snobbish about what constitutes music of traditional influence, or to be too dismissive of the routes available to people on their way to being folk afficionados. I find a bit of enthusiasm and encouragement works a lot better than disdain or criticism when you're looking for new recruits.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Nicholas Waller
Date: 03 May 07 - 06:57 AM

Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy on the radio the other day (Woman's Hour) talked about traditional music being affected/enriched/informed by other stuff going on at the same time, so Norma in the 60s couldn't help but be influenced and affected in some way by The Beatles and Eliza's generation by Prince and/or the Arctic Monkeys. (And indeed vice versa, with the likes of Led Zeppelin and who knows who else being influenced by folk).


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 May 07 - 07:22 AM

But you have to draw the line some way before the bleedin' Corrs.
And well before the likes of Led Zep who used trad to rip off tunes for free.
And mandolins? Yeah, yeah, Rod the Mod tried to rip off the McPeakes didn't he, but didn't get away with it.
And Watersons & Carthys don't DO 'Celtic', oh no, so what sort of a circular non-argument is that supposed to be?
And there's a world of difference between routes into trad and being a tourist.
The Magpie's Nest is one of the very few venues (that and the now threatened with closure Spitz) that is breaking conventions while respecting the tradition and making a success of it.
Re-read Jim Carroll's post above. And Dave Eyre's for that matter. Most everywhere else is drowning in dross.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 03 May 07 - 08:03 AM

>>Most everywhere else is drowning in dross<<

I thought that was you Countess Richard (Diane E****), judging by all of your nasty comments.

You still haven't offered to buy a yellowbellies 2 Cd to help young children who suffer from cancer.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 May 07 - 08:14 AM

(1) Two other posters before me made the observation before I repeated it.
And they're right. Dross is rather too ubiquitous on the 'good enough for f*lk' club circuit.

(2) No, I haven't. And I don't really want a review copy either. I dislike compilations.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 03 May 07 - 08:20 AM

You dislike most things CR


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 May 07 - 08:29 AM

I dislike ALL dross.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 03 May 07 - 09:45 AM

I think the Countess is the reason for the decline in folk clubs. When I started going in the 60's there were none of her type about. It was a happy, anything goes, join in, write it, listen, play, have a pint, find a partner, laugh, cry, sort of scene. Then, over the years, people got older and the Countess and her ilk emerged. Critical, puritanical, dictatorial etc, and they began to take over clubs. As most of us on here would not contemplate spending an evening with the foul mouthed woman she is, so people didn't want to spend time in venues where her type were exercising their power.
She's not the only one, but the "NO" sayers have driven many of the "YES" sayers away.
They deserve each other in their in-growing groups where they squabble over trivialities.
Thankfully, there are still one or two places where happy, anything goes, join in, write it, listen, play, have a pint, find a partner, laugh, cry, people go for a night out, but they are few.
Worth finding though, and please, don't tell Countess where they are!!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 May 07 - 10:10 AM

I think I must be one of the lucky ones! The two folk clubs I am now involved in - White Lion, Swinton, Manchester and The Bridge, Newcastle have nearly 80 years running between them! I find myself, unusualy, agreeing with the countess. There is an awful lot of dross in some (or should that be a lot of awful dross?).

I don't think that can be blamed for the demise of so many clubs though. Both the Lion and the Bridge have their share of poor performers (Me for instance!) but they are in the minority. On a singers night, in either club. for every bad performance there are five good ones. On non-singers nights they both have top-line local artists. On odd nights the Bridge has the Folk degree stuents performing. On odd nights at Swinton we make sure we book nationaly (and internationaly) known stars. Everyone going to either club seem to know that bit of rough can be ignored for the sake of the abundance of smooth:-)

I think the main difference between the sucessful clubs and those that fold is the attitude of EVERYONE involved, from organiser to artist to audience. If it is inclusive and everyone feels involved we are all quite happy to give a bit of leeway. As soon as anyone starts to say "This is MY club" or "MY night" to the exclusion of others they start on the top of the slippery slope. It is dificult sometimes when you know that an act really is bad enough to put people off but with a bit of good planning they can do one song - early on - when only the organisers and the landlords cat are in. The added advantage is that when people start to arrive they can see something is already going on.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 May 07 - 10:33 AM

Good grief, how wrong can you get? I've never run a venue in this country in my life although I did in Germany in the 1980s. Chucked it in cos all they wanted was singalong MOR Celtic. All through the 60s I visited just about every venue there was, sometimes performing and sometimes just driving others around. In 1969 and 1970 I was involved in producing the EFDSS Folk Directory. So I knew where they all were and exactly what they were like in the 1970s when I was a music journalist and observed in despair when towards the end of the decade they were invaded by the comics and snigger-snoggers. Anything goes? Pah! What a load of dumbed down crap.

I 'emerged' from nowhere. I'd always been there. Since I was about six, actually, clogdancing and learning the violin at school and tunes from my grandfather. My 'type' (as if you had any idea who or what that comprises) turned to English dance music, collecting from real live trad musicians or (as in my case) eventually getting the hell out of the country to escape the twin horrors of musical dross and Thatcherism for part of the next decade.

You have clearly not the faintest idea who I am and how I have nothing to do with the cliquey 'f*lk' club scene where they may well argue over trivialities, for all I know. I try my best to disregard their existence, apart from perhaps half a dozen scattered throughout the country that fit roughly into the old-style 'club' format but have participative resident bands and are usually linked to eceilidh or tune session organisers.

I'd endorse only the latter half of your final sentence: DON'T tell me where any of these 'fakesong', dross-peddling, good-enough-for-f*lk venues are. I absolutely don't want to know.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 May 07 - 10:41 AM

I think the Countess is the reason for the decline in folk clubs. When I started going in the 60's there were none of her type about.

First of all there were plenty of people about then who were prepared to define what folk clubs were about and what was and was not allowed. It was why Hull had two folk clubs, one was "traditional", the other did "folk and blues".

Since the Countess and those like her are responsible for the decline and folk clubs, are they also responsible for the rise in folk festivals, ceilidh dancing, the dozens of sessions that now exist and all those fine young musicians I see at festivals?

I think she should be congratulated for the consistent rise in standards of folk music that has happened.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 May 07 - 10:54 AM

Good grief Dave, thanks but it wasn't ALL my doing (hehehe).


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 03 May 07 - 11:10 AM

Don't worry Davie, history repeats. The young performers now will see the rise of the fundamentalists again.
Round, like a circle in a spiral..etc.

By the way, the periods where anything goes in any art form are the times when the great new talents emerge. Luckily I lived in such a time in the music world and have worked in it with immense pleasure and fiscal reward until this day. However, the Countesses and her ilk just depress me with their joyless,judgemental, holier than thou,"NO" shouting, profane idiocy.
Profanity is always the last resort of the inarticulate and language challenged. Her posts are no different in tone to those you can find on any football website.
Sad.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 May 07 - 11:32 AM

Countesses and her ilk

Not only is this orthographically nonsensical, I have no ilk. Anyone who knows me is well aware of that. Sod off into the windmills of your mind, you wordy bastard.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 May 07 - 11:51 AM

Don't worry Davie, history repeats. The young performers now will see the rise of the fundamentalists again.

And the evidence for this is......?

If history repeated itself then there would be a rise in the number of folk clubs commensurate with the rise in the interest in folk music. I don't see it.

Incidentally define fundamentalist. I'd love to know if I fit the definition.

And don't call me Davie. Dave or David is fine.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 03 May 07 - 12:03 PM

Eeee..........she's a charmer.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 03 May 07 - 12:29 PM

David! There is a rising number of music venues that wouldn't been seen dead calling themselves folk clubs but which carry on in many ways the laisez fair world of the 60's folk clubs. Young people are doing it for themselves!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 03 May 07 - 12:30 PM

Actually countess, you do have ilk. I meet them rarely, but unfortunately you're not as alone as you should be.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 03 May 07 - 12:34 PM

Dave, fundamntalists are those people who eventually bring pain and misery to others by imposing their twisted will. ie certain religious leaders in the world, dictators, etc. The folk world has its share of these as the countess richly proves.Not to be confused with enthusiasts, who add to human happiness.
Humanity would be better without fundies. But unfortunately, to beat them you have to become one of them and use their methodology and thinking.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Mikefule
Date: 03 May 07 - 01:17 PM

In an effort impress a few friends with how open and friendly the folk world is, I invited them to read this thread.

Thankfully, that is not true.

What is this about having apparently bitter personal arguments in a forum that is open to the entire world?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 May 07 - 01:27 PM

Why are you suffering under this delusion that you know me, or that you might have met anyone who does? I don't consider myself a part of this nebulous f*lk world you're going on about, nor do I frequent open mic/acoustic café/pay-to-play type venues, as I am assuming you do.

And I don't recognise this "laisez fair" (sic) - you possibly mean laissez-faire? - world of the 60s clubs because it never existed. Far more so than nowadays, the 'traditional' and 'contemporary' venues bristled at each other like Lutheran and Catholic churches from different sides of town. Not many punters attended both and when they did they kept quiet about it. Unusually, I did. I played in a band in one sort and sang in the other. True, there were those who 'disapproved' but, needless to say, I took no notice. So how exactly I prove that those you call 'fundamentalists' exist when I don't actually recognise them is a more than a bit of a loony notion.

Though I am inclined to believe you when you state that you have become one. A nutter, that is.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 03 May 07 - 01:33 PM

>>that you know me<<

I certainly do Countess Richard


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 May 07 - 01:45 PM

In common with this wordy person, no you don't.
I've never met you.
You apparently know one or two people who have met me in passing.
Like Breezy and George the Greek.
But you absolutely do not know me.
So stop telling porkies.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 May 07 - 01:53 PM

Never met her. No idea if she has ilk or not. I know she talks sense and with a sense of history.

So laissez-faire music venues = 60's folk clubs?

I can only assume the folk clubs you went to were very different to the dozens (yes dozens) I went to in the 60's. Read my thread about the two in Hull I wrote about. As it happens I went to both, but I was unusual. And I had a clear preference of the two.

Open mike = folk clubs? I went to one, once. It was full of all the people who had succeeded in closing folk clubs by singing songs about their teenage diaries (as I characterise it), people love it - it gives them chance to sing in front of their mates. But someone with a guitar singing self-penned songs does not = folk music. There were that many people in the audience who wanted to perform that they got two songs each.

Virtually everyone in the audience sang their own songs to all the other people in the audience. There were forty people in the audience and (I counted) 29 guitars.

It may be what people want, it may be popular, it may even be the future, but it ain't really folk music.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 03 May 07 - 02:14 PM

>>It may be what people want, it may be popular, it may even be the future, but it ain't really folk music<<

If that is the situation then folk is dead, becuase nobody will want to know in a few years time, if not already.

Countess Richard has said "But you absolutely do not know me.
"

What a challenge - so here we go for starters

Countess Richard AKA Diane Easby

Cheers
Les Worrall


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 May 07 - 02:37 PM

Eh? So I'm a fRoots forum member. You're not. And you still don't know me, although you did invite me once to drop into your venue if ever I was passing. So far, the train always has.

And what a piece of flawed reasoning. Places called open mics/pay-to-play exist. What Dave said was that that may well be popular but they ain't f*lk. Indeed they are not. Trad music, however, is most certainly not dead, it never has been and never will be. It will survive a few teenagers singing their problematic dirges to each other, or whatever the next fad is. Some of them might even become interested in trad, others will not. No matter. It's not for everyone, but in my experience, young musicians develop a more lasting interest in stuff that's obscure and on which they need to work at. Not in the Smooth Ops coined 'accessible'.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 May 07 - 03:01 PM

Not at all Les, it may be that folk music via large numbers of clubs is dead - but there is loads of folk music around, of a much bigger and wider variety nowadays, much more than there ever was in the good old days of the "laissez-faire" days of folk clubs.

I really don't see this doom and gloom at all, just because the "folk club" scene has shrunk.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 03 May 07 - 03:13 PM

Neither do I Dave, but I have been told categorically that all the so called folkies who play at my club are not folk.

I get 40 to 60 people every other Friday and sometimes more. The club is healthy with a wide mixture of folk songs and new contemporary folk songs. Its all good stuff and just what the audience will listen to.

Every time I ask people why they don't like folk clubs, is because their understanding is that its full of old men singing boring 30 verse unacompanied songs. I can't change that, but hopefully the people who come to my venue get to appreciate lots of divers songs, some that you think is folk and some that you don't think is folk.

The clubs that will die are the ones that won't change, becuase the club will die as the members die.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 May 07 - 03:40 PM

Well there's the platitude of the week:

the clubs that will die are the ones that won't change.

The 'f*lk' club movement of the 1960s is well past its sell-by. Before that there were jazz and blues clubs in many of the same venues. They moved on and so has trad music, for reasons outlined in a number of posts above. At the risk of coining the cliché of the week, the world is different now. People have moved on to festivals, ceilidhs, sessions, singarounds and yes, the concert venue. The scene is vibrant but one thing that holds it back is the old-style f*lk club organiser who expects artists to turn up for 1960s fees. Haven't they looked at the price of fuel (and everything else)? These are the ones that need to get real pretty damn quick . . . or die.

And for god's sake drop that outdated term 'f*lkie'. It's just so embarrassing. You mean a punter who listens to trad music? Say so.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 May 07 - 06:25 PM

many people still enjoy folk clubs,proper folk clubs are part of a community,clubs like Swindon, Stockton,Nottingham Carrington,[Ican only talk from my own experience ]are part of the local community.
Towersey village festival was [at the beginning],but most festivals are not now.
Folkie is only embarrassing to you Countess.Iam proud to like folk music and have no problem with the name.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 May 07 - 06:26 PM

the world is not different now,thereis still a need for home grown music.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 May 07 - 06:30 PM

1960 Fees,well in 1976,Idid a gig for14 pounds,that is nowhere near my current fee,.
your heart is in the right place but your over exaggeration destroys your argument,.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 03 May 07 - 09:45 PM

My God, she's a journalist!! By her language it's gutter press.
By her attitude it's Murdoch's.
Is she The Sun's music assassin?
When I think that this forum was once graced by the openhanded, unjudgemental and wonderful Rick Fielding it's so sad that the bitterness this woman spreads now permeates these postings.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 07 - 02:47 AM

I often wonder why people resort to invective and name-calling when discussing a subject as pleasant and important as folk song - well no; I'm lying - I know why they do! It's so certain individuals can get around having to deal with problems more complicated than ordering a pint at the bar.
Fundamental - (elemental, basic): - I suppose it is fairly fundamental to expect to find and evening of folk songs at a folk club - guilty to that one.
Finger-in-ear - my favourite: The practice of cupping the hand over the ear in order to sing in tune is a world-wide one, centuries, probably millennia old. While I realise that the concept of singing in tune is pretty low down on the list of priorities at some clubs, I've always considered this one a compliment.
All the others I've put down to lack of imagination, though it does occur to me that the real 'Folk Police' are the ones who say 'words mean what I want them to mean' (Orwell had that one pretty well covered in Nineteen-Eighty-Four).
I was indexing tapes a few weeks ago, recordings made at some of the clubs I have been involved in. What struck me was the skill, energy and sheer enjoyment of some of the singers - the pleasure they appeared to take in singing well. These were not the payed guests, but the residents and the singers from the floor. I came to the conclusion that that is what has disappeared from most of the clubs I have visited over the last few years - the combination of skill, dedication and sheer pleasure of making a good song come alive. As for the material sung - if I had to choose between somebody singing a long unaccompanied ballad (no matter how many verses) competently, to one of the many onanists onanising their way through some self-penned, self-obsessed piece in a pseudo American accent - sorry, no contest. Sneering at unaccompanied singing only convinces me that the folk clubs have fallen into the hands of people who don't like folk song - that's what folk song is folks - take it or leave it.
Difficult it may be sometimes (especially when the singer hasn't put in the work) - boring it ain't (when they have).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 04 May 07 - 02:55 AM

Countess Richard is in actual fact extremely knowledgeable in English traditional music and its current endeavours, and a great supporter of youngsters entering the trad music scene. Unfortunately she can't stop herself attacking very nice mudcatters and making quite a few enemies as she goes along. There isn't any need for her attitude.

Personally, I couldn't care less what each music venue does, that is their business, and if it attracts people who play and even more so younger people and a listening audience, then thats great.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 May 07 - 03:26 AM

There goes that Villan again, making assumptions. He hasn't a clue who I am and what I do. How do you know he's not talking about somebody else entirely?

Actually excerpts from my CV are scattered all over the place, quoted where relevant. Like working on the Folk Directory and visiting most venues in the land in one capacity or another. I simply tell it like it was/is having been there and done it. THEN some mouthy person with nothing better to do (named Guest 'wordy' or something of the sort) comes along shouting extracts from their limited experience as though that somehow contradicts and disproves what I have already said (like why the clubs collapsed). Who's attacking who and why ever are they bothering?

PS Murdoch fired me, as did Greg Dyke and Robert Maxwell. That's probably divided my cred up or down among the lot of you.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 May 07 - 04:01 AM

Well, thanks folks (!) I have just read the 101 posts to see if I can understand why their are less folk clubs than their were in 1972 or there abouts.

This is what I suggested at the start.
1. The quality of some, many?, was low
2. Their is a limit to the number of times anyone can enjoy the cannon of "popular folk songs"
3. It was a generational thing - we all went off to have children
4. The climate of 80s Thatcherism was running elswhere
5. Punk was much more exciting and then them New Romantics?

Folk was alternative and exciting to many of the baby boomer generation. It was exciting to go to small obscure places to hear music you could never really hear anywhere else. It was also exciting to go to The Philharmonic Hall to hear The Spinners, say what you like but many of us were excited. We were also excited seeing The Copper Family and Willie Scott at Festivals. We went on to be excited by Fairport .......... I was recently excited by The Boat Band and The Duncan McFarlane Band.

As Greg says somewhere above "
It's no good saying what you think ought to have happened in history." Some people above seem to want to blame others because the didn't get the history they wanted. As Mick and Keef said "You can't always get what you want .... How does that go on?

One of the essential features of Folk Clubs is they enable people to sing or play to others with out much criticism. This results in the best and the worst, because no matter how bad you are somebody will be worse but we can all get better if we respect the songs and each other.

Countess Richard speaks from much experience and I think has it about right. Why Wordy is so personally unpleasant? This brings nothing to the discussion.

I am not sure the "Darwinian" or market place effect has done a lot for quality. Their are still boring clubs around but perhaps low attendance will see them off. One feature I have noted is that some small club audiences are made up almost entirely of floor singers.

I think we have many reasons to be cheerful, lots of great mostly traditional music on CD and at festivals, a greater variety of folk events, dances, sing arounds, sessions and so on.

So, as part of my work for "Of-folk" its time to put a few more clubs into "Special Measures". In a recent Inspection ....... Club was found to Unsatisfactory.................


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 04 May 07 - 06:24 AM

Les, I agree with much of what you say. As to me being unpleasant, I resent that.I certainly didn't use invective on this thread.
As to limited experience, I have done over 2000 folk club gigs so I too can tell it like it is, and I think this gives me some credibility.
I have never understood why people like the countess are so vicious and bilious about music or some of the people who try to make it.
No journalist worth anything at all should be as cliche ridden as the countess. "Snigger snogwriters" is just as crass as "finger in the ear" "arran sweater" etc that we hear so much of from those ignorant of the marvellous music and song the diverse world of English folk clubs offers.
And no matter what else she writes, that's my final word on this topic.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 04 May 07 - 06:31 AM

Wordy
>>As to me being unpleasant, I resent that.I certainly didn't use invective on this thread<<

I didn't say that did I?

I just think CR has to get a grip and stop insulting everybody. She has a lot to offer Mudcat and we would all benefit, but not if she carries on the way she does at the moment.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 May 07 - 06:38 AM

Wordy,

"Then, over the years, people got older and the Countess and her ilk emerged. Critical, puritanical, dictatorial etc, and they began to take over clubs. As most of us on here would not contemplate spending an evening with the foul mouthed woman she is, so people didn't want to spend time in venues where her type were exercising their power."

Do you two have a history? If this isn't unpleasant or invective what about:

"However, the Countesses and her ilk just depress me with their joyless,judgemental, holier than thou,"NO" shouting, profane idiocy.
Profanity is always the last resort of the inarticulate and language challenged. Her posts are no different in tone to those you can find on any football website."

You both have considerable experience not that that means you come to the same conclusions.

I suppose the medium of posts encourages us to shout the way we do in cars?

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 May 07 - 07:06 AM

Patronising git.

I give out (or have done) information and speak of what I know.
It's really too bad if some (largely anonymous) loudmouths have a different agenda to push.
Not that I'm saying they shouldn't, just that to try and dismiss and obscure facts with holier-than-thou opinion is counter-productive to say the least.

It's interesting (or perhaps not) that male contributors presenting conclusions similar to my own are accepted (or at least ignored) by the mouths whereas I am hounded with irrelevant sexist crap about how they imagine that I relate (or not) to male punters and performers, to the extent that some women (not me) might be cyber-intimidated.
So the wordymouth has done 2,000 gigs? Might have seen him (I know it's a bloke) then. But he certainly doesn't know me. Indeed there are but three contributors to this thread who do and not well at that. But what I do/have done is generally known to anyone doing a minimum amount of research (or merely read the thread) and not merely content to fire off a stream of clichés that serve only to illustrate that this is precisely what has not occurred.

I have a lot to offer Mudcat? No, I haven't. I say what needs to be said from too many years of experience. Read it or not, see if I care. But lay off the ignorant sexist putdowns. Not clever or big, but most importantly, totally OFF TOPIC.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 May 07 - 07:09 AM

Oops, Les ain't (usually) a patronising git!
I meant (on this occasion) the Villan.
No, I don't have a 'history' with 'wordy'
Haven't a clue who it is . . . nor has he about me.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 04 May 07 - 07:32 AM

There you go again Countess Richard, you really can't help yourself.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 May 07 - 07:38 AM

You are quite right.

Just has you clearly 'can't help' being patronising (not true, you could if you wanted),
I'll never stop criticising male sexist attitudes (for those men who require it).

I write songs about this too . . .


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 04 May 07 - 07:41 AM

I am not sexist CR


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 May 07 - 07:43 AM

. . . and the fact that you couldn't be arsed to read beyond the first line of my post of 07.06 is precisely what I am talking about.
I sometimes wonder about the standard of literacy of many Mudcatters who read one word in 19 on a good day then reply entirely out of context.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 04 May 07 - 07:45 AM

LOL I have two lovely daughters and a lovely wife.

I wouldn't care if you were a woman or a bloke I would still say the same about you. Its just your attitude to other decent mudcatters.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 May 07 - 07:49 AM

I am not sexist CR

Being patronising is sexist, especially when the perpetrator fails to recognise it as such. Where were you when the mode of dress and behaviour of women on and offstage was being discussed, nay drooled over, by certain pathetic specimens who attempted to ridicule me for objecting to such crass, inappropriate and offensive nonsense?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 04 May 07 - 07:53 AM

Probably looking after my Autistic daughter. Sometimes some things are more important in life.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 04 May 07 - 08:23 AM

You obviously don't know Les or myself Countess...Diane....neither do we know you but it seems that you have this thing about men and use your 'sexist' suggestions as some sort of cleaning rag for your own hang-ups. No man is safe whilst you are around..that's sad because something like half the population of the world are male and you have to put up with some of them...very hard on you...I feel sorry for you. Hope your performances are of much higher quality than your posts on here and with much less 'bite' in them.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 May 07 - 08:26 AM

No man is safe whilst you are around

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha . . . .

(What a perve)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 May 07 - 08:29 AM

Wordy claims to have done 2000 club gigs. So who might you be then? Anyvbody's who has done that many gigs will surely be extremely well-known to a lot of us. I'm always a little sceptical of claims by anonymous bad-tempered stirrers. Identifying yourself might give some credibility to your posts.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 May 07 - 08:32 AM

. . . actually I know quite a few men who don't have that much difficulty in behaving like human beings.
Having as little as possible to do with the rest is, however, preferable.
Not that this has much to do with why clubs have collapsed (though is they implode on the patronising gits, this could be quite a Good Thing.

Memo to GS and others: READ THE SODDING THREAD TITLE BEFORE PLACING FINGERS ON KEYS.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Mr Happy
Date: 04 May 07 - 08:32 AM

Can't you people just chill & enjoy the music??


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 04 May 07 - 08:36 AM

Waht does sodding mean Countess?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 May 07 - 08:37 AM

Apologies. meant to type 'IF they implode', but I think, optimistically, I'll change that to 'when'.

Greg, I was wondering this too. We MUST know the bugger.
Shall we start guessing?
Erm, Mr Carthy? No, don't think so . . .


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 04 May 07 - 08:41 AM

Bernard Manning must have done a few club gigs in his time...


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 May 07 - 08:41 AM

Well I was looking for what might have gone wrong so that we could avoid doing it again but can carry on hearing lots of good music!

.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Mr Happy
Date: 04 May 07 - 10:24 AM

'Bernard Manning must have done a few club gigs in his time... '

.....well judging by some've the 'rich' language further up this thread, I guess someone must be a close adherent of his!!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 04 May 07 - 11:05 AM

All highly edifying stuff, I'm sure.

If I was a young person reading this, with an interest in getting involved in folk music, I'd probably decide to stick with Westlife/Muse/Beyonce/James Blunt/whoever's 'in' on the pop-scene at the moment, rather than folk, on the basis that they and their followers are more mature and better behaved.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Mr Middle England
Date: 04 May 07 - 11:38 AM

What a very rude woman.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Mr Happy
Date: 04 May 07 - 11:53 AM

GUEST,Mr Middle England,

Gasp of relief!

Thought was just me.

Anthology Countess Richard쳌fs posts, clearly a man-hater. & Doesn쳌ft enjoy others self-expression in the form of sinin쳌f together & havin쳌f a nice time!

Some samples of vocabulary include:


Bugger. Perve) bastard. Sod off crap. Bleedin쳌f + fucking!

Says it all?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 04 May 07 - 12:08 PM

Can't even spell her name right...one letter too many in Countess....so way she could be a countess with her demeanour.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 04 May 07 - 12:10 PM

Well, the Countess certainly seems to have one strong talent ; she's unmatched at getting the knickers of quite a few Mudcat Brits in a twist. Wrong or right, I have to admire the way she handles herself. If she does as well onstage then she must be fairly entertaining! As for her language, we all need to get a "fuck" or two out of our systems on the appropriate occasion.

Lonesome Yank EJ


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 04 May 07 - 12:26 PM

Careful EJ if you start saying nice things about her you will be attacked as a sexist!!!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 May 07 - 12:27 PM

I can take some things, so to speak, but:

"If I was a young person reading this, with an interest in getting involved in folk music, I'd probably decide to stick with Westlife/Muse/Beyonce/James Blunt"

is just too much, nobody on this thread needs to have to face this kind of abuse. Now lets all try to .......... Oh god I have lost the will ........ Westlife . look .........


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 May 07 - 02:44 PM

So, do you people have anything to say about the collapse of folk clubs, or do you feel more constructive with all your petty squabbling?

Or is it the petty squabbling that is causing the collapse? I see the same bickering and pettiness in folk clubs in the U.S. and the UK, and then I see people asking why young people don't show any interest in folk music.

I thought folk music was about peace and justice and good times and enjoying being together over a pint of something or another. I thought folkies were supposed to be idealists who were out to transform the world with kindness.

Too often, that's not the case. We can't run a folk club or an Internet music forum for very long without the bickering coming to the foreground. Why is that? What can we do to stop that trend?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 May 07 - 02:49 PM

What was it I said several posts back about the literacy deficiency of those who skim threads, pick out one word in 19 on a good day then post entirely non-contextual bollocks?

I despair of the blusterings and squirmings that some backwoodsmalepersons stoop to in attempts to 'justify' the crass and demeaningly proprietory manner in which they perceive women. (And even more so, any woman who, apparently willingly, acquiesces to this insulting behaviour, c.f. thread entitled Best thing seen in a folk club).

Albeit, doubtless, possessors of the appropriate anatomical equipment, these aren't 'men'. I dislike them intensely and feel the utmost contempt towards them. They deserve every word and more I have directed towards them. But this is in no way makes me a 'manhater'. When an actual man is a sensitive and supportive human being, I admire him greatly (not that I expect very many on this forum to understand this).

What I have said above about venues and what occurs in them stems from experience (in a variety of capacities) spanning (ahem) around 40 years. One would have hoped that male attititudes to women, especially in a trad music environment, would have improved (Lincolnshire evidently excepted). Everyone with whom I associate musically nowadays is, fortunately, unafflicted with attitudes prevalent on this forum.

A few people on this thread know me (or at least who I am) and have acknowledged whatever small contribution I have made to the dissemination of trad music. Thank you for your support. It's a disgrace that it was necessary, but for the sake of the music, thanks anyway.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 04 May 07 - 02:52 PM

I wish I knew Joe. Unfortunately your quote;
"I thought folk music was about peace and justice and good times and enjoying being together over a pint of something or another. I thought folkies were supposed to be idealists who were out to transform the world with kindness."
with which I wholeheartedly agree, would be greeted in certain areas of the English folk scene with snorts of derision. Like others, I've battled against this attitude, but as you can see from the above thread, sometimes it's hard to be an idealist when faced with such an implacable enemy.
As we used to say; "Peace and love".
For a time we had it, but sometimes I think it's lost forever.
However, it appears to be the world we have to live in.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Partridge
Date: 04 May 07 - 03:43 PM

Initially I walked from this thread, read it and clicked away from it. I felt quite angry at the rudeness.

Having looked at Countess Richards contributions to this thread nay to this forum, she seems to be full of vitriol and bollocks. Shi* I hope I don't know her!

Pat x


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 May 07 - 03:52 PM

"Collapse of stout party"...

The Punch cartoons with that phrase in the caption have long gone, and Punch is long gone - but cartoons and jokes haven't vanished from the earth, and that won't ever happen. They've changed, and they'll keep changing. And the same goes for the settings in which songs and music get performed and passed around, and the way we sing and play.

No need to break our hearts and our heads over it. People are always going to get together and share music and songs, as they always have. Not everyone, but enough to carry the songs and the music on down the ages, picking up stuff and discarding it along the way.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 May 07 - 04:40 PM

Why don't y'all get down to Sainsbury's (that's a UK supermarket) and get a free carrier bag that announces 'I'm not a plastic bag/a smug twat/an inveterate abuser of women'.
Take it down to your local f*lk club (if it hasn't collapsed).
Oh my! The hotpanted 'ladies' will be ever so impressed.
Never mind the music, it's gone to a pub we're not telling you about.
Or the bollocks for that matter.
You'll be hearing enough of that at your 'open mic'.
But we're playing and singing and stepdancing all over the tables at the *********.
Collapse of stout party? Jolly good.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: jacqui.c
Date: 04 May 07 - 05:09 PM

I manage to get to a few folk venues when I visit the UK - many of you know me as well.

To my mind there is still a good folk music scene both in the UK and the USA and I have seen an encourging number of young people showing an interest in the music over the past few years.

I came into folk late, about seven years ago, so can't say that I have any experience of the real hay days. The first club I went to folded as a result of the infiltration of a group of people who would have better suited an acoustic/open mic session. Their idea of a performance was Beatles and Oasis - the latter played and sung very badly. The closest they came to my idea of folk was 'Those Were The Days' sung with the 'appropriate' extras like trilling laughter at one point. They were clearly not interested in folk music as they talked their way through most of the other singers' pieces and they gradually bought in more of their ilk. It wasn't too long before we were told that we were no longer welcome in that pub.

In the town I lived in the folk became very insular. Everybody had their bits they would do and very rarely did more than one or two of them produce something new. It wasn't until I expanded my horizons as a result of the Mudcat that I realised what a rich vein of wonderful music was out there.

OK, in some clubs there are some who do not perform well but at least they are out there and doing it, not sitting waiting to be entertained by someone else. One advantage of the so-called 'dross' is that they might just encourage others to try their hand if they see that these people don't get run out of town on a rail. Can you imagine just how intimidating it can be to listen to a whole group of very good singers and then to be asked if you want to sing? I doubt that, if that had been the cae, I would ever have opened my mouth. For me, Folk Music is about songs being sung by people, not performers. I've heard some of the original recordings of 'authentic' folk singers and, in the opinion of some members of this forum, they probably wouldn't pass muster today.

I agree about the teeenage angst songs - heard a few of those in my time as well. Usually, those types don't stay around a folk session too long as the rest of the music is not to their taste. It also irritates me when a singer forgets the words half way through a song or stops to bemoan the fact that they forgot a verse. I'm one of what my husband calls "those f@#^%&g book people" and, if I am not totally certain I'll remember a song I haven't sung in a while or that is newly learned, the words will be there, just in case.

I agree with Joe on the turn that this thread has taken. Quite why there was a need for such unpleasantness I really don't know. It certainly became thread drift with a vengeance.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 04 May 07 - 05:24 PM

I think it is that the decline in over all numbers of clubs is in fact because those that remain (at least in my part of the world) retain all the best elements that were perhaps only single elements in a lot of the earlier clubs.

There used to be several clubs that specialised in a particular type or style (blues,trad whatever) and now down here in Sussex the remaining 5 or 6 clubs will all at different times put on representatives from across the spectrum.

Dave

(and Joe I think you can see where the bickering originates)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 04 May 07 - 07:31 PM

Dear Countess...if you have little love in your life...try spreading some of your own around and you may be amazed at what you get back...even from those men who you suggest are 'sexist' because they appreciate the beauty of some women. If I find a woman attractive that makes me sexist....I suppose if I find a woman of the ethnic minorities attractive I must be sexist and racist eh? What a load of old rubbish. Please consider what your own attitudes in your posts are showing the 'Mudcat public' in general Countess. It would appear that you are the one who is sexist. I think perhaps it is time for all involved in this counter productive thread to lighten up.......and I don't believe Folk Clubs are collapsing at all....many are growing...including Les Worrals (the Villans) Faldingworth Live...where I have just been party to a great evenings entertainment with George Papavgeris as top of the bill and those gorgeous Wild Wolds Women (sorry Countess but you see...they are!!!!!!)John Blanks and Paul Young and his friend (sorry don't know his name) Excellent evening all round. Great Club and can't wait for Gainsborough on Friday...yet another Club that is far from collapsing.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 04 May 07 - 08:31 PM

Mike the other young man was Will Seaward. Both Paul and him sang some cracking traditional shanties with a passion and what made it so good was the fact that they were under 25.
John Blanks sang some lovely songs including a smashing traditional song called Annachie Gordon (Hope I spelt that correct) as well as a brand new song written for the Polish War Veterans who served at Faldingworth during the second world war (written by Mark Addison tune by John Blanks. I had the honour and privelage to visit the last Polish war veteran living in Lincoln thsi week to let him give his blessing for the song. It was so humbling meeting him.
Wild Wolds Women did a smashing set (lovely talented ladies)
What can one say about George Papvgeris - just plain excellent and what a songwriter.
I counted 16 mudcatters (out of the audinec of nigh on 60) at the event and we all had a very nice evening and enjoyed our company very much. Thats what its about.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 01:10 AM

Annachie Gordon is Child #239 Lord Saltoun and Annanachie and what is trotted out by floor singers is invariably the tune and arrangement of Nic Jones as recorded on Noah's Ark Trap and later, for obvious Celtic-related reasons, on Unearthed. It relates the consequences of patriarchal and oppressively offensive behaviour towards a woman.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 05 May 07 - 03:11 AM

Oh dear


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,John Blanks
Date: 05 May 07 - 03:42 AM

Well, as you're talking about ME, I'll dip in. As I don't wish to be accused of being an 'anonymous' guest, I'm posting this 'shit' under my real name.

".....and what is trotted out by floor singers is invariably the tune and arrangement of Nic Jones as recorded on Noah's Ark Trap and later, for obvious Celtic-related reasons, on Unearthed."

Not in 'my' performance of the song. I've never heard Nic Jones' version, but I'm told by those who have that 'my version' is very different from Nic's. In fact I've based what I do on the tune and arrangement which is used by Sharon Fountain, a Barnsley singer, guitarist and writer whom I admire very much indeed, both as a performer and as a human being. No doubt I'll now be accused of plagiarism, but guess what - as the woman says, "Am I bovvered?".

"It relates the consequences of patriarchal and oppressively offensive behaviour towards a woman."

Yep, that's exactly how I introduce it - my words may be more of the one-syllable variety (being a member of that sub-human sector known by the general term "men"), but the meaning is precisely the same.

"Or is it just a gang of backwoods Lincolnshire 'men', pissed and on the prowl after their club night out with George PapAvgeris?"

I was born, and still live in Lincolnshire. My day-job is as the accountant for the UK-division of a multi-national manufacturing company. My wife is a manager in the same company. I've never beaten her. I rejoice in her independence of thought and action, and she in mine. My wife is the at centre of my existence, and she's the best friend I have, or have ever had. I wear clothes which I buy new in well-known clothing stores. I drive a reasonably new German car. I frequently eat out at restaurants, holding my knife and fork in the correct hands and chewing with my mouth closed. I speak English and acceptably decent French (necessary, given the diverse locations of my employers' business, and the need to visit other locations). I read books by 'proper' writers, that don't have any pictures - lots of them (currently reading 'The Tenderness of Wolves'). I have travelled in the USA, Canada, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Greece and her Islands, Egypt, I've spent time exploring the ecologically unique and beautiful St. Kilda archipelago (have you, dear Countess? Mmmm,
thought not!). I'm a lifelong part-time tall-ship sailor (now curtailed due to my recent protracted illness). I attended 'Faldingworth Live' last night, both as a performer and to hear George Papavgeris (as fine an example of a gentleman, in its true sense of 'gentle-man' as you could hope to meet) and the other performers. I don't drink alcohol. I took my son with me and, after the gig ended, we helped the PA guy and his wife to strip the gear down and load it in their car. We then loaded my gear in my car and drove home for Horlicks and bed.

If that makes me a "Backwoods Lincolnshire 'man' pissed and out on the prowl after our club night with GP", then I'd suggest that someone has a very closed-minded and bigotted view of the world.

"Unable, for obvious reasons, to pull the Fen women,"

Countess, your knowledge of traditional music is, no doubt, encyclopaedic. Your grasp of geography is, on the basis of your statement, clearly woefully deficient. Faldingworth is not in the Fens, nowhere near them. It lies in North Lincolnshire (that's towards the top of the map, provided you're holding it the right way up). The Fens are in the South of Lincolnshire (that's towards the bottom, or the top if you still haven't mastered the art of map-reading). It's a long way from Faldingworth to the Fens, a very long drive - most of us pissed-up Lincolnshire backwoodsmen would have run our cars into the ditch long before we got there (and that's assuming WE know which way up to hold the map).

"they're just having 'fun' with their computers"

Isn't that exactly what you're doing, Countess?

Sadly, Countess, your contribution to this thread has been very much devalued by your totally unwarranted vitriol towards any man who disagreed with you. You clearly have the intellect for reasoned discussion, and a great depth of knowledge on what is, presumably, your main (if not only) subject - why not stick a patch on, have a glass of Chardonnay, touch index-fingers and thumbs, take a deep breath and intone 'Aummmmm' until you gain whatever equilibrium you're capable of, then come back with reasoned and reasonable input, and offer some of the respect for others that you demand for yourself? That way, this thread, which started out as an interesting foray into the reasons for the demise (or otherwise) of the folk clubs, might just crawl out of the gutter and get back on track.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to read this. I appreciate it very much, and hope (although vainly, I fear) that it will receive your reasoned consideration.

Good Day.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:06 AM

Some 'anonymous guest' posted the address and personal details of someone with the same name as me who lives and works in Liverpool. So much for map-reading skills. After conversation with 'da management', this has been removed.

John Blanks, I'm sure your rendition of Annachie Gordon is 'very nice'. And I know that Lincolnshire is 100 miles long as viewed from a train window. I've never actually been. Some idiot was rambling on in his usual trivial and derogatory fashion about the physical attributes of a women band called Fen (or was it Wolds?) Women. I found it ever so ironic that a song about forced marriage and attempted ritual rape had gone completely over the heads of your audience.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: stallion
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:11 AM

Last night we had a cracking session in the Tap & Spile (York), the vast majority of the performers were under thirty, nay 25, me and the boys hoisted the average age considerably, indeed I include those who turn up without "instruments" for a sing, taking jaqui c's point that folk music isn't about performing its taking part, I think that it is vacuous, petulant and of no relevance whether some one sounds like Nic Jones, does a Nic Jones arrangement or for that matter any one else's arrangement, if folk clubs are dying it will be because people will have forgotten or lost sight of the fact that people go to enjoy themselves not to be told what to enjoy, so, send the anorak to the charity shop and engage with people positively and be thankful that people are singing and playing the songs whosevers arrangement that might be.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: stallion
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:21 AM

Oh, and another theme to this thread, We sing about Hunting with dogs, hounds , yet none of us actually support hunting with dogs, so, now that it is banned, should all the songs about hunting be forgotten and never sung, we are about record "O Good Ale", a real wife beater of a song but none of us would contemplate condone and even condemn such behaviour but
surely rational reasonable people would know that the lyrics were an observation of another age rather than an endorsement of it, salt and vinegar with those Madam?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:33 AM

Are you suggesting that I have advocated the 'banning' of any songs, Stallion? Obviously, I have not (though would very much prefer not to have to listen to teenage angst etc crap). What I do think is how ridiculous it is that no-one apparently gets what a song is ABOUT because their minds are on non-musical and other reprehensible pursuits. If in a f*lk club, the top priority really ought to be the music. When it is not it is possibly preferable that the venue collapses.

As for attribution, yes I do believe that this is very important, both for academic reasons and because musicians' livelihoods often depend upon royalties. Does the Tap & Spile omit to make PRS returns then?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:47 AM

Countess...you state.... >>I found it ever so ironic that a song about forced marriage and attempted ritual rape had gone completely over the heads of your audience.<<
You are too obviously capable of making assumptions...such large ones that you claim to know what a whole audience is thinking. After Johns explanation on the night I think no-one was left in any doubt. You may have a wide knowledge of music or whatever but i guess you don't know it all eh?. Please chill out and fill us with wonderment at your exquisite eloquence.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,John Blanks
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:49 AM

I did promise myself that I wouldn't allow myself to be baited, but I'm going to break the habit of a lifetime and surrender to temptation.

You see, Countess, you're at it again!

"I'm sure your rendition of Annachie Gordon is 'very nice'."

I didn't make any claims about it, other than to make factual statements about how I came to love and learn a particular version (and I absolutely will NOT get drawn into arguments about 'versions', their validity, right to exist or whatever!), and how I introduce it. Whether, in your opinion, or anyone else's for that matter, it's 'very nice' or not is of no consequence to me - I love the song, I take utmost pleasure from performing it, and I believe in the validity of message it gives out. That message may have been missed by some of the audience - we are all human beings, of varying mental capacity, and it ill-behoves the intellectual to speak in a way which attempts to vilify and demean the less-intellectually-gifted - but it certainly was not missed by the two young men who requested the song, for whom I sang it, and who described the way in which a group of their York University student-colleagues, both male and female, had been moved to tears on hearing it.

The points you make are frequently correct in substance, and I would happily agree with you over much of what you say but, sadly, the impact of much of the real meat of your posts is lost in the face of your constant generalisations about things of which you clearly have no knowledge or experience - perfect examples being your statements about Lincolnshire and it's male population, when you then admit that you've never been there! How can you possibly make these outrageous statements of 'fact' when they are, in truth, just your ill-informed opinions? You demand respect from a specific section of society, whilst insulting and abusing those very same people!

Not all men are neanderthals. The majority aren't - they are like I try to be, kind, generous, considerate and loving husbands, fathers, friends and colleagues. Just like most women.

And just as there are SOME vile, ignorant, pugnacious and rapacious men, logic and some personal experience has taught me that they are mirrored in a similar small percentage of the female population - every family will have its black sheep after all. The evidence from this thread is that you, dear lady, fall into that latter small category, and that's very sad. Prove to us that it's not true. Please don't let me down.
JB


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:52 AM

Someone mentioned the song in a way which suggested it was the first time they'd heard it. I supplied the references. Now piss off.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:57 AM

The post above was for the (non) silver-tongued person.
John Blanks: Don't call me a 'lady'. And as I haven't heard your rendition of Annachie Gordon, however else can I refer to it other than as 'probably very nice'? I didn't condemn it, unheard, as 'rubbish', did I?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:59 AM

Sadly the lower end of your behaviour rears its ugly head again. Telling people to p... off is playground behaviour and should have been left there years ago....I feel very sorry for you now as it would seem that you are not the woman in the photo in the members info section......she would not be behaving or relating in the manner you exhibit here. Please take your time to think about your posts and 'smell the coffee' as the saying goes. You are actually sounding like a bitter older person who is resorting to childish tactics to survive.
We love you Countess....her's a hug for you (((((((Diane))))))))


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:01 AM

Yes I am the person in the members' info section. But don't let it stop you from pissing off . . .


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: stallion
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:16 AM

well well well, life isn't all about money, PRS at the Tap. now that is bordering on comedic, for christ's sake don't anyone whistle Dixie it might be difficult to work out who to pay the PRS money to! Time to lighten up, to be honest o noble one your posts are becoming a real hoot like Jack Dee on speed! But I don't think they show you in a good light and a less informed readership may look to each other and confirm some old cliches, is it May already! good lord lets dust off Hal and Tow (Waterson's version of course)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:22 AM

. . . indeed in the light of your previous unnecessary, derogatory and offensive remarks about women, I'd feel happier if you weren't looking at my image at all.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:25 AM

I take that to mean that at your Tap & Spile you avoid paying PRS royalties. Artists please note.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,John Blanks
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:29 AM

Oh dear, Countess.

"however else can I refer to it other than as 'probably very nice'? I didn't condemn it, unheard, as 'rubbish', did I?"

From your earlier posts, I've gleaned information that you have a journalistic background. You are therefore completely aware of the effect of enclosing words or groups of words in inverted commas. In this case the impact, as you well know and IMO intended, was to reverse the compliment that is contained in the words. In other words it was a bait, I guess in the forlorn hope that I would be provoked into falling into the trap of resorting to kind of fish-wifey retaliation that you excel in.

Tough - you failed, I'm not that kind of guy. I'm very comfortable with myself, in the kind of way that surviving a protracted life-threatening illness makes a person, and I don't feel the need to beat people up, even when they try to do it to me. Life's too short (and much too happy!)

Regarding my singing of 'Annachie Gordon', it may well be, in the eyes of some, that it's 'rubbish'. No problemo, can't please 'em all, and I won't turm myself inside-out trying. I can cheerfully accept criticism when it's well-meant and based on something other than the desire to poke a male person in the eye with a sharp stick. If you'd like to do something positive, as a bit of relief from handing out all that negativity, I'll be delighted to send you an MP3 and you can tell me what you think.

"Don't call me a 'lady'."

Whatevaaaahhh (yawnnnn......). A rose by any other name, etc., etc.

Best wishes,
JB


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:33 AM

Send me an mp3 if you want. George Papavgeris has my email. I might listen to it.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,John Blanks
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:33 AM

And yes, I spelled 'turn' wrong. Late night, early morning and dyslexic fingers. Please don't hit me with that big stick.....LOL!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,John Blanks
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:38 AM

"Send me an mp3 if you want."

Well, I'm whelmed by the enthusiasm. (That's something less than overwhelmed, but more than underwhelmed, BTW!).

I don't *want* anything other than a happy life, which I'm pleased to say I have, and peaceful interaction with other human beings. It's more a question of *if YOU want*.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:39 AM

John Banks ,Stallion Gergiansilver et al.

As you may have seen in other threads I've crossed sword with herself. Never got anything other than ranting and swearing.

Like the man said life is too short so I've given up trying.

Don't let me stop you guys though.

Dave

(bet she jumps down my throat for this)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:40 AM

>>>>>>I might listen to it<<<<<< Don't bother John! Your music is well appreciated elsewhere and your rendering of Annachie Gordon is certainly one of the best I've heard.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:40 AM

I MIGHT want to hear it. I'm sure it's 'very nice'.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:44 AM

Thanks Breton Cap...or is it hatman?? Yes I remember a little recent fracas. All harmless banter really...worthy only of the odd laugh when a particularly funny comment arrives...I enjoy it. As for being sexist...I guess she has judged me on a simple comment and I will be a sexist pig forever.....I could be called worse things I suppose.
Anyway...which Folk Clubs are collapsing?? Anything we can do to help??


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: stallion
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:46 AM

Piss artists please note, a good free for all session at the Tap & Spile , York, Friday nights, no entrance fee, no paid guests, no angst ( unless you count having to stand cos all the seats are taken)and no, no PRS, 100% of nowt is nowt.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:54 AM

Countess
If your voice was as good as John's and your guitar playing was as good as his and your fiddle playing was as good as Paul Young who was on at Faldingworth Live, I would come and see you. However I doubt if you match up to any of those.

I was with John when he sang 'Annachie Gordon' live on Radio Lincolnshire. It was so good, it went onto the Yellowbellies 1 CD for charity without any editing (so good was it)

Lets face it Countess, it is you who is the insulting person on here.

>>I MIGHT want to hear it<< You insulting person


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 06:04 AM

I have piles of largely unsolicited, unplayed stuff.
If an mp3 from John Blanks turns up it might get played, eventually.
Les Villan, as a club organiser, operates his booking policy, presumably, in a similar fashion.
It's entirely counter-productive for a gang of mates of a hitherto unknown (to me) artist to leap up and down shrieking 'you've got to hear xxx who is miles better than . . .'
That's how many CDs end up as bird scarers among the runner beans.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 06:20 AM

Oh and Mr Villan, I've no idea whether my playing is better or worse than the people you mention as I don't know them. I'm not, however, looking for gigs and you are most unlikely to see me.

As anyone who knows me is aware, it is a long while since I performed in public and I am not about to begin again. Why would I when so many do it better?

Do go and bluster at somebody else.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 05 May 07 - 06:20 AM

>>I have piles <<
My sympathies go with you Countess Richard


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 May 07 - 06:27 AM

I think at one point I was with the position or opinion and experience that CR brought to this discussion.

I kind of feel that some of us did not help, but the recent exchanges are beyond me or the point of this thread.

The number of Folk Clubs is much less than it was and perhaps the attitudes revealed by a minority of these posts was a, probably small, contributor?

I feel sure you will all recall that bit in the Life of Brian where they discuss the relative values of the Peoples Front for the Liberation of Judea versus The Liberation Front of the People of Judea or some such groups.

Some of this thead feels a bit like that. Some people who run or go to clubs did behave a bit like members of some obscure Trotskist / Stalinist sect and it did not help!

Off to post leaflets for our Folk Night

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,John Blanks
Date: 05 May 07 - 06:35 AM

Okay people, thanks for your well-meaning support, I'm flattered but it's unneccessary - I'm a big boy, I can tie my shoes myself, go to the lavatory on my own, write in joined-up letters, and it's counter-productive to continue the invective when I'm trying to conduct a conversation in a civilised manner. Genuinely no offence intended to anyone I know, or even those I don't.

"I have piles of largely unsolicited, unplayed stuff."

Yep, I expected that, that's why I asked out of politeness if you would like me to send it.

"If an mp3 from John Blanks turns up it might get played, eventually"

Yep, I expected that, that's why I asked out of politeness if you would like me to send it.

"It's entirely counter-productive for a gang of mates of a hitherto unknown (to me) artist to leap up and down shrieking 'you've got to hear xxx who is miles better than . . .'
That's how many CDs end up as bird scarers among the runner beans."

Yep, I expected that, that's why I asked out of politeness if you would like me to send it.

Yep, I'm pretty-much unheard-of outside Lincolnshire, some of Notts., and a bit of South Yorkshire, and I'm just a guy who likes to sing and play, and who has been fortunate enough to be appreciated by the members of most of the clubs I've played in. I have no pretentions to 'stardom' (shit, inverted commas - you've got me doing it now!), I eschewed my opportunities for stardom (with a couple of bands who had a number of chart 'hits' in the UK and Europe in the 60's) in favour of higher education and training as an accountant (my first bad decision in a chain of them). My only aim is to sing and play the songs I love to anyone who can take pleasure from them.

In fact, these people are not my 'gang of mates'. They're people, some of whom I'm privileged to know and run into fairly frequently at clubs in my area, who have presumably enjoyed my performances. Their decalarations of undying loyalty are unsolicited - however, they are very, very much appreciated.

I offered you a copy of my singing of 'Annachie Gordon' as a response to a clear jibe, to your obvious inference that it would be of a quality which you would find unacceptable at worst, or barely tolerable at best. Nothing more, nothing less. As I said earlier, I can't please everyone, and I won't try, but I prefer constructive criticism based on substantive judgment, to put-downs based on......what? Willie-hatred? Penis-envy? It wasn't I who mentioned my singing of the song in the first place remember.

I've tried to open a door for a reasonable conversation, in civilised terms and without inter-sex negativity, but I sense that I'm urinating into the airflow.

I'm gone.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 06:37 AM

I did wonder whether the Lincolnshire contingent had confused music with a fanatical and obscure political or religious sect.

As I said much earlier, I steer clear of 'clubs' apart from a very select few. They're past their sell-by, as are their denizens, possessed as they are with what passes for brains frozen in outdated attitudes towards both social actuality and musical developments.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 05 May 07 - 06:43 AM

There you go again CR. You never know when to stop dishing out tripe.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 06:43 AM

I've tried to open a door for a reasonable conversation

Hmmm, well you were self-promoting.
Nothing wrong with that.
Plenty of it goes on around here.
And I was just telling you how it is. I'd listen to you . . . eventually.
I know you won't be better than Nic Jones at performing Annachie Gordon.
But you'd surely be better than Mary Black. Aren't you?
Well, I'll see if it turns up . . .


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Ian Burdon
Date: 05 May 07 - 06:44 AM

I started reading this thread interested in it's ostensible topic and then kept reading in much the same way as I watch unfolding natural disasters on rolling news channels.

My impression, for what its worth, is of pots and kettles bristling as they rush to identify each other's blackness.

Anyway, I wonder how much of the 'decline' has to do with a drift away from f*lk as a participative medium to a performance based and thouroughly marketing labelled and sub-genred thing.

For the most part the source singers whose repetoires formed the basis for the booms of the fifties and sixties have passed on and the links in the chain to those sources are also getting longer. The travellers from whom many songs in our modern canon of "traditional" music have their immediate source as part of their traditional existence are urbanised and the agricultural culture which sustained them is mechanised, automated and block-granted out of existence. Similarly seafaring communities/occupations, steel, mining, shipbuilding - all industries and occupations which sustained generations in communities of shared experience in a way that suburbs full of salaried staff do not.   

I suppose that this is a somewhat grandiose way of saying that to the extent that the music and traditions emerged from communities which time has eviscerated it is no surprise that the sustaining force behind the music and traditions has faded leaving only performance and as folk clubs have inexorably become performance venues they have to compete on level terms with other musical genres perceived to be more relevant and - with the exception of those still fighting the Trad/Be-bop wars in jazz - less prone to squabbling.

I exaggerate a little for rhetorical effect I confess.

And yet....

Some of us are trying to revive the tradition of Rapper dancing here in Edinburgh - we're still practicing and haven't yet danced out - but people - mostly young - who have seen us practicing stay and watch: not because we're necessarily any good yet but because for them it's new and different and entertaining and contextualises the music in a way that doesn't carry associations of "Folk Music".

Anyway I'm starting to ramble so I'll stop.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 06:45 AM

I was quoting the OP, Mr Villan.
You must have skipped that one.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 07:14 AM

***PANICKY GROAN***


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 07:19 AM

Oops, didn't mean to post before adding the reason for the groan.
I keep getting this scary vision of the pervy antique dealer gazing at my purple pic.

Omigod.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,John Blanks
Date: 05 May 07 - 07:44 AM

"Hmmm, well you were self-promoting."

Nonsense, lady. I was reacting to an inferred critical judgment based on nothing but an apparent all-consuming bigotry and, by offering to provide you with the means, hoping to turn that baseless criticism into something quantifiable and justifiable. Why don't you understand that?

"And I was just telling you how it is. I'd listen to you . . . eventually."

I've already said, three times, that's what I expect. I accepted what you'd said - three times I stated it. I've had reviews before, I'm aware that there's a process and it takes time - I said I understood, three times. Why don't you understand that?


"I know you won't be better than Nic Jones at performing Annachie Gordon.
But you'd surely be better than Mary Black. Aren't you?"

I've re-read my posts very carefully, and I can't find anwhere where I've compared the quality of my performance of Annachie against Nic's. In fact I said I've never heard it - which is the truth. I never compare my own performances against those of others (except in the privacy of my own mind when trying to assess how to 'do' a song, or whether it's ready to play out), and you won't provoke me to. Nic and Mary are very talented and successful artists, I stake no claim to be their equal. Nic is Nic, Mary's Mary, I'm John. Three people - three singers of the same song. The link ends there. Why don't you understand that?

"Well, I'll see if it turns up . . . "

It will, if you want it to. So far you've only told me to send it 'if you want to', and that you're so busy you probably won't have time to listen to it. I told you earlier that I can't please everyone, and that I won't turn myself inside out trying. Whatever you say about it (and I suspect that that would be subject to a pretty profound degree of bigotry if the stuff you've posted on here is anything to go by), it won't have any effect on me, because you're just one small voice amongst many. Your views may or may not have validity, but no more so than anyone else's. Why don't you understand that?

Time to do something useful.
'Bye


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 05 May 07 - 07:47 AM

Do you expect sympathy?

Tough luck!!

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 05 May 07 - 07:52 AM

Sorry crossed in post

My remark was meant for Ms Easby

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 May 07 - 07:57 AM

If the antique dealer you are referring to is me Countess, I would suggest you try again. I do a little collecting of antiques but my occupation before my very early retirement some years ago, was clinical psychologist.
If you would like a personal assessment...based on your posts here I would be only too happy to provide one and suggest suitable treatment for your condition (if you wanted)..although I would imagine you would feel no need of such help.
If pervy is how you see me then you are lacking in insight where assessment of your fellow human beings is concerned....in my teens maybe but we all have to grow up at some point don't we....or do you?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 08:09 AM

Sympathy? Nah, an arrest would do


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 05 May 07 - 08:50 AM

Ms Easby

You'll go too far one day.

There is a thing called Libel tha knows!

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 09:12 AM

I haven't libelled, slandered or defamed anyone. What I do is to draw attention to the ludicrous, actionable and/or offensive things they say themselves.
Such as that creep staring at my photograph. Yeuk, scary.
However, alleging that I live in Liverpool . . . there could be a law suit in that . . .


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 05 May 07 - 09:40 AM

You have said that what you think someone has done makes that person a Pervert.

Getting mighty close it seems to me.

But I'm sick and tired of all this so I will leave you to your juvenile activities and get on with my own life.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 09:46 AM

I do, and the relevant part of that is that it occurred in a f*lk club.
Some women would be very intimidated and scared by this.
I'm bloody angry.
I have no statistics on whether this contributed to the collapse of clubs but what I am certain of is that in this day and age, such behaviour should be discouraged, nay prevented.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 May 07 - 02:15 PM

Countess....you state >>>>>I do, and the relevant part of that is that it occurred in a f*lk club.
Some women would be very intimidated and scared by this.
I'm bloody angry.<<<<
The relevant part of what occurred in a folk club? Which women or what type of woman would be intimidated and scared and why should you be angry..what reason do you have?
Please try to give sensible answers that are relevant and completely explanatory....if you can.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 05 May 07 - 03:00 PM

Methinks she has finally flipped!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 05 May 07 - 03:10 PM

You might be right


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 05 May 07 - 03:10 PM

Reading this, I'm reminded again of the irony in the fact that the British have somehow earned a world-wide reputation for being polite and reserved.

Lonesome EJ (sitting in the Pub corner watching the melee while wearing a rain-slicker and fending off thrown-objects with a trash-can lid)

What the hell was that just went flying by? Looked like a bombarde!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:08 PM

Yes EJ it was me playing it....lovely Belgian instrument......good for throwing too especially sharp end first....need to make sure there are no beautiful women around first though, wouldn't want to hurt one. ROFLOL. Good for throwing at photos of people you don't like or who don't like you for some obscure reason.....


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: breezy
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:14 PM

I think the ref ought to blow his whistle and end the game


I have had the pleasure of C R visitng one of my clubs, it was the Spotlight in St Albans, giving 'new faces'a chance.

I have also guested at the Villan's club and was warmly received

I have seen and heard John Blanks and he even travelled to St Albans and spotlighted as have Sooz and mike D and very good evenings they gave us and for very little remuneration

If more 'named' atristes were to expect more realistic fees and thus promote their musisc then maybe the folk club scene would thrive.

Folk clubs are alive, but there are very few organisers on mudcat to give this thread credence

Please let us return to the topic and put aside the discussion that has dominated


btw

The windward experience in St aLbans next meets on Sunday 20th May at the Rose and crown, with residents papag, fleggy, moses ref and me, there is no charge but we do hold a raffle in aid of leukaemia busters

O H shit, a high jack , well ould habits die hard, and my autumn tour, entitled, 'Here's to the power of song' starts on sunday 9th September at Folk on the moor.

Bishop Stortford the following Thursday


bye


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:19 PM

Breezy
Everybody that performs at FL gets treated with respect and courtesy.
George was great last night.
Are you back from Padstow?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:50 PM

Breezy is of course quite right and the good old Ref should blow his whistle (or at least sing very loudly).

The incident to which I am referring is (as GS knows perfectly well), when, on his own admission, he was ogling a woman, James Blunt stylee, who was at a club with her partner. As GS surely ought now realise (but refuses), this was inappropriate, ridiculous and offensive, no way to behave in a f*lk club where the persons attending have (usually) at least some idea of how to conduct themselves in this day and age, and the woman concerned could have been (and probably was) very intimidated.

The reason why I am angry is that the perpetrator refuses to recognise that there is anything wrong with such crass behaviour. I am, of course, unaware of whether this put the woman off from ever coming back to the club. But it might have done. Just think: retired shrink/car boot person largely responsible for collapse of clubs . . .

(As it happens, I have been contacted offlist by a woman who is, I suppose, too scared to post who described similar incidents at clubs. This is wholly reprehensible and needs to be addressed).


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:55 PM

Oh and I should have said that on the night I attended St Albans I had more fun in a club than I'd had for a very long time. If only more were like it. It's in my top 10 in the land.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:57 PM

Though (for the sake of getting 100) I have to say that Ryburn Three Step is probably the best in the world.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:09 PM

Unfortunately CR, you are totally wrong about GS
He is a well respected person and has a wicked sense of humour. You may well have been the victim of such wicked humour.
When at my club, he is the perfect gentleman and very well behaved and I know there are a lot of mudcatters who will vouch for that.
If he was like that, he would be barred from my club. I would never tolerate bad behaviour at my club. However I do love a wicked sense of humour and people who are nice & decent humans.
My club has the utmost decorum and respect for all people who come to it, incluuding single women. I have had a number of women who come to my club who have thanked me for the very pleasant and welcoming hospitality and being made to feel at home.
You are totally barking up the wrong street, sorry to say.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:14 PM

In fact why don't you one day come and give us a visit. I can guarantee you will be made to feel at home and welcomed by many mudcatters with a mudcatter hug.
We ae all very friendly at Faldingworth Live and Gainsborough Folk Club.
We just enjoy life.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: jacqui.c
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:26 PM

Some women would be very intimidated and scared by this.

So how do these women manage to live a day to day life? If they are so scared of admiring glances in a folk club, and that is, after all, all that is being said, how would such tender little flowers deal with walking past a building site or just going into a pub? The level of interest in those areas is going to be a lot more obvious than will probably be the case in a folk club. Trust me, I've been in that situation and I know!

Would you have all women walking around in public in burkas? That is what it will take to prevent the majority of men from admiring a pretty girl. The fact that they might admire does not mean that a) they are perverts or b) that they intend to take it further. My husband still admires and comments on the looks of some women and I find that both natural and healthy.

If a man finds a girl attractive then why should he not try to chat her up? That is how many good marriages have started and it would be a sad old world if men, or women, were afraid to approach a member of the opposite sex because of the fear of repercussions.

If you have had any experience of real perverts maybe you would be a little more careful with the use of that word. There is a lot of difference between a good healthy interest in the opposite sex and the twisted desires of some very sick people.

I would say that denying people the opportunity to show an interest in the opposite sex is more likely to add to the collapse of any social grouping than to help it continue.

John Blanks - if you were to become a member of the Mudcat I would send you my email address as I would love to hear your version of Annachie Gordon.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,The Folk Police
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:28 PM

Countess


Your nicked!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 05 May 07 - 05:33 PM

She don't like the Folk Police


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 May 07 - 06:18 PM

This whole problem started when I lightheartedly posted on a thread entitled 'Best thing seen in a Folk Club' and my mind returned to the wonderful 60s when mini skirts were in fashion and I was a red blooded male (much as many of the younger generation of males are now). One night a young female entered the club with her boyfriend and you could have heard a pin drop....mens eyes were on her...married men...single men....including mine(I was single) she was extremely beautiful and I can picture her now. She was far from intimidated or scared...much more enjoying the attention.
So..as I said I lightheartedly posted this on the thread and have been consequently branded a perve or sexist person by the dear Countess.
I thank you for your much more accurate description of me Mr Villan sir...you too have my respect as have all the men and women who attend your club.
Even now Countess, I can appreciate beauty... and your insinuations could never change that.....I have also been known to flatter the occasional beautiful woman if I am attracted to her...such is the joy of leading a single existence. I have never been called sexist by anyone but you.... and you don't even have a clue who I am. However, I am a forgiving sort of person and do not bear grudges against those who attack me in unjustified ways...I just put it down to their lack of understanding or sensitivity and move on.
Best wishes to all. Mike.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 05 May 07 - 06:30 PM

Oh I forgot to mention that GS is a very religious person. I have to say that I am not, but still have very strong beliefs on morality.
I also have the CRB Advanced Certificate and am vey proud of it. I think all club organisers should be made to have that.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,A well wisher.
Date: 05 May 07 - 08:06 PM

CR, I'm an admirer of yours but you've made yourself look ridiculous on this. I mean, screaming giant-sized missives in green ink- come on! No wonder you're adding your voice to the appeal for the thread to be closed- a pretty clear admission that know you've painted yourself into a corner. The issue that you ranted about turns out to be not that big a deal it seems, certainly no justification for you (a wordsmith after all) branding the "offender" a pervert- you know the power of that word. "Panicky groan"- again in giant coloured capitals- because someone might look at your picture (that you made public)...?? Can't you see it's utterly juvenile? People are laughing at you. The sisterhood is hardy rushing to your defence is it? I suppose you will either (a) ignore this or (b) come back with your usual "who asked you, you've split an infinitive, fuck off" standard reply- but it would be much more effective and impressive for you to reply holding to your substantive point but drawing back from some of the unpleasant and unjustified things you've said.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Cathie
Date: 05 May 07 - 09:44 PM

The SISTERHOOD?!!!

Whoah, what might this be?

How do you join if you are cyber intimidated? 4th May 7:06 am

Maybe Countess Richard will (c)reply to PMs and respect the privacy of those correspondances, like the woman she referred to above?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 06 May 07 - 02:09 AM

Mebbe it was all the in-fighting and public fallings-out of the polarised 'trad' & 'non-trad' brigades that brought the collapse?

Mebbe it was a complicated set of circumstances over a lengthy period of time. Circumstances that included very strong socio-economic influences?

Mebbe it was that folk clubs, like most entertainment venues, had a shelf-life that ran out?

Mebbe it was that most of the people who went to the clubs weren't dedicated folk-enthusiasts, they were just people who enjoyed a night out listening to something that was 'different'. When it stopped being 'different' to their ears, it became 'boring'?

I dunno what it was (if it happened at all, which I'm not sure it did), but it's not helped by some of the stuff on here. Name-calling, insults, abuse, sweeping generalisations, opinions posed as fact, attempts to expose members' real identity (must be against the forum rules? Joe??).

My first post wasn't a suggestion that Westlife/James Blunt etc are wonderful music, I was just trying to say, in an ironic sort of way that fear of judgmental attitudes, fear of being cold-shouldered because you don't play the 'right' stuff, and unwillingness to risk getting embroiled in the kind of fight we've seen here, certainly doesn't encourage joiners.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 May 07 - 03:24 AM

"judgmental attitudes, fear of being cold-shouldered because you don't play the 'right' stuff, and unwillingness to risk getting embroiled in the kind of fight we've seen here, certainly doesn't encourage joiners"

You really haevn't heard a "discussion" between the adherents of indie, metal (several subsets), emo, and screamo, have you? And if you add the various sorts of Mobo into the mix, beware of an explosion!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 May 07 - 03:29 AM

My point was actually (not that I expected many in this backwoods, silly-male-orientated (and, it has to be said, some woefully-unreconstructed women) awareness-lacking community to get it - was that such crass behaviour requires challenging throughout life but especially in a music venue where you don't exactly expect to encounter leering, Sun-reading builders scaring women away from music, when music OUGHT to be the reason why everyone is there. I seriously wonder how much this has contributed to their collapse. Shelf-life does expire.

Fancy saying women should just put up with or even enjoy such intimidation? Well, well, even I didn't expect that. Not a scrap of remorse from the perpetrators, oh no, just a campaign of baying idiocy and a ludicrous attempt to expose my identity (I think most people already know it) which resulted in someone else's personal details being displayed. Doesn't augur well for their level of intelligence which, incidentally, took a further dive when one of the pack proclaimed proudly that his venue avoids making PRS returns. Very useful in maintaining artists' intellectual property and affording them an actual living. Little wonder they're having to slope off and do day jobs instead of being lauded and properly rewarded in the declining and hopelessly flawed club circuit.

I do agree with the mysterious well-wisher that playing with html is a tad juvenile, possibly engendered by the brain-dead company I'm in who couldn't possibly grasp the satire. But as it doesn't harm or demean women or musicians struggling to make a living in a bleak climate it would certainly be a less harmful pastime for the baying pack. Sod off and try it. Oh and I didn't call for the thread to be closed, there's a crying need for it as a much-needed consciousness-raising exercise. My reference to Breezy's whistle blowing was merely a plug for the excellent Singing Referee. Too obscure? Why doesn't that surprise me?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 06 May 07 - 03:58 AM

"one of the pack proclaimed proudly that his venue avoids making PRS returns"

He didn't. Actually he said " PRS at the Tap. now that is bordering on comedic".

Irony?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 May 07 - 04:11 AM

05 May 07 - 05:46 AM:   No PRS


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: breezy
Date: 06 May 07 - 04:14 AM

maybe sessions reflect the growing levels of participation and do not discriminate against the total beginner, whereas there are some clubs that allow unheard floor singers, and clubs that guard against them and clubs that do not have them at all.

Publicity, or lack of

Clubs that are devoid of 'atmosphere'

'Trad' perceived clubs, of which Herga was once, but is no longer, a very welcoming club after all these years


Hand bags away my john

Sunday 20th May Rose and crown St Albans, no charge, anything goes


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Sooz
Date: 06 May 07 - 04:24 AM

Men look at women and women look at men. All the time. Its what keeps the human race moving. If we stop, we will become extinct and then no-one will be worrying about the state of the folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 06 May 07 - 06:54 AM

Over the last forty years I have heard women say, and still say, that folk clubs are one of the places that they can go to alone and NOT feel intimidated.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,SuperStar
Date: 06 May 07 - 07:20 AM

As the best looking, best guitar/fiddle/banjo player and best singer that ever frequented a folk club, I have to confess that I stopped attending due to the unsolicited attention I received from women, both married and single.
There constant pestering caused many marriage breakdowns and many unwanted fights.
I am sure this will have happened to other male peformers but not to the same degree.

All you other male attendees know who I am as I have seen you cringe when I walk into a room. Sheer jealousy I am sure.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,The Mysterious Well Wisher.
Date: 06 May 07 - 07:40 AM

CR: You're right, the singing ref. ref. was lost on me (though the satire never is), and I'm not surprised you're not surprised. I'm sorry I misunderstood that point. Your latest post, although hardly a rowing back, is a big improvement on the adolescent drivel you'd been sliding into... sorry, into which you'd been sliding. I wouldn't want you to row too far back anyway, and I suspect a lot of your critics secretly feel the same. By the way, I think you intended to put an exclamation mark at the end of the first sentence of the second paragraph but, like the odd wrong note, such things don't matter so long as the feeling comes across, do they? No more from me, bye bye.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 May 07 - 08:00 AM

the odd wrong note . . . such things don't matter

Oh yes they do.
That's another bleat of the 'good enough for f*lk' brigade and they couldn't be more wrong.
Thanks for reminding me . . . lack of standards and crap performances emptied the clubs too.
And the question mark was intended to convey aghast flabbergastness, whereas an exclamation mark would have indicated that I thought the concept of female subjection funny and it's certainly not that.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,TMWW
Date: 06 May 07 - 08:14 AM

If you say so?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 May 07 - 08:23 AM

Yes, I DO say so (insert here punctuation of choice though preferably not an exclamation mark as these remind me of . . . AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,TMWW
Date: 06 May 07 - 09:01 AM

I'll settle for )


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Tootler
Date: 06 May 07 - 09:12 AM

the odd wrong note . . . such things don't matter

Oh yes they do.
That's another bleat of the 'good enough for f*lk' brigade and they couldn't be more wrong.


Actually countess, you're wrong. The odd wrong note doesn't matter and it is not a bleat of the "good enough for folk" brigade. I have been told just that on more than one occasion by professional musicians. The point is, we all make mistakes, even the best performers in all fields of music make mistakes. What does matter is how you handle those mistakes. I remember a few years ago at a Northern Sinfonia concert one of the soloists in a Bach Brandeburg concerto came in at the wrong place. He quickly realised his mistake and stopped. Meanwhile the rest of the orchestra carried on as if nothing had happened and he later came in at the right place and overall it did not detract from the quality of the performance. Although I noticed it on that occasion, I suspect most in the audience did not and also, how many other mistakes have I missed?

Going back to the original point, what has actually been said to me on these occasions, is that the odd wrong note is not important as it is quickly gone and forgotten. What is important is that you keep going and, by and large, no one will notice your mistakes. Also, if you do make a complete hash, stop and start again. Most people will forgive that.

In essence, what is important is not that you make mistakes, we all do that, but how you deal with them.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 May 07 - 09:28 AM

what is important is not that you make mistakes, we all do that, but how you deal with them

Yes, quite. But not to say that they don't matter cos it's "only f*lk.
It's disrespectful to your audience and to the music to bash out any old shit.
If you want to play or sing out don't do it till you can.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Jeri
Date: 06 May 07 - 09:45 AM

I agree with everything wordy said.

What's wrong with folkdom in England seems clear to an outside observer - IF the people in the clubs are represented accurately by those in this thread. You have a tiny number of disdainful, vicious, obsessively hateful people who don't know when to stop talking (or posting), and THEY are the ones who get the attention.

If people are in it for the love of the music, they're pretty much squashed like a bug by the overwhelming volume of scorn a very small number of determined people can spew.

For example, 50 posts in 5 days, in just this thread, all about who and what a person hates is just the teensiest bit over the top. Not only that, the ones who sneer, belittle and insult their perceived victims sometimes travel in packs. I've met warm and generous English people, or I might believe the vicious ones were representative of English folk club attendees. Ambassadors, if you will. I'm sure some of the people in countries across the world who read Mudcat have surely developed the same opinion. Based on what I've seen in this thread (and a few other heavily hit threads) I wouldn't go anywhere near a folk club where there was any possibility of running into anyone who was so focused on putting others down. They take over.

The truth of it seems to be that one mean-spirited ranter can usually be avoided, but even the gentler souls follow where the bitter and judgemental lead until the whole music 'scene', as well as each thread they may try to dominate, becomes about them - about their hatred, their disdain, their sneering ridicule. I have a feeling there's an example (or several) about to be provided, but I've said everything I'm going to. This is only how the discord looks to one person who's outside of it, where love of folk music of all kinds usually tends to be more encouraged than ridiculed.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 06 May 07 - 10:10 AM

Thanks Jeri. It's nice to know I'm not alone!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 06 May 07 - 10:42 AM

Hey ho
Did we decide what has caused the downfall of the folk clubs yet?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 06 May 07 - 12:31 PM

Hey ho NO!

There is probably an upsurge in "NOT traditional" music venues


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Tootler
Date: 06 May 07 - 05:08 PM

what is important is not that you make mistakes, we all do that, but how you deal with them

Yes, quite. But not to say that they don't matter cos it's "only f*lk.


Stop misrepresenting me. I suggest you do as you ask others to do and read my post carefully.

It's disrespectful to your audience and to the music to bash out any old shit.
If you want to play or sing out don't do it till you can.


How do you know how well or otherwise I can play or sing?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: melodeonboy
Date: 06 May 07 - 07:13 PM

Jeri: I'm pleased to tell you that, in my experience, some of the contributors to this thread (and one in particular!) are not typical of the people you find in folk clubs.

I go to two folk clubs regularly, and to others in the area from time to time. The vast majority of folkies that I come across at the pubs and clubs are friendly, easy-going, tolerant and welcoming. It's when I look at the Mudcat threads that I come across the aggro. Mudcat is a fascinating forum, but tends to attract a small number of wiseacres and malcontents! And, of course, the squeakiest wheel always gets the most oil!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Tootler
Date: 06 May 07 - 07:55 PM

I agree with melodeon boy. I go to three local folk clubs regularly plus a couple of sessions and also go the Folkworks Caedmon classes at the Sage in Gateshead - CR please note, to improve my playing, I do not wish to bash out "any old shit". I find the people I have met their to be as friendly a group as you can meet anywhere.

The attitude of the organisers is to encourage people to participate and a good effort receives applause even if it is a little shakey. The clubs I go to are about participation so anyone who turns up and wishes to sing or play, can. Even so I see little evidence of the so-called "dross" that was referred to earlier. The vast majority of those who attend regularly are at least competent musicians and many are excellent and I am sure all wish to give a good performance when it is their turn.

The songs that are sung are a pretty fair mix of traditional and recently composed material, the latter being mostly by songwriters who have come out of the folk scene. There are one or two who write their own material and good luck to them. I hear little evidence of the "teenage diary" songs and, anyway, songwriters need to develop their craft somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Steve-Cooperator
Date: 07 May 07 - 04:40 AM

Before going back to the original subject - the 'collapse' of folk clubs, is it possible for those who are using the thread for a slanging mtch to learn how to use email, so that those of us with an interest in the subject don't have to wade through reams of private correspondance aire din public to find the postings on the subject....

Anyway, I started going to clubs in London in 1980, and from my exerience the largest contributing factor was problems with the venue.

The first club I went to, the hammersmith Folk Club, at the Kings Head , Fulham had to compete with a rock band in the bar below, the sound (racket) permeating up into the room above...

The first club I was involved with running the landlord made it clear thatthe club was not welcome by keeping the heating turned off.

Another club in Chiswick which had a seperate room had problems with very loud juke boxes which would get turned up throughout the evening in the main bar, started hiring out the room for private functions on the first week each month, then later other nights at short notice ( not very helpful when there is a guest booked), and the last straw putting up the room hire charge.

Another great club in Richmond (Bull and Bush). Big name guest ewvery week and often a full house was closed due to 'fire regulations', even though the room had a fire exit.

On the singaround scene, two clubs I used to go to kept moving with changes of landlord/menu, as portrayed in Gerry Milne's song "The Landlord Got Moved by the Brewery"


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 May 07 - 04:50 AM

How do you know how well or otherwise I can play or sing?

Tootler, I don't but next time I'm in Newcastle I might find out if I can work out who you are. This is far from the point. What I was saying about bashing out any old shit cos it's 'good enough for f*lk' is an all-too-common damaging attitude which constitutes just one strand of what has gone wrong with the 'clubs'. Those who advocate such lack of respect for the music know who they are, or would if they acknowledged just how counter-productive what they laughingly term 'inclusivity' is. If elitism = excellence, long live elitism.

These days you'd be hard put to find me in a club at all, so no need to worry much about bumping into me. There are other, infinitely preferable places. This year I have been to just two clubs (and two of the best in the land at that) yet was still subjected to crap floorsingers. I don't think we were talking about singarounds and sessions in this thread but venues where punters pay. Everyone has to start somewhere and the informal session is more like where a first effort should be tried out. Even so, I'll repeat, DON'T sing or play out till you can. Only you and your bedroom walls should witness the agonised practising, duff notes and forgotten lyrics. Not punters in a public place.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 07 - 05:17 AM

You lot need to get out more.........................


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 May 07 - 05:58 AM

Jim Carroll said much earlier of the clubs:

they fell into the hands of people who don't like or understand folk music

Yes, they did. He departed on holiday so I said:

Chaps, you'll just have to scream at me instead

And you did.
And what prats you have made of yourselves.
Thanks to those who broadly agree with my experience, because they were there too, some of whom have met me on the way and haven't seen the need to bombard me with ludicrous assumptions and patronising sexist crap.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 07 - 07:01 AM

"And what prats you have made of yourselves"

??

Eye of the beholder and Pots and Kettles spring to mind


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 May 07 - 07:28 AM

Quite, anonymous Guest.
Hard to know why I bothered to try and explain to such non-respecters of our cultural heritage, and who care less.
Their idea of 'a good time' is abhorrent: ogling women and murdering tunes, then 'justifying' it with their patronising, baying, harassing claptrap.
Would that such behaviour be confined to behind the well-shuttered doors of their cliquey, raucous, outmoded, social (social?) gatherings they call 'clubs'.
Shame that the few that actually do disseminate f*lk arts in the community are tarred with the horrendous image that most of these so-called clubs, largely richly earned, have among the population at large.
Outta this thread before one of them comes along to quote from their whingeing, angst-ridden overgrown teenage diary (out of tune natch . . . )


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Guest.
Date: 07 May 07 - 07:57 AM

Clubs for wimmin sometimes seems like a good idea...   calm down, it's only a flaming paragram!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Tootler
Date: 07 May 07 - 10:35 AM

I don't think we were talking about singarounds and sessions in this thread but venues where punters pay.

Are you sure? You may be, but are others?

In "Folk Roundabout" our regional directory of Folk Clubs and other Folk Music Activities in the North East, the main activity of a substantial majority of folk clubs who are listed is the singaround. Some are concert only, but the most common pattern seems to be a weekly singaround with a guest night roughly once a month.

It seems that there are some unstated assumptions about what a folk club is that may have led to some misunderstandings, though that in no way excuses the downright rudeness that have characterised some of the posts on this thread.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 May 07 - 11:11 AM

Same goes for around here (the Lothians). There's no clear dividing line between folk clubs and sessions. Edinburgh and Leith FCs are clearly on the full-on folk club side (main act taking up most of the evening with floor spots from friends of the committee before), everybody else is like what Tootler describes.

I'm not very interested in venues where there's a committee applying "quality" standards of the sort Diane seems to want. It usually stops anything really startling from happening, obliterates traditional content and leaves you with a bunch of singer-songwriter material favoured by the committee and their friends.

This is particularly important when trying to get the very old to perform. They can often pull off quite astonishing things but no way are they going to send in a demo CD first. In a session-like scene where performances can range from the mindblowing to the toecurling, they can suddenly come out with things you would never hear anywhere else.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 May 07 - 11:25 AM

I said I'd gone, but I have to tell Jack Campin that he cannot be fucking serious. You know damn well that's nothing like what I want a venue to be be like and that I never go within a million miles of THAT sort of set-up (I'll refrain from naming any of them). It's exactly what I deplore. But if anyone wants to go to them, just go right ahead and be assured you won't find me there.

The OP is talking about old-style, 'traditional' (in the sense of what developed in the 1960s) CLUBS with a set format, and he was perfectly clear about that. Anybody with half a brain is aware that the session scene is very far fom collapsing and is thus not under consideration in this thread. Sessions did not undergo a revival, they've always been there, according to my grandfather who first took me to one in about 1958 which he's been attending since before WWI. And as any fule kno, the standard today is way, way above how it was when I first started. Frighteningly so.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 07 - 02:06 PM

Over to you, Jack.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 May 07 - 02:14 PM

Jack Campin is perfectly capable of responding to posts (or not) as he wishes without prompting from anonymous Guests, thankyewmuchly.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 07 May 07 - 02:44 PM

Oh Dear, Oh dear, Oh dear. I have tried to follow this thread, and even add to it, to find the answer to the original question " why the collapse of folk clubs" I think the reason has become clear. There are two many self opinionated people with axes to grind. Get a life and enjoy what is on offer. There is room for all types of "folk" music/open mike/singaround. Just have fun with like minded people. Spread the word that home made music is fun. At the aformentioned club in Wimbourne anyone is welcome to have a go and we will listen. If certain names in this (and other) threads (you know them) spent more time enjoying their music they would not need to expend so much vitriol on line.

KEEP FOLK MUSIC FRIENDLY Love thy fellow folker


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 May 07 - 02:54 PM

Two much (sic), man . . .


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 07 May 07 - 03:16 PM

Just back. Have I missed anything? :-)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 May 07 - 03:25 PM

No, course not.
Plus ça change.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 07 May 07 - 03:36 PM

OK, that was a rhetorical question. You know - a palindrome.

I just scanned the whole thread, and already I forgot who it was further up that said something about the clubs being a "fashion" (my word with a shelf-life. But it got me thinking that we have two worlds mixing here: The world of folk clubs of whatever persuasion or format, a phenomenon that began in the 60s or thereabouts, with a "generational" feel about it at times, which are inevtibaly linked to the world of entertainment, professional or not; and the world of folk music, independent of clubs, with its afficionados and supporters for its own sake, independently of the world of entertainment.

There is of course overlap. Myself, I first joined a club and as a result got interested in folk music and tried to find out a few more things about it. I would not call myself an "afficionado", as the word implies more knowledge than I believe I have, but rather an "enthusiastic follower". Countess, from things you said above I believe the process was more the other way round for you - the music was always there, clubs came later. People like that may well be in a minority to be treasured (quick, get the glass cabinet and the lock - no, we don't need the key! - joke), as the natural passing-down of music and traditions seems to become rarer by the year in this crazy world.

Perhaps the clubs are like the appendix and will eventually become extinct. Or they will mutate, out of a need to have entertainment of one sort or another. And in doing so they may well move further away from folk. My point being that collapse of the clubs (if it happens) does not equal collapse of folk music; and conversely, survival of the clubs, especially if they have to mutate, would not necessarily mean survival of folk music. Yet we have been discussing them here as if the two are forever linked. This is not so, I argue.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 07 May 07 - 03:38 PM

DOn't ask me what I meant by "inevtibaly" - I have forgotten by now! Must have been inevitably, I guess...


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: shepherdlass
Date: 07 May 07 - 03:47 PM

I've avoided posting on this thread because I came to it late and was wary of the increasingly personal comments therein but, for what it's worth, two suggestions:

1. Internecine squabbling of the type we've seen above can be very unattractive to some of those new to the music. It may have discouraged some of the more tentative participants. However, ugly as it can be, many people love it (why do you think the NME and the tabloids used to report every bust-up between the Gallagher brothers?) ... it could actually be a selling point, so it seems an unlikely reason for the mutation of the folk clubs into another beast.

2. The first post in the thread made an entirely sensible suggestion: the folk club generation had kids and took them to more family-friendly festivals. The kids grew up and many became players, but more often in the kind of sessions that they were introduced to at said festivals, rather than the folk clubs which excluded them because they were in an almost exclusively adult environment. Between these two generations, there was something of a 'lost-to-folk generation' for whom home-made music meant forming a punk band or putting together samples on a computer were perfectly valid alternatives. It was still 'the people's music' even if it wasn't traditional.

As for 'the tradition', it survived before folk clubs and I'm certain it will even if they disappear altogether: the particularities of venues matter less than that spaces to perform are available in some form or other.

Is that a bit 'Pollyanna'? Probably, but there's good evidence on which to base such optimism: traditions exist because they live and continue and HAVE lived and continued (often for centuries), not because there's one particular outlet in which they can be protected. Change happens - why not enjoy the ride?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 May 07 - 03:51 PM

George, I agree with both conclusions and neither particularly bothers me.
It's unimportant.
And it was me who said the 60s-stylee fixed format 'f*lk club' had long passed its sell-by.
For me (and anyone who cared to look), music was always there and the 'clubs' came later.
They were but a fashion, like tank tops and flares.
And the music is still here and will continue to be.
It's survived more than teenage diary crap and out-of time bodhrán bashers in the past.

(That wasn't me, I'm not here . . . )


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 May 07 - 03:54 PM

As for 'the tradition', it survived before folk clubs and I'm certain it will even if they disappear altogether

Hurrah, yes.
Course it will.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: stallion
Date: 07 May 07 - 04:01 PM

I happened to drop into the Whitby Moor & Coast do this weekend (As a Morris Groupie!) and met a load of friends and met new friends, one debate about "what is folk music" was a real eye opener, there were as many differing opinions as were people taking part, one discussion was about the preference of sessions to formal folk clubs it might be worth looking at evolution of the performance/audience. What I know about the "tradition" would probably fit in a walnut shell, I sing what I sing, in the style that i sing because that's the way i enjoy it and if others enjoy it it is a bonus not a prerequisite. If the aficionados (for whom I have great respect for their knowledge) take issue with that and start wagging that finger then they should stick it where the sun don't shine, surprisingly enough I am not alone in thinking that way, I have recently find out. Any way I listen to everyone and enjoy seeing people enjoy themselves, being a small part off it is wonderful, so stop bickering, all make friends and appreciate the differences it's what makes the world and it's always changing, not always for the worse.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: breezy
Date: 07 May 07 - 04:44 PM

the appendix is a vertigial organ, which is not the same as extinct, which I hope this thread will soon become.

Please ask my wife to stop fondling me tits as I'm trying to write something worthwhile.

talking of tits, come to Windward on Sunday 20th May at the Rose n Crown St Albans and you could see some.

dear countess, thanks for lauding the praises of me club and placing it in your top ten of those you've visited, and Ryburn is certainly a standard to aim at, Ben Campbell played it very recently, but I booked him 5 years ago.

Hello George

They got no folkies at Madam Tussauds, not even Bob Dylan

Martin Carthy chucked coins in me box on Saturday !


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 07 May 07 - 07:35 PM

It's fair to say that the seperation of folk music from folk clubs is a good one. Folk clubs were in direct line from the singing rooms of the 1850's, through Music Halls to the 1960's. They are in a line of tradition in terms of entertainment that goes back nearly 200 years. This tradition of "come all ye" entertainment will survive as it is part of the human spirit, as will the academic world of folk song and its history.
Personally, I'm much more interested in the working class thread going back to the singing rooms. I have a diary of one of the performers of those days and his life was not dissimilar to the life of a folk club pro.
Having lived that life I value what it has given to our culture in terms of songs and humour.
Yes, it's dying now, but it will be reborn in a new way because people need what it offers, music, laughter, community and continuity.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 07 May 07 - 11:06 PM

Bodrhans are great if you have no wife to beat.
(or are scared of doing so)
Just thought of something else to beat and think it was reading some of the onanistic drivell on here that put me in mind of it.
LOL
AT least the thread served one usefull purpose then.
have a happy rest of your life all.
Oh and lovely first set George.
Cheers


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 May 07 - 02:21 AM

Bad form to quote oneself, but recently posted to the ROchester Sweeps thread as follows

"It was however regrettable to note that the humpties and diddlers who were unable to have their session in the Vic&Bull were less than gracious in response to their welcome from JB at his songsession, and set up in their own ghetto in the pub garden.

John runs a good mixed session, where all get their turn, whether they be singers or others, and the defection of this crew indicates that they were not content but demanded the right to take over the song session to which they had come.

The unjustified tirade that John suffered (until others stepped in) on Sunday evening was not only itself unmannerly, but also betrayed (by its "its true what they say" invective) that ingrates had been systematically running John down as they sat by the garden fireside, objected to having to take turns, wanted it all their own way, and had (even more disappointingly) not been shushed by any wiser heads in their group.

These latter things (not just the tirade itself) profoundly annoyed my daughter and will tend to militate against her further enjoyment of "folk sessions": a shame since she herself is such a spectacular performer and one of the two or three in total of performers present under 25. Such poor social behaviour is a factor tending to dissuade her from re-attending folk events.

Other such factors, perhaps relevant to other threads here, include navel-gazing snigger snogwriters, amplification (ie "open mic"), the absence of folk song, and lecherous old men who although they are unable to intimidate her may intimidate others. There was a bad example on one night at Sweeps (not, I think, a Cat member), who was fawning over a particularly contemporary singer, and making a fool of himself persisting in trying to kiss reluctant young(ish) women. Oddly, I remember her mother being critical of one or two very respected figures of the 60s and 70s folkocracy who allegedly were more (and equally unsuccessfully) interested in her nether regions than in her voice or guitar work. These were not limited to primary supporters of fatlib.

Thanks to John Barden for running some very good times."


BTW I have just read two posts by the C**ntess in which she typed "me" when it should have been "I".


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: stallion
Date: 08 May 07 - 04:51 AM

listen RB musos have to be trained, like puppies, generally ours are now fully "mixed session" trained, I am not saying it is easy, initially I had to threaten a "back to back tune" fiddler with his bow up his **se, fortunately the instrument tends to be early evening whilst all are relatively sober and the singing towards the end of the evening when most are incapable of anything but singing! or maybe just tuned out, any way it seems to work ok, does this help?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 May 07 - 07:18 AM

Thank you stallion. I was more thinking at this repetition of the problems with clubs than sessions, although I agree my posting had not originally been structured with that in mind. Although session manners can put people of folking, here I was more thinking of my daughter's views that she does get put off by excessive compliment (not all compliment, just excessive ones) - and also wants unamplified traditional song (ideally with harmony) in "clubs", not open mic snigger snogwriters.

So maybe the way to get the 20-somethings in is not to go too far down the Seth Lakeman route. Capable though he is I feel he has moved too far from folk to be called folk, and a folk club needs to do what it says on the tin.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 May 07 - 07:19 AM

With apologies to Sir Patrick Moore.

The problem with folk clubs is that too many of them are run by women.

Light blue touchpaper and hide behind large granite structure.

:D


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 May 07 - 07:38 AM

I'm not sure the premise is true.

Dartford - mixed gender organisers
Good Intent - Big Growly Simon (not female)
Maidstone - mixed gender organisers, I think male majority
Riverside - ditto (I think)
Greyhound - Big Growly Simon.
Moore or Less - Derek Moore
Daz and Man's club also at the Three Mariners - mixed gender organisers (balanced, I think)

That's about as far as I travel.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 May 07 - 07:51 AM

Damn! Must just be the BBC then;-)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 08 May 07 - 09:04 AM

Just to satisfy my own curiosity, without adding anything to subject in the title (sorry Les), can I ask:

Countess Richard, what is so awful about the word folk that it has to be written as f*lk ?

DC


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Woman and Folk Club Organiser
Date: 08 May 07 - 09:34 AM

I've just read the BBC News pages so I now understand the Patrick Moore bit. Who controls the remote?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 May 07 - 10:18 AM

I could be wrong but I think Diane explained it once as an attempt to rid a discussion of the negative aspects of folk - The venues and artists that she supports are outside the traditional image of the folk club and folk artist. As the word folk has become a 'dirty word' in some cirlces I think she has used the medium of mimicry (as in using f**k instead of fuck) to replace the word folk with f*lk.

I know you said you would not post aymore countess but is that the greneral gist or is my memory, once again, flawed?

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 May 07 - 05:02 PM

As the "new queer" movement seeks to recover its language so must we recover "folk".

"Say it loud - I [folk] and I'm proud. No matter how hard you try you can't touch me now".


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 08 May 07 - 05:13 PM

So "Glasgow Folk Festival" resounds as easily and would have as much success as - say "Celtic Connections"?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 May 07 - 03:04 AM

Well, Dave, it would not imply the exclusion of non-celtic music. Certainly the overemphasis on "Celtic" as it stands is very likely to keep me away, which may of course be a good thing. Equally the present apparent elision between Scottish and Irish and other celtic art forms is IMHO as misguided as lumping English and German art forms together as "Aryan Arrangements" would be.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 May 07 - 04:35 AM

Whilst there is a weighting towards Celtic Music, there are lots of people without such a connection. It is a name to avoid "folk" which rightly or wrongly has connotations, most of which are wrong I admit.

Loads of festivals and organisations avoid the word folk. Sidmouth used to be Sidmouth International Festival. Shepley the weekend after next is Shepley Spring Festival.

Wasn't there a festival in Rochester recently? Rochester Folk Festival?

And the Celtic nations of course include Galicia, Wales etc...........

What united Celtic peoples originally was their language religion and culture. I suspect what is left is simply culture.

I doubt such a test could be applied to the Germanic tribes.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 09 May 07 - 06:07 AM

The Celts never were united, that's why they fell to the Romans so easily!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 May 07 - 06:09 AM

They may not have been united but they were cunning...

:D


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 May 07 - 06:34 AM

Ther never was a united Celtic musical culture and all the music now played by "Celtic" peoples owes far more to interactions with their non-Celtic neighbours than with each other.

Only racists and marketroids pretend differently.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 May 07 - 06:47 AM

Jack, Jack why spoil a subtly understated case with concepts that are vague and difficult to grasp?

So far this thread has been free of confusion and unkindness, thanks for your help
Best wishes

Les


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 09 May 07 - 02:59 PM

The name Folk might be collapsing but not the clubs.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: breezy
Date: 09 May 07 - 03:59 PM

Well hello Villan, welcome back.

Does that make me a cunning old celt.

Never believe the fuel guage and range reading on a mercedes when on a motorway, last night was a lesson too late for the learning


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 May 07 - 04:42 AM

in the third century BC the Celts occupied lands from the Black Sea to the Atlantic. A unified state however was contrary to their nature for they were united only by language, religion and culture. This explains their defeat by their more organised enemies, The Romans and the Germanic tribes.

From "The Celts" - Gerhard Herm BCA 1976

Jack, please do not use words around like "racist" so easily.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Mad Jock
Date: 10 May 07 - 05:25 AM

Collapse of Folk Clubs???

Strange we have just start a new one in Blairgowrie ,Perthshire due to popular demand.
We started with a few weeks of sessions on Thursday nights and last week Thursday May 3rd Polling Day we had our first concert. We had over 60 in the audience and as a result are holding concerts evey month on the first Thursday of the month and continuing with thw session for the rest of the time.

So any folkies out there looking for somewhere to play Perthshire is the place to be.

Next concert Thursday 7th June. The Royal Hotel, Blairgowrie.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 07 - 05:58 AM

Any pissed-up backwoodsmen there?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 May 07 - 06:36 AM

Guest, are you perhaps comfusing the Mudcat with a dating website?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 07 - 07:52 AM

Nope, not according to that deranged aristocrat's postings.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: stallion
Date: 10 May 07 - 08:13 AM

I have an observation which may or may not be relevant or fair. When we were over in the US a couple of years ago, I got the impression of an imaginary line of competance above great, below it, nothing. We witnessed a very good Jazz trio in a Bistro and their "bucket" (the whole pay was by donation from the diners") was emptied frequently, my guess is they made a tidy sum for their evenings work, the following week they had a jazz pianist on, he wasn't in the same league, got absolutely nothing in his "bucket". There doesn't seem to be the same desire for self entertainment or for people trying the audience want the very very best or nothing. So, is that what is going on here? No, clubs/ sessions still have their characters and whole bunches of regulars of whatever competence and long shall it be that way, it is good to have guests as treats but the sustenance, the bread and butter, are the regular core who meet up to enjoy making music together, not sitting in silence listening to strangers.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,jOhn
Date: 12 May 07 - 07:26 AM

Countess richard-you are rubbish and a big trubble maker, why not shut up?
i reckon your probly a wrinkly old woman about 100 years old, or a lesbiun, i won;t look at your picture, as i'm going to get me dinner in a minit.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge in Nottingham
Date: 12 May 07 - 08:40 AM

John, stop it! I can shout about trouble as well as any, but age and gender preference are not matters for abuse. Nor relevant.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 12 May 07 - 10:11 AM

Funny that.
My Myspace page says I'm 100 years old since no-one queried the date of birth I entered. This, and my supposed gender preference, will doubtless spare me from unwanted, pestering harassment from the Guest jOhn (of 'Ull, I am assuming).
That's all right then, job done
Not that he'd ever see me in the sort of neolithic pick-up joints in which some so-called men among these cyberpages lurk.
Perish the thought.
Thanks anyway, RB but my violet is, as yet, not shrunken.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 May 07 - 11:35 AM

So, it is turning into a dating website!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Mr Gubbins (no, not that one)
Date: 12 May 07 - 01:27 PM

The Combined 'Arvester Dating Service For Aging Folkies..*LOL*

(now, now, I'm only kidding:p)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Mr Gubbins (no, not that one)
Date: 12 May 07 - 01:29 PM


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Mr Gubbins (no, not that one)
Date: 12 May 07 - 01:32 PM


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 May 07 - 02:34 PM

That's just how I feel Mr Gubbins!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Mr Gubbins (no, not that one)
Date: 12 May 07 - 02:35 PM

it appears my lap-top has developed a stutter*LOL* anyway....
Shall My Violet Be Unshrunken
(to the tune of Shall The Circle Be Unbroken)
boud to be a HUGE hit in the clubs as a sing-a-long.....


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 May 07 - 06:44 PM

Eurovision 2008!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: jargarmani
Date: 12 May 07 - 07:32 PM

We may not like admitting it, but society's changed a lot since us lot started attending folk clubs-I'm assuming that most posters are old gits, like myself. Kids don't want to sit in smoky rooms above pubs, as we did.Sad, but true. Let's not get despondent though, the clubs may be dying, but the music certainly isn't.Audiences at events in venues such as arts centres and theatres are on the increase,and festivals almost invariably sell out. Execrable floor singers haven't helped though. By and large,club organisers are far too tolerant. Some of the crap served up may be acceptable to diehard folkies, but if we're trying to attract a wider audience- no chance.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 May 07 - 02:50 AM


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 May 07 - 02:51 AM

Sorry I did that by mistake, but I think you have summed things up rather well jargamani


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 13 May 07 - 04:00 AM

When the men on the ship used to sing, when the men in the barns used to sing....and of course drink like little fishes!!! it was everyone had a go and were pestered until they did sing...good or bad voice...
Everyone tolerated everyones performances, good or bad in those days....look how it has progressed since then!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 May 07 - 04:21 AM

Great quote - Where is it from George?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: breezy
Date: 13 May 07 - 04:52 AM

and yes, the Art centres pay top fees then the artisites think they can demand it from clubs and subsequently price themselves out of the folk club scene.

The top acts still draw at clubs but when one of them said ,when negotiating the fee that 'Some clubs save up to book me' I was disallusioned by the attitude and thought it most hypocritical of the artiste concerned as it flew in the face of his 'folk persona', he was no more than another capitalist.

I said that 'every night had to pay for itself' as i was booking , or 'giving work ' to an artiste every week and i wanted the audience to hear the best we could engage as well as value for money.


so some 'blame' must go to art centres who over pay and look down their noses at local folk clubs in most cases.


Now next Sunday 20thMay is the 'Windward experience' at the rose and crown St Albans, though their is someon there tonight with a new local duo who can sing

www.windwardfc.org.uk


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 13 May 07 - 05:58 AM

Exactly Breezy. We had His Worship & The Pig last night and they were really good and funny (very talented guys). I broke even and we all had a really nice evening.

Agree entirely Jargarmani.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: breezy
Date: 13 May 07 - 06:14 AM

Phew, thats a relief

So you're back with 'the news.'

We enjoyed their visit to us as well, thoroughly decnt chaps i say


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 13 May 07 - 08:13 AM

From me Les in Chorlton....


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 May 07 - 08:55 AM

George, could be a chorus?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 13 May 07 - 10:29 AM

I feel a song coming on!!1


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 13 May 07 - 10:53 AM

In the days when men grafted, on ships of the line,
Drinkin tottys and tellin' a yarn.
In the days when the farmers and labourers drank,
At harvests end, sat in the barn.
They sang songs of the era, with overall zest,
Told of tasks they performed every day.
All men were expected to sing t'would appear,
They all did because that was the way.

So Folk songs were born, they were sung then for free,
Some sung to achieve an ambition.
The better ones lasted for decades and more,
Folk singing became a 'tradition'.
There are those round still who would echo that cause,
To use Folk Clubs for all to take part.
But some now think only the best should perform,
I believe they are lacking in heart.

You see some on Mudcat, they spout from the head,
There manner is some times quite crass.
To them I would say stick your head 'tween your legs,
And as far as you can ………….


Couldn't think of a rhyme for the last line


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 May 07 - 11:17 AM

I'm sure Walkaboutverse could help you.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,FiddlyTee
Date: 13 May 07 - 08:43 PM

re Rochester

Richard - the session in the Vic & Bull was Irish (billed as such), we had played there all afternoon, and still had a few different tunes to get out of our systems!
John's session was well attended and you got the chance to play one tune every hour and a half!
And we played inside as well afterwards.

Yes Karen defused a very difficult situation, and very discreetly, but it was a dispute between friends and nothing to do with the music except that one spoilt person expected total silence in a pub (or so I understand it as I was outside). Perhaps that one should try playing in a pub session where a darts team is playing and football is on the TV)

But yes, John runs a "tight" session and all respect to him.

Sorry your daughter was upset, but if she's over 18 she will know that in pubs disagreements and inappropriate behaviour fuelled by alchohol, will occur. Its up to you as a parent to help her deal with it, rather than being condemnatory of others.


dave folkie
Rochester is basically a dance (morris) rather than "folk" music festival. Us (we) musos are pretty well just camp followers.


In olden times there were no motor cars, and people travelled long distances by boat.
If you look at the map you will see the ferry routes between Scandinavia, Scotland and N Ireland (Yes I know Dublin is a Viking town as well), and between Spain and Southern Ireland, and between Cornwall and Britanny. These have been links for trade and culture for several thousand years, and partly explain cultural similarities.

*
*

Yes perhaps we should avoid the term "folkies". In modern parlance we are "community musicians, singers, dancers and actors". The traditional music that we are rightly associated with was once new, the "pop" music of its time, and so there is no reason why
we should avoid new non-commercial compositions. Indeed, until recently a musician was expected to compose and improvise.

Yes there is a great difference between a folk club where the "great" are paid to entertain the "punters", and a sing-around or session where we go to enjoy doing what we love (and hope that the rest of the pub's customers will enjoy it mas well!).
But if the "Punters" don't hear the music performed well, how will they be moved to learn to play or sing, and eventually join in a session where mistakes (and even bodhran players), while not approved of, are never condemned, and finally become musicians themselves?

Incidently the fiddle can be played in the "french" style, held low against the chest and bowed almost vertically, in a crowded pub. As long as you're not in a chair with arms.

As many of you have said, the main thing for us is to KEEP MUSIC ALIVE no matter where it is played.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 May 07 - 10:33 PM

"Yes Karen defused a very difficult situation, and very discreetly, but it was a dispute between friends and nothing to do with the music except that one spoilt person expected total silence in a pub (or so I understand it as I was outside). Perhaps that one should try playing in a pub session where a darts team is playing and football is on the TV)"

You are right to admire Karen (although her ejection and banning of teh offender was overt and public and in no way discreet). As for the rest you are so full of shit you could fertilise most of the farms in England.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: melodeonboy
Date: 14 May 07 - 11:59 AM

"Community musician"? Mmmm.... sounds very New Labour.

Or perhaps I should play under the heading of "box squeezing solutions"!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 22 May 07 - 02:30 PM

Having had enough time to think more about this question while on holiday I was intending to re-open this thread, but I would have done so anyway to respond to Wordy's pearls of wisdom.
"It's fair to say that the separation of folk music from folk clubs is a good one"
I doubt if I have ever come across such a crassly arrogant statement in all the time I have been involved in folk music.
So I am to give up all the bawdy and erotic songs, the transportation and poaching songs, those about soldiers, sailors, farmworkers, miners, mill workers, the highwaymen and hanging ballads, the songs about the press-gangs and recruiting parties, the love songs, the historical, supernatural, tragic and comic ballads that go to make up the Child canon, and all the other beautiful songs and ballads that have kept me enthralled and entertained over the last forty odd years, and which are inextricably tied up with our history and culture – and for what?
I assume you are referring to the Charles Rice Diaries 'Tavern Singing in Early Victorian London' (1840 and 1850).
Are you seriously suggesting that we jettison our traditional repertoire for those dreadful glees, rounds and catches that were performed mainly by lower middle-class urban gentlemen in establishments contemporarily described as 'places where one could go to drink, smoke, sing and escape the ladies'. The songs that were performed in these establishments, with such inspiring title as 'The Nigger Ball', 'Don't I Love My Mother', 'Nix My Dolly' and 'Cat's Head Apples' were not even considered entertaining or important enough to make it into the 20th century – if you don't believe me, thumb through the thousands of songs in such collections as 'The Universal Songster' and see how many you recognise, or how many are in any way singable.
To 'separate folk music from folk clubs' sounds to me suspiciously like one of those dreadful 'Irishman' or 'Kerryman', jokes – tell us you're only ''avin' a larf" Wordy.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 May 07 - 05:15 AM

Can I offer a further bit of analysis which I don't think has so far been mentioned?

When folk rock came in around 1970 - bands suddenly needed amplifying. Then - everyone needed amplifying.

I went to hear (amplified) Frankie Gavin and Tim Edey last week in a room which I can remember as unamplified when it was used as a regular folk club. (They were magic by the way!)

So bands had to travel with their own gear - or the club had to supply it. Most clubs didn't/wouldn't as artists began wanting amplification.

In other words once folk clubs needed amplification - they gradually folded - well at least many of them did.

Now here is a thought - with modern equipment, miniature and not so bulky and expensive and clearly judging by the numbers of people who come to festivals, maybe clubs will grow again!!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 07 - 05:39 AM

Here's an idea to help stave off collapse: we all start inviting friends to come along now and then, especially younger ones, with the idea that jsut a few will start to join in on their own.

The word club says a lot: those who come a lot feel welcome, whatever the rules about membership, whereas for those who aren't part of the regular audience at that club, it can feel less easy than buying a ticket in some more anonymous venue.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 23 May 07 - 06:44 AM

Now here is a thought - with modern equipment, miniature and not so bulky and expensive and clearly judging by the numbers of people who come to festivals, maybe clubs will grow again!!

Or maybe it will be the final squeeze that chokes the life out of them. I would never go to a club that regularly used amplification and certainly not to one that expected me to use it. Folk clubs are about people listening to each other.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Pilgrim
Date: 23 May 07 - 07:02 AM

Daresay that this has been discussed ad nauseum elsewhere, but I don't imagine amplification and electrics are the way forward. We had an electronic session called "Pling What You Bring" locally. It very quickly became a stand up comedy night instead. And this in an area that quite easily supports four quality accoustic sessions in an area of a square mile. Not intending to rain on your parade, FolkieDave. Any suggestions as to how we can get more people in, and singing / playing, are better than none.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 23 May 07 - 07:12 AM

The thing about amplification in clubs is that some rooms do need it. Noise from other bars (games machines, pool tables, sky sports) can leak through, and that didn't used to happen in the old days. Also, the acoustics of many club rooms are not great. One common problem that guests face is that some organisers only ever do a short spot, so never realise how much strain their room can place on a singer's voice over a whole evening. Yes, we can sing quietly, but if you do songs where the words matter, you have to think of the people at the back - many of whom may not hear as well as they did.

If you get a few of these rooms on the trot it gets harder and harder each night.

Ideally clubs with this problem will provide a PA, and many do. The trouble is that PAs are not always terribly good, and singing through them can actually makes the job more difficult. Also as soon as you set up front of house speakers, you need to consider monitors. This is because you only get the low/mid frequencies out of the back and side of the cabs, and this makes it harder to pitch - so you tend to oversing to compensate. Monitors should solve the problem, but only if they are good ones, and it's all more work for club and artist.

I carry a small PA for these emergencies, and I'm happy to set it up. But if the club overruns - and many do - there's always the problem of packing it away, when the organisers are standing at the door and the landlord's jangling his keys. Plus you know a that lot of people feel like TheSnail, and you don't want to offend them with your horrible roack and roall black boxes. So the PA doesn't get used as often as it should.

Tom

(PS Any organisers reading this who haven't joined the folkclubs discussion eList, please do! To join the group send an email saying who you are to folkclubs-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Thanks)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 May 07 - 07:17 AM

This thread is slipping back into confusion between tune sessions and venues with paid performers and paying punters. These are entirely different beasts.

Bands can now go to gigs with PA in their pockets and can thus achieve the balance between instruments far more readily. And a singer on the road for weeks on end can save their vocal chords.

It's a bit odd to be Luddite about 'amplification and electronics' when, used properly, they are simply an aid to better performance.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 May 07 - 07:20 AM

OK, cancel that. Tom says it better.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 May 07 - 07:39 AM

Folk clubs are about people listening to each other

My orginal comments were not designed to alter the discussion but were designed to give some sort of historical perspective to the "Collapse of Folk Clubs".

In the great days of the sixties and early seventies - folk clubs did not have to compete with sessions - there weren't all that many apart from within the Irish community. Not all that many people played instruments. We had the odd singing session at festivals for example, but it was mostly chorus songs so everyone could join in, not as you suggest people listening to each other. They were often led by two or three people only.

As for people listening to each other - whilst I do not deny there is a place for this - I have been to such sessions. I went to one of around 40 people in a room there were twenty-nine guitar players, that people were given two songs whether they could sing or not and most were not very good. Since they were singing to each other and that was what they wanted to do fine and I have no complaints.

But it hardly does a lot for folk music IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 23 May 07 - 09:16 AM

countess richard
This thread is slipping back into confusion between tune sessions and venues with paid performers and paying punters. These are entirely different beasts.

I don't think there is a sharp divide between these two extremes; they are just opposite ends of a spectrum. I regularly attend two clubs and occasionally visit three or four others all putting on paid guests with a charge on the door. None of them use PA.

It's a bit odd to be Luddite about 'amplification and electronics' when, used properly, they are simply an aid to better performance.

In a concert, that's true; they are part of the performance. In a small venue, where they are just used to be louder and drown out background noise, they are a barrier between performer and audience.
Valmai Goodyear and I aka Droolin' Concertinas (we needed a name quickly) have been to a couple of "Open Mic" clubs. At the first, the sound man set us up and promptly legged it to satisfy some bodily need leaving us with collapsing microphones and ear splitting feedback. At the second we told them we could manage very well without, thank you. The audience continued their habitual chatter the first time through the tune then, as we went pianissimo for the second time through, actually shut up and listened (except for the soundman who talked all the way through).
We haven't been back to either.

Folkiedave
As for people listening to each other - whilst I do not deny there is a place for this - ....
But it hardly does a lot for folk music IMHO.


IMHO it IS folk music. (Well, not sure about the twenty-nine guitar players.)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,tom bliss
Date: 23 May 07 - 09:35 AM

- yes in terms of open mic nights I do tend to agree. I think the PA's just part of the performance fantasy for many people. If there's no mic it isn't a proper gig - they think. Of course if you've only ever addressed a room through a mic you've never learned to project properly, and learn, as you say, that the best way to drown out chatter and get people's attention is to sing or play quieter (though you have to start loud or they nver notice)!

Hmm, yes - I'd agree that amplification could well have been a factor in the collapse of the clubs - specially once PAs became commonplace for pub gigs. Anyone from that scene trying to do a club 'commando' would have been in trouble.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 May 07 - 10:04 AM

Jim Carroll. I hope youhad a pleasant holiday.I agree with you.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 May 07 - 11:42 AM

If people playing music to each other (often despite their lack of talent) is IYHO "folk music" then it is hardly surprising folk clubs collapsed.

And how come hundreds turn up to festivals - like Shepley where I was last weekend? Within the festivals there are sessions but usually by accomplished musicians and singers.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 23 May 07 - 12:07 PM

So how do musicians who 'lack talent' become 'accomplished' then, Folkiedave?

Do you really mean 'lack talent', or should that be 'inexperienced'? How do you know the difference?

And if 'inexperienced' how does a musician get experience?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Nick
Date: 23 May 07 - 12:14 PM

I still haven't really worked out whether we run a folk club or not (but that's by the by) but we have put on some acts over the last 4 1/2 years as an addition or alternative to our weekly singaround (which has 20 to 40 people who come together and sing and play each week).

On amplification...

When Last Nights Fun came and played they bought a PA system and mixer; Kieran Halpin also came with PA; Marie Little didn't; Jacqueline MacDonald (of Jacqui and Bridie fame).

It's quite a small pub that we play in and the rare times that we put people on we rather leave it to them. Next month we have Hissyfit visiting and will have a PA there in case. It can get quite noisy with 40 + people in a smallish area (I know that everyone should listen etc) and my view is that it is fairer to a performer to let them be heard rather than have to battle people and I would guess that is also the view of the people who have come and brought PA's in the past.

I don't think we are collapsing at the moment as we seem to be seeing the attendance gradually increasing. There are currently a group of German students/parents/teachers visiting in the area and half a dozen of them came last week (and two of them joined in and sang); they go back on Thursday and were asked by one of their hosts where they would like to go out on their final night in the area - they decided that the pub and the singing was the thing that attracted them most so that's what they are doing.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 May 07 - 12:30 PM

Please remember this is in the context of "Collapse of the Folk Clubs". Not the "Collapse of Folk Music" which IMHO is flourishing.

I do not believe that singers and musicians arrive fully formed - nor do I think people should practise in public. Most festival have workshops. Go and learn there.

If there is a singing session at a pub then you can get up and do a song or two. Eventually you will get better known and find other sessions where you are invited to sing and more. And good luck to you. Go to Mudcat meetings where this sort of thing is popular I am told.

The people I referred to were not "gaining experience" they were playing to themselves for fun because that is what they wanted to do. Their privilege and good luck to them I am not knocking it per se. I am saying is does not do much for folk music whilst the other correspondent believes it IS folk music.

I don't.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 23 May 07 - 12:49 PM

The Lewes Arms Folk Club hasn't collapsed yet (just coming up to 20 years) and we do everything from Come-All-Ye/session nights to top artists (and we've never used PA). As I said earlier "opposite ends of a spectrum". It's all folk. It's all fun. I go to festivals and I go to the concerts but I've never had to pass an audition before joining in a session. I thought they were open to anyone who wanted to join in.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 23 May 07 - 12:57 PM

Folkiedave, "Dogs are four legged animals" doesn't mean "Four legged animals are dogs".


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 May 07 - 01:28 PM

I am not suggesting you should have to pass an audition to join a session. I happen to think performing in public whatever genre of music it is happens to be demands a certain level of competence.

If I turned up with a couple of mates at Lewes Folk Club and asked to sing it would be OK?

If I had a guitar, a mate with an acoustic bass and another with a bodhran and and we played goth and punk that would be OK too?

And if I then sang out of key and it was pretty obvious that the guitarist knew one chord, the bass player hadn't ever played before and the bodhran player had no sense of rhythm, (not unusual in my experience of bodhran players) that would be OK too?

If I then said we came to the folk club because no-one else would let us play anywhere in Sussex and its environs because we were so awful - would you let us back next week?

And if the answer is no, then you and your folk club (correctly IMHO) have some standards when it comes to people performing and so do I.

They just happen to be different.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 May 07 - 02:11 PM

Well, thanks for all your contributions. It looks like this might roll on a while.

You really have given me a lot to think about. You may have noticed from another thread that Folk goes on in Chorlton, Manchester. A club happens every Thursday at the Cricket Club and attracts an eclectic collection of singers and musicians, some amazing and some about as crap as me. What we don't hear much is folk songs, by some deffinition or other.

We had a one of session, with no entrance fee, as part of the Arts Festival with Madcap, a Ceilidh Band, Keth Hancock, much celebrated singer song writer and lots of the rest of us - mostly but not exclusively traditional music. about 90 people turned up to sit on about 50 chairs and we had a great night.

The question is - how, if at all, do we move forward?

The classic "Folk Club" looks fraught with difficulties but will looser arrangements work any better?

When I have thought a bit more I will start another thread

Thanks again

Les


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 07 - 02:25 PM

Thank you Cap'n; had a great holiday, but it's nice to be back in the thick of it - 'thick' being the operative word in some cases!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Spidey Bobe
Date: 23 May 07 - 02:32 PM

Went to Dartford Folk Club earlier this year to see Rainbow Chasers and the "residents" who performed were little short of dire!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 May 07 - 02:33 PM

Wasn't it the Beatles who got banned from folk lcubs in Liverpool because they were awful?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 23 May 07 - 02:38 PM

Folkiedave
If I turned up with a couple of mates at Lewes Folk Club and asked to sing it would be OK?

Yes.

If I had a guitar, a mate with an acoustic bass and another with a bodhran and and we played goth and punk that would be OK too?

Yes.

And if I then sang out of key and it was pretty obvious that the guitarist knew one chord, the bass player hadn't ever played before and the bodhran player had no sense of rhythm, (not unusual in my experience of bodhran players) that would be OK too?

Yes.

If I then said we came to the folk club because no-one else would let us play anywhere in Sussex and its environs because we were so awful - would you let us back next week?

Yes.

1) You'd only be on for a few minutes; we like to pack in as many floor spots as we can.
2) It's handy for people to have an opportunity to go to the bog/bar.
3) Exposure to the many excellent floor singers/players we have might encourage you to practice and get better. Watching new performers develop is one of the joys of being a folk club resident.

Drop in sometime, you'll be made welcome. We've got an open night this Saturday but I'll be away (Chippenham). June 2nd (Boden & Spiers) and June 9th (Tommy Peoples) are ticket only and are close to sold out. Obviously not all visitors will be able to get a floorspot those nights.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 07 - 01:55 AM

Sorry, being old enough to remember when Lewes had the reputation of being a good club, I found the The Snail's Q&A thoroughly depressing and confirming all my worst fears about what has happened to the clubs. Why the hell would anybody want to listen to badly performed crap? Club organisers who promote such attitudes under the banner of folk song have rung the death knell of live performances; as far as I am concerned it shows a deep contempt for the songs and for the people who kept them alive down the centuries, also for all those revival singers, club organisers, collectors and researchers who have put in the effort to make songs available to as wide an audience as possible in a form that can be appreciated.
For me, the only way for the songs to survive is for them to be treated with the respect they merit; to expect anything but competent, thoughtful performances (at the very least) from those who sing in public is a total sell-out.
I believe that it lies within the abilities of all but a very few people to sing well. Some do so with ease, others have to work that much harder at it, but every singer who wants to make a half-decent job of singing has to put in time and effort to make the songs their own. Once the work has been done and the problems, technical and interpretive, have been solved, there is no greater pleasure than to have the song work, both for the singer and for the audience. If performers can't be bothered to do the work, let them stay at home and watch The Bill!
If the attitude expressed by the Snail is a prevalent one, the clubs have no more significance than karaoke sessions and the sooner they stop calling themselves folk clubs, the better.
Jim Carroll
PS No, to my knowledge the Beatles were not banned from folk clubs in Liverpool. They did perform occasionally in the interval at The Cavern when it was a jazz club and, on the couple of occasions I saw them, were treated with the polite indifference they merited.
Had they turned up at folk clubs, any organisers worth their salt would have shown them the door (unless they had come to listen).


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 May 07 - 02:34 AM

Jim, whilst I agree with much of what you say I am a bit bothered about this:

"I believe that it lies within the abilities of all but a very few people to sing well. "

The difficult word is "well". How well? I guess it depends on the context? Well enough for a small sing around? Well enough for a floor spot, well enough for a ................. Who enjoys Opera singers singing folk songs, I would leave the room? Who enjoys classical arrangements of folk songs? Of course it does not actually matter. They are well sung and played but how do they relate to the songs as they have been kept by Source Singers?

The songs have survived. The will continue to survive and be available in paper or digital libraries.

Will they be sung? Who knows? Some "Source Singers" had fine voices and brought much out of the songs that they sang. Some had voices once and some were not very good singers but we have been pleased that they kept the songs alive.

Who presents and who represents folk / traditional music? Well it looks to me as if anyone can. Nobody owns it - that surely is one essentail difference between these songs and those we write.

Why the hell would anybody want to listen to badly performed crap?

Fair enoughski, but what is the entry level for singing the songs we like? We may think we are giving first timers helpful advice but I bet it feels much more like patronising criticism to the singer.

I have sung in dozens of folk clubs but don't sing much at festival events because I find them threatening. I took my Mandola to that club at Cecil Sharp House and felt theatened but in the end people were very friendly and it was ok. Singing to others in public is a challenge but I know that almost everybody can sing - we just need the right song and the right context.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Ian Burdon
Date: 24 May 07 - 02:47 AM

Nick wrote: "It's quite a small pub that we play in and the rare times that we put people on we rather leave it to them. Next month we have Hissyfit visiting and will have a PA there in case. It can get quite noisy with 40 + people in a smallish area (I know that everyone should listen etc) and my view is that it is fairer to a performer to let them be heard rather than have to battle people and I would guess that is also the view of the people who have come and brought PA's in the past".

Last year, at the invitation of a local, two or three of us did an evening of Jake Thackray songs in Flaxton.    First up, I really liked the pub and the audience and enjoyed the evening.   And the absence of PA in the room was fine as it should just have been a matter of adjusting my delivery and repitching the songs.   What I hadn't counted on was the effect of cigarette smoke in such a small room and as the evening went on I was having quite consciously to battle the effect of this on my voice - and wished we'd had some degree of amplification to avoid the ensuing strain.

This won't be an issue shortly of course, but in that case my preference for amplification was not due to consideration of aesthetics.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 24 May 07 - 02:51 AM

The Thread is about the failure of Folk Clubs but.......

What The Snail says about our club in Lewes shows that down here we feel that there should be a place for everybody (strong and weak singers/musicians alike)and that attitude is part of what makes The Lewes Arms Club the ongoing success that it is.

See you and (the other Parts) at Chippers Bryan

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 24 May 07 - 03:37 AM

I can't be arsed to read the whole thread, but I have to agree with countess richard, Jim Carroll and Joe Offer. There does seem to be a rather pathetic, head-in-the-sand defence of the mediocre by people who aren't embarrassed to be called 'folkies.'
One of the reason folk clubs have declined (to add to the many valid reasons already given) is the number of what one might call 'special people' who frequent them.
I very rarely go to any clubs when I'm in England these days, but when I lived there I used sometimes to take friends to clubs, and I would constantly have to explain or make excuses for the odd behaviour of some of the regulars. Let's face it, trad music attracts odd people. I don't know why, but it does. Some of those odd people are very good in a Glenn Gould sense, but too many are terrible and would be laughed off the stage anywhere else. Where else outside the NHS would people who can't hold a note or remember a song be encouraged to stand up and sing?
What publican in his right mind would want to fill his pub with people like that - the sort who make the regular punters snigger and walk away?
Folk clubs are declining because too many of them became cringe-worthy embarrassments. Someone above commented on a club where there were 16 Mudcatters in the audience. That should tell you something. The number of people who go to clubs in the UK is tiny. More people go fucking line-dancing! The club as a mass phenomenon is dying. Some will survive, the way Ronnie Scott's the 606, the King's Head and the 100 Club represent just about all that's left of jazz in the UK. The rest will die off.
So, to dinosaurs like The Vilan and Georgiansilver, get your heads of the the sand and learn to adapt


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 May 07 - 04:14 AM

When the majority go line-dancing I will be proud to be in a minority.

I am very tempted to go to the Lewes club - it sounds just what it should be, an inclusive place where people will be encouraged and welcomed, and there will be some fine music but no-one is pushed out. Well said Snail. Shame it's so far.

BTW, I don't think I'm wonderful, and quite frequently, while it is nice to hear people who are wonderful, it is a pain in the arse to hear people who only think they are wonderful.

I can think of at least one very good guitarist I would go out of my way to avoid listening to for precisely that reason.

I'm getting that flavour here from some people. How wonderful do you think you are, Captain Ginger?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 May 07 - 04:45 AM

... and whatever you don't mention the cloths!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 May 07 - 05:19 AM

Captain Ginger....perhaps you should have read the whole thread...your head is too far up your own ....to see where most other peoples are.
What has developed into the folk scene in Lincolnshire over the years is quite satisfactory and well attended. There is a wealth of good local talent both in the singing and songwriting genres and whereas we acknowledge that the sixties was the boom time for Folk Clubs.....all is well here in its developed form with no signs of collapse...as yet.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Barden of England
Date: 24 May 07 - 06:30 AM

I think people are mixing 'Traditional' with 'Folk', and therein (in my eyes)lies the problem. I don't believe that 'Folk' means traditional at all - but there you go.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 May 07 - 06:54 AM

what COLLAPSE OF folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 May 07 - 07:06 AM

Sorry I started this.

"In the late '60s through to the late 70's thousands and thousands of Folk Clubs existed. Almost every town and city and lots of vil-lages had clubs.

Then they started to close - many never to re-open. Why did the Folk Club scene collapse?

It may not have collapsed to the same extent everywhere but ........... quite honestly I think this thread said all their was to say ans some things that were unpleasant and irrelevant a long time ago.

Best wishes

Les


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 May 07 - 07:18 AM

Hi JB

There is a meaning for "Folk". If we mean something else perhaps we should say so.

As you know, I may prefer to play "Folk" but I think I do do it in a reasonably exploratory an innovative way...

And I may also throw in the occasional thing that is not "Folk" but is done as if it is, just to be cussed.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 May 07 - 07:47 AM

Jim Carroll
If the attitude expressed by the Snail is a prevalent one, the clubs have no more significance than karaoke sessions and the sooner they stop calling themselves folk clubs, the better.

Would you like to take a look at our guest list? In the past, Tom McConville, Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick, Pete Coe and many others including a good few Mudcatters have seemed to enjoy performing here.

Coming up twenty years and we haven't collapsed yet. We must be getting something right and can't be that much of a cringe-worthy embarrassment.

Thanks for the positive feedback from Les, Breton Cap and Richard. See you at Chippers Dave and some others?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 May 07 - 07:49 AM

Don't be sad about starting the thread, Les. Im sure it was well meant and if some people used it to spout bile - that's their problem.

It IS terribly sad - I think a whole generation of young musicians were expecting to make a living in what seemed a wonderful artistic movement - genuinely from the people.

It didn't turn out the way some of us hoped, but I suppose it worked out to some folks' satisfaction and enrichment, and isn't that the way of the world. Things can't be perfect, because we're not.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,edthefolkie
Date: 24 May 07 - 07:52 AM

Last night I experienced just about the perfect paradigm of

(a) why the clubs can be a great experience and (b) why the clubs can be terrible.

a) The guest singer was a true professional, with his own PA & monitor, therefore could be heard properly both by the audience and himself over Milan v Liverpool downstairs. He had obviously been doing this all over the world for a long time, didn't spend ages tuning up, gave just the right inter song chat.

However...

b) One chap, obviously there every week, decided to sing a certain very rude "traditional" song in a floor spot. Full marks for chutzpah. Needless to say he forgot the words - didn't matter, he was too old to sing 'em anyway. Frankly he sounded like a dirty old g*t. God alone knows what the few younger people present thought - I know exactly what my 19 year old son would have said!

Just an anecdote, and I've honestly tried not to be personal - but I think that club could be contributing to its own demise. And it's sad.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 May 07 - 08:14 AM

Would you like to take a look at our guest list? In the past, Tom McConville, Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick, Pete Coe and many others including a good few Mudcatters have seemed to enjoy performing here.


I took a look at your guest list and it is indeed most impressive.

Sorry I thought you were arguing earlier that folk music was not about well-paid guests but about anyone at all - no matter how bad - being allowed to play.

Which one do you think contributes most to the success of your folk club? I note that the weeks with very high profile guests tend to be sell-outs. Of course it could just be a coincidence.

Here is a simple experiment you could try.

Drop the professional guests, drop the residents that I note you have, stick to allowing anyone to play anything they like and come back on here and tell us what a success it has been.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 May 07 - 09:13 AM

Folkiedave
Sorry I thought you were arguing earlier that folk music was not about well-paid guests but about anyone at all - no matter how bad - being allowed to play.

No, I was arguing that it was both. Where do you think those well-paid guests learnt their trade? Some who did floorspots with us are now on the top list at festivals.
In the scenario you painted of your band from hell, I was genuine in my reply. I may say, it has never happened. Some of our regular visitors are less than star quality and always will be but even they improve in an inclusive and encouraging environment. Most of our floorspots are very good indeed.

Which one do you think contributes most to the success of your folk club? I note that the weeks with very high profile guests tend to be sell-outs. Of course it could just be a coincidence.

Big names pull in the crowds; hardly surprising. Attendance varies in strange and unpredictable ways but we genarally have a good crowd.

Here is a simple experiment you could try.
Drop the professional guests, drop the residents that I note you have, stick to allowing anyone to play anything they like and come back on here and tell us what a success it has been.


Can't see the point when we appear to have a winning formula. We do have what Sandra calls a "family hold back" policy. Residents will drop out to allow time for the floor spots.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 May 07 - 10:01 AM

As for people listening to each other - whilst I do not deny there is a place for this - ....
But it hardly does a lot for folk music IMHO.

IMHO it IS folk music.


Let's put this into context again.

I argued that folk clubs collapsed because far too many of them were of the "anything is good enough for folk music" school of thought. By accepting my Goth band you seem to be of this school too and you argued as above "it is folk music".

Lewes Folk Club - which is clearly well-run, successful and good luck to it - is successful because as far as I can see because it has week after week of well-practised professionals. Many of your professionals run workshop classes, an excellent idea - more of the remaining folk clubs should do it IMHO.

But it seems from what I read it is not a club full of unpractised people listening to each other, it is a place where you have residents and where you do your best to raise standards which I am in very much in favour of. Hardly a place where people are simply listening to each other playing their own teenage diaries, which is what I originally objected to and you supported.

But since I have not been there it is a bit hard to comment fully - I can only go on what the website tells me.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,mad jock
Date: 24 May 07 - 10:05 AM

we are a broad church are we not so listen to british blues guitarist KEVIN BROWN for some real masterly of the guitar. his latest cd by the way is TIN CHURCH.

www.thekevinbrown.org


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 May 07 - 10:15 AM

Seems like he might have been practising!!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 24 May 07 - 10:46 AM

It is perhaps worth noting that there are two clubs in Lewes.

Ours at the Lewes Arms on Saturdays and Thursdays at the Royal Oak.

The Snail and I only attend at the Royal Oak and have no involvement with the running thereof. They are however a club that also has top quality guests as well as residents and floor singers.

The Royal Oak club is run slightly differently from the Lewes Arms but included all the same elements and is just as successful.

Therefore there is no "Collapse" in our part of the world Q.E.D.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 May 07 - 11:04 AM

Folkiedave
week after week of well-practised professionals

Looking at the seventeen Saturdays covered by the website listing, I would say that five could be classed as professionals, seven are singarounds/sessions and the rest are high quality amateurs.
Yes, we book well-practised professionals but as far as I recall we have never refused a floorsinger a spot because they weren't good enough, mainly because the situation hasn't occurred. OK, some of them may not be star quality but they still have something to offer. You seem to think that because we encourage everyone to sing or play that ALL the floorspots will be terrible. There are a lot of people out there who are very good indeed and perform for the love of it without wanting to make a career of it.
On consideration (I speak for myself, not the club), I do think that they ARE folk music. The superstars wouldn't exist without them. Conversely, the superstars give them something to aspire to.

Despite being nominally eclectic, we pretty obviously have a traditional bias so maybe that saves us from the teenage angst singer/songwriters. That might be a test case. At least one of our number might have to be physically restrained or at least sedated with large quantities of Harvey's Best Bitter.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 24 May 07 - 11:34 AM

Has the collapse of Folk Clubs anything to do with, looking at the length of this thread, all talk and no do???????????????????????????


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 May 07 - 12:01 PM

Not as far as I am concerned I gave up organising anything once I got to sixty - four years ago.

Leave it to the youngsters is my motto. So long as they practice.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 24 May 07 - 02:51 PM

Georgiansilver, I speak as I find. I have been to dozens of clubs over the years and I have seen a marked decline - the better musicians and singers have moved on to other venues, and the regulars get more and more unhygienic and eccentric. Clearly Lincs and Sussex are beacons of excellence (though the list of notable guests featured the same names as could have been seen twenty or even thirty years ago!), but my impression is one of mediocrity and slow senescence.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 May 07 - 04:09 PM

Well I suppose you are entitled to your impressions...whatever they happen to be based on. Personally I don't like to sit in judgement on anything that I don't have a first hand knowledge of...but that's the way I function. You are obviously one step beyond that which I desire to tread.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 24 May 07 - 04:40 PM

FFS GS, if somebody speaks from the experience of having been at dozens of clubs over the years and describes how the better perfomers have moved on to other venues, they mean exactly that.
I too have done the very same and my experience mirrors that of Mr Ginger.
True, I haven't been to this gaff in Lincolnshire (wherever it is) nor to the Lewes Arms (though I have been to the Royal Oak in Lewes several times and regard it as one of the best venues in the land).
But I've also seen far too many dirty old gits as described by Dave who can't even remember the words to their idiot ditties, far too many teenagers who ought to have been confined to their bedrooms for several years longer and far too many tone-deaf wannabes.
But One Step Beyond?
Who's booking Madness these days? I'd go . . .


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 May 07 - 05:38 PM

Oh, no, that would have to be a confession. Madness?????

Tu blagues.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 24 May 07 - 05:47 PM

Au contraire.

Karl Foreman of Madness is the son of John Foreman, the broadsheet king, y'know.
That makes them a Camden Town folk band.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 May 07 - 05:51 PM

How?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Stringsinger
Date: 24 May 07 - 05:53 PM

I believe that the collapse of the folk clubs may have something to do with the fact that "folk singers" don't support other "folk singers". Backbiting, envy and scuffling for gigs has something to do with the business side not visible to outsiders.

Also, the folk club in the States seems to be coffee houses in churches. This is an artificial construct that puts singers with stringed instrument accompaniment on a raised platform with a microphone and terrible electronic sounding pickups. It's become an over-worked stereotype and much of the song output is hackneyed and has no historical or musical depth. The alternative to this is a noisy bar. Drunks are not the best audiences.

The stage concerts are overpriced and the shows have become so studied that if you see an artist do one performance, you will see the exact same thing years later.

Folk music will survive regardless of the folk club. It thrives in the living rooms and informal gatherings where people really want to share their music without being "big stars".


Frank


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 May 07 - 06:01 PM

IMHO if you go to the Pigs Ear Kentish Horse Folk Ale you will see the "club format" (ie named timed slots and some big names) running very well, and a lot of pissed punters enjoying themselves - and even some folk music.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 24 May 07 - 06:28 PM

What's happening? I agree with Countess!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 May 07 - 08:41 PM

John Foreman, is he still around? I used to like him - haven't seen him for a long long time.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Nick
Date: 24 May 07 - 08:48 PM

I'll post something tomorrow about my experiences in folk things over the last week (York Folk day - Flaxton whatever we call it - Thirsk folk club) but an observation that myself and a friend chatted about as we tried to seek out new places to play (and succeeded) on our way to go and sing.

1 People coming and singing the same things again and again and again at some point gets boring however much you value friends and traditions - or (in extremes) everyone dies

2 Survival depends on the influx of the new

3 Newness brings its rewards and its challenges. New arrivals change what was there before because if they can't there's no point in being there.

I thought almost by definition there would be no folk tradition without the effect of the people who keep it going.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 07 - 03:32 AM

Snail,
Any club organiser who allows their club platform to be used for lazy or inept performers to practice, is doing nobody any favours. It is insulting to audiences (náive as they may be), who turn up expecting to hear good songs well sung (folk songs – if you call yourself a folk club - and yes, as Richard Bridge pointed out, there is a definition of folk song, and if you mean something else you should call yourself something else).
It is deeply patronising to pretend that poor performers are anything but poor; if you want to assist new singers to improve, set up singing workshops. If they can't or won't learn - tough, let them try something else (Monty Python's one-legged actor applying for the role of Tarzan springs to mind). Allowing bad singers to humiliate themselves in public is hardly going to help them develop or to continue performing. It is still possible to hear recordings of Florence Foster Jenkins making a fool of herself in front of a Carnegie Hall audience because her well-meaning (and very wealthy) husband booked the place half-a-dozen decades ago .
Personally I don't care if your guest list includes Joseph Taylor, Phil Tanner Jeannie Robertson and Sam Larner (none of those you quote in your posting ((can't remember hearing Tom McConville)) ring any of my bells – sorry). As far as I'm concerned, a club stands and falls entirely by its residents, they are the ones who make clubs relevant locally and ensure the future. Good guests should be the icing on a well baked cake.
What you described in your Q&A was crap and if that is what you present, that is the yardstick that you'll be judged by.
Les FC;
I believe there should be a standard reached before any singer attempts to perform publicly, for their own sake as well as for the club, for the audience, and for the future of the songs. It is not a particularly high one: singing in tune, remembering and understanding the words, showing some understanding of the meaning of the songs and the disciplines that the genre demands – no, not opera; for me, and I guess for you, folk-song implies folk style and function.
Perhaps those styles and functions might be a subject for a separate thread (this one is getting a bit ungainly).
I hope you were not serious about being sorry you starting this thread. I have singularly failed when I have tried to post to this forum as a member and I rely on people like yourself and the Cap'n for brain fodder.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 25 May 07 - 03:47 AM

Jim Carroll
(none of those you quote in your posting ((can't remember hearing Tom McConville)) ring any of my bells – sorry).

?!?!?!?!?!?

Come and see us sometime. You might enjoy yourself. A great many do.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 May 07 - 03:49 AM

I'm sorry, but "You are not good enough to sing to us" is self aggrandising and offensive. Will you be demanding bow ties, and proper tugging of forelocks next?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 25 May 07 - 04:08 AM

"You are not good enough to sing to us" is self aggrandising and offensive.
Put as bluntly as that, it certainly would be, but that's not what I understood from Jim's post. Unless you are a performance venue, as the Lincs club seems to be, then - as Jim says - you stand or fall by the standard of the regulars.
What's needed is subtlety and slectivity on the part of organisers to ensure that people who can't sing don't become part of the aural furniture. We all know singers and clubs where one particular person taking the floor is the cue for the regulars to head for the bogs or the bar.
You would actually be doing the bad singers a favour (let alone the long-suffering audiences) a favour if you were to say. "Look, if you get here half an hour early we can do a workshop on technique."
The unquestioning acceptance of any standard of performance, however bad, does no-one any favours and opens both performer and organiser up to ridicule.
To me there's nothing wrong or elitist in creating a system where people feel they have to earn the right to be floor singers and be encouraged on that path.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 May 07 - 04:09 AM

Jim

Why are you being so awful to someone who is at least out there trying to organise something -possibly not up to your exacting standards - but someone definitely in there fighting for a his vision of folk music?

The point is that its not 1968. In those days you could be as foul in your attitude and sling as much shit around as you wanted, and there was still the folk club round the corner to go to, and the one round the next corner.

The entire movement is pretty much in the shit every which way at the moment.   What with radio presenters who see themselves as mates of the stars; the complete collapse of the centre ground - no more Spinners Campbell Group or Corries; 98% of the population of England not recognising what Martin Carthy does as an English folksong.

Its easy to sneer at the elements that made up the English folk revival and provided the clubs with their hey day. And its easy to sneer at what individual clubs accomplish.
Surely - unworthy of you?
Tom McConville - wasn't he the guy in the High Level Ranters with Johhny Handle?

al


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 May 07 - 04:17 AM

Jim,

I am not sorry I started this, it should have read:

Sorry, I started this. The post before mine seemed to doubt my description of collapse and I was just restating it.

Duff singers are a problem for all who run clubs and duff club management is too.

I have been bored sensless in some folk clubs and am too offended my people who cant sing, forget the words and retune guitars while we wait. I guess only being average is hat keeps the average down?

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 25 May 07 - 04:49 AM

It's no good. Curiosity has got the better of my commmon sense. Jim, who(still alive) does ring your bells?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 25 May 07 - 04:53 AM

....and no, weelitttledrummer, that was Tom Gilfellon. This is Tom McConville. Wonderful fiddler, singer and all round good guy.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 May 07 - 04:54 AM

John Foreman, is he still around? I used to like him - haven't seen him for a long long time.

He was last time I heard and unless my memory fails me - which happens more and more these days - he appeared at one of the Lewes Clubs last year.

http://www.tommcconville.co.uk/

There is a real danger in describing the collapse of folk clubs with the collapse of folk music.

When there were loads of clubs there were few festivals. Talking to a group of aging folkies gathered together last night we could only think of the National, Sidmouth, Whitby, Cleethorpes, and Fylde in the early 70's.

Now there are something like 350 (AFO figures) catering for a wide diversity of paying customers and style of festivals.

I was at a festival last weekend and there were loads of young people some local, some who had travelled, and a look at the guest list will show there were a lot of very good young performers both singers and instrumentalists.

Sheffield does not really support a traditional style folk club in the city centre - though there are a couple of excellent ones just outside the city. In he late sixties and early seventies it had about five. They stopped because the pubs changed and the organisers got exhausted.

But we have a folk festival in October with loads of sessions and concerts and dancing, we have sessions most nights of the week all over the city, and on some nights more than one.

Good places for people to try their voices out in public without too many problems.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 May 07 - 04:55 AM

Did you know that half the performers in folk clubs are below average?

:D


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 May 07 - 05:08 AM

No, half of them are below median.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 25 May 07 - 05:22 AM

John Foreman is very much around.
This is despite the fact hat the last time I saw him it was at a funeral but it fortunately wasn't his own.
He looks exactly the same as he did when I first met him 40 years ago.
And just as good a performer . . . and printer.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 May 07 - 08:05 AM

Jim, Tom McConville is a very fine fiddler and singer. Hails from the NE of England, and performs frequently alongside Pauline Cato, an excellent exponent of the Northumbrian Pipes.

They are excellent performers of traditional tunes and songs.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Tootler
Date: 25 May 07 - 02:18 PM

Did you know that half the performers in folk clubs are below average?

No, half of them are below median.


<pedant mode>
Actually both are right. "Average" has no real meaning in statistics. There are three common "measures of centre"; arithmetic mean, median and mode. The use of "average" in general speech does not really distinguish between these. Just to be further pedantic, if the distribution is symmetrical, a very common situation, then half the performers are below the mean, the median and the mode - in these circumstances, half the performers are below average.
</pedant mode>


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 May 07 - 02:25 PM

A little thread drift if I may - Tom McConville is an Alexander technique teacher. Worth investigating if you have back/shoulder problems.......

http://www.tommcconville.co.uk/Alexander.htm


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 May 07 - 02:29 PM

"Average" means "arithmetic mean".


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 07 - 03:58 PM

I find it very enlightning to have:
"singing in tune, remembering and understanding the words, showing some understanding of the meaning of the songs" (the basics for anybody who sings in public I would have thought) - described as exacting.
On the other hand we have:
"If I had a guitar, a mate with an acoustic bass and another with a bodhran and and we played goth and punk that would be OK too?
And if I then sang out of key and it was pretty obvious that the guitarist knew one chord, the bass player hadn't ever played before and the bodhran player had no sense of rhythm, (not unusual in my experience of bodhran players) that would be OK too?
If I then said we came to the folk club because no-one else would let us play anywhere in Sussex and its environs because we were so awful - would you let us back next week?" -
all of which is apparently acceptable.
I think Les has his question answered!
If these are the values that todays club scene is peddling, I'm extremely glad to be out of it.
Who do I reckon? - happy to provide a list, top of which would probably be Kevin Michell John Lyons and Len Graham though Ireland can come up with many more who can sing in tune, remember the words and who enjoy, respect and understand the songs they sing.
If you can't rise above the somewhat pathetic standards some of you appear to have set yourselves, English folksong will survive only in libraries, archives and record shelves; probably the safest places for it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 May 07 - 05:25 PM

Jim,

Fortunately things are not that bad. In fact there are some great singers and some wonderful musicians. And there are some terrific youngsters coming through. Generally speaking they tend not to bother with folk clubs but go dancing and to festivals.

Many of the clubs that remain have good standards - they may give people floor spots having seen them in sessions at festivals for example. Also in my experience people who come to a club organiser and hope to get a booking (or at least their faces and music better known) tend to be able to do things to a good standard.

I was at an occasional club last week. They run when there is an artist on tour they can reckon to get a audience for and the artists is prepared to work for (I guess) 80% of the gate.

So, no advertising, except at the pub itself, no attempt to take email addresses for future gigs. The organisers themselves were the support act and played four songs using a variety of instruments. Then they wondered why it took so long to sound check. They left the door open so noise from the pool table came through.

When they got around to checking the artists (Frankie Gavin and TIm Edey as it happened the lines were crossed and Tim Edey had to sort it out. It was as bad an organised gig as I have ever been to.

And people wonder why folk clubs collapse?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Tootler
Date: 25 May 07 - 07:31 PM

This thread does seem to have a very negative tone to it. It's no wonder that Jim Carrol gets the impression that English Folk Clubs are dire.

In my limited experience, most people who go to folk clubs and sing on singers nights (I am not talking about guest nights or concert venues here) meet Jim Carrol's minimum standards, which, by the way, seem perfectly reasonable standards to aim at and are achievable by the majority of people.

One thing that does seems to give more people trouble than any other is remembering words and there are some people who are otherwise good singers that seem find this a real problem. In such a case I, for one, would rather they had a prompt in front of them than they "blanked" at a crucial point in the song. I have been to concerts where the performers had words and music in front of them, and not just classical concerts either, so why shouldn't amateurs be permitted the same.

The folk clubs I go to I find are very welcoming to newcomers who are encouraged to sing, but no pressure is put on them if they don't want to. The ethos is to encourage people to "have a go". I have seen people who have been persuaded to have a go after a little gentle arm twisting turn in a creditable performance.

We should not forget singers nights are, by and large, about enjoying the music by taking part rather than just listening to others performing. Certainly that's my motivation. I go because I enjoy singing and playing which I try to do to the best of my ability but I have no particular ambitions to get up in front of an audience and make money by performing.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 25 May 07 - 07:44 PM

Tonight I have once again been to my local Folk Club at Gainsborough. Performances ranged from below average to very talented.....two new performers who came to have a go and were encouraged....asked to sing extra songs as they had come some distance to perform. There was a great atmosphere and a lot of fun as well as a diversity of music and talent. Watever anyone says..these clubs are destined to carry on as long as there are people who are prepared to put themselves out to run them and people at ANY LEVEL who want to perform. Who are you to say we have to have standards????? Who are you to suggest that we are some backwoods venue? Who are you to knock some Club you have no idea about? Who are you to judge what is right and what is wrong in Folk Clubs in the modern day? Some of you are so far up your own backsides you cannot see the truth!!!!
Folk/accoustic/open mic or whatever clubs are progressing in their own way and not collapsing.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 May 07 - 02:54 AM

Hear hear.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 26 May 07 - 02:57 AM

I am no longer part of the folk revival; I took a conscious decision to leave when I witnessed the singing deteriorate below a level I found acceptable and when the songs I heard ceased to be what I had come to believe as folk songs. I wasn't alone in leaving; thousands of us went around the same time and for the same reasons.
Since then, my contact with the clubs has been sparse, but folk song has been part of my life for so long, I have maintained an interest in what is happening with very occasional visits to clubs, through discussions with people who are far more in touch with what is happening, and through what information is available to me through albums, magazines and (god help me) threads such as this one.
Here I have read that "folk song is boring", "people are frightened off by long ballads", "folk clubs should disassociate themselves from folk songs and should all be presenting mid-Victorian, middle class glees and catches" , "singing in tune and remembering words is "exacting" and not worth bothering with", "thinking about the songs spoils you for having "fun"", "anybody who takes folk song seriously is a "fundamentalist"" (now where did I put that car bomb!!!), and a whole host of garbage which makes Kim Howell look like the folk revival's greatest champion.
Is the Lewes club for which The Snail presented that depressing Q&A, the same one that holds ballad weekends? If so, it doesn't make sense.
The last time I heard a ballad sung reasonably well at a club I felt I should erect a hide and 'observe' it; they have become so rare!
The greatest impression I have gained from many of these discussions, with a few notable exceptions, is one of contempt: for the old songs and ballads, for the singers who passed them on to us and for the intelligences of those who make the effort to drag themselves out on a cold, wet night to visit their local club.
The last time we visited a club in the UK (last year) we were left with the feeling that we had blundered into a funeral and we should be paying respect to the deceased.
At one time the revival was the jewel in the crown of English folk song; Loyd, MacColl, Killen, Roy Harris, Cyril Tawney, Terry Whelan, Harry Boardman, Terry Yarnell and many, many other well and lesser known singers who brought skill, enthusiasm and, most of all, love and respect to the old songs.
Nowadays, it appears to me, most of the clubs hang like so many albatrosses around the necks of those wishing to see folk song passed on to the next generation. We have spent a great deal of time and effort trying to make available some of the songs we and others have collected from the older singers, mainly through archives and a handful of albums we have put out. Discussions such as this one leave me with the feeling that we would do better locking our recordings away from people who appear, at best, to have no interest whatever in the source singers and what they had to offer.
We spent twenty years in the company of Walter Pardon, talking, listening to and recording him, and the overwhelming impression I am left with is that we should archive those recordings and hope that the next generation will show more interest and respect than this one has.
Who am I to "to judge what is right and what is wrong in Folk Clubs in the modern day?" Maybe I have no right whatever; I have spent most of my life involved in folk song, mainly in the clubs, and I have got a great deal of pleasure, and some knowledge out of that time, but I believe that, along with that pleasure comes a responsibility to play fair by the Walter Pardons, Tom Lenihans, Harry Coxs, Sam Larners and the many others who gave us what we have.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 May 07 - 03:06 AM

Hear, hear.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 May 07 - 03:56 AM

Jim, you are absolutely 100% correct.

BUT - and it's a big 'but', unfortunately - I'm convinced that it's an inescapable fact that there are insufficient people out there, whose appetites for that kind of music are sufficiently voracious, to maintain any sort of club structure except in a very few areas. You and the countess and a few others may enjoy a full evening of trad songs, but I'd dare to suggest that the vast majority wouldn't.

To keep a club running you need arses on seats, and the evidence is there that a continuous diet of solely trad music will not get a sufficient number of those arses on those seats - there simply aren't enough people around who have that deep, all-embracing love of traditional songs and music that you and the countess clearly have. They're just not out there. Trad music is a Minority sport, with an emboldened capital 'M'. Sad but true.

So what are we left with? Well, pretty much what we've got in a lot of the clubs I visit - a mix of the traditional with the contemporary which, although you and the countess might say it's a dumbing-down process that wrecks the true purity of the art, it encourages arses to put themselves on seats and gives a vehicle for performance of the old songs, albeit alongside what some sneeringly describe as 'snigger-snogwriter' material. Surely to God it's better to hear them this way than for them not to be heard at all?

And it's also a fact that many people are awakened to the greatness of our traditional songs by hearing them in such a context - I know of young people who have come to a club as performers of self-written, teenage-angst, I'm-going-to-shoot-my-girlfriend's-dad kind of stuff, only to be 'converted' by hearing fine traditional songs well-sung, and to themselves become accomplished performers of trad material.

Give and take - an old-fashioned concept maybe, but it's all it takes to keep people happy. Polarised attitudes, and single-issue musical politics such as we've seen in this unhappy (and sometimes appalling) thread, aren't any sort of panacea to breathe life into a corpse (although I don't subscribe to the belief that the patient is even slightly poorly, let alone dead).

How can there be peace and joy in music when malcontents and opposing factions are so intent on ripping each others' heads off and pissing down each others' necks?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 26 May 07 - 04:20 AM

Hear Hear Backwoodsman


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 26 May 07 - 04:32 AM

"Who are you to suggest that we are some backwoods venue? Who are you to knock some Club you have no idea about? Who are you to judge what is right and what is wrong in Folk Clubs in the modern day?"
Sorry Georgiansilver; I only partially answered your question.
I am a participator in a forum discussing folk clubs. I have the same right as anybody participating in a public discussion on folk clubs to express a view on what they read during that discussion (unless you wish to change the rules of engagement and include those who only support your own point of view! - otherwise, let the battle continue) If my interpretation of the discussion is incorrect, please, please, please put me right - so far I have only heard a defence of what I believe to be happening in the clubs.
Backwoodsman.
You may well be right; if so we've failed to instigate an interest in folksong - that is no excuse for pushing an erzatz, dumbed down version in the clubs. Bums on seats are important only if audiences are being given folksongs in a worthwhile form, otherwise it will remain the godawful stuff that was forced down our throats in school.
As it happens, I don't agree with your estimate of the potential - I just believe it takes aork to win people.
By the way, I'm not just interested in traditional songs; I believe the tradition has provided a format for creating new songs.
Folk singing never had a majority following; but at one time the revival had more participants than those listening to classical music and I never heard of organisers of Beethoven concerts watering down their music to get more bums on seats.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 May 07 - 05:03 AM

'Folk singing never had a majority following'

I think you're all flogging a dead horse. If you got Jim to admit that the idea of a folk culture which excluded the vast majority of the population was a nonsense, then you'd have to get him to admit that the set of attitudes that emptied the folk clubs was wrong.

That was his life. Why would he apologise for it. He thinks he was right. Maybe he was, who knows....?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 May 07 - 05:28 AM

"and I never heard of organisers of Beethoven concerts watering down their music to get more bums on seats."

Not necessarily true Jim. How many venues in the UK are running truly 'classical' (for want of a better word) concerts, consisting of nothing but music from the 'heavieweight' composers like Beethoven? Very few, and those are mostly in the large conurbations. There aren't enough interested arses to fill the seats anywhere else. But lots of concerts with a mix of 'real' classical and pseudo-classical-'pop' stuff, like the ones in Sherwood Forest during the summer, which are attended by thousands.

Are you suggesting that folk music should go down the same route - i.e. just a small number of elitist clubs in dreadful, dirty places like Fackin' Landon, putting on "Real" folk music at sky-high ticket prices for the small number of overpaid stockbrokers, marketing executives and conservative party-members who can afford it? Or would you prefer it to remain what it always was, and IMHO should still be - the people's music, sung and played for the joy it brings, by anyone who feels inspired to sing and play, in pubs, parlours and public and private places all over the land?

If it's the first option, then RIP folk music - it never stood a chance. But if it's the latter, then join in because that's the way it's going.

It's FIFO Jim.

And don't bother, countess - you'll be talking to the hand.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 May 07 - 05:52 AM

Guest...I do apologise for not being more specific about the 'Who are yous' as it was not meant to target you but those who have their fixed ideas about what Folk Clubs are or should be and choose to knock those they know nothing about....and if you look back over the thread you can plainly see who those people are.
I totally agree that being a member of a forum gives you the right to express an opinion and I believe most people on the cat welcome opinions but when insults are thrown out towards people or clubs which are not known to the thrower, that is a different kettle of fish. (Must be a song in there somewhere).
Most of my singing was done in the 60's-70's and into the early eighties and I tended to stick (mostly) to trad songs with some Donovan and Dylan thrown in for variety. I was not brilliant then...neither am I now but I like to have a sing now and again and I am tolerated.
You say you left the Folk Revival when the singing deteriorated to a level below that which you found acceptable..... assuming that you were perhaps quite a good performer yourself..why leave? when your performances would no doubt raise the standard........
How many more have left, like you, for the same reasons? Perhaps that is why there is a decline in the number of good performers some talk of on the thread.
I now go to the Clubs locally for the craic as well as for the performances which may be as I described in my last posting but are what has developed in this area.....I am quite satisfied with it although I would enjoy having 'the good old days' back...I am moving on with the times and enjoying my life...part of which is in the clubs I attend.
By the same token, I would love to have my first 'Austin Mini' back which was so simple in form and so little with it that could go wrong.
Modern cars have developed into something almost unrecognisable from then with all the gadgetry and different lines. Sadly those days have gone with Clubs and the car so what shall we do? Move on or whinge...?
I guess I'm moving on.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 May 07 - 06:50 AM

Jim, a lot of what you say is true - but you cannot and must not exclude people from folk clubs or they cease to be folk clubs. A fair proportion of what I do is traditional (ish) but I seek ways to arrange it and give it more presence. The onus there is on the performer. It is not the position of a club organiser to say that as I use a guitar it is unacceptable, that because I alter melodies and rhythms (and words) it is unacceptable, that because my voice is not bel canto it is unacceptable.

Countess, it would be nice if everyone was as good as (say) Martin Carthy, but they aren't, and once you say that Heather Wood's wobbly vocals are not good enough, you have destroyed the Young Tradition. And so it goes on.

People must be able to perform (and adapt the tradition). It doesn't make what they do necessarily folk music, but if people can't make their music they are left to be consumers, the commoditisation of music is complete, and most performers/people are excluded.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 May 07 - 07:02 AM

well I think i,ll just go and do a bit of playing and singing,Something I manage most days.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 May 07 - 07:12 AM

Where did I ever say a word about Heather Wood's vocals? Nowhere, that's where. (Would never have dared!) The YT stopped performing because Heather and Royston wanted to go off and do their art music and Peter wanted to take a different direction but concentrate on trad and his own work. That was in 1969 and I was at the farewell concert.

Wandering even more wildly off topic, it's now getting on for two decades since Messrs Bellamy & Wood left this world, but Heather who I saw not long ago (NOT in a club), is, thankfully, still with us.

People must be able to perform (and adapt the tradition)

Indeed, yes. The tradition must be respected but conventions can be broken. This must not mean that wannabe performers should be allowed to escape from their bedrooms before they can perform in public, and if 'organisers' have a role at all, it is to keep them offstage. The 'good-enough-for-f*lk' attitude is an abomination and adds exponentially to the public perception of tradarts as an object of ridicule.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 May 07 - 07:20 AM

For the sake of getting the 400, I should just like to express my amazement that Jim Carroll's work and reputation seems to be unknown in Lincolnshire. Good grief!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 May 07 - 07:35 AM

Not sure why this should be so astounding - its him who insists folksinging never had a majority following. Obviously we're part of the despised majority.

I don't suppose he knows our work - sounds like he'd take a pretty dim view of our activities if he was unfortunate enough to come across it!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 May 07 - 07:55 AM

wld - very few people can, truthfully, claim to know intimately the work of EVERY performer, past and present.

It simply means that many of us lead an extremely busy but happy life, earning a crust from the day-job for a great part of it, and our recreation time is thus limited and there are therefore some performers whom we haven't come across during our 'off-duty' hours.

It doesn't make us numpties.

But the countess is an intelligent woman and knows that perfectly well, she just has a pathological hatred of Lincolnshire, and an overwhelming and unnatural desire to bait its inhabitants! LOL!

Strange, when you consider the great songs that came from the tradition in that neck of the (back)woods.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 May 07 - 08:01 AM

No need to convince me - I'm a Boston lad, albeit first generation - so I know I don't really count as a real yellow belly.

I quite agree about the songs - theres my song Buster the Line Dancing Dog, for example. Few have equalled it.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 May 07 - 08:06 AM

No, I took Heather Wood as an example of a singer who might have been excluded by those who insist on "standards". Her singing is a bit wobbly. Or at least some recordings are. But without her the Young Tradition (my absolute touchstone for forceful English harmony) would not have been what it was and the tradition that now includes their work (some of it was then contemporary) would be impoverished. I think she is wonderful. (I believe she now does a lot of filk, and one of her standards that no record company is brave enough to release is "The Wizard's Staff has a knob on the End", and another is "The Hedgehog can never be buggered at all").

None of these good things would have been if some policeman had said to her "You are not good enough, go away".   

Equally Peter Bellamy's low notes were almost wholly random, but somehow he found the key again on the way back up, every time. Should someone have said to him "Go away until you can sing in tune"?

Telling people they must go away does not create a thriving community.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 May 07 - 08:07 AM

And Jack Hudson does it like no other! LOL!

Speaking of Jack - there's a top-notch performer for you who's treated like a pariah by the folk-nazis.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 26 May 07 - 10:45 AM

Jack Hudson! I had forgotten him. He was good. Where is he now! I had an LP of his.
As this thread meanders on it becomes clear(ish) that it's the lack of the young that is the problem, we oldies only say "old such and such, I remember him (her)" The new breed are more high tec and expensive. No more is the Guest one guy, a guitar and a train ticket, and anyway who can afford a train ticket


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 May 07 - 11:23 AM

ah yes, those were the days..... just one train ticket for a family of nineteen to wipe their bums on. mind you we had it tough.

Jack Hudson is still rather good. A bit like one of these Sumo wrestlers - he just does the one thing excellently. Not that he's fat or anything. in fact he's tall and thin.

His last album was just him and the guitar - Ithink it was last year. Very good indeeed. You can get it from him (PM me for his number) or Woven Wheat.

He begged me not to put his name on Buster the Line Dancing Dog, but it has a real cult following. I got a lovely letter fan letter for Jack from a lady whose Line Dance team are called the ystalyfera Bootscooters (its near Swansea) - they have made up a dance to it called Busters Bonesearch!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 26 May 07 - 01:43 PM

Jim asked: "Is the Lewes club for which The Snail presented that depressing Q&A, the same one that holds ballad weekends? If so, it doesn't make sense."

Indeed it is, Jim, and it does make sense. I hosted one of those ballad workshops (one day only, actually) back in December, and corresponded with you and others about it on this forum. Several of the ballad workshop participants also sang at the Lewes Arms Folk Club, at which I was booked with Gordon Tyrrall, that same evening. From what you write of your likes and dislikes, I suspect you would have enjoyed thoroughtly at least some of the singers present.

Folkiedave's colourfully imagined "floorspot from Hell" had the unfortunate effect of backing Brian the Snail into a corner from which Jim and the rest of you won't allow him to escape. The fact is that the Lewes Arms folk club is one of the superior ones that I see in my travels, and the standard of floor performers there is well above average. They have a policy of allowing everyone who so desires, to perform one item each, so of course The Snail has to answer that, yes, those insensitive, incompetent and imaginary wankers would indeed be allowed their few minutes in the (metaphorical) spotlight. However, what seems to work in Lewes - admittedly a town where the number of active singers and musicians seems unusually high - is that the good singers tend by their example either to drag the poor ones up to their level or encourage the duffers to hold back.

Speaking as a lover of well-performed traditional song who shares Countess's scorn for the "anything's good enough for folk" attitude, I nonetheless find myself agreeing with the opposed views of Backwoodsman when he speaks about about "the people's music, sung and played for the joy it brings, by anyone who feels inspired to sing and play, in pubs, parlours and public and private places all over the land?" The folk scene (for want of a better phrase) seems at the moment to be drifting - or being pushed - into a circuit where relatively informal performances in small rooms by soloists or small groups, sharing music with a roomful of people many of whom are themselves contributing musically to the entertainment, are being superseded by concerts in which the audience/performer distance, the size of the bands, and the degree of musical sophisitication are all increasing to a degree where any sense of "community entertainment" is in danger of disappearing. I speak as one who plays right across that performance spectrum, but still feels great allegiance to the folk clubs in which I learned my own trade. Sometimes they disappoint me to the point of despair, but sometimes they fulfil my fondest dreams. They certainly won't continue indefinitely in their old format and with their existing, longstanding organisers. But let's not forget the context where this kind of music belongs, eh?

By the way Jim, since you mention Harry Boardman, I was for several years a resident at one of his clubs in Manchester, and while I can report that the standard of both residents and regular floor singers was as high as you might have expected, the range of music they covered was extremely eclectic and by no means confined to unaccompanied traditional singing. Which is partly why it was such a great club.

All the best,
Brian


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 May 07 - 01:59 PM

"Jack Hudson is still rather good"

Always the master of understatement, Al! He's excellent, as you and I well know. A shame he's so carefully ignored to the self-elected 'cognoscenti' (who seem sometimes unable to recognise anything but the interior of their own ani).

IMHO of course. LOL!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 May 07 - 02:05 PM

Heather was singing fine a couple of Xmases ago when she came to the Sheffield Carols but she doesn't sing much in this country working in New York as she does.

that it's the lack of the young that is the problem,

Let us just get this clear. There are plenty of young people in folk music, and I would guess that there are more now than there ever were.

If you mean lacking at at folk clubs I agree. Who wants to go and pay for a seat in a pub where anyone can just turn up and sing - I certainly don't and only visit clubs now where I can be assured that there is a good artist that I either know, or have heard of or have had recommended to me. We can hardly blame the young if they feel the same.

If you mean as artists - you should really take a look around at a festival these days, plenty of young people as artists. I was at a festival last weekend and the bill was chokker with young artists. onesomes, twosomes, threesomes, and foursomes, singers and instumentalists.

If you mean as participants - then there are plenty at festivals, at ceilidhs and at sessions.

A number are dancing morris and clog (my own morris team has just recruited a 21 year old lad, many morris teams are now recruiting young members). Unfortunately the majority of our offspring were daughters. As SCIORR (Irish dance) they have been appearing at festivals all over the world (South America and most European countries) for the past ten years. They have also done many UK festivals. They have developed their own routines and costumes.

http://www.sciorr.force9.co.uk/

Lack of young the problem? Sorry but I just do not see it.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 26 May 07 - 02:44 PM


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 May 07 - 02:49 PM

Harry Boardman . . . the range of music covered was extremely eclectic

Yes indeed. It's a bit invidious to name clubs (well, I suppose to cite Harry's Manchester venues is OK since he is, sadly, no longer around), but that is surely the point: the people's music emanates from whatever grabs the people's attention at the time, what is relevant to their lives and means something. Yes, karaoke in the pub in the corner might be popular (it IS) but that is sad, symptomatic of a people who do not recognise that they even have a culture of heir own.

You could look at the Singers (not especially good at being all-encompassing at the time but it did TRY) and the later offshoot at the Knave of Clubs which certainly did manage to bring in some from the local community and involved the miners', building workers' and Northern Ireland struggles. And it was where I first met Charles Parker, and got involved in the salvaging of the Radio Ballads.

Then there is the Ryburn 3-step and the continuing Islington club, started by Bob Davenport and the Rakes in the mid-60s and running to this day in Clerkenwell. What it has always had is a house band (in common with Dingles in the 70s and Walthamstow today), and this is why it is so great. It's like that at the Lewes Royal Oak and I was just so astonished at the Snail's contribution about the Lewes Arms, whose workshops I have for too long intended to get to. I'm a little more cheered by Brian Peters' observations and will keep it on my list.

What I won't do is sit through tedious, introspective, teenage angst ditties or very, very poor renditions of songs or tunes that I love. The music, as Swarb famously said, may not mind. I do.

For an example of what English musicians today should be doing with music that is around them and will mean something to their peers (whether in the f*lk world or not) look no further than Simon Ritchie:

squeezebox schizophrenia

. . . not to mention the Anahata/Mary Humphreys theme which seems to be emerging at nearly all points. Wonder why that is . . .

Still, as Dave says above, young people are all over, mostly at the mo in Chippenham to which I am attempting to repair. Beats what's (mainly not) going on in most of the so-called 'clubs'.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 26 May 07 - 02:56 PM

"If you mean lacking at at folk clubs I agree. Who wants to go and pay for a seat in a pub where anyone can just turn up and sing?"

Well maybe, Dave, but the lack of younger people in folk clubs seems to me to be, not so much a judgement of musical merit, but simply not feeling part of a community which is on average around thirty years older.

However, I can report that at Stockton Folk Club last Monday, in a addition to a generally enjoyable selection of floor performers and a lively instrumental session before the club proper began, there were three young male students from the local college who sang a shanty in three-part harmony with great gusto, and joined in enthusiastically with everyone else's choruses. And they weren't folkie offspring, either. Little glimmers of hope....


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 26 May 07 - 02:58 PM

Not wishing to start another arguement, but in all my years working in folk clubs, certainly in the last ten or so I've never heard anyone sing "tedious, introspective, teenage angst ditties."
Are these just a figment of certain people's imagination, like arran sweaters are to journalists, or are they to be found in "sessions" which I never attend, or have I just been lucky? I would like a serious answer to this as I think these are the same people who are called "snigger/snogwriters" who I've also never seen, but who, because of people's lazy attitude of lumping things together, appear to have dragged some brilliant folk based songwriters down with them.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 26 May 07 - 03:03 PM

>>. . . not to mention the Anahata/Mary Humphreys theme which seems to be emerging at nearly all points. Wonder why that is . . .

<<

Is it alright if they appear in June at Faldingworth Live, Countess Richard?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 May 07 - 03:42 PM

"in all my years working in folk clubs, certainly in the last ten or so I've never heard anyone sing "tedious, introspective, teenage angst ditties."

Well I bloody have. You obviously haven't been to enough clubs. Nowadays you can do an NVQ in Boring the Arse off a Folk Club Audience 101. Mind you for the for the higher grades you must attempt three slip jigs, a hornpipe and the Ballad of Tam Linn, and forget the tunes and most of the words.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 26 May 07 - 03:51 PM

"Boring the Arse off a Folk Club Audience..... for the higher grades you must attempt three slip jigs, a hornpipe and the Ballad of Tam Linn"

Well I have slip jigs, hornpipes and lengthy ballads (although not Tam Lin) in my repertoire, so I'm looking forward to WLD attending one of my gigs to give his assessment.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: jacqui.c
Date: 26 May 07 - 03:55 PM

I've been witness to the teenage angst thing too, in the past. It definitely gets very tedious and would not encourage me to return to any club that supported it. Even heard something similar, from a much older 'singer-songwriter' at Sharps last go there - he came in late, sang his song - sort of blues but more like musical dirge - and left after listening to one more performer. I don't think he was a regular and he got polite applause from the group but........


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 26 May 07 - 04:07 PM

One of the worst musical events I've ever experienced (purely as an observer) was an 'Open Mike' at Club Passim in Boston, Mass. Every performer (and there were lots) was an angst-ridden singer-songwriter. Every singer without exception left immediately after their own performance, leaving the last out of the hat to finish off the night to a room entirely empty save for my companion and myself, who felt obliged to give the poor chap out support by staying to the bitter end.

I don't think it was an accident that the introspection of the songs coincided with a depressingly self-centred attitude towards the evening as a whole. As I said above, I believe in community music-making. This was the precise opposite.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 May 07 - 04:37 PM

How many people's hearts have ever sunk at the words "A song I wrote myself"? Mine invariably does........Sorry it is something I avoid if I can.

My first folk club was Harry's (Clarendon Oxford Rd.) and then I was closely involved with Folk Union One in its early days when The Watersons turned professional. so I suspect I may have been spoiled. "A song I wrote myself" were words you rarely heard.

I am not sure that we are being pushed into large concert venues as Brian suggests unless you are including festivals in this - I still see the small informal groups of people. I go to one each Monday evening, and this past week to another. Maybe we are lucky in Sheffield.

We are lucky in Sheffield there are plenty of sessions - but not much in the way of folk clubs. My objection to the unpractised singer is strictly limited to folk clubs - people (after a suitable amount of practice) do need somewhere in public to try out their skills and IMHO a session is a great place to do it. And there are young people there too.

I can remember one group - now national figures - who started singing in a not so well-attended sessions to see if their songs went well, trying their had at sessions in festivals, sang at sessions in the the National and then started getting festival bookings. They now tour Europe and the Americas.

I don't see a glimmer of hope for folk clubs unless young people start running them themselves. I see massive amounts of music around though, a lot of it played by young people and that is great.

And the shanty singers sound great Brian!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: melodeonboy
Date: 26 May 07 - 05:55 PM

I had a number of points to make on this thread, but Brian Peters has said most of what I wanted to say, and expressed it very clearly (probably more clearly than I would have done!). Thank you, Brian.

Concerning the number of young people involved in folk music, I believe that there are fewer than, say, a few decades ago, but there are still significant numbers out there. What is of some concern to me, is that many of them look at folk music in the same way that they would look at other styles of music, i.e. "stage" performance being the norm. Their reluctance to appreciate singarounds/sessions/non-amplified settings means they are missing out on what is for me a key aspect of the folk scene: the sense of community/comradeship/camraderie/call it what you will!

I perform regularly with a five-piece band with full PA system and I find it thrilling. However, I also spend a lot of time in sessions/singarounds/folk clubs which give me something that I can never get from a "gig". That special something is what singers/musicians/miners/farm labourers/the men on the Clapham omnibus/mariners etc. have, presumably, been experiencing for centuries and which I've tried to describe, possibly inadequately, above. Folk music is not only a matter of musical competence; it also has a context. If folk music is seen by the next generation of folk musicians as nothing more than a performance art then, to my mind, something is lost.

In spite of my concerns, I should tell you that at the Greyhound Folk Club in Maidstone we have a bunch of young musicians who are not only bloody good at what they do, but who also appreciate being in a singaround setting and have sufficient humility not only to enjoy listening to and joining in with people who are significantly older than them, but who also indicate that they are willing to learn a thing or two from them. Would that there were more like them!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 May 07 - 06:10 PM

Would that there were more like them!

There are!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 26 May 07 - 06:36 PM

Well, I obviously work in a better class of folk club. maybe you should find them.
Baffled,
Wordy


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 26 May 07 - 07:06 PM

My first folk club was Harry's (Clarendon Oxford Rd.) and then I was closely involved with Folk Union One in its early days when The Watersons turned professional. so I suspect I may have been spoiled. "A song I wrote myself" were words you rarely heard.

Yeah, I was around then, and I heard those words from Alex Campbell, Matt Mcginn, Ewan McColl, Ian Campbell, Leon Rosselson, Cyril Tawney,
Paul Simon, Ralph Mctell,and countless others. Maybe the words you rarely, or maybe didn't want to hear, were the words that set me afire.
You may not want the writers in "your" folk clubs but they were there then and they're there now and their work is a priceless legacy.
I find it so sad that the young people who come to some of you with their songs, immature and self-centered though they may be, are dismissed with such disdain, instead of being encouraged to broaden their vision and progress.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 May 07 - 08:05 PM

Exactly guest. just cos somebody bores you -its no reason to write off a club. stick with it!

For me the writers of songs are the best thing to come out of the folk revival. And the famous ones you mention are okay - but the best ones never made it past the great years of pestilence and plague when professional folksingers were either traddies or comedians. A cursed time in our history.

Traditional material is okay, but you hear it; then you hear it with somebody using a funny guitar tuning and a funny voice, then someone with just the funny voice....after abit you get to appreciate the ones who forget the words - you're never quite sure which bit they're going to forget, and that adds a certain variety.

Whereas when someone writes a new song, well that's a new creation. It may be crap, but at least its new.

I write and play trad material at home for fun, and to keep my playing technique together, but I just can't imagine anyone being entertained by it.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 May 07 - 02:44 AM

"If folk music is seen by the next generation of folk musicians as nothing more than a performance art then, to my mind, something is lost."

Sadly, it's already seen as that by some of the older generation (evidence a-plenty on this thread) who have either lost the real spirit of the music, or never understood it in the first place. They seem to forget that their be-pedestalled heroes were once inexperienced, nervous beginners trying out their first song on an audience for the first time (and who knows, maybe forgetting a word or two).

Anonymous GUEST - I seldom agree with anonymous GUESTs, but I'll make an exception this time. Well said.

wld - "I write and play trad material at home for fun, and to keep my playing technique together, but I just can't imagine anyone being entertained by it."

You should have heard the guy who came as a new visitor to our club on Friday night. He played a ship's harmonium and sang traditional songs, some of them being ones which, through over-exposure, have become a bit tedious, but his performance of them was like a breath of fresh air. Beautiful songs, beautifully sung and played. Magic!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 May 07 - 03:01 AM

Oh yes there ARE people who do trad material well and are a pleasure to watch. I just don't think I do it very well. So it tends to be my shameful secret, that I keep in the woodshed.

If you can't remember the words or the tune of a song though, perhaps its Gods way of telling you not to perform it in public.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 May 07 - 03:03 AM

If you are religious, then God's way.

Men are not gods. Not their job.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 27 May 07 - 04:15 AM

Collapse of the Folk Clubs will ne'er come about,
But perhaps we should kick all the bad singers out.
Let's just perfect them with performers fine,
Who make no mistakes,...never forget a line.

Three cheers for the Countess, our online expert,
With manner accusing, outrageous and curt.
And a few who think Clubs should have standards so high,
But are really just reaching for pie in the sky.

Folk music has always been there for the Folk,
Not for great performers, oh what a joke.
Music by the people, for the people yes all!!
No matter if their talent is great or quite small.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Spidey Bobe
Date: 27 May 07 - 04:23 AM

35 days to smoke free folk clubs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 27 May 07 - 05:38 AM

Folkiedave wrote: "I am not sure that we are being pushed into large concert venues as Brian suggests unless you are including festivals in this - I still see the small informal groups of people. I go to one each Monday evening, and this past week to another."

Well yes, Dave, I certainly was including festivals which - great entertainment and vibrant occasions though they are - are leaning more and more towards the large stage, the bright lights, and the performers on pedestals. Of course there are still many lively sessions, often attended by numbers of young musicians. But what I am talking about is the kind of venue in which you can see an excellent performer at close range in a relatively informal setting. It's often the best way to appreciate a soloist, and it has the additional, desirable effect of keeping the artist's feet on the ground. This is what the folk club setting has provided. Maybe it's just a historical artefact with no significance beyond the period 1960-2010, but that's what I grew up in and what I still believe in.

Melodeonboy wrote: "at the Greyhound Folk Club in Maidstone we have a bunch of young musicians who are not only bloody good at what they do, but who also appreciate being in a singaround setting and have sufficient humility not only to enjoy listening to and joining in with people who are significantly older than them, but who also indicate that they are willing to learn a thing or two from them."

On the nail, melodeonboy. The key word there is "humility". What all of us in this business need. Once you stop learning you are dead.

Dave: "I don't see a glimmer of hope for folk clubs unless young people start running them themselves."

Dead right. It's not for you or I to tell them what to do or how to do it. What *they* choose is what will happen.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 27 May 07 - 06:27 AM

But what I am talking about is the kind of venue in which you can see an excellent performer at close range in a relatively informal setting

I couldn't agree more with that. It was certainly the sort of folk club I was weaned on and I would love to see it back. I suspect it has mostly gone for ever - hence this thread - and whilst I for one would love to see it back run by young people - I doubt (with some very honourable exceptions) if we will see it in such profusion. Even the smallest of venues - and ones where I can remember people performing without amplification, now use mikes.

Hence my suggestion that the collapse of folk clubs can be paralleled with the rise of folk rock and amplification. I suspect that has been replaced by the workshop and that is where such interaction now happens. Since I am not a singer or musician I don't often go to workshops - others would probably know better.

Sadly, it's already seen as that by some of the older generation (evidence a-plenty on this thread) who have either lost the real spirit of the music, or never understood it in the first place

I do sincerely hope I am not included in that. I go to a session once a week, sometimes more, I go to folk clubs, festivals, and folklore events. In the past two weeks I have been to one regular session and two informal ones that arose because a number of musicians were together; one decent sized festival; and I have been to an occasional folk club to see Frankie Gavin and Tim Edey. I intended to drive 100 miles to an annual event on Whit Monday but will probably not because of predicted bad weather. Next week has three events scheduled. And I shall be at the Gate to Southwell Festival the weekend after. I belong to and attend a traditional research group. I have discovered a tradition the only the participants were really aware of and spend six weeks before Xmas each year participating in the Sheffield carols often with visitors and often four times a week. I gave up performing Morris after 30 years (probably too long) when the knees went a few years ago. With the morris I went all over Europe performing and was lucky enough to share music with dozens of nationalities.

But by all means tell me what I don't understand about the real spirit of the music. I would be delighted to know what I am missing.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 May 07 - 08:34 AM

Dave, I was trying not to get personal (there's been way, way too much personal abuse flung around on this thread already, much of it off-topic, and mostly by people who ought to have the intelligence to know better IMHO) and I'm certainly not looking to start a war of the kind I was dragged into by some nutter earlier. I guess it's an 'If the cap fits' thing, but I'm not going to point fingers at any individual, there are plenty of others setting themselves up as judge and jury over peoples' morals, or whether they have sufficient talent to be allowed to sing in public.

But I will never accept that someone who wishes to sing or play should have to jump through hoops, be 'judged' as good enough, or gain some sort of unofficial NVQ in Folk singing, before they are 'permitted' to perform by some kind of self-elected Folk-Simon-Cowells. Which is where some contributors would appear to want folk clubs to go. That route is the road to disaster.

It's just my opinion. It's not the assination of Archduke Ferdinand.

Peace,
BWM


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Peter Stockport
Date: 27 May 07 - 09:19 AM

35 years ago I started to go to folk clubs. There were some clubs with absolutely marvellous acts all evening and no poor stuff. Poynton springs to mind locally. But there were loads of clubs with appallingly bad singers and performers. Since I wasn't good enough to sing at Poynton I did the rounds of the singers. Harry Boardmans club had some outrageously bad turns! They weren't all good. Once you went away from the best the standard went through the floor.
I remember as many bad ones as good ones, probably more. The singers only clubs could be apalling. Perhaps you lot remember them with rose tints on! Yes, there were always one or two good ones in a night but the rest were no better than now.
I went to a comedy night in Manchester last month, there were about two hundred people watching some of the worst acts I've ever seen in my life. Most of the audience was under 25. It was open mike night.It was still fun though.
I'd guess that's where the folk audience went. It went to something new, something fun, exciting and different. Somewhere the old people don't hold the reins, somewhere you can be crap and still enjoy yourself. It's not to do with poor performance it's more to do with enjoying yourself and you can't do that with your Grandad and Granny.
Any one under 30 is patronised, I went to a folk festival where Bellowhead were introduced with, " Nice to see the young folk trying hard"...
Peter


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 27 May 07 - 10:01 AM

"Harry Boardmans club had some outrageously bad turns! They weren't all good."

Residents (1980-85 ish): Harry & Lesley Boardman, Joe Kerins, Steve Mayne, Bob Morton, Mary Humphries, Mark Dowding, me.

Regular performers: Tony Hill, Paul Connor, Steve Woolley, Mick Barkis, Margaret Peters, Chris Cole (sorry for any I forgot).

Occasional visitors: Terry Whelan, Donal Maguire, The Village Band, Gorton Tank, Steve the Australian, Gerry Murphy .....

I'm not saying there was never an 'outrageously bad turn', Peter, but most nights were pretty damn solid as far as my memory serves. Otherwise I wouldn't have gone every week!

But your point about Granny and Grandad is well made.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 May 07 - 10:10 AM

when I started to go to folk club as a floor singer,if you were not competent you were not guaranteed to be given a spot the next week,if it was clear that you had potential,you were encouraged and sometimes suggestions as to how you could improve were made.
this was about 1969, 1970,therewere lots of good floorsingers so competetion proved a healthy incentive to self improvement.
Two clubs I would particuarly like to thank were Dartford andPete Hicks[Farningham,a club where I later graduated to do a guest spot]


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 27 May 07 - 12:13 PM

But I will never accept that someone who wishes to sing or play should have to jump through hoops, be 'judged' as good enough, or gain some sort of unofficial NVQ in Folk singing, before they are 'permitted' to perform by some kind of self-elected Folk-Simon-Cowells. Which is where some contributors would appear to want folk clubs to go. That route is the road to disaster.

I don't know of anyone who is suggesting NVQ's and so on. Anyone who wants to sing and play should be allowed to do so. What people are suggesting is that to perform in front of a paying or indeed a listening public then you need to be able to play your instrument or sing with some skill and confidence or both. I am sorry you don't feel you can agree with that.

We would not accept a melodeon player who could only play a few notes, forgot the tune, and played badly - and we don't have to because melodeon (read fiddle or most other instruments) don't feel they have to practice in front of the paying public.(Bodhran players excepted!)

When they are learning they go to sessions and workshops where they are often well-supported, and practice that way. The young people I see in sessions at festivals did not arrive fully formed, they went to summer schools and sessions, practiced and learnt their instrument to a level. Gradually as they do more practice and as they get more competent the level gets higher. Oh that singers did the same.

For some reason we accept poor singers and you are happy to do so. I don't see why we should and whilst you believe anyone should be allowed to play and sing in front of the paying public then you are not respecting the music or the audience.

Now I would argue that along with the amplification issue, the problem with pubs and licensees and so on - one of the reasons that the number of folk clubs is a patch on what it was (at the same time as an expansion in folk music) is precisely that many did allow "anyone" to perform - that there were no standards just as you seem to want and that consequently people - such as myself and Jim Carroll from this thread, stopped going. That was the road to disaster and so it has proven as the number of folk clubs has shrunk whilst folk music has become more and more popular. There may be little knots of people performing to themselves and good luck to them wherever they may be - but IMHO they do little for the music or for its development.

Nostalgic Note

When I was going to Harry's Club at the Clarendon (err...err.....early 60's!!) the residents were Harry and Lesley, Terry Whelan, Terry Griffiths,(still one of the best singers I have ever heard), Tom Gilfellon who was at college in Manchester and Dave Hillery.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Spidey Bobe
Date: 27 May 07 - 01:46 PM

What I have noticed is that residents, sometimes dire performers, often pronounce the letter R as W, and worse - replace the letter L with W, and bleat like a sheep or goat when they sing. This alone must put off many folks from attending folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 May 07 - 03:06 PM

The Clarendon - is that the one on the Wilmslow Road?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 27 May 07 - 03:18 PM

No, It ceased to exist long ago..........

It was on Oxford Rd. as I remember from over forty years ago............


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 May 07 - 04:18 PM

"If folk music is seen by the next generation of folk musicians as nothing more than a performance art then, to my mind, something is lost."


the thing is of course that traditional folksongs have brought forward some very great performances. I made fun of The Ballad of Tam Linn, but if you ever saw Ewan MacColl sing it - you saw somebody apply himself and apply himself with the same committment as a great shakespearian actor doing one of the "big" speeches.

Mind you he's had his critics on Mudcat - people who he was rude to, people who say he did the wrong kind of Scottish accent.....they say nobody kicks a dead dog, but it makes you wonder.

What exactly are you suggesting that trad folk songs become like Beowulf and Chaucer - and the province of academics? Perhaps the trad singarounds should be just for the tradspotters who don't care that its being read from an exercise book, by someone with no expression - (as long as its trad - its better than Tom Paxton) - they just want to be reminded of its existence by like minded souls. I think that's fair enough - its a free society and if thats what they want - they're entitled to it.

I don't like their tendency to say that everything else isn't folk music, but I'm getting used to it as a Mudcat regular.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 May 07 - 04:56 PM

No Dave, I'm not in favour of lowering standards, far from it. What I'm against is newbies being denied the opportunity to learn to perform IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE. It's not the same thing as noodling to yourself in your front room - I didn't learn that skill by noodling in my front room and I doubt you did either. I learned by actually getting up in front of people, gritting my teeth, clenching my buttocks and DOING it. Fortunately I was encouraged, not auditioned, so when I bummed a few notes, fluffed a chord or corpsed a line I was told "Don't worry, do another song later - you'll be OK", not told to go away and don't come back until I was word and chord perfect.

One of the worst fears for a new performer is that of being judged and found wanting, 'not good enough' or 'not doing the right kind of material', and I fear that it's a put-off for some would-be's who, given the right encouragement and opportunity, could turn into accomplished performers. Walking away from them isn't the way to bring them on, is it?

There was a time when Nic Jones, Martin Simpson and Martin Carthy couldn't play very well. I wonder if they were told to bugger off and practice in their bedrooms and don't come back till they were good enough! :-) :-)

As I said Dave, just my opinion. I think we both want to arrive at the same destination, we just disagree on the best road to get there, that's all.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 27 May 07 - 05:15 PM

So why don't we ever see melodeon/fiddle players practising in public like you suggest singers do? Do they only ever arrive fully formed?


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 May 07 - 05:40 PM

They do practise in public at my local folk club. I'm sure they practise beforehand as well, but I've seen quite a few go from beginner who loses it in public, to proficiency.

You guys must go to different sorts of folk clubs.

I think maybe that's why I find Mudcat so weird sometimes - most people I know on the folk scene are pretty good eggs and they are tolerant. On here everybody seems to have an axe to grind and discount somebody else's view of folk music as invalid.

I wonder if many people here actually go to folk clubs. maybe they went years ago and they think its all right to keep kicking up shit like those groups in A Mighty Wind - slagging each off for being commercial sell outs.

The climate has changed. Those of us still on the scene are trying to cling onto what scenes left, and we tend to be tolerant.

personally speaking I don't sitting through quite a bit of what seems to me rubbish, as long as the craics in there somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Peter Stockport
Date: 27 May 07 - 06:15 PM

"impressive list of residents at Harry Boardmans"
Brian, I think I lumped Harry's in with the ropey ones by accident.
I only went there once or twice, perhaps a few times in Didsbury and also I seem to remember at the Magnet in Stockport.
What I meant to say was that although Harry's was good there were also some appalling performers, everyone wasn't fantastic.

That's not a bad thing, I always think everyone should get a turn.
What I was pointing out was that in the "Golden Era" there were plenty of bad and just average performers,
Perhaps with more choice of clubs it just wasn't so obvious.

Or, perhaps everyone just liked folk more in them days.


Peter


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 May 07 - 01:31 AM

OK Dave, we don't agree. Shame, but there ya go.

There's no point us keep going on, each gainsaying the other - we don't agree, probably never will. I believe in tolerance as the way to a better world and I'm happy to tolerate those who hold differing views from mine.

What say we call it a day and, should we meet (after all, I'd like to bet we must live within an hour's drive of one another), we can audition one another over a pint! :-)

And FTR, I know a number of instrumentalists whose talents have been developed and honed in club settings, some of them were crap, to say the least, when they started out but they're now excellent and, equally important, confident performers.

Cheers,
BWM


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 28 May 07 - 04:37 AM

Yes Backwoodsman....not least of all Paul Young.....Phil Brougham..... only in the last few years........Tolerance I say tolerance is what is needed...what ho!!!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Spidey Bobe
Date: 28 May 07 - 05:14 AM

I wish I was a wesident, so I could sing Gwey Funnel Line!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 28 May 07 - 06:10 AM

Backwoodsman and Folkiedave: surely there is room for compromise? BWM is quite right that performing in front of an audience is a quite different point along the learning curve from practising at home. I've always believed that, no matter how perfectly-practised a new song or tune is, you've only ever learned it when you've 'sung it out'. However, Dave is equally right that a standing-up-at-the-front floorspot is a less suitable place to be rehearsing your new material than an informal singaround. Also - going back to Brian the Snail and the Lewes Arms - a single song in a round-the-room progression is less of a 'performance' than a three-item floorspot.

So why not learn new skills in workshops, practice them at home, try them out in a singaround or session, the perform them as a 'floor spot' when ready? Hey, this is what actually happens most of the time! And folk club MCs presenting an evening in which formal floorspots are the warm-up to a guest performance usually have the sense to pick and choose from the available talent, and to quietly overlook those who would bring the evening down. Yes, we have all witnessed occasions on which this self-regulation has failed horribly, but if we want to retain any semblance of democratic music-making, we're stuck with it.

Weelittledrummer wrote: "....if you ever saw Ewan MacColl sing [Tam Lin] you saw somebody apply himself with the same committment as a great shakespearian actor doing one of the "big" speeches."

And, in the same post: "What exactly are you suggesting that trad folk songs become like Beowulf and Chaucer - and the province of academics?"

Leaving aside the point that any kind of popular music, from the Beatles to punk and beyond, is the province of academics these days, the whole point about big songs like the Child ballads is that they work on many levels: as epic drama (your Shakespearian analogy is bang-on), as grist to the mills of academia, and also as gripping, in-your-face entertainment - best presented in a relatively intimate setting.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 May 07 - 06:56 AM

Tam Lin and Beowolf the province of academics? Not entirely, but why shouldn't they be studied in an academic context? They are literature as well as oral tradition. I smell inverted snobbery.

Hugh Lupton, the poet and storyteller, performs both. I have seen him transfix entirely 'non-f*lky' audiences of all ages in community centres and village halls. When asked in an interview at the time of the First Gulf War what was relevance of Beowulf in modern times, he pointed immediately to the television images of abandoned, burned-out tanks along the route of the retreat from Basra as modern-day 'dragons', transformed imagery of events too horrible to confront directly.

In a performance by Dick Gaughan of Willie O' Winsbury, I have seen a bunch of definitely non-f*lky blokes in a community setting stand up and cheer at the bit where Willie tells the father just what he can do with his house and land, offered as a bribe to marry his daughter.

People out there understand and identify with the immense truth and beauty of our cultural heritage as long as it is presented excellently and with respect. What they find incomprehensible and ridiculous is unrehearsed f*lk club floor spots belting out dissonant, out-of-time renditions with clearly not a thought for the meaning of what they are singing.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 28 May 07 - 07:16 AM

So why not learn new skills in workshops, practice them at home, try them out in a singaround or session, the perform them as a 'floor spot' when ready? Hey, this is what actually happens most of the time!

Precisely what I have been suggesting!!My sole objection is the practising in public.

As for tours-de- force, I was lucky enough to see Mike Waterson the first time he ever sang Tam Lin. At the end the audience sat totally spellbound. No applause, nothing for (what seemed like) about five seconds. A wonderful performance. People can get involved. Thinking of Lal Waterson singing "Stow Brow" can still bring tears to my eyes over forty years later.

Twice in the last week or so I have seen Carthy sing and Eliza play "Two Sisters" (Beaux of London), each time totally stunning.

Powerful performances by powerful singers know no bounds IMHO. A good friend and professional singer always says (when he is compering a show and some particularly talented musician finishes playing) "just think of the amount of practice that went into that".

Think of the amount of practice that went into Mike Waterson singing Tam Lin sufficient to get it that good.

And go and do as near likewise as you can.

BWM as for auditioning each other I will fail the audition - but I will succeed on the drinking bit no problem!!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 May 07 - 08:14 AM

LOL Dave! Looking forward to it!
BWM
PS, I'm no great shakes either, I just LURVE singing. Beats bean-counting any day!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 28 May 07 - 11:04 AM

Unless I've missed a posting in what I think a fairly turgid mass above, no-one seems to have commented on the social side of a folk club. It is not just a place to watch star artists, promising newcomers or less-promising stalwarts, it is a place to meet people of similar interests, and make friends (or at least friendly acquaintances). If that means putting up with Joe's less-than-stellar guitar pounding on Singers' Nights, or Alice's somewhat quavery voice, well so be it. Into each life a little rain must fall. For every performer who continues to mumble along at floor level, there's another who soars with the opportunity.

Not everyone who goes to a folk club is an performer, real or potential. Some of us just love the music, or the song, or both. If we insist on high standards, we only attend when someone good is on. If we can't stand anything other than traditional, we avoid the singer-songwriters. As for blues or banjoes, the least said the better. But the clubs fill a need that sessions wouldn't begin to touch.

Folk clubs are not as popular as they were in the good old days because folk music isn't as popular as it was in the good old days. Blaming the clubs for that is a bit like blaming Morris dancers for global warming.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 28 May 07 - 11:40 AM

not as popular as they were in the good old days because folk music isn't as popular as it was in the good old days.

I have to ask you where the evidence for this is.

Sure there are less folk clubs - but there were few festivals. Now there are loads of festivals with much bigger attendances than virtually any folk club had. In these "good old days" there were very few sessions outside the Irish community. Now we have a lot of festivals and a lot of participatory sessions.

There were virtually no summer schools such as Folkworks. There were few musicians other than guitarists - most people were singers. Melodeons and fiddles were rare. No-one would have played an oboe in a session as I saw last week.

Fewer folk clubs that is true but much more folk music now than there ever was.

As for social aspects I couldn't agree more and I am certainly one who met members of the opposite sex. And yes it was the music but there was the social life too. We used to have weekends away when we met the members of another folk club, dwile-flonked, danced and - played and sang, but we were a bit unusual I suspect. All in the name of social life. And if there was someone you fancied there was a good chance you could catch them again next week for people went each week.

But my point is that we went to the club every week knowing that almost certainly it would be good because we had great residents and paid guests and people who were non-residents would only dare appear when they were good. We had obvious standards. Yes of course the odd duff one got through but they were rare. So were singer/songwriters.

Often unpaid guests were often aspiring artists doing the rounds - "let me do three songs and book me if you think I am good". That's what people did in those days, so there was plenty of talent available.

I have no idea what the social life is like nowadays and my wife would kill me if she ever found me doing research into the subject.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: melodeonboy
Date: 28 May 07 - 01:28 PM

"Unless I've missed a posting in what I think a fairly turgid mass above, no-one seems to have commented on the social side of a folk club." said Santa.

Read my last thread, Santa. (And don't forget me at Christmas; I've been a good boy!)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: the fence
Date: 28 May 07 - 03:10 PM

Thanks for that GS, much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 28 May 07 - 03:47 PM

Re "not as popular as before"

Ask your children about the general attitude in the outside world to folk music. Read the papers. Watch TV. (I didn't think I'd ever be recommending someone did that!) In the 60s and early 70s, folk (in the wider sense) music was generally popular. If the tradition -biased suggest that this was largely based on the popularity of protest folk, hippiedom, and folk rock, rather than Real Folk Music: well maybe they are right. However, and for whatever reason, it was widely popular, well regarded, and folk music was regularly broadcast in TV.

Look at it nowadays. It is not popular, it is not commonly available via the prominent media, it is held up as a laughing stock. Not by some unimportant minority, but in the mainstream.

Yes, festivals are more popular than before, though it does seem to be much the same group of people travelling from one to another. Yes there are the likes of Folkworks. Yes, there are promising signs that some kind of bottom in popular esteem has been passed and things are getting better. Nonetheless I stand by my comment.

I would not claim that the paid guests at my current local club are any better or any worse than they were way back then. Merely that I (and others) choose to use a developed sense of what will be enjoyable to choose which evenings to attend. At Bristol in the late 60s I would turn up every week, as you clearly did at your club. And if that was a blues singer (place your own pet bete noire), well, chalk it down to experience. But learn not to waste your time in the future, or just live with wider tastes than I have developed.

In one sense I am lucky: this thread concerns the collapse of the folk club, whereas I can attend one almost every night of the week, sometimes with a choice. Blackpool, St Annes, Fleetwood, Poulton, Preston, Garstang and Southport if I'm prepared to drive a bit. (And with Tich Frier this Friday. maybe I will!)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 28 May 07 - 05:18 PM

"Look at it nowadays. It is not popular, it is not commonly available via the prominent media, it is held up as a laughing stock. Not by some unimportant minority, but in the mainstream."

A picture that's ten years out of date, Santa. Your point about the social aspect of folk clubs was a good one, but you are way off the mark with this. Julie Fowlis, Eliza Carthy on Jools Holland? Kathryn Tickell / Eliza & Norma on Woman's Hour? Etc etc.

"Yes, festivals are more popular than before, though it does seem to be much the same group of people travelling from one to another."

Again, this was the case ten or fifteen years ago. Not so now. Do you get to many?

"I would not claim that the paid guests at my current local club are any better or any worse than they were way back then."

Most likely better, unless your local club is out of touch with who's worth booking.

"In the 60s and early 70s, folk (in the wider sense) music was generally popular."

Funny, I remember it being ridiculed in the 70s. Bob Copper remembered it being ridiculed in the 30s.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Tootler
Date: 28 May 07 - 05:37 PM

Funny, I remember it being ridiculed in the 70s. Bob Copper remembered it being ridiculed in the 30s.

And I had to have words with my (33 year old) daughter yesterday because she was making snide remarks about Whitby Shanty Weekend. She got somewhat defensive when I turned her remarks back on her concerning her going to Glastonbury.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Santa.
Date: 28 May 07 - 06:16 PM

I can recall Robin Hall and Jimmie McGregor playing folk music every night of the week in Tonight on prime time TV: later Jake Thackeray. The Spinners had their own series. The Corries ditto. The pop music shows had folk acts as a normal event. The Blackpool Taverners were on the Royal Command performance. Bob Dylan's tour was a major media event, Pete Seeger's less so but still widely touted. Julie Felix was a major star. And this was with just two TV channels. Perhaps more 60s than 70s, true. But seen as late as the 1980s Granada ITV showed the Houghton Weavers on a regular spot.

And you compare that with singleton appearances of Eliza or Julie Fowlis on Jools Holland in a low-exposure slot on a minority channel. Comparable in terms of public exposure? Hardly. The hypothetical main-in-the-street would know Julie Felix: does his equivalent nowadays know Eliza? (Preferences do not enter into this.)

No, I probably do not get to that many folk festivals, my daughter gets to more, but I did say that there were signs of a rise of interest. As to the quality of the acts in earlier times, perhaps you could get together with Folkiedave and reach some kind of consensus. I'm happy with the quality of those I get to see - and indeed of those I may choose to miss.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 28 May 07 - 07:20 PM

I doubt if TV is a suitable media for traditional music any more than it is a suitable outlet for classical music or jazz, neither of which get much exposure on TV. Hardly difficult to discern - it is a listening business rather than a visual one.

BBC Radio has loads of traditional music, little on national radio apart from Mike Harding but loads for example on BBC Scotland and N. Ireland.

As I remember it, Robin Hall and Jimmy MacGregor wrote a new song each night to comment on the news that day. Name one.

But I am not sure what this has to do with the collapse of folk clubs. Is the suggestion that once the BBC stopped showing folk music on TV then the folk clubs collapsed?

I doubt there is a correlation any more than there was a correlation between what the BBC/ITV showed and the rise of folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 May 07 - 07:46 PM

I think TV and video are a very good media for folksongs. Some artists use the intimacy that the camera provides very well - and they are spared the need to 'project', which doesn't suit everybody.

Robin Hall and Jimmy MacGregor did a great deal of traditional material in their Tonight slot - and they did it very creditably as a cursory listen to their albums will tell you. Also Robin was a prominent member of the Committe of 100 - and their work was politically aware.

Santa - these guys aren't buying it. As far as they're concerned they've done nothing wrong.

As far as I can see, they have disenfranchised an entire nation that was once enthralled by the idea of folksong. However I'm fed up with putting this point of view, and gathering insults and abuse for simply stating the ideas that motivate me and my understanding of folksong.

They're entitled to their views, we're entitled to ours. Its a sad state of affairs, but there it is.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 29 May 07 - 03:28 AM

Amen Al.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,MusicMan
Date: 29 May 07 - 03:48 AM

There was a strong folk music era here in Minnesota in the late 60s, which has since died out. However one Minnesotan managed to capitalize on folk music. He is Bob Dylan.

Would like to see a light music club here.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 29 May 07 - 03:58 AM

Couple of points I'd like to clear up.
I apologise to 'Snail' if I have been heavy handed in my criticism of his Q&A; I certainly did not mean to give personal offence. If what he described is club policy, no matter what I feel about it, there was no reason for my shooting the messenger; (bad week – not getting any better – but no excuse for bad manners!) For me, the description touched a raw nerve and took me back to the days when superstar *A.C* would stagger on stage, try (unsuccessfully) to tune his guitar, mumble something about "near enough for folk" and throw up over the front row – (good days my arse).
I find it more than a little ingenuous for WLD (there go my fingers again – WD40 this time) and others to describe a suggestion that, at the very least singers should be expected to sing in tune and remember the words, as being exacting, elitist or driving people away. Any creative endeavour (that's what singing is) should have standards if it is going to have any relevance to others. This is especially true when he songs being sung are not our own, but ones which have been handed down to us. Bad singing will put very few bums on seats (as is shown by discussions such as this), and those it does manage to attract won't not stay there for long. I wonder if those who find my suggestion so offensive have any minimum requirements of their own as to what should and should not be acceptable at folk clubs.
Folk singing as a majority/minority interest (WLD again).
I was referring to the period of the present revival, when I suggested that folk-singing was never a majority activity. However, as far as the period when the tradition was active and healthy, unless WLD (or anybody) has information as to how popular an activity it was, we know very little about the singers and their singing. There are certainly very few contemporary accounts of traditional singing in the UK. If it was as widespread as suggested, I would have thought that Johnson and Boswell, Defoe, Cobbett, Bulfin and other commentators on social life, might have mentioned it, if only in passing.
Here in rural West Clare, which is reckoned to be one of the hot-spots for traditional song in Ireland, singing took a poor second place to dancing and music and, apart from the 'rambling houses' (homes were singing was popular with the residents), usually it took place at kitchen dances during the intervals while the dancers got their breaths back and the musicians topped up their drinks. Truth to tell, we simply don't know how popular folk singing was (or very little else about it for that matter).   
Somebody asked was I a singer.
Not any more. I was a middling ability singer for 20 years, residented at around 10 clubs during that time and had a working repertoire of 300 + songs. I enjoyed singing when I sang well and didn't when I didn't. I sang at my best when I worked at it and when I could no longer put in the time to work because of other interests (collecting and research) I gave up on the basis that if I wasn't enjoying my songs, why should anybody else.
Nowadays I only sing at sessions when I am 'Mrs Doyled' ("you will, you will, you will") and then choosing only from the half dozen songs I know backwards.
Harry Boardman.
My early experience of Harry was the same as Folkie Dave's, at the Pack Horse on Bridge Street, M/c with Terry Whelan, Tom Gilfellon, the wonderful Terry Griffiths et al. I hitched 30 miles up the East Lancs Road every Friday night to be there. Harry could make your hair curl with his 'Flying Cloud' and 'Grand Conversation' and your toes curl with some of that dire 'Deep Lancashire' stuff. I residented at his club at The Blue Anchor, which tended to be curate's eggish but usually enjoyable.
At the risk of prolonging this thread beyond its sell-by date, I'm curious as to what (if anything) people expect from a folk club – as a minimum and as an ideal.   
Jim Carroll
PS I find some of the contributions to this and similar threads interesting and not a little irritating at times. On the one hand you have the 'head-in-the-sand' approach (akin to the Emperor Nero's "Fire – what fire"?) On the other there is the 'Wanna sing- wanna dance' school who think that by discussing and even (god forbid) arguing the toss on occasion, you will frighten the horses and scare off potential performers and listeners. It's been my experience that discussing problems helps to solve them and more damage is done by pretending that everything is fine when it obviously isn't. Anybody who takes the trouble to put finger to keyboard in these harangues, does so because they care about the music and wants to see it survive.   Those who don't want to be involved – please feel free not to be.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 29 May 07 - 03:59 AM

they have disenfranchised an entire nation that was once enthralled by the idea of folksong

Leaving aside the patent nonsense that it was everyone in the 'entire nation' that was thus 'enthralled', it remains to question who THEY are. An entire generation has been taught to ridicule and disown its cultural inheritance (viz the current proliferation of anti-Morris crap in the UK broadcast media). To be more specific, it is a generation of the ENGLISH, since the 'Celtic' thing is a tourist trade marketing device, wrapped in tartan tiger skins.

So, it's the education system and wider than that, the population at large has been the target of the most focussed, globalised and pernicious marketing campaign in the history of humankind. But just as the growing food lobby is beginning to return food production values to a more human scale with sustainability the goal, so an eloquent counterblast to mainstream forces is the making and composing of our own music.

It's a matter of craftspersons laying hands on local materials and unleashing magical forces which will begin to see off McJunkfoodrubbish and McMORjunkmainstreampop. Just as a generation has been taught to ignore their cultural inheritance, so they can relearn how to value it and add to it.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:45 AM

"I can recall Robin Hall and Jimmie McGregor playing folk music every night of the week in Tonight on prime time TV: later Jake Thackeray. The Spinners had their own series.... Perhaps more 60s than 70s, true."

Yes, all pretty much before my time. However, I was answering speicifically your use of the phrase "laughing stock". This was certainly the case during the 1908s and 90s - I well remember Gregson and Collister (leading purveyors at the time of very contemporary acoustic music) being introduced on The Late Show with the words: "Now we're going to hear some folk music, so get out those Arran jumpers...." I suspect that that kind of stereotype was nurtured by precisely the kind of 60s performers you mention, whatever their musical merits at the time.

In recent years, by contrast, I have heard traditional music treated with respect in many corners of the mainstream media. I could have mentioned Folk Britannia, Norma W. or Seth Lakeman on the Mercury Awards, sympathetic coverage in The Culture Show and national newspapers, various specialist programmes on Radio 4, Late Junction, etc. etc. And Jools Holland, like him or not, is pretty much the only TV outlet these days for non-mainstream pop music, so for our people to be on there alongside the Kaiser Chiefs is a not insignificant achievement.

"these guys aren't buying it. As far as they're concerned they've done nothing wrong"

Weelittledrummer, I thought I'd actually agreed with you a little way up this thread, but if you keep on coming out with this absurd stuff about the "traddies" having spoilt the party then people are going keep coming back at you.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:49 AM

Just as a generation has been taught to ignore their cultural inheritance, so they can relearn how to value it and add to it.
I do wish I could share your optimism, but I have my doubts. From my own experience, in those cultures where there has been a rekindling of interest in the indiginous music and dance, the new too often seems to be a sanitised, drip-dry, wash'n'wear version of the authentic, much to the chagrin of the few genuine practitioners.
In that sense, the genuine will always be in a minority. The schoolkids may hoof it up with branles, twmpathau or whatever and not take the piss, but the majority of them will then go home and listen to rap/rock/garage or whatever is the current craze thrust at them by that focussed, globalised and pernicious marketing campaign. In the face of that, tradititional music and dance will remain very much a minority concern.
Nevertheless, I do take heart from the 'slow food' movement, which originated in Italy and has now spread across the globe - albeit in a rather middle-class, politeand, er, slow fashion.
Maybe it's time for a 'slow music' campaign.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:58 AM

"Maybe it's time for a 'slow music' campaign"

Hope so, Cap'n - it's the only kind my aged, arthritic digits can manage nowadays! :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 May 07 - 06:52 AM

...... took me back to the days when superstar *A.C* would stagger on stage, try (unsuccessfully) to tune his guitar, mumble something about "near enough for folk" and throw up over the front row – (good days my arse)..........

I can think of two A.C.'s who would fit that description!!

And I have seen other performers do similar tricks.

Like Jim I prefer not to name names but yes, some of the performers I booked could put it away too - including "traditional" singers two or three of whom seemed to have an infinite capacity for alcohol. I often wondered what they would be like when stone cold sober!!

And just to prove there is not so much money in folk as people think I have seen people being forced to share a cigarette.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 29 May 07 - 07:30 AM

And just to prove there is not so much money in folk as people think I have seen people being forced to share a cigarette.

I remember Redd Sullivan telling that story at the Troubador about the Duke Ellington Band, back in the 60's

Glad the old jokes are not collapsing at least!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 May 07 - 10:14 AM

And Billy Connolly - which is where I heard it first. Though the facts do exist too.......

Was it Redd who started his act - "Good evening ladies and gentlemen and those of you that have had the operation?"


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Phil Williams
Date: 29 May 07 - 12:52 PM

1.Running a club is a huge commitment and I applaud all those who do.
2.Landlords have also turned function rooms into restaurants too often.
3.The '2 in a bar' rule didn't help

but...

4. I once drove 25 miles to a club to see a Andy Irvine, but his set was cut short due to the number of floor singers. Some perfectly good, some, er, cringeworthy. One bloke dressed in a cowboy hat bragged about how he knew & played with some American guitar hero, sang 3-chord songs for 20min with no attempt at an arrangement, telling us how bloody wonderful he was, and left without seeing Andy. I never went there again for that reason, despite a great guest list.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 May 07 - 07:54 PM

You were lucky. I caught the whoe bloody act. Three different sized bouzoukis.

A guitar would have been a bit of light relief.

Its this basic propostion that the traddies are cleverer than the rest of us, and is such obvious bloody nonsense.

Richard Bridge is always accusing me of being an inverted snob. Let me 'fess up. I am an ex-public school/grammar school boy.

However I married a working class girl and when she became disabled I descended to the lower depths of our society. I became one of those that peter Lilley made up Gilbert and Sullivan songs about - I became the untermenschen living in te cheapest houses in England on government handouts.

To be honest, I wondered at one point in this thread if I was on the alternative universes thread.

there was that anecodote about Mike waterson singing the ballad of Tam Lin to mass aclaim in an ordinary pub.

I gotta be honest I have been forced to use musicians who were the best where I lived. They have been quite interested in the idea of playing folk music, but when they have found out that martin carthy and mike waterson are the hallmark of excellence in this field - their reaction has always been the same.

THey have all said, this is shit,

I know this doesn't worry any of the traddies. But my point is, I feel it should do.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Gulliver
Date: 29 May 07 - 08:57 PM

WLD, it seems you are more interested in feeling sorry for yourself than anything else.

You wrote earlier: Don't be sad about starting the thread, Les. Im sure it was well meant and if some people used it to spout bile - that's their problem.

Now you're using it to spout bile. Andy Irvine has worked his butt off for traditional and non-traditional music and over the past 40 years has provided great entertainment. All I can say is shame on you!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:12 AM

Take it all back Gulliver. I detect no self pity or bile. Just strongly held views and a bit of context.

Traditional song and people who sing cover a massive range. I bet most people would be knocked out by Bob Davenport, The Boat band, Duncan McFarlane Band and the Coppers in an appropriate context.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:35 AM

They have been quite interested in the idea of playing folk music, but when they have found out that martin carthy and mike waterson are the hallmark of excellence in this field - their reaction has always been the same.They have all said, this is shit,

So who would they hold up as excellence? In fact who would you hold up as excellent? You really have me intrigued.

Since Martin Carthy has made a living doing nothing other than be a musician/singer for the past forty odd years; that he has the respect of (I would think) of virtually all his fellow performers; the thousands of people who buy his records; attend folk clubs and festivals all over the world where he is still an attraction as part of Waterson:Carthy, did it not occur to you that your mates were rushing to judgement. What genre of music have they moved onto? Who are their heroes now?

As for Mike singing to mass acclaim in a pub - I was there along with about 100 hundred other people. Were you?

As I wrote this it, the obvious suddenly occurred to me - are you Kim Howells? I think we should be told.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:37 AM

Its not bile. I really think Irvine's set would have benefited from a guitar. Three different sized bouzoukis with a phase pedal were no substitute, and I am quite conversant with and appreciative of, his work. He can play the guitar, why not?

I think the point I am trying to make is that Carhty and the Watersons were meaning to be confrontational to a world that saw Peter Paul and Mary as the voice of folk music in the 1960's.


However somehow folk music lost the sensibility of the common folk, and never found it again.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:50 AM

Their is life in the old dogs yet


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 May 07 - 05:20 AM

I think the point I am trying to make is that Carthy and the Watersons were meaning to be confrontational to a world that saw Peter Paul and Mary as the voice of folk music in the 1960's.

Then I have to say you have a strange way of making it.

However I have heard an old acquaintance has not got long to live. Puts things into perspective.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 30 May 07 - 05:26 AM

"I think the point I am trying to make is that Carhty and the Watersons were meaning to be confrontational to a world that saw Peter Paul and Mary as the voice of folk music in the 1960's."

Leaving aside the point about whether they were trying to be confrontational or just trying to find an authentic, less Americanized way of performing old English songs, are you suggesting that Peter, Paul and Mary were or should have been suitable role models for folksingers (however defined) from the 1960s to this day? My Mum bought Peter, Paul and Mary's version of "Blowing in the Wind". Was this proof of their mass appeal, or perhaps an indication that a watered-down, anodyne version of "folk" could appeal to the kind of person who wouldn't have bought a Dylan record in a million years?

And would your friends who thought Mike Waterson 'shit' have enjoyed to any greater degree the 'Shakespearean' rendition of "Tam Lin" for which you praised MacColl?

As Les in Chorlton points out, the tradition covers a huge breadth of ground, from epic ballads to knockabout humour. Dropping the uninitiated in at the deep end isn't always the best way to make converts.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 May 07 - 05:45 AM

How the hell do I know, who they hold up as examples of excellence. Engelbert Humperdink for all I know.

As I have said with my middle class background I am and always have been a card carrying folkie - fully appreciative of all the artists you like.

However - living the life I have . For many years, living in old Nottinghamshire ex-mining village, eeking out a living for many years by working as a part time musician in the pubs, working mens clubs and miners welfares. Inevitably I have noticed that there is something of a discrepancy between the musical tastes of the folk world, and most other places.

I know you all feel defensive about my observation. But it remains my overwhelming and honest impression.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 30 May 07 - 06:18 AM

"(though I have been to the Royal Oak in Lewes several times and regard it as one of the best venues in the land)".

Nice of you to say so Diane (moved on from CR?)but we at the Lewes Arms believe we get it right too (Have you come across our flyers for our series of workshops?)

Someone earlier talked about insulting audiences. From the Lewes Arms standpoint the floor singers ARE part of the audience and if they are not given the opportunity to do thier piece every now and again would that not be as much of an insult.

And BTW The Snail(and the band) and I get asked to do floor spots (1 or 2 songs/tunes)at the Royal Oak so, just maybe, we are good enough at what we do for the "club" scene as it stands today.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 May 07 - 06:43 AM

Diane (moved on from CR?)

Yes, because I am unutterably bored with having to explain to dumbed-down (insert word of choice preferably beginning with 'w') who don't know (or pretend not to know) Young Hunting.

As I said somewhere a kazillion posts back, it is surely a tad condescending to assume your audience is incapable of assimilating anything other than PPM (or Engelbert Humperdinck) so dishing out MOR 'good-enough-for-f*lk' crap will do . Doesn't say much for your own artistic integrity either. The 'proletariat' is perfectly capable of living along with and inside a big ballad, provided it is performed excellently and you don't destroy your case before the first note by describing it with that terminally damaged term 'f*lk' music. Unless, of course, you're doing it in a past-sell-by 'f*lk' club, where you're preaching to the converted anyway in the same anachronistic way as spouting hell-fire in the orangemost depths of the Six Counties.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 30 May 07 - 07:14 AM

"Doesn't say much for your own artistic integrity either."

Scuse me but did you not say you think that the Royal Oak is a place that is getting it right.

My point, on that issue, was that some of us are accepted as doing what that venue (club if you will or won't)want to hear and that we do a very similar job at the Lewes Arms.

What I do at Festivals I see as "missionary work" in that I try to present my stuff as well as I can so that new comers or less confident people can feel encouraged to find out more about the music and songs.

So in short I participate in a mainly traditional song/music scene to the extent that I and the clubs I attend are accepted by other participants in that scene as full participants.

The road we have decided to follow may not be the same as yours but we don't think we are wrong in our choice.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 May 07 - 07:33 AM

I think changing to DE from CR is a good idea.

The word you need is "Yahoo" - only one initial letter away, and a fruitful source of confusion for the mentally challenged of today who will misread that too.

Do not prescribe to the performer. The will to improve must come from inside. Discourage the performers and you damage your rootstock.

I have found that in a small pub setting, a good row about what is "folk" can engage the interest of the listeners, and result in more appreciation of what is being done. It is not simply entertainment.

WLD, your friends should try playing a few Martin Carthy guitar parts before they condemn his abilities. Sorry to hear of your vicissitudes, and all that, but you should not necessarily assume that the judgments of the milieu in which you have found yourself are better than those of the milieu from which you came, and I think you often do.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 May 07 - 08:25 AM

Should have added that I first posted to Mudcat about four years ago under my erstwhile pseudonym to speak up for a new(ish) young performer and his first CD which was doing rather well, and geting a kicking from usual suspects for his pains.

I thought this might give me some sort of shit-proof umbrella-type protection from the baying pack from the antiquated 'f*lk' club brigade.

Hah! Didn't work, did it?

But that performer is now top of the game. Well, after Martin Carthy anyway.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 May 07 - 10:19 AM

collapse of the folk clubs,could it be that all those organisers like Ted Poole[46 YEARS running afolk club].
Could it be that the people of today are not prepared to work for their communities,running a folk club [Ispeak from experience]requires alot of dedication and hard work,Iwould like to thank all those folk club organisers.
running afolk club/ folk festival is something to be proud .and is somethingthat has given lots of pleasure to alot of people.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 30 May 07 - 10:27 AM

Diane

I find myself confused !

Your intro to Mudcat was in support of a musician/singer who as I see it (I remember who it was) performs in a modern style with modern electrified instruments- fine if that's what cranks your handle.

You said in this thread that the Big Ballads were the music that should be presented to the 'proletariat' - again fine if it cranks your handle.

But I dont understand what it is you are really a fan of. I know you play a fiddle but the above two styles seem to me to be contradictory.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 May 07 - 10:52 AM

I didn't say the proletariat, or anyone else, should be spoonfed with anything.

I was criticising the patronising and condescending attitude that they should be pandered to with dumbed down crap because it's all they can understand and which they have been conditioned into thinking they prefer. I went on to make the point (with illustrations) of how such 'lower classes' are more than capable of grasping the storyline of a big ballad which is, after all, a meaningful allegory of real life as opposed to a trivial, 'jolly' or angst-ridden ditty which is not.

You seem to be making a distinction as though written in stone between an artist who removes arcane language from lyrics and (sometimes) uses an ebow and MIDI programmer and another who performs nothing but unaccompanied ballads in 'traditional' style (whatever that is), and saying 'never the twain', as though it was somehow illegal to appreciate both. This is a totally nonsensical and artificial distinction, especially given that the artist we are talking about does both and indeed performs in venues of all sizes (including clubs), just like Mr Carthy, actually.

If you think this is contradictory, all I can say is that the old-style f*lk club circuit ethos is even more entrenched, out-of-date and reactionary that I ever realised.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 30 May 07 - 11:26 AM

The distinction (to me anyway) is that one "style" introduces traditional material to modern musical forms. Whereas the other is maintaining the existing material in as near to the original form as can be found.

I see both as having a place and certainly the younger generation are continuing the tradition in a form and style of their own but it aint what I want to do. I do however enjoy the likes of Spiers and Boden but I cite their treatment of Fire Marengo as compared to that of The Young Tradition. Basically the same song but presented very differently for a different audience.

Then again Dave and Anni perform both traditional stuff and modern written songs in what I see as a traditional style

Call me an old fogie if you like but there a lot of us about.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 May 07 - 11:30 AM

Diane Easeby: you'll have to refresh some memories. Was Seth Lakeman the young man you were so keen on? I can't remember.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 30 May 07 - 12:19 PM

"The 'proletariat' is perfectly capable of living along with and inside a big ballad, provided it is performed excellently and you don't destroy your case before the first note by describing it with that terminally damaged term 'f*lk' music."

Speaking as someone who performs a number of substantial ballads including "Young Hunting" itself, I have to say that, although in principle songs like that can and should be able to appeal to anyone who enjoys a good story (I sang YH to a large and appreciative sixth-form assembly at a local state secondary school, for instance), it would be suicide to perform such a song in, say, a stand-up performance in a public bar. If WLD had a point at all (see above), it is that Mike Waterson - or for that matter, Ewan MacColl - singing 'Tam Lin' is not the thing you'd want to expose your workmates or regular drinking companions to, as their first introduction to traditional song. You have to learn to appreciate that kind of singing, and vast numbers of the populace (not just the 'proletariat', whatever that is these days) simply haven't had the ear conditioning.

Diane speaks contemptuously of "trivial, 'jolly' or angst-ridden ditties", but if you're going to get anywhere with an audience of any kind you need your fair share of those things as well as big ballads. As most singers from the tradition have been well aware.

Since we can't be at the National Festival every week (or, in fact, at all - for the moment), folk clubs actually represent a rather suitable venue in which to perform traditional ballads. A degree of intimacy, an expectation of paying attention, help greatly in the cause. Although anyone who thinks that performing "Young Hunting" in a folk club is "preaching to the converted" clearly doesn't do it very often.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 May 07 - 12:51 PM

anyone who thinks that performing "Young Hunting" in a folk club is "preaching to the converted"

Nor, indeed, mentioning it on here, far less expecting Dirty Felines to get the point of expropriating one of the characters as a pseudonym. Worst one was someone who's a bit of a know-all declaring that it was the former ME who'd stabbed Redin/William/Richard or whatever he's calling himself in your version and arranged for his depositing down the well/in the Clyde, when it was the floozy-on-the-side wot dunnit.

[A propos of very little, I suppose you've all heard of the skull found today in that very same river? Now, had they used the candle trick it would have been solved sooner . . . ]

And, Brian, I wasn't condemning all the trivial, 'jolly' and angst-ridden ditties, just the crap that WLD thinks is the LCD for the unwashed masses. Conversely, I've already mentioned Hugh Lupton's rendition of Tam Lin to non-f*lkies (perhaps that's the point, they had no preconceptions and were completely unbiassed) that had the entire community centre rooted to the spot and hanging onto every word.

btw Who's Seth Lakeman?
(That was rhetorical. The debacle of the Folk Awards in which, not HIM but flamin' Smoothops tried to pass off his Albino Bunny as trad has passed into folklore of a not very nice kind).


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 May 07 - 01:08 PM

Good Grief! Go away to Chippenham for a few days and all Hell breaks loose. Slow down. I can't keep up.
Thank you to all those who have understood and supported what I am trying to say, especially Brian Peters who adds the authority of a great performer and one who actually knows us. Sorry I left you off the list of performers I failed to impress Jim Carroll with, Brian, but at least you were saved the humiliation of being told that you don't "ring his bell". (There was no need for all the flattery, we're going to book you again anyway.)
I particularly liked Tootler's -
The ethos is to encourage people to "have a go". I have seen people who have been persuaded to have a go after a little gentle arm twisting turn in a creditable performance.

and Richard Bridge's -
Do not prescribe to the performer. The will to improve must come from inside. Discourage the performers and you damage your rootstock.
which sum up our philosophy pretty well.

Jim Carroll
I apologise to 'Snail' if I have been heavy handed in my criticism of his Q&A; I certainly did not mean to give personal offence.
Thank's for that Jim. I was getting pretty close to thinking you were just a cantankerous old &%£* whose opinion wasn't worth having. A couple of points you have made have changed my mind.

singers who brought skill, enthusiasm and, most of all, love and respect to the old songs.

I have spent most of my life involved in folk song, mainly in the clubs, and I have got a great deal of pleasure, and some knowledge out of that time, but I believe that, along with that pleasure comes a responsibility to play fair by the Walter Pardons, Tom Lenihans, Harry Coxs, Sam Larners and the many others who gave us what we have.

With those sentiments, you would fit into the Lewes Arms Folk Club very well.

On the other hand, I thought -
Sorry, being old enough to remember when Lewes had the reputation of being a good club
was a bit uncalled for. If you ask around, I think you'll find we have pretty good reputation these days.
The problem with the Q&A is your total failure to understand the point I was trying to make so I'll try and make it a bit clearer.
FolkieDave's band from hell have never performed at the Lewes Arms and never will because they don't exist. They are a figment of his fevered imagination. He posed a hypothetical question describing an extreme situation which is highly unlikely to happen. If it did it wouldn't go that way anyway. If three blokes turned up with guitar, acoustic bass and bodhran they would obviously be hoping for a floor spot. They would get one. We wouldn't take them into a side room to give them a quick audition and interrogate them as to their musical qualifications, repertoire or role models before deciding if they were fit to appear. Once they had finished, one of the residents would go down to the bar to tell the audience that it was safe to come back in again. If they came back the following week I bet they'd have got better. The guitarist might even have learned another chord. If they kept coming and showed no sign of improving or, more importantly, no desire to improve, then yes, we would probably find ways of easing them out.
This would be a few minutes in three hours where all the other performers would vary between middling and brilliant. You seem to assume that allowing one bad act means that all the performers will be terrible.
As far as I'm concerned, a club stands and falls entirely by its residents
I think we have a group of residents to be proud of. I'm happy to stand up for Breton Cap's "artisitic integrity" against anyone and the rest of us aren't bad either.
Kevin Michell John Lyons and Len Graham
We book guests on personal experience. I'm sure we'd be happy to book Kevin Michell but he doesn't seem to be round this way a lot. I have to confess, the other two I've never come across.
So I am to give up all the bawdy and erotic songs, the transportation and poaching songs, those about soldiers, sailors, farmworkers, miners, mill workers, the highwaymen and hanging ballads, the songs about the press-gangs and recruiting parties, the love songs, the historical, supernatural, tragic and comic ballads that go to make up the Child canon, and all the other beautiful songs and ballads that have kept me enthralled and entertained over the last forty odd years, and which are inextricably tied up with our history and culture – and for what?
You will find all these being sung at the Lewes Arms by performers who care for that music. OK, you may have to put up with the occasional floor singer whose voice and memory may be a little shaky but even they will be doing it for the love of it.
Is the Lewes club for which The Snail presented that depressing Q&A, the same one that holds ballad weekends? If so, it doesn't make sense.
It makes sense to us Jim. This thread is called Collapse of the Folk Clubs. Lewes supports two folk clubs neither of which is showing any sign of collapsing.
We must be getting something right.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Vincent van - GO!
Date: 30 May 07 - 01:35 PM

Well, I live in Canada's largest city,(Toronto) and live accoustic music preformance venues have become a bit of a joke here.
We have one excellent club (Hugh's Room) and that's about it.
A smattering of smaller places where recording artists gather, play feature sets, and basically sell their cd's to each other...
which is fine community support, I suppose - but kind of inbred, in a way -
Back when clubs flourished, it was very difficult to record - affordabiity.
Now it's dirt cheap (digital technology) - so this feels far more useful, and a reasonably positive use of one's time and resources.
Karaoke bars, strip clubs, sports bars...all struggle along.
But of course, the reason for the dearth of club audiences is easy to track....where are they all? Wander into video and dvd rental outlets on Friday and Saturday nights - they're all in there. Home entertainment.
Concerts still do well. Major venues draw at outrageous prices. Wealthy people still have the need to parade in public.
But any kind of grassroots thing - struggles in this city.
There is no college crowd (which used to be the backbone of support, traditionally, in North America.)

Even 25 years ago, back in the early eighties, when I ran a small club here, and the roster of young writers and performers was top-rate, most of these all had good day jobs - it was not something they were doing for a living.

I believe another important factor in North America anyway - is the population shift - away from urban to suburban and exurban. 70% of the population now live in these settings - and there is precious little of any kind of accoustic-based entertainment you will find in these locations.
People will fight their way downtown to attend a major sporting event - certainly not to sit in a small club.

I believe also, with modern music trends, there is a kind of stigma - attached to what many regard as "simplistic" or even "old-fashioned" music. There is no mainstream attraction any more.

I would think that with various styles and traditions, folk music does better in locales where it was first born. It tends to do better in places with longstanding roots and tradtions - for example, the celtic styles in our Maritime region on the east coast.
These just don't "import" as well as they used to do.

Of course, living in a cosmopolitan city, world beat is alive and well and very strong - and this has replaced much of what went before - which makes sense. Newer arrivals are playing their own stuff, and are supported within their own communities.
A lot of it - is still the music of the people, and in a way, could be described as folk music - just not in traditional European or North American styles.

I'll leave you with a story. Back in 1982, I used to frequent a club here in Greektown called "The Trojan Horse."
Their house band - was an assorted collection of men who called themselves Los Campaneros....and this was anywhere up to 15 different musicians - many who could be found on stage at the same time.
They played standard instruments (guitars, piano, bass, viloin, etc.) as well as more exotic instruments from the Middle East, South America, Africa, etc.
On a given night, one might have seen perhaps 40 different instruments played.
They were truly a united nations assortment. They sang in Spanish, Greek, Arabic, Turkish, Persian, African dialect...almost everything except English.
They sang truly anthemic and heroic material - with great rousing choruses that would feature harmonies from perhaps 10 or more singers at the same time.
They would often switch instruments in between songs...a guitar player would grab a flute, the flautist would sit at the piano, the piano player would pick up the bass, the bassist would take up the violin........
My second or third visit to the club, I sat closer to the stage, and in a break in between sets, got brave enough to say hello to the piano player. I noticed he was missing a middle finger on one hand (an industrial accident.)
These musicians were all blue collar workers.
I spoke to him - saying I was only an English speaker, and what were all these magnificent songs about? What did the words say?
He smiled and said...we all learn the lyrics of each others' songs - it is easy. We come from many places of extreme hardship, all over the world - and here, we sing to congratulate each other on our freedom to sing what we believe, what we feel, what we have overcome in our lives.
I miss that place. I miss that band.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 30 May 07 - 01:36 PM

Thank you Bryan

You say the nicest things:-)

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 May 07 - 01:49 PM

Snail,well you may run a very good club, [your workshops look interesting]but if you havent heard of John Lyons and Len Graham,youhave missed two very fine traditional singers[Ithink Iam Qualified to judge].
Jim Carroll is a respected collector,and is very knowledgeable about traditional music.
Snail,Both the above mentioned artists have recorded,it might be a good idea to seek them out.DickMiles


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 May 07 - 02:21 PM

Some of Jim's collecting is on Puck To Appleby I believe.....


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 May 07 - 02:21 PM

And 500


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 May 07 - 02:27 PM

Captain Birdseye
if you havent heard of John Lyons and Len Graham,youhave missed two very fine traditional singers
I don't doubt it for a moment but, as I said, we generally only book from personal experience and if these chaps haven't turned up at any of the clubs we regularly attend or any of the festivals we do, then we just won't have come across them. We decidedly do not book on the basis of recordings.
It is gradually emerging to me that Jim Carroll is someone of value. Shall we say that he didn't exactly present himself in an endearing way to start with by being extremely judgemental on the basis of very little evidence.
By the way, I don't run the club we are a large committee.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 May 07 - 02:29 PM

Oh bugger.

I was going to post the link to an LT piece about Jim Carroll and Pat McKenzie's work to get the 500th post, but this thread is so unwieldy now that Dave beat me to it.

But I will anyway:

Living Tradition


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 May 07 - 02:51 PM

we generally only book from personal experience and if these chaps haven't turned up at any of the clubs we regularly attend or any of the festivals we do, then we just won't have come across them.

But you allowed my punk band........:-)

I'd take a chance on Len Graham!! Just one of the finest singers ever to come out of Antrim. http://www.storyandsong.com/len.htm

There will be someone who has heard him sing whose opinion you can trust surely. Otherwise you are limiting yourself a bit - I'd say......


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 May 07 - 02:56 PM

Good grief.

This is what I come up against in my very occasional attempts at promotion in the highly incestuous and inward-looking f*lk club village. If an artist hasn't been and done 976 floor spots at 'our club' or appeared at one of the three festivals we've ever been at, for us they just don't exist.

Yet you organisers all apparently have computers nowadays, and you do know how to use a search engine? And access MySpace? No wonder the forward booking programmes are just so dull, dull, dull. With a handful of notable exceptions, you just haven't a clue who's out there.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 07 - 02:57 PM

Snail
"Shall we say that he didn't exactly present himself in an endearing way to start with by being extremely judgemental on the basis of very little evidence"
I was trying to respond to what I am reading in this thread, if I have misinterpreted this, I apologise (again). My comment on my having to give up (long list) was not aimed at you, but to a suggestion that we separate folk clubs from folk song and go off and sing glees - not aimed at you.
Jim Carroll
PS Thank you Diane - the cheque's in the post.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 30 May 07 - 03:17 PM

"With a handful of notable exceptions, you just haven't a clue who's out there."

You are jumping to conclusions.

You don't know where we get to and who we see and have contact with.

Personally I get to far more than three festivals and I know that other people in my club get to several as well. We are also in contact with other clubs and organizers.

Our Club(s) are thriving and although we can all strive to improve we fell we are getting it right in the main.

You said you have been to the Royal Oak (to see who I wonder) was it just good luck that Vic,Tina,Dan and Will found the artist - of course it wasn't they are out there networking regularly as are the Lewes Arms team. And we do use our pooters for part of this.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 May 07 - 03:33 PM

ooooOOOOOoooo, touchy Mr Dave Silly Hat!
I DID say 'with a number of notable exceptions', and as you already know, I include the Royal Oak among them.
I would, as it's hard to go anywhere without falling over Tina, Vic, Dan or Will.
As for the Lewes Arms, as I said, I've never actually been but I do know about your workshops and have been in correspondence with Valmai about them.
That was why I was so astonished at your odd replies to Dave about his Goth band.
I'll be in Lewes again on 21 June, with Funi.
Last people I saw there were either Spiers&Boden or Kerr&Fagan.
But the main reasons for ever going are Dan&Will. Obviously . . .


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 May 07 - 03:43 PM

Folkiedave
But you allowed my punk band........:-)
to do a floorspot. Sorry, but I don't think we'll be booking you.
I'd take a chance on Len Graham!!
I'm sure Len Graham is absolutely wonderful but, mea culpa, I know nothing about the chap. Is he likely to tour southern England anytime?

Diane Easby
This is what I come up against in my very occasional attempts at promotion in the highly incestuous and inward-looking f*lk club village. If an artist hasn't been and done 976 floor spots at 'our club' or appeared at one of the three festivals we've ever been at, for us they just don't exist.
We have, from time to time, given people bookings on the basis of one floorspot. Jon Boden, Lisa Knapp and the Askew sisters spring to mind.
Yet you organisers all apparently have computers nowadays, and you do know how to use a search engine? And access MySpace? No wonder the forward booking programmes are just so dull, dull, dull. With a handful of notable exceptions, you just haven't a clue who's out there.
What performers sound like on a recording is very often a poor indication of what they are like live. We have booked people on the basis of personal experience that we would not have done from their MySpace slot or demo CD which often don't do them justice. I can only repeat what I said to Jim. Would you like to look at our guest list and while you are at it, our workshops and then apologise to all the excellent performers you have just described as "dull, dull, dull".


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 May 07 - 03:55 PM

Jim Carroll
My comment on my having to give up (long list) was not aimed at you
I know that. I was just trying to point out that the Lewes Arms is probably closer to the position you are defending than the one you are attacking.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 May 07 - 03:55 PM

If I lived in TunbridgeWells[id be disgusted],ButIdont.
LenGraham,JohnLyons and myself all live in Ireland,Rather far for a floorspot.
I have played your club on numerous occcassions in the past although not for some years,and can also do concertina workshops,including song accompaniment.
Len Graham/JohnLyons are outstanding singers,try googling LenGraham,There is plenty of information,if Vic Smith hasnt heard of him i,ll eat my tam oshanter.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:03 PM

It is the BOOKING POLICIES in general, not yours in particular, that I described as dull, not the artists. Necessarily . . .
Dull and safe. Zzzzzzzzzz.

Jon Boden? Lisa Knapp? Hazel&Emily Askew?
You'd scarcely need to research THEM on MySpace. Everybody in the world (OK I exaggerate but only a bit) knows who they are.

The first time I saw John Spiers & Jon Boden as a duo was at the Royal Oak. About 5 years ago. I think it was their first duo gig. But they were already well known in the session scene.

The only times I have seen any artist I didn't already know at a club in the past several years (a decade at a guess) has been at Islington (Booking policy: 'from the fiercely traditional to the frankly eccentric'). Now, there's an example . . .


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:17 PM

Diane Easby
the forward booking programmes are just so dull, dull, dull
A forward booking programme is a list of artists. You're saying it's the list that's dull not the artists? Sorry you've lost me.

Jon Boden? Lisa Knapp? Hazel&Emily Askew?
You'd scarcely need to research THEM on MySpace. Everybody in the world (OK I exaggerate but only a bit) knows who they are.


Not when we booked them. I should have made myself clear. Certainly for Jon Boden and probably for the others that should have read "given people their FIRST bookings".


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:25 PM

...and I forgot to say, the "odd replies to Dave about his Goth band" were mine and mine alone not Breton Cap's.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:26 PM

I take it we don't get a booking until you have seen us then?

Dave and the Goths


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:41 PM

Folkiedave
I take it we don't get a booking until you have seen us then?

Dave and the Goths

Fraid not unless we get an enthusiastic endorsement from someone whose judgement we really trust and from what you have said, that seems unlikely. Then it would have to go before the committee. Could take a while. I hate to pre-judge things but I think we might decide that you weren't quite what our audience were interested in.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:58 PM

You are welcome to view our guest list for the rest of the year on www.tigerfolk.com Whether they would be cosituted as dull or safe I don't know but four names there will be making their first appearance at our club which celebrated its sixteenth birthday last February. There is also a date to be confimed for Andy Irvine to be slotted in who will also be making his debut at the club (sorry WLD).
Since this thread has reached this many posts it must be obvious that some people still care about the folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 May 07 - 05:48 PM

we get an enthusiastic endorsement from someone whose judgement we really trust and from what you have said, that seems unlikely.

I can recommend really recommend Len Graham........if he turns out to be as good as I say.......Dave and the Goths next?

Aw go on..............


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 30 May 07 - 06:02 PM

"can recommend really recommend Len Graham.".

Fine but :-

a) Mr Miles said he lives in Ireland so we aint gonna see him over here too often are we?

b)Bryan (The Snail) said we need to feel that the judgement of whoever recommends an artist is in line with our club ethos (all right thats my words for what he said)

However Maybe one day (withholding any decision on the Goth band though)

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 May 07 - 06:06 PM

Folkiedave
Dave and the Goths next?
Get yourself down here. I promise, you'll get that floorspot. If we did book you, bear in mind that you'd only be paid the take on the door and the potential audience would already have seen you.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: redsnapper
Date: 31 May 07 - 05:42 AM

I can't help but agree with Diane that booking policies in many clubs (not necessarily those cited many times here) seem to err on the safe as houses side. Many moons ago, when I organised a club for five years, I went out on a limb with emerging artists and we were rarely disappointed.

There are some great new artists out there but many rosters stick to the same familiars (many of whom I know are extremely good at pushing themselves forward I know from experience but will name no names... you and they know who they are).

I personally find it hard to believe that some here do not know of the likes of Len Graham and John Lyons but there you go...

RS


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 31 May 07 - 05:50 AM

redsnapper
I personally find it hard to believe that some here do not know of the likes of Len Graham and John Lyons but there you go...

Well, I was pretty amazed to find that some people didn't know Tom McConville. We can't all know everything and everybody.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: redsnapper
Date: 31 May 07 - 06:22 AM

Indeed. Tom has been around so long in various bands, e.g. Dab Hand, Pauline Cato and Great Northern Roadshow, and solo, and is such a regular at festivals and all-round friendly and likeable person, that I find it strange too.

RS


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 01:50 AM

"Well, I was pretty amazed to find that some people didn't know Tom McConville. We can't all know everything and everybody."
Sorry - not unknown but not remembered - old age you see!
I assume that, because people have not come up with basic standards and long term objectives for the clubs, that they have neither.   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Sooz
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 02:15 AM

Mission Statement - Gainsborough Folk Club
Music of the people, by the people, for the people

Gainsborough Folk Club intends to further the cause of Folk and ancillary music/songs, in a sustained effort to preserve the Lore of the land in musical history.

It will always attempt to present quality performances and a diverse, Folk based menu of music/songs. The Club will welcome all "interested" parties into its confines as performers, listeners and critics.

The Club will accurately advertise any professional acts, employed for one or more evenings in the Club and exact payment as necessary to cover the cost of those acts.

The Club will maintain a regular schedule, so that all who travel to the Club will know exactly when the Club functions.

Aims and objectives.

1) To provide a myriad of Folk music/songs, ranging from traditional to modern and ancillary music/songs which may have developed therefrom.

2) To provide entertainment and space to perform the above, not only for our own Club but in support of others.

3) To advise, support, encourage and otherwise help (where possible) any new performers in an effort to project them forward onto the Folk Circuit.

4) To provide performances, not only for other Clubs but for Festivals and Concerts as requested and if convenient.



All those who are considered Members of Gainsborough Folk Club, are expected to represent the Club in a positive light and not to bring it in any way into disrepute.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 04:15 AM

Get yourself down here. I promise,

Beleive you me if you were not so far south I would. My problem is I get a nose bleed once south of Nottingham.

Which is a bit of a nuisance because I shall be selling books at the Gate To Southwell Festival next week and that is nearly south of Nottingham.

(Now how about that for a carefully worked blatant advertisement).


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 04:30 AM

From the Lewes Arms Folk Club's constitution:

LEWES ARMS FOLK CLUB RESIDENTS' COMMITTEE: Booking policy

Programming objectives

1.        To provide a programme which reflects the club's long-established interest in traditional music and song and contemporary folk music/song derived from the tradition;

2.        To provide a programme reflecting the major interests of the residents and those attending regularly in unaccompanied song, accompanied song and tunes;

3.        To provide a programme with a mix of local performers who perform bookings regularly, regional and national performers;

4.        To provide periodic opportunities for competent local performers who are not regularly booked at other clubs to perform;

5.        To provide opportunities for in-depth musical development via workshops;

6.        To apportion bookings equitably between performers as far as is possible in a situation where there are far more performers than opportunities to offer bookings;

7.        To vary formats from time to time, e.g. theme evenings, longer guest spots, while retaining a policy of offering floor singers at least one item;

8.        Where necessary to ensure that new members/visitors are able to perform floor spots by asking the residents to stand down.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 04:32 AM

"Beleive you me if you were not so far south I would. My problem is I get a nose bleed once south of Nottingham."

So it's a form of altitude sickness that prevents us having your company.

Unfortunately we are not enough of a movable feast to get up to you.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 05:39 AM

Gosh. I'd forgotten we had a constitution. Since it is simply a statement of what we all know and believe there was no real need to remember.

Sooz seems to have it right as well. The only quibble would be with -

3) To advise, support, encourage and otherwise help (where possible) any new performers in an effort to project them forward onto the Folk Circuit.

Nobody has to aim for the Folk Circuit if they don't want to. If you just want to sing your songs and play your tunes amongst friends, that's fine.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 05:44 AM

The Snail....it is not a forced thing....help/encouragement/support and even constructive criticism is given if it is what the new performer wants....No-one is forced to do anything.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 05:55 AM

Georgiansilver
No-one is forced to do anything.
I know that really. It was just a rhetorical device to make a point of my own.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 06:03 AM

Folkiedave
I shall be selling books at the Gate To Southwell Festival

"Play in a Day: The one chord trick for guitar"
"The acoustic bass - which way up to hold it"
"Aryhthmic drum patterns in traditional gothic music"


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Sooz
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 06:31 AM

Dave doesn't sell that kind of book!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 07:21 AM

"Dave doesn't sell that kind of book!"

My fellow resident was only jesting I'm sure but is that Dave the man wot ran a stall at the National Festival when it was running at Sutton Bonnington ?

Cos if it is I've bought one two things from him in the past.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: treewind
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 08:56 AM

". . . not to mention the Anahata/Mary Humphreys theme which seems to be emerging at nearly all points"

Ahem.
(jumping in a bit late, I know, but my ears are burning)
I think we're entitled to a bit more of an explanation of what that was about, given that we weren't mentioned by name anywhere earlier in the thread.

Anahata
(the same as mentioned, presumably)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 09:11 AM

Dave doesn't sell that kind of book!

Correct. I read all my books. I would be able to play something by now had I read books like that at least once.

And to Dave (BC) it was me selling books at the lamented National. Thank you for your purchases.

The nose bleed that arises as I move gently south is mostly related to the price of beer.

Does that make me an unreconstructed northerner? I do hope so......

(Aside - at Shepley Festival those from the effete south did not realise that beer could be sold at such low prices - overheard "Nice to come to a festival and not feel you are being ripped off at the bar"). Prices were OK I thought.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 09:45 AM

Folkiedave
The nose bleed that arises as I move gently south is mostly related to the price of beer.
But it's so much better! You're stuck with Hardy and Hanson's brewed in a chemical factory in Bury St Edmunds but we've got Harvey's back into the Arms. HOOORAH!
Decent beer is a major factor in preventing the Collapse of Folk Clubs (although, possibly not the Collapse of Folk Singers.)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 11:10 AM

At the risk of severe thread drift I cannot let that pass.

Even when it was brewed in Nottingham Hardy and Hanson's hardly made it this far north. (I am in one of the great beer capitals of the world - Sheffield). And of course the famous Harvey's of Lewes is now owned by a greedy capitalist brewery company called Greene King who brew in...- well dang me as we Goths say - Bury St Edmunds.

Now we didn't have to fight to get our local beer back into our local pubs. (Congratulations on winning that one by the way - but it does worry me that you had to do it. I suspect the landlord and brewery might not take to a three piece Goth Band as easy as the members of the folk club might do if that's his attitude).

We struggle to choose good pubs with excellent beer, there are so many. Tonight we are off to the Kashmir Curry Centre on Spital Hill, which as well as being famous for its food is also famous for its mixed cricket team - not just asians and whites, but men and women!!) Then onto

http://www.thefatcat.co.uk/ and all of fifty yards to....

http://www.kelhamislandtavern.co.uk/

It's a tough life up north.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 11:42 AM

Folkiedave
And of course the famous Harvey's of Lewes is now owned by a greedy capitalist brewery company called Greene King who brew in...- well dang me as we Goths say - Bury St Edmunds.
AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHH!
Is there no end to your Gothic ignorance? Have you not been reading The Guardian? The Financial Times? The New York Times? Der Spiegel? Have you not had your ear glued to Radio 4's You and Yours? The Today programme? Are you really so out of touch with World news?
Harvey's Brewery remains as independant as it has for 200 years and more and continues to brew it's excellent beers a few hundred yards from the Lewes Arms. It has never and never will be owned by Greede King. GK took over the Beard's pub chain. (Beard's stopped brewing 40 or 50 years ago.) This, alas, made it the owner of the Arms. They gradually removed the Harvey's from each pub in turn. The Arms was the last to go. For 133 days they had an empty pub until they saw the light.
I'm sorry, but you've blown your chance of getting that floor spot.

(Sorry about the thread drift, folks, but this is IMPORTANT.)

(Nottingham? Sheffield? They're all north of Ringmer.)


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 11:48 AM

Well, - dang me as we Goths say.

I knew it was all a bad dream......

Come north of Ringmer anytime - not only is the beer good but if you drink enough you can save the cost of the train ticket over a weekend.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:13 PM

not only is the beer good but if you drink enough you can save the cost of the train ticket over a weekend.

Worked for me and my friends when we met you Dave.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:59 PM

Come north of Ringmer anytime

Can I have a floorspot? I do (c)rap versions of Child Ballads.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 01:34 PM

Note - the inestimable Kevin had three friends so he saved four train fares.

You are welcome to come and sing whatever you want - but we managed to close all the town centre folk clubs ages ago. Sessions only now.

I'll let you know when Dave and the Goths get a gig and you could do support........


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 01:48 PM

Folkiedave
but we managed to close all the town centre folk clubs ages ago

Good grief! I think we may have got back to the subject.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 02:20 PM

Since it seems you are monitoring this thread, Diane, there are plenty of things for you to respond to since you last posted. Anahata's request for clarification of your "the Anahata/Mary Humphreys theme" remark, my clarification that the Lewes Arms has given first or early bookings to young performers, Jim's assumption that since nobody had stated their standards or objectives that they didn't have any and Sooz and Valmai's responses to that.

After that, we were just marking time till you'd finished your slanging match with JimLad.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 02:56 PM

Anahata and I have spoken offlist.
I've told the Jim person what I think about blatant 6/8 and how to overcome it.
My recollection is that it was the Royal Oak who first booked S&B as a duo and that I was there, but does it matter?
I also saw them at Islington around the same time, which kind of explains my contention that wherever Anahata & Mary have been, it's a sign of a club that hasn't lost sight of its objectives.
I've never been to Gainsborough, nor indeed to the Lewes Arms and cannot, therefore, comment till I do.

Outta here.
Probably.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 03:09 PM

"Outta here.
Probably."

And until you return perhaps we will have a little less bad-mouthing of other people's point of view.

May get to Royal Oak for Funi (if work allows)

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 03:21 PM

There you go again, silly hat.
What you say is valid, what I say isn't.
Sorry, don't agree.

Maybe I'll just kick you down the Royal Oak steps (singing Tom Paine's Bones as I do it.)

Might even follow it with the song I wrote about how crap the train service is between Lewes and London, though I don't think Vic likes it, largely because it calls on him to give peeps lifts . . .


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 03:42 PM

"Maybe I'll just kick you down the Royal Oak steps (singing Tom Paine's Bones as I do it.)"

I thought the reason you were going to the Royal Oak because the guests on that night were (MySpace) friends of yours. The above proposition strikes me as being a very poor way to behave in front of friends - MySpace or otherwise.

I don' think I feel that what you say is not valid - I feel more that I object to the way you express your views. It also seems to me that it is you who feels that any view other than your own is not valid.

I was also defending my Club and my friends and fellow residents from that club.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 04:27 PM

Diane Easby or Countess Richard or whatever?>>>>>>I've never been to Gainsborough, nor indeed to the Lewes Arms and cannot, therefore, comment till I do.<<<<<<<<. I guess you already did comment very brashly, not only about Gainsborough Club and its 'backwoodsmen' but about me and my...in your opinion...perverted nature. You have proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that you can make idle comments without substance and still believe you are right or act as though you are and think no-one has the nous to notice. Sometimes it falls for all of us to eat humble pie and admit we were wrong but as Breton Cap has noticed...you are always right!!! or think you are. I am so sorry I ever entered any dialogue with you as you are by far the most objectionable woman I have ever come across on the cat...and I have never met one as self opinionated in a Folk Club either.
Sorry Breton but you are on a hiding to nothing with her...she is best avoided. Yes some of what she says is quite valid but one only has to look back over the thread to see where some is not!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 04:34 PM

If I go to the Royal Oak it might be because I'm driving the guests, Not that it's the slightest bit any business of yours, more a matter for Southern Trains or whatever they're calling themselves these days.

Why do do feel you have to defend your 'club'? I've never been and have therefore made no comment other than that in a correspondence with Valmai she was most helpful. The only thing I could possibly have against it so far is your silly hat. And hopefully Vic will have the sense to ban that from the Royal Oak.

Good grief, just look at yourself and how pompously pathetic you are.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 04:52 PM

you are by far the most objectionable woman I have ever come across

Well, hopefully not, GS (recently crawled out of woodwork).
I live in hope that some other woman stronger and more forthright that I am will finally get through to you about how disgustingly and inappropriately sexist you are with your fawning over women who just want to kick you in the balls.
Yeah, I know you think you're in the right and believe all your crap is 'harmless banter'. Pah!
It isn't, even in Lincolnshire, home of the backwoods baying pack of Neanderthals.
Some of what I say is 'quite valid'? You bet it is and I don't need your damning with faint praise.
I'm 'best avoided'? Definitely, till you manage to behave like actual men.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 04:59 PM

"against it so far is your silly hat. And hopefully Vic will have the sense to ban that from the Royal Oak.
"
What business of yours is it what I wear!!!

Vic and Tina are personal friends of mine (and for that matter Bryan and Valmai are too). We are involved in two successful clubs and your unpleasant and argumentative attitude will, if made aparrant at either of them, will spoil the evening for my friends, the guests, and other people attending.

Therefore come if you like, enjoy the evening,and let us enjoy it too. It is possible that my partner, who has enjoyed Bara Grimsdottir's singing at a number of places, may also be there. And if you spoil her evening you will have more than me to deal with.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 05:13 PM

till you manage to behave like actual men

How do 'actual men' behave, Diane? Bearing in mind of course that all on here are 'virtual' and maybe not even men? Surely it is rather sexist to assume that anyone should behave in pattern prescribed (proscribed?) by their gender? Or have I, once again, got it wrong?

Dave.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 08:32 PM

On another thread Diane Easby said -
It's OK for blokes to write any sort of threatening stuff they like but not for women to take the piss?

On this thread she said -
Maybe I'll just kick you down the Royal Oak steps (singing Tom Paine's Bones as I do it.)

Compare and contrast, as they say.

I think perhaps I'd better warn Vic and Tina to expect trouble.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Gulliver
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 09:39 PM

Can't someone take pity on this lot and close this thread down? Not surprising that the "the Folk Club scene" collapsed!


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 11:26 PM

Indeed yes, Mr Gulliver, it is not surprising.
Here in full, ridiculous array are all the reasons why I rarely go near it nowadays if I can help it.
(Better places, nicer people who actually care for the music . . . )
Someone, somewhere else described these blustering specimens as 'testosterone-fuelled retards', baying at the wrong target.
Off they go in their packs, defending the indefensible, the mediocre and the out-and-out crap, not noticing how the real world looks on askance and in scorn.
Pity they don't follow some ludicrous game with a ball instead (oh, they do).
Anyway, what am I doing at 0430 concerning myself with nonentities?
Life's far too short, better things to do, etc etc . . .


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Dave Earl
Date: 02 Jun 07 - 03:10 AM

"Can't someone take pity on this lot and close this thread down? Not surprising that the "the Folk Club scene" collapsed!"

This is the last time I contribute anything to this Thread.

My point has been that not all Folk Clubs are as poor as Ms Easby thinks and that we do love the music and song. Our clubs here in Sussex (not just Lewes) are successful and put on better things than whatever it is herself has encountered in other places (what is this MOR she hates so much?)

I've tried to make my point. If i failed it's just too bad.

I have better and more important things to worry about.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Jun 07 - 04:45 AM

Gulliver
Can't someone take pity on this lot and close this thread down? Not surprising that the "the Folk Club scene" collapsed!

That would be a pity. I think there is a lot more that could be usefully discussed if only a very small minority weren't so keen to resort to slagging off clubs they've never been too, jumping to unfounded assumptions, abuse and threats of violence.

Off to the Arms to help out with the Spiers and Boden workshops. Won't plug their gig this evening because it's already sold out.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 02 Jun 07 - 05:04 AM

Yes, by a strange quirk the Lewes Arms does happen to be one of the very few venues I've never actually visited.
(And I'm increasingly less likely to after such a display of hostile, defensive petulance from its 'wesidents')
This is not to say I'm not fully aware of its reputation for musical excellence and that its workshops are not A Good Thing. They are.
It's the insularity, the all lads together bonded in our minority hobby, that I deplore.
And aside from the tiny few of the 60s revival style clubs remaining which retain an ethos of musical diversity rooted in the traditions of English dance music and song and make efforts to involve the local community, the circuit is a laughing stock to the outside world, a morass of mediocrity, and the sooner its beknighted defenders pack it in and enter the 21st century, the better.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jun 07 - 05:16 AM

Fer Crissake woman give it rest.

If you dont know the venue or the people involved leave 'em alone or go there and get to know them so that you have real evidence to judge them by.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 02 Jun 07 - 05:24 AM

>>>>>>>>>Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs
From: Diane Easby - PM
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 04:52 PM

you are by far the most objectionable woman I have ever come across

Well, hopefully not, GS (recently crawled out of woodwork).
I live in hope that some other woman stronger and more forthright that I am will finally get through to you about how disgustingly and inappropriately sexist you are with your fawning over women who just want to kick you in the balls.
Yeah, I know you think you're in the right and believe all your crap is 'harmless banter'. Pah!
It isn't, even in Lincolnshire, home of the backwoods baying pack of Neanderthals.
Some of what I say is 'quite valid'? You bet it is and I don't need your damning with faint praise.
I'm 'best avoided'? Definitely, till you manage to behave like actual men.<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Sadly Diane...due to pressures of living in the real world I have been much too busy to waste my time with your matronising banter and insults on here so crawling out of the woodwork was far from the truth.
Sexist for fawning over women.... as in the sixties I was truly taken..as were many other men...with a mini skirted beauty who loved the attention. Also because I find some women attractive. I don't fawn over them Diane as if you think you know me anyway!!! Many women enjoy my company and would find kicking a man in the manner you describe with your teenage rantings out of their range of learned behaviour.
Lincolnshire, home of the backwoods baying pack of neanderthals. It is plain for all to see that your judgement of fellow human beings is lacking in substance, not to mention the decorum that most women show when dealing with people they don't know.
All men are actual men although I grant you some behave with the same disrespect and low tricks that you yourself do and some through lack of sensitivity or understanding, make similar accusations to those you have made..
I too am out of this thread....perhaps you can hold on to the thread with those few people who seem to think you know what you are talking about...perhaps any Folk Club that has had dealings with you has suffered much the same as this thread..in which case...no wonder some of them are collapsing.
Goodbye Diane..I shall avoid your acquaintance as you are not someone I would readily have conversations with.


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Subject: RE: Collapse of the Folk Club