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On stage patter

GUEST,Jim 28 May 07 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,Scorpio 28 May 07 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 28 May 07 - 11:27 AM
Jim Lad 28 May 07 - 12:04 PM
erosconpollo 28 May 07 - 02:12 PM
John MacKenzie 28 May 07 - 02:33 PM
Fidjit 28 May 07 - 02:47 PM
John MacKenzie 28 May 07 - 03:16 PM
Greg B 28 May 07 - 04:27 PM
JennyO 28 May 07 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,Sharon G 29 May 07 - 12:33 AM
Stephen L. Rich 29 May 07 - 02:20 AM
Jim Lad 29 May 07 - 02:51 AM
Jim Lad 29 May 07 - 03:16 AM
Jim Lad 29 May 07 - 03:43 AM
Bernard 29 May 07 - 04:30 AM
Ned Ludd 29 May 07 - 04:36 AM
Folkiedave 29 May 07 - 04:45 AM
synbyn 29 May 07 - 05:04 AM
Trevor 29 May 07 - 05:14 AM
guitar 29 May 07 - 06:30 AM
Splott Man 29 May 07 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,Chalkie 29 May 07 - 08:18 AM
Snoozer 29 May 07 - 08:21 AM
Greg B 29 May 07 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Jim 29 May 07 - 10:59 AM
Bernard 29 May 07 - 11:27 AM
Scorpio 29 May 07 - 11:37 AM
kendall 29 May 07 - 01:06 PM
Marje 29 May 07 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 29 May 07 - 01:36 PM
Captain Ginger 29 May 07 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 29 May 07 - 01:45 PM
Fidjit 29 May 07 - 02:08 PM
BarryBlues 29 May 07 - 02:42 PM
Jim Lad 29 May 07 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 29 May 07 - 03:08 PM
Seamus Kennedy 29 May 07 - 03:14 PM
Greg B 29 May 07 - 03:31 PM
Jim Lad 29 May 07 - 04:08 PM
treewind 29 May 07 - 04:13 PM
kendall 29 May 07 - 04:16 PM
Herga Kitty 29 May 07 - 04:27 PM
Jim Lad 29 May 07 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,Jim 29 May 07 - 04:47 PM
Folkiedave 29 May 07 - 05:02 PM
Jim Lad 29 May 07 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,Russ 29 May 07 - 05:18 PM
alanabit 29 May 07 - 05:31 PM
Folkiedave 29 May 07 - 05:32 PM
david from cleckhuddisfax 29 May 07 - 06:25 PM
Tootler 29 May 07 - 06:40 PM
Geordie-Peorgie 29 May 07 - 07:01 PM
GUEST,Nick 29 May 07 - 08:33 PM
Jim Lad 29 May 07 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,meself 29 May 07 - 11:06 PM
Songster Bob 29 May 07 - 11:17 PM
GUEST,Mike in DC 30 May 07 - 12:21 AM
Woods 30 May 07 - 12:56 AM
Seamus Kennedy 30 May 07 - 01:40 AM
Gurney 30 May 07 - 04:04 AM
Marje 30 May 07 - 04:12 AM
Hamish 30 May 07 - 04:13 AM
guitar 30 May 07 - 04:47 AM
Jim Lad 30 May 07 - 10:31 AM
Waddon Pete 30 May 07 - 11:04 AM
Kevin Sheils 30 May 07 - 11:08 AM
Waddon Pete 30 May 07 - 11:11 AM
MMario 30 May 07 - 11:11 AM
Celtaddict 30 May 07 - 11:43 AM
kendall 30 May 07 - 12:29 PM
Jim Lad 30 May 07 - 01:03 PM
Greg B 30 May 07 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 30 May 07 - 01:39 PM
George Papavgeris 30 May 07 - 01:53 PM
Folkiedave 30 May 07 - 02:20 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 30 May 07 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Jim 30 May 07 - 03:19 PM
Herga Kitty 30 May 07 - 03:31 PM
Big Mick 30 May 07 - 05:11 PM
Captain Ginger 30 May 07 - 05:24 PM
Jim Lad 30 May 07 - 05:44 PM
Dave Roberts 30 May 07 - 05:50 PM
Big Mick 30 May 07 - 06:11 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 30 May 07 - 08:04 PM
Jim Lad 30 May 07 - 09:32 PM
George Papavgeris 30 May 07 - 09:47 PM
dick greenhaus 30 May 07 - 09:57 PM
Bert 31 May 07 - 12:48 AM
Bernard 31 May 07 - 09:14 AM
Jim Lad 31 May 07 - 10:13 AM
Leadfingers 31 May 07 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 31 May 07 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,reggie miles 31 May 07 - 01:18 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 31 May 07 - 02:15 PM
Herga Kitty 31 May 07 - 04:08 PM
Greg B 31 May 07 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,gsdoucette 31 May 07 - 05:22 PM
Jim Lad 31 May 07 - 05:37 PM
Folkiedave 31 May 07 - 05:39 PM
kendall 31 May 07 - 07:32 PM
Kevin Sheils 01 Jun 07 - 04:10 AM
GUEST,ruler 01 Jun 07 - 08:53 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 01 Jun 07 - 10:04 AM
Kevin Sheils 01 Jun 07 - 10:52 AM
Folkiedave 01 Jun 07 - 11:13 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 01 Jun 07 - 11:19 AM
Kevin Sheils 01 Jun 07 - 11:46 AM
Folkiedave 01 Jun 07 - 11:52 AM
Kevin Sheils 01 Jun 07 - 12:14 PM
Jim Lad 01 Jun 07 - 12:21 PM
Kevin Sheils 01 Jun 07 - 12:28 PM
George Papavgeris 01 Jun 07 - 12:35 PM
Jim Lad 01 Jun 07 - 12:47 PM
Kevin Sheils 01 Jun 07 - 12:50 PM
George Papavgeris 01 Jun 07 - 12:57 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 01 Jun 07 - 12:57 PM
Folkiedave 01 Jun 07 - 01:37 PM
Geordie-Peorgie 01 Jun 07 - 05:52 PM
Big Mick 01 Jun 07 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,reggie miles 02 Jun 07 - 01:55 AM
Herga Kitty 05 Jun 07 - 05:43 PM
Jim Lad 05 Jun 07 - 05:46 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Jun 07 - 11:06 PM
coldjam 06 Jun 07 - 12:28 AM
Kevin Sheils 06 Jun 07 - 03:28 AM
Jim Lad 06 Jun 07 - 03:44 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 06 Jun 07 - 04:05 AM
Jim Lad 06 Jun 07 - 04:08 AM
Kevin Sheils 06 Jun 07 - 04:27 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 06 Jun 07 - 05:16 AM
Dave the Gnome 06 Jun 07 - 05:34 AM
Marje 06 Jun 07 - 06:23 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 06 Jun 07 - 01:28 PM
Kim C 06 Jun 07 - 01:47 PM
Jim Lad 06 Jun 07 - 02:41 PM
Kim C 06 Jun 07 - 03:25 PM
Jim Lad 06 Jun 07 - 03:48 PM
Herga Kitty 06 Jun 07 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,Jim 12 Jun 07 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler 13 Jun 07 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Jim 13 Jun 07 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Rich 13 Jun 07 - 05:58 PM
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Subject: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 28 May 07 - 11:15 AM

I thought it might be fun to share some one-liners that you folks use to kill time while adjustments are made on stage.

eg-I was playing with a fiddle player the other night when the guitar and bass player started discussing, off mic, what tune to do next. As we were waiting for them to finish, the fiddle player said, "Let us know if we start gettin' too slick and professional for you, folks."


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Scorpio
Date: 28 May 07 - 11:21 AM

"This next song has a great chorus - but that's no excuse for joining in and spoiling it!" Not mine, unfortunately.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 28 May 07 - 11:27 AM

After loud applause for a song/tune - 'if we'd known you were going to like it that much, we'd have played it better.........' Not mine, though - I think I heard the jazz trumpeter Ruby Braff say it at a televised festival session.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 28 May 07 - 12:04 PM

Who the hell a re YOU looking at?


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: erosconpollo
Date: 28 May 07 - 02:12 PM

"I tried to write a drinking song once...gave up after four bars." (that's an old one, I know)


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 May 07 - 02:33 PM

I'm still puzzled by the association of the Greek god of love with chicken !
G.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Fidjit
Date: 28 May 07 - 02:47 PM

The trouble with me sitting up here and singing to you is that I can't fully hear what you're talking about.

Chas


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 May 07 - 03:16 PM

No no lady in the middle there, I'll wait till you're finished talking. After all it's rude to interrupt a private conversation.
I still get paid whether I sing or not, so feel free.
G.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Greg B
Date: 28 May 07 - 04:27 PM

Leo Kottke: "This song begins like most of my songs...with a
lot of tuning."

(After a lot of tuning)

"How many of you would like to see me shove this thing up my ass?
(Loud applause) Security...cover my ass."

My personal favorite sad-but-true line is, as I stand there with
my melodeon: "I used to be the banjo player, but got tired of all
the dumb banjo jokes, so I bought this."


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: JennyO
Date: 28 May 07 - 11:18 PM

"We've had a request - but we're going to keep playing anyway."


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Sharon G
Date: 29 May 07 - 12:33 AM

My band mate's usual sound check banter: "Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3. If this was a real emergency, you'd be dead by now".


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 29 May 07 - 02:20 AM

I do a variation on that :
This has been a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. Had this been an actual emergency our announcer would have paniced and begun screaming,"Oh, My God! We're going to die!"

The line has maximum effect if you can approximate a deep, dignified radio announcer's voice throughout.

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 29 May 07 - 02:51 AM

They're on your head!


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 29 May 07 - 03:16 AM

To the man, holding his menu at arm's length.

"They're on your head!" as many times as it takes.


The sweetest thing, I ever saw while playing in a restaurant was an older couple from New England I think, who removed their glasses to read their menus. She placed her glasses on the centre of the table and he placed his on top of hers. All tangled up, legs all over the place. I caught them smiling and they caught me looking. One of the few times, I've been speechless, behind a mike. Just three stupid grins in a crowded restaurant.

One more line that I'll never forget using was simply "Go Ahead!"
Three families from the South pulled a few tables together in this same restaurant. They ordered their meals and when they arrived I noticed that the man at the head of the tables was looking over his shoulder, kind of self conscious is the way I'd put it.
I stopped singing and said "Go Ahead!"
At this, the whole table joined hands, bowed their heads and said Grace. When they were done, I started playing again.
Sometimes, you just know.
No-one in the restaurant paid the slightest attention. I take comfort in that.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 29 May 07 - 03:43 AM

Hey! I just remembered.
The guy who led the prayers gave me his card later on. Turns out he had his own ministry. Pastor Bob or something like that. (I'd have to look in one of the card boxes) Could even be one of yous!
Said he'd have a room for me if I was down his way.
Funny, the things you remember.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Bernard
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:30 AM

Could I have your address, please? I'd like to come around to your house and walk around talking loudly whilst you're  performing!


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:36 AM

At an outdoor gignear a stream. I'd just like to thank all the audience....for distracting the midges!


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:45 AM

Last Nights Fun (Chris Sherburn is brilliant at this) were playing and a table on the stage had a tea cup and saucer on it and this gradually moved with the foot stamping time keeping until it fell off.

Without breaking a note or even looking Chris said "I think that was meant for you Nick".

Roy Bailey on forgetting words "I am getting old. In my house the office is upstairs and sometimes I get halfway up the stairs, stop and can't remember why I am going upstairs. Sometimes I am coming downstairs and can't remember why I am coming downstairs. But sometimes I stop in the middle of the stairs and can't remember whether I am going up or down".


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: synbyn
Date: 29 May 07 - 05:04 AM

back to the gutter:
set-up routine 'Articles, particles, Test...ing'.........


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Trevor
Date: 29 May 07 - 05:14 AM

Last Night's Fun came out with a brilliant one when they played our local village hall. Chris was rattling on about something or other, Denny looked up just as a herd of cattle passed by the window and said 'Ok, Chris, the cows have come home.....'. Brilliant timing!


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: guitar
Date: 29 May 07 - 06:30 AM

sit back and we'll plug it in


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Splott Man
Date: 29 May 07 - 07:52 AM

"Here's one you can all tap your watches to."






I've had good mileage from one of Mike Harding's for when a glass drops on the floor -

"contact lens?"


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Chalkie
Date: 29 May 07 - 08:18 AM

We were performing on the riverside at Yarmouth one year and upon my turn I opened up with a song and pitched it right through the roof. Upon realising what was coming next I stopped to pitch it lower just as a couple of coppers on the beat were walking past the front of the stage and one of the lads piped up "scuse me officer, but would you please arrest this man, cos what he's doing to us is criminal!"


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Snoozer
Date: 29 May 07 - 08:21 AM

One I've heard from someone in the midst of tuning:
"This is an old traditional Chinese song (pause), Tu-Ning"


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Greg B
Date: 29 May 07 - 10:42 AM

Tommy Makem has some brilliant ones, that never get old.

On getting little response on a chorus: "Let's all join hands and
contact the living."

When something crashes in the back of the room: "Hit him again!"

Or "...the Irish gals, they go out sowing their wild oats
all week then go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure."

At a Boys of the Lough concert, after a particularly long introduction
to a tune, one of the other lads said that resident scholar Cathal
McConnell had been diagnosed by his physician as suffering from
'Alcohol induced verbosity.'


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 29 May 07 - 10:59 AM

Thanks guys & gals. While reading these I was reminded of a Doc Watson quip to a loud audience member, "Yah, I remember my first drink too, Buddy."


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Bernard
Date: 29 May 07 - 11:27 AM

Somebody drops or kicks something... 'Sack the juggler!'...


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Scorpio
Date: 29 May 07 - 11:37 AM

More from Mike Harding:
"I wrote this song for my ex-girlfriend, Back Entry Bertha. Very friendly woman, Bertha, used to walk about with a mattress strapped to her back in case she met someone she knew."

"My landlady's a terrible cook! Found her up on the roof yesterday, with a piece of flypaper and a knitting needle - catching seagulls for breakfast!"

etc, etc, for a couple of hours!

Fancy a new thread, luv?


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: kendall
Date: 29 May 07 - 01:06 PM

"I picked this one up on the road. My wife said I should have left it lying there."


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Marje
Date: 29 May 07 - 01:31 PM

AAAAARRRGH! Stop it!

I've heard a great many of these. Some I've heard many times. Most I didn't find very funny even the first time. I really don't want to hear them again.

It's interesting that most of the truly remarks things quoted above are things that arose from the situation at the time, and were responded to with spontaneous wit. That's very different from telling a second-hand joke or anecdote. Some people can be naturally witty. Telling old jokes is not the same thing; in fact it more or less proves, to my mind, that you're not capable of original wit.

It's not a stand-up comedy club, it's (presumably) a folk club. Please, don't feel you have to crack a joke. If you can't be spontaneously, naturally funny, forget it. You can still be charming, or interesting, or engaging, or charismatic, or well informed, or have a sense of fun about what you do.

If there are moments to fill, tell us something about the song you're about to play, or make some observation about the club, or the organiser, or the local areas, or the beer. It doesn't have to have a punchline, especially not a second-hand one.

And then just get on with the music.

Marje


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 29 May 07 - 01:36 PM

Lou Gottlieb, of the Limeliters, once described to an audience the reaction to a previous performance: "We were modestly successful; which is to say that the audience rarely left - in groups."

A member of another group used this one after a particularly arduous session of multi-instrument tuning: "When I get this thing tuned, I'm having it welded!"

My personal favorite for talky folk: "Dammit! Don't talk while I'm interrupting!"

We would like to thank the audience for their support of our favorite charity. Part of the proceeds of tonight's performance go into a special fund. Then, we go out and buy beer with it.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 29 May 07 - 01:38 PM

Thank you Marje - that needed saying. I was inwardly cringing at the thought of various club regulars assiduously practising their spontaneity. Patter should indeed patter, not gallumph in size 10 boots. If Harding's stage act really does feature the above such 'gems' then I'm so glad not to have heard him live.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 29 May 07 - 01:45 PM

After submitting my short treatise, I still have to agree with Marje. A piece of advice I once received said, "If you think you need to be funny,but find you have to think too much about what you're saying between songs, just shut up and play."


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Fidjit
Date: 29 May 07 - 02:08 PM

Thank you for having us. Anyone who hasn't had us yet. Please be patient we're working our way round.

Chas


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: BarryBlues
Date: 29 May 07 - 02:42 PM

(While putting a well known type of capo on a open D tuned guitar to get to open E) pause.."Getting a capo that never puts a guitar out of tune is a guitarist's dream".......pause and more tuning.."the shop told me this was such a miracle invention"....final tune up..."they lied!"


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 29 May 07 - 02:49 PM

"On stage patter" is the name of this particular thread. I wouldn't be too put off by someone dropping in to say they don't like it.
Keep them coming, please. Some of these are quite good.
Maybe we could start a "Things I don't like" thread for the others.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 29 May 07 - 03:08 PM

In one group I was in, the 'second' guitarist looked to see on which fret I had placed my capo and said 'what key are we doing this one in? - ah, number three......'


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 29 May 07 - 03:14 PM

Marje and Captain Ginger - please don't tell me how to do my job, and please don't define my job for me.
If I want to tell a joke between songs, I will.
I wouldn't dream of defining your jobs, or telling you how to do them.
Thank you.

Seamu


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Greg B
Date: 29 May 07 - 03:31 PM

Noel Paul Stookey was a stand-up comedian prior to his musical
career. He's funny as hell on stage, especially during his 'solo'
segments at a PPM concert.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:08 PM

I had a comedian come up and criticize a song I wrote, during the break. I was on before him on the second half so I did 4 or 5 minutes of Stand-Up before I started singing.
A bit like riding a bike with the training wheels on.
Dead easy but somewhat limiting.


"Here's on I wrote, this afternoon!"


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: treewind
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:13 PM

Seamus, how come you chose to take that advice personally? You haven't even posted to the thread, unless it was anonymously or under a different name.

Ultimately if a performer spends too much time telling tired and bad jokes between songs just because they "want to" they won't get booked again. Of course that's your choice, but we're all entitled to an opinion even if you don't agree. And don't forget you're selling yourself and "the customer is always right"

Anyway...
I had an interesting conversation about this topic with some people at Chippenham this weekend. Somebody said that the patter between songs can be much more nerve-racking for the performer than the actual singing and playing. I pointed out that this was quite likely to be because the patter doesn't get rehearsed, while the songs do. Then somebody told me that Steve Jordan (who was doing a lot of MC-ing at the festival, and is also a very entertaining performer in his own right) practices his patter. I suppose in a way I do the same - I spend some time thinking about what I'm going to say, and sometimes I can tell a fairly coherent story, other times it's a bit of a ramble. Perhaps I should take practicing patter a bit more seriously.
Mind you, learing it word-perfoect isn't a good idea. Artisan used to have a whole lot of well rehearsed routines that looked like spontaneous wit and banter between the three of the them, until you saw them the second time and it was word for word the same.

I don't try to be funny unless I'm certain it will work, but I do like to pick up on things that have happened earlier the same evening, like someone else's intro to a song if I have a way of following it up, because it also shows I've been listening and makes everything seem more spontaneous.

I'd never tell a stock gag - I can't do that and if it has nothing to do with the music I don't see the point.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: kendall
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:16 PM

If it feels good, do it. If not, don't. Your audience will feel it and you could lose them.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:27 PM

Anahata - even when the patter isn't word perfect, it's recognisable the 2nd plus time round. Dave Webber has been known to acknowledge that his audience know the patter as well as the songs.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:32 PM

Well, it's a "Patter" thread for those who are interested in "Patter".
Last week, someone came on to a "What's the meaning of" thread to say that meanings of songs are not important.
Another thread focused on how we could filter out the people whom we don't like. On a chat forum?
I went on to a "David Francey" thread to say that I don't like him.
Your comments have one thing in common with all of the other examples.
They were all mistakes.
Let's move on. No hard feelings.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 29 May 07 - 04:47 PM

I do like to have something to say if I'm stuck on stage, but don't (yet) practice the patter so it's the same every show. I have enjoyed performers who do a "Show", complete with rehearsed patter. Fred Eaglesmith and Tom Rush immediately come to mind. Their patter changes over time, but both still tell jokes and stories that I heard them tell 25 or 30 years ago. They also still sing songs I heard that long ago. Fred's WHITE ROSE FILLING STATION wouldn't be the same without the patter that introduces it.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 May 07 - 05:02 PM

Hi Anahata - despite Artisan's rehearsed patter many people WERE seeing it for the first time - and that to me is the important bit.

Chris Sherburn is a master of the impromptu patter, also has some well used stuff, and even when I have seen him a dozen times I can still laugh at things I have heard before.

I doubt if John Foreman changed his act for twenty years - but he was and probably still is a great performer with terrific timing.

I think that is the great advantage of folk music - chances are the stuff will not be burnt out by TV and the joke that gets eaten by millions all at one go. At least it is only a few hundred at a time!!


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 29 May 07 - 05:09 PM

Well, now it's a debate. Looks like the naysayers win again.


Goodnight, God Bless & Have a safe drive home.
Jim
(Patter merchant, extraordinaire)


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 29 May 07 - 05:18 PM

Words I dread to hear:

"I told that story so you would have time to retune."

I've heard it twice.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: alanabit
Date: 29 May 07 - 05:31 PM

For many of us patter is an indispensable tool. It is part of the act and the framework, within which we set the songs. In my busking show, I was quite frequently able to build crowds more by talking than by playing. To make a crowd sing and clap along on the street, you have to build it up a bit like an Evangelist meeting. The same can be true of other gigs.
I have rarely got patter right at the first attempt. Some of it is ad lib, but some of it needs as much practice to get right as performing the songs. It gets adapted to circumstances according to the setting. It tends to take on its own life once it is "out there".
The performers have to be able to guess whether the same lines have been trotted out a hundred times before when they are playing a relatively small scene. If I were playing in the UK, for instance, I would avoid using anything, which sounded like a Mike Harding or a Fred Wedlock line. Everyone has known those gags for over thirty years. Those same gags could come across as very fresh somewhere else. I'd also like to make the point that patter is not necessarily the same as just telling jokes. Out of context, my patter is about as funny as a tree falling on your car. I am crap at telling jokes, but patter does seem to work for me. At the end of the day only people are funny and not the actual gags themselves. I can prove it. I can tell you the funniest gag in the world so you do not laugh…
If patter comes over as part of your own stock of storytelling, it is an important enhancement to the setting of your songs. It can also provide a very welcome counterpoint to your darker material. It is like anything else in your performance. You do not have to do it, but if you can do it well, it will make your show better.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 May 07 - 05:32 PM

Seems about right to me. Well said.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: david from cleckhuddisfax
Date: 29 May 07 - 06:25 PM

This one did the rounds at Chester festival just gone .
Performer goes to the toilet before going on stage for the necessary, sits down in the booth and then hears a voice saying, Hello how are yu, after a pause the artist says I,m fine thanks ,voice says well what the hell are yu doin in there, artist replies , Its fairly obvious what i,m doing, voice, sorry mate i,m gonna have to call you back as some prat keeps answering my telephone conversation.....


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Tootler
Date: 29 May 07 - 06:40 PM

Captain Ginger wrote:

If Harding's stage act really does feature the above such 'gems' then I'm so glad not to have heard him live.

I saw Mike Harding live a couple of times in the mid 70's and he was amusing on stage. In fact, his act was as much a stand up comic as it was singing. He was also a fine singer and it is a pity that that that has become forgotten because of his association with a certain radio programme. He also wrote some good, serious songs including King Cotton and Bomber Moon.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 29 May 07 - 07:01 PM

"Somebody's asked uz te play summat oot o' the charts! - This one's been oot o' the charts for aboot 35 years!"

"Why should aah gan te see (local football team)? The nivvor come te see me when aah wez bad!"


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 29 May 07 - 08:33 PM

Is all that stuff between the musical numbers in The sound of Music Patter? Or is it part of the performance?
Discuss.....


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 29 May 07 - 10:03 PM

I could just sit there and play tapes, I suppose. I was really hoping to hear some more patter here.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 29 May 07 - 11:06 PM

And while we're at it - how 'bout some pitter?


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Songster Bob
Date: 29 May 07 - 11:17 PM

I seldom manage to do a set without some blabbering -- I once tried to do without any, and got five songs into the set before saying anything much about the songs, and people seemed relieved that I finally started talking. Usually, I can't stop talking, and my train of thought has many branch lines, some short runs, others long hauls, but all connected -- I've been known to interrupt one aside with another, then another, sort of like the news from Lake Wobegon, without the wit. Usually, though, someone hijacks my train and makes me come back to the subject.

I do have a few lines about tuning ("I've got it surrounded!" and "Tune it or die -- trying!") and usually say something appropriate about the song I'm about to do, hopefully without too many side-tracks for that train I mentioned. Part of it depends on the situation, the stage, as it were. Some stages are a-joke-a-minute stages, others are nearly scholarly convention-type stages, where the introductions even have their own footnotes.

The good performer knows which stage he or she is on, and the bad 'uns don't.

Bob Clayton
(once called 'the silent Bob Clayton' though the Lord knows why)


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Mike in DC
Date: 30 May 07 - 12:21 AM

Not from the folk world and certainly not new, but Dizzie Gillespie used to say "Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. And now I'd like to introduce the members of the band". Then he would turn around and introduce his sidemen to each other.

You had to be there.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Woods
Date: 30 May 07 - 12:56 AM

"How ya' folks all doing this evening? I know I'd rather be here than in the best hospital in town!"

OK. So that's probably a pretty old one. But I've known some folks who had a quick wit on stage and could come up with a quick imprompty one-liner, delivered effortlessly. It usually "breaks the ice" with the crowd, and they settle back all the more to hear what's coming musically. It better be good! (I agree that canned jokes usually don't have the same effect.)

"They say that about the time your face clears up, your mind starts going fuzzy..."


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 30 May 07 - 01:40 AM

Anhata - If this isn't telling me (a professional, full-time folk entertainer of 36 years at concerts and festivals) how to do my job, I don't know what is.
I also post under my own name, not a nom de guerre, or plume or whatever.

AAAAARRRGH! Stop it!
It's not a stand-up comedy club, it's (presumably) a folk club. Please, don't feel you have to crack a joke. If you can't be spontaneously, naturally funny, forget it. You can still be charming, or interesting, or engaging, or charismatic, or well informed, or have a sense of fun about what you do.

If there are moments to fill, tell us something about the song you're about to play, or make some observation about the club, or the organiser, or the local areas, or the beer. It doesn't have to have a punchline, especially not a second-hand one.

And then just get on with the music.

Marje

Thank you Marje - that needed saying. I was inwardly cringing at the thought of various club regulars assiduously practising their spontaneity. Patter should indeed patter, not gallumph in size 10 boots. If Harding's stage act really does feature the above such 'gems' then I'm so glad not to have heard him live.

Captain Ginger


I endorse wholeheartedly Alanabit's sentiments.

We are really close to veering off into a 'folk-snobbery' thread-drift which in the past here on Mudcat have frequently turned ugly.
BTW, I like and respect Mike Harding's music and humor enormously.

Also Alanabit's.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Gurney
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:04 AM

I don't do much nowadays, but when I do, it usually includes patter, jokes, and/or slagging off the announcer or a singer who is coming after me. After me, because I pick on people who can hit back.

Oh, and I sing as well.

Probably the neatest one I ever did was when a boom mike wasn't clamped tightly. As it sagged down, I sang "Alas our mike has listed, at 45 degrees. It is a handsome chrome thing, but I'm singing on my knees!" (White Cockade, of course.)
Good cheers for that one.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Marje
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:12 AM

Seamus, you seem to think that those who support your view are OK, but those who question it are "Telling you how to do your job". Some of these (Anahata for one) are respected performers in their own right; others are occasional performers; all are regular listeners to other people's acts, and as such are entitled to express a view about the performances they see.

You don't have to heed anyone's views if you don't want to, but many performers are interested to know what their audience enjoy, and what turns them off and why. You evidently don't care much how your act is perceived by your audience - that's entirely up to you.

Incidentally, I never said there should not be any patter, only that if the performer couldn't be naturally and spontaneously funny, it would be better, IMO, to forget the patter and stick to the music. I can't for the life of me see what's snobbish about that.

Marje


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Hamish
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:13 AM

Hmmm... personally I'm with Marje: "If you can't be spontaneously, naturally funny, forget it. You can still be charming, or interesting, or engaging, or charismatic, or well informed, or have a sense of fun about what you do."

But I still appreciate Vin Garbutt and the like whose patter is more important than the songs, it seems to me, and much of it is prepared even if not always word-for-word. Even the spontaneous stuff generally seems to come from a sort of menu. It's great: but it's not what I do. Mostly, I'll admit, because I can't.

What I would add is that I've never seen the point in being deliberately antagonistic. Lines like "I remember when I had my first drink, too" seem designed to publicly humiliate somebody who's maybe not on board in the first place. And that doesn't seem likely to win him/her over.

--
Hamish


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: guitar
Date: 30 May 07 - 04:47 AM

I mean I don't come into your bedroom and talk while you're performing


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 30 May 07 - 10:31 AM

Thread was meant for those who enjoy the patter. Regardless of who is right and who's wrong in this debate, it was never intended to be one.
I honestly thought, you'd understand that.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 30 May 07 - 11:04 AM

The patter of raindrops...the patter of tiny feet...the patter on the ceiling that says it's time to put the cat in the loft again....

I wonder how it got the name patter?

The best inter-song interludes come from the heart...whether they be funny or not...

One of my favourites has to be from Max Miller,not exactly known for his folk song repertoire, but it was used as a bit of patter between the other bits of patter...if you follow my drift?

"My last audience adored me...they laughed at every line!
they made me a present of Mornington Crescent...


...And threw it a brick at a time!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 30 May 07 - 11:08 AM

they made me a present of Mornington Crescent...


...And threw it a brick at a time!

A line from "The night I appeared as Macbeth", although I don't associate it with Max Miller myself, but he was before my time even.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 30 May 07 - 11:11 AM

...and mine Kevin!

(I got it off an old 78 of my Mum's)

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: MMario
Date: 30 May 07 - 11:11 AM

seems to me most of what people have been posting isn't "patter" - it's audience put-downs and back-heckling. (My opinion - YMMV)

Some people have the knack of patter - and even material you've heard several times before seems fresh when they present it. Other people just don't.

I've known some people who can seem "spontaneous" when they've rehearsed their patter often enough; and others whose patter falls apart if there is the slightest deviation from "scripted" (and it shows) and people to tend to stay with the same general stuff but loosely, sort of fitting the patter into a framework.

Different things work for different people - and different styles suit different audiences; which is a *good* thing.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Celtaddict
Date: 30 May 07 - 11:43 AM

Right, Mario.
I am not a big fan of insulting audiences and doubt it is effective most of the time, but there are musicians who just sing on, and I enjoy them a good deal, and musicians who have a good deal to say between, and I enjoy them as well, whether it is information about the song or completely unrelated chat. It would be pretty surprising if everyone liked the same settings for the music. But if stage talk is well-done, whether spontaneous or rehearsed, it is in fact a part of the performance, and a valued one.
Hearing Danny Doyle sing 'The Rare Ould Time' without talking about his Aunt Lucy would be only half the song, just as hearing Tommy Makem sing 'Four Green Fields' without 'Requiem for the Croppies' ("the pockets of our great-coats full of barley...") would be incomplete.
Once after an Eric Bogle concert I mentioned to him that I was happy to see his schedule this tour because I was lucky enough to get to five concerts. He said, "Why? The jokes are all the same."
If we are happy to hear the same songs again, why should we not enjoy the accompanying commentary again? There are certainly tales I have heard the same performer use repeatedly that still make me laugh each time.
This reminds me a little bit of the marvelous Judith Martin, aka Miss Manners, responding to 'original' wedding ceremonies of those couples being married who complained about 'having to say the same old thing' as others before them; she said, "Why not? Don't they keep doing the same thing?"


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: kendall
Date: 30 May 07 - 12:29 PM

An example of spontaneos wit.. Ed Trickett was performing, and the lock on the mike stand was not tight enough. That allowed the mike and the boom to slowly drop down. He pushed it back up, and it did it again. Finally, he asked "Does anyone ever water these things"?

Another time he was about to take a break and he said "Take it Ed." then he hit two wrong notes and said "Give it back, Ed."

On the other hand we have John Kerry who couldn't be funny because he totally lacks the equipment.
In other words, if you can do it, do it. If not don't try.

Seamus, you have the talent to entertain a performer who has heard it all, and I still enjoy your performances. You are a man who has it all, wit, songwriting and storytelling,


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 30 May 07 - 01:03 PM

"I wonder how it got the name patter?"

Because it rolls off the tongue, like water off a duck's back.

Couple of wee points. The Requiem for a Croppy goes best with Boulavogue and The Mother with Four Green Fields. Both were done by The Flying Column in this manner and are well worth a listen.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Greg B
Date: 30 May 07 - 01:13 PM

I figure the naysayers on this thread are the same ones who
call out 'shut up and sing' or at least mutter it under their
breaths.

Those who are much more qualified as listeners to recordings
than being an actual 'audience.'

Or maybe they're just rude.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 30 May 07 - 01:39 PM

It may not be folk-related, but it's close. Chet Atkins, the late guitarist, was giving a performance here years ago. He introduced himself by saying, "I know you folks think some of us in country music are hillbillies and lack some of the finer things in life. But I want you to know that, just last year, we actually carpeted our bathroom. In fact, we like it so much, we've decided to run it right on into the house."

Whether you call it patter, comedy relief or vamping, it seems to be an inevitable part of most performers' stage work. Just jumping from one song to the next might work for certain artists, but it would seem sterile and dull for most. Even the really bad stuff kills time while you tune up or change instruments, etc.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 30 May 07 - 01:53 PM

I never thought it would happen, but my patter is slowly becoming integral to the performance of at least some of the songs. It isn't that I try to be witty (though the patter does raise the odd laugh or smile), or that I need the time to re-tune (I perform in standard tunings). But rather that my songs, and the way the sets are structured, are meant to "play" with people's emotions, raising them high, taking them steeply down etc, making them think about certain aspects of life, and the patter helps prepare them for the next step.

Over the last 2-3 years, much of the patter has been honed, bits that don't work have been dropped, other bits have come in etc, and so it has become 70% standardised; but I try to weave in things that happen at the time, audience reactions, bits from the latest news etc, as much for my own sanity as for the audience's : I don't want to hear myself saying EXACTLY the same things every time, I need to enjoy the performance too after all, or I know I will come out "flat". And of course, as new songs enter the sets, new patter comes with them too, to keep the variety and the interest.

But no jokes at the expense of the audience or witticisms. Any mirth tends to be directed back at myself or at humanity's frailties instead.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 May 07 - 02:20 PM

George, that is a lovely description of how I see patter too.

There may be a space for *audience putdowns" e.g. "Last time I saw a mouth like that a jockey was behind it" but IMHO they are more to the comedy club than the folk club/festival audience.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 30 May 07 - 02:56 PM

Sometimes I do like to quote US songwriter Michelle Shocked when on stage: "Music is far too important to be left to professionals!"


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 30 May 07 - 03:19 PM

Kendall said," Ed Trickett was performing, and the lock on the mike stand was not tight enough. That allowed the mike and the boom to slowly drop down. He pushed it back up, and it did it again. Finally, he asked "Does anyone ever water these things"?"

I like that. I found myself in the same situation a few years back shortly after my prostate surgery and said, "Anybody have some Viagra?"


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 May 07 - 03:31 PM

"The night I appeared as Macbeth" - makes me think of Andrew Frank, and thus of course, of Al and Dave Sealey (Comotheka), who had a great line in patter (in Andrew and Dave's case, have).

Also of MCP, (who has been known to perform "The night I appeared as Macbeth) of whom Anni Fentiman once said, "Mick Pearce, your patter stinks" (sorry Mick, but it is a true story, and she was only known to say it once.....)

Kitty


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 May 07 - 05:11 PM

When reading these threads, it is easy to spot the folks that are successful at making a living playing music AND entertaining people. It is also easy t spot the "fine musician" who doesn't make a living. And finally, it is very easy to spot those that are hangers on.

Seamus Kennedy is probably the finest entertainer I have ever seen. And here's a shock for you. He is also one of the most knowledgeable folkies/musicians I have ever been around. And finally, I watched him sit in a session once. Without saying a word, he was easily one of the finest musicians in a bunch of very fine musicians. These comments come from a guy (me) who has had the privilege and the luck to be around some of the truly great ones. Seamus is, at once, at home in the pub, in a session, or in a concert hall with a very discerning audience. He understands that a show is a complete experience which is primarily music/song but that the time in between the songs is where you relate to your audience. When one puts together competence in playing, as well as in entertaining, that is called performance. This is why he is booked more days a year than virtually anyone. And most of it is return work.

I do feel that many "performers" try too hard. They lack authenticity, and so the "patter" comes off canned, or poorly timed. But done well, with a degree of spontaneity, as well as practice, it is an indispensable part of a program. I think the essence of doing it well lies in being able to relate to your audience in a real way. This is what Seamus does so very well. And what most of the others don't. And it is why he makes a good living doing it.

All the best,

Mick

I am with Seamus on this one.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 30 May 07 - 05:24 PM

George, that sort of 'patter' enhances a song and provides a frame for it, and makes the performance the better. In that sense it's not 'patter', it context. The 'patter' that makes me cringe is either that from those who think they want to be the next Wedlock/Connolly/Harding/Carrott or those who use it like a nervous tic.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 30 May 07 - 05:44 PM

Okay: Call the police! Somebody broke into Big Mick's house and borrowed his computer to say something right. Well written though, whoever you are.

Captain Ginger: If by Connolly, you mean Billy Connolly then you are missing a very important point. Billy has made his living from observing the verbal skills of Glaswegians and performing his own interpretation on stage. He is the best but he is not original. Other performers paved the way for him. He mimics me, my friends and fellow Scots and does it very, very well but we are not a figment of his imagination.
Like many other comedians, Billy got tired of trying to please cheap, underapreciative, folk audiences and made the switch. He may well have saved Scottish Folk music, in so doing.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 30 May 07 - 05:50 PM

Bob Webb and I did a gig for the Audlem Festival at the Shroppie Fly on Bank Holiday Monday and it went like a dream, largely because of the good humoured participation of a gang of lady morris dancers from Kirby, Liverpool. One of them insisted on playing the tambourine for us to brilliant effect and, when we got to 'Maggie May' and 'In my Liverpool Home' they went berserk - in fact, on 'Liverpool Home' they practically took over, causing much merriment.
They loved it, we loved it and the audience loved it.
The point being, of course, that it couldn't have been rehearsed or planned. Spontaneity is the thing, and this was certainly very spontaneous.
Having said that, I was not above borrowing a ploy used by our old friend Bernard Wrigley to break the ice at the start of the afternoon.
Before you start ask the audience to applaud and cheer wildly as if you've just performed something amazing.
Most audiences love it. But if you can't judge the mood of an audience you might just be in trouble...


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 May 07 - 06:11 PM

Thanks, Jim................I think. Shit, I hate being a Yank, which causes me not to understand the intricacies and ironies of that European humor humour.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 30 May 07 - 08:04 PM

And let us not forget(sources questionable)...

Performer to restless, noisy crowd, "That's O.K., you can talk if you want to. I already got your money." Performer missing a few notes in a solo, "Well, that notes gotta be in there somewhere. I just have to find it..." Performer using high-end vintage guitar, but then kills the lead break, Says, "Cheap Guitar..." Performer on stage sees beautiful woman in a low-cut bustier enter the club, and then just starts applauding at her, saying,"Oh yeah!"... Performer to obnoxious female heckler, "Were we ever married?" Performer referring to his former love, "The Anti-Wife..."

Somebody STOP me...Anyhound, should you "not approve" or even "dislike" the above, be sure not to use them in your gigs, you know how you are... bob


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 30 May 07 - 09:32 PM

Take my wife, for instance ......


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 30 May 07 - 09:47 PM

I refer to mine as "my better one-third"... those who have seen me will understand.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 May 07 - 09:57 PM

Spontaneity is like sincerity. Once you learn to fake it, you've got it made.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Bert
Date: 31 May 07 - 12:48 AM

The drooping mike seems to be a common occurrence.

I happened to me once. I looked at it and said "Hmmmm, I know just how it feels"


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Bernard
Date: 31 May 07 - 09:14 AM

A teensy niggle...

Some people seem to be putting their own slant to things... no surprise there!

The original post said 'off mic', which hinted that a mic was being used... so my own slant to this would be that maybe the thread wasn't to be restricted to folk club/festival audiences only.

Whilst I agree that it's unusual to need 'audience put-downs' at folk clubs and festivals (unusual, but not unheard of), many of us need to eke out our income by taking on gigs church halls, masonic events, birthdays, weddings and the like.

Such audiences can be 'lively', and there are often hecklers whose intent is to wind up the performer and wrong-foot them.

An experienced performer usually knows how best to deal with such a situation, and some people in this thread are sharing that experience in the spirit of the original post. Please don't resort to knocking your fellows just to score a few points...


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 31 May 07 - 10:13 AM

I usually do my level best to ensure that the audience is entirely ready, willing and able to heckle the living daylights out of me.
The constant switching of emotions from happy to sad, lively to solemn, loud to quiet, sing along to listen, is akin to rustling the top of a paper bag open to reveal it's contents.
When you can do this, you can hold the entire room in the palm of your hand for as long as you choose, if you so desire.
As for "Put Downs" ... if that is your style then it becomes extremely important that your comments sound spontaneous, that you have used them many times before and from doing so, know that they are inoffensive and finally that each audience gets the opportunity to win, once in a while.
You will not find this stuff in books.
However, the good entertainers here, know what I'm talking about.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Leadfingers
Date: 31 May 07 - 10:14 AM

There are always occasions when something is out of kilter and needs to be put right - This is the time the artist/band need to fill a gap wih a joke or some kind of 'routine' just to avoid the long hiatus . Some solos are natural (or WELL rehearsed ) patter men some arent , but a bit of chat is better than a long silence while a problem s sorted .

At this point , we WERE going t0 play a Pornographic recording , but I am informed the Pornograph needs a new needle so - - - etc


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 31 May 07 - 01:15 PM

Hi Kids!: The reason I got into being a Musician/Performer was to entertain the audience. Even though I've been featured as a "Bluesman" or "Folk Singer", my shows were always rehearsed with elements of Comedy/Monologues, jokes etc. After all, I grew up with heroes like Milton Berle, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Sid Caesar, Ernie Kovacs, Sammy Davis Jr., Myron Cohen, etc. So for me, it wasn't just "go in and sing my songs, and if a string breaks, come up with something witty." It wasn't about selling beer, it was about showmanship, a complete performance. Whether the audience was one guy on a rainy Tuesday night who paid to see me, or onstage in front of thousands, the goal was still the same, entertain. After you do this for over 40 years, your collection of one-liners grows into a library. I've never really had to "put-down" or engage in any war with an audience. That's not why I'm there. So the one-liners/"patter" were an integral part of the show, and many were spontaneous, but then became "part of the arsenal". So you get things like going into a new club and getting introduced, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Bob Ryszkiewicz..." Blank stares and the sound of one hand clapping. I say, " Well look, I've never heard of you either..." Or the song you sang just did not go over, I would say, " O.K. The Score, Audience 1, Bob 0..." Laughs...But this allowed me to provide a show that was hopefully unique, where I could do a traditional blues, an original, a ballad, a joke and keep things moving along seemlessly. Whether this made me "less authentic" or not, I frankly don't care. While I respect traditionalists, I focus on being an innovator. What excites me now, after all these years, is that I feel vibrant, I am recording new material in my studio, new sounds, and finding new audiences all over the world with the internet. Life is good. bob


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,reggie miles
Date: 31 May 07 - 01:18 PM

It's apparent that we all enjoy different aspects about performances. I love the stories, jokes, puns, and anything else that any given performer would wish to add to their show along with their music. I also believe there are audiences that simply enjoy just the music and could care less about any added comments. Whether you're just a storyteller, or just a musician, or someone that enjoys combining spoken word stuff with music and songs, there's an audience for all of it.

I have plenty of stories, intros, bad puns, as well as spontaneous verbage that I enjoy offering during my performances. I don't use it as filler but rather feel it's as much a part of my whole presentation as a musician/entertainer as any song I might offer. Yes, I've played some events where the addition of the spoken part of my show was less appreciated by the audience but I've never enjoyed being just a juke box.

This past weekend at the Folklife Festival I was busking most of the time. I enjoy offering a little of everything when I busk, both new and used material. As an introduction to my performances I enjoy telling the story about how I made my guitar out of junk that I found at garage sales. While recounting this tale to one particular couple who had paused before me, I was surprised that I wasn't even able finished the brief version of the story. I was merely pointing out the various items that I used in making my guitar when I was interrupted by one of the two who blurted out in a loud and incredulous tone, "Do you expect us to believe that?!" Then, without another word, they turned and walked away to check out my friend's craft booth of handmade toys across the path from where I was sitting. As they departed I added my standard response to those who have a hard time believing this simple tale, "Truth is stranger than fiction."

I firmly believe that you can't please everybody. You can only try your best at making as many people happy as you can. The rest will have to get their entertainment elsewhere. It's just that simple.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 31 May 07 - 02:15 PM

I hadn't seen this thread until it was pointed out to me, so I will just say with reference to HergaKitty's post above, that Anni's remark wasn't addressed to my on-stage patter, but to my offstage patter - I was a cross between Oscar Wilde and Cyrano de Bergerac, though with an ever-so-slight North Eastern accent - with which I attempted to charm (alas, all too metaphorically) the pants of young (and not so young) ladies.

Mick


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 31 May 07 - 04:08 PM

MCP - Anni's reply was with a stronger north-east accent, too! Looking forward to hearing your on-stage patter when you guest at Herga in a couple of weeks' time.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Greg B
Date: 31 May 07 - 04:35 PM

Green Linnett put out a video of a Silly Wizard concert.

The stage patter on it masterful, led by Andy M. Stewart
and seconded by Johnny Cunningham. The interplay between
the two of them is priceless.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,gsdoucette
Date: 31 May 07 - 05:22 PM

If you removed the patter from a Utah Phillips concert,you'd have a 17 minute show.If someone is unhappy with that,they're in the wrong room.the same is true of Rosalie Sorrels.Their audiences love them. It all depends on who's doing the talking.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 31 May 07 - 05:37 PM

Go on then .... 99 ...


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Folkiedave
Date: 31 May 07 - 05:39 PM

Thanks I'll take that.....


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: kendall
Date: 31 May 07 - 07:32 PM

Another way to look at this...if you just want one song after another, buy a jukebox.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 04:10 AM

with which I attempted to charm (alas, all too metaphorically) the pants of young (and not so young) ladies.

I'm sure you charmed the pants MCP but you'd have done better charming the ladies :-)


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,ruler
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 08:53 AM

Best I've heard is "Ladies and Gentlemen, we have been told that you only play [insert name of festival/venue etc here] twice. Once on the way up, and once on the way down. It's great to be back."

Cheers

Steve.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 10:04 AM

Kevin

I noticed the fault in my technique a little after I posted, but at my age I thought it was too late to usefully correct it. I have only my memories and a collection of adoring underwear.

Mick


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 10:52 AM

Mick

Were you in Brief Encounter?


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 11:13 AM

Why does Mick's underwear adore him?

I think we should be told.

And if as he seemed to indicate this may have been part of a "collection" what is your immediate reaction?

I think we should be told that too........


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 11:19 AM

No Kevin, you're thinking of Bra-veheart.

Folkiedave
I merely basque in their adoration (my patter wasn't as stinky as Anni suggested, just misdirected).

Mick


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 11:46 AM

Well Mick I guess you appeared more in "shorts" than features.

Corse't may have been someone else


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 11:52 AM

Suspendered in admiration for you.

Gusseting with praise.

Welt to the fore with approval.

Stocking up with acclaim.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:14 PM

Jockeying for position


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:21 PM

You're coming on like a late bloomer, Kevin.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:28 PM

Well there was too much bustle here early on


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:35 PM

Any good ones we can knick, MCP?


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:47 PM

Well it's the thame old thong
but with a diferent meaning thince you put them on
Yeth, ith the thame.....


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:50 PM

Slightly flat on the g string there Jim Lad


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:57 PM

Longjohn Silver would have been proud...


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:57 PM

I don't think I can do this - As they say up here I can't get tanga'f it.

(And now he slips off)

Mick

(I should have said of them that they were more coterie than lingerie).


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 01:37 PM

Come back Mick, give us a thong.. he lisped.....

Police are looking for a group of french onion sellers who have been stealing things locally. You got it - french knickers.....

(That one was awarded a special prize at the European Most Contrived Joke Contest).


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 05:52 PM

Noo that last dozen were BRILLIANTE

So that's how yez get yer kecks!!


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Big Mick
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 07:16 PM

Hey .... wait a minute here .... THAT Mick wears underwear ..... This Mick is the keeper of the lime green thong of yore on the Mudcat. There have been many pale imitations, but only one original...

The other Mick

P.S. if you haven't got Mick Bracken's CD, you need to get busy. Great stuff, that!!!


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,reggie miles
Date: 02 Jun 07 - 01:55 AM

I've always liked: Thankyou faithful audient member!


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 05:43 PM

"Some girls they wear spencers, but I do wear none" (pre-dates M&S, I think).

We had a briefs encounter at the Saturday night silly hats session at the Pennymoor song and ale (thanks to Gideon, possibly inspired by Bill Bryson).

Kitty

(nice to see that Kevin and MCP are still trading puns after all these years!)


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 05:46 PM

Well some people are like old men's underwear......


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 11:06 PM

Good Evening Ladies & Gentlemen. For years I have suffered for my music - tonight, it's your turn!


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: coldjam
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 12:28 AM

Basically we're talking about the difference between professional entertainers and yer basic folksingers. If you're getting paid (and hopefully well) you will not make your audience sit there in uncomfortable silence while you tune or regroup... you have stuff to say. Hopefully it's something you've rehearsed so if the muse doesn't hit you, you have something clever to say that doesn't sound "read". Given enough gigs you come up with stuff on the cuff, but sometimes the old line is just too too perfect, and the point is to show THEM a good time...musically speaking of course!


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 03:28 AM

(nice to see that Kevin and MCP are still trading puns after all these years!)

Well we have a vested interest.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 03:44 AM

Well some people are like old men's underwear...... they just never change.





Thought I'd better finish that. The possibilities were horrendous.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 04:05 AM

HK - Kevin and I are not yesterday's people - we're teddies.

Jim Lad - as Groucho Marx said of the contract in A Night At The Opera - "Everyone knows there ain't no Sanitry Clothes".

Mick


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 04:08 AM

Sanity Clause?


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 04:27 AM

A double pun by MCP Jim. Mind you I'm sure it should have been Sanitary Clothes.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 05:16 AM

I've always had trouble getting my words into the right combinations. (which I think is where this started!)

Mick


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 05:34 AM

Mike Harding was, and indeed is, a fine performer. His storytelling is as much a part of his act as his songs. I don't think anyone on this thread would say they don't like a particular song because they have heard it before would they? Then why criticise someones storytelling for the same reason? The album, 'Mrs 'Ardin's kid' must be at least 50% chat but it still gets a play in our house periodicaly. Classic tales are like classic songs - You can listen to them repeatedly.

"What are you doing? You're drunk!"

"I'm not drunk, I'm reading this book."

"Put that bloody suitcase down and get to bed..."

I agree however that not many people can get away with it to the extent he did. Carrot, Connely, Williamson, Wedlock are some. The Oldham Tinkers are masters of it as well - And it works ever so well as banter between them.

(Got to be a Lancashire accent)

"We called our dog Grieg."

"How come?"

"All he did were pee agin t'suite"

Fun thread.

:D


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Marje
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 06:23 AM

A further thought or two on patter ...

I've just been to the Wessex Festival and watched John Connelly. We found him a most engaging performer and enjoyed both his songs and his chat. When he spoke between songs, he gave little snippets about his own background and the origins of the songs (both his own and other people's). He made the odd joke, but not unconnected gags, they were always something to do with the song's content or the area it came from, etc. It just came over as very natural, pleasant banter, and I'd urge anyone wondering what to do between songs to see him in performance if they get the chance. It showed me how a singer can be entertaining without sounding like a third-rate club stand-up comic.

Marje


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 01:28 PM

I remembered one clever comeback vis a vis the "dangling mike" issue.
It happened not to be in a music venue, but at a conference. The MC stepped up to introduce one of the speakers, when the microphone began, very slowly and methodically, to droop over. Standing silently, with a baleful look on his face, he said," Damn; I HATE that metaphor!"


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Kim C
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 01:47 PM

Looks like a few people have had their funny bones removed lately. I wish them all a speedy recovery.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 02:41 PM

You're right, Kim. Puns are too easy.
My drawers are full of them!


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Kim C
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 03:25 PM

Seriously, though, isn't onstage patter dictated by the situation? There will be times when it's appropriate and acceptable to act silly and other times when it isn't. I don't think anyone can make a blanket statement about what is or isn't correct because there are just too many different situations & settings we play in.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Jim Lad
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 03:48 PM

You're right, Kim.
So far, there's only been one dissenter of note.
The patter should roll off as the situation demands/allows/invites.


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 07:05 PM

Marje - yes, John C is a wonderfully engaging performer!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 12 Jun 07 - 05:39 PM

Two more masters at the art of patter - Gamble Rogers & Utah Philips


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 08:19 AM

I remember that one of our ceilidh callers used to refer to his wife as his "first wife, not that we're divorced, it's just to keep her on her toes."
He couldn't use it once they were divorced!

At the end of a bad gig:-
"Well I hope tonight has been an educational experiece. It's certainly taught us a lesson".


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 02:24 PM

Linda Williams often refers to Robin as "my present husband".


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Subject: RE: On stage patter
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 05:58 PM

Dry Branch Fire Squad

Any description would only cheapen them


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