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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
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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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