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Our ghastly folk tradition

Big Al Whittle 09 Apr 08 - 08:07 PM
Suegorgeous 09 Apr 08 - 07:54 PM
Dave Earl 09 Apr 08 - 07:35 PM
Dave Sutherland 09 Apr 08 - 04:36 PM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 09 Apr 08 - 03:47 PM
Banjiman 09 Apr 08 - 11:41 AM
theleveller 09 Apr 08 - 11:40 AM
The Borchester Echo 09 Apr 08 - 11:20 AM
Banjiman 09 Apr 08 - 10:38 AM
Backwoodsman 09 Apr 08 - 06:29 AM
theleveller 09 Apr 08 - 05:34 AM
The Borchester Echo 09 Apr 08 - 05:04 AM
TheSnail 09 Apr 08 - 04:57 AM
Backwoodsman 09 Apr 08 - 04:57 AM
Backwoodsman 09 Apr 08 - 04:54 AM
The Borchester Echo 09 Apr 08 - 04:36 AM
theleveller 09 Apr 08 - 04:20 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Apr 08 - 04:13 AM
theleveller 09 Apr 08 - 03:23 AM
Herga Kitty 09 Apr 08 - 02:26 AM
Suegorgeous 08 Apr 08 - 08:59 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Apr 08 - 07:30 PM
Georgiansilver 08 Apr 08 - 06:18 PM
Banjiman 08 Apr 08 - 05:53 PM
The Borchester Echo 08 Apr 08 - 05:33 PM
Herga Kitty 08 Apr 08 - 05:04 PM
The Borchester Echo 08 Apr 08 - 05:00 PM
Herga Kitty 08 Apr 08 - 04:45 PM
Banjiman 08 Apr 08 - 03:15 PM
Tootler 08 Apr 08 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Rich 08 Apr 08 - 11:00 AM
TheSnail 08 Apr 08 - 09:27 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Apr 08 - 09:15 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Apr 08 - 08:59 AM
TheSnail 08 Apr 08 - 08:17 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 Apr 08 - 08:00 AM
Captain Ginger 08 Apr 08 - 07:39 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Apr 08 - 07:36 AM
Captain Ginger 08 Apr 08 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,WalkaboutsVerse 08 Apr 08 - 07:26 AM
TheSnail 08 Apr 08 - 07:24 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Apr 08 - 07:18 AM
Dave Earl 08 Apr 08 - 07:12 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Apr 08 - 07:04 AM
TheSnail 08 Apr 08 - 07:02 AM
Captain Ginger 08 Apr 08 - 06:54 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Apr 08 - 06:28 AM
TheSnail 08 Apr 08 - 06:03 AM
Ruth Archer 08 Apr 08 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,WalkaboutsVerse 08 Apr 08 - 04:42 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Apr 08 - 04:06 AM
theleveller 08 Apr 08 - 03:39 AM
Suegorgeous 07 Apr 08 - 08:47 PM
Banjiman 07 Apr 08 - 06:17 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 Apr 08 - 05:18 PM
Tootler 07 Apr 08 - 05:08 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 Apr 08 - 03:55 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 Apr 08 - 03:47 PM
Dave Earl 07 Apr 08 - 03:29 PM
Banjiman 07 Apr 08 - 03:26 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 Apr 08 - 03:16 PM
Dave Earl 07 Apr 08 - 02:51 PM
Ruth Archer 07 Apr 08 - 02:47 PM
Banjiman 07 Apr 08 - 02:40 PM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 02:35 PM
Ruth Archer 07 Apr 08 - 02:30 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 Apr 08 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,glueman 07 Apr 08 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 07 Apr 08 - 01:59 PM
Banjiman 07 Apr 08 - 01:56 PM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 01:53 PM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 01:49 PM
Banjiman 07 Apr 08 - 01:47 PM
Dave Earl 07 Apr 08 - 01:43 PM
Ruth Archer 07 Apr 08 - 01:30 PM
Banjiman 07 Apr 08 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,glueman 07 Apr 08 - 01:01 PM
r.padgett 07 Apr 08 - 12:56 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 Apr 08 - 12:48 PM
Banjiman 07 Apr 08 - 12:42 PM
Ruth Archer 07 Apr 08 - 12:38 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 Apr 08 - 12:34 PM
Banjiman 07 Apr 08 - 12:28 PM
Backwoodsman 07 Apr 08 - 12:19 PM
Captain Ginger 07 Apr 08 - 12:11 PM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 11:55 AM
Banjiman 07 Apr 08 - 11:43 AM
Banjiman 07 Apr 08 - 11:40 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 11:38 AM
Captain Ginger 07 Apr 08 - 11:07 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 10:53 AM
Captain Ginger 07 Apr 08 - 10:39 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 10:21 AM
Captain Ginger 07 Apr 08 - 10:07 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 10:01 AM
Captain Ginger 07 Apr 08 - 09:47 AM
mattkeen 07 Apr 08 - 09:41 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 09:21 AM
mattkeen 07 Apr 08 - 09:04 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 08:37 AM
Dave the Gnome 07 Apr 08 - 08:32 AM
Dave Earl 07 Apr 08 - 08:09 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 08:02 AM
Captain Ginger 07 Apr 08 - 07:43 AM
mattkeen 07 Apr 08 - 07:35 AM
GUEST 07 Apr 08 - 07:31 AM
Slag 07 Apr 08 - 06:26 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Jon 07 Apr 08 - 06:12 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 05:55 AM
Captain Ginger 07 Apr 08 - 05:39 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 05:12 AM
Captain Ginger 07 Apr 08 - 05:00 AM
Captain Ginger 07 Apr 08 - 04:58 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 04:57 AM
Captain Ginger 07 Apr 08 - 04:41 AM
The Borchester Echo 07 Apr 08 - 04:40 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,Jon 07 Apr 08 - 04:22 AM
The Borchester Echo 07 Apr 08 - 04:08 AM
theleveller 07 Apr 08 - 03:50 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 08 - 03:37 AM
GUEST,glueman 07 Apr 08 - 03:29 AM
Joe Offer 07 Apr 08 - 02:15 AM
Captain Ginger 07 Apr 08 - 02:03 AM
Suegorgeous 06 Apr 08 - 09:26 PM
TheSnail 06 Apr 08 - 08:31 PM
Big Al Whittle 06 Apr 08 - 08:14 PM
TheSnail 06 Apr 08 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,Sapper i n the Crown and Mitre, Carlisle 06 Apr 08 - 06:32 PM
Dave the Gnome 06 Apr 08 - 05:44 PM
Suegorgeous 06 Apr 08 - 05:35 PM
The Borchester Echo 06 Apr 08 - 04:42 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 06 Apr 08 - 03:55 PM
Herga Kitty 06 Apr 08 - 03:21 PM
GUEST,Jon 06 Apr 08 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 06 Apr 08 - 12:49 PM
John MacKenzie 06 Apr 08 - 12:48 PM
theleveller 06 Apr 08 - 12:32 PM
Mr Happy 06 Apr 08 - 06:31 AM
John MacKenzie 06 Apr 08 - 06:24 AM
TheSnail 06 Apr 08 - 06:24 AM
The Borchester Echo 06 Apr 08 - 06:20 AM
Dave Earl 06 Apr 08 - 06:16 AM
TheSnail 06 Apr 08 - 06:16 AM
Dave the Gnome 06 Apr 08 - 06:12 AM
Captain Ginger 06 Apr 08 - 06:12 AM
John MacKenzie 06 Apr 08 - 06:02 AM
TheSnail 06 Apr 08 - 06:01 AM
TheSnail 06 Apr 08 - 05:49 AM
TheSnail 06 Apr 08 - 05:16 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 06 Apr 08 - 05:12 AM
The Borchester Echo 06 Apr 08 - 04:47 AM
meself 06 Apr 08 - 02:37 AM
Melissa 06 Apr 08 - 02:32 AM
Joe Offer 06 Apr 08 - 02:16 AM
the button 06 Apr 08 - 02:00 AM
Joe Offer 06 Apr 08 - 01:52 AM
the button 06 Apr 08 - 01:49 AM
Joe Offer 06 Apr 08 - 01:41 AM
Melissa 06 Apr 08 - 01:03 AM
Joe Offer 06 Apr 08 - 12:22 AM
TheSnail 05 Apr 08 - 09:00 PM
Melissa 05 Apr 08 - 08:29 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Apr 08 - 07:16 PM
peregrina 05 Apr 08 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 05 Apr 08 - 03:21 PM
John MacKenzie 05 Apr 08 - 03:20 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 05 Apr 08 - 03:14 PM
theleveller 05 Apr 08 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,glueman 05 Apr 08 - 03:09 PM
The Borchester Echo 05 Apr 08 - 03:08 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 05 Apr 08 - 03:01 PM
Gene Burton 05 Apr 08 - 02:52 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 05 Apr 08 - 02:49 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Apr 08 - 02:45 PM
Gene Burton 05 Apr 08 - 02:42 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 05 Apr 08 - 02:40 PM
The Borchester Echo 05 Apr 08 - 02:40 PM
Joe Offer 05 Apr 08 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 05 Apr 08 - 02:36 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Apr 08 - 02:29 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Apr 08 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 05 Apr 08 - 02:26 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Apr 08 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Tomcat 05 Apr 08 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 05 Apr 08 - 02:14 PM
Captain Ginger 05 Apr 08 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 05 Apr 08 - 02:05 PM
peregrina 05 Apr 08 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 05 Apr 08 - 01:56 PM
Suegorgeous 05 Apr 08 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,The Concierge's Apprentice 05 Apr 08 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge. 05 Apr 08 - 01:22 PM
Backwoodsman 05 Apr 08 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 05 Apr 08 - 01:04 PM
theleveller 05 Apr 08 - 01:04 PM
GUEST 05 Apr 08 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 05 Apr 08 - 12:56 PM
Gene Burton 05 Apr 08 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 05 Apr 08 - 12:43 PM
Gene Burton 05 Apr 08 - 12:37 PM
GUEST 05 Apr 08 - 12:29 PM
Gene Burton 05 Apr 08 - 12:20 PM
tijuanatime 05 Apr 08 - 12:18 PM
Backwoodsman 05 Apr 08 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice 05 Apr 08 - 11:59 AM
sapper82 05 Apr 08 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,glueman 05 Apr 08 - 11:40 AM
TheSnail 05 Apr 08 - 11:39 AM
TheSnail 05 Apr 08 - 11:36 AM
Big Al Whittle 05 Apr 08 - 11:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 05 Apr 08 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,glueman 05 Apr 08 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 05 Apr 08 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,glueman 05 Apr 08 - 10:01 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Apr 08 - 09:54 AM
TheSnail 05 Apr 08 - 09:38 AM
Big Al Whittle 05 Apr 08 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Rich 05 Apr 08 - 09:11 AM
Dave the Gnome 05 Apr 08 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,glueman 05 Apr 08 - 08:40 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Apr 08 - 07:50 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 Apr 08 - 07:44 AM
fat B****rd 05 Apr 08 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,glueman 05 Apr 08 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,Jon 05 Apr 08 - 05:24 AM
GUEST 05 Apr 08 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,Sue Allan 05 Apr 08 - 05:04 AM
Big Al Whittle 05 Apr 08 - 04:58 AM
Folkiedave 05 Apr 08 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,glueman 05 Apr 08 - 04:42 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 05 Apr 08 - 04:33 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Apr 08 - 04:32 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Apr 08 - 04:31 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 Apr 08 - 04:30 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 05 Apr 08 - 04:27 AM
GUEST,glueman 05 Apr 08 - 04:25 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Apr 08 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,glueman 05 Apr 08 - 04:06 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Apr 08 - 03:47 AM
GUEST,glueman 05 Apr 08 - 02:59 AM
Richard Bridge 04 Apr 08 - 08:56 PM
Grab 04 Apr 08 - 08:50 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Apr 08 - 08:32 PM
TheSnail 04 Apr 08 - 07:57 PM
Dave Earl 04 Apr 08 - 07:48 PM
The Borchester Echo 04 Apr 08 - 07:45 PM
TheSnail 04 Apr 08 - 07:44 PM
melodeonboy 04 Apr 08 - 07:35 PM
TheSnail 04 Apr 08 - 07:27 PM
Big Al Whittle 04 Apr 08 - 06:54 PM
melodeonboy 04 Apr 08 - 06:16 PM
GUEST,glueman 04 Apr 08 - 06:00 PM
Big Al Whittle 04 Apr 08 - 05:42 PM
Big Al Whittle 04 Apr 08 - 05:31 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Apr 08 - 04:56 PM
melodeonboy 04 Apr 08 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice) 04 Apr 08 - 03:05 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Apr 08 - 02:53 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 Apr 08 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 04 Apr 08 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,glueman 04 Apr 08 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 04 Apr 08 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,glueman 04 Apr 08 - 01:20 PM
The Borchester Echo 04 Apr 08 - 01:00 PM
GUEST 04 Apr 08 - 12:50 PM
TheSnail 04 Apr 08 - 12:38 PM
The Borchester Echo 04 Apr 08 - 12:15 PM
TheSnail 04 Apr 08 - 11:57 AM
Brian Peters 04 Apr 08 - 11:14 AM
TheSnail 04 Apr 08 - 10:39 AM
Brian Peters 04 Apr 08 - 10:21 AM
Brian Peters 04 Apr 08 - 10:15 AM
TheSnail 04 Apr 08 - 10:07 AM
TheSnail 04 Apr 08 - 09:55 AM
Ruth Archer 04 Apr 08 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Jon 04 Apr 08 - 08:51 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 Apr 08 - 08:46 AM
TheSnail 04 Apr 08 - 08:16 AM
Brian Peters 04 Apr 08 - 08:08 AM
Brian Peters 04 Apr 08 - 08:04 AM
theleveller 04 Apr 08 - 07:56 AM
GUEST, Sminky 04 Apr 08 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Jon 04 Apr 08 - 06:38 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 04 Apr 08 - 06:30 AM
Ruth Archer 04 Apr 08 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,sorry cant resist 04 Apr 08 - 06:25 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 Apr 08 - 06:22 AM
TheSnail 04 Apr 08 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Jon 04 Apr 08 - 06:12 AM
TheSnail 04 Apr 08 - 05:56 AM
GUEST, Sminky 04 Apr 08 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 04 Apr 08 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,Jon 04 Apr 08 - 05:33 AM
TheSnail 04 Apr 08 - 05:30 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 04 Apr 08 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,Jon 04 Apr 08 - 04:58 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 04 Apr 08 - 03:36 AM
theleveller 04 Apr 08 - 03:11 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Apr 08 - 02:22 AM
GUEST,Jon 03 Apr 08 - 10:59 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 03 Apr 08 - 09:07 PM
GUEST,Jon 03 Apr 08 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,glueman 03 Apr 08 - 06:25 PM
Herga Kitty 03 Apr 08 - 05:35 PM
Captain Ginger 03 Apr 08 - 05:30 PM
melodeonboy 03 Apr 08 - 05:11 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 03 Apr 08 - 04:52 PM
GUEST 03 Apr 08 - 04:48 PM
The Borchester Echo 03 Apr 08 - 04:21 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 03 Apr 08 - 03:47 PM
GUEST 03 Apr 08 - 03:26 PM
The Borchester Echo 03 Apr 08 - 03:00 PM
Dave Earl 03 Apr 08 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Tom 03 Apr 08 - 02:32 PM
The Borchester Echo 03 Apr 08 - 02:25 PM
henryclem 03 Apr 08 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 03 Apr 08 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Jon 03 Apr 08 - 02:00 PM
Captain Ginger 03 Apr 08 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Jon 03 Apr 08 - 01:55 PM
The Borchester Echo 03 Apr 08 - 01:29 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Apr 08 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 03 Apr 08 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,TB 03 Apr 08 - 01:04 PM
TheSnail 03 Apr 08 - 12:57 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Apr 08 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 03 Apr 08 - 12:51 PM
TheSnail 03 Apr 08 - 12:50 PM
TheSnail 03 Apr 08 - 12:20 PM
Grab 03 Apr 08 - 12:19 PM
Banjiman 03 Apr 08 - 12:03 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 Apr 08 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 03 Apr 08 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Jon 03 Apr 08 - 11:26 AM
Captain Ginger 03 Apr 08 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 03 Apr 08 - 11:11 AM
Dave the Gnome 03 Apr 08 - 10:59 AM
Banjiman 03 Apr 08 - 10:35 AM
Folkiedave 03 Apr 08 - 10:22 AM
TheSnail 03 Apr 08 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,Leonidas 03 Apr 08 - 10:15 AM
Banjiman 03 Apr 08 - 10:09 AM
Folkiedave 03 Apr 08 - 09:56 AM
TheSnail 03 Apr 08 - 09:42 AM
melodeonboy 03 Apr 08 - 09:17 AM
Ruth Archer 03 Apr 08 - 09:15 AM
Folkiedave 03 Apr 08 - 08:36 AM
Grab 03 Apr 08 - 08:01 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Apr 08 - 07:54 AM
The Borchester Echo 03 Apr 08 - 07:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 03 Apr 08 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 03 Apr 08 - 07:28 AM
TheSnail 03 Apr 08 - 07:12 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Apr 08 - 07:10 AM
Dave Earl 03 Apr 08 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 03 Apr 08 - 06:37 AM
The Borchester Echo 03 Apr 08 - 06:32 AM
TheSnail 03 Apr 08 - 05:58 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer 03 Apr 08 - 05:16 AM
GUEST 03 Apr 08 - 04:37 AM
Banjiman 03 Apr 08 - 03:04 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Apr 08 - 09:35 PM
Suegorgeous 02 Apr 08 - 08:21 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 02 Apr 08 - 06:41 PM
Richard Bridge 02 Apr 08 - 05:25 PM
TheSnail 02 Apr 08 - 05:13 PM
Folkiedave 02 Apr 08 - 04:33 PM
Herga Kitty 02 Apr 08 - 03:55 PM
Ruth Archer 02 Apr 08 - 03:38 PM
Folkiedave 02 Apr 08 - 03:27 PM
Ruth Archer 02 Apr 08 - 03:21 PM
John MacKenzie 02 Apr 08 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 02 Apr 08 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 02 Apr 08 - 01:53 PM
The Borchester Echo 02 Apr 08 - 01:45 PM
John MacKenzie 02 Apr 08 - 01:42 PM
The Borchester Echo 02 Apr 08 - 01:41 PM
Banjiman 02 Apr 08 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 02 Apr 08 - 01:29 PM
The Borchester Echo 02 Apr 08 - 01:13 PM
Richard Bridge 02 Apr 08 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice) 02 Apr 08 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,Jon 02 Apr 08 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer 02 Apr 08 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Jon 02 Apr 08 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer 02 Apr 08 - 12:12 PM
The Borchester Echo 02 Apr 08 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Jon 02 Apr 08 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer 02 Apr 08 - 10:37 AM
GUEST 02 Apr 08 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Jon 02 Apr 08 - 10:09 AM
The Borchester Echo 02 Apr 08 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,Jon 02 Apr 08 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer 02 Apr 08 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,Jon 02 Apr 08 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer 02 Apr 08 - 09:12 AM
GUEST 02 Apr 08 - 09:02 AM
Ruth Archer 02 Apr 08 - 08:49 AM
theleveller 02 Apr 08 - 08:47 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Apr 08 - 08:16 AM
Banjiman 02 Apr 08 - 07:42 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Apr 08 - 07:25 AM
Folkiedave 02 Apr 08 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 02 Apr 08 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,Jon 02 Apr 08 - 05:58 AM
Banjiman 02 Apr 08 - 05:44 AM
Captain Ginger 02 Apr 08 - 05:36 AM
theleveller 02 Apr 08 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 02 Apr 08 - 05:24 AM
GUEST,Jon 02 Apr 08 - 05:19 AM
Banjiman 02 Apr 08 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 02 Apr 08 - 04:46 AM
Captain Ginger 02 Apr 08 - 04:44 AM
Captain Ginger 02 Apr 08 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 02 Apr 08 - 04:22 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Apr 08 - 04:20 AM
The Borchester Echo 02 Apr 08 - 04:19 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Apr 08 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 02 Apr 08 - 03:47 AM
The Borchester Echo 02 Apr 08 - 02:47 AM
The Borchester Echo 02 Apr 08 - 02:34 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Apr 08 - 07:33 PM
Ruth Archer 01 Apr 08 - 07:13 PM
Herga Kitty 01 Apr 08 - 06:58 PM
Ruth Archer 01 Apr 08 - 06:44 PM
John MacKenzie 01 Apr 08 - 06:43 PM
Herga Kitty 01 Apr 08 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 01 Apr 08 - 06:34 PM
John MacKenzie 01 Apr 08 - 06:21 PM
Folkiedave 01 Apr 08 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 01 Apr 08 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 01 Apr 08 - 06:09 PM
MikeofNorthumbria 01 Apr 08 - 06:06 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Apr 08 - 06:03 PM
John MacKenzie 01 Apr 08 - 05:52 PM
Herga Kitty 01 Apr 08 - 05:48 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Apr 08 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 01 Apr 08 - 05:37 PM
MikeofNorthumbria 01 Apr 08 - 05:36 PM
Teribus 01 Apr 08 - 05:19 PM
Herga Kitty 01 Apr 08 - 04:55 PM
Ruth Archer 01 Apr 08 - 04:46 PM
Herga Kitty 01 Apr 08 - 04:39 PM
The Borchester Echo 01 Apr 08 - 07:10 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Apr 08 - 06:40 AM
The Borchester Echo 01 Apr 08 - 06:04 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 01 Apr 08 - 05:55 AM
Ruth Archer 01 Apr 08 - 05:49 AM
melodeonboy 01 Apr 08 - 05:45 AM
GUEST,Liam 01 Apr 08 - 05:28 AM
TheSnail 01 Apr 08 - 05:27 AM
Melissa 01 Apr 08 - 05:21 AM
GUEST,Tom 01 Apr 08 - 05:09 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Apr 08 - 04:52 AM
Melissa 01 Apr 08 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,Jon 01 Apr 08 - 04:41 AM
Melissa 01 Apr 08 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Tom 01 Apr 08 - 04:38 AM
Melissa 01 Apr 08 - 04:36 AM
Dave Roberts 01 Apr 08 - 04:34 AM
Joe Offer 01 Apr 08 - 04:33 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 01 Apr 08 - 04:29 AM
Folkiedave 01 Apr 08 - 04:25 AM
Melissa 01 Apr 08 - 04:20 AM
John MacKenzie 01 Apr 08 - 04:19 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 01 Apr 08 - 04:18 AM
Melissa 01 Apr 08 - 04:17 AM
Captain Ginger 01 Apr 08 - 04:04 AM
peregrina 01 Apr 08 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 01 Apr 08 - 04:02 AM
Captain Ginger 01 Apr 08 - 03:53 AM
akenaton 01 Apr 08 - 03:45 AM
theleveller 01 Apr 08 - 03:39 AM
peregrina 01 Apr 08 - 03:22 AM
Melissa 01 Apr 08 - 03:12 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 01 Apr 08 - 02:58 AM
Melissa 01 Apr 08 - 02:37 AM
Gene Burton 01 Apr 08 - 02:07 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Apr 08 - 01:11 AM
Teribus 01 Apr 08 - 01:00 AM
The Borchester Echo 31 Mar 08 - 11:25 PM
Richard Bridge 31 Mar 08 - 07:05 PM
Folkiedave 31 Mar 08 - 06:47 PM
Folkiedave 31 Mar 08 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 31 Mar 08 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 31 Mar 08 - 06:29 PM
TheSnail 31 Mar 08 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 31 Mar 08 - 06:12 PM
Herga Kitty 31 Mar 08 - 06:08 PM
TheSnail 31 Mar 08 - 05:57 PM
Herga Kitty 31 Mar 08 - 05:52 PM
TheSnail 31 Mar 08 - 05:49 PM
TheSnail 31 Mar 08 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 31 Mar 08 - 05:44 PM
Ruth Archer 31 Mar 08 - 05:21 PM
Suegorgeous 31 Mar 08 - 05:18 PM
The Borchester Echo 31 Mar 08 - 04:46 PM
Herga Kitty 31 Mar 08 - 04:46 PM
Gene Burton 31 Mar 08 - 04:45 PM
Harmonium Hero 31 Mar 08 - 04:30 PM
Richard Bridge 31 Mar 08 - 04:29 PM
Herga Kitty 31 Mar 08 - 04:18 PM
Herga Kitty 31 Mar 08 - 04:12 PM
Richard Bridge 31 Mar 08 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 31 Mar 08 - 04:10 PM
Banjiman 31 Mar 08 - 04:07 PM
Herga Kitty 31 Mar 08 - 04:01 PM
TheSnail 31 Mar 08 - 04:00 PM
Gene Burton 31 Mar 08 - 03:51 PM
TheSnail 31 Mar 08 - 03:27 PM
Gene Burton 31 Mar 08 - 02:39 PM
peregrina 31 Mar 08 - 02:04 PM
Ruth Archer 31 Mar 08 - 01:55 PM
Melissa 31 Mar 08 - 01:50 PM
Ruth Archer 31 Mar 08 - 01:48 PM
Folkiedave 31 Mar 08 - 01:45 PM
Folkiedave 31 Mar 08 - 01:44 PM
Harmonium Hero 31 Mar 08 - 01:32 PM
The Borchester Echo 31 Mar 08 - 01:32 PM
John MacKenzie 31 Mar 08 - 01:15 PM
Melissa 31 Mar 08 - 01:14 PM
The Borchester Echo 31 Mar 08 - 01:04 PM
Richard Bridge 31 Mar 08 - 12:56 PM
Folkiedave 31 Mar 08 - 12:48 PM
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The Borchester Echo 31 Mar 08 - 12:04 PM
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GUEST,Tom Bliss 31 Mar 08 - 11:51 AM
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The Borchester Echo 31 Mar 08 - 11:40 AM
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GUEST,Gene on lunch 31 Mar 08 - 08:01 AM
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Ruth Archer 31 Mar 08 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 31 Mar 08 - 04:58 AM
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Richard Bridge 31 Mar 08 - 03:35 AM
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Dave Hanson 31 Mar 08 - 01:05 AM
Ythanside 30 Mar 08 - 09:29 PM
Richard Bridge 30 Mar 08 - 09:15 PM
gnomad 30 Mar 08 - 08:54 PM
Folk Form # 1 30 Mar 08 - 08:47 PM
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peregrina 30 Mar 08 - 06:55 PM
Gene Burton 30 Mar 08 - 06:55 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 06:52 PM
peregrina 30 Mar 08 - 06:44 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 06:39 PM
Melissa 30 Mar 08 - 06:34 PM
Suegorgeous 30 Mar 08 - 06:28 PM
Gene Burton 30 Mar 08 - 06:23 PM
Melissa 30 Mar 08 - 06:21 PM
Suegorgeous 30 Mar 08 - 06:05 PM
Dave the Gnome 30 Mar 08 - 05:52 PM
Melissa 30 Mar 08 - 05:49 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 05:45 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 30 Mar 08 - 05:41 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Mar 08 - 05:33 PM
Art Thieme 30 Mar 08 - 05:32 PM
Richard Bridge 30 Mar 08 - 05:32 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 05:28 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 30 Mar 08 - 05:20 PM
Gene Burton 30 Mar 08 - 05:16 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Mar 08 - 05:16 PM
GUEST 30 Mar 08 - 05:14 PM
the lemonade lady 30 Mar 08 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice 30 Mar 08 - 04:57 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 04:57 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 04:55 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 04:51 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 30 Mar 08 - 04:51 PM
tijuanatime 30 Mar 08 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice 30 Mar 08 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice 30 Mar 08 - 04:44 PM
Megan L 30 Mar 08 - 04:44 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 04:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Mar 08 - 04:35 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Mar 08 - 04:30 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 30 Mar 08 - 04:23 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 03:41 PM
Gulliver 30 Mar 08 - 03:24 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 03:17 PM
Folkiedave 30 Mar 08 - 03:10 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 03:08 PM
katlaughing 30 Mar 08 - 03:02 PM
tijuanatime 30 Mar 08 - 03:00 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 02:58 PM
Mary Humphreys 30 Mar 08 - 02:55 PM
Gene Burton 30 Mar 08 - 02:53 PM
Mr Red 30 Mar 08 - 02:51 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Mar 08 - 02:50 PM
tijuanatime 30 Mar 08 - 02:47 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 02:45 PM
RTim 30 Mar 08 - 02:42 PM
GUEST 30 Mar 08 - 02:31 PM
sapper82 30 Mar 08 - 02:28 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 02:26 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 02:25 PM
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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 08:07 PM

Mudstock.....

I came upon a child of Thirsk.....


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 07:54 PM

I think this merits a new renamed thread.

S


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Earl
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 07:35 PM

OK lets see what another set of ideas can produce.

Publish what you have in mind and we will respond accordingly.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 04:36 PM

Elsewhere on Mudcat there are two threads from people admitting that they actually run a folk club, South Shields and Barnsley. God help us all - this thing might just catch on:-)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 03:47 PM

Can I reserve a ticket, please?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 11:41 AM

...and I've replied with my initial thoughts.

I think dreams are good things!

Off to twang a few country tunes on my banjo now.

Yeeehaaaw


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 11:40 AM

I'll go!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 11:20 AM

I've PMed Paul outlining the logistics.

(There's no harm in dreams . . . )


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 10:38 AM

Diane,

If you are at all serious about organising a festival in Thirsk (I had assumed your tongue was firmly in your cheek), please drop me a line and I will do whatever I can to help.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 06:29 AM

"Festivals and concerts with professional artistes are fine – we all enjoy them – but, to my mind, amateur musicians and singers performing traditional (and other) material at a social event is a damn sight more inspiring than a DJ or a bloody karaoke machine."

Absolutely correct, Leveller. In fact any live music of any sort is a damn sight more inspiring than a DJ or a bloody karaoke machine. IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 05:34 AM

OK, you can knock the idea of some mates getting together for a singaround at a party as a bunch of GEFFs making a racket, but it can also be good for promoting folk music to a wider audience.

We recently had a belated housewarming party (after 6 years of renovations), which we held in the village hall, just across the road, as well as in the house. We invited half the village and people from our folk clubs, who played and sang into the early hours. Afterwards, even those who weren't into folk music said how much they'd enjoyed it and asked when were we going to do it again; the village hall committee thought it would be a great idea for a fund-raising event; and a couple of people told us later that they'd been inspired to take up singing again when they saw how much fun we were having.

Festivals and concerts with professional artistes are fine – we all enjoy them – but, to my mind, amateur musicians and singers performing traditional (and other) material at a social event is a damn sight more inspiring than a DJ or a bloody karaoke machine.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 05:04 AM

Blimey, chaps, thanks.
Backing for my ideas on this thread is a rarity indeed.
Maybe I won't drop the notion after all.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 04:57 AM

The cookie monster is on the prowl. That was me.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 04:57 AM

"Go for it, Diane. The more people actually organising events rather than sitting in their armchairs hurling abuse at those who do, the better."

Seconded. I'll be there if it ever happens, GEFF or no GEFF. :-)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 04:54 AM

There are many **excellent musicians** in Nashville (the real one).

Not sure about Thirsk, never having been there, but I'll bet there are a few (as there are in many of our towns and villages - they just don't come out to play, possibly for fear of being adjudged by the SEAs as 'Not Good Enough' - it's not every talented individual that has a hide of leather). :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 04:36 AM

My dream about a race course "festival" involved a totally inside-out structure whereby participants had to work hard all day to achieve results showcased in the evening ceilidhs.
Only bands consisting of excellent musicians capable of running these workshops would be booked.
They'd nominate workshop participants who could to play along for dancing later.
Meanwhile there'd be dance and voice workshops to assess participants for spots in the breaks.
Absolutely no GEFFs or wannabe popstars. Any strays from the 3 Tuns would be redirected to some barn somewhere.
But aaaagh, the thought of looming ASBOs served by local farmers because of the racket in the barn?
Would they believe us when we protested "nowt to do with us guv?"
Is Matthew Parris a local magistrate?
Nah, far too much bother.
I'll start seeking a location well removed from Thirsk, the Nashville of the North.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 04:20 AM

...it's OK, there are plenty of toadstools to sit on - and we're all fun guys.

Just seen a wonderful cartoon in the latest issue of The New Statesman: two men are looking out of a window at a group of alley cats, each with its own music stand and music. One guy is saying to the other, "Oh they're professional alright, but they still make a heck of a racket….


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 04:13 AM

If it gets crowded, I bet theres not mushroom in there.....


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 03:23 AM

"local farmers and farm labourers gathered in a barn at the end of each week, in harvest season, and sung songs whilst consuming copious amounts of ale...... and all present were expected to sing whether talented or not....haven't things changed"

Not really, Georgiansilver; sounds just like the two folk clubs I go to. The only difference is that we usually meet in a pub. We do still have parties like this - usually in an old mushroom shed owned by the local vet. That's what I mean when I say folk music should be FUN!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 02:26 AM

Sue - I think "My main problem here is that Kitty seems to be someone who sings folk songs rather than being a folk-singer" was intended as a criticism. Especially as it was followed by "That Tim Laycock is a folk-singer is beyond doubt! He's been to most places and done most things…..He is joined throughout, by his colleagues from the New Scorpion Band, resulting in a thoughtful, pleasing and authentic album from Dorsetshire's best". It's all true, of course!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 08:59 PM

Kitty

Is that really a criticism? doesn't that just mean that they're saying you've put your own interpretation on folk songs, rather than copying a style? which in my mind is preferable...

Sue


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 07:30 PM

'What qualifications does one neeed to be a Folk critic these days.'

You have to cultured and urbane, full of wit and good humour - but with an icy determination to 'isolate quality' - as FR Leavis said.
Not unlike myself.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 06:18 PM

Having taken my first look at this thread...I start to wonder if all is well with catters or maybe the FOLK world in general?....seems to me that a lot of people are setting themselves up as some kind of 'authority' on Folk music. What qualifications does one neeed to be a Folk critic these days.
I remember the time when all the local farmers and farm labourers gathered in a barn at the end of each week, in harvest season, and sung songs whilst consuming copious amounts of ale...... and all present were expected to sing whether talented or not....haven't things changed...I mean some peoples expectations have changed....sad eh?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 05:53 PM

Diane,

"I had one of those dreams when you're almost awake but not altogether sure if you are, in which I was hiring the Thirsk racecourse for a festival weekend."

That would be great, we might learn something about how to present "tradart". I'm sure it would be a sell out with you involved Diane.

Cordially

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 05:33 PM

I too worked in the C# shop some evenings and weekends then, but elsewhere in the House during the day. I still have no recollection of meeting you there but Kevin tells me I must have done.

At City University it was an absolute riot. I seem to recall that the Peelers and Flowers & Frolics were somehow involved.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 05:04 PM

Diane - the London festival at C# House was where I met Kevin Sheils and Clive Woolf... Kevin was running the shop! Moved to City University when Mike Bettison was involved in running the festival?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 05:00 PM

If you agreed to sing with the Thirskville cowboys you might just achieve GEFF status.
I had one of those dreams when you're almost awake but not altogether sure if you are, in which I was hiring the Thirsk racecourse for a festival weekend.
But I really don't think I'll be bothering.

Those London Festivals @ C# were a bit of a shambles (I don't mean you, Kitty, I don't remember you being there) but jolly good over at City University. I wonder why City (or even Guildhall) don't do them now?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 04:45 PM

Well, having been officially trashed in the Living Tradition
as "someone who sings folk songs rather than being a folk-singer", though "having obviously served (my) time", but having been selected in 2 successive years as a teenager to sing at the EFDSS-run London Folk Festival at Cecil Sharp House on the bill with the High Level Ranters and the Fureys, am I GEFF?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 03:15 PM

Hi Tootler,

I saw Terry last week at Burneston Folk Club, he said the session had folded.......sad to see it go even though we didn't frequent it often.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Tootler
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 02:56 PM

Hello Tootling person, I didn't "insult" the cowboy twangers.

Ah! but you did

On this thread

How dare you insult the way in which I assess the amenities (or lack thereof) of my ancestral town in which I have a right to go and live in if I want to?
Which I don't. The music is far too crap.


How's that for petulance?!!

Banjiman

Hello there! I thought the Three Tuns session had moved round the corner to the Lord Nelson, but when I checked the website, there was just a link to Terry Starr's myspace page, so it looks like the session has folded completely.

I think I remember your missus the last couple of times I went.

Hope to meet you again sometime.

Cheers


GE(O)FF and proud of it.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 11:00 AM

Walkabout (re: 07:26 post) - you forgot the 'In the night garden' Wapperflapper fiddle and 'The Tweenies' applewobble fiddle.

I must be watching too much cbeebies !

I live in Merseyside and I think things are pretty good here. When I organise a gig, there are about 20 clubs/ sessions within the Merseyside/ Lancashire area that I send flyers too, and all seem established, long running, well attended etc. Going tomorrow night to see Bella Hardy at The Clarence in Preston, I'll do a survey.

Rich


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 09:27 AM

No Diane, it was Captain Ginger who said "a beacon of excellence". You said "well-run and an excellent shop window for trad music.".

I do seem to recall someone singing from a book recently. Let me think. Oh yes, it was the Copper Family.

What's needed is to persuade them there's a lot more to it and it can be better,

Perhaps you'd like to lead by example, Diane, instead of repeatedly saying how awful it is. You seem to think Matthew Parris is right.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 09:15 AM

Oops, "saying they're wrong . . . "

(I must not type faster than I can think).


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 08:59 AM

a beacon of excellence

I doubt very much if I'd go that far when describing the Lewes Arms after the visit I have not yet made. One fly in the ointment is bound to be the prat of a concertina player who can't stop telling everyone that he is the way, the truth and the light etc etc.

"F*lk clubs" always have (at least) one, usually several in a clique (called "the committee") who are responsible for letting their GEFF mates on week after week with their wonky ring binders of lyrics (which they never memorise . . . wot, we're amateurs) to bore the pants off regulars and put newcomers off what they've been led to believe is "trad music" for life.

Probably Matthew Parris has never been to one of these quaint, oh-so-outdated gatherings, but he and similar detractors acquired their widespread antipathy to the tradarts somewhere.

Absolutely no point in just saying their wrong. What's needed is to persuade them there's a lot more to it and it can be better, indeed wonderful when properly presented and performed. As it is in some places but not others.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 08:17 AM

Captain Ginger

I've made my suggestions, Mr Snail.

Just had a look through your posts and all I can find is your suggestions that all floor singers should be auditioned and that audiences should be encouraged to tell performers they are crap both of which I think we would find unnacceptable. Any thing else?

Diane Easby

Snail, it's your continual blinkered eulogy of how everything in the Sussex country garden is lovely

On the contrary, it is you and Captain Ginger that insist that we are a beacon of excellence in a sea of mediocrity. (Funny that if you think we are so good you've never payed us a visit having been to "not all that far short of every venue on this island".) Where are all these terrible clubs? Where is the Land of the GEFFs? If you don't want to say on list, PM me.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 08:00 AM

And I claim section 13! Hope it's not unlucky...

:D


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 07:39 AM

And, just for childishness - 600!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 07:36 AM

Snail, it's your continual blinkered eulogy of how everything in the Sussex country garden is lovely that's no use to anyone.
Walkabouts Verse, if you want to talk about violins around the world, do start a different thread. I'll play, but it would get lost in here.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 07:34 AM

I've made my suggestions, Mr Snail.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 07:26 AM

Copy/pasted straight from my myspace Monthly Message -

Playing THE Fiddle?

There are many different fiddles from many different lands – for example, the Chinese erhu fiddle, the Norwegian hardanger fiddle and, the one most in the West now play, the Italian fiddle/violin.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 07:24 AM

Captain Ginger, come up with some positive suggestions. Your continual lament about how terrible things are is no use to anyone.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 07:18 AM

Bye.

Now, let's get back to discussing fiddlesingers Eliza Carthy and Jim Eldon.
Nowt to do with the topic but FAR more interesting and less parochial.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Earl
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 07:12 AM

Diane

You are wrong in your assess ment of we who are involved at the Lewes Arms.

We do have experience of places outside Lewes- granted that you app to have much more.

We have been to other places (clubs, Festivals,concerts) and we do not claim that our "one little pub" is unique just that the way we do it works and that we do not hold to what you call GEFF. I think our standards are pretty high really.

As well as what I do at Sidmouth I attend and work for other Festivals and the band ,of which Bryan is 1/3rd ( " Spare Parts ")have been booked to do their thing at Major Festivals.

So. You know what YOU know (and in at least some areas that's not quite as much as you may think) and based on the experience you have strongly held views - Fine I can live with that.

Just express your view with a less of a "put down" for those with differing ideas please.

Bryan I think we've held our end up long enough shall we give 'em their thread back?

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 07:04 AM

Something (a slimy garden pest?) ate a line from my last post.

I was merely (as far as I can remember) pointing out, as someone has already done, that the parlous state of the past-sell-by "f*lk club" circuit has little relevance to what Matthew Parris said. He's most probably never been to one, or even heard of them, in which he is quite fortunate. I, on the other hand, have been to . . . ooh, hundreds though not always willingly.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 07:02 AM

Diane Easby

Thus I consider myself in a rather more informed position to pontificate

And you do. By God, you do.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 06:54 AM

I don't think anyone here would argue that everything at the Lewes Arms is pretty near perfection, and that precocious toddlers are tottering in on a weekly basis to show of their skills on the McCann duet while gifted amateurs of all ages join in with gusto.
But that's completely beside the point.
The point being made is the the club circuit in general and overall is - in the opinions of some (myself included) - a poor advert for the world of traditional music, and is unlikely to attract and retain the young musicians and singers it once did.
Secondly, there seems to be a lack of self-assessment and plain pride in the material among many performers which, to the non-folk world, comes across as bumbling amateurishness rather than the work of talented amateurs.
The third point - the ramifications of folk's inclusivity and 'come all ye' nature - are perhaps too pointed to debate here without sparking the sort of personal attacks that do no-one any favours.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 06:28 AM

You may, of course suit yourself about who you take seriously. Given that you base everything on what happens in one little Sussex town where Bright Phoebus always shines, I think most will realise that your experience, though seemingly idyllic, is a tad limited.

You are, for example, in no position to make a blank declaration that I "never actually go to a f*lk club" because you don't know who I am in the first place. Wearing a variety of hats (though never a Breton Cap) I have attended not all that far short of every venue on this island (not to mention lots of mainland European ones) over the years, whether as performer (long ago), driver of other acts, folk directory compiler or reviewer.

Thus I consider myself in a rather more informed position to pontificate to this thread) than someone who has been to one pub in Lewes and another in Sidmouth. Matthew Parris draws his prejudice from one hearing of one recorded trad singer. Is your "experience" drawn from a pool that is any deeper?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 06:03 AM

Breton Cap

But what more would you have us do Diane?
.....
So where would you have us go?


I think, Dave, that she would have us go away because we don't fit her model of the parlous state of folk music. The idea of a successful folk club where the organisers, audience, floor singers and booked artists all thoroughly enjoy themselves pains her enormously. She tries to get round it by claiming that we are unique and all other folk clubs in the land are populated by GEFFs and snigger-snoggers. Since she never actually goes to a folk club, it's hard to see how she knows this.

Actually, it doesn't matter in the slightest what she thinks because nobody takes her seriously. She's just a useful foil to bounce ideas off.

Still musing over the idea that she doesn't tell other people what they should do.

By the way, Diane, snails are gastropods not crustaceans.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 05:01 AM

You're right - it's nice to see some of the English rap artists, not to mention Lily Allen, kate Nash and Mike Skinner, doing so well in adapting the artform.

:)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 04:42 AM

That more people in England prefer American-rap, e.g., to English-folk is ridiculous, and can only have resulted from huge-hype. But thank God that, at last, something of a native-fightback has begun.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 04:06 AM

I can't see any great contradiction between Jim Eldon and Eliza Carthy. Each is an excellent, self-taught musician who puts great store on presentation: Jim always dresses up for a gig because he believes his audience deserves it and Eliza does the same with an array of jolly nice boots and hair hues.

You'd get a better contrast by citing that violinist who operated midway between the two on the Yorkshire coast in Scarborough, Max Jaffa and his oh so smooth trio.

Both are consummately "professional" and I'd never say Eliza wasn't "rough": she can do rough when she wants, she plays for ritual sword dance and even called an album Rough Music. I have a more-or-less equal amount of material on my shelves from both of them.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 03:39 AM

Diane (and others) I'd be interested to know how style and context fit into your idea of "professionalism". For example, take two professional folk artistes: Eliza Carthy and Jim Eldon 'The Brid Fiddler'. Both hail from roughly the same are (the East Riding), both are steeped in the musical tradition of that area, both play the fiddle. Eliza is polished, sonorous and would probably be what the general public would expect if they were paying to hear a folk artiste. Jim, who earns a large proportion of his livelihood playing on the Bridlington pleasure boats, is, by comparison, much rougher and more 'down to earth' in his style. Mr Parris would probably refer to this as ghastly caterwauling but it could be considered much truer to the tradition than Eliza's style. Same material; differnt approach. Who is the more "professional"?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 08:47 PM

Diane

Even if new players and singers came out of their bedrooms note/key/lyric/everything else perfect, all chances are they'd still give a flawed/mediocre performance - if they haven't also had the opportunity to actually do their thing in front of an audience. Performance skills are just as key to "being good enough", and those you can only acquire by doing it on the job. To me, that's partly what folk clubs are about. If I don't want to see performers-in-progress, I can choose to go to a concert or festival.

Matthew Parris didn't even mention folk clubs - he's probably never set foot in one. If all the flawed folk performers in the country fell under a bus tomorrow, it's likely he'd STILL hate folk music - I think that's all he's talking about, a personal taste. (Ill-advised to express it quite so venomously on the radio though, granted.)

Sue


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 06:17 PM

Hi Tootler, how are you doing?

Diane, I was quite aware who you were talking to in your previous post....I was just having a little fun.

If you are in the land of your birth again and it happens to coincide with the 3rd Saturday of the month and you feel like listening to a little quality music please pop along to KFFC.

You'll be made very welcome and you don't have to go to the singaround if that's not your taste (that's why it is in a separate room before and after the main acts) but you'll probably be surprised by the quality of the acts in the main concert part of the evening (in a good way I mean). Personally I enjoy the singarounds but fully respect that not everyone does.

I went to the Thirsk session once as well, it has now folded (due to the pub being bought by Weatherspoons) meaning there is now very little live music in Thirsk......which can't be a good thing even if it is not to your tastes.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 05:18 PM

Hello Tootling person, I didn't "insult" the cowboy twangers.
I didn't actually speak to anyone.
I stayed for a couple of tunes then walked out again.
And I went there for a purpose: I was thinking about going to live in the area.
I didn't.

How dare you insult the way in which I assess the amenities (or lack thereof) of my ancestral town in which I have a right to go and live in if I want to?
Which I don't. The music is far too crap.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Tootler
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 05:08 PM

But I dropped into a Thirsk session a couple of years ago and lasted half an hour. It was dominated by out-of-tune guitarists thrashing out C&W.

That is an utterly reprehensible remark. On a par with that of Matthew Parrish. Just because the music they play was not to your taste is no excuse to insult them.

I used to go to that session and while I drifted away because I was more interested in traditional material, I found them friendly and welcoming. Remember these people that you are slagging off in this way are, for the most part, simply enjoying an evening out playing the music they enjoy with people who share their tastes. I think this is true of many people who go to folk clubs and the nay-sayers in this discussion will do well to remember this when they are complaining about the "dreadful standards".

If that's not a format you like, then don't go there, but don't insult those of us who enjoy the participatory aspect of folk music and who go to folk clubs for that purpose.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 03:55 PM

In 1968 I was trying to play like Jimi Hendrix AND like Martin Carthy.
Why not? They were both doing new and exciting things with music.
I saw (and still don't see) any reason to discriminate and separate them out.
Of course, you couldn't ask the former his opinion nowadays.
But I'm pretty damn sure Martin Carthy agrees.
You could ask him at your workshop.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 03:47 PM

Well, youngish and smug Paul, I can see your reading age hasn't escalated since you were 3. I was talking to the man in the hat about 1968, as indicated in my post of 03.16, and assuming we were both "f*lk club luminaries" when such a thing was cool and trendy.

Hey, I'd left the ancestral land where you now dwell before you were even born. More than a decade previously, I'd been learning tunes from my grandfather who'd been a North Yorkshire Morris and social dance musician before the First World War. I don't know anything about your club. But I dropped into a Thirsk session a couple of years ago and lasted half an hour. It was dominated by out-of-tune guitarists thrashing out C&W.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Earl
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 03:29 PM

Diane,

"did in 1968 isn't what people who are the age we were then are doing today."

Actually in that year I was just abut fed up with what was current pop/rock stuff and looking for something else. Guess what i found in the upstairs room of a pub?

Dave

ps I don't play games with your name - a little courtesy would't go amiss


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 03:26 PM

"What I (and probably you) did in 1968 isn't what people who are the age we were then are doing today."

Oh I don't know, I don't think the options for 3 year olds have changed that much..........

Paul (feeling youngish and smug!)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 03:16 PM

The Crustacean said: "stop telling them they shouldn't do what we do"

Eh? I haven't told them (by whom you seem to mean young musicians) not to do (or to do) anything. They are (frighteningly) capable of thinking for themselves.

Hat Man

Don't take this personally (though I'm quite sure you won't be breaking the habit of a lifetime, and you will). I'm really not here to tell you what to do, and I haven't. It's your club, you think it's perfect, I believe it's probably better than most. Just get on with it.

My view (and I'm far, far from alone) is that the world has quite obviously moved on. What I (and probably you) did in 1968 isn't what people who are the age we were then are doing today.

Or, to be more precise, they're not going about it the same way. I'm not telling you to move on. But you'll be a bit disappointed if you don't.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Earl
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 02:51 PM

But what more would you have us do Diane?

We put forward what we do as best we can in the belief that it is part of the preservation of the Tradition.

We've put on younger generation artists as well those still around from the 60's and most ages in between.

I think Ruth Archer makes a valid point about younger artists migrating to more "Traditional" sources and material.

Incidentaly, although their case is rather special, the Young Coppers are hardly ancient and what they do is about as traditional as you can get.

So where would you have us go?

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 02:47 PM

Sounds like a plan!

:)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 02:40 PM

Ruth,

.....and feel free to drop onto KFFC on the way back, I'm not that old and the club's not that bad!!!!!! They're on a Friday night and we're on a Saturday, how's that for a perfect weekend in the Northeast?

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 02:35 PM

Diane Easby

For gawd's sake stop telling them they should do what you do.

If you stop telling them they shouldn't do what we do, we might have a deal.

Must fly. Got a concertina session to run.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 02:30 PM

Banjiman, I got a brief taste of the Young 'uns at Glasson a couple of weeks ago, and thought they sounded really good. I didn't know they ran a club - good on them. If I'm near Hartlepool any time soon, I'll certainly make the effort to drop in.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 02:20 PM

Jon Boden was born in the US of A (Chicago I think) but grew up in Winchester (where the council gave him a grant to get his first violin).
So he has relatives in Sussex. Well so have I. And . . . ?

I know he's done Lewes Arms workshops. Everybody does. You never stop telling us.
He's done many other workshops all over the place. I've been at some.
I haven't been to any Lewes workshops because the train service from London and back is bloody awful (not your fault and Valmai did offer to find me a B&B),

I'm sure your club and your workshops are lovely.
But as already pointed out by others, untypical.
The era of the 60s f*lk club is way past its sell-by.
As others keep saying, they were fashionable once, 40 years ago.
Don't you remember your parents (or even grandparents) rabbitting on about how great whatever it was they used to fill their time with in the 1920s was?
And how bored you were because you were into . . . well, probably similar things but in a different setting?
Many young people nowadays are very interested in the tradarts and very knowledgable.
But they are going about it how and where they want to.
For gawd's sake stop telling them they should do what you do.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 02:04 PM

"That nice Mr Parris says so so it must be true."

On the contrary. Recorded music can be heard, chosen and bought. At a festival I can buy a ticket, stay at home or wander to the bar if I don't like something. Visit a folk club and I'm relying on someone else's discretion and singing ability.
It's guesswork but I get the feeling people who listen to local or national radio folk music programmes, buy CDs and download folk music and go to concerts aren't especially likely to go to folk clubs. I'm happy to try one again but I don't think it will be my cup of tea: basically I dont get them.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 01:59 PM

the quote:

'I last went in a folk club in 1975."

what glue man actually typed

No. Just as some Stones fans ended up on a trail that lead to Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, a few Winterset kids might finish up at Bert Lloyd but folk clubs will have to meet them half way which is probably not what folk clubs are about. My collection is large and growing and I last went in a folk club in 1975'

it says to me that glueman's adventures in folk music and the tradition have taken place outside of the context of folk clubs. He didn't say he's never been i na folk club just the last time he was in one was in 1975

Charlotte (the view from here)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 01:56 PM

Oh, and by the way, I don't remember folk clubs in the sixties (trendy or not), I'm too young.....just!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 01:53 PM

Breton Cap

Jon Boden of Bellowhead comes from / has family in the Lewes area

and did his first ever folk club booking at the Lewes Arms. He's been back since with John Spiers as part of our workshop series.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 01:49 PM

GUEST,glueman

I last went in a folk club in 1975.

I've noticed the recurring theme that the people who say how awful folk clubs are are eager to boast of the fact that they never actually set foot in one because, well, they're awful aren't they. Everybody knows that. That nice Mr Parris says so so it must be true.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 01:47 PM

Ruth,

I'd add The Pot House in Hartlepool run by The Young 'uns as another example of the younger generation doing it for themselves.....The Young 'uns are also a great act in their own right. We've had them at KFFC as well.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Earl
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 01:43 PM

Diane

"Just ponder on how so many people (of all ages) have not the slightest wish to go within a million miles of a "f*lk club"

Are you saying that those clubs that are successful are still getting it wrong?

The Arms and the Royal Oak in Lewes have been going for many years (having inherited what was held in other other "clubs" before, and they continue in there different ways to provide what the Sussex Folk Scene will turn out on a wet night for.

You know about our workshops - Why do you suppose Lewes Arms put them on? Could it be to strive for improvement in the singers and musicians who attend ? Your view being that the song/tune should only be presented when it can be "performed" in expert manner would seem to require that the "performer" does all in there power to do whatever it is "properly" _ Heres our workshop to help you down that road.

We've had fiddle workshops in the past. I think the violin is your instrument, so did you consider attending so that you can progress beyond "quite good"

We get it all to work for us and I can't see what it is that you think we should be doing. You sound as if you feel that some missionary work is needed and we think that what we offer is just a little bit like that.

We know that we are succeeding but don't claim to be totally unique in that. We see other clubs in our part of the world that do things rather differently but are successful in their own ways. Others in this thread have claimed some success for their club/session or whatever.

What you advocate is an ideal and some may commend that but presentations short of your requirements can still support the continuation of the Tradition.

Dave
btw did you know that Jon Boden of Bellowhead comes from / has family in the Lewes area - suggest anything to you?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 01:30 PM

"Just as some Stones fans ended up on a trail that lead to Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, a few Winterset kids might finish up at Bert Lloyd but folk clubs will have to meet them half way"

I think for a lot of people, that journey happens as they mature. So it might be a longer road, but those Winterset (or Rusby or Lakeman or Lau or Faustus or Mawkin) kids will grow up, and eventually end up not only at Lloyd, but at Larner and Cox and Mary Ann Haynes etc. I know it's what happened to me - it took almost 20 years for me to get right back to the source. I cite my lift analogy of many days (and posts) ago.

I have to say, though, there are one or two venues i've noticed cropping up that seem to offer a contemporary take on the folk club. Sam Lee's club, The Magpie's Nest, is one. There's also the green Note in Camden, which always has lots of good folky/rootsy posters in the window, and which I'm reliably informed doesn't seat more than about 50.

The thing about folk clubs in the 60s is that they were cool, and yuoung people ran them and went to them. These days kids have higher ecxpectations from the sorts of venues they go to, and like anyone else, they're attracted to places full of people like them. If a younger generation of folk enthusiasts doesn't take on the folk (or acoustic) club mantle, actively promoting and booking events themselves in the sorts of venues they would want to visit, I honestly can't see it lasting past the current generation.

But that's not to say there won't be young people enjoying folk music and dance. They'll just be doing it on their own terms.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 01:05 PM

....erm, I ain't kickin' nobody, I book "the kids" from Newcastle regularly....and in my experience a nicer and more talented bunch you couldn't meet.....and if they do make it to the main stage at festivals very quickly, best of luck to them.

Doesn't happen to everyone (most people) though (even those with the right qualifications AND undoubted talent) so other outlets for their talents are needed and appreciated....again in my experience.

I don't pretend for one minute that folk clubs are the only outlet (or should be) but there is no reason why they shouldn't be part of the make up of a thriving folk/ trad scene.

Our audience is older because those are the demographics of the area where we are based, plenty of under 18s and over 35s but not much between. We had a fair few youngsters at the weekend event we ran....where we offered indoor camping, otherwise we are difficult to get to.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 01:01 PM

"perhaps young people who are interested in folk (and yes, there are a fair few about) aren't all that interested in folk clubs"

True. I sense a wave of something on the tails of performers like Rachel Unthank which may well fill festivals and gigs but not folk clubs.

"Can the health of the folk club really still be held up as a yardstick for the health of the tradition?"

No. Just as some Stones fans ended up on a trail that lead to Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, a few Winterset kids might finish up at Bert Lloyd but folk clubs will have to meet them half way which is probably not what folk clubs are about. My collection is large and growing and I last went in a folk club in 1975.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: r.padgett
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 12:56 PM

Sheesh!

Just found this Matthew Parris thingy here!

Been posting on this elsewhere, taken a different turn there

Ray


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 12:48 PM

right qualifications?

I see. Back to the last resort of kicking in the heads of the kids in Gateshead.
Just because that can (and do) go straight to the main stage.
As if it was all about that.
I'm not going to repeat what Ruth has said.
Just ponder on how so many people (of all ages) have not the slightest wish to go within a million miles of a "f*lk club".
And why.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 12:42 PM

Diane,

Please............be civil. I really don't have an argument with you, it's really not all crap in the folk clubs though you know.

Participation, in the right setting, does lead to improved performances. You can't go straight from your bedroom to the main stage at a festival, even with the right qualifications.

Yours cordially

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 12:38 PM

"However, if there really is a renaissance around the corner and new blood is beginning to flow in old veins, then let's celebrate. The day when at least half the audience and the performers at a traditional music club are under 30 is when I'll really celebrate, however."

As has been suggested many times before, perhaps young people who are interested in folk (and yes, there are a fair few about) aren't all that interested in folk clubs.

Does it matter, as long as they are still engaging with the music? In my experience, many young people enjoy ceilidhs and sessions, and especially ceilidhs and sessions at festivals, more than concerts, which may well be why the folk club holds little appeal for the younger age group.

Can the health of the folk club really still be held up as a yardstick for the health of the tradition?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 12:34 PM

Jeez . . .

IAFWAFIAWMWQ (as they say in Madagascar).

Cap'n G, let's get off to a Bellowhead gig.
And leave these Backwoods/Crustaceans to their AmDram production of Over The Rainbow For Cuckoos Wearing Pink Bins Up In The Clouds.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 12:28 PM

Captain,

"However, if there really is a renaissance around the corner and new blood is beginning to flow in old veins, then let's celebrate. The day when at least half the audience and the performers at a traditional music club are under 30 is when I'll really celebrate, however."

This is a very fair point and we are a long way away from it in audience terms....and I wouldn't say that Kirkby Fleetham Folk Club only serves up traditional music.....but it is 95% music in the tradition.

However, if venues don't exist then the audience will never be young because there won't be anywhere for them to go. Certainly I could put on a guest or 2 under 30 every month without reducing the quality.....and we have most months (we're not too far from Newcastle and the vast pool of young folkiness there).

With my performers hat on, we play at a lot of "acoustic" as well as "folk" venues and our mixture of traditional (British and American) and self penned (but mainly "in the tradition")stuff goes down well with what is generally a slightly younger audience.

Your cup does seem rather half empty...and you have done a little "yes butting" to anything positive.....you should come and visit KFFC some weekend (we are on on a Saturday night....hurray!) maybe we can put a smile back on your face?

Cheers

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 12:19 PM

"(though, to be fair, jazz has a far more influential following than folk even now that most of the jazz clubs are now Harvesters or whatever)."

Why would that be Cap'n?

I'm very late to this thread, but I'd ask, could it be because they don't have a core of miserable, hard-bitten, moaning old buggers who seem to delight in slagging off any and every amateur performer and club who fail to meet the standards which they, as sole arbiters of quality standards in folk music, have set for us all?

Could it be that, instead of insulting and abusing the less-talented, they actually encourage beginners and those who make comparatively slow progress, in the sure and secure knowledge that great oaks from little acorns grow?

Perhaps Joe or an elf could remove the word 'tradition' from the title of this thread, in order that it might more accurately represent a great deal of what's to be found on here.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 12:11 PM

Sadly my location and occupation preclude me from helping out at any local folk club (there is one near where I am, but it is truly dreadful, and wresting control from the dead hands that run it would probably cause too much of a drain on the local health service).
However, if there really is a renaissance around the corner and new blood is beginning to flow in old veins, then let's celebrate. The day when at least half the audience and the performers at a traditional music club are under 30 is when I'll really celebrate, however.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 11:55 AM

Yep, Banjiman. It's people like you who give the lie to all these doom merchants.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 11:43 AM

TheSnail,

How bizarre, I wrote my post above before I had seen your's above that.....obviously time for me to interject!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 11:40 AM

Captain Ginger (can I call you Ginge?)

I too run a folk club that's not too bad (one could always do more of course).

We started last November with 70 in attendance for the first night(Wendy Arrowsmith taking the main guest slot....who you ask, well my wife actually!!!). We have averaged 35-50 for the normal (monthly) club nights since then, main guests have included Tom Bliss, Richard Grainger, Keepers Fold and Bill Evans & Meg Lynch (who though all very good , they aren't household names outside the folky world). We had 110 paying customers for the Winter Warmer weekend we ran with Jez Lowe as the main guest ably assisted by Duncan McFarlane Band and a host of other local, regional and acts from elsewhere.

While I agree these may not be Wembley Arena sized crowds and I don't pretend all is well in the folk world (see thread above) it does show that there remains some interest. The club is situated in a small village in North Yorks 15 miles from Darlington and 7 miles from Northallerton....with no public transport links, people really have to try to get here!

We put on 2 or 3 booked acts (including the main guest)in the concert room for each club night and have a singaround before and after the "concert" in the bar. This means we can cater for all abilities in an appropriate setting, we also work hand in hand with Burneston folk club which is a weekly singaround club. It seems to be working OK.

Not for me to say if it is a well run club....I'll leave that to others....but people are coming in greater numbers than I expected.

.....it ain't all doom and gloom, cheer up mate!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 11:38 AM

Captain Ginger

So far from being committed to rubbishing the folk scene, I'd love to celebrate it.

So what are you doing to make things better? Volunteer to help out at one of your local clubs then you'll be able to influence policy. Better still, start one of your own; take a lesson from Banjiman.

If you can't be part of the solution, at least stop being part of the problem.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 11:07 AM

I love traditional music - it just depresses me to see it performed ineptly and without due care and attention, and to see the way that some people seem determined to keep it a minority interest by being amateurish rather than amateur; happy to watch it wither and go the way of skiffle and jazz (though, to be fair, jazz has a far more influential following than folk even now that most of the jazz clubs are now Harvesters or whatever)*.
So far from being committed to rubbishing the folk scene, I'd love to celebrate it. Sadly I live too far from Lewes to be able to enjoy it there. A shame really - it would be interesting to be surrounded by lashings of enthusiasm, optimism and the conviction that all is well in the world of folk.
Build it and they will come, eh? Forty-nine tickets is one hell of a start...

*The Lewes Arms is, of course, an unparalleled exception.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 10:53 AM

Captain Ginger

I'm not rubbishing the scene

Previously -

I've endured all too many dire, unrehearsed and ultimately cringe-making performances.

The more crap performers there are inflicting their nasal bleatings, stumblings and fumblings on the public, the more Parris's snide remarks will find a billet.

These days I don't bother; the enthusiasm has been beaten out of me by too many stultifying evenings of care-in-the-community ineptitude.


The penny has just dropped! You ARE Matthew Parris!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 10:39 AM

*sigh*
I'll assume that you're not being obtuse here.
I'm not rubbishing the scene, merely celebrating its diversity and vigour at one end, while bewailing the fact that the matchless Lewes Arms and its incomparable committee seem to stand a lone beacon of brilliance at the other.
Still, we probably wouldn't see eye to on on 'The Imagined Village' either...


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 10:21 AM

Captain Ginger

Thank you for illustrating my point so perfectly. You seem to be fully committed to rubbishing the folk scene.

I don't know if the Lewes Arms is typical or not but it is certainly not unique in my experience. If nothing else, we show what is possible.

How many have bought tickets for the Town Hall?

I've no idea but if we've sold out and they've sold out, why do you have a problem with that?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 10:07 AM

Er, QED, Mr Snail.
How many have bought tickets for the Town Hall? With respect, it's the Bellowheads of this world that are doing more to promote traditional music and bring in new blood than any folk club.
And most nights, given the choice, I know where I'd rather be...


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 10:01 AM

mattkeen

Stop denying the problem would be a start -

As far as I can see one of the main problems is that quite a few people inside the folk scene (on this thread anyway) insist on telling the world how crap, disorganised and generally awful it all is. That is far more damaging than the prattlings of a failed politician.

By the way, the full house (it will be by the night) for Martin Carthy is alongside Bellowhead at the Town Hall 50yds away on the same night.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 09:47 AM

I think the problem is that Mr Snail believes that the Lewes Arms is typical of the folk club, session and singaround scene in the UK at the moment. My own experience (and I haven't been to the Lewes Arms, but will believe those who praise it) is that it certainly isn't typical. Believe me, I have experienced some toe-curlingly awful times that have led me to the conclusions set out above.
There was a time when I would make a point of finding out what clubs or sessions were on in any place I was visiting and going to see them. These days I don't bother; the enthusiasm has been beaten out of me by too many stultifying evenings of care-in-the-community ineptitude.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: mattkeen
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 09:41 AM

Stop denying the problem would be a start -
and secondly, carry on promoting your club


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 09:21 AM

I'm sorry, mattkeen, but what do you want us to do?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: mattkeen
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 09:04 AM

Snail - Martin's happy because he is also a nice bloke who has always gone out of his way to support folk clubs - that doesn't negate the point I was making


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 08:37 AM

Dave Polshaw

Why don't you just invite Matthew Parris to the Lewes folk club

Aaaarrrrgh No! he might like it so much that he'd start bringing his friends like Gyles Brandreth and Ian Dunkin' Donut.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 08:32 AM

I've just had a wonderful idea - Why don't you just invite Matthew Parris to the Lewes folk club to show him just how wonderful folk music realy is:-)

D.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Earl
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 08:09 AM

Capt Ginger sir,
The Lewes Arms have been running these workshops for som years now. The problem you identify presumably results in an unsuccessful workshop that will not be repeated.

Do you think that The Lewes Arms may be getting it right as the series has been quite lon-running and some of the Guests coming back again.

What you describe would seem to reflect more on the Guest artist(s) than the organisers .

Dave
(Lewes Arms Resident)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 08:02 AM

mattkeen

If it were any other artist of Martin's status (legendary in my book) in most any other genre we would not proclaim 49 tickets sold as proof of brilliant success.

Martin seems happy with it.

Captain Ginger

The problem with the 'masterclass' sort of workshop is that it often becomes little more than an intimate 'chance to meet' event,

Quite right. We don't do that.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 07:43 AM

The problem with the 'masterclass' sort of workshop is that it often becomes little more than an intimate 'chance to meet' event, with the guest doing a few turns, explaining a bit about the tuning and phrasing, nattering on in a pleasant and discursive fashion and maybe leading some choruses. I've been to plenty and they can be very enjoyable, but...
A proper workshop is hard graft. It has to be fully participatory and focusses on the performance of those attending, not the guest - and the guests needs to be more than simply a good performer. Sidmouth has had some excellent examples over the years, with good voice coaches really helping to bring singers on.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: mattkeen
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 07:35 AM

Sorry last post was me without a cookie


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 07:31 AM

Isn't it great that the Snail can offer as a piece of positive evidence that all is well with the folk scene and its marketing, that there is only one ticket left to see Martin Carthy?

If it were any other artist of Martin's status (legendary in my book) in most any other genre we would not proclaim 49 tickets sold as proof of brilliant success.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Slag
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 06:26 AM

My, my, my. I have been hesitant to enter into this, this??? This! I love folk music as well as other types of music. Rather eclectic, I am. Your trouble here is that while you, indeed, are a community, you are living your lives in a PUBLIC FORUM. Some have voiced concern about what newcomers and "Generation Next" will think of "folkies" and folk music in general. I'd be very concerned too after reading such vindictive and nastiness which peppers the foregoing. I hold my own below the line and post fairly often when I feel I have a point to be made and know what I am talking about. Above the line I pretty much hold my peace because, while I love the art, I know so little. I'm still learning----a lot! But I can usually keep my cool in a discussion.

Dylan warned that "the times, they are a changin'". What? Did you think that applied to everyone BUT folk singers? Hear the words of the prophet. It applies to you too! The thread title got it right but not for the reason you think. This "Eight Ball" who dissed Folk Music on the BBC is a nothing that can be easily dealt with by nothing more than proving him wrong by excellence in your product. If your product doesn't SELL, work it into something that DOES sell. But the ghastliness you have created here is appalling.

If you are just about preserving a tradition, well that's OK. That's why we have museums and anachronistic societies which re-enact old battle scenes and the like. The word is "conservation", you know, as in "conservative" YIKES! Since when did you all become conservatives????

One of my suggestions is, if you really have something nasty to say to someone, PM them. Keep the garbage out of the public view. That does mean, don't debate: just keep it civil.

As far as folk tradition, do the songs that tell today's stories, that take on current issues and conditions. I know that many of you do just that and I applaud you for that. Communicate this day and tomorrow.

If you want to tell me to bug off or stay out of it, don't waste your time. This will be my only foray into this thread. This is just for what it's worth.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 06:19 AM

GUEST,Jon

Or perhaps, Snail, Some clubs do well and others fail with either completely open or strict auditioning approaches.

Perhaps they do but tell Captain Ginger and Diane Easby. They are the ones who insist that everything that is wrong with the folk scene is the very policy that seems to bring us success.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 06:12 AM

Or perhaps, Snail, Some clubs do well and others fail with either completely open or strict auditioning approaches.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 05:55 AM

Captain Ginger, the point I am trying make is that the policies and philosophy that we follow, which are radically different from the ones you recommend, appear to succeed.

But I'm sure even you might concede that not everyone can run a club as well as you do!

Oh, I'm sure they could. It just takes a positive attitude. If you insist on telling all your floorspots that they are crap and your audiences that they are "indifferent, ignorant and sometimes even hostile" then you might not do very well.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 05:39 AM

Mr Snail, I don't think anyone here would say that your club is anything other than a beacon of excellence, a pearl beyond price and the paragon to which all other clubs should aspire.
But I'm sure even you might concede that not everyone can run a club as well as you do!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 05:12 AM

Captain Ginger

Clubs, too, would benefit from making the occasional singers' night into a workshop or 'try-out'

Lewes Arms Folk Club workshops

Audience members are entitled to leave
Which is exactly what the vast mass of the Great British Public has done!


Well, we've only got room for fifty. I think there may still be one ticket available for Martin Carthy on 19th April. His workshop during the day is sold out.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 05:00 AM

Audience members are entitled to leave
Which is exactly what the vast mass of the Great British Public has done!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 04:58 AM

...and in terms of defending positions, I would hasten to add that my views are entirely personal and that I have no 'standing' in the world of traditional music and dance. I have sometimes been paid to perform, and have run club nights, called for ceilidhs, participated in sessions and singarounds, stewarded at festivals and run the odd workshop*. But I would certainly never claim to be a guru - just someone who cares deeply about the music and who sometimes cringes at the way it's presented to an indifferent, ignorant and sometimes even hostile public.

*and workshops are festivals are too thin on the ground. That is where constructive criticism can and does help, and where indifferent performers can really improve. Sadly, however, there are some performers so convinced of their own excellence that they'd never dream of attending one!
Clubs, too, would benefit from making the occasional singers' night into a workshop or 'try-out', with the proviso that anyone who performs will have to endure a post-mortem which will be rather more than "Very nice, next please".
The many threads on this forum about breathing technique, improving projection, memorising and making a better performance are also priceless. Perhaps Alice's excellent "thread about threads on the singing voice" should be made a permathread so that the wisdom can be passed on.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 04:57 AM

Audience members are entitled to leave. They are entitled to ask for their money back. They are not entitled to behave in a rude and disruptive manner that spoils the enjoyment of other audience members.

If even Diane is willing to concede that we area a "well-run and an excellent shop window for trad music." we must be getting something right.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 04:41 AM

Captain Ginger, I was referring to your post of 06 Apr 08 - 06:12 AM. Are you now unwilling to defend that position?
Certainly not. If you are expecting an audience to pay, then it's a two-way contract - the audience should get value for money or have the right to tell the performer that s/he's crap. Why, even Covent Garden has rung to the sound of boos and whistles before now.
But that's a line of last resort; it should be down to the compere/organiser to ensure that what gets presented is good enough for folk, and if that means having auditions and try-outs in front of a small group of battle-hardened veterans with a bucket of constructive criticism, so be it. Dave Polshaw's former club would appear to have adopted such a course.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 04:40 AM

I'd assumed you were quite good

Yes, I'm sadly only "quite good". And know it.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 04:31 AM

Diane Easby

So these crap floor spots actually believe that their out-of-tune, stumbling and fumbling caterwauling (NB Kater is a German tom cat. other, incorrect, spellings miss the point) is OK? The Snail clearly does. No wonder he, unwisely, offered me a floorspot . . .

Sorry Diane, I had realised that that was the sort of act you put on. I'd assumed you were quite good.

Yes, Harvey's beer is very good. When I've been at the Royal Oak...

Harvey's hasn't been sold in the Royal Oak for several years owing to the machinations of Greene King, a property development company with a side interest in brewing. The Lewes Arms fought and won. We are celebrating Restoration Day on 26th April.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 04:22 AM

The sort of scene that Captain Ginger described earlier is not one that I would want to be part of.

Nor me but I perhaps differ from some of the open ones in that I do favour a minimal standard appropriate to the event.

In practice, at the level and type of event I enjoy most, folk club wise, I can only remember trying to persuade one person not to sing. That person was tone deaf and unaware of it - I don't know if anyone has ever cringed at something like X Factor (I've only seen snippets) when you see/hear someone so far off it seems an embarrassment to the person - but that's how I felt for this person.

Session wise, I do have problems with the worst of loud out of time bashings and lets say a tune accompanied in a key the tune isn't in so I do like to see the absolute basics learned.

Otherwise, it's just try your best (and want to try your best - somehow "it's only folk" doesn't fit in with that) with me and that's all I can do too.

Of course, another event may want to set higher standards and may have good reasons for doing so.

All in all, I favour each event to its own and whereas I don't believe and set of entry levels (including none) does any harm to the folk scene (in fact I think the variety increases or choices to find what suits us), I do think those who would have everything run their own way are damaging.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 04:08 AM

The Cap'n was responding to my assertion that "everybody KNOWS when they're still crap" by saying that he didn't think that was true and that this was one of the roots of the UK problem. So these crap floor spots actually believe that their out-of-tune, stumbling and fumbling caterwauling (NB Kater is a German tom cat. other, incorrect, spellings miss the point) is OK? The Snail clearly does. No wonder he, unwisely, offered me a floorspot . . .

Fact is, they need to be discouraged, firmly, from emerging from their bedrooms until they're fit to be heard. As in blues and comedy, like the Cap'n says. Then detractors (such as Parris, Fi Glover and (most of) the rest of R4) would have no, often justified, ammunition. Would they?

Footnote: Yes, Harvey's beer is very good. When I've been at the Royal Oak (a pub near the Lewes Arms into which I have never ventured), it's usually run out halfway through the evening as a result of residents rushing to the bar (and the cognoscenti taking the hint and following) when they see one of the culprits about to take the floor.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 03:50 AM

"Leveller - have you ever read a school anti-bullying policy?"

Yes, Tom, frequently. mrsleveller (Jools) is an MEd, lectures in education, trains classroom assistants and specialised in SEN, so it's something we discuss frequently (oh, and I have 4 children and 2 grandchildren). There is currently a debate going on regarding the over-protection of children, thereby depriving them not only of having fun but also of developing the social skills they will require in later life ....there could be a whole new discussion on the BS threads, but back to the issue in hand (dismounts from one high horse and clambers aboard another).

The remarks I made were not aimed at you, personally; I repect your position, your musical skills, your love of the music and your openness. I just think there needs to be a forum where we can all 'let our hair down'. Generally, a balance is achieved and those who indulge in bullying or have extreme views are usually counteracted by those of more moderate tendencies. I've just read Joe's post above and, to me, that seems like a sensible way to proceed.

In the end, all that matters is the music and that we enjoy listening to and performing it in our own ways. The fact that we are having this discussion at all, and with such fervour, indicates that the genre is alive and well.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 03:37 AM

Captain Ginger, I was referring to your post of 06 Apr 08 - 06:12 AM. Are you now unwilling to defend that position?

By the way, the Harvey's beer at the Lewes Arms is excellent.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 03:29 AM

It looks simple from here. A few people have cornered the guru racket, determined the frames of reference, the terms of debate, the language, built the walls and put a guard on each corner. Trenches have been dug and communication reduced to the odd explosive salvo.
It's simple but it's still really weird.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 02:15 AM

A number of posts here, and a number of personal messages, have given me something to think about. I really do sympathize with those who are distressed when threads take a nasty tone. It causes me a lot of distress, too. It's not what I expect out of folk music people. That being said, I have to say that most of the damage is done by three or four provocateurs (trolls?), and perhaps more by the twenty or so people who react strongly to their provocation (they "take the bait"). Some react with hysteria, and some react indignantly or with aggression or profanity- and these reactions exacerbate the problem and can be far worse than the original provocation.

I also ought to emphasize that the vast majority of UK Mudcatters react very well to this provocation - they do their best to ignore it and carry on the conversation.

For a number of reasons, it's not likely that we will increase our level of moderation. For the most part, we've found that our moderate level of moderation has encouraged free and lively discussion - and we fully realize that there are also a number of drawbacks to that freedom. We've chosen the path we've taken for both technical and philosophical reasons; but it's a question we've discussed endlessly over the entire history of Mudcat, and I wouldn't say our policy will never change.

So, for the forseeable future, we will continue moderation at the current level - let's take that as a "given." That gives us a framework, a reality, to deal with - now how do we operate within that framework? I think the best thing is to keep doing what most people are doing - carrying on the discussion and not getting all upset about the provocateurs. What I really like to see is when somebody gets in a very clever, funny, but nonagressive remark that puts one of our provocateurs in place. Humor can work wonders against an aggressor - counteraggression almost always fails, although it does at times satisfy some of our baser instincts.

In those (rare) circumstances where you have reason to complain about a post, please complain to me in a personal message, and be sure to tell me specifically where the problem message is located (thread name, date and time, name of poster, and why you think it's a problem). Non-members can contact me by e-mail [joe@mudcat.org]. In general, we ignore complaints that are posted in the Forum, and we often delete them.

Thanks.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 02:03 AM

Have the good grace to do justice to the material and the tradition, rather than insult it with an unrehearsed and dire rendition in public. Rehearse, practise, refine and polish - and then perform. That's all it means.
Is that really too much to ask, Mr Snail?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 09:26 PM

Dave - ah got it now - yes indeedy, it wuz me wot wuz fick! doh! :)

Sapper - I found that mildly offensive too. I'm pretty sure that's not how Kitty meant it.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 08:31 PM

Tom Bliss

And if a few got the wrong impression because they didn't read the posts, then that's not your fault either.

Of course, a mistake that a lot of us make is that, because we know exactly what we mean, the meaning of our words is totally clear to others. Well, it's obvious, init? We forget that the reader can't see what is inside our head; that they are coming at the issue from a different angle; that they don't quite read it the way we intended. Clearly they are stupid or, even worse, wilfully misunderstanding what we say for their own paranoid ends and so the situation escalates until before we know it we are going off list to blast them with the invective they so clearly deserve.

Things could be settled so much more pleasantly over a quiet pint in a decent pub.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 08:14 PM

So you resisted the temptation to to say to Matthew.......YOU could be Nancy!

well done Sapper!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 08:14 PM

theleveller

As for the idea that there shuold be some universal standard applied before anyone can perform in public - it's totally against everything I believe folk music to be about.

That's good to hear. The sort of scene that Captain Ginger described earlier is not one that I would want to be part of.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Sapper i n the Crown and Mitre, Carlisle
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 06:32 PM

Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Diane Easby
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 06:20 AM

I was referring to gratuitously offensive comments such as this:

From: sapper82 - PM
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:13 PM

"I wish someone would put him straight..."

ROFLMHO!!!!!


Dianne, what the bloody hell is offensive about that?
Given that my comparativly close neighbour (well, about 5 mile close) Mathew Parris is totally open about his sexuality, Kitty's comment about putting him straight struck me as being VERY ironically funny.
If you find that comment offensive then I suggest you look at yourself and your own opinions.

BTW, Though in this instance I think he's been a bit of a prat, the couple of occasions I've met him, assisting a local builder doing work on his house, I've found him an amusing and quite charming person.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 05:44 PM

I think she is just puzzled as to why this thread has stayed above the line while an equaly valid thread (and ASBO for Morris dancing) has been banished to the BS section I would guess, Sue, but I think you realy need to ask Diane rather anyone else.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 05:35 PM

OK, I give up... I'm probably just being thick, but can someone translate Diane's post to me? how does any of that relate to people dissing trad dance? *genuinely puzzled*

:(


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 04:42 PM

I began a thread this morning after R4 in The Write Stuff had taken the piss out of Morris in an educated, pastiche sort of way. The responses fell into two categories:

(1) even more inanely idiotic than anything Matthew Parris (or Fi Glover) ever uttered, and
(2) those demonstrating a complete unawareness that the programme was a spoof.

The thread has been sent to the basement.

Leaving aside the reality that the current list of topics here upstairs includes:

*a variety of only partly music-related ailments
*arrangements to meet up for what appears to be a cross between an orgy and a piss-up
*stuff about how to get your computer to function (I know there's some sort of tradition that "tech" stays upstairs but I'm unable to fathom why
*a few threads about books,

and so on,

this highlights clearly the contempt in which traditional dance is held by contributors generally of the GEFF tendency to this forum. When they are so disrespectful our cultural heritage themselves, it puzzles me why they are in any way concerned at what a gay former MP has to say about trad singing. Or am I?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 03:55 PM

It's not your fault Kitty :-)

It's a good topic, and well worthy of debate even if people didn't all agree. And if a few got the wrong impression because they didn't read the posts, then that's not your fault either. I started the thread on the BBC for the same reasons as you, and there's been some traffic on Britfolk too with quite a few people firing off letters to the Beeb. A few other people (some quite 'senior' - not that that matters) have also sent me copies of their letters.

Big hug

Tom


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 03:21 PM

OK, it's all my fault because I started the thread, and made the mistake of including a quote without the quotation marks round it. There are interesting discussions to be had of what music is worth listening to and why (and whether it's worth making representations to the BBC about what they broadcast), but I'm sorry and dismayed that the thread has degenerated into abuse of people and their preferences.

Apologies

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 12:56 PM

Re the number of posts Leveller: When I see a count rise as fast as this one has, it doesn't really indicate anything to me other than all is not happy in the thread.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 12:49 PM

Leveller - have you ever read a school anti-bullying policy?

You and I are lucky that we are confident articulate men who can stand up for ourselves. We have no way of knowing how a 'cyber victim' might feel - but I see plenty of evidence of people being quite badly upset on this forum at times - not often, admittedly, but sometimes - and it makes me queasy.

I know you think it's all just fun. I can't agree. I do think you can have fun without anyone getting hurt, and I don't think that discouraging aggressive behaviour would in any way diminish the scope of the discussions. It would most likely have the exact opposite effect and encourage more people to join in - for the benefit of everyone.

I'm not advocating the nanny set-up on the BBC (though that is preferrable to what we had there before, given the nature of that site). We are not comparing like with like. The BBC has some other constraints as a publicly-funded body, and the function of the forum is very different.

Joe asked a question (though perhaps it was rhetorical) and I'm doing my best to answer honestly. I take your point about churlishness (which is why I have never made my position clear before - I know how it makes me look), but I'm also thinking of the many MANY people I know who would love to join and use mudcat if only something was done about the bullying and fighting.

I also take Joe's point about prissiness, and I'm well aware that I often come over as Mary Poppins. But if I said what I really thought, my career would soon be over!

All the best

Tom


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 12:48 PM

Give me an authentic tryer as against a slick unfeeling performance every day. We all have to start somewhere.

G


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 12:32 PM

Personally, I think the light-handed approach to moderation on this site works extremely well. It gives rise to a breadth of discussion that is missing on other sites. This debate on the BBC Folk and Acoustic board has attracted around 40 posts the last time I looked. Well done, Joe, you have my support. With all due respect, I do think it slightly churlish for guests to come along and tell us that the rules should be changed. It's like being invited to a club and then saying you don't want to join because you don't like the way it's run. As for bullying; there is some on Mudcats , but much of it is from people who are too cowardly to become members and stay as constant guests. Certainly the likes of Richard Bridge are not bullies - on the contrary, I've seen him take some pretty brutal attacks on the chin and come back with a lively response. If we gave in to the whingers, this would be a much less enjoyable place to have discussions. And, let's face it, no-one's forcing you to take part, as Joe points out.

As for the GEFF debate, it is, and always has been, a spurious one. In over 40 years in the folk scene, I have never ever heard anyone say that, except in jest, usually when tuning a recalcitrent instrument. As for the idea that there shuold be some universal standard applied before anyone can perform in public - it's totally against everything I believe folk music to be about. Of course, the vast majority of people want to do their best, but who is to be the judge? Certainly not some self-appointed arbiter - only the people who are listening to the performer can judge and they can vote with their feet. Do poor performances do a diservice to folk music - don't appear to have, so far. Do they sometimes give new performers the confidence to try for themselves? In my experience, they do.In the end we are all here to enjoy ourselves, not be told we don't reach the mark by some po-faced nit-picker.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Mr Happy
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 06:31 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Parris


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 06:24 AM

"I wonder how he would feel if someone were to characterise his snippy remark as typical of the sort of waspish remarks made by many gay men."

My Actual comment Diane.

G


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 06:24 AM

Dave Polshaw

They are closed now, unfortunately, but only because members of the resident band (Auld Triangle) wanted to stand down and no-one would take their place.

Part of our inclusiveness is that we are always trying to recruit new people onto the committee.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 06:20 AM

I was referring to gratuitously offensive comments such as this:

From: sapper82 - PM
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:13 PM

"I wish someone would put him straight..."

ROFLMHO!!!!!


Giok himself castigated Mr Parris as an "arrogant tosser" which, while being absolutely true, adds nothing to the discussion. Nor does your blanket comment that what he said was typical of the "waspish remarks made by many gay men".

The fact remains that the average reader/listener/media consumer tends to agree. To make a start on changing their minds, the way to go is to present or perform the music you claim to love with excellence, not to retreat into a GEFFFish ghetto of outrage.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Earl
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 06:16 AM

Diane

You will keep using unkind variants of our Mudcat names / handles / nicknames.

The Snail uses that name as a fun reference to the Magic Roundabout character who has the same name (Bryan).

Richard uses his own name but you don't seem to be able to use it.

I use the handle I do because I felt people who know me would recognize the headgear.

If you think the nicknames are daft/silly/stupid or whatever you could always use our proper names - which we have not tried to conceal

As I said here earlier, it's not what you say (the point you are making) it's the way you choose to say it.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 06:16 AM

I somehow can't see his opponents in a homosexual rights debate calling him Folk Music Hater Matthew Parris. It wouldn't seem particularly relevant to the issue.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 06:12 AM

We don't demand references or give auditions

Funny that should be mentioned. Westhoughtom Folk Club would not put any floor singer on who had not auditioned first - or at least been seen by the residents and known to be of the highest quality.

Guess who were he first winners of the BBC radio 2 'Folk club of the year' award and were regulary quoted as one of the best clubs in the country by professional artists and critics alike?

They are closed now, unfortunately, but only because members of the resident band (Auld Triangle) wanted to stand down and no-one would take their place. Too high a standard to live up to I guess! Professionalism certainly seems to be a two edged sword:-(

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 06:12 AM

After all, everybody KNOWS when they're still crap
I don't think that's true - and that is one of the roots of the problem besetting folk in the UK. Web forums aside, people in the folk world are accommodating, non-judgemental types who would rather drink stale beer that actually tell someone that they're crap.
It means that the folk circuit is a very broad church indeed, encompassing some absolutely brilliant amateur performers and some utterly dreadful ones - and all of them are received with the same polite applause. I long for the day when I see the same robust abrasiveness one sees on the comedy circuit, or the blues circuit, where crap performers are told by the audience that their crap, and to come back when they're not. OK, maybe no quite as abrasive, but...


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 06:02 AM

Just so that everybody is clear about the issue of Matthew Parrish's sexuality, which I for one have no objection to.

Matthew Parris is openly homosexual, and a campaigner for homosexual rights and equality. When a person campaigns for his beliefs, it is not surprising that people should use the handle he provides, to describe him as a person. Once again the ploughshare of the English language is being beaten into a sword by the politically correct, in order to stab someone who mentions the openly acknowledged issue of a man's sexual preferences.
Had the word 'gay' [sic] been prefaced by a derogatory adjective I could see the point of getting het up about it, but as it was merely stated as a fact, openly acknowledged by the person concerned, I see no sin, real or imagined.

Rant over.

G.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 06:01 AM

Another suggestion of how things might be improved is some sort of control over selective quoting. To create a fictional example based on something I have said -

I felt Tom was claiming some sort of ownership by the professionals of what is, after all, our national heritage.

If that was quoted as -

Tom was claiming some sort of ownership by the professionals of what is, after all, our national heritage.

it would turn something that had been an expression of doubt and uncertainty into something resembling a gratuitous insult. It is all too easy, once you have made up your mind what the other person is saying, to read into it what you want. I'm sure I have done the same.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 05:49 AM

Diame Easby

and no, Slimy Slug, I'm NOT going to name those involved

No, I thought you probably wouldn't.

I've never been at the Slug's gaffe in Lewes but many who have have described it to me as well-run and an excellent shop window for trad music.

Thank you. It's difficult to judge yourself but I get the impression that we have a good reputation.

I think that a great deal of our success is our inclusiveness. We go out of our way to make sure that everyone who want to gets a floor spot if time allows. We have a Family Hold Back policy meaning that residents will give up their chance to perform to make room. We don't demand references or give auditions or bar anybody on the basis of their previous performance. Wanting to perform is the only criterion. It seems to work.

Do give us a visit, Diane. I promise you'll get a floor spot.

(What did the slug say to the snail? "Big Issue , sir?")


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 05:16 AM

Dave Polshaw

Unfortunately some people, excluding you or I, DO have that amount of determination:-( Probably more than either of us think!

Hmmm, they sound more like Country & Western fans who enjoy nothing more than a bit of misery. (OH NO! I've done a Matthew Parris!) But there you are, you've given them something to grumble about. They've got their money's worth.

I've always said barth and parth, though. We were middle-class scousers.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 05:12 AM

Joe

Thank you for the work you do here. It can't be easy, and it's great that you're willing to make the effort. I'm sorry that we Brits so frequently manage between us to mess up.

I wouldn't blame you if you just gave up and closed us down, but if you do want to continue and really are interested in ways things might be improved then I also have some suggestions. They might involve losing some of what makes Mudcat such a good website, but they might possibly improve matters in the long run.

First I'd like to explain that it's actually not quite as easy to walk away from a discussion that is going off the rails as you suggest. If you were able to find time to read all of this thread, you would see that it didn't suddenly go bad. It started with a few misunderstandings, which people quite reasonably wanted to see corrected. And the early smaller tantrums did not dislodge what was a wide-ranging but interesting and relevant discussion, all loosely tied back to Parris' remarks.

The nastiness crept in in fits and starts, and throughout there have been a majority of people doing their manful and womanful best to keep the ship head to wind.

I'm not sure where you get your figure of twenty people. I think less than five have actually stepped out of line - and it's the same group as usual.

However, even these people have a massive amount to contribute and when in the right mood can be funny, forgiving and helpful.

It just happens that some people (probably all of us to different degrees) have a raw touch-point. One topic or opinion which sets off an emotional reaction, where the adrenaline surges to the fingertips and reason, and manners, fly out of the window.

It is in the very nature of web forum debates that without the usual tells of facial expression and tone of voice, misunderstandings are commonplace. And those of us with careers in folk music are bound to want to correct anything that could have an inverse impact on - for example - our relationship with another poster who we need to ring tonight about a booking. And those without careers have just as much right to feel understood. So the urge to remain in a discussion that is going haywire, in spite of potential damage, is very strong. Trust me, it's not a nice position to be in - and I have NOT enjoyed a lot of the above (I'm not enjoying this). But I'd started and thought I should do my best to continue - because I really believe we have a job to do in Britain somehow to cauterise the rivalry without loosing the diversity of views.

I'm sure you know all that, but you post seems to deny it, so forgive me for wanting to set it down for myself.

Now. I take your point about deletions. They are a clumsy tool and can make a nonsense of a thread very quickly. If that policy became prevalent you'd probably soon have no forum.

What I would suggest would be a time-out system - something like the BBC method, well, nothing like the BBC method actually, but properly achieving what they were trying to achieve.

First it would be good if you, or your volunteers, were able to post more warnings within the discussions. When it seems like you've just blown in because of a complaint and haven't had time to read the thread though, as above, (and I know you don't have time, so no complaint, ok?) this doesn't always work (and indeed this is where the BBC mod system falls over). But when a warning is issued by a moderator who DOES seem to be up to speed with the discussion it DOES tend to work. Ian Anderson manages pretty well on the admittedly tiny fRoots forum. You could maybe do something similar here if you had enough reliable volunteers with the right diplomatic skills.

But even if not, it should be technically possible to introduce a cooling off system. After one warning, for jumping on newbies, direct personal attack, persistent wilful misunderstanding for effect (trolling), rudeness without humour - whatever you like, members could be locked out for - I don't know - three hours, a day, a week?

All that's needed is an opportunity for the adrenaline to leak away.

The nastiness will continue, but there wold be a sense of support and security - and some of the people who slip away to the wings as soon the fighting breaks out might stick around, and so help to keep the ratio of reason to unreason more healthy.

Now, of course with an open forum, timed-out people could just jump in again as guests. So you'd probably need to make it a membership-only forum, and maybe that's a step too far for you. But most others do this, and there are other benefits.

Perhaps you could allow one post per day (or two or three?) by non-members. Time-outers could still fire off one more volley from the cage, but they'd be in the cooler, and it would do less damage because we'd all know it was about to stop soon.

And newcomers could still ask questions, and be encouraged to join up.

Newbies would also be more noticeable, so with luck the more welcoming members would therefore find it easier to provide that early support.

Finally I should say that my reasons for not joining mudcat are not as simple as wanting to protect myself. I'm easy to google, and I get a lot of off-list emails from people - usually supporting what I'm saying, but not feeling able to post (and sometimes not!)

I don't join because I'm not a natural joiner (the fewer passwords and cookies etc the better, in my book), and if I can be part of something without joining that's how I'll do it (put it down to incarceration in a violent school system :-)! If Mudcat became membership only I'd have to make a decision - and I honestly don't know if I'd join or not. It would depend on the other checks and balances you put in place. But as long as you'll let me post like this, I'll take that option thankyou. (Assuming I feel like continuing after the battering I've had on this thread)!

I'm not saying these suggestions will work. But perhaps they might prompt some better ideas from someone else.

Thank you

Tom Bliss

My Website (with email)
    I appreciate what you have to say, Tom. Thanks.
    -Joe-


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 04:47 AM

I'm still concerned at the nasty outbreak of homophobia at the start of the thread. A former MP who happens to be gay made disparaging comments about a trad singer. He was voicing what many of the general public think (through conditioning, lack of education and all the rest of it) of their cultural heritage. It's not as though they're not occasionally right in their assessment. But it became an open season: let's kick the queer to death. Is someone going to tell me that Ghandi would have advocated this display of blinkered pack hunting, even towards a Tory?

The fact is that there is a prevailing attitude in far too many quarters that a low standard of organisation, presentation and performance is "good enough for f*lk" Hey, I know, let's call those of this dumbed down LCD mindset "GEFFs". I've described in some detail one of the worst scenarios I've ever encountered (and no, Slimy Slug, I'm NOT going to name those involved). Apart from all other considerations, it would be highly unfair and damaging to the reputation of the booked artists involved.

I've never been at the Slug's gaffe in Lewes but many who have have described it to me as well-run and an excellent shop window for trad music. Good but that's not typical, as others have pointed out a-plenty. The Learned Bridge bleats on and on and on about 1954 and how no-one should judge anyone else's performance as "not good enough" (I've long since stopped reading). The point is that no-one should emerge from their bedroom and make public exhibitions of themselves until they CAN. It should be self-regulatory and a homage to the music, not a signal of its imminent death knell.

After all, everybody KNOWS when they're still crap. I do. It's your duty to the musical heritage, yourself and your audience to perform excellently. A lower standard will not do. However else can you hope to change the widely-held perception "out there" that the tradarts are a ridiculous anachronism?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: meself
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 02:37 AM

Hitler seems to have demonstrated considerable bravery as a soldier on the Western front in WWI. And was he not, in his twisted way, devoted to his fatherland? And as for what manner of monster he was or wasn't - well, wouldn't it be the business of a holy man to try to uncover humanity within the monster?

In other words, your quotation is meaningless taken out of context. In other words, why not just let Joe do his job?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 02:32 AM

actually Joe, I think the original topic did involve self-righteous priggishness...or something very similar.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 02:16 AM

Sorry, Button. I can't form an opinion based on one line, taken out of context. But yes, Gandhi was not given to demonizing anyone, even Hitler. His philosophy required him to treat everyone with nonagressive respect - and I have seen no evidence that he treated his wife disrespectfully, either. So, what was this thread about, anyhow? It wasn't about self-righteous priggishness, but it WAS interesting to see how uneasy people got when I used the word.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: the button
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 02:00 AM

"We have no doubt about your bravery or devotion to your fatherland, nor do we believe that you are the monster described by your opponents."

Ghandi to Hitler, 24 December 1940.

It certainly seems respectful, I'll give him that.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 01:52 AM

Can't say I've seen credible documentation of either of your allegations, Button; and I've read a lot about Gandhi. But yes, Gandhi would achieve a position of strength by approaching even Adolf Hitler with polite, nonagressive respect. I can't imagine that Gandhi would be anything other than pleasant and respectful if he were writing to Adolf Hitler. If Mudcatters would deal with our trolls in that fashion, the trolls would be completely powerless.

As for the wife-beating - I don't believe it. How long have you been beating YOUR wife?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: the button
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 01:49 AM

Presumably "the way that Ghandi responded" wouldn't include beating his wife & writing nice letters to Adolf Hitler? ;-)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 01:41 AM

It's directed at about twenty people, Melissa, and not specifically at anyone. And I wasn't thinking of you at all. I also "have enough faith in people to think it's appropriate to believe we're all capable of treating each other like human beings" - the difference is, I think that capability is best exhibited when it comes without the external control of a moderator.

We don't "tolerate" nastiness at Mudcat - it just happens. We hope that people will come up with peaceful ways of dealing with it, and not expect us to intervene except in extreme circumstances.

I'm here because I have an interest in music - not because I want to play cop, or babysitter. We expect Mudcat to be an adult, mature, self-regulating community. For the most part, it is.

In circumstances where you have a specific complaint about a specific message, please contact me by personal message and tell me the name of the thread, the name of the sender, and the date and time of the message. Most of the time, I get general complaints that don't even name the thread in question.

We do respond to specific complaints when the problem is serious - but I have to say that many times, we take no immediate action and wait until we see a pattern of problem posts from an individual.

Most of the time, the very best way to deal with problem posts is to completely ignore them and continue the discussion. Trouble is, very few people seem to have the discipline and maturity needed to do that. But I tell you, if people would only take my advice and respond as Gandhi would respond, this would be a wonderful place and the trolls would be absolutely powerless.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 01:03 AM

If that's aimed toward me, Joe (and it's reasonable to think it could be since I'm the only one here that spoke directly to you) it might be nice if you would have at least read through the things I've said (paying particular attention to my absence from the thread after my presumably self-righteous remarks)

I apologize for ruffling your feathers and I am sorry that I have enough faith in people to think it's appropriate to believe we're all capable of treating each other like human beings.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 12:22 AM

Gee, some of you people really are a piece of work. I've heard "I'm a Guest to protect myself because people are just too nasty around here" dozens of times, and it sure sounds like a lame excuse to me. If by chance there is one person here who really is posting as a Guest for self-protection, then my statement doesn't include them. And people who use their own name or at least use a consistent identity, really aren't the problem people I'm talking about.

The fact of the matter is, I don't really know what this thread is all about, and I'm not willing to read 474 messages to find out. If I were to delete certain objectionable messages, then the thread REALLY wouldn't make sense. And then, what do I do with the messages that are self-righteous reponses to the flame messages? I suppose we could appoint more volunteer moderators to monitor threads more thoroughly, but I already get too many complaints already about indiscriminate deletion on the part of some of our volunteers. And if I were to take action against all the people  I  think are troublemakers, you'd hear a number of people squealing like stuck pigs, because I think the most serious troublemakers are the self-righteous prigs. What can I say? I guess I have a serious prejudice against pharisaical, sanctimonious, self-righteous prigs.

I can tell you right off, that if the discussion gets into certain topics that involve the personalities and behavior of people in the British folk community, the thread is going to turn nasty. If I eliminate the pariahs of the week, new pariahs will come in next week to take their place. I think that's a characteristic of the UK folk community. You people eat your young.

So, if you don't want to get involved in such nastiness, stick to the threads that involve factual matters and stay out of these endless, petty threads. If you really have to be in threads like this, try to be a lot more tolerant and a lot less priggish - and don't respond to the troublemakers when they try to get your goat.

We have a long tradition of limiting moderation here at Mudcat, because we like the idea of free discussion. Certainly, there are problems with that sort of freedom, but we like to think we're doing our part to preserve the ideal. And the one thing most necessary in preserving that ideal is individual responsibility, not demanding that some moderator step in and punish those who have been naughty.

As I told one complainant this week, try to respond as Gandhi would respond, and things will be a lot nicer for you here.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 09:00 PM

Diane, name a GEFF and quote something they have said that justifies the accusation.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 08:29 PM

Joe Offer:
"If adults can't behave in a civil manner on their own, I don't think there's much I can do to force them to behave.
Can anyone convince me there's a better alternative?"

There have been plenty of civil, mannerly posts in this thread. It's just hard to see the reasonable conversation when it's slathered in festering shit. That shit is being spread by a handful, NOT by everyone involved in this tangled thread.

If the Mudcat Leadership is truly interested in improvement, there are plenty of members here who would probably be glad to offer their suggestions.
The question is, how in the world could that conversation take place? The biggest question is whether that conversation would even be Wanted..and my guess is that the answer to that would be that maybe it would be a good idea..but we'd need to sit around wringing our hands for a while longer.

I think you are a pretty nice guy and that you make an effort to behave as decently as you can. Being a moderator here can't be much fun, and nobody with a lick of sense would envy the position.

This is not an inherently bad thread. It has twisted and mutated, but it's managed to hit over 400 without bunch of hair-pulling over the WIF nonsense. The part that IS bad is the poison and hatred being flung about for no reason other than sheer meanness.

Yes, there are alternatives.
I'd bite out my eyeballs before I'd attempt to discuss them in an unmoderated conversation.

I know it sucks trying to oversee a bunch of bratty jerks..but I also know that you have leadership skills and an ability to see your way through to a sensible path IF you were interested.

Thanks..sorry for the rant, but I do appreciate the ability to address it directly to you in the open thread knowing that you'll run across it one of these days.

You're NOT the only nice guy here. A lot of us are nice and this place doesn't have to be such a dirty playground.

Take care,
Melissa


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 07:16 PM

Good idea leveller!

I heard a politician doesn't lie
Fie, man, Fie
I heard a politician doesn't lie
Who's the fool now?
I heard a politician doesn't lie
And some radio journalist let it by
Thou art well drunken...

Ah well. Suppose you can only stretch the truth so far. Best stick to fleas heaving trees:-)

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly thread
From: peregrina
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 03:32 PM

I'll be listening to POTW this week to see whether the Beeb took notice....

Meanwhile, on this thread:

it would be a sad day if members of this online community needed to co-opt the 'Not in My Name' slogan to distance themselves from the cat fight here.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 03:21 PM

The Leveller has got it right and "brought the horse home". I doubt Mr.Parris gives a monkey`s what anyone on this thread thinks about his entitled opinion. I suggest there are millions more who would agree with but they have no vehicle with which to make it known. so what! Let the music roll.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 03:20 PM

I heard both the 'Black Boy' programme with Lem Sissay, and the 'Pick of the Week broadcast where Mr Parrish made his comments. This is more than most of those who post on here with the benefit of a Google search, and a flippant remark can say.

G


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 03:14 PM

'I know, let's really piss Parris off and have a good rousing singsong right across the board'

I'd be all for 'catterwhauling' outside his house at two o'clock in the morning...but that might be a bit too radical for some :-D

Charlotte (never sits on the fence)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 03:09 PM

I know, let's really piss Parris off and have a good rousing singsong right across the board.

I'll start:

Martin said to his man
Fie,man,fie

Come on...there's a couple of you out there not joining in

Martin said to his man
Who's the fool now.....


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 03:09 PM

Lest anyone imagine I'm on a troll I arrived here two days ago - via a fishing site actually - to find out what happened to Belinda from RUatW. The 'custodians' of the 'folk' 'tradition' sound like Gollum with a tankard to me but that's their problem. Unsurprisingly I'm in no rush to encounter 'the scene'(sic).


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 03:08 PM

Tom Bliss is unfailingly "civil and fairminded". He is also, some may say, a fool for posting under his own name (albeit as a guest) because he is a "professional" (in the sense of getting paid for it in addition to doing it extremely well) performer.

I feel he is to be congratulated for his bravery in identifying himself and thus most probably putting his livelihood at risk in the light of clear contempt from the "GEFFs" who value, apparently, amateurish performance far more highly. I don't agree with everything he says but I applaud him for his stance.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 03:01 PM

Well after Mr Polshaw's...ummm...little outburst..(really you are quite amusing), I can see that Mr Parris will indeed get away with remarks such as those he's made about The Tradition till hell freezes over and beyond

Charlotte (the view from here)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:52 PM

...and, though I've never met Tom Bliss and hold no brief for him, from all the postings I've read of his, he comes across as a civil and fair-minded person. I don't think he deserves to have phrases like "happy horseshit" thrown at him; and, Joe, your exhortations to keep personal comments out of the forum are somewhat undermined when you yourself resort to language like this. For goodness sake, calm down.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:49 PM

Joe's right, staying away if you don't like the look of the thread is the best option, something, I admit, I should have done, and not because I don't know what I'm talking about.

Charlotte (the view from here)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:45 PM

The courage of his convictions if nothing else.

A former Conservative politician and current journalist with courage of convictions?

'scuse me a moment.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Ooooh dear. Must stop for breath.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Sorry, Joe, this thread is too funny to put a stop to:-)

Cheers

Dave.

Ps.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

:D


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:42 PM

"Some of the posts on this thread have been nothing short of bullying."

This is of course true, and abusive/flaming posts SHOULD really be deleted. Unfortunately, it seems that as far as the powers that be here are concerned, ANYBODY participating in a potentially controversial thread such as this one is foolish to do so, and only has themselves to blame if they're on the receiving end of trolling.

But isn't almost ANY discussion worth its salt, potentially controversial? MOST of us have kept reasonably civil here, and the "look" of the thread could have been kept so much more positive with just a small degree of sensible editing. I think this is an occasion where our, er, rulers maybe need to show a little more humility and an acceptance that the system is failing those of us who DO avoid getting personal.

I agree, this really needs sorting out.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:40 PM

The courage of his convictions if nothing else.
It's funny I was the first to bring up the idea, and am the first to get shot at for it, no matter...suit yourself...However the matter is far from trivial for many on this thread.

Charlotte (the view from here)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:40 PM

I joined this thread at #100 for no real purpose other than to claim just that. It stank right from the outset with very nasty, sneering homophobia - very appropriate that I'm just watching the opening scenes of Quentin Crisp on BBC4.

Oh, and to register astonishment at someone saying they hadn't a "f*lk scene" within a million miles of where they lived (lucky them). This was marked by the slimy slug saying there was "no point in arguing with me". I'd been giving this supposedly isolated person (and anyone else who apparently didn't know) that trad music is all around, probably next door or just across the street and that was far more important than what a broadcasting pundit or columnist happened to think and say about a tiny snippet of some song carrier (but no-one knows quite which).

And so, five days and a million posts later, people who mostly never even heard the original Black Boy broadcast (or POTW) are still (with just a few exceptions) still talking bollocks. About 1954, apparently.

Don't you have any tunes to learn or, failing that, the kitchen floor to wash? I have (not housework, I hasten to add . . .)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:36 PM

I've received a number of complaints about this thread. People want us to monitor it and remove the nastiness. I have to say this is a distasteful thread. When threads have a tone like this one has, I try to stay away from them. But if the thread has 449 posts, then somebody must enjoy talking like this. I guess I'd suggest that if people don't like threads like this, they might be advised to do like I do and stay away.

I can tell at a glance that a thread like this is bound to be a nasty one. Frankly, it's too damn much work to make it otherwise. If adults can't behave in a civil manner on their own, I don't think there's much I can do to force them to behave.
Can anyone convince me there's a better alternative?

-Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-

Oh, and I don't believe for a second that happy horseshit about "I'm a Guest to protect myself because people are just too nasty around here." In most cases, posting as a perennial Guest is a way of not taking responsibility for what you have to say.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:36 PM

The courage of his convictions if nothing else.
It's funny I was the first to bring up the idea, and am the first to get shot at for it, no matter...suit yourself...However the matter is far from trivial for many on this thread.

Charlotte (the view from here)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:29 PM

Yet no one is willing to confront him, face to face, to take Mr Parris to task

I am. I am sure many other people on this thread are. That makes a mockery of your statement I'm afraid Charlotte but what makes you think Mr Paris would want to meet any of us over such a trivial matter?

D.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:26 PM

Damn you Tomcat, beat me to the 10! Hope your bits are chopped off:-P


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:26 PM

'Methinks Parris got a wee bit too close to the bone!'

Yet no one is willing to confront him, face to face, to take Mr Parris to task. As has been pointed out enumerable times ad infinitum, ad nauseum, I'm in Canada so I'm unable to pursue that line, however, as I've also pointed out, a group of us had a similar problem a few years back, and we did indeed confront the person responsible. He flinched, not us.

cheers

Charlotte (the view from here)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:25 PM

10!

to let one mediocre floor singer spoil an otherwise excellent evening takes a fair degree of determination to be miserable.

Unfortunately some people, excluding you or I, DO have that amount of determination:-( Probably more than either of us think!

By the way, my parents are from Merseyside and one of my grandmothers came from Manchester.

So, not only a southerner but a scouse souterner with a renegade Mancy grandparent! Jees. Nowt down for you, mate... :-P

I still say glass to rhyme with ass not arse I always ask people if they can see all their fart when they get out of the barth:-)

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tomcat
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:17 PM

"What a bunch of wankers" You said it! The occasional wankesser also prevails, if you don't mind?
Methinks Parris got a wee bit too close to the bone!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:14 PM

Backwoodsman,
               `scuse the delay, I `ad to `ave my dinner. I`eard on the wireless the `uvver day that LOL stands for "Laugh Out Loud". Well, I bin signing all my texts LOL meaning "Lots of Love". I now know why i`ve bin getting some dodgy replies,`specially since one of my texts was my condolences to a girlfriend on the death of `er muvver!!
What am I like?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:08 PM

I'm afraid I don't feel able myself to contribute any more here. Having failed to make any progress on these topics in the past I know that further debate will only generate more misunderstanding.
Which is sad but probably true - and also a neat encapsulation of why f**k has the problems it does. If those who actively support it will fight like cats in a sack and display the sort of autistic pedantry, spitefulness and wilful petulance that this thread has thrown up, is it any wonder that those lucky enough to be outside the magic circle look in and thing 'What a bunch of wankers'?
I think Tom's has been one of the more reasoned voices on this thread but, yes, nearly 450 posts is bloody ridiculous. And no-one's brought in the horse yet...


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:05 PM


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: peregrina
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:01 PM

No one would want "GEFF" to be replaced by STWEFF


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 01:56 PM

I don't like to hear strong characters assuming everyone else is as thick-skinned as they are. Some of the posts on this thread have been nothing short of bullying.

It can be very unpleasant to be flamed on a web forum, specially if you are new, and there's really no excuse for it.

Apart from the bad public image we present at these times, which does none of our interests any favours, the nastiness holds back debate, because people with new ideas don't feel able to contribute, while those with the entrenched views we're trying to work round indulge themselves getting buzz out of their vicarious conflict.

It's not healthy.

And at a time when this wonderful music and culture and community is at something of a crossroads, with a declining a club culture, but a flourishing festival scene, problems in funding, licensing laws and pubs, but new young musicians and retiring baby-boomers entering the scene, and massive but puzzling opportunities presented by new technology - in short a fascinating time, it is SUCH a shame that a few individuals being so many debates down to the same old vindictive slanging match.

We have things to sort out, people.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 01:43 PM

Well said, Backwoodsman.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Concierge's Apprentice
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 01:35 PM

Did somebody order a taxi?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge.
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 01:22 PM


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 01:19 PM

LOL Jim!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 01:04 PM

I`ad that Matthew Parris in my cab the `uvver day. `e said " Elsie`s, Cowden Pound please".
I said "Righto".
I said to `im "`ere, you bin mouffing off about our folk music? You got `em all at one another`s froats on that "Mudcat Cafe".
`e said "Where?. Mudcat Cafe?. Is that some new Jamie Oliver place?".
I said "Nah, it`s that Internet forum on your computer where they all `ave their free-pennoff about songs and fings"
`e said "Good, at least it`ll stop `em all catterwauling for a while!!"

What am I like?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 01:04 PM

Sod it - bloody computer! That was me.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 12:58 PM

Tom said:

"On most other forums, when this happens, some host or moderator steps in. But Mudcat has a very hands-off approach, and behaviour that would be edited in other places is allowed to run on regardless of the hurt and damage it is causing. (Which is why I remain a guest, by the way)."

Oh, come off it, Tom. People aren't so thin skinned. If we were, my guts, for one, would be cascading all over the floor (don't say, it......). Vigorous debate is healthy; at least here it ends short of 'coats off and outside'. Glueman seems more than capable of standing up for himself - I'd love to get in and give you may two-pennorth but I'm in the very difficult position of agreeing in part with most of the warring factions. Bugger!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 12:56 PM

Ummm...yeah, I do wonder sometimes as well.... :-D anyway...

I Googled "Black Boy" and the pub name is quite extant up and down Britain

Charlotte (the view from here)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 12:49 PM

Yes, Charlotte, I was aware of that and it was I who originally mentioned the Black Boy in Winchester:

"Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton - PM
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:53 PM

I'm pretty sure there was a Black Boy pub in Winchester too, last time I was down there (about 18 months ago)."

GUEST presumably is responding (albeit belatedly) to this...it was the "what is this website" that had me scratching my head...though I do find myself wondering that myself from time to time...


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 12:43 PM

'Well, Guest, I'm very glad to hear that. Errm (nervous laugh), Que??'

Long ago and far away , well at least somewhere near the top of this thread, there was this.....

From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:25 PM

I've now checked the Pick of the week site - Matthew Parris played part of a programme broadcast on Easter Monday (so can be heard again until tomorrow - ) on the demise of the black boy
as a pub name. I found it particularly interesting because the broadcast excerpt included an interview with the sole black customer of the Black Boy pub in Bushey Heath, which is pretty near where I grew up.

Kitty

Cheers

Charlotte (the view from here)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 12:37 PM

Well, Guest, I'm very glad to hear that. Errm (nervous laugh), Que??


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 12:29 PM

there is still a Black Boy in Winchester and its a good pub - what is this website


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 12:20 PM

Good question, Backwoodsman. Wouldn't blame the music, though- some people just ARE that way.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: tijuanatime
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 12:18 PM

The open-ended nature of the thread title has allowed all the usual suspects to park their hobbyhorses on the lawn. I would estimate that less than 100 posts are in any way relevant to the subject of the original post.

It's the price of frredom,but, as Tom has pointed out, it's also deeply depressing.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 12:10 PM

It's little wonder young people don't want to involve themselves in folk music, if some of the stuff on this thread's anything to go by. If I was a 16-year-old again (please, PLEASE!!) reading this little lot, I'd be thinking, "What a load of dysfunctional old farts - I'll stick to ..........(insert pop-fad-of-the-moment)".

How can something so wonderful that makes me so happy make some people so unhappy and f**kin' horrible?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 11:59 AM

'I thought this thread was about what a pillock Mathew Paris was regarding Folk Music'

Well according to one poster the opinions expressed here are of far more importance than anything Matthew Parris has to say, and thus the thread has morphed into what you see now.

Charlotte (the view from, at the moment, this computer)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: sapper82
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 11:46 AM

Funny you know, I thought this thread was about what a pillock Mathew Paris was regarding Folk Music.
Kitty, I bet you didn't have this length of thread in mind when you started it!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 11:40 AM

Playground bullies and keyboard warriors - keepin it real my @rse. You can say 1954 as long as you like, it still sounds like alcoholism/autism from here. Bye.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 11:39 AM

Tom Bliss

I don't know if it's genuine or malevolent

Things run a lot smoother if you assume genuine till proved otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 11:36 AM



To have never been disappointed is a blessing that few people have been given.

Did I say that? I've certainly been disappointed to have paid out good money to see a main guest who turned out to be somewhat lacking in star quality but to let one mediocre floor singer spoil an otherwise excellent evening takes a fair degree of determination to be miserable.

By the way, my parents are from Merseyside and one of my grandmothers came from Manchester. I still say glass to rhyme with ass not arse.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 11:31 AM

Evo stik man - just try and get certain facts right and you will be fine:-

1) Richard Bridge knows all about the 1954 definition of folk music.
2) He is right
3) Captain Birdseye knows about the 1954 definition of folk music
4) He is right
5) There are areas of s disagreement between the two men about the nature of folk music and it 1954 definition
6) No one else gives a stuff
7) Tom Bliss is a sort of Kofi Anan character, constantly expressing dismay about the fact that the 1954 definition of folk music doesn't make us all a happy band of brothers. Too many treaty incursions, you see.
8) Everybody cares about folkmusic, but not necessarily the same folk music and not necessarily in the same way.
10) its fun!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 11:10 AM

You are indeed a lucky man, Bryan. To have never been disappointed is a blessing that few people have been given. I hope it never happens to you but I am afraid that I am the one with bad news. The people of Sussex are no different to the people of Lancashire. They have their fair share of optimists, pessimists, good and bad performers, just like everywhere else. Sorry, but sunshine is not exclusive to the south east. Even up here amidst the dark satanic mills we do get the occasional glimpse of brave Helios:-)

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 11:06 AM

Thanks for the gen Tom, it's appreciated. I'm off to play some clawhammer banjo, petrol on troubled water no doubt, but as 100% English urban white trash I'm qualified.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 10:42 AM

Hi Glueman.

I'm sorry you've had a rough ride here. You've stumbled in on a bad patch, I'm afraid. I've been posting here for a good while, and I've never felt so personally sandbagged, or been so depressed by the state of the debate, as I have been by this thread.

Mudcat is usually lively and feisty, but not normally nasty for very long. Sadly, this topic has touched a lot of personal sore spots, and brought out the worst in a number of people. I mentioned above that Mudcat was largely self-policing. I'm afraid here this has broken down, and what we're reading is a series of separate but overlapping arguments, where the people are re-fighting old battles, on which their minds are long made up and will not be changed however well-reasoned the point.

Some of the comments above are almost libellous, and the tone of the debate at times reflects badly on us all.

On most other forums, when this happens, some host or moderator steps in. But Mudcat has a very hands-off approach, and behaviour that would be edited in other places is allowed to run on regardless of the hurt and damage it is causing. (Which is why I remain a guest, by the way).

That said, there is been some valuable debate in between the tirades, and you have made some excellent points. I'm afraid I don't feel able myself to contribute any more here. Having failed to make any progress on these topics in the past I know that further debate will only generate more misunderstanding (I don't know if it's genuine or malevolent) and conflict, which I can live without.

However, I do hope you stay around and are soon accepted.

Good luck

Tom Bliss


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 10:01 AM

WLD, I'm fine with anyone expressing their opinion on folk music. I began collecting stuff in the early seventies when I was a teenager, from ancient 78s that would tick all Richard's boxes, Irish music, Scottish music, the Morris Motors Band, Sandy Denny, you name it. It's seamless to me.
What I can't accept is music as a rarified history lesson. That precludes adoption, adaptation, nuance and anyone not bright, worthy or gifted enough to do the research. And I certainly don't take kindly to being insulted for wandering into someone's personal fiefdom before I've barely opened my mouth. If there's a guard dog at least put up a sign.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 09:54 AM

Oh, WLD, you overcomplicate: tory media hogs are our enemies.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 09:38 AM

Dave Polshaw

By that do you imply that I have ever seen it?

No. I'm saying that I have never seen it. I'm not sure what you want me to do about that.

Tell us honestly that you have never had an experience, folky or otherwise, spoiled by something which, in hindsight, was pretty trivial.

Not that I can recall. Perhaps we just have a sunnier outlook in Sussex and see the bottle 15/16ths full not 1/16th empty.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 09:30 AM

most of us have developed immunity to the venom.

Glueman - you miss the point. No one pays Richard and I. We have done folk music , cos we want to, cos it means a lot to us.

Thats why we get ratty with people who consign our work to the scrap heap - we know its never even had a decent listen.

Personally I don't give a fig or a fart about the 1954 definition of folk music. I think tory media hogs who get on telly when there should be folkmusic on there, are perceived as the common enemy by both of us.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 09:11 AM

Well done Nigel Spencer for picking up on the unnecessary comments regarding guests. Had a scan and it raises a few things in my mind:

I think the comments from (I think Melissa) are valid regards mudcat being hard to penetrate and somewhat brusque at times. I have posted before and chuckled at the light hearted p*** taking responses, but been dismayed at the more venomous ones.

I think there is a burgeoning young scene (amateur and professional) and I think Ruth makes this point well.

Most importantly, we are all pretty much agreeing on the inappropriateness of MP's POTW comments. However, just have a think about how (collectively and individually) mudcat sometimes treats other musical genres. I repeatedly see the 'rap-crap' analogy on here. Do you investigate this musical field before casting such aspersions? Have you looked into the development of rap music in the late 70's as a cultural phenomonon giving poor, predominantly minority neighbourhoods of various districts of New York a voice and an identity? Have you thought to consider the different periods and styles of this genre or have you just outright said/thought rap = crap.

When you do this, are you behaving as you expect MP to behave, or are you doing the same thing that he has done, to a musical genre that you maybe don't understand, just as he has to a musical tradition that he obviously doesn't understand?

Just thought it was a point worth raising...

Rich.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 08:47 AM

I have never seen ANYBODY do that.

By that do you imply that I have ever seen it? If so, why not just come out and call me a liar? I would be more than happy to prove otherwise. Just because you have never seen it doesn't mean it doesn't exist!

So after an evening of, say, Geoff Higginbottom people come out saying "Wasn't the bloke in the first half $%*&£! awful?"?

Yep - That is exactly what happens. Small things do indeed spoil the night for some people. Tell us honestly that you have never had an experience, folky or otherwise, spoiled by something which, in hindsight, was pretty trivial.

Cheer

Dave.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 08:40 AM

I can't get further than Gigi(II). If your frame of reference on a web forum can't get further than occluded in jokes how inverted your musical scope? Your argument is as hermetically sealed as Miss Haversham's parlour - you're entitled to it but it's full of cobwebs. Are you in a profession where people are paid to listen to you Richard, there can be no other explanation for such self-regard.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 07:50 AM

But no-one ever thought Mick Jagger - from down in the deep south - Dartford, via Richmond - had any direct knowledge of the cotton fields. And my memory insists that the Stones sang "step" not "stride" but I have not checked.

Gigi(II) and GJ - you should check the 1954 definition before you assert that it cannot deal with accretion to or modification of folk music and song. It can and does. It is a point that most of its critics miss, although it is there in the words. It is why Gelbhard is wrong in that particular assertion, although it may be open to discussion whether the idea of "folk" traditions was itself polluted by a romantic conception of the noble savage.

Once the 1954 definition or something similar is lost then the idea of a folk art is also lost, for the horse definition takes over. It is the same reason why Parliament failed so dismally to achieve a menaingful definition of "rave" music when it was trying to deal with the social problem of outdoor raves in the UK.

Wikipedia on taxonomy


We do need a term for things that are not folk but are a bit like it - and we need to know how like is like enough. I've been waiting for sensible suggestions on these two points for some years here and have seen none yet. Without them musicologists cannot study the characteristics of the forms of music. SWMBO of course ignores these points simply because in her fevered mind she thinks she saw someone perform who wasn't good enough for her (or maybe made an un-p-c joke about a woman) and would scrap the word and definition and replace it with nothing. The she substitutes petty insults (like "Silly Hat") for discussion or rationality. See above for examples.

But if there is a form of music to which Parris's foolish insults were addressed (absent which what he said meant nothing at all) then it is obviously the core 1954 definition English (1954 definition can apply to other cultures as well) that is insulted. If it were the traditions of any other culture that he insulted it would be thought as unacceptable as Boris Johnson's references to "picanninnies".


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 07:44 AM

As someone remarked to me the other day, I certainly hope this stramash doesn't come to the attention of Steve Knightley or we'll be in for another tedious rant on the lines of Roots and Kim Howell.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: fat B****rd
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 07:19 AM

Is this Parris bloke aware of all this stuff he's caused?
BTW Pedant Calling - Down Home Girl was by Alvin Robinson.
Charlie - on the sidlines.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 05:37 AM

Purity is the wrong word Jon. Your idea of material that 'feels it belongs or follows on naturally' is much better. Most of us think the tunes, musical modes, instrumentation, subject matter, etc., give off enough signifiers to be readily identified as folk and/or traditional style.
Pure, authentic, 'real' are too expensive for a living tradition.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 05:24 AM

Folk purity is about normal lives in a big and often uncaring universe, not just authenticity to ploughing and shipbuilding.

I'm not sure I like the term "folk purity" but I do not base folk on words. To me with new material, it's whether or not it feels it belongs or follows on naturally from the material we know from the past.

A difficulty I have with the use lyric content and meaning to define folk is that that overlooks the fact that a fair chunk is tunes and dances.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 05:09 AM

Put your coat back on Sue, I'm buying. Still chortling at the idea of RB as taxonomy bully, yer couldn't make it up.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 05:04 AM

From Matthew Gelbard's 2007 book 'The Invention of "folk music" and "art music":

"Patent, 'objective definitions of both folk and art music, whether by the International Folk Music Council, text book authors, or anyone else, are doomed to inconsistency, tautology, and ultimately self-contradiction because folk music and art music are not timeless, objective truths, but very human constructions."

and:

"..it is the histories of the concepts - the nebulous masses of connotations that build around them - that give them meaning ... an act of historical 'defining' that uncovers the deeper assumptions and prejudices that the terms have picked up."

Discuss.

Sue Allan
(gets coat and runs ...)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 04:58 AM

'I can tell by your giant strides you been walking in the cotton fields' that was from Alvin Alcorn's Downhome Girl, and I believed it when the Stones covered it.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 04:49 AM

The one time I saw Carthy, there was 10 minutes of chat between each 5-minute song!

Carthy? Never. Ten minutes of tuning possibly - but chat?????? And 5-minute song? Ten minutes at least!!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 04:42 AM

"I was nice to him first, and he refused to learn"

Ah, a pantomime baddie soliloquising. I thought you were someone with a serious point for a moment. As you were.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 04:33 AM

Welcome to Mudcat, Glueman!...


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 04:32 AM

Very funny SWMBO. Mirror? Pot, kettle?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 04:31 AM

That's all right. This one we can clearly do without. I was nice to him first, and he refused to learn. I told him, 1954 definition. I made it plain that the difference is not one of quality but definition.

And you stole my 400, and I'd worked for that!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 04:30 AM

do the regulars accept this overbearing nonsense

No, of course not.
But in my case, I ignore it (eventually) until he hangs himself with his own rope.
Very tedious though, innit?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 04:27 AM

Oi, Richard, give it a bone! That's exactly the sort of snide comment that deters guests from becoming members.

No need for it. Ever.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 04:25 AM

Your definition of classic being as fluid as all your others, i.e. from the fingertips of Richard Bridge and beyond reproach. I'm new here - do the regulars accept this overbearing nonsense or is your view the received one on musical nomenclature?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 04:18 AM

Looks like you can't read, any more than you can think. Classic "GUEST" behaviour.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 04:06 AM

Shallow? Slipshod? If relevance to the modern world is so lightly dismissed folk will die out with the current generation of historiographiacally suspended enthusiasts determined to posit 'folk' in their own temporal fantasy.
Who has given anyone the right to say what folk is? When was this distillation of national verisimilitude decided? Was the music that went before irrelevant because it didn't exist on an aural record? Folk by your definition is as authentic as druidry, costume cosiness for the disaffected.
Folk is whatever anyone with the balls to stand up to self-styled academics says it is. The points are as meaningful as shouting 'Judas' at Bob Dylan, a fifth-time removed songwriter castigated for having an electric wire dangling from his guitar.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 03:47 AM

I think you make my point for me, Gigi(II). Is that course one in folk arts, or in craft? If it is in "craft" generally then that is the analogue of the thing for which there apears to be no term in music, namely music inspired and influenced by the tradition.

Think of "folklore" - it is not about what is invented today. THe urban myth is not folklore.

Think of "folk dance" - is is not the twist, the frug, the shag, the shake, and thier yet more modern descendants. It is Playford, Morris, and their analogues in other cultures.

Think of "folk medicine". Is it the modern belief that ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory, or the herbal remedies and poultices handed down over history?

Think of "folk tales"

etc, etc.


But if you think of the modern extensions of folk music, why then the topics dealt with, from industrial exploitation, modern shipping methods, the modern army, motorcycles, housing shortages, ethnic cleansing, computers, the internet, (oh, and of course "boy meets girl") fully encompass the modern world.

And if you don't see the lineage from the Flapper to today's club and society girls, and from the Teddy boy to today's gangs, then you are the one in blinkers. So are songs such as "The Well below the Valley" and maybe "Prince Heathen" the forbears of modern arguments about abortion, etc, etc.

It is why Jon Loomes, when asked why he sings traditional material replies that he has not yet found a topic to which it is not relevant (or words to that effect).


If the shallow "relevance to the modern world" that you seem to advocate were the criterion, then Shakespeare, Sheridan, Shaw, Dickens, Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, the great constitutional writers like Dicey, most classical music would all be irrelevant.


Look around. Modern children's literature reaches back to folk tales of wizardry. Modern television draws on folk-tales of vampires. Terry Pratchett's pointed commentaries on today's conditions are set in a world of wizards and bucolics.


The chalk is there. It's the 1954 definition. What lies outside the chalkline is not necessarily any less worthy for that, and it is most of what is incorrectly called "folk" by the slipshod. All the hard of understanding need is a new and accurate label, so that they canunderstand that what they currently call "folk" is the analogue of "new country" (which, I understand, plenty of country purists complain is not "country" although they have no equivalent definition of "country".


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 02:59 AM

"Glueman, whoever said that was *really* wide of the mark there!"

Yep, like I say the facts aren't watertight but go to the heart of Parris's and many other's critique of the English folk style: an aspic pickled view of the world that's unable to leave behind the bucolic framework for the essence. Most people don't get any further than the frame, they see folk as relevant as Teddy Boys or Flappers to the contemporary experience.

" (the) meaning of the word "folk" in understanding a whole range of other folk arts".
Richard's comments, if I have understood them correctly, are misplaced. My wife runs a successful crafts degree course; the students enjoy exceptionally high placement in a range of areas from French couture houses to TV and film companies to the fashion business by updated authentic craft skills into the modern era. The skills are identical, the application is different. The alternative would be to seek work in non-existent mills or weavers cottages. The analogy to folk music is a direct one, you can keep the world-view of folk music and attract new audiences by building on common experiences, not historically specific ones.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 08:56 PM

Grab, that was probably for tuning, in that he did once have a habit, which he has since consciously tried to lose, of doing successive songs in different open tunings.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Grab
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 08:50 PM

Glueman, whoever said that was *really* wide of the mark there! Clearly they'd never heard of Woodie Guthrie, Ewan McColl, Bob Dylan, Cyril Tawny, Jez Lowe, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Steve Knightley, Christie Moore, etc., etc.. All writing songs about the modern-day world around them.

You want pure traditional folk, it's a niche market. So is pure traditional country music from the days before the "&W" was added. Although it affects today's music, people mostly prefer to listen to today's music. In this, we're no different today from how we were many thousands of years ago. If we weren't, we'd still be bashing a rock against a treetrunk because it was good enough for our great-great-and-then-some-grandfather.

On Carthy: But to listen to his thought processes, because he doesn't chat a lot onstage

The one time I saw Carthy, there was 10 minutes of chat between each 5-minute song!

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 08:32 PM

WLD, apart from SWMBO, there seem to be a number of people above who criticise the performance of folk music as typically involving some sort of fake accent - it therefore being (so they say) fake and unconnected with "real life".

Now everything I have heard from links to your performances shows me that you are a terrific singer and player (although, no offence, I think that Martin Carthy's guitar playing is without peer) - but everything that I have so heard shows me that what you are doing is more rooted in americana than in anglicana - yet you are not american. So that too is fake.

Shirt murderer, that is your explanation.

WLD, in context therefore I have to prefer Norma Waterson's theory of relevance to yours.

Similarly suspension of disbelief is not part of the function of a musician. It is the centre of the function of an actor. No-one is supposed to come out thinking that the Rolling Stones ever had been "walking in the cotton fields"

And what whoever the fool being quoted by the new Gigi above misses is that there is a definition of folk music - a definition that is consistent witht he meaning of the word "folk" in understanding a whole range of other folk arts, whereas that has never been true (at least as far as anyone on this learned forum was able to say when I started a "what is country" thread) of "country". Once you abandon that definition of "folk" (which SWMBO seems to think is justified because some people are not as good as her) then it is twaddle to say that folk (or whatever you want to use as a term for "folk-like" music that is not 1954 definition folk) has not moved on to a world in which teh horse has been replaced by the motorcycle, as much of RIchard Thompson's output, or even Jim Causley's recent project album (extending by analogy the land grab of the Inclosure Acts to the purchase of the Royal triangle by the stinking rich) demonstrate.   Ironic, isn't it? By and large the same people who complain that "folk" is stultified are often the same people who use the word in a way that proves that it is not.

Oh, and another outright lie from SWMBO further above. At no stage did I say that homophobia was not immoral. It is immoral (but although some discrimination against those of specified gender preferences is illegal, not all homophobia is illegal). My point (which she wilfully misses) is that the unfounded derogatory categorisation of English folk music or other English traditions is just as immoral as the unfounded derogatory categorisation of other ethnic traditions or of gender preferences. That is why Parris was wrong, as well as gratuitously offensive, and should apologise.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 07:57 PM

Diane, name a GEFF.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Earl
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 07:48 PM

"Maybe some people just like a good grumble."

Yes Bryan

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 07:45 PM

Slimy person with eggshell-like outer covering:

You need the entire quote to get the full effect

Snail: the quotation is from the GEFFs' Mantra as indicated. Perhaps they chant it as a waulk and that's how they end up with bizarre tie-dyed fabric

The second sentence comes from my imaginative attempt to explain their behaviour but not the mantra itself. That's entirely the GEFFs' own effort. Waulking Back To Happiness the GEFFs' fave f*lky-jokey ditty,


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 07:44 PM

Dave Polshaw

What I have NEVER seen a professional do is go on stage, mutter that he or she doesn't know what they are going to do next, get out a dog eared book of lyrics and then stop part way through the song while they try and find the missing verse.

I have never seen ANYBODY do that.

As to That is sad. Yes it is. Unfortunately it is true.

So after an evening of, say, Geoff Higginbottom people come out saying "Wasn't the bloke in the first half $%*&£! awful?"?

Maybe some people just like a good grumble.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: melodeonboy
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 07:35 PM

An interesting post, WLD. And I am aware that you appreciate much of what Carthy does. However, much as Carthy has his heart in older material, he did rewrite The Begging Song to reflect Thatcherite Britain, and he has sung songs about relatively recent military conflicts such as the Falklands and Iraq/Kuwait. And Heartbreak Hotel comes not from a time of kings and maidens but a period of intense activity on the motorbike front!

Broom, broom!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 07:27 PM

Diane Easby

Snail: the quotation is from the GEFFs' Mantra as indicated

That's nobody outside your over fertile imagination then?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 06:54 PM

'You could update the incidentals and the honesty and keep the instrumentation acoustic but it would split the 'community' down the middle as to whether it was 'folk'. The idea of a musical Eden of indigenous ballardeers just doesn't hold water so where do you draw the line and who's going to volunteer with the chalk?'

abso-sodding-lutely !

the guitar techniques series of dvds is now down to £9.99. It is literally unmissable. I have bought almost the whole series. I got the first one off off Wizz Jones in Weymouth for £20 last year. It is so great though to hear how these people put together their view of folk music. And to listen intently to what they needed to make that synthesis.

The Marin Carthy dvd is easily the best of the lot. Not just because Martin is such a divergent thinker when it comes to guitar playing. But to listen to his thought processes, because he doesn't chat a lot onstage:-

1) he says that he had to forge like a blacksmith a style of English guitar playing. prior to him guitar was not an instrument in English music.

2) he says he can't understand why people think these songs that he sings aren't relevant . relevant to what, Norma says to him...because they're aren't motorbikes in them - they are great documents of the human condition, like Shakespeare and Dickens.

Sadly I think the thing he misses is that while he has had his head down creating all this music - the rest of us have been been busy having a life and creating history.

and we had stuff we wanted to express about our lives, and sometimes you had to know that it happened in a world where there were motorbikes and much else that simply wasn't there in a land when morris dancers ruled the earth.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: melodeonboy
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 06:16 PM

What's ridiculous? Singing in your own voice rather tham imitating someone else's? I don't understand!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 06:00 PM

Libby Purvis (or one of those BBC matriarchs) made an interesting point a coupla weeks ago. Comparing folk to country she reckoned C&W had moved on because once the cowboys got rid of their horses the songs moved onto cars and shopping malls in a way that folk hadn't been able to. The facts aren't watertight but it's a useful idea.
Folk purity is about normal lives in a big and often uncaring universe, not just authenticity to ploughing and shipbuilding.

You could update the incidentals and the honesty and keep the instrumentation acoustic but it would split the 'community' down the middle as to whether it was 'folk'. The idea of a musical Eden of indigenous ballardeers just doesn't hold water so where do you draw the line and who's going to volunteer with the chalk?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 05:42 PM

'The listener with a scorrick of intelligence co-operates in the creation of a work of art or artifice or whatever.'

Its what Hemingway calls the suspension of imagination. You stop your brain saying, this bullet could kill me in battle. You stop your brain saying this bloke is an actor I saw him last week on The Bill when you go to Stratford and see him as Macbeth.....

Its the fundamental spiritual jump of faith that makes us more spiritually significant than sheep and cows who never see further than the next blade of grass they want to chomp on.

hope this makes sense.

big al whittle


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 05:31 PM

The point your missing is Richard - we don't live the sort of lives people used to live.

Why the bloody hell should we pretend we lived in a little community and only ever heard one sort of voice. personally I like people when they make a bit of an effort to use artifice and perform.

And if you work at it, you get good at it. It's all about suspension of belief anyway. Did you ever really think when pete Coe or someone sang the Plains of waterloo that he'd just popped in from the battlefield. Intelectually of course - you knew it was bollocks.

The listener with a scorrick of intelligence co-operates in the creation of a work of art or artifice or whatever.

And that's what i get off on - someone making a creative effort - hopefully with a bit of talent thrown in. Sometimes the magic works -sometimes it doesn't. No need to get snotty about it.

However I resent someone taking me for granted, abusing my presence as a willing audience by singing The Molecather from an exercise book and expecting me to be polite and laugh at it. Even if it is, bloody traditional. Crap is crap.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 04:56 PM

Ridiculous - what, like girls who went to all the best female public schools struggling to sound estuarine, generations of English rock singers struggling to sound American or black, and posses of white and asian singers struggling to sound Jamaican?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: melodeonboy
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 03:25 PM

"And I like to think that I eventually create my own interpretation of a song, anyway, which is really the most important thing. I've heard singers whose vocal style has been "influenced" by that of traditional singers and they sound ridiculous, false, and in one case absolutely painful to listen to. Surely the thing to aim for is to find your own voice."

Yes indeed, Ruth. A thousand times yes. (But applicable across the board; not only to traditional singers.)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice)
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 03:05 PM

"We all need each other."

perhaps we do, perhaps we do., but there are the few, the usual suspects as it were, who believe that they should be the ones leading the great un-washed, so to speak, to the great traditional promised land. I'm wondering if Egypt is not, on the whole, a better bet.

Charlotte (remaining sedentary for the time being)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 02:53 PM

"We all need each other."

But, you see, there is one prime mover and some clones who think that most people are not good enough for them.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 01:59 PM

Have you never heard a professional fluff their lines or repeat a verse?

Of course I have, Brian. Many times. But not consistantly. Plus the 'stagecraft' mentioned earlier often kicks in at that point and makes the mistake less important. What I have NEVER seen a professional do is go on stage, mutter that he or she doesn't know what they are going to do next, get out a dog eared book of lyrics and then stop part way through the song while they try and find the missing verse.

And to clarify a point I don't believe I have ever said people are put off by duff performers. Apologies if I implied it somewhere but what I said is that it annoys ME. I cannot answer for anyone else.

As to That is sad. Yes it is. Unfortunately it is true. Why do you think bad news makes the papers and good doesn't? Why do you think that if you have a good experience you tell one person - if you have a bad one you tell six. Just human nature I'm afraid, Sad as it is.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 01:50 PM

"defining what folk may, or may not"

a never ending quest and the subject of many, many threads here on Mudcat, and one, I believe, that will never be satisfactorally defined. :-)

Maybe Matthew Parris needs to be confronted face to face...no wait..ummm...I think that's possibly what he wants...or perhaps we could all "catterwhaul outside his house at 2'o clock in the morning*LOL*

Charlotte (away away with the fife and drum)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 01:42 PM

Indeed Charlotte, indeed. The fact remains much of this thread has been taken up defining what folk may, or may not, be. Not so much giving a gun to the likes of Matthew Parris as using it on both feet with a strychnine chaser.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 01:38 PM

Because folk doesn't have a definition it exists mainly as something to kick against, a notion, an idea of abstract purity for the general public. Perhaps that was what Parris was going on about, who knows?"

You credit Mr. Parris with far too much, I think. Yes, Yes, I know the aforementioned Mr Parris is supposed to be some sort of serious journalist, but his remarks vis a vie English Traditional Music belie that fact.

Charlotte ( I am where I am)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 01:20 PM

Nice answer Diane but the point is waulking songs weren't made for public exhibition. My prejudice says any form that doesn't allow fresh air in is dead, a museum piece only fit for a glass case. Because folk doesn't have a definition it exists mainly as something to kick against, a notion, an idea of abstract purity for the general public. Perhaps that was what Parris was going on about, who knows? It's a funny business, attracting Guardianistas with a social (history) conscience and white supremicists looking for ersatz roots. I'd like to belong to a folk club but I'm with Groucho Marx on that one.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 01:00 PM

If the women doing the waulking didn't do it "professionally", the tweed wouldn't come out right.
Snail: the quotation is from the GEFFs' Mantra as indicated. Perhaps they chant it as a waulk and that's how they end up with bizarre tie-dyed fabric.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 12:50 PM

I'll bite on the What Is Folk red herring. It's either say, Waulking Songs from Barra where an expection of professionalism is to entirely miss the point or Kate Rusby where one expects eye candy and exquisitely played traditional instruments, and probably both.
If only it was unplugged Northern Soul would fit the brief to a T, re-discovered popular tunes of love and loss assimilated by a grassroots movement and kept alive long after their makers expected.

Somewhere in the middle is what most of us think of as traditional but the devil is entirely in the detail.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 12:38 PM

Diane Easby

"no need to practice, or be in tune, or remember the words, or have any notion of stagecraft, or to put over the story in a professional manner"

You've put that in quotes, Diane. Who are you quoting?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 12:15 PM

Some on this list seem to have a poor regard for folk music

Dead right they do.

Their mantra of "no need to practice, or be in tune, or remember the words, or have any notion of stagecraft, or to put over the story in a professional manner" marks them out as Good Enough For For F*lk aka GEFFs.
How is it surprising that the odd commentator (not to mention the bulk of the general public) takes the piss just a bit?
They're the ones who are damaging our cultural heritage because they don't and won't respect it themselves.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 11:57 AM

Brian Peters

Both Tom and I understand that the material came from somewhere else before the pros got hold of it

Well, perhaps I'm being oversensitive but that's not the feeling I was getting. I felt Tom was claiming some sort of ownership by the professionals of what is, after all, our national heritage.

Now back to the thread topic (which was....?).

I think that what we think of ourselves is more important than the flippant remarks of a Tory ex-MP. We can't sell ourselves to a wider audience if we don't believe in the value of what we've got. Some on this list seem to have a poor regard for folk music.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Brian Peters
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 11:14 AM

As I read it, Tom was talking about the role of professional performers in making repertoire available in accessible form for other singers in less formal settings to make use of. Both Tom and I understand that the material came from somewhere else before the pros got hold of it; it's just a matter of getting it out there where people will hear it now. And both of us respect and value the work of volunteers in keeping many of the venues in which we play running all these years. No quarrel. Now back to the thread topic (which was....?).


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 10:39 AM

Good on yer, Brian. Can you explain to me what Tom is on about?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Brian Peters
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 10:21 AM

"I think the professionals need to understand that and why we do it."

I've run folk clubs and attended them as punter and floorsinger in the past, so rest assured I do understand that. More power to your elbow, I say (in fact I did say exactly that in an article on folk clubs in fRoots a few years ago)!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Brian Peters
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 10:15 AM

"I'm not sure i entirely agree. I love VOTP, but I think it's important to keep the recordings in perspective. They consist of one person's interpretation of a song, which had a life long before that particular singer took it on. It's a snapshot, and not necessarily a definitive one."

Yes, of course you're right. My remark was a bit of a throwaway that I hadn't really thought through. What I was trying to do was suggest that people might at least listen to one or more versions from tradition, rather than just copying the Carthy version or the Nic Jones version or the Kate Rusby version, as quite a few tend to do. Yes - find your own voice. But you can draw on some of the skills of the old singers without necessarily performing a ludicrous copy of, say, Fred Jordan. Sam Lee seems to manage the former pretty well!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 10:07 AM

Brian Peters

I can't understand why the unexceptionable point that Tom's been trying to make has attracted such strong disagreement.

The last thing I want to do is fall out with you, Brian but the point I'm trying to make is that the overwhelming majority of people who run folk clubs and do most of the work at festivals are volunteers. Most of the performers in folk clubs, even those who get paid for the occasional guest, spot are amateurs. I think the professionals need to understand that and why we do it. Know your market.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 09:55 AM

Dave Polshaw

The point is people do not remember the regular occurence of good performance, only the occasional bad ones. It is those that they talk about most and it is those that give the whole of folk music a bad name.

That is sad.

Oh, and by the way, you say I have been involved in running a folk club for 10+. years. Well, I have been runnning Swinton for nearer 30. 25 of which we have run an annual festival as well. And we are still going strong. Maybe the PR is pitched right after all.:-)

Only trying to persuade Tom that I had some grounds for knowing what I was talking about.

Sounds as if people aren't as put off by the duff performers as you claim either or perhaps they aren't quite as duff as you think. Have you never heard a professional fluff their lines or repeat a verse?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 09:39 AM

" Wouldn't it be great if everyone learned their songs from VOTP, but thus far not many do."

I'm not sure i entirely agree. I love VOTP, but I think it's important to keep the recordings in perspective. They consist of one person's interpretation of a song, which had a life long before that particular singer took it on. It's a snapshot, and not necessarily a definitive one.

I've learned lots of songs from revival singers, but i also like to know the source version if it's available because it gives me a different perspective on the song, and perhaps a connectiuon to its history. But for quality of interpretation, I'm not sure, for example, I could choose between Norma Waterson and Packie Manus Byrne's versions of The Holland Handkerchief.

And I like to think that I eventually create my own interpretation of a song, anyway, which is really the most important thing. I've heard singers whose vocal style has been "influenced" by that of traditional singers and they sound ridiculous, false, and in one case absolutely painful to listen to. Surely the thing to aim for is to find your own voice.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 08:51 AM

Brian, I've tried focus many of my comments on instrumental sessions. I have my reasons but it's been suggested I don't go into it in this thread. I'll try to leave it at that.

---
As for inspiration and being attracted to folk in the first place, I think singing at home with the piano and singing at school (notably Singing Together) would have been sufficient for me to always have some inbuilt like of folk music waiting to be triggered off later.

Of course professionals have helped too. I'd single out the Clancey Brothers and Tommy Maken from childhood and Barney McKeena of the Dubliners later in life. The revisiting the Dubliners and me picking up on the tunes possibly owes a bit to a local folk club and some participation in Morris...

On this, to me, it is exactly as Tom has suggested, ie. both pro and am have been important to me and it has needed both for my personal "folk journey.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 08:46 AM

The Snail -

Dave Polshaw doesn't seem to be doing a very good PR job for the Swinton Folk Club.

Maybe not, Brian, but I am being honest. Out of the 20+ performers that enter and exit our club as floor singers on a regular or occasional basis at the moment, the vast majority have the professional attitude that we are talking about. A high proportion of them are actualy professionals. There are, maybe, 4 or 5 who fall in the other category and of those only 1 or 2 will consistantly disappoint. The point is people do not remember the regular occurence of good performance, only the occasional bad ones. It is those that they talk about most and it is those that give the whole of folk music a bad name.

I must also point out that it is not just Swinton that I am talking about. I used to visit clubs all over the country as and when I was away on business. I am more home based now so that is curtailed somewhat but I can honestly state that I have not yet come across a club where, on a singers night, someone has not cocked it up. I would be very surprised, nay, amazed, if I was to vist Lewes a couple of times not to find someone forgeting words, fluffing the tune or cocking up in some other way.

If someone new to folk comes to our club on a singers night after, for instance, being impressed by John Tams and Barry Cope at Fylde then I am afraid they may be disappointed. At least if I set their expections to the correct level - Ie 'you will see some excelent stuff, but expect a bit of roough with it:-)' then they have nothing to complain about.

Oh, and by the way, you say I have been involved in running a folk club for 10+. years. Well, I have been runnning Swinton for nearer 30. 25 of which we have run an annual festival as well. And we are still going strong. Maybe the PR is pitched right after all.:-)

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 08:16 AM

Tom Bliss

Bryan I give up. If you can't understand what I'm saying from all the words I've written above then you never will.

Tom, I have been involved in the folk scene for getting on for 40 years and I have been involved in running a folk club for 10+. I have been to many folk clubs and festivals. I know many of the great and good, both amateur and professional. I am reasonably bright and I am not being deliberately obtuse.

Despite that, I do not recognise the sort of folk scene you describe nor do I understand the point you are trying to make about the position of professionals.

For instance "In fact I'd hazard that 70-80% of the material I hear in clubs of both trad and mod hue across the land is directly attributable to a 'festival main stage' performer."

Not in my experience.

Sam Lee said he learnt the Mary Ann Haynes song from the CD with - Traveller's Joy: Songs of English and Scottish Travellers and Gypsies 1965-2005 recently published by EFDSS.

Yes, both it and the VOTP are commercial products because they need to be to be produced at all. I am pretty sure that the main motivation was to get the material into the public domain. I doubt if they made anybody rich.

I AM TALKING ABOUT THE NATIONAL PICTURE - not the Lewes Arms.

I am talking about the folk scene that I know which extends beyond the Lewes Arms which I don't think is that exceptional amongst traditionally biased clubs.

The folk scene that I am involved in is a social activity not the "folk indstry" or a commercial enterprise. I don't need a business plan to get together with my friends to share the music we enjoy.

Glad you came back, Tom. We really need to understand each other.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Brian Peters
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 08:08 AM

"Fitzgerald: Professional folk singers are different from us.
Hemingway: Yes, they've got more money."

Bryan, should this have read: "Less Money"? Or possibly: "No Money"?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Brian Peters
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 08:04 AM

I can't understand why the unexceptionable point that Tom's been trying to make has attracted such strong disagreement. I believe in folk music as community entertainment as much as anyone, but for all the years I've been attending folk clubs, singaround sessions and what have you, it's been obvious that a very large part of the material sung by floor singers has *originated* from professional or semi-pro performers, be it MacColl, A. L. Lloyd, the Watersons, Martin Carthy or - on the more contemporary side - Richard Thompson, Jez Lowe, Keith Marsden or Dave Webber. The Coppers have never been full-time professional musicians but their importance as a source depends on commercial recordings and publications ("the Coppersongs Empire" as Bob used to call it, tongue firmly in cheek). The give-away is when the version sung in the singaround is a Lloyd or Carthy collation some way removed from any archived source material. Wouldn't it be great if everyone learned their songs from VOTP, but thus far not many do.

And that's before you address the matter of inspiration. What attracted the people who like this kind of music to it in the first place? Was it a visit to the local folk club, or was it the Fairport or Kate Rusby record they heard on the radio?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 07:56 AM

Oh god, this debate seems to have degenerated into semantics. We'll be having the 'what is folk?' argument next.

Is not the point that the beauty of folk music exists, and can be enjoyed, on a number of levels? On one level (I hesitate to say 'top') are the people who earn their living by performing. We all enjoy them: on CD, at concerts, at festivals and, because we are paying to hear them, we expect a certain standard, reflecting their style of performance. At the opposite level are the people who just like to sing and play and/or listen to others doing so, at clubs, in pubs, at parties or simply sitting around at home with family or friends – this allows participation by people of all levels of ability. That someone is enjoying performing it or listening to it is all that matters.

I suspect that Mathew Parris's comments were simply made for effect, based on one particular style of folk music and certainly not from an understanding of the full complexity and diversity of the genre. Admit it, we all do it. I've jokingly referred to modern jazz as 'tuneless shit' because I personally don't like it or understand it. If the truth were known, I wish I did but, hey, life's too short!

Having read a lot of the posts here, it seems to me that quite a few people are expressing opinions that are as prejudiced and narrow-minded as Mr Parris's – it's just that his were expressed in more public way.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 07:19 AM

The folk tradition, as I understand it, is/was the gathering of 'ordinary' people at work, rest and play, who sang (well, badly or indifferently) songs they happened to like (good, bad or indifferent). There was no financial transaction involved - apart from the buying of the odd pint.

And no, musicians have not always been paid to play for dancing.

And troubadours/minstrels did not charge a fixed entrance fee - they relied on 'contributions' (it's called busking).

There are those who will always try to make money out of something - it's a tradition (it's called commerce) - but that's a different tradition entirely.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 06:38 AM

Could somebody please point out at what stage during the 1000+ year history of the folk tradition did this start?

I'd guess as soon as there was money and people could sing/play. Your guess is as good as to mine as to when that might have been.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 06:30 AM

Sorry that was me above and before - typing in a hurry.

Tom Brown has not, I don't think, contributed to this discussion. (I wanted to catch Henry before he went out)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 06:29 AM

Yes - he gets it, our Sam. :)

I think you'll be seeing a lot more of him soon.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,sorry cant resist
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 06:25 AM

and who made and distributed the recording of Mary Ann that Sam probably learned the song from? VOTP is a commercial venture.

Sminky - musicians have always been paid to play for dancing, and probably for singing in some circumstances. There have always been songwriters who sold songs, song collectors who sold broadsheets, tune collectors who sold tune books. There have always been travelling musicians and singers (and actors), who did it for a living. Folk music is interwoven with music hall and other forms of entertainment, and crosses over with classical and earl music - all with professional elements.

Jon - yes people do seek to drive wedges. And dangerous it is.

We all need each other.

Why is that a problem?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 06:22 AM

Professional traditionalists

I do believe that troubadours did the rounds for cash, singing about battles and gossip, at least until all castles got satellite dishes installed.

I also believe that they should get a proper rate for the job. Artists' rates and conditions in the UK are worse than anywhere else I've come across.


Snail

"In tune and in time and knowing the words" would be good for a start.
We know you don't call yourself "professional" because you do some other full-time occupation. Whether you approach your performance "professionally" or put on an amateurish show of "nasal bleating, stumbling and fumbling" I know not as I've never seen you but I suspect not.

Indeed Bryan Creer says the latter does not occur at all yet Tom Brown asserts that it's been going on since the 15th century. At least one of you must be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 06:15 AM

Forgot to mention that I saw Sam Lee for the first time last night doing a floor spot at the Royal Oak. Excellent. With people like him around the future of traditional music is assured. He sang one song learnt directly from Stanley Robertson and another from a recording of Sussex singer Mary Ann Haynes.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 06:12 AM

Well we'll have to disagree on that (can exist) point, Tom. I will add to my "not desirable" comment that I can see a fair bit of what you have commented on in that undesirable situation.

Perhaps where we disagree most over is what fuels what. I doubt I'd be questioning whether each side could exist without the other without me reading comments that can make me feel there are wedges already being driven in.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 05:56 AM

Diane Easby

obsessed by some dumb notion that by "professional" I mean "getting paid"

Well, one of your other major themes is that folk singers should be paid "properly". It does get confusing when different people are using "professional" in different ways.

So it seems professional means "in tune and time and knew all the words" which seems to be setting the bar pretty low.

Captain Ginger seems to think that the only alternative to professional is "crap performers .... inflicting their nasal bleatings, stumblings and fumblings on the public". I wonder which category I fit into or any of the other amateurs that make up the majority of the folk scene that I know.

Dave Polshaw doesn't seem to be doing a very good PR job for the Swinton Folk Club. Yet to believe that the population of Swinton is as talentless as he claims does take some swallowing:-)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 05:54 AM

"Commerce is woven through the folk tradition"

Could somebody please point out at what stage during the 1000+ year history of the folk tradition did this start? It's not in any of the books.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 05:53 AM

"You seem to be claiming some sort of special status for professional folk performers which I don't acknowledge."

Bryan I give up. If you can't understand what I'm saying from all the words I've written above then you never will.

Special status? Good grief - where is my chip-remover. I'm saying the EXACT opposite. Hit my name in blue above and just read all my posts in this thread, would you?

"I think you are in for a surprise when you come to us"

No I'm not - I have a very good idea what your club is like, and I know scores of others just the same. Apologies for shouting, everyone but I AM TALKING ABOUT THE NATIONAL PICTURE - not the Lewes Arms.

Jon - "I think either "side" could exist without the other"

And THAT is the dangerous belief that I'm challenging. They cannot, would not, should not, and never did or could, at least not for any length of time - because this is the way the world goes round.

Why do I use the word dangerous? Because it's that belief which underlies the attacks on 'amateurism' by those who don't understand it's importance, and the attacks on professionals as 'capitalists' or 'people giving themselves special status (sheeesh!), or demanding too much money etc.

I will not be contributing to this discussion any more. I'll be cancelling gigs next!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 05:33 AM

It is not something on the top that could be jettisoned as unnecessary if people so chose.

It's one where I think either "side" could exist without the other, one where I do seriously wonder at times whether a split will occur but I don't see such a thing happening as desirable.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 05:30 AM

Tom Bliss

"Are you saying that if a professional has ever recorded a version of a traditional song that we are forever in their debt if we perform it?"

Heavens above, Brian - what are you on?!


Then what are you saying Tom? I honestly don't get it. You seem to be claiming some sort of special status for professional folk performers which I don't acknowledge.

Fitzgerald: Professional folk singers are different from us.
Hemingway: Yes, they've got more money.

In fact I'd hazard that 70-80% of the material I hear in clubs of both trad and mod hue across the land is directly attributable to a 'festival main stage' performer.

I think you are in for a surprise when you come to us. My experience is that most people take their influences from the tradition either by direct contact or from recordings of the original. I am not doing down professionals or denying their influence. We book a great many of them and you must know about our workshop series. (Next Martin Carthy 19th April, workshop sold out, evening nearly so. Don't turn up without a ticket.) What we don't do is fill our floorspots with superstar imitators. Believe me, nobody would mistake our version of Tower of Refuge for yours; apart from anything else, Suzanne is an alto.

Looking forward to that beer.

That attitude does FAR more damage to the scene than a few tie die tee shirts and swirly 'folk trousers.'

WHAAAT?!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 05:23 AM

Your club sounds like it's in the middle somewhere, Jon.

The point it has taken me so long to make - in response to Bryan's cake/icing analogy - is that the business elements (and that involves many trades) of folk (using the broadest definition to cover everything that is called folk by anyone) is a key ingredient of the cake, which influences everything, to various degrees in different places.

Commerce is woven through the folk tradition, just as it is through all other forms of music, (I was delighted to read the post above about other musical genres with a similar pro/am structure - folk is not unique in this respect) and indeed through all the arts.

It is not something on the top that could be jettisoned as unnecessary if people so chose.

Call it a machine with cogs, call it an ecosystem, call it what you like, but recognise the way it actually works and respect ALL the essential parts. That's all I'm asking.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 04:58 AM

I wouldn't tell you that Tom and I'd be quite surprised if anyone could say that these days! :-) I don't deny the proffessional element or that we use it. It's just the way we use it that I can get touchy over. I think it's usually the basic tune with what ever personal touches one can add to it, learned from a variety of sources, all coming together (somehow - sometimes I wonder how it comes out "right" more often than no) togther to form an arrangemnt that's pretty well unique to the night. I think the singing world can be quite different in approach.

I'm trying to think how things would work out in the local folk club (which I've not been to in nearly a year)... Maybe 10% tunes which I'll call "trad". 40% "Dylan/modern American style". The rest gets harder and (other than something I might attempt) I wouldn't know where a person got them from but can contain for example Smile In Your Sleep (Hush Hush) amongst those I'd guess most would think are trad.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 03:36 AM

You've made my point for me, jon. Would you apply the term amateur or professional to Tony Sullivan? Now if you'd told me you'd learned all your tunes form Pat in the pub, who'd learned them from his Granddad in Roundstone it would be a different matter. The business element runs right through the folk scene. And that's a good thing - and it does not, as someone on the BBC site claimed (I'm sure you saw it), make us all "baubles of capitalist, corporate greed."

That attitude does FAR more damage to the scene than a few tie die tee shirts and swirly 'folk trousers.'

But obviously the tune session end of things tends to be the least commercialised, and has the strongest aural link back into the tradition. My guesstimate is an average, which includes all those clubs where you'll never hear a song pre Bob Dylan, (that's trad - using the 'second definition' - to many) and it's mostly Steve Tilston, Richard Thompson, and Christy Moore (well, they think he wrote them anyway)!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 03:11 AM

How come MPs think folk is crap but jazz is....nice!?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 02:22 AM

Makes you wonder what would happen if a real heavy hitter like Giles Brandreth or Ian Duncan Smith had dissed folk music.....


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 10:59 PM

Like Kesh followed by Drink of Water? I'm not sure how reliable that sort of thing is. It does usually go that way in one of the sessions I go to and I'd think that it's very probable that it became a set there through someone(s) listening to the Bothy Band but I wouldn't read more into it than that. I don't know where others got the tunes from but I learned the Kesh from Sully's banjo book.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 09:07 PM

Don't you start, jon!

In sessions, the most frequent clue is tune groupings. Nothing to do with PRS - I'm on the other side on that one.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 06:44 PM

Well, we may be defining 'attributable' differently

And/or perhaps "directly". If I've learned a tune from person a who learned it from person b, I might use indirectly.

And of course people do pick up songs and tunes at clubs and sessions - but you often don't have to go very far back to find someone who DID get if from the Bothy band, or Steeleye, or whoever - and you can tell that by the style of the performance, with the influences clearly on view to the ear.

OK so I can go to the sessions I go to, not knowing who is going to be there on the night or how the music is going sound or feel, what the tunes on the night will be, being aware that how an individual tune may go depends on who starts it as might the choice of tune that follows it...

To pick on one instrument, I might be aware that the guitarist on the evening might be a DADGAD player, std tuning player or one that changes tunings and all individually very capable of adding their own individual sound to the general feel of the night.

And in all this some clearly defined "stamp" is going to be heard?

Sorry Tom. It's reading like the prs line to me.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 06:25 PM

Crikey. I only popped in to see what had happened to Belinda the pianist from Rachel Unthank and the Wintersett. Folk, or talking about folk is alive and well I see.
PS Matthew Parris is a chump.
PPS I've built a substantial folk collection without ever having felt the need to submerse myself in what I believe is called 'the scene'. One suspects there are many of us.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 05:35 PM

Retournons a nos moutons, I don't think it was Frank Harte in the POTW programme that made me start this thread, - why did Fred McCormick think it was, rather than Kevin Mitchell?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 05:30 PM

To the extent that he has a Phd
Excuse me, did you not read the post from Joe Offer above, to the effect that personal insults and pisstaking would not be tolerated? That is tantamount to defamation.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: melodeonboy
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 05:11 PM

Grab, I hate to sound like the dog who won't let go of his bone, but either you haven't properly read what I wrote or you haven't really tried to understand what I'm saying. It's patently not true that someone automatically sings "naturally" when they have a mic in front of them and "artificially" when they don't. I thought I'd clarified that with reference to my own experience. Are you telling me that, for example, Bob Copper sang in an artificial way but Elton John sings in a natural way? And before the relatively recent fad of amplifying anything and everything that all singers sang in an artificial way? Bizarre! I also find it mildly offensive that someone who's never heard me sing can assume that I'm not capable of singing naturally without having to put my vocal output through a PA. Ask anyone that's heard me sing; they'll tell you otherwise.

Please read my previous post again and reflect on what I said.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 04:52 PM

'That he knows what he is talking about! '

forgive me for asking, but...A Phd is required for this? *WOW!*

Charlotte (astounded and amazed on Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 04:48 PM

"And your point is what, exactly?"

That he knows what he is talking about!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 04:21 PM

A PhD, wow

Well, Anonymous Guest, most of us posting here (apart from the studied anti-intellectuals who pretend not to) have more than enough paper qualifications to cover our hallways and thus preclude the need for anaglypta, should we wish to.

And your point is what, exactly?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 03:47 PM

I said: In fact I'd hazard that 70-80% of the material I hear in clubs of both trad and mod hue across the land is directly attributable to a 'festival main stage' performer.

Jon said: I'd be surprised at directly attributable. btw, a source I didn't see you mention is the events themselves. Probably happens more with tunes than songs but material is learned that way. Then there are the lyric sites which can help fill in the missing words, etc.

I say: Well, we may be defining 'attributable' differently. I'm not only taking about ownership or copyright. I mean that there is a recognisable influence from an identifiable artist or band (you have to know them to spot it, though).

But one other thought occurs to me: I think I'm quite unusual in that I'm a bit of a 'broad-minded' artist myself. Most touring pros fall loosely into either a trad or a songwriter/contemporary category, and many punters also tend to prefer - and so patronise - one end of the spectrum or the other (though there are lots in the middle too, of course), but I think I'm quite unusual in getting booked at all types of club (including the tune-heavy ones when working with Napper), plus I frequent sessions as much as singarounds.

I'm hazarding that I might therefore fall into a group who have a slightly more representative picture of the UK scene than those who tend to favour one flavour or another.

And of course people do pick up songs and tunes at clubs and sessions - but you often don't have to go very far back to find someone who DID get if from the Bothy band, or Steeleye, or whoever - and you can tell that by the style of the performance, with the influences clearly on view to the ear.

That's why I didn't mention them


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 03:26 PM

And that gentleman Diane is "practised"

To the extent that he has a Phd.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 03:00 PM

It's all good stuff

No it's not. C15 crap is the same as C21 crap. Unfit for public consumption till lots and lots of bedroom practice has (maybe) made it so.

Don't tell me who I should listen to, Tom Brown.
I'll decide my quality standards, thank you.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Earl
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 02:39 PM

Diane

It's not what you say it's the way you choose to say it - enough said!!

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 02:32 PM

Have a good evening Henry. (I was at the Pound last Wednesday and it was great to be able to say, when I mentioned you, as usual - "the great songwriter from... Corsham")!

One point to add for the sake of completeness (to you, mainly, Diane)

We have absolutely no evidence that 'quality' has been a defining factor in the tradition. It's very likely that there were plenty of stumblers and mumblers in the 15th century too. So weak performances cannot be said to insult our cultural heritage (though if in the wrong place at the wrong time they may of course insult the listener).

It's all good stuff - as long as there is a basic filter to try to fit the standard of performance to the occasion, there is no problem.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 02:25 PM

I don't know if this misapprehension is wilful

Well, this forum is the last resort of the wilfully ignorant.
Actually, I do hope the pack hunters are being just that because the depths of stupidity plumbed if they really do mean their linguistically-challenged ramblings are, as that Billy Bunter character used to say, terrific.

To me, Captain Ginger is stating the blindingly obvious yet again, but they still can't or won't get it. The entrenched blokishness is, however, shifting to the Vin Garbutt thread where the batallion of Little Innocents are pursuing their Anti-Women's Studies agenda.

O tempora, o mores . . . or "not very much changes, it all stays the same.

PS Jon, you consider Harte/Mitchell (whoever it was) a "good singer". Other people have different tastes and are allowed not to like him/them. They might be wrong, but this is a result of decades-long conditioning in the education system. An important element of this thread is how this is being addressed.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: henryclem
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 02:19 PM

There are noticeable differences between the clubs I visit frequently -
at least one of them has a number of older regulars who always "have a go" often with the aid of a page or book; yet this is a club which deserves its popularity and definitely benefits from the community it provides for, however "amateur" some of its members may appear.

From my point of view, I practised at home but I learnt to sing in public. I wouldn't say my preparation was professional; it's the experience gained from singing, and choosing the right songs, which makes performance acceptable (or better). If I hadn't written my own songs, I doubt if I'd ever got up to sing in the first place because that would have meant offering inferior renditions of other people's songs.

And mostly, the people I see singing and playing around our local clubs maintain a pretty good standard; some are exceptional - yet they have full-time jobs, families, travel a fair distance to share their music ...

Got to go - off to Corsham (always brilliant).

Henry


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 02:18 PM

'But Parris's snide remarks came as a result of hearing a good singer.'

there's only one way to find that out, confront him. Makes sense to me

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 02:00 PM

The more crap performers there are inflicting their nasal bleatings, stumblings and fumblings on the public, the more Parris's snide remarks will find a billet.

But Parris's snide remarks came as a result of hearing a good singer.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 01:56 PM

the view held in some quarters that the only people who should be performing "tradarts" in public are professionals and that the folk scene exists as an environment for professionals to make a living out of
*sigh* I don't know if this misapprehension is wilful, but no-one has remotely suggested that. There is a world of difference between the noun and the adjective. A professional performance, as opposed to a professional performer, if you will. It's fine te bo amateur, but not amateurish.
Have the good grace to do justice to the material and the tradition, rather than insult it with an unrehearsed and dire rendition in public. Rehearse, practise, refine and polish - and then perform. That's all it means.
The more crap performers there are inflicting their nasal bleatings, stumblings and fumblings on the public, the more Parris's snide remarks will find a billet.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 01:55 PM

In fact I'd hazard that 70-80% of the material I hear in clubs of both trad and mod hue across the land is directly attributable to a 'festival main stage' performer.

I'd be surprised at directly attributable.

btw, a source I didn't see you mention is the events themselves. Probably happens more with tunes than songs but material is learned that way. Then there are the lyric sites which can help fill in the missing words, etc.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 01:29 PM

How glad I am that I have been out all day having a battery of needles stuck in my arms.
Much more pleasant than here.

I imagine Mr Bridge means me, not you, Tom. He and the Snail remain obsessed by some dumb notion that by "professional" I mean "getting paid", no matter how often I and others spell it out. I am not, unfortunately, in a position to prevent certain people (meaning no-one in particular) from making arses of themselves, or more importantly, disrespecting the music.

If I ruled the world, no-one but no-one would be allowed out of their bedrooms till they were in tune and time and knew all the words and could put in a credible - and "professional" - performance. It is an insult to our cultural heritage, and to those obliged to listen, not to.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 01:15 PM

Idea!

You know "music of black origin" = "mobo".

Well, the people too ashamed to say "F*lk" can be mofos, as in "music of folk origin". They can be greeted "Yo, Mofo!"


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 01:06 PM

"Good riddance. Learn to read while you are out. And when you come back, which I hope you don't, explain again to some of the others above who don't seem to understand you, why it is that you will stop people singing or playing until they are good enough for you."

Is this directed at me Richard?

I hope not because I've never said anything of the sort. I'm saying the exact opposite.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,TB
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 01:04 PM

"Are you saying that if a professional has ever recorded a version of a traditional song that we are forever in their debt if we perform it?"

Heavens above, Brian - what are you on?!

No!! But if someone has been influenced by a version (and who hasn't?) then they should recognise that influence - specially if they are 'doing' say, the Carthy version, because that's the only version they've ever heard.

Recordings and concerts by professionals are a major influence on the styles adopted by those who subsequently sing those songs. The number of people who work from books (published by professionals, don't forget) is tiny (and they're influenced by things like singing styles too) - and the number who have their own private source is infinitesimal.

I'm talking about the scene as a whole, remember.

There are plenty of clubs where 90% of the material you hear was written by a pro (or a semi-pro - who are pros for the purpose of this argument). In fact I'd hazard that 70-80% of the material I hear in clubs of both trad and mod hue across the land is directly attributable to a 'festival main stage' performer.

It's not a problem. Its a good thing. I just want you to recognise that - and not suggest it's only icing on a cake.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 12:57 PM

Captain Ginger

Aye, it must be a most remarkable venue that the Snail runs.

First, I'd better make it clear that I am just one of a large committee.

I'm not claiming that all our floorsingers are of star quality, of course they aren't, but "dire, unrehearsed and ultimately cringe-making performances"? Not in my experience at the Arms or any other club I go to.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 12:56 PM

Good riddance. Learn to read while you are out.

And when you come back, which I hope you don't, explain again to some of the others above who don't seem to understand you, why it is that you will stop people singing or playing until they are good enough for you.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 12:51 PM

"It could be that you aren't looking down into the valleys and seeing the teeming masses toiling away down there."

First of all I'm not 'up' anywhere. I'm toiling in the valleys like everyone else - that's my point. But I have seen the landscape, and so recognise and value the contributions made by all sorts of people in all sorts of roles, paid and unpaid, major and minor.

If I didn't would I have started the FCO forum? Or written the Club Tips booklet? (Or RadioBritfolk). Would I risk the wrath of The Countess to defend GEFFism on numerous occasions? Would I habitually go to singarounds and sessions at festivals and around here on a regular basis? Bryan; professionals understand the amateur scene perfectly well. We're human beings too, we love music too, we started as amateurs and in some situations we're still amateurs (like me joining in with McGoldrick and Edey in a session in Cleethorpes!), and we're happy to be as much part of it as you are.

And of course professional is the wrong word to be using, because it's not as simple as pro and am (but one can't constantly type a list, and I was responding to your use of the word). As you say, plenty of experts are not pro, and plenty of pros are not expert. I myself have NEVER suggested that professionals are the folk world and the rest are just hangers on - in fact throughout this tread (once we stopped talking about Parris) I've been saying the exact opposite!

"Many clubs never book guests." There, I've said it again - because it's true. I'm not saying they should - is that what you think? I absolutely don't! (Why on earth should they)?

It seems to me you have a knack for taking umbrage where none is offered.

If I make it to Lewes (assuming I can face the conflict :-)) perhaps we'll have a beer and sort it out.

Meanwhile if you could just take my point about repertoire (including trad and influences for new writing) on board, we can get our of these good people's hair.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 12:50 PM

Tom, you are attacking me for things I'm not saying. What I am reacting against is the view held in some quarters that the only people who should be performing "tradarts" in public are professionals and that the folk scene exists as an environment for professionals to make a living out of.

It is a tapestry, a city, a multi-faceted shimmering wondrous thing with everybody doing their bit and equally important even if not obviously in the front line.

Not them and us. Never was, never will be, mate.


Couldn't agree more.

I only heard you perform, I think, two songs with your trio, and I'm afraid I don't remember what they were

To be honest, neither can I. Are you saying that if a professional has ever recorded a version of a traditional song that we are forever in their debt if we perform it?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 12:20 PM

Tom Bliss

Then you are not lifting your eyes unto the hills and seeing the full picture

It could be that you aren't looking down into the valleys and seeing the teeming masses toiling away down there.

You perform one of my songs,

And very good it is too. Thank you for letting us have it. We do have quite a large repertoire apart from that, mostly either written by us or traditional.

I'll challenge you when you seek to elevate that same group of people above the skilled and hardworking experts who provide so much of what you occasionally appear (when you're perhaps not thinking) to take for granted.

I have never said that. Take a look at our programme and our workshop list. We've got you booked haven't we? What I object to is the impression that the professionals ARE the folk scene and the rest of us are just hangers on. I know quite a few skilled and hardworking experts who wouldn't consider themselves to be professionals. You have said elsewhere that some clubs never book guests at all.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Grab
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 12:19 PM

Melodeonboy, my point was exactly that with a mic, people can sing "naturally". Opera singers are not singing "naturally", and nor are those using the nasal trad-folk technique as per the original post - they're using learnt techniques designed to project to an audience. They've practised an awful lot to sound like that, and sure, it's quite likely that after all that practise they wouldn't sing any other way. It's still a learnt technique which is different from their actual voice.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 12:03 PM

Tom,

I'm with you on this. There is a need for "professionals" and "amateurs" and all of the other parts of the "industry" and "movement".

And when I say professionals, I mean just that, people who get paid to entertain.

I do also enjoy the endeavours of most "floorsingers", in my experience most people have good nights and bad nights (goes for pros as well)....and just because someone has a bad night and fluffs lyrics, chords or key it doesn't mean they always do. Though I have come across a couple of people who's efforts just jar with me......however I wholeheartedly defend their right to stand up and have a go in the right setting.

The research into the how the folk industry works sounds really interesting....anything we can do to help?

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 11:53 AM

Glad it's not just my club then! :-)

D.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 11:43 AM

Actually Bryan, I left out an important stage.

You heard Tower of Refuge when I sang it in the singaround at Tenterden festival. I would not have been at Tenterden if I was not a professional, so you would not have heard it and asked to cover it. And if I'd not been a professional I would also not have had a CD to give you.

I only heard you perform, I think, two songs with your trio, and I'm afraid I don't remember what they were, but I'd be glad if you could tell me that they - and the rest of your repertoire came to you untarnished by the hand, and uninfluenced by the skills of some professional somewhere.

It is a tapestry, a city, a multi-faceted shimmering wondrous thing with everybody doing their bit and equally important even if not obviously in the front line.

Not them and us. Never was, never will be, mate.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 11:26 AM

I don't think it's hard to find people who can be unprepared for doing anything on the night but can put in a good floor spot. They will have experience on their side though.

I've seen the type you refer to although not that often. Saw one last year in a folk club that was just taking turns round in a circle so it was clear when his turn was coming. Still it was tune guitar, get book out, debate which song, start off, wrong key, start again, get stuck, try different song. I can't see an excuse for it.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 11:13 AM

Aye, it must be a most remarkable venue that the Snail runs. Like Dave, I've endured all too many dire, unrehearsed and ultimately cringe-making performances. But that's a well-worn track, so perhaps I'll leave it at that...


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 11:11 AM

Bryan writes:

"Tom Bliss: But the process by which collected or other obscure works (along with newly written works) become known to the wider public usually involves some kind of business activity - by publishers, booksellers, record companies, distributors, transcribers, artists, arrangers, producers, studio engineers, and so on. TheSnail: That isn't the folk scene I know."

Then you are not lifting your eyes unto the hills and seeing the full picture - because that IS how it works, and how it always has done - in fashions appropriate to the times, through the centuries. You perform one of my songs, Bryan - how did you learn it? From the CD that Valmai bought.

That process is endemic in the folk scene, and many of source singers learned songs from written works (printed by professional publishers), from travelling (professional) musicians, and from shows presented by professional artists and producers. This idea that the entire tradition was only aurally and orally transmitted was debunked long long ago. Have you heard Paul Sartin on the subject, for example? (And he should know)! The aural/oral/amateur element is there, and IS key, but only as key as the next bit. If we ONLY had that, and there had never been any of these other professional people I mention, the whole scene would be drastically the poorer.

"Tom Bliss: Take one out and the machine will not turn. The Snail: Nonsense, of course it will. It might not turn at the same speed or roll in the same direction but it will keep running on."

You are right - I was letting myself roll away on that analogy. But this much is true: we simply don't know exactly how the folk industry of today operates as an exact business model (though we hope to commission some research to find out soon), but until then I'll stick with my metaphor - and I'll challenge Daine when she fails to see the importance of what she unkindly calls GEFFs just as I'll challenge you when you seek to elevate that same group of people above the skilled and hardworking experts who provide so much of what you occasionally appear (when you're perhaps not thinking) to take for granted.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 10:59 AM

You are indeed a very lucky man then, Snail. Not to have come across anyone who puts no effort at all into their performance yet returns a consistantly good one does indeed seem to prove that your club regulars are head and shoulders above some of ours! I cannot believe that my standards are any higher than yours - I even admitted to liking the new 'Take That' the other day! - Yet to believe that the population of Lewes is more talented than that of Swinton does take some swallowing:-)

Good luck to you and may you never experience some of the crap I have seen!

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 10:35 AM

Folkiedave

"And anyway my "friends" are younger than yours. :-)"

Yes, but do you have a a retired greyhound as a "friend" ?

Yes, I have 2 MySpace sites....best to keep the
banjo away from Kirkby Fleetham Folk Club , wouldn't want to frighten anyone off!

But even with 2 sites I don't think I have much more impact on the average age of users than you!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 10:22 AM

Aha, but to put the average up further I reckon you have more than one myspace.

And anyway my "friends" are younger than yours. :-)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 10:15 AM

Tom Bliss

But the process by which collected or other obscure works (along with newly written works) become known to the wider public usually involves some kind of business activity - by publishers, booksellers, record companies, distributors, transcribers, artists, arrangers, producers, studio engineers, and so on.

That isn't the folk scene I know.

Take one out and the machine will not turn.

Nonsense, of course it will. It might not turn at the same speed or roll in the same direction but it will keep running on.

Dave Polshaw

You are very lucky then, Snail (Bryan?). Maybe that is why we have disagreed on the quality of floor singers in the past. Im my experience there are lots who don't know what the word rehersal means!

Or you are unlucky or just going to the wrong clubs.

Surely you must know at least one?

Can't think of one off hand.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not claiming that everybody who does a floor spot at the Arms is fit to be on the main stage at Cambridge or Towersey or Cropredy or Sidmouth or whatever festival does it for you. There seems to have been a shift of emphasis from the demand for a professional standard and "doing the best you can". The best you can might not be all that good but it is a lot better than what you describe and it is sincere.

Diane, I am not interested as to the identity of the failing (presumably now failed) venue. I was merely making the point that they are not typical in my experience. I know badly run clubs do exist but they are few and far between not least because, for obvious reasons, they don't last long.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Leonidas
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 10:15 AM

With the 300 posts milestone approaching, perhaps a game of "Beat the Spartans" is in order?

Meet the Spartans

Or you can dress up Matthew Parris as a Spartan if you prefer.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 10:09 AM

Folkiedave,

What's wrong with being down with the kids.....I personally think this is a good thing, I was complementing the EFDSS.

My understanding of the demographic profile of MySpace is mainly young...... my point is to market trad and other folk music to a younger audience you have to use the channels they access. Ain't nothing perverse about that!

I guess that the only shame of it is that you and I having MySpace sites just about doubles the average age of MySpace users.......and of course that's mainly you.....:-)

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 09:56 AM

Or half a dozen living living exponents of the contemporary form.

Are you saying Gerry Lockran, was an exponent of contemporary form? Funny, I could have sworn he played the blues.

And there is nothing at all to stop those exponents of contemporary form hiring C. Sharp House and putting their own gig on - the building is there for hire.

And who are they? This thread will give you an excellent chance to put the half-a-dozen forward. There is at least one festival organiser and one folk club organiser and one folk dj contributing to this thread.

Speaking as the folk dj I have a myspace (or "down with the kids" as Banjiman somewhat perversely calls it!!) here

Tell them to take a look - previous playlists are there on the blog - if they feel their music might fit in ask them to send me a link to their myspace if they have one - or ask for an address to post a CD to.

I will listen.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 09:42 AM

Folkiedave

The EFDSS has clear guidleines on copyright material.

Ooops! Don't want to go down that road. I was taking hearsay at face value and unreservedly withdraw my remarks.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: melodeonboy
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 09:17 AM

I'm slightly puzzled by one aspect of your last post, Grab. I don't quite see that people sing "naturally" when in front of a mic, yet are forced to adopt artificial accents when singing unamplified. In my experience, most singers either sing in a contrived accent or they don't, irrespective of whether there's a mic in front of them.

I sing frequently, both amplified and non-amplified, and I'm not aware that my accent is significantly different when unamplified - I probably sing a bit louder! I certainly have no need or desire to adopt either a "plummy" or a "nasal" accent in order to adequately express myself acoustically. Surely, feeding voice production through a PA is artificial modification in itself!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 09:15 AM

"What I don't get is that all these cool rockstars sampling their own farts is some sort of vindication of the the English Ping Pong and Prance brigade, but Gerry Lockran was never offered a concert there, or Roger Brooks."

Oh, is that what they were doing? I thought they'd gone to Cecil Sharp House to sit in the audience of a concert given by the 7th generation of the Copper family to sing their traditional songs.

Who was "offered" a concert? Apart from the odd special event, such as memorials or commemorative occasions which are programmed by EFDSS, most people who want to give a concert at Cecil Sharp House, including the Young Coppers, hire the venue.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 08:36 AM

Snail

The EFDSS has clear guidleines on copyright material. They are here.

When you say "material they collected" - since as far as I am aware the society has never done any collecting I am not sure what you mean here.

If you mean material to which they have been assigned copyright - I see nothing wrong with that. By definition they own the copyright.

If you mean material which they own but don't own the copyright you would need to give examples where they have done this. Virtually every record that came out on Topic Records, especially in the 1960's and of course many others since then, has material culled from the VWML on it at some point. I am not aware of the society claiming copyright on this.

Are you saying the EFDSS tried to claim copyright on something else? You would need to give chapter and verse to convince me.

Otherwise your accusation - for that is what it is - falls.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Grab
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 08:01 AM

As far as I can tell, the point of the label "open-mic" is that it gets around the qualifier of "folk" or "trad" or "singer-songwriter". The onus then is simply to choose good songs and perform them well. Sure, there are people who are hardcore trad-folk/rock/country/whatever fans who don't want to listen to anything else. But most people just want to hear good music, whatever the genre is. To that extent, Diane's right. If you want trad folk, call it trad. If you just want good music, don't bother trying to label it.

It also provides some kind of answer to the question of whether the evolving folk environment is alive or not. As several participants in this thread have said before, their definition of "trad folk" (or sometimes just "folk") is that the songs have been passed on by hearing other people play them. Unless we want to fix this definition at some date in the past, genre-free singing is the only way that new work gets included in the tradition. Ewan McColl didn't consider music-hall to be traditional - these days though it probably would be by most people, because the music-hall songs surviving in current repertoires have mostly been passed down by word-of-mouth from parent to child (or grandparent to child) over three generations. Give it another 20-30 years and Cyril Tawny, Eric Bogle, Jake Thackray and Tom Paxton will probably be there too. Dick Gaughan and Steve Knightley have both had problems with people attributing their songs as "traditional" on recordings, which robbed them of royalties.

Round our way, I don't know anyone who thinks open-mics will make them pop-idol stars. They sing because they can't not sing. Mics simply let their voices be heard without artificially modifying their voices to project (by adopting either the full-on plummy classical tone or the nasal trad-folk tone, both of which are equally artificial). And it's not just kids - I had a couple of 70-plus friends who couldn't be heard from more than 10ft away without artificial assistance. "Leaving Nancy" still leaves me emotional because it reminds me of one of them, who died a couple of years back. Sure, he wasn't the greatest singer, but he deserved to be heard.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 07:54 AM

What I don't get is that all these cool rockstars sampling their own farts is some sort of vindication of the the English Ping Pong and Prance brigade, but Gerry Lockran was never offered a concert there, or Roger Brooks.

Or half a dozen living living exponents of the contemporary form.

To quote a great writer of folksongs, money doesn't talk it swears - obscenity who really cares......


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 07:38 AM

Bugger, I just lost my entire post while editing. It's vanished from the history. It wasn't even important, merely pointing out that I've never knowingly seen either Snail or Bridge and so have never commented on their performing ability or lack thereof. I wouldn't know. Never seen the man with the silly hat either, as it goes.

Bridge seems to think it's fine (and not illegal) to be homophobic and so I was questioning whether he is actually a lawyer.

Snail was telling the Boatman I despise everything he does. Actually I found his description of the gig and the fish hilarious, though with a serious aspect as far as ramshackle "organisation" is concerned.

Had I been inclination to be "spiteful", I'd have named the failing venue and its incompetent "organiser". Can't remember the rest but, as I say, it's not important. Going out. Goodbye.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 07:31 AM

"doing what you do as well as you can (and practising in private before practising in public!)"

I know of nobody who doesn't do that.


You are very lucky then, Snail (Bryan?). Maybe that is why we have disagreed on the quality of floor singers in the past. Im my experience there are lots who don't know what the word rehersal means! It annoys me when someone shambles onto 'stage' or sits in the same place then mumbles about not knowing what to sing, gets out their loose leaf folder of words 'collected' from obscure scratchy vinyls, drops half of them, sets off in the wrong key, starts again, realises halfway through that they don't know the tune to the middle 8, starts a new song, misses 2 verses and sings the same one 4 times, etc. etc.

Surely you must know at least one? I know loads! I believe this is what Dianne is complaining about. Not amateurs that support folk week in and out without a fuss, respect the fact that people have gone out of their way to listen to them and generaly do not cause embarasment to either themselves or the audience.

I could be wrong of course as I do not really know Dianne either.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 07:28 AM

"Found"? That sounds like the same logic that let the EFDSS claim the copyright of material they had collected."

Not at all - no way!

But the process by which collected or other obscure works (along with newly written works) become known to the wider public usually involves some kind of business activity - by publishers, booksellers, record companies, distributors, transcribers, artists, arrangers, producers, studio engineers, and so on.

That's why I call the folk world a machine, not a cake. ALL the cogs, of whatever size, are equally important - professional musicians, floor singers, club organisers, publicists, magazine editors, you name it.

Take one out and the machine will not turn.

It is a symbiotic ecosystem, and people who inhabit each cog (bother I knew this metaphor would fall over) should recognise the interdependence of every element, instead of - as too often happens, and has been happening yet again in this thread - championing the part they like and denigrating the others - and making twits of themselves (and, by association), the rest of us in the process.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 07:12 AM

Diane Easby

The Snail person, in common with Richard Bridge, can have not the faintest notion what I "despise" or what I do not.

Against my better judgement, I do read your posts Diane which give me a fair idea of what you like or dislike. What DO you think of The Vulgar Boatman's description of the folk scene?

"doing what you do as well as you can (and practising in private before practising in public!)"

I know of nobody who doesn't do that.

A Well-Known (F*lk) Performer of my acquaintance once arrived an hour early at a failing venue

It obviously wasn't the Lewes Arms or any other folk club that I go to.

Tom Bliss

but much of the material that amateurs enjoy (and from which they draw for their own creations) is only there because professionals wrote and/or recorded and/or found and/or distributed it by some other means

I don't deny their influence, Tom, but I think you are overstating the case. "Found"? That sounds like the same logic that let the EFDSS claim the copyright of material they had collected.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 07:10 AM

Well I agree - make em all do exams. I got the cycling profiency second time, so it goes to show natural ability has nothing to do with it.


With a properly constituted exam board run by an august body (several contenders for this vital function spring to mind naturally and immediately) we could have the folk festivals and folk clubs full of people who are getting on for about six out of ten on the interesting scale in no time. (4.5 should be the pass mark for 'O' level folksinging).

What I say is, keep it traditional! Never mind if its uninteresting rubbish. Keeping the tradition alive is the thing.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Earl
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 07:08 AM

Diane,

"The Snail person, in common with Richard Bridge, can have not the faintest notion what I "despise" or what I do not."

Actually I think they have a fair idea- you've told us often enough in this forum.

Am I allowed to be annoyed when my friends - I know both of the two mentioned above - are put down by you. They are both ( in my opinion ) good quality performing musicians who do what they do to the best of their ability.

You may not like what they ( and I ) do but I don't see why you have to be so spiteful in presenting your view of things.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 06:37 AM

Hi Bryan

I do agree with you - but much of the material that amateurs enjoy (and from which they draw for their own creations) is only there because professionals wrote and/or recorded and/or found and/or distributed it by some other means - and that goes back through the history of music, through folk, classical, music hall, pop, show songs, broadsheets etc etc - (all of which feeds into folk, of course).

So professionals are also perhaps the eggs in the cake as well as the icing.

And that's something that should never be forgotten too (but frequently, sadly, is).

Tom


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 06:32 AM

The Snail person, in common with Richard Bridge, can have not the faintest notion what I "despise" or what I do not. They do not know me.

My definition of "professional" in this context is as Nigel has said above: "doing what you do as well as you can (and practising in private before practising in public!)"
And this applies equally when your audience consists only of a stuffed fish, but then you wonder why.

Had the organiser publicised the event and made sufficient effort to attract punters (especially from without the "f*lkie" (yuk) clique?).

Possibly (probably) not.

A Well-Known (F*lk) Performer of my acquaintance once arrived an hour early at a failing venue in order to plaster the pub with posters because I had related to him my experience of the previous week. I'd questioned both barstaff and customers who all denied any knowledge of live music at the venue. Assuming I'd got the wrong place, I stepped out into the street where, by chance, the guest artist was just arriving. He too is an international name yet attendance numbered 9. And the following week, despite postering efforts, there were 8.

Since this "organiser" had failed to inform even the pub's staff and customers (hire of the room was apparently a private and secret pact between him and the landlord), it goes without saying that no publicity work had occurred in the local community. This organiser was an "amateur" but his MO was "amateurish" and truly "unprofessional".

This is clearly NOT the best shop window for a music whose reputation you are (presumably?) seeking to extol and widen.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 05:58 AM

Well said Vulgar Boatman. I'm not sure why you find yourself agreeing with Diane since she despises everything you have just described.

I would put in a word for the professionals. The folk scene wouuld be poorer without them but they are the icing not the cake.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 05:16 AM

AAAAARRGHHH! No cookie....


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 04:37 AM

'But some people wouldn't allow it unless you pass their exam first...'

So who's advocating this, Richard? I can see plenty of people advocating doing what you do as well as you can (and practicing in private before practicing in public!), but I don't really see anyone arguing that you must pass exams before you play live... unless it's another sly and pointless dig at the Newcastle traditional music students? Or the musical equivalent of the anti-intellectualism some university educated individuals feign?

Whatever it is, I'm not sure who or what it helps and how.

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 03:04 AM

Folkiedave,

Re "Can I ask how and when you acquired this image?"

This is a completely fair question (and you asked it very politely!).
Over a lifetime basically, I am quite (even very) happy to have my prejudice proved wrong......I will check out the website (and MySpace...wow, down with the the kids huh!).

I look forward with interest to see what happens with the new chief exec in post.

Meanwhile back to the thread....does anyone know if any of our representative organisations responded to the BBC re MPs comments?

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 09:35 PM

"exhort everyone to bloody well get out there and do it, as performer, accompanist, dancer, organiser"   Good idea. But some people wouldn't allow it unless you pass their exam first.

As for singing folk at open mics, well, cast your pearls if you wish, but open mics are for allowing people to stand up in front of a mic, which they want to do because that's what pop idols do. Otherwise there wouldn't be mics.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 08:21 PM

I sing trad folk at open mics (invariably I'm the only one that does, granted). I think it's good for 'em. Some of them even like it. :)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 06:41 PM

For one night only, I shall attempt to be serious, so please bear with me because this has become very personal. I've been doing it for something in excess of forty years, and for my money communal singing and playing, be it in family, pubs, clubs, houses, festivals or anywhere else, paid, unpaid or paying, is the most vital component of what we are discussing. I've done it for money, used it in therapeutic work, politics, in the revival of a street tradition at least three hundred years old, been bitten in the arse by it when I got cocky, recorded, collected, performed at the Royal Festival Hall (no shit) and a club in Leeds with four audience and a stuffed pike, (which, on reflection I probably deserved) fooled nobody but myself and at the end of it all can only exhort everyone to bloody well get out there and do it, as performer, accompanist, dancer, organiser or - and let's not forget them since without them performers wouldn't have a platform - audience. Because that's the only way it will survive as a living art form.
This discussion is wondrous, but it hasn't played a note. Worse still, I even find myself agreeing with Diane. As for Parris - a far better writer said "If by a man's works shall ye know him, he is a festering pile of horse droppings". There is more worth in a beginners' session at the Grand Union, however dire, or at the Bear or the Board, or Whitby Scratch Morris than a thousand newspaper articles. And if this sounds like the ravings of an old fart, so be it; I love the music that I grew up with and all those who, according to whatever lights guide them, take on its performance, conservation and development.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 05:25 PM

If you can't see the difference between propriety and legality you think even less than I thought.

Oh, and you might want to re-check the ambit of the laws you think you are referring to, as well.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 05:13 PM

Captain Ginger

And the bog-standard folk club simply doesn't cut it as a shop window for trad material.

You know, sometimes I could wonder why I bother to help run a folk club if it wasn't for the people who turn up every week to enjoy the show.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 04:33 PM

I agree entirely Ruth - but they are assumptions based on history and not based on current reality, which is why I asked the question "when".

At least once a fortnight I hear on BBC Radio 4 (generally) that folk music is about "beards and tankards" and "Aran sweaters" and "fingers in the ear" and any combination of those those cliches. You and I know it is round spherical objects - if nothing else it ignores the 50% of the population that is not male when it mentions beards.

It needs challenging whenever it appears and eventually it will (mostly) go away. Which is why I asked Paul (politely I hope) to think about when and where he got his cliche about the EFDSS and suggested it might not be true.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 03:55 PM

There's a distinction, isn't there, between traditional folk music (passed on from generation to generation, of historical and cultural value but not necessarily to particularly good performance standards), tradart (performance of traditional music and song by professionals, and possibly with inclusion of contemporary material written in trad idiom) and communal singing and playing together - of varying quality - in sessions? They're all valid in their own right, and sometimes can be found together. Different people enjoy different aspects. Shirley Collins suggested on her radio programme that people might get distracted from the quality of a song by the quality of the singing....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 03:38 PM

To be fair, Dave, I think it's easy to make those sorts of assumptions about EFDSS based on its history, and if people have been out of touch with the organisation for a while, it's probably not that surprising that these are their impressions.

I should add, as mentioned elsewhere, that Thursday night's launch for the Young Coppers CD at Cecil Sharp House was attended by Dave Rotheray from The Beautiful SOuth and Graham Coxon from Blur. Both were very enthusiastic about EFDSS when I spoke to them, and happily parted with contact details so that EFDSS can keep in touch with them.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 03:27 PM

I may be completely wrong (and possibly have some prejudice) but my image of the EFDSS is that it is a bit cucumber sandwiches and more tea vicar.

Can I ask how and when you acquired this image?

And rather than ask about myspace - which they don't have - have you taken a look at their website recently which they do have? That would tell you a bit about how they represent themselves.

http://www.efdss.org/

I understand one of the dances held on a regular basis is a hotbed of debauchery. I have only read about it of course, I couldn't possible comment further. But further away from vicars and cucumber sandwiches you couldn't get.

Of course EFDSS members know about this, because it was featured in the magazine.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 03:21 PM

Banjiman,

Yes, the website is www.efdss.org, and the Myspace for English Dance and Song Magazine is myspace.com/edsmagazine.

The website is about to undergo a refurb, but there is some useful information on there about recent activities. Keep in mind that the new Chief Exec has only been in post for about 6 weeks, but it's a bright horizon. I think the days of cucumber sandwiches are well and truly in the past, but mine's a pint of Abbot if you're buying.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 02:22 PM

You confuse imitation with mockery, that's a common mistake among those devoid of the ability to laugh at themselves.

G [The panoramic view across the Highland hills from my non Morrison's black plastic, imitation leather swivel chair]


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 01:56 PM

We do also have the "anything is good enough for folk" crowd here. Bit sad really

Charlotte (the continuing view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 01:53 PM

I have a problem with armchair activists, especially the imitation ones. :-)

Charlotte (the continuing view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 01:45 PM

Yes. Especially Morris.
Did you get your imitation leather swivel chair from Morrisons?
I did and it fell apart.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 01:42 PM

I think that dissing any form of tradarts [thanks Diane] should be a hanging offence.

G (The view from my black imitation leather swivel chair, overlooking Little Loch Shin}


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 01:41 PM

At the many open mics up and down Camden High Street they're falling over themselves to describe any old shit as "f*lk". It's a "cool" word, apparently. And since it has been so comprehensively hijacked, I'm all for binning the expression forthwith. They can keep it now that it is so devoid of meaning. If you play trad music, call it that.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 01:34 PM

Nigel, Ruth,

Thank you for your constructive remarks about the EFDSS and the differentiation of Folk Arts England as the main lobbying organisation. I may be completely wrong (and possibly have some prejudice) but my image of the EFDSS is that it is a bit cucumber sandwiches and more tea vicar.

But I think I better go have a look at websites etc if things are changing.....does the EFDSS have a MySpace page.....I ask for 2 reasons.

1/ I'd really like to have a look and listen to how they represent themselves and

2/If not, why not?

Richard Bridge,

"No, no hypocrisy. Open Mics aren't about folk music, they are about rock and roll, and mobo and all sorts of other stuff, but not about folk music because folk isn't seen as "cool" by stupid pundits or knuckle-dragging hoodies whereas the element of anti-social behaviour in (etc etc) enables the callow to believe they are rejecting their parents' values or the oppressions of society."

Maybe where you live, plenty of folk (including trad) music at open mics around here...and well accepted when well performed .......

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 01:29 PM

'And I do find it ironic that Parris's prejudice against English folk arts is seen as acceptable'

It becomes acceptable because and when people refuse to stand and be counted when it really matters. The same goes for politics,attacks on people based upon their religion or sexual bias. As Diane correctly states, one is a personal loss (and could grow into more), the other is criminal.

Charlotte (the continuing view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)

Vancouver Island MusicFest 2008


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 01:13 PM

It's perfectly simple.

Someone says they don't like a particular genre of, say, music and speaks ignorantly of it. That's their loss.
Someone else discriminates unlawfully on the grounds of race, religion or sexuality. That's a criminal act.

Are you sure you're a lawyer?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 01:06 PM

No, no hypocrisy. Open Mics aren't about folk music, they are about rock and roll, and mobo and all sorts of other stuff, but not about folk music because folk isn't seen as "cool" by stupid pundits or knuckle-dragging hoodies whereas the element of anti-social behaviour in (etc etc) enables the callow to believe they are rejecting their parents' values or the oppressions of society.

And I do find it ironic that Parris's prejudice against English folk arts is seen as acceptable, whereas any prejudice that others might have against homosexuality is unacceptable. What's that about casting motes, beams, etc?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice)
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 01:03 PM

I don't understand..? As a matter of fact I do, as we here went through the denigration of the folk music scene some years ago, by someone who genuinely didn't see the point to festivals etc receiving governmet funding (a complete and total waste of time and money was his favourite phrase and he also suggested that gays and lesbians be sent to 're-education camps') We rode out the storms. The person in question has since passed on, but we still have our nay-sayers and we still continue on as ever.

Charlotte (the continuing view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 12:28 PM

Cheers. They (the Shed) have a changing list of beers so I won't know if Adnams is there until I get there. I usually drink on of their own brews - Top Cat.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 12:20 PM

Have great night then, Jon, and a pint of Adnams for me if they serve it.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 12:18 PM

It's good to hear there is more going on than I knew about.

Anyway, Irish session in Norwich for me tonight. I doubt I'll be playing much though - my repertoire isn't good enough for this one. Still I enjoy listening too.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 12:12 PM

And (non genre specific) singing groups. My lovely partner goes to one above a pub where they belt out anything from Britney Spears to Brian Eno to the Grateful Dead to god knows what else with gay abandon. And don't forget The Natural Voice Practitioners' Network where a group of people of any ability who love group singing can get together and hire a voice practitioner to work with them. My dad runs a group in the Midlands and they all love it. His group only do one British folk song - 'Ca the Yowes' alongside Euopean and American music, show tunes, pop songs, hymns...

Traditional music singarounds can be brilliant - I'm off to an excellent one tonight (I'll only join in the choruses though, I KNOW my limitations!), but they're far from unique.

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 11:31 AM

Gospel
Trad Jazz
Sacred Harp
Amateur operatics
Madrigal groups
Brass & Silver bands
Concertina bands
Ukelele orchestras
Caribbean steel bands
Male voice choirs
Barber shop groups
Football crowds (erm maybe not . . .)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 11:15 AM

What music isn't?

I know of none with a scene like the folk club/session/singaround one.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 10:37 AM

Damned cookie thing...


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 10:37 AM

'Folk music is open to participation at all levels'

What music isn't?

I think sometimes we are so busy trying to embalm 'folk' in a cloud of specialness that we forget that many of its best (and worst) traits it shares with virtually every other genre of music imaginable. Now that's something to celebrate...

Now someone is no doubt going to tell me that 'folk' music is not a genre but a way of life or something...

Anyway, as I don't want to participate in the (folk) process of attempting to make Matthew Parris look reasonable by comparison, I'll get my coat.

By the way, his Andean travel book, 'Inca Cola' is a highly enjoyable read.

That's blown it!

Cheers

Nigel

PS Apologies for suggesting something can be 'embalmed in a cloud'.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 10:09 AM

Don't bring me into the "gay ex-MPs" comment.

I expect artists, their agents and event organisers to negotiate a fair fee for the performance. I view what I may be prepared to pay to hear that performance and how much a venue decided to charge for the performance as separate issues.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 09:48 AM

I think Jon means you can go and consort with the gay ex-MPs.

I have been astonished (well no, not really) that such a disgraceful display of homophobic prejudice has been allowed to stand. Presumably some imagine that Matthew Parris's sexuality precludes him from appreciating "real men" music.There can be no other explanation, not that it is any way justifiable.

There's also the element of inverted snobbery too. Paying out money for artistic performance isn't what we "real f*lkies" do. Well, sod that. It's an artist's livelihood.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 09:41 AM

As I said, Nigel, it is your free choice no one is telling you how to spend your money.

Ah, I see. So not so 'participatory' now, eh?

I don't know what you are seeing. That a particular venue may have "entry level" requirements or perhaps only books paid guests in no way alters the fact that folk music is open to participation at all levels.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 09:33 AM

Sorry, Jon, you've completely missed the point I was trying to make.

'No one is telling you where you should or should not spend your cash or what you should expect to receive from it.'

Erm... I know that. Where did I say they were?

'If you feel you are not getting your value for money in one place, find another.'

Ah, I see. So not so 'participatory' now, eh?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 09:12 AM

I don't really understand why some posters are so insistent about the necessity of the 'folk scene' being a participatory scene. Surely I am not alone in just wanting to listen, enjoy, hold opinions, discuss, etc?

The fact that it is a scene in which participation at all levels is possible does not make participation compulsory.

Does this somehow make me (and my ilk) 'less worthy'? Not at all.

My personal feeling is that those who do not participate might be missing out on some enjoyment but are they less "less worthy"? I'd say no.

But for those of us that just want to enjoy listening to good quality music played and sung well, excuse us if we are a bit choosy how whe spend our hard earned cash.

So now you are more worthy?

No one is telling you where you should or should not spend your cash or what you should expect to receive from it. If you feel you are not getting your value for money in one place, find another.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 09:12 AM

Oops, that was me, cookieless.

Paul - Can I echo what Ruth said about EDFSS, and ask you (if you want to) to give a little more detail about what it is you find off-putting about how the organisation puts itself across? The reason I ask is that I think it's quite important for organisations both to listen to and learn from reasoned criticism and, where appropriate, to challenge misapprehensions.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 09:02 AM

As someone who can't sing, can't play an instrument and has enough of an awareness of his own limitations to avoid trying to do either in public, I don't really understand why some posters are so insistent about the necessity of the 'folk scene' being a participatory scene. Surely I am not alone in just wanting to listen, enjoy, hold opinions, discuss, etc? Does this somehow make me (and my ilk) 'less worthy'? Not at all. For those who want to participate, great, go for it. But for those of us that just want to enjoy listening to good quality music played and sung well, excuse us if we are a bit choosy how whe spend our hard earned cash.

I've been listening to a lot of recordings of Scandinavian traditional music recently and those musicians aren't scared to do what they do incredibly well. Neither are the artists Ruth listed further up the thread. Neither are people like Tom and the best of the folk club players. Of course there is room also for those with more enthusiasm than talent as well as talented amateurs, but to denigrate the professional and want-to-be professional singers and players of traditional and/or folk music as some on this thread have done serves no positive purpose. In fact its downright embarrassing.

Which kind of links back into the thread topic. I don't know how widely Mudcat is read, but I suspect some of the views espoused on here are far more damaging to folk's 'image' (whatever that is - I wouldn't know because I've never called myself a folkie...) than some off the cuff comment by a right wing commentator who has made a name for himself by being a bit of a smug smartarse. Granted he could have chosen some truly rubbish folk music (and as with any genre of music, there's plenty of it) to illustrate his point, rather than a decent bit of Irish singing, but the sky won't fall. I think Tom's response has some merits though, if he is trying to use any negative mention of folk in the media to push a more positive agenda. Not sure the 'Outraged of Basildon' approach some here seem to be taking is any use, though, especially when topped off with a side order of homophobia.

Finally, I'd urge everyone to re-read Captain Ginger's excellent post of 4.40 am.

Cheers,

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 08:49 AM

Attitudes at EFDSS have changed enormously in recent years, and progress is afoot. The organisation recently appointed a Heritage Education Officer to oversee the Take 6 Project, which brings several important library collections back into the communities where they were first collected, including Hampshire and Lancashire.

There is an awareness within EFDSS that, to many people, CSH in Camden seems a long way from where they are and what they're doing. I think the current development strategy aims to have a much stronger national impact and profile.

However, I would say that EFDSS has not been chiefly representing itself as a lobbying organisation - for that, it's probably best to look to Folk Arts England.

(as always, these remarks represent my personal opinion, and are not spoken on behalf of EFDSS.)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 08:47 AM

"...I'd like to have a better voice"

Fortunately, I do, Richard, she's my wife, Jools.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 08:16 AM

you trying to say, karaoke isn't folk music....!

the trouble with roots music, it has no roots in reality.

My best karaoke number is SOS by Abba. I used to do Johnny B Goode but its no good if you know all the words.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 07:42 AM

Richard,

You say folk music should be participative then describe others' participation as "dogshit, the incompetent copying the antisocial." ....

No hypocrisy there then!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 07:25 AM

One thing that will surely kill folk music is the attitude that you are not allowed to do it unless you pass the tests set by the self-appointed (or indeed those appointed by others to be gatekeepers) - some of whom obviously have their own views as to the meaning of language.

If you can't contribute, and want to stop others contributing, just go away. It is such a shame to see those with a considerable store of knowledge about folk music so far up their own arses that they cannot think to apply it.


The endless, endless negativity and the gratuitous prejudice do far more harm than limited ability.



Leveller - yes, I hate my playing and singing, but some people are polite enough to accept it. I'd like to play better but I have been told that what I do has an individual character. I'd like to have a better voice, but if it's a matter of having to sound like an opera singer (ex opera singers like Jon Loomes excepted) I'll stay the way I am thanks, and some people have said that I use what I've got effectively. I'll never have the tone of John Barden, but hell, he does what he does and I do what I do. He's mostly a lot better tempered than me, too.

Most of the stuff in open mics is dogshit, the incompetent copying the antisocial. Don't take that as a model, it's nearly as bad as karaoke.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 06:36 AM

A number of internet radio stations play nothing but folk, so not only do we know what 20/20 folk is like - we know what 24/24 folk 365 days a year is like.

Fred McCormick who posted earlier on this thread, has a radio station playing all sorts of traditional music and posts his monthly play list on here.

And since the EFDSS person responsible for marketing occasionally posts on here I may just ask him to reply to Banjiman's comments about the EFDSS.

Ducks..............


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 06:01 AM

EFDSS and FAE and AFO and MUfrtm, folkWISE and loads of other acronyms are all doing our bit - and when people like Kitty take up their pens (along with many others who don't post here) we all cheer. Would that more people appreciated how important it is.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 05:58 AM

What would 20:20 folk be like?

I don't know but perhaps the long ballads are the test cricket? (Although, unlike test cricket, not something I personally enjoy - my interest doesn't last that long)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 05:44 AM

OK Tom,

I think you are suggesting carrying on doing what we are doing but better and more!

It gets slightly complicated when individual artists, clubs, festivals etc are leading this as self interest usually (and quite naturally...not a criticism of anyone) comes to the fore....rather than the good of the "movement" (whatever that is?) as a whole.

This should be where our lobbying organisations prove of value.....but these (especially the EFDSS) seem light years away from representing what I see as being important....even the title "English" puts me off and makes me (well us, I'm married to a Scot) feel alienated. Not that I don't value English Traditional Music (I was brought up on it) but those hallowed Halls of CS House seem a long, long way from North Yorks and the activities I am involved in.

I am sure that someone will tell me I am wrong about the EFDSS etc but if that is the case they have their marketing, PR and image all wrong....

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 05:36 AM

The cricket analogy is interesting.
You can argue that test cricket is poorly supported because the current generation seeks action and thrills rather than the subtle tactical game, and there's little the higher levels can do to change that. But general exposure to cricket is declining - fewer schools play it, and many pub sides find it hard to find players to commit to a season (unlike the UK Asian sides, which are flourishing), and one can argue that that's a wider cultural and demographic issue rather than the fault of the game's governing bodies.
Spectators at county level and below are thin on the ground and ageing, but the one growth area is 20:20 cricket, which has seen a phenomenal explosion of interest, both in the UK and India and has some seeing it as the future of the game and others as the nail in its coffin. What would 20:20 folk be like - or do we already have it in the form of the new, young artists on the concert circuit?
With cricket the selection of players is generally based on talent, given that even a village or pub team wants to win. Those with zero talent either self-select or end up, in desperate teams, as perpetual 12th man or scorer. And, as with music, those with real talent rise up through the system to the point where they're decried as being out of touch and in thrall to the sponsors and the cash! Hmm, maybe there's scope for a 12th man or scorer in folk clubs and sessions...


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 05:29 AM

Richard, I tend to agree with most of what you say and have always been a great defender of the 'amateur' in folk music. Whether people wish to perform in a polished and slick manner or in a 'warts and all way' is up to them and those who listen to them. It did, however, come as a salutory exercise when I acquired a portable digital recorder and discovered that my lovely, sonorous performances were often .....well, ghastly caterwauling. It's a great tool for discovering what's wrong with your own performance (not yours, Tom!)and, if you're that way inclined, doing something about it. Maybe more amateur performers should invest in one and ask 'is that really how I want to sound?'.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 05:24 AM

It's just a matter of chipping away at any media contacts you have (there was supposed to be someone from the Telegraph at my gig at your club the other day, for example - but he wanted to hitch the article to famous people - (err, like Sting, he suggested!) - and I just couldn't give him what he wanted - but I AM trying), and generally grabbing any opportunities to you can, to put your views over - as in this case.

I've been taking to some publicists about trying to get some articles on the importance of the folk club movement into the broadsheets. It's a long job and will need funding - but that's the kind of thing we can at least think about.

I've always got an eye out for TV opportunities, though that would be like trying to drive two busses at once for me!

There are loads of people doing stuff in the radio field, they need all the support we can give.

The important thing is for the folk movement - and that includes all levels and abilities - to embrace outward as well as inward looking. There's a lot to write about, which makes good reading - but the media won't see that unless we show them where to look.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 05:19 AM

Oh well the "caterwauling" of someone at the skilled end of things turning into GEEFF is interesting...

I really do not believe weaker performances have much impact on the general publics attitude to folk music who I doubt would particularly seek out folk clubs, sessions and singarounds and I don't think would really be able to tell or care whether (within limits) a singer is good or bad. A "folk accent" might for example strike first.

(To be honest. it's pretty much like that with me and opera singing. I at least mostly couldn't sort a really good one from a just about OK one. I don't care how skilled it is and I don't like (to my ears) "squeaky squaky" high pitched notes. Perhaps one day, something might open up my ears to it but I doubt very much if it will be the skill level of the performer.)

I'm in favour of room for folk at all levels and believe what (if any) standard/entry level an event sets is entirely their own affair. I do think that people should accept their standard might not be acceptable for a certain venue (I don't hold with anyone should be allowed to play anywhere) but that's as far as it goes.

Besides my "folk police" (which at least to date has been fictitious) fears and dislikes, I do wonder about other areas. Folk seems pretty unique in music but suppose I moved over to lets say cricket. Would one really blame amateur village cricketers if test cricket was poorly supported, or suggest cutting out players below a certain level of ability from playing anywhere as a resolution? Of course not, we would lay the blame fairly and squarely on those involved at the higher levels. It would be entirely up to them to market and make thier version uf the game more appealing.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 05:04 AM

Tom,

"Then the media becomes part of the solution not the problem. It can be done, trust me."


Would you like to expand on this? It looks interesting and I would like to believe it is possible...


Of course there is room in the folk (trad arts....whatever)world for enthusiastic amateurs and slick professionals alike. A point made by several people....you can't become a slick professional without having been an enthusiastic amateur.....and I doubt you can have a thriving scene without both.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 04:46 AM

Very well put said Captain - only I'd not wait until the folk/world relationship changes of it's own accord. I'd want to play the media at their own game, and lead them past the tankards (I own 12 by the way but only use one as part of a stage set) to the music. Then the media becomes part of the solution not the problem. It can be done, trust me.

Tom 'tankard half full' Bliss


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 04:44 AM

beards and tankards
And I plead guilty on both charges!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 04:40 AM

Bugger it, I'm agreeing with too many people here. Diane is right, up to a point, and Dave Polshaw has neatly cut to the nub of the issue, while Tom has come in with a possible solution and Richard has warned of the dangers of of over-sophistication.
The heart of the issue, though, is how we as 'keepers of the tradition' or whatever pompous term you fancy, appear to the majority for whom that tradition is unfamiliar.
And the bog-standard folk club simply doesn't cut it as a shop window for trad material. I know there are thriving clubs, but compare them to open mic evenings, poetry slams; performance gigs of all sorts and you'll find that they make up a tiny proportion of the performing arts in the UK, and a declining one at that. As a mass phenomenon and as a young person's 'thing' folk clubs have had their day and are going the way of Jazz and Skiffle clubs. A few beacons of brilliance will be left as places of pilgrimage for the true believer, and others will simply fade and and wither into mediocrity and extinction along with their clientele.
Festivals are another matter - a lot of festivalgoers are attracted by the names of those they've seen in concert or whose reputation precedes them. They also attract many more youngsters, and there you do see some crossover in sessions and singarounds between old farts like me and younger performers. It's from there that the younger talent comes - young players who pick up their tunes from sessions and who may never have been to a folk club in their lives and improve then and try to get them right, as Richard says. And presentation does matter to that end.
As Diane says, it's the effing 'f'word that puts people off. Traditional material played well and with imagination is still traditional, whether you call it roots, ethnic, world, celtic (a real hate of mine, but still...) or indie/accoustic. The music that friends of mine like and appreciate isn't 'folk' in their eyes - yet. OK, Tim van Eyken, Bellowhead, Karine Polwart may be folk to us, but I think it's excellent that they can slip under people's prejudices and undermine them from within.
And all of them play supremely well and, yes, they are professional. All of them, however, have done their journeyman work at sessions, and still do when they get the chance. It's not 'us' the poor downtrodden amateur and 'them' the slick superstars - we're all part of the same tradition, and maybe we amateurs should show some of the same respect and dedication to the material that the pros can muster.
So, no personal attacks - just a fervent love of the material and an exasperation at the way that a great mass of the 'folk' world seems incapable of looking at itself critically yet dispassionately. If ity can, then I believe it will be able to engage coherently with the media and attempt to shrug off the stereotypical image as Tom has suggested. Until then, idle hacks will just see the endless beards and tankards.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 04:22 AM

Oh dear - it's such a shame that we so often find ourselves here.

Richard: No - "professional" is the antonym of "amateur" which have the definitions you cite. "Professionalism" mean to behave in a professional manner, as if professional even when not being paid.

But you're right about the rest - I'm not going to repeat myself because i think i maid the points very well above.

Diane: You can't reinvent the wheel. We are here because we are here - and the tribe (and I use that word deliberately) that you despise are here for very good cultural and historic reason, and as I've said every cog, of whatever size, has to turn for the machine to function.

Where I think you ARE right - and if only everyone would just go with this we might stop this constant bickering - is that there is a time and a place for everything.

Sometimes the passion matters more than the performance. Sometimes it's the reverse. Sometimes the standards are around participation, sometimes they are about presentation.

There is room for all, and as long as people have a little think about where they are, and who is listening and why, before striking up there should be no problem.

Would and could test cricket exist without village cricket? Of course not.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 04:20 AM

You thought was offensive. You should have been living in a mining area when that little bugger was a trusted minion of the blessed Margaret.

While I don't agree that English folk music is ghastly in its entirety - it does have some fairly ghastly manifestations. if you've never sat in a folk club, sometimes one that you're actually running and thought, what the hell am I doing with my life - you've not actually had much experience of any kind of folk music - English or otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 04:19 AM

RB said:

"Professionalism" means doing something to get paid
No it doesn't. It means doing it properly. Then getting paid. Maybe.

"amateur" . . . means doing something without being paid
It doesn't. It means doing it for the love of it, regardless of payment.

It isn't about "Good enough for folk" - which was never a credo but rather a very English piece of self-deprecation
Scottish actually, © Alex Campbell.

Didn't you get the bum's rush from fRoots for spewing out these inaccurate platitudes?

Your final three paragraphs are overwhelmingly incomprehensible. I advise a return to bed for the rest of the day.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 03:59 AM

"financially to reward it" may be what you should have said.

It isn't about funding.

"Professionalism" means doing something to get paid. It is the antonym of "amateur" which means doing something without being paid.

As (until venality set it) the olympics recognised, doing something for the love of it without expectation of reward is more meritorious than doing the sane thing in hope of reward.

The path you seek to tread leads to doing what is rewarding, not what is meritorious.

You do not merely feel free to criticise what is not well done. You seek to criticise anything that is not done in a straitjacket of "presentation", the god of the management consultant. We've all seen it in country, and country and western, music: the heartwarming aside, cough, sniff or tear that comes in exactly the same place in thousands of renditions. Whan you can fake sincerity you've got it made. That's what you are making.

Oh, and of course a series of snouts in an Arts council funded gravytrain, getting fed because they can fill the right forms.

It isn't about "Good enough for folk" - which was never a credo but rather a very English piece of self-deprecation. Every amateur I know tries incessantly to improve, to get it "right" (by which I mean of course to present what they intended to present rather than to deliver something in the exact mould of a predetermined form - and indeed I understand that one criticism of Comhaltas is that its predeterministic approach to competitions results in ossification).

I am not sufficiently self important to sit in judgment on them all. Better they should try and fail than be shut out by petty Hitlers.

Why don't you apply your analysis to ethnic social behaviour and see how acceptable it is? You conspire with sneerers like Parris, to the detriment of the English folk traditions, and you even seem to accept that he should not be permitted to speak as he did about Welsh, Irish, or Scottish folk arts, while they too have amateurs.

You reserve your arrogant assumption for the English folk arts. You are not part of the solution. You are part of the problem.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 03:47 AM

I have no quibble with your (1*) (2) or (3) but I'd add

(4) interact with the media effectively. Brand science applies whether we like it or not, and positioning can make all the difference to 1, 2 and 3.

Tom

* but see my posts above about vital roles played by the 'amateur' (full caveats apply) cogs in the folk machine.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 02:47 AM

Bugger. To "financially reward it accordingly".


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 02:34 AM

Richard Bridge kindly invites me to:
Feel free to criticise what is not well done.

I do. As Dave Polshaw puts it very graphically:
Don't go on unless properly rehearsed and thus unlikely to screw it up.

This is what "being professional" means, whether ot not you're being paid for it.
Not to bother is to disrespect the music. That's what GEFFs do.
They are being wilfully ignorant, whereas pundits like Mr Parris are doing it to raise a laugh which usually works because the general public are conditioned to regard tradarts thus.

The way forward to reverse this is not to get all offended because someone from without the clique is saying what is all too often true. It is to:

(1) ensure that every public performance is of the highest quality and to financially accordingly

(2) lobby for the tradarts, including education projects, to be properly funded

(3) tighten up organisation, as in comparable countries, to a considerably less ramshackle level.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 07:33 PM

Well if Parris is our Howard Stern, who is he going to get to ride a Sybian and when will the broadcats be on?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 07:13 PM

Charlotte is not British - she's Canadian. Which is why it's odd she has such strong opinions on this (and so many other) issues she can't possibly have any direct experience of.

Matthew Parris was an idiot for saying what he did. People who think it's unimportant don't perhaps realise how much damage this slow trickle of sneering media denegration does to the tradition.

IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:58 PM

Oh dear, I didn't start this thread to promote aggro between British catters, - and I've met many of those who have posted. Are we agreed on anything, eg was Matthew Parris out of order in saying what he did?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:44 PM

Of course "you think not", dear. Because despite having no direct experience of Parris in order to be able to voice an informed opinion, you're bound and determined to have one anyway.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:43 PM

Oh dear, if you want the last word have it lassie, but for gods sake ditch the stool before the enema nurse arrives.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:39 PM

Thanks Tom - It's the first time I've protested to the BBC about anything, but as you said about your reaction, mine was an emotional response to what I valued.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:34 PM

'Charlotte, you compare apples and oranges as usual,'

I think not


'who expects to be taken seriously.'

and Parris is being taken seriously isn't he? At least by some. This will have all blown over in a few days, as these things do, and the tradition will still be there, as strong as ever. Parris is simply getting what he wants, attention.

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:21 PM

Charlotte, you compare apples and oranges as usual, one is known for being offensive, and that's what gets him his audience, the other; Matthew Parris while being offensive on a part time basis, is a writer and broadcaster of some repute, who expects to be taken seriously.
He does not rely on his ability to offend to make a living, as the unlovely Howard Stern does. Yes we do know of him over her too.

G


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:13 PM

Where I post on this Forum, and on what subject, I believe is up to me. It most certainly will not be decided by such as yourself and I will not be dictated to by the likes of you.

Quite correct old fruit. And I mean that most sincerely.

He can apologise for making a crass remark on a subject of which he clearly knows nothing. I am sorry your pedantry fails to understand that.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:13 PM

'I think that it is an act of crass stupidity for one who relies on the public for a living, to heedlessly antagonise some of that public'



Howard Stern , the American 'shock jock'has been making a living out of doing just that for more than a few years, which is no excuse, of course for the behaviour, but I don't think Matthew Parris is going away anytime soon.

Charlotte (the view from ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:09 PM

Kitty is right Mike

I had an emotional response to Parris because he was rubbishing something I value highly - (and I also hate to see someone with that amount of media power dump on an innocent honest, expert and talented artist). But those two reactions would not have been enough to make me write to the BBC, because - as many have so kindly taken the trouble to point out - it doesn't matter one jot on that level in the greater scheme of things.

But I had two professional reactions as well.

The first was the.. err... oh lets call it racist element because it's late and i can't be bothered to find the correct words, but you do know what I mean I think (others have expressed it well above). The ex BBC producer in me baulked at that - and at hearing sloppy, nasty, jingoistic journalism on a programme like POYW.

The fourth reaction was from the performer in me - as someone closely involved in the business and promotional aspects of the folk world, who happens to have spent many years as a corporate communications consultant.

People over on the BBC site have told me I'm just being thin-skinned. Yes, on a personal level I am, but on a professional level - well let me quote myself, again because it's late.

"There are some basic do's and don'ts in the exciting game we call public relations, and one of the don'ts is never to let someone like Parris rubbish your product without challenge, and one of the do's is to take every opportunity to put your point of view across and to promote your product by every means at your disposal, and especially to grab an opportunity like this with both sticky hands."

Folk music may be the people's music and essentially amateur and participatory and all that which we know and love here, and it may also be a cultural wellspring which needs to be cherished and nourished, but it is also very much a business, and so must sometimes behave like one.

I therefore have four reasons for wanting to at least be seen to try to persuade Parris to remove his blinkers (and earplugs) - and wanting not to hear people express a view that its a storm in a tea cup.

We sail ships on storms smaller than this.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:06 PM

Kitty - your "recording a contrary opinion" is fine by me. Minorities are entitled to have their dissent from the majority recorded in the minutes, so they can say "I told you so" if the passage of time proves them right. But it's the the raw anger in so many other postings that troubles me. If only all that energy could be applied to some useful task, we might yet save the world from global warming.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:03 PM

I like clubs like that, too, Kitty. But there is informal and informal. An informal club can be a joy but when it becomes too informal it can get abused by those people who Dianne is complaining about.

To be honest, I am probably one at times (beard and tankard - guilty as charged!) but at least I do try to learn my words, rehearse before I go out and make sure I pitch the song in the right key. I also play concertina, guitar and various other instruments but unless I know I can play the tune the whole way through without too many cock-ups I won't play it. Well, unless you count my infamous hesitation polka on piano accordion :-) Which is why I only play about 6 accompanied songs and tunes!

There are however those who will not give the audience the same consideration. Be it a lousy performance of a traditional classic or a poorly penned piece of teen angst it is unfair on the audience and the image of 'folk' to do it. Lets have clubs where people can enjoy performing, even if they are crap, but keep them away from people who don't want to hear it and, for heavens sake, don't let it tar all folk clubs with the same brush.

We now ban smoking in public places to protect peoples health. How about banning crap public performances to protect their sanity? :-)

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:52 PM

I think that it is an act of crass stupidity for one who relies on the public for a living, to heedlessly antagonise some of that public, by making flippant remarks.
It may be only a few people, but these things add up, first cyclists, now folkies, whoever next?

G.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:48 PM

No, Mike, I think that when the presenter of a flagship BBC radio programme takes the piss out of a strong performance of a traditional song just because it's in a genre that he doesn't appreciate, it's worth recording a contrary opionion. Which is why I did!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:39 PM

"English (not Scottish Irish or Welsh) schoolchildren have been bludgeoned for a couple of generations into despising their cultural heritage and embracing the musical equivalent of McRubbish, the soundtrack of global capitalism"

That (which is true) is why two things are necessary:

First to avoid embracing the values of McRubbish - the triumph of packaging over content - which you Diane rush headlong into.

Second to pour scorn and contumely on those who denigrate our cultural inheriance as we would for example on those who denigrate African, Caribbean, Scottish, Welsh or Irish or any other cultural tradition on the ground that it is that tradition.

Feel free to criticise what is not well done. But to dismiss an entire tradition simply on the ground of its content is wilfully ignorant - as wilfully ignorant as those who assert that only professionals must be allowed to participate in folk arts.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:37 PM

"Now perhaps his description of a traditional singer was meant humourously and perhaps he could apologise for that if enough pressure was applied to him."

But Matthew Parris won't apologize, he more than likely doesn't see that he should because I believe that he has no liking for The Tradition/folk music/f**k music or whatever you want to call it. Indded, Teribus is right; how can you apologize to music? You can say your sorry to a singer if that singer is offended and if you feel you need to apologize; but the actually music itself? I believe I said in a previous post, the music will survive one person's highly subjective opinion.

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:36 PM

Merciful heavens, what a commotion!
Having just ploughed through these 200 or so posts I feel like a sober man who's wandered into a party where everyone else is four or five drinks ahead of him. For goodness sake, let's try to calm down and get things in proportion.

Mr Paris is a professional entertainer. He earns his living by telling stories. So long as the stories amuse a sufficient number of people, he can eat, drink, run his car, pay off his mortgage etc, etc. However, these stories do not have to be true, and most hearers do not take them as such.   

"Folk singers" – whether modern and synthetic or ancient and authentic– have been mocked by satirists for decades, if not centuries. Nevertheless, we are still around. The two-pennyworth of mud Mr Paris threw at us the other day will have no effect, except to confirm his reputation as a vendor of smoothly delivered clichés with a predilection for soft targets.

So let's ignore him and spend our time and energy on something more constructive, like learning a new song, a new dance, a new tune, or even a new instrument? If enough of us keep on doing that, and doing it well enough, then the folk tradition will be around long after Mr Parris and his ill-informed gibes have been forgotten.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Teribus
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:19 PM

Folkiedave,

Where I post on this Forum, and on what subject, I believe is up to me. It most certainly will not be decided by such as yourself and I will not be dictated to by the likes of you.

Odd that isn't it, it is always the socialist left on this forum that immediately spring to attack mode. It is always their followers who demand what people can and cannot say, so much for their belief in the freedom of speach, they believe in it only as long as those speaking are chanting their tune.

By the bye, I can easily see how someone could apologise to the cycling fraternity of this country, I still cannot see how one can apologise to "traditional music" as demanded by Folkiedave, or indeed why anyone should apologise for merely stating their own highly subjective opinion which in itself signifies nothing.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:55 PM

I just don't think that appreciating folk music consists of, and is no more than, listening reverently to a professional performer. The reason I fell in love with a folk club when I was 15 was because of the interaction between the performers and the audience and the participation of the punters in the event.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:46 PM

which is why, presumably, you asked about Fred Jordan earlier, Kitty. And why i gave the response I did!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:39 PM

Diane - am I wrong in thinking that many source singers would sing whatever they knew, and enjoyed singing, including music hall and popular songs of the day?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 07:10 AM

Sabotage eh?

Well, I might (indeed do) use my clogs to kick the GEFFs who wouldn't recognise their own heritage if it bit them on the backside.
In their contempt for the tradarts and preference for bland, close-to-mainstream singalong (out of tune natch) crap, they show as little respect as Mr Parris and, indeed, the public at large, do.
English (not Scottish Irish or Welsh) schoolchildren have been bludgeoned for a couple of generations into despising their cultural heritage and embracing the musical equivalent of McRubbish, the soundtrack of global capitalism.
Those who do understand (to be found among the listings provided by the programmer of Ambridge via Loughborough which I have no intention of wasting bandwidth by repeating) regard it as their mission to reverse this.
And they are.
In spite of the sneering wilful amateurism of the GEFFs who continue to alienate the 'normal' population by inflicting their racket (oops, almost called it caterwauling) inappropriately.
Then get offended when they are laughed at.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:40 AM

"Yeah, there are many out there who DO understand the importance of our cultural heritage"

So why do you do your level best to sabotage it?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:04 AM

Yeah, there are many out there who DO understand the importance of our cultural heritage and the necessity of supporting those working in the tradarts.
And many others who don't give a shit.

See this: The GEFF Fest


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:55 AM

Dianne, a bit negative aren't you? There are people out there who are working very hard to improve the image of the tradition or 'folk', whichever you will. Don't they deserve some credit?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:49 AM

"Your measure of success of the folk scene seems to be whether it provides an opportunity for young performers to make a living."

I think you've got it in one there, Snail.

"We need more who are prepared to take on the ground work. There are some; Laurel Swift and Anna Tabbush spring to mind. We need more like that."

I'd add Sam Lee to that list. Runs a hip young folk club in north London (with ex-Devil's Interval Lauren McCormick) and is doing lots of outreach and development work for EFDSS. Many young folk artists have done development work while getting their careers off the ground - Sam, I think, has a real and lasting commitment to development work and outreach.

And I can't not mention the fact that Damien Barber has, since January, been travelling from Yorkshire to Loughborough every week just to teach kids rapper dancing at an after-school club.

There are a fair few artists out there from the younger generation who are making a positive contribution to the traditional arts. That's worth celebrating.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: melodeonboy
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:45 AM

And possibly the first one too!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Liam
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:28 AM

"I often read the online response to my column," says the Times columnist Matthew Parris. "Some of it is interesting; some of it is fatuous, obsessive or insane".

Guardian Letters Page Article

Matthew has got all of the last 3 in this thread, that is for certain.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:27 AM

Gene Burton

Who do YOU think is responsible?

Do we have to apportion blame? The modern world is flooded with a huge variety of forms of entertainment, much of it backed by billion dollar industries. Folk has a hard job to compete.

Your three points for discussion all ended on a rather accusatory note. "a little bloated, middle-aged, fussy, lacking in edge?" I'm not sure if I'm fussy but I'll admit to the other three. "a small self-perpetuating elite?" "don't CARE that the music's being ignored but actively encourage it's neglect?"

You come back later with "But I do worry that our musical heritage is being allowed to dwindle and wither by those supposedly dedicated to its propagation." Excuse me if I feel got at.

Your measure of success of the folk scene seems to be whether it provides an opportunity for young performers to make a living. That may be the problem. The younger generation all want to be superstars up on the big stage; the next Seth Lakeman or Kate Rusby. We need more who are prepared to take on the ground work. There are some; Laurel Swift and Anna Tabbush spring to mind. We need more like that.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:21 AM

Tom,
With you saying that mudcat is self-policing, my usage would go a step beyond that...and would have meant that we use peer pressure techniques within ourselves as a group to sort of outnumber the members who don't police themselves.
That's why I asked. Your use of the term seemed opposite of what I've been nattering on about and I didn't think you were trying to argue with me.

If we used peer pressure to keep things a little kinder, there wouldn't be so many posters covering their heads after giving their opinions.

It probably seemed like I was being dense by asking and I really do appreciate your straight answer.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:09 AM

Ah - I think I get it. I mean that Mudcat is largely self policing. That doesn't mean I don't think that we as individuals should not be self-policing too. I most certainly do!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:52 AM

Anything that upsets the Daily Mail must be at least half good.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:44 AM

Joe, aside from the part about spitting on the gimp, I think the conversation is surprisingly civil considering the fact that we're carrying two topics.

One of these topics is kind of touchy, and I think we're to be commended rather than mildly scolded?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:41 AM

At the risk of adding nothing constructive to an already muddied thread, I have to agree with both Teribus and Diane - Parris's comments are subjective and unlikely to influence anyone significantly

I'm not sure but at best it's unhelpful. Personally, I don't have a problem (except a certain degree of disappointments if I like it) with someone finding singing sounds like caterwauling. I could, after all make similar comments regarding highly skilled operatic soprano's...

On the other hand, I don't like the use of a 10 second clip representing only a fraction of the musical traditions of the British Isles to demonstrate (or remind one) of how ghastly they are.

Race issues aside, if I played 10 seconds of say Michael Jackson (some of who'#s music I like btw) and said this reminds me how ghastly black music is, many would point out that my sample is by no means representative of all black music.

My own view is that Parris has picked on an area of traditional folk music a good number of people (unfortunately IMO) can find hard going and used it to reinforce an existing negative attitude towards folk music amongst many of the general public.

Instrumental sessions are my main thing. Is it reasonable that they for example should be lumped in as being ghastly on the basis of 10 seconds singing? I think not.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:39 AM

ok, thanks Tom.
I was right--that's not how I use the term and I appreciate you answering.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:38 AM

Not really. I mean that Joe only chips in when it's really necessary (which is not often for the reasons I've outlined) - and when he does he's read the thread in sequence. Unlike the BBC mods. See above.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:36 AM

meaning that the conversations here are allowed to flow like a connected series of posts...conversationally...rather than as a series of unconnected input that's been run through a sifting process?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:34 AM

It's hard not to be irritated by Matthew Parris. I remember once reading an article he wrote criticising Britain's railways (an easy target for lazy writers, of course) and praising Mrs Thatcher's 'great car culture' ideas to the high heavens. I found this intensely annoying due to its one-sided, patronising and arrogant tone.
Now he's tried applying the same tactics to folk music. I heard the Pick Of The Week comments and the same sneering tone came across clearly. Parris has a horrible knack of putting forward his opinions as if they are acknowledged facts.
I hope the BBC were inundated with complaints.

I've just re-read this thread before posting (always wise, of course). The Snail's assertion that Parris is 'well-known for being an opinionated pillock' is spot on.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:33 AM

Please keep the personal comments out of the Forum.
This thread is filled with too many petty remarks by too many petty people. I'm getting complaints from people from both sides of the argument, and I don't want to hear any of it. Grow up, willya?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:29 AM

By 'self policing' - well, see the way my comment reinforces Goik's comment, even though I'd already posted mine, and though he'd not read it yet. That's the sort of thing I mean. Mudcat doesn't need moderators - at least not ones like the BBC, has, who sit in the dark inside No 1984 Animal Farm Road reading posts from every BBC forum, out of context, as they are posted, and then decide whether to zap them or not. That's NOT 'self policing.'


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:25 AM

Teribus.

Since you are the person who wrote that Gordon Ramsey personally cooked for 700+ troops, you are probably not the best person to criticise people's use of the English language old fruit.

Now why not go back down below the line and carry on defending US military policy in Iraq?
href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/matthew_parris/article3097464.ece">http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/matthew_parris/article3097464.ece
is where Matthew Parris wrote that cyclists should be decapitated.

Here is what he wrote:

"A festive custom we could do worse than foster would be stringing piano wire across country lanes to decapitate cyclists".

And here is where he apologised.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/matthew_parris/article3123486.ece

Here is what he wrote:

"I offended many with my Christmas attack on cyclists. It was meant humorously but so many cyclists have taken it seriously that I plainly misjudged. I am sorry".

Now perhaps his description of a traditional singer was meant humourously and perhaps he could apologise for that if enough pressure was applied to him.

I apologise most sincerely if something that simple confused you.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:20 AM

Captain Ginger, what does your Missouri comment mean?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:19 AM

Well I am annoyed at what he said, but not because it was about 'English folk music' After all I am a Scot so wtf difference does it make to me?
I am annoyed because his remark betrayed a prejudiced mind, and an uninformed viewpoint. It was also an abuse of his position as the presenter of a radio programme, to use it to make derogatory remarks about anyone, or their culture, whatever you assume that to be.
Please don't lump me in with the tankard waving masses either,{ they're mostly nice folks if you get to know them!}
I go to a very few festivals to meet up with old friends, and enjoy playing and singing. I have NEVER been to a folk concert in my life, as I don't like concerts per se, and I also don't see them as a 'Folkie' activity.
I assume this will bring opprobrium down on my head from the more intolerant and entrenched posters, but don't confuse me with someone who gives a fuck for those with unbending minds.

G


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:18 AM

Peregrina - you are right of course. I was speaking in relative terms.

Captain - Yes, the image of UK folk music does present those of us tasked to promote it to the wider media with a knotty problem. Some people do indeed take against the look of some folk enthusiasts, but these people have every right to dress as they please, and no-one should forget that even dedicated 'fringe' folkies (Diane's GEFF brigade) make a serious, vital contribution across the board - and most of us fall into this category at some times in some circumstances. They may not buy many concert tickets, but they do sing and play and keep it real. They write some great songs, they remember and perform lots of traditional and lesser known material. They buy a LOT more beer than Concert folkies (and so keep the pubs - and therefore town councils - happy to support festivals). They buy instruments. They contribute, often with deep authority, to forums and other discussions. Many do go to concerts as well, or dance, or make other contributions. In short they are - as I said earlier - as vital a cog in the folk machine as the record stalls, the headliners, the buskers, the morris sides etc etc etc etc.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:17 AM

Tom,
I'm really not all that new here..nor overly fragile.

What do you mean by 'self-policing'?
I think maybe you use the term differently than I do.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:04 AM

the way they treat newbies/relative outsiders here. At this point it goes beyond questions about the image of this community to fundamental questions of basic human decency
Sadly that is an attitude that is endemic to internet discussions. My own experience is that this place is a beacon of tolerance and understanding compared to some. It is a broad church, however, and it has its share of curmudgeons (of which I am probably one), lunatics and single-issue fanatics. As the thread maybe demonstrates, many here have thin skins but sharp tongues. I get the impression that the British posters tend to have the thinner skins when it comes to anything which is seen to threaten their orthodoxy and can be somewhat barbed in their parochialism.
Not that the thread topic isn't perfectly valid in itself - but it has had the effect of pulling back the chairs in the bar for the usual scrap. Something which must seem rather baffling and petty when viewed from Missouri.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: peregrina
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:04 AM

Sorry Tom, I can't agree that 'Here - well...'

Lively debate--great. Some of the personal abuse above, not. (see my post above this)>


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:02 AM

Melissa, I hear what you are saying, but I personally feel that this forum is, largely, so well attended, by so many people who have such a rich array of opinions (and are not afraid to express them), that on the whole it is self-policing - even if not always a very nice place to be - and the hosts do keep a watchful eye on things too.

That doesn't mean that we'd not be a lot better off without some of the vitriol we read here, or that it's not intensely painful to be on the receiving end of the same - specially if you're new. But there is such a lot of traffic, that silly or dull threads soon slip off the bottom (matron), and even the ones with the hand-to-hand fighting benefit from input by more level-headed members, which balances those by our angrier customers, and provides a bit of first aid to any wounded cadets. (How many mixed metaphors in that then?)

You're right that people do step in here in all innocence, and that a warning sign on the door might be helpful, but the system functions well on the whole.

Now that's not true of the BBC Folk and Acoustic forum by comparison, which though moderated (not always benignly), and hosted (but often in absentia) has its fair share of trolls and flamers while attracting a massively higher percentage of newcomers - who drop in like autumn leaves via the BBCs only national folk programme, the UKs only mainstream folk festival, or who are looking for THE perfect place to promote their act (and immediately win a place on the BBC Radio Two playlist - ha!), or via other routes such as the BBC's defunct country music forum.

Over there it really IS essential that the local level-heads do their utmost to keep things steady, for the benefit of the image of UK folk music.

Here - well...

Tom

Tom


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 03:53 AM

At the risk of adding nothing constructive to an already muddied thread, I have to agree with both Teribus and Diane - Parris's comments are subjective and unlikely to influence anyone significantly (other than to get some people seething). And for every negative comment there is a positive; I was minded of some recent comments by Stephen Fry on his general loathing for dancing, but with a caveat for Morris Dancing because it was done for display and no-one was forced to participate.
I'm afraid the real enemy is, as Diane says, the 'folkies' who appear to Daily Mail-reading middle-England to have come from another planet and who pander to stereotypes with the 'good enough for folk' attitude and who generate a vague atmosphere of a care in the community event whenever they leave their day jobs behind and go a-folking with their laboured eccentricity. They're not the majority, but they're what a lot of the British public will call to mind when asked to envisage folk.
There are plenty of seriously good young musicians and performers who are making inroads into 'non folk' audiences, but they wouldn't be seen dead in a folk club and probably wouldn't be booked by many.
(and now I'll stand back and prepare to be told that I'm wrong by the folk world's equivalents of Comical Ali).


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: akenaton
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 03:45 AM

The fact that M. P. has spoken out against the war in Iraq means a thousand times more to me than his opinion of traditional music!

BTW there are many on this forum who would be quite happy to see the traditional side "dead and buried", that's if they've ever taken the trouble to listen to any real traditional music.
It's amazing the number of folk fans and performers who believe certain contemporary songs to be traditional.

We are not really qualified to sit in judgement on one of the finest political commentators around today....Ake(homophobe)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: theleveller
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 03:39 AM

Mea culpa...I find myself guilty of gross musical hypocrisy. After condemning Mr Parris's outburst, I later referred to modern jazz as 'tuneless shit'. As a penance, I'll go and listen to two hours of massed melodeon playing. (That'll be just the one tune, then.)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: peregrina
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 03:22 AM

Hear Hear. Maybe there should be a separate 'mudcat xenophobia' thread like that thread for insults. I think and hope that most people posting would not, face to face, treat people of other races or national origin the way they treat newbies/relative outsiders here. At this point it goes beyond questions about the image of this community to fundamental questions of basic human decency.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 03:12 AM

Tom,
The Parris thing provides something to stand on that's more in public view? That makes sense to me.

Does my idea that the way we behave amongst ourselves being counterproductive to the palatability of the music make sense to you?
Everything that's said here is said in front of strangers. People do sidle in by chancing upon us through running a search.

It just seems to me that a lot of members moan about no newcomers being interested in whichever aspect of the tradition is being discussed---and a lot of times, those are also the same people who are offish when stragglers stop in.
It's so easy to be friendly when a new person posts.

Insulated Exclusiveness has its charms, but it contradicts the idea of being Friendly and Welcoming.
At least I think it does?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 02:58 AM

Hello Melissa

Yes I'm sorry this has been such a rough ride, especially for you. But the truth is there is actually very little one can do when someone here lets the emotions flood down to their fingertips. Long experience tells us that a short soft correction or objection is best, responding in kind only makes things worse. The mood is then more likely to improve and with luck fruitful debate is soon resumed. (I did offer you an admittedly rather British nod of support - and in fact did start to type something rather stronger, but you stuck up well for yourself so I moved back to my own agenda).

The reason I - and many other working musicians and various movers and shakers - are taking Parris to task on this is because he's an influential commentator (he writes for the Times and The Spectator and does a lot of broadcasting in the UK), and he made his comments on one of the most listened-to programmes on the UK's 'senior' station.

Apart from the fact that this means they could have been vastly more influential than any comment here, or on any other forum for that matter, the the way that the BBC does business offers us a chance to put our own case for the cultural and artistic merits of traditional music. Those of us who actively work to promote folk music in all its forms simply can't afford to let an opportunity like that go to waste.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 02:37 AM

I don't think anybody can truthfully deny that we have all stood by and watched awful behavior within this forum. Maybe we don't mind, maybe we like it, maybe we don't know how to make anything change. I'm sure it's an example of Human Nature in action.

Can anyone (nicely, please) tell me why the Parris guy's comment stirs you to action while the same type of obnoxiousness is acceptable to you within mudcat threads?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 02:07 AM

Snail-

My original three points were intended as jumping off points for a discussion on how we can put right what's going wrong in the folk world re. public perception and decline. I DID say at the time I didn't have or know all the answers; merely that IMO the discussion needs to be had & people need to think for themselves in order to take that forward. Who do YOU think is responsible?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 01:11 AM

What a vivid imagination!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Teribus
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 01:00 AM

"He should be made to apologise in the same way to traditional music." - Folkiedave

Why on earth should he do that? And if he were of a mind to do so, how would he go about doing that? How do you "apologise to traditional music"? The notion is ridiculous, someone of absolutely no significance voiced his opinion, it affects nothing.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 11:25 PM

Richard Bridge has never, to my knowledge, ever clapped eyes on me and certainly knows me not at all yet persists in mistaking me for someone else - some impresario maybe? - that I am not.

(Who's Charlie Pride anyway?)

The musician friend I referred to earlier who now lives in a land where the tradarts are taken seriously and receive adequate state funding has vast experience of ACE applications from both sides as he once had a day job assessing them as well as having successfully obtained funding for his own work. Forms filled in haphazardly by clueless "f*lkies" invariably gave him the biggest headache and made him ashamed of his own association with the genre. He now teaches and gigs wherever proper remuneration is forthcoming (i.e. rarely in Britain).

The very little I know of Richard Bridge is that he has a well-paid day job and thus probably gives never a thought to such considerations. I know not, furthermore, how he conducts himself at festivals but suspect he is one of the "f*lkily"-clad, tankard-waving perpetual amateurs that rampage around seaside towns making a bloody nuisance of themselves and saddling the genre with an even worse name in the eyes of the general public.

My reference to the lifelong musicians who live and play in your very own neighbourhoods was for the edification of those who seemingly imagine the "f*lk star" to be a species let out of a cage to perform on stages nowhere near where you are. On the contrary, everyone has them on their doorsteps, they are part of their communities and some even survive on their earnings, but not many in this country.

Richard Bridge persistently imagines I live out my life in the professional concert world but the truth is I rarely go near it, thus reinforcing my conviction that he's thinking of someone else. I have conversely, in the past, been banned from parts of the circuit for writing less than favourably about the nefariously greedy activities of certain self-styled luminaries, one especially who took 45% of the artists' gross fee for himself.

I have never promoted music myself (in this country anyway). The climate is just too unfavourable, given the hostility and ridicule of the majority who fail to understand it and the overall ignorance of that "minority group" whose interests it is supposed to serve. Since its components are so disparate and warring, anyone pursuing such a pointless aim is on a hiding to nothing.

I believe adult literacy tuition is available cheaply or even free. Perhaps providers could be encouraged to subscribe to those dinky Mudcat ads to encourage clients from among those incapable of reading and assimilating posts and thus spewing out replies consisting of such unremitting tripe.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 07:05 PM

There you go again.

What, stupid clothes, unlike any rock/mobo/penguincladclassical musicians?
What, drink and drugs, unlike (ditto)?

"No wonder the DCMS has seemingly limitless millions to spend on the Olympics. Tessa Jowell is unaware that there's anything of value worthy of funding in the tradarts because the mainstream media tells her it's all a joke anyway. And that's what Joe (and Joanna) Public largely believe too."
Yes indeed. And what is worth funding is not slick meaningless professionalism like (say) Charlie Pride.

If you really believe it's all about entertaiment values then you have over dunnamany years learned even less than the stupid and bigoted Parris.

"'Meanwhile, the REAL musicians, the invisible ones that persons lost in Missouri (or even downtown Mitcham) don't believe exist are just getting on with playing, in sessions in people's houses, outside in rain and hail for Morris or in pubs without poncy tea lights on the tables, as they have always done for decades. Maybe even next door to you or across the street."

But that can't be meritorious can it C*ntess? Because then they aren't slick professional (empty, bland, insincere) entertainers.

It isn't about prostitution, about doing it for the money.

If anyone gave any credit to your bitter and twisted rantings you might be quite dangerous to the song and music you claim to value.

Back under the stone!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 06:47 PM

Sorry about the empty post.

I am with Tom on this one - which is why I wrote to the BBC immediately I had chance and have rebutted thneir reply.

Matthew Parris had enough sense to apologise for his remark about decapitating cyclists with piano stretched across roads. (It was just a joke guv').

He should be made to apologise in the same way to traditional music.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 06:39 PM


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 06:31 PM

There are some basic rules about this sort of PR situation. I'm doing my best to follow them (I used to do it for a living)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 06:29 PM

'Really? I think you may underestimate the intelligence of the listening public'

there maybe some who heard Parris's piece who will take it at face value and just might be in a position to do harm as well, vis a vie funding, you just never know which way the wheel will spin.

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 06:24 PM

Tom Bliss

Parris' opinions may indeed be unimportant in themselves. But the bad PR generated is not.

Really? I think you may underestimate the intelligence of the listening public. Parris is well known for being an opinionated pillock. An attack from him might be considered to be a positive endorsement. That's not to say we shouldn't sieze the opportunity for some constructive response.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 06:12 PM

You are missing an important point Bryan. Parris' opinions may indeed be unimportant in themselves. But the bad PR generated is not. Like any business faced with negative coverage we have a duty to respond - and we should not miss the opportunity it gives us to make our case yet again.

Diane - those comments about 'rice paper' were aimed at me. If you are therefore including me in your support of that poster you are misinformed. I and my colleagues at folkWISE devote huge amounts of effort to the very tasks you mention - as do many many others across the folk world in many different ways.

The folk machine has many cogs. The GEFF brigade you deride are a vital cog like any other, as are the club organisers, the festivals, the arts people, performers young and old, pro and amateur, the dancers, the DJs - and all the rest.

Maybe one day we'll be able to do a proper study to see how all the cogs actually mesh, artistically, commercially, politically and in other ways. Until then I for one will continue to play with a straight bat and work to encourage everyone and everything that might be helping help to keep the old machine whirring along.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 06:08 PM

But it reminded me of the awful Kim Howell comment about traditional singers when he was the Minister responsible for the Licensing Act.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 05:57 PM

Our pleasure, Kitty.

Sorry for carrying this thread even further off topic but the opinions of Matthew Parris strike me as deeply unimportant.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 05:52 PM

Would just like to say thanks to the Snail for booking me last year, and to the club members who made it such an enjoyable evening...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 05:49 PM

Diane Easby

They whinge because they can't be arsed to apply for arts funding to produce music and dance professionally on a par with other genres. Indeed they wear their lack of professionalism like a badge of pride, declaring that the true "f*lk way" is amateurism.

Diane, if you think you can do better, and make money doing it, nobody is stopping you.

Squeak! (Do snails squeak?)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 05:47 PM

Gene Burton

If I had a gripe with your lot, I'd tell you so openly.

Fine, but who do you mean when you talk about a "small self-perpetuating elite" and who are you criticising when you say "But I do worry that our musical heritage is being allowed to dwindle and wither by those supposedly dedicated to its propagation."?

Those of us involved in running clubs and festivals welcome constructive criticism and positive ideas.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 05:44 PM

'Meanwhile, the REAL musicians, the invisible ones that persons lost in Missouri (or even downtown Mitcham) don't believe exist are just getting on with playing, in sessions in people's houses, outside in rain and hail for Morris or in pubs without poncy tea lights on the tables, as they have always done for decades. Maybe even next door to you or across the street. Music is where you look for it or where you make it for yourselves '

The ones who let their fingers/lips/feet do the talking, musically.

Thanks Diane, that says it for me as well

Charlotte ,(the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 05:21 PM

"Was Fred Jordan a folksinger?"

Yes, Kitty - but not when he was singing The Seeds of Love.

;0)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 05:18 PM

Now, now....don't take it out on the tealights! nowt wrong wid atmosphere! :)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:46 PM

I took a look at Another Place where a hell of a kerfuffle is under way about Mr Parris's throwaway, ill-informed but oh-so-unimportant remark about a clip from either Frank Harte or Kevin Mitchell (no-one seems to know and I certainly neither know nor care as it was almost immeasurably brief and barely relevant to the context).

Someone remarked that "the folk comunity" (whatever that is) seems to have skins thinner than rice paper. "The music does not need the approval of Mr Parris. It can stand up to his criticism and even struggle through the odd anachronism. But there again whinging and folk seem to walk hand in hand all over the land".

Indeed it does.

They whinge because mainstream, "normal" people don't take them seriously, yet make no effort to respect tradarts themselves but arse around in stupid clothes getting pissed and degrading the music.

They whinge because they can't be arsed to apply for arts funding to produce music and dance professionally on a par with other genres. Indeed they wear their lack of professionalism like a badge of pride, declaring that the true "f*lk way" is amateurism.

Then they whinge that they can't afford to pay proper artists' fees, travel, subsistence ot accommodation and why should they because they are bumbling along doing the "organising" for nothing themselves.

This is not, of course (before the Snail starts squeaking) universal but it's far too common. No wonder the DCMS has seemingly limitless millions to spend on the Olympics. Tessa Jowell is unaware that there's anything of value worthy of funding in the tradarts because the mainstream media tells her it's all a joke anyway. And that's what Joe (and Joanna) Public largely believe too.

So this mythical "F*lk Scene" complains that "their" music is being misrepresented. Is it? Just what efforts are they making to convince the mainstream and the public at large that this music is worth listening to? They scarcely seem to believe in it themselves.

Meanwhile, the REAL musicians, the invisible ones that persons lost in Missouri (or even downtown Mitcham) don't believe exist are just getting on with playing, in sessions in people's houses, outside in rain and hail for Morris or in pubs without poncy tea lights on the tables, as they have always done for decades. Maybe even next door to you or across the street. Music is where you look for it or where you make it for yourselves


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:46 PM

Was Fred Jordan a folksinger?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:45 PM

John: LOL!

Banjiman/Paul: No offence, but if you re-read my last post the LAST thing I'm saying is that I'm not getting what I want from my music. My original point when I first came to the thread was NOTHING TO DO WITH MY OWN CAREER. Please, accept my word on this. I'm a straight-talking guy (too much so for my own good at times), and nothing I say on here or elsewhere carries any hidden subtext.

Snail: Similarly, when I tell you club organisers have my total backing and admiration, I really mean it. If I had a gripe with your lot, I'd tell you so openly. It's not as if I'd have anything much to lose by doing so. If you found one of my earlier points personally combative, just accept the apology offered.

...(deep breath)...


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:30 PM

Folkiedave: I do play fiddle, and footle about on duet concertina, but I fear you may be thinking of another John Kelly, from Ireland? Actually, if you're who I think (Dave Eyre) we have met - at Sidmouth four or five years back. I was dancing with Rumworth, and Haydn Thomson introduced us. You wre supposed to be emailing back about some books....
Ruth Archer: I like your analogy with the lift! And, yes - it is your age group that is conspicuously missing from folk music and dance. It's the yuppie generation. Please don't take that personally - you're obviously not all yuppies. It must be a lonely existence! Interesting question: what should we now call yuppies, since they're no longer young - and possibly no longer upwardly mobile? As you say, the 'new' people are not alwys young; the folk dance club people are predominantly past retirement age, but that seems to be because it's the thing to do when you retire.
Gene Burton: Don't be writing me off just yet; I've already told a few people to get a nice flat gravestone put over them, as I fully intend to be clog dancing on their graves when I'm 100. That's the sort of person you're dealing with here...
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:29 PM

Well, I suspect that they are right, aren't they, that you are a folk-song-singer not a folk singer? You have consciously learned the songs from dots or recordings, for the most part, rather than through the folk process. There are not many folk singers now and I certainly am not one. Even Martin Carthy used to make the distinction back in the 60s and 70s and explain that he was a folk-song-singer, a revivalist rather than a source.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:18 PM

Richard - how would I know, I'm not a folk singer, according to Living Tradition

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:12 PM

Folkiedave - I've already posted my complaint to the POTW website, and the BBC autoreply. Could you please provide a link for complaining to BBC complaints generally....?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:11 PM

Oh, surely, Kitty, a folk singer?

(fly on Diane's wall dodges)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:10 PM

I think that the reply already receieved from the BBC is about all you're going to get on this issue, I can't see Auntie wanting to prolong the debate.
Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Banjiman
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:07 PM

Apologies for thread drift.....but:

"My advice to Gene Burton and other disillusioned performers - of whatever age - is not to let the buggers grind you down."

So why not invest some of that creative energy in running your own club/ acoustic night/ event......? Agree it would be difficult for a full time pro musician, but we will do 40-50 gigs/festivals (mainly the other half) this year and run a monthly club night which gives 3 other performers (usually) a chance to perform each month.

We are in Ruth's "difficult" years (35-45) have 2 young children and 1 full time job and a home based business between us. We don't watch much TV anymore........but you get out what you put in.

My point here is not how clever we are (we're not!) but just if you are not getting what you want out of your music....don't moan, just do something about it!! (and we're definitely not too proud to ask for gigs........with my club organisers hat on I expect people to ask me, how else would I know that they want a gig?)

We started doing gigs and running the club last year aged 40 and 42....I think the elevator analogy is correct.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:01 PM

As the Black Boy has now fallen off Listen Again, and Pick of the week isn't available anyway, is there any way of establishing whether the singer was Kevin Mitchell or (as suggested by Derek Schofield) Frank Harte?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:00 PM

Gene Burton

when I criticise the way things are run it isn't you guys I have in my sights.

Well, who is it then? Even folk festivals are largely reliant on volunteers for nothing more than a season ticket.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 03:51 PM

"Our prime motivation is love of the music and our responsibility to our audiences"

Snail, for my part I've never doubted this to be the case for unpaid club organisers. I count a number among my personal friends, and I can assure you when I criticise the way things are run it isn't you guys I have in my sights. Again, apologies for any offence or misunderstanding caused.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 03:27 PM

Harmonium Hero

My advice to Gene Burton and other disillusioned performers - of whatever age - is not to let the buggers grind you down. I made a mistake dropping out before; they are not going to get the better of me this time.

By "buggers" do you mean people like me and the rest of the committee who spend quite a lot of their time running a folk club for no financial reward? The majority of clubs are run by amateurs. Our prime motivation is love of the music and our responsibility to our audiences, not to give the professionals a means of earning a living. That's not to say we won't do our best to give you the best deal we can, after all, we want you to come back. Try and remember that we have limited resources; both in money and time. There are only 52 Saturday evenings a year; we have to make choices. You and Gene Burton have acknowledged that nobody owes you a living but a less combative attitude would help. We are your friends.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 02:39 PM

John,

Thanks for the words of support; and all the best to you in the quest to re-establish yourself. I don't think anybody has a divine right to make a big fat living out of music, either; but a nice guy deserves a few breaks, so good luck.

Let me assure you, I'm far from disillusioned- I still live and breathe for music, just that the folk scene isn't my main forum at present. There'll always be those who believe any criticism of how things are run, however reasoned and valid, are merely expressions of thwarted ambition; but I can honestly say I've really never TRIED to do it full-time. I've never been one for sending off demos, badgering club/festival organisers etc. (it's all too NEEDY, somehow- just my personal thing, not a criticism of anyone who does differently); and I emphatically don't DO schmoozing...which kind of limits my opportunities! Still, if clubs feel moved to contact me for bookings (which does happen sporadically, believe it or not!), I'll talk.

BTW, sorry if some of my earlier comments came across as knocking older performers; that certainly wasn't what I intended. But age IS an issue insofar as a lack of young audiences (and a lack of long-term financial viability for younger full-timers) will inevitably hasten the demise of our music; because I'm afraid most of your lot are gonna be dead-ed long before most of mine... (no offence...just saying, like...)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: peregrina
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 02:04 PM

I wrote to the BBC too, but so far only an auto-reply. Then again, my suggestion of the 'community service' that might have been appropriate retributive justice might have seemed a bit flippant.

Can't help thinking of the Woody's cook-in sauce example...
has everyone who posted expressing disapproval of Parris's remarks also contacted the Beeb?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 01:55 PM

Believe me, Melissa - Dave is VERY familiar with the BBC Complaints Proceures!

:)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 01:50 PM

Maybe you can ask them to extend an invitation for you to attend the debate, Dave? They probably don't have a computer generated response ready for requests like that.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 01:48 PM

"I just wanted to point out that it isn't just Young Folkies having a hard time; some of us Old Buggers aren't having much of a laugh either. There IS an audience out there, if only we are allowed near them. And many of them are young, although I don't think we should be concerning ourselves too much about the age issue; I think this has only become an issue due to the fact that there is a generation gap, which there wasn't in the old days. Folk music isn't an age-related music."

I agree, John. I think there is a cult of youth in folk at the moment. It's important to have a range of ages represented in both audiences and artists, but many artists of all ages find it hard to get gigs.

Whe we were at the Folk Arts England conference this year, my boyfriend summed t up really well, I think: there seems to be an assumption that folk is like an escalator: either people get on at the bottom (in their teens or early 20s), or you've missed them forever. But folk is more like a lift: it stops at every floor, and some people will get on, and some will get off. Their reasons for opting out at certain times can be myriad, but like you, often are to do with family commitments. As a 40 year old, I find that the REAL gap is in my age group: all of my friends seem to be at least 10 years older or 10 years younger than me, but there are very few 35 - 45 year olds around. Apparently we're the "lost generation".

Similarly, there are reasons why people opt in as they get older. Our music tastes change, we get more adventurous...there are new people finding the music (and dance) all the time - of all ages.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 01:45 PM

Sorry I meant to ask harmonium hero, are you a fiddle and concertina man too?

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 01:44 PM

Folkiedave,
It's admirable that you made the effort to contact BBC with your comment..I'm glad you got a response.


Response? I haven't even started yet.

Here's a question I have just posed to the BBC.

If the idea of allowing Matthew Parris to express his opinion is to stimulate debate as you suggest, where is this debate being conducted?

Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 01:32 PM

I think the objection here is not - or shouldn't be - to Matthew Parris stating a personal opinion; if he does this on 'Grumpy Old Men', for instance, then it's just taken as the opinion of a GOM, which is what you tune in to hear. However, when he does it while presenting a programme - where he is, as it were, the voice of the BBC - then he is abusing his position. This is not an isolated example of this kind of thing; I can't recall specific examples, but I have often been angered by similar abuses of position on radio and TV, and in the press. And English traditional culture is a regular target. Of course they don't have to like it, but so what? No-one has to share their tastes. They need to - as the saying is - get over themselves. I think Tom Bliss is right to send off a stiff letter, however.
Regarding the thread drift about the trials of Young Folkies; (must first make it clear that I'm not having a go at anybody!) I first sang in a folk club in 1968 - in my 22nd year. There was no such thing as a 'Young Folkie' then; we were all just 'Folkies'. There were no Folk Music Degree courses, no Young Folk Awards, and it wasn't so easy to make a record; the equipment didn't exist to make your own, and recording companies didn't want to know you unless you were famous. It was, however, far easier than it is now to get bookings in folk clubs. I dropped out of the folk scene in 1983, and it was 1990 before I ventured back in. My reasons for dropping out were partly family-related, but there was an underlying disillusionment with the way the clubs were going. I'm now in my 62nd year, and facing a long and painful process of trying to get established nationally. The folk clubs don't owe me a living, any more than they owe anybody a living, but there are a lot of things wrong with the clubs, about which much has already been written on other threads here. I have my own opinions on this score - based on long expereience - but I won't bore you with them here. I just wanted to point out that it isn't just Young Folkies having a hard time; some of us Old Buggers aren't having much of a laugh either. There IS an audience out there, if only we are allowed near them. And many of them are young, although I don't think we should be concerning ourselves too much about the age issue; I think this has only become an issue due to the fact that there is a generation gap, which there wasn't in the old days. Folk music isn't an age-related music. My advice to Gene Burton and other disillusioned performers - of whatever age - is not to let the buggers grind you down. I made a mistake dropping out before; they are not going to get the better of me this time.
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 01:32 PM

Goodbye then.
And take the terminally damaged F word with you.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 01:15 PM

Diane you are without doubt the most bitter, disillusioned, and dismissive poster on this site.
You are to Mudcat what Mathew Parris is to Pick of the Week, you are doing exactly what he has done, you are expressing your own personal opinion.
However I will give Matthew Parris one thing, which you fail to do, he did not in the process of dismissing English folk music, also dismiss the opinions of others who have as much right to their opinions as he does.

G


[Exits shaking head in disbelief]


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 01:14 PM

Folkiedave,
It's admirable that you made the effort to contact BBC with your comment..I'm glad you got a response.

Richard,
I wasn't moaning about the lack of folk stuff near me, just trying to mention that it's not available everywhere. I've got Music and I'm content with what I have. Mudcat is a good place for me to be reminded of songs I used to know and handy for picking up wads of stray tidbits.
When I wandered in, I was excited about the idea of finding new places to go and new people to meet. I'm over that now.

The worst thing about Offensive Ignorami is that they're contagious.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 01:04 PM

The person from Missouri surely has a big enough mouth to continue rabbitting even with foot firmly inserted therein.
I am assuming (could be wrong but don't bother to correct me because it is intended as a generality) that you are among those who have hijacked the word "f*lk" to mean any old crap you bloody well like.
The word is terminally damaged by such arrogant, crass behaviour which is far more insulting to those who actually care for the the tradarts than comments from such pundits as Mr Parris, Fee Glover et al who know sod all about them anyway but think it's funny to be a smartarse. And, let's face it, the bulk of their audience agree with them and are amused.

I heartily wish a number of things:

(1) that the "good-enough-for-f*lk" crowd would just pick up the word they have devalued and nicked and sod off somewhere else with it.

(2) that they take their distasteful homophobic comments with them.

Trad music is getting on perfectly well (and growing) especially among younger people despite the hindrance of the unsavoury "olde stylee f*lk club" image projected on the population in general by such unhelpful antics which do far more harm than the odd lapse from presenters and mainstream writers.

Over and out.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 12:56 PM

Melissa, there are offensive ignorami everywhere. I think the Mudcat probably has fewer than real life (now that a few have been banned). It does however specialise in just a few genuinely well informed people who nonetheless have one or two utterly stupid fetishes and ram them down and up everyone they meet here until they meet in the middle. Some too are self-important. You have seen a few in action on this very thread.

Stick around and see. Maybe you might start your own thread "Any Folk and Acoustic in Missouri?", and apart from the inevitable "What is folk" debate you will probably get some useful information.

Tom, you are very right that Parris deserves condemnation on two levels. First he demonstrates utter ignorance and rudeness. Second he assumes that it is permissible to condemn an entire genre of ethnic music (pity he misidentified it) as ethnically inferior - something that would rightly be condemned (even by his cryptofascist party) if he were speaking of any ethnic music other than a white English one. You and I may disagree about "what is folk" but on this thread I think we agree.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 12:48 PM

My reply from the BBC.

Dear Mr Eyre

Thank you for your e-mail regarding 'Pick of the Week' broadcast 30 March 2008 on BBC Radio 4.

I understand from your e-mail that you object to the comments Matthew Parris made in regards to traditions and traditional music.

These comments are solely Matthew's opinion and do not reflect the beliefs of the BBC.

By allowing our guests to give their personal opinions on matters we feel that this will open up the area to debate, as while one section of our audience may disagree, another section may be in complete agreement.

I appreciate that you feel 'Pick of the Week' may no have been the best place to make such comments and I would like to assure you that we have registered your comments on our audience log. As you may be aware, this is the internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily for all programme makers and commissioning executives within the BBC, and also their senior management.

Thanks once again for taking the time to contact the BBC.

Regards

Craig O'Connor
BBC Complaints

____________________


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Grab
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 12:47 PM

He probably would have better manners, Tom. But his better manners would involve putting a polite gloss on the fact that her voice sounds to him like mating cats.

Was MP being impolite in referring to trad folk as "ghastly"? Probably, yes. Was he being truthful? Also yes, according to his ears.

The "accent" I refer to is not Irish, but the nasal tone used by trad folk singers. As you know, there's a reason for its existence - it lets a voice cut through a crowded, noisy room without amplification. It's as much an accent as a trained operatic voice is an accent.

Yes, I can appreciate technical ability in pitch, and I can appreciate technical ability in choice of songs and quality of research. And if someone's singing like that when I'm doing sound, professionalism means I'll do my best to make them sound good (although given that I might try to tame the nasal-ness, I might not be your ideal choice as soundman). It doesn't mean I like that style of singing any better.

And I've just done sound on Friday and Sunday nights for singer-songwriter acts. Not exclusively trad folk, but there were a few traditional songs in there. Hardly a one of them over the age of 25 either. Folk's alive and well and taking its chances with rock, blues, jazz, country and all the other genres.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 12:39 PM

In all honesty, Snail, I was sort of hoping that once her foot was in her mouth, she'd keep right on chewing...

Missouri is known as the "show me state" Sorry to have used a term that's unfamiliar to you..I really wasn't tasting your head too much.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 12:29 PM

Melissa

Feel free to go right ahead and Show Me where the folk scene is if you want. I find it hard to believe that you are likely to have more information of my surrounding area than me.

Please, don't bite my head off. I was genuinely trying to be helpful. This thread is generally about the folk scene in the UK and I made the mistake of assuming you were based here. Sorry.

A word of advice; life is too short to waste time arguing with Diane Easby.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Teribus
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 12:06 PM

Didn't believe I was apologising for anyone Eric, merely stating that everyone is entitled to voice their own opinion without fear or favour - If you have a problem with that - tough - learn to live with it.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 12:04 PM

And I said that if there is no "f*lk scene" in your area you should be bloody glad.
And out of line? It's you that has stepped that way by dissing dance. You don't have to do it if you don't want to. You could play for it or at least respect it for the important basis of the tradarts that it is.
I'm not "chipping in" any more, Tom. As I said, this thread is pants. Entirely pointless except to show the sideline knockers that they are right to rubbish ":f*lkies" for their ridiculous defensive attitudes towards the indefensible.
Funnily enough I was talking only last night to a musician who has moved away to a slightly unusual location without a "scene" where, to his relief, he is regarded purely as just that, a musician along with all others of all genres.
If music has a duty it is for its exponents to use and develop it in their communities, NOT to behave in such a way as to let it disappear up their own backsides.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 11:54 AM

Diane:
"However, near everyone are musicians and singers who keep alive and add to the traditions of their own communities and haven't the time nor inclination to write about it on message boards. They're far too busy learning new tunes. You just don't know them because they don't parade around in said sad gear and make public exhibitions of themselves in a "good-enough-for-f*lk" fashion."

AND, if this was intended toward me, I did not say there was no music near me--I said there is not a Folk Scene in my area.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 11:51 AM

Oh Diane, I hoped you might chip in, but not like this.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 11:48 AM

"Finally, I am gobsmacked by the comment that dancing is not on someone's agenda. How in the name of every saint in the calendar can anyone claim an interest in tradarts but ignore the purpose for which the tunes were written?"

You have spoken WAY out of line, Diane. If you would prefer dancing to be on my agenda, maybe you should take it up with an orthopaedic surgeon who is capable of remedying the situation for me.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 11:46 AM

"And like it or not, that vocal accent *is* the type irrevocably associated with trad folk."

Err, sorry?

It is not an accent, it's a respected vocal technique just like bel canto, or the rock roar, or ballad tenor, or any other style, that has to be learned and developed and should be respected even if not liked. This singer happens to have an Irish accent, but that's not the point.

The point is that he is an expert exponent of a specific, long established and well-defined style, one that involves tiny and very precise alterations in pitch which are very VERY difficult to do well. The whole point is NOT to slide between the notes - but to land lightly and precisely on each ledge of the decoration. Caterwauling might be used unkindly to describe a screechy, slidy style of singing (like some singers) but not this technique, and to apply it in this case was just nasty.

There are lots of styles of music that do nothing for me, and some I actually dislike, but I'd never be so downright rude as to go on the radio and call them ghastly.

You friend's opinion of Ms Bush is one thing. But would he go on the radio and describe her in those terms? I hope he'd have better manners.

To quote from a new poem by a folk singer of this parish: "Decorum Mattersey."

101 (sorry is this some kind of game?)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 11:40 AM

Purely for the sake of getting 100 on this godawful thread written by people who, largely, appear not to have listened to the broadcast being commented on in POTW anyway, let me point out that the "f*lk scene" as envisaged by that same introverted, insular, smug, bearded, tie-die wearing, tankard-swigging clique who delight inexplicably in the description of them themselves as "f*lkies" is something I don't touch with the proverbial piece of boat manoeuvring equipment and would hardly recommend anyone to seek it out.

However, near everyone are musicians and singers who keep alive and add to the traditions of their own communities and haven't the time nor inclination to write about it on message boards. They're far too busy learning new tunes. You just don't know them because they don't parade around in said sad gear and make public exhibitions of themselves in a "good-enough-for-f*lk" fashion.

If a public commentator chooses to send them up, they're probably right, or at least reflecting what the vast majority of the "real world" thinks. If that presenter or column writer thinks a source singer is "ghastly", that's not of any great importance. What does matter though is their failure to assess their importance as a song or tune carrier in our tradition.

Finally, I am gobsmacked by the comment that dancing is not on someone's agenda. How in the name of every saint in the calendar can anyone claim an interest in tradarts but ignore the purpose for which the tunes were written?

OK, I've probably missed that ton score by now. Who cares? This thread is pants).


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Gene meant to be working!
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 11:19 AM

100


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 11:08 AM

(Snail, 31/3, 9:26 post)
Melissa

There's nothing in my home area for me to base an opinion on The Folk Scene. Mudcat is the only example of Folk Gathering available to me.

I find that hard to believe. Where are you? Somebody here might be able to guide you to the real thing in your area. Involvement in the folk scene really has to involve putting your shoes on and going somewhere. It's about music and dance and song, not internet chat.

****
Snail,
I'm in the US, north-central Missouri.
Feel free to go right ahead and Show Me where the folk scene is if you want. I find it hard to believe that you are likely to have more information of my surrounding area than me.
I said there isn't a 'scene' around here, and I spoke from an informed position. There may be something in KC, but with the taste of "friendly welcome" I've seen here, I am not interested in driving two+ hours and spend money to be on the outskirts in Real.
There's something with a name like "Muddy River" in the Booneville area and until recently, I was thinking about making the trip. With Bob Dyer not being there, I would not have anything familiar in the surroundings and most likely will not go. Booneville is over two hours from here.

I already have musical outlets for myself.
I came to mudcat as a source for broadening my knowledge and to be a part of conversations with a bunch of people that seem to Think like musicians.
Dancing is not on my agenda.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Grab
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 10:48 AM

Yes I did, Tom.

Like I said, my guitarist friend reckons Kate Bush sounds like mating cats. He's not cloth-eared, he just doesn't like how her voice sounds. Me, I'd leave the pub if I was faced with an evening of that bloke singing - it doesn't necessarily make me cloth-eared, just someone who doesn't like that type of voice. And like it or not, that vocal accent *is* the type irrevocably associated with trad folk.

In that same programme, there was a clip from Westminster of an MP asking why money wasn't spent on brass bands and jazz. When he asked why money wasn't spent on jazz, one MP could clearly be heard replying "Because it's appalling rubbish" (if I can remember the exact words). Did anyone feel the need to write to their MPs about that one?

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 10:29 AM

Ah welcome back Teribus, now apologising for another ex tory MP.

eric


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 10:27 AM

What was the name of the song from which the excerpt that Kevin/ Frank sang on the programme came?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 10:10 AM

It's not even "his own" culture- he was brought up in apartheid South Africa. His parents, who were British, may have introduced him to some aspects of British culture, but it would inevitably have been a subset filtered through a colonial perspective. He seems to have avoided racism, however I suspect that as a Thatcherite he views anyone outside the microclass of super- rich super- trendies as abject losers.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 09:51 AM

Did YOU hear the programme Grab?

It was not what he said, but the way he said it which I felt was unacceptable on the BBC.

If he genuinely thinks Kevin (or Frank Harte if it emerges it was him after all - Parris didn't supply a name) sounds like mating cats then he's at best cloth-eared, and should be at least discouraged from making a twit of himself on the wireless.

But what he said came over as a personal insult to the singer, not a critique.

Even so, if he'd left it at that, I'd have left it to Kevin or Frank's chums to speak up on whoever it was's behalf.

But he dismissed an entire culture (his own, as it happens) which many of us are struggling to promote as 'ghastly' - in what seemed almost like a political statement, rather than a cheap joke.

Some rebalancing IS required, I think.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ythanside
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 09:28 AM

Catterwauling? You don't suppose the blighter was taking a sideswipe at our own dear institution? Damn fellow ought to be thrashed within an inch of his life!
Harrumph.   
:-D)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: TheSnail
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 09:26 AM

Melissa

There's nothing in my home area for me to base an opinion on The Folk Scene. Mudcat is the only example of Folk Gathering available to me.

I find that hard to believe. Where are you? Somebody here might be able to guide you to the real thing in your area. Involvement in the folk scene really has to involve putting your shoes on and going somewhere. It's about music and dance and song, not internet chat.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Grab
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 09:17 AM

Fair enough, Dave - you like him, I don't. From the same programme, Parris liked a programme about bebop, but to me bebop sounds like a 4-year-old hitting notes at random. I'm also a bit of an Iron Maiden fan, which I suspect most acoustic purists wouldn't enjoy at all. And my closest friend (fellow guitarist) hates Kate Bush with a passion, where I find her voice and songwriting spellbinding. Fair do's.

But the thread subject seems to be that we're only allowed to say what we *do* like, and not what we *don't*. "Pick of the Week" is a purely subjective review of the previous week's content from one person's view. You might as well write accusing emails to "Desert Island Discs" because the person on the last edition didn't choose any folk music.

As for the "thought experiment", that does indeed work both ways. If someone was to say "thank goodness Western musical traditions progressed African-American music from primitive field hollers to the blues and jazz we know today", would that be offensive? If you happen to like field hollers, maybe you'd think so. For the rest of us who happen to like what we know as blues and jazz today, probably not.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 09:01 AM

Did you hear the programme Teribus?

It was not what he said, but the way he said it which I felt was unacceptable on the BBC.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Teribus
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 08:51 AM

"it's about a gratuitously offensive reference on BBC's Pick of the Week Programme,to traditional song and music, from a BBC establishment pundit (gay ex-MP) who has no qualifications to rate traditional song and music." - Kitty

No it most certainly is not it is about someone voicing his opinion. The fact that throughout his earlier years he was very well travelled may, or may not, have broadened his out look on quite a range of matters could indicate a sound basis for his remarks.

Here is someone else voicing their opinion on the subject:

"Yes it was Kevin Mitchell singing in that clip. He is one of the very best exponents of traditional song going. I reckon that Matthew Paris' education was very deficient indeed if he does not appreciate such wonderful singing." - Mary.

I would like to point to both Kitty and Mary that neither of you has any business telling anybody else what they should and should not "appreciate" - in all things "beauty(value) is eye of the beholder"

"The example he cited as a reason for considering our traditional song to be ghastly was actually a shining example of how wonderful traditional song and music is!" - Kitty

Your opinion Kitty which has just the same worth as anybody else's - even Matthew Parris's.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Gene on lunch
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 08:01 AM

Hmmm, well I've been to at least two of the festivals on Joan's most recent list and I don't recall seeing an abundance of young folkies either in the sessions or even in the concert audiences (though admittedly I tend to be more interested in the former, so I don't see all the concerts). And admittedly my last festival was (I think) September 2006, so it is of course possible that they've changed beyond all recognition in the last 18 months. But somehow I doubt it. It's also possible of course that this army of bright young things has a sophisticated intelligence network enabling them to find out when I'm planning to come to a festival and then agree amongst themselves to give it a miss...but am I really THAT important??

This is all starting to sound a bit like, Crisis? What crisis?, but then I guess, in the fullness of time, we'll see, won't we...(I can only lead a horse to water...)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,outraged
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 07:59 AM

"Prick of The Week" would have been a more apt title for the programme!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 07:08 AM

"Matthew Parris is one of the most offensive people alive, when he was a Tory MP he was filmed trying to live for a week on unemployment benefit, he was treated with the utmost kindness by people who REALLY were living on the dole, they bought him drinks and food etc, afterwards he said it was impossible to exist on unemployment benefit............but he wouldn't recommend increasing it, what a twat eh."

So that's the bastard. Wasn't it he who was outed in a tv programme called Maggie's Militant Tendency?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Hunt
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 06:57 AM

GRAB wrote - above
'FWIW, I also wasn't greatly keen on the singer in that clip, and the prospect of an entire evening of it would fill me with as much dread as it probably would Matthew Parris and Kim Howells. That's not a judgement on the song but the singer - it made my teeth itch like fingernails down a blackboard. Thankfully all folk singers don't sound like that'.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mores the pity! Kevin is a superb singer - and I could listen to hours of his singing - (and indeed have done in the past) his choice of material,singing style, timing, etc. are magnigicent - IMNSHO !!
Dave


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 06:46 AM

""These people are still part of the folk community - if anything, they outnumber the more hardcore types like us. The point I was trying to make is that we may not see them around here, but we can't presume their non-existence. If the festival scene is anything to go by, there are plenty of them out there.""

I think Melissa's point is that if we were more welcoming, we WOULD see more of them around here, and I would tend to agree with that.

I have spent most of a lifetime organising Folk Clubs, sessions, and singarounds, and have made it my trademark to welcome personally everyone who does me the favour of attending.

Mudcat is a wonderful place to be if you are (as I am now) a recognised insider, but there is, and always has been, a tendency for some here to forget that they themselves once made that mistake, of opening a long defunct thread, or asking a very dumb question.

How much REAL effort is involved in taking the time to set a newcomer on the path to being a regular Mudcat contributor. We can't expect youngsters to respect our experience and knowledge, if we don't have the patience to communicate with them.

Back on topic.

Anyone is entitled to like, or dislike anything he/she chooses. What I consider to be absolutely unacceptible, is for that opinion to be aired to a massive audience without the opportunity for the contrary viewpoint to be presented.

The BBC is a public service organisation, funded by licence payers, and as long as we all pay the same fee, we should all receive the same balanced service.

MP should keep his prejudices to himself, unless he has the guts to field a member of the group he is rubbishing to answer his comment.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: tijuanatime
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 06:12 AM

The key point is that Parris chose to express his dislike of traditional music in specifically racial terms: as a thoght experiment, try reversing his sentiments and imagine what the reaction would be.

As for these being off-the-cuff remarks, POTW is certainly pre-recorded and almost certainly scripted.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: melodeonboy
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 05:58 AM

"I'm beginning to wonder whether Parris doesn't do this sort of thing deliberately, just to get a reaction. A chain yanker as it were. I might be wrong", said Charlottte.

Excuse me if I'm a bit slow, Charlotte, but that was rhyming slang, wasn't it?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 05:04 AM

Nice one, Tom.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:58 AM

This just sent to Pick of The Week and Feedback:

Sir

Those of us who make our livings in the 'folk music industry' and who commit our time and effort to promoting the indigenous musics of these islands have become used to having it rubbished by people who have plainly never tried to listen to it with an open mind.

However, Matthew Parris' tone of voice in condemning the highly skilled Irish singer Kevin Mitchell as a 'dreadful caterwauling' and the rest of our musical heritage as 'ghastly' on Pick of the Week yesterday seemed to plumb a new depth in narrow-mindedness.

Would he have been allowed to use those terms on the BBC to describe, say, a traditional singer or music from India or China, I wonder? I suspect not.

Parris is of course entitled to express his opinion (and to attempt cheap and clichéd jokes if he must), but to call Mitchell's delicate, precise and tuneful delivery 'caterwauling' was not only offensive to Mitchell, and to Irish and other traditional music in general, it was also lazy and ignorant in the extreme.

I hope Parris will be persuaded to issue an apology.

Yours faithfully

Tom Bliss

Slipjig Music


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John J
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 03:37 AM

I think Matthew Parris's comment on folk used the word 'catawaulin' (sp?). I wasn't impressed by his damning description, but I suppose we're all entitled to our own opinions.

I found the programme on the Black boy was very enjoyable.

John


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 03:35 AM

Only 5 festivals? What gave you that idea?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 03:35 AM

Gene, you questioned the idea that there were lots of young audiences AND performers (your emphasis) on the folk scene.

Good lord, do I have to name all of the festivals booking such artists as well? The ones mentioned were meant to be illustrative, rather than an exhaustive list. I have no idea which festivals you're attending, but I probably do abut 10 a year, and see many of the artists I named at all of them. I also attend a lot of folk gigs in various parts of the country. These artists are bringing out CDs and touring them to venues all the time.

In addition to the festivals I cited, others booking substantial numbers of younger artists include:

Oxford, Cheltenham, Loughborough, Broadstairs, Gosport, Holmfirth, Chippenham, Southwell, Middlewich, Big Session, Ely, Priddy, Trowbridge, Bideford, Shrewsbury, Bromyard...those are, again, off the top of my head.

Audieces: well, that depends on the festival. Some are more successful at attracting younger audiences than others, as I said previously. This can be to do with pricing policies, type of accommodation available, engagement with the local community, and a number of other factors.


So as was suggested on the previous thread, perhaps you do need to get out more.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 02:25 AM

Of the artists listed by Joan, I wonder 1) What the average age of their AUDIENCE is and 2)(following from this) how many will still be making a good living in, say, 15 years time? Not a comment on their quality, just on the state of the folk scene. OK, so this supposedly thriving young festival scene boils down to about 5 festivals previously mentioned (I can only assume this to be the case 'cos it's certainly not true of any of the ones I've been to). Even if every artist listed got booked at all of these every summer, I hardly think that alone would provide a decent year's income...so I'd guess most of the rest must be coming from folk club bookings. Even Joan accepts the folk clubs are by and large failing to attract new blood, so what, realistically, are the prospects for (say) a 25-year old pro now still hoping to be doing it at 40 and beyond?

Though I sincerely hope I'm wrong, I can only say of the people listed, that I hope for their sake they have other strings to their bow/alternative careers lined up if they don't want to be facing poverty some time down the road. And, I repeat, what are we doing about it?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 01:05 AM

Matthew Parris is one of the most offensive people alive, when he was a Tory MP he was filmed trying to live for a week on unemployment benefit, he was treated with the utmost kindness by people who REALLY were living on the dole, they bought him drinks and food etc, afterwards he said it was impossible to exist on unemployment benefit............but he wouldn't recommend increasing it, what a twat eh.

eric


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ythanside
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 09:29 PM

Come on, guys, lighten up. If only Rambling Sid Rumpo were still on the go he'd write and record a suitable response to that ill-informed pillock's comments and make sure the BBC got a copy. :-D


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 09:15 PM

Not wanting to drag the thread off topic too much, by and large this forum is pretty welcoming, and a useful source of information. In that it resembles the Volvo Owners' Club forum (alas having a current bout of angst and closure arising out of solicitors' letters, rather as the DT every so often gets things removed thanks to the copyright police). By way of contrast, if you go to the Turbobricks forum and display ignorance or even an unfashionable opinion, you'd better put your earplugs in! By way of analogy go to the Froots or BBC fora and express the view that we would be better off with more folk music and less world rock, and batten down the hatches!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: gnomad
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 08:54 PM

Parris has made a study of bitchiness, see his book Scorn, With Extra Bile (A bucketful of discourtesy, disparagement, invective, ridicule, impudence, contumely, derision, hate, affront, disdain, bile, taunts, curses, and jibes) ISBN0-140-27780-3.

Given his interest in nastiness, and his having been a politician, can we really expect a pleasant or informed comment from him?

I didn't hear the Parris piece, but was not very impressed with the "Black Boy" programme itself, which seemed to be rather limited in its geographical scope, the possible explanations investigated, and indeed the depth of those investigations. Nice that they tried, but a shame it was such a feeble try.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 08:47 PM

I agree with Grab. Most of us in Mudcat may love traditional folk music, but not everyone has to share that love. Music is very subjective.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Grab
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 08:23 PM

Hmm. I heard that, and thought "how long before there's a hundred-post thread on Mudcat about a 2-second off-hand comment?" Answer seems to be: not very long. :-/

Is Matthew Parris allowed to say he doesn't like trad folk music? If not, why not? And if he'd said the same about rap, would anyone here be complaining? Or opera?

FWIW, I also wasn't greatly keen on the singer in that clip, and the prospect of an entire evening of it would fill me with as much dread as it probably would Matthew Parris and Kim Howells. That's not a judgement on the song but the singer - it made my teeth itch like fingernails down a blackboard. Thankfully all folk singers don't sound like that.

And interestingly the same programme also mentioned the disproportional funding of opera against other traditional English music such as brass bands.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Art Thieme
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 08:20 PM


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 08:12 PM

I wasn't trying to say there were carbon copies of Mudcat out there, Melissa. I was trying to say that there are sites which are probably more appropriate for the casual, "dip-in" sort of person that many newer and younger folk fans are likely to be. The majority of people who pick up a Kate Rusby or Eliza Carthy CD, or see them in concert, are realy quite happy to simply chat to other people about that CD or gig, and don't feel compelled to seek out something like the DT.

These people are still part of the folk community - if anything, they outnumber the more hardcore types like us. The point I was trying to make is that we may not see them around here, but we can't presume their non-existence. If the festival scene is anything to go by, there are plenty of them out there.

Many artists' own websites have open fora. There is also Facebook, as I've mentioned previously. Some will find the BBC folk messageboard, or the Froots one if their musical tastes are a bit wider. There are also newsgroups like the Morris and E-Ceilidh lists.

For sheer weight of useful information, MusTrad is hard to beat.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 08:00 PM

Melissa

Thanks very much for your thoughtful answer, apology accepted! and appreciated, cos not many people here do step back from what they've said and apologise if they feel that's right.

I'm sorry if my reply came across as dismissive, that's not how I intended it at all. I sometimes say things online very concisely (I enjoy brevity and can be impatient with waffle) and perhaps it can come across as abrupt.

I don't think I'm ever spiteful. I sometimes tease, and I have to be careful with that, as that can be taken wrongly. I do occasionally have a merciless dig back at people who are rude to me without cause (but I wouldn't even call that spite).

Sue


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 07:34 PM

Ruth,
Can you please refer me to two other online communities with an open forum and something comparable to our DT?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 07:31 PM

Yes, Sue...and I followed by apologizing after thinking a bit and realizing that maybe instead of being snippy, you could possibly have been giving a non-discussion answer.
I was hoping for discussion. All of us here stayed because we did and the response sounded dismissive to me.
I AM sorry for my defensive reply, it happened to feed into my thoughts about slamming doors and "take this link and leave us alone" and it was inappropriate for me to let your comment strike me that way.

From this point on, I will refuse to read spite in any message of yours in response to mine (presuming I say anything you might want to chirp in on) unless you specifically mention that it should be read that way.

Sorry.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 07:27 PM

"Ruth, the 'scene' may be vivid and lively around you, but not everybody has access and/or knowledge of a slice of Scene near them."

It's hardly a hotbed of activity where I live, believe me.

Mudcat is one view of what's going on; it's not the be all and end all. Many people here, for instance, tend to be interested in the more traditional end of folk. There are a number of websites out there covering a much broader range of folk music. I would suggest that many of the younger people with a more casual interest in folk may find their way more easily to those, and find themselves in rather more like-minded company. There are a number of Facebook groups, for example, dedicated to folk music and dance, and which boast a substantially younger membership than Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 07:22 PM

Melissa

I certainly did read your words, and I answered the question you put to me at the start.

I think you've not read MY words, or you've misunderstood. No way was I sniping, and I'm completely puzzled and concerned that you could take it that way.

You wrote: Why would someone persist past it, Sue?
I answered by telling you of my own experience of persisting past someone's rudeness to me on here, and my own view that there's not much one can do about other people's rudeness. How is that sniping?

Sue


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 07:15 PM

Gene:
"But I do worry that our musical heritage is being allowed to dwindle and wither by those supposedly dedicated to its propagation."

Without care, a body can die from an infected, untreated hangnail.
Mudcat is a teeny little thing in the Big Picture. If our garden is full of poison, I suspect the surrounding area feels the effect.

Kitty, I apologize for stepping on your toes by standing in your living room encouraging the conversation to move past your chosen topic. I read the thread and had nothing to add until the conversation turned in a direction where my input seemed appropriate. Maybe it's a direction we're all more comfortable leaving unsaid?

Ruth, the 'scene' may be vivid and lively around you, but not everybody has access and/or knowledge of a slice of Scene near them. For those of us who fit that category, mudcat IS a representative view into what's going on within Folk.

Sue, if your "because I did" statement wasn't meant to be snippish, I am sorry I snapped off a reply in rebuttal.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled thread where we learn whether the outraged listeners will continue tuning in and listening to the objectionable fellow to insure that they don't miss his next ridiculous comment.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 07:10 PM

"But I do worry that our musical heritage is being allowed to dwindle and wither by those supposedly dedicated to its propagation."

*sigh*

If the scene is dwindling and withering, how come these young artists are so consistently on my radar?

Mawkin:Causley
Lauren McCormick and Emily Portman
Jackie Oates
James Dumbleton
James Reynard
Matt Norman
Last Orders
Mike and Ali Vass
Laurel Swift
Oli Matthews
Tom Wright
Saul Rose
Benji Kirkpatrick
Paul Sartin
Bodega
Park Bench Social Club
Megson
The Gloworms
422
The Askew Sisters
Spiers and Boden
Laura Hockenhull
The Young Coppers
The Demon Barber Road Show
Uiscedwr
Bella Hardy
Lisa Knapp
Rachel Unthank and the Winterset
Shona Kipling and Damien O'Kane
Jim Moray
Crucible/Hekety

...and that's just off the top of my head. These are people getting booked regularly at festivals and venues - and even folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 07:04 PM

Just because your talking about your own people doesn't mean that you can't be racist about them.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: peregrina
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 06:55 PM

Hi Kitty,
I heard it too and entirely agree that it merits a thread...meanwhile I've just written to feedback and suggested that they make good the acoustic littering (I mean rubbish) by doing some community service--viz, for example a show on the music of the lost industrial communities of the northeast featuring the real stuff new and old rather than specially commissioned pieces.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 06:55 PM

"Perhaps what you actually mean, Gene, is that they're not booking you."

This is the kind of remark I'd anticipated when I requested that this should be discussed "without resort to snideness or personal remarks". I've made my current position with regard to the folk scene and bookings clear on other threads, and can't be arsed to do so again.

This stuff is a lot bigger than my career or anybody else's. Provided I can retain the joy of singing, I really couldn't give a toss if I never earned another penny (I've actually earned more in the last year than in any previous year, though admittedly it is all relative). But I do worry that our musical heritage is being allowed to dwindle and wither by those supposedly dedicated to its propagation.

I do hope others feel able to discuss the points I've raised more constructively. For now, though, I'm off to bed. SWEET dreams, people.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 06:52 PM

Thanks, Peregrina - I started this thread because a presenter on a BBC radio 4 flagship programme had gratuitously rubbished a genre that he isn't really qualified to comment on.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly...write to feedback!
From: peregrina
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 06:44 PM

Melissa--thanks for your post. Agreed. I for one think it would be nice to see a little more of 'welcome here kind stranger'...

I first joined Mudcat to try to enlist others to send some e-mails of protest after a local station axed its excellent folk slot. I'll write to the BBC, but can't such much point in adding to the chorus here (which I agree with).

(I'm the person who takes the petition up and down the street for the doomed post office even though it's doomed..)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 06:39 PM

I certainly am not going to claim that there are lots of youngsters at folk clubs. But there are a hell of a lot of them at festivals, both performing and as punters.

The Young Coppers launched their new CD at Cecil Sharp House in London on Thursday. The concert bill was packed with younger folkies. In the audience (and the post-gig bar) were a member of the Beautiful South and Graham Coxson from Blur. Not kids, I grant you, but young by folk standards...and from the pop scene.

Cambridge and Towersey festivals usually get particularly large numbers of young attenders, but others such as Warwick, Shepley and Sidmouth attract robust younger audiences, especially evident at the late night events.

In terms of artists - well, the scene is chocka with younger people at the moment. I can't be arsed to make a list. Perhaps what you actually mean, Gene, is that they're not booking you.

Re Mudcat: this is one tiny and quite specialist niche of the folk scene. The majority of young people with a burgeoning interest in folk will never find their way here. There are many other avenues for them, though.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 06:34 PM

Maybe it would be more conducive to pleasant conversation if you would read my words and take them at face value before deciding to snip me, Sue.

You don't know me well enough to give me that type of response.
For future reference, whenever you notice my name attached to a post, you can be assured that I'm speaking honestly and as clearly as I can...and that I am trying to share my viewpoint from my perspective.
Nothing more, nothing less.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 06:28 PM

Melissa

Well...cos I did! past some gratuitous, unnecessary rudeness...not a lot you can do about it (apart from raise it, like this).

Sue


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 06:23 PM

"I do think that someone genuinely interested (young or old) would persist past this..."

As I have. It IS hard work at times though, frankly.

A fourth factor which I perhaps should have mentioned, is denial. Melissa mentions people bemoaning the lack of young folkies; but when I brought this up on another thread recently a number of contributors claimed (apparently in all seriousness) that folk clubs and festivals were packed to the brim with young audience members AND performers, that folk music was more popular with the young than at any time including the '60s revival, and that if I didn't know that I should "get out more". Well, all I can say is I've been to scores of folk clubs and a good few festivals in the last 5-6 years, and it just ain't so. And I'm afraid I can count the number of people my age (27) and younger who I know personally, who listen regularly to folk music, on the fingers of one hand. If it were possible to talk a problem like that out of existence simply by denying it, that'd be great...however, we have to deal with the position as it is, not as we'd like it to be.

Melissa, thank you for posting, BTW.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 06:21 PM

Why would someone persist past it, Sue?
The world is big and there are a lot of other ways to spend time and if a newcomer feels like a door has been slammed in their face, an impression is made.

The "In Crowd" here can ask each other the most basic music questions and get reasonable, useful responses. That's fair enough and it's really, really nice to be able to carry on 'living room' conversations with people who are scattered all over the world.
If a newcomer falls in to mudcat, the first posts they make are trials..testing the water. A Guest who opens a thread asking how the math for turning chords into sevenths is likely to be given a link and a pat on the head.

Sometimes new people might want to talk. Questions are how we introduce ourselves here. If what they wanted was a link..and if they found mudcat by playing around online, chances are they're smart enough to find the sterile information themselves.
Yes, giving a link is nice.
Giving TIME and consideration is a lot nicer.

There's a LOT of stuff here above the line that does not look very appealing when you look at it from the perspective of an outsider.
Great threads are more prevalent than lesser quality ones, but there's a lot of tackytalk up here that isn't good advertising IF the idea is to welcome and embrace young/new folks who are interested or to pull in and win-over the ones who poke in out of curiosity.

Another aspect of seeming to be 'offish' is that we lose out on the chance to learn by introducing a little new blood to the place.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 06:05 PM

There are elements of truth in Melissa's posts. Some people are aggressive on here, particularly to a newcomer posting something a bit naive. But I do think that someone genuinely interested (young or old) would persist past this...

Sue


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:52 PM

Takes one to know one, Charlotte.

:D

Dave (Not particularly interested in the view from anyones arse...)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:49 PM

Ok Gene, I'll bite.

There's nothing in my home area for me to base an opinion on The Folk Scene. Mudcat is the only example of Folk Gathering available to me. Initially, I was excited at the prospect of having found the opportunity to sort of 'hang out' with musicians. I figured the conversations would be informative, friendly and a nice way to fill time with a music community without having to put on shoes and go somewhere.
I will apparently always be an outsider here, and that's ok. The outer edge is a decent place to be, and I learn a lot by reading. Some of the stuff I learn is lovely and I can learn to be content out here rattling the shrubbery.

One thing I have noticed is that there are plenty of posts saying "gosh, where are the young/new people?! Why aren't they interested in this brilliant thing we call Folk?" Threads with those posts usually also include self-congratulatory "we're such a nice, welcoming type..nobody's friendlier than a Folkie" (remember, this is an observation, NOT a criticism. I understand I have no Rights of Criticism.) I wouldn't disagree. Musicians do have a natural tendency toward wanting the next generation to admire and emulate them.
In contrast, threads open frequently where someone who is obviously new to mudcat, maybe new to music altogether, sometimes clueless and occasionally their requests for help are phrased in a way that doesn't look polite. Those threads are often allowed to dwindle to the bottom and off the list for lack of response. Those posts are made by the young/new people who are supposedly non-existent. There's nothing here for them and they don't have a reason to come back.

If someone is curious about what 'folk' means (maybe a folk club/show/gathering in their area and they're curious, wanting to find out whether they're interested in going to see the thing?) Mudcat is going to show up on their online search.
They're going to come, read some threads, maybe make the error of opening an old thread (responses to old threads being opened is mixed, but it's not consistently pleasant) or asking a question about something that's been beaten to death already (where they are likely to be told something that sounds suspiciously like "hey dummy, why don't you use the damn mcsearch thing and find it yourself and quit bugging us--we're talking about something Important here!")

If mudcat is representative of the Folk Scene, I would say there's possibly a fairly strong argument for the idea of "Exclusivity" being a problem and source of shrinking interest.

It's sort of like burying a treasure and refusing to make a map. After we're gone, the hoard is lost.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:45 PM

Errrm, isn't that what I said?

"This isn't the first time Parris has been gratuitously offensive for a cheap laugh. "


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:41 PM

I'm beginning to wonder whether Parris doesn't do this sort of thing deliberately, just to get a reaction. A chain yanker as it were. I might be wrong

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:33 PM

In a nutshell Art.   YES


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Art Thieme
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:32 PM

Obviously we are dealing with a pugnacious churl and an impudent rapscallion. It is enough for me to know that he is wrong, and WE are correct.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:32 PM

Actually, Gene, it's not just the English musical tradition (and what the fuck has an Irish singer to do with that?) that is perpetually rubbished by the British (a very large part of which is foreign controlled or heavily influenced) media, but ALL English tradition, and I for one am very pissed off about it.

But because of the way the media are run, there is no significant outlet for contrary views, and nothing will change until we have our own Mehdi army.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:28 PM

Oh look! This isn't the first time Parris has been gratuitously offensive for a cheap laugh. From Wiki:

"In his Times article of 27 December 2007, Parris took a strong line against cyclists, beginning his column with "A festive custom we could do worse than foster would be stringing piano wire across country lanes to decapitate cyclists",[4] going on to denounce cyclists on a number of grounds, particularly their alleged propensity for littering. This came as a shock to many cyclists, including some who had previously been caught by similar wires. Responses in the paper have included letters[5] and a column in reply mentioning, among other things, that litter is often found along all-motor vehicle routes.[6] Comparisons have been made to other issues of incitement and hate speech[7], which have been a controversial issue in the UK in recent years."


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:20 PM

I just Googled 'Black Boy pubs'

there are a fair number in the British Isles with that name. Were there more at one time?

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:16 PM

The question nobody on this thread has addressed thus far is WHY is our music so often represented in such a denigratory manner; ie. what's the causation and where are WE going wrong (and something clearly HAS gone badly wrong; the UK must surely be the only democratic country in the world where the indigenous musical tradition is held in such low regard by the vast majority of the population).

There are no easy answers, and I wouldn't claim to have 'em all. But it won't do to blame it all on media bias; these pundits are after all only (broadly speaking) reflecting the views of their listeners. For what it's worth, I'd suggest we look at three major factors.

1) Are the breaks always going to the right artists? Are we rewarding orthodoxy over originality, virtuosity over passion? If so, is this contributing to a perception that folk music is a little bloated, middle-aged, fussy, lacking in edge?

2) How's the folk scene being run? Is it operating for the benefit of performers, or listeners...or for the benefit of a small self-perpetuating elite? (Please take the trouble to look within before jumping in with a knee-jerk, defensive response...remember, this is EVERYBODY'S music we're talking about).

3) Is there an extent to which some of us actually LIKE being marginalised, being part of an exclusive interest group spurned by the hoi polloi and thus being afforded a certain snob value status...(call it the "only gay in the village" syndrome, if you will)...and consequently not only don't CARE that the music's being ignored but actively encourage it's neglect?

I suggest we need to engage with these issues, ideally constructively and without resort to snideness and personal remarks. Any takers?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:16 PM

Because the person presenting the programme is black himself, Lem Sissay, so it's apparently OK.
The programme itself was neither informative nor entertaining, and although billed as an investigation into the origins of the 'Black Boy' pub name, it came to no firm conclusions.

G


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:14 PM

There was a pub near Henley on Thames called "The Black Boy "---- sadly, due no doubt to political correctness, it is now called "Black Boys Inn " .
    In Her Majesty's Navy, we had various words ,phrases,and expressions for describing people like Matthew Paris ( no relation to Frederick, I hope ??) , none of which I will repeat here.( they are not politically correct ).I will, however, gladly offer some abbreviations, viz. BB, KJ,TB, BH.......


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:09 PM

How come they are allowed to talk about 'Black Boy' yet when a plant on Gardener's Question time called Black Man's Willy was taken out of the repeat of the program because of complaints? There was even an apology in their gardener's World magazine.

Like wot???


Sal


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:57 PM

The are many people who don't appreciate it( English traditional music or music from other parts of the British Isles).......and yes I listened to The Black Boy programme...but I can't get bent out of shape everytime someone says something against it, we just soldier on. do the best that we can, and ignore the naysayers. The Tradition will outlive its critics

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:57 PM

"The gratuitousness is compounded by the fact that the BBC had broadcast two excellent programmes in the last 7 days - an extended interview with Shirley Collins and Morris Dancing from the perspective of team psychology. Either or both might have featured on any other edition of POTW."

Indeed - the programme on Shirley is still featured on the R4 website as Pick of the Day for last Tuesday, which would have made it a more appropriate choice....


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:55 PM

An ill-informed and ignorant opinion, as I said. I can see why you feel the need to defend him.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:51 PM

Sorry, I'm just falling about at the idea of Matthew Parris being anti-English. He justn't seem to appreciate English traditional music or music from other parts of the British Isles....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:51 PM

I'm still shuddering from Kitty's second post about taking him in hand...


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: tijuanatime
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:50 PM

The key word here is 'gratuitous'. For the benefit of non-UK readers, Parris was presenting Pick of the Week, which features highlights of the week's broadcasting. The excerpt in question came from a programme investigating the origin of the pub name 'The Black Boy'; it contained a very short clip of traditional singing, which Parris chose for the sole purpose of rubbishing it.

The gratuitousness is compounded by the fact that the BBC had broadcast two excellent programmes in the last 7 days - an extended interview with Shirley Collins and Morris Dancing from the perspective of team psychology. Either or both might have featured on any other edition of POTW.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:46 PM

'Bye the way whose remark was racist? '

I think Matthew Parris's remark is being viewed as anti-English

Charlotte( the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:44 PM

"Because she has to make some smarty pants snippy comment on almost every thread on Mudcat. Whether she knows anything about the subject or not."

performing musician myself, with a number of years under my belt, and I do research before making any remarks. I do seem to disagree with you at every turn....

'Regardless of his sexuality or political history, his remarks were ignorant and short sighted.'

It was an opinion, as right or wrong as it may have been.

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Megan L
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:44 PM

Awww Giok yev made a new wee friend tae play wie how nice. Bye the way whose remark was racist?


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