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Folk Club Manners

GUEST,Amber 18 Oct 08 - 01:59 PM
breezy 18 Oct 08 - 02:39 PM
paula t 18 Oct 08 - 02:56 PM
Phil Edwards 18 Oct 08 - 03:09 PM
Acorn4 18 Oct 08 - 03:14 PM
Bernard 18 Oct 08 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,Pete the hat 18 Oct 08 - 03:26 PM
melodeonboy 18 Oct 08 - 03:39 PM
Leadfingers 18 Oct 08 - 03:44 PM
bruceCMR 18 Oct 08 - 04:21 PM
MartinRyan 18 Oct 08 - 04:56 PM
John MacKenzie 18 Oct 08 - 05:07 PM
Phil Edwards 18 Oct 08 - 06:15 PM
Mark Dowding 18 Oct 08 - 07:00 PM
Richard Bridge 18 Oct 08 - 07:30 PM
melodeonboy 18 Oct 08 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 18 Oct 08 - 07:38 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Oct 08 - 07:38 PM
Jack Campin 18 Oct 08 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,Greycap 18 Oct 08 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,Amber 18 Oct 08 - 08:38 PM
mg 18 Oct 08 - 09:03 PM
The Fooles Troupe 18 Oct 08 - 09:04 PM
The Fooles Troupe 18 Oct 08 - 09:39 PM
GUEST 19 Oct 08 - 04:47 AM
SPB-Cooperator 19 Oct 08 - 05:52 AM
Tim Leaning 19 Oct 08 - 06:32 AM
GUEST 19 Oct 08 - 06:43 AM
Jack Campin 19 Oct 08 - 06:56 AM
GUEST 19 Oct 08 - 06:59 AM
Will Fly 19 Oct 08 - 07:00 AM
Silas 19 Oct 08 - 07:08 AM
Will Fly 19 Oct 08 - 07:19 AM
GUEST 19 Oct 08 - 07:58 AM
Mark Dowding 19 Oct 08 - 08:09 AM
Silas 19 Oct 08 - 08:12 AM
Jack Campin 19 Oct 08 - 08:28 AM
mauvepink 19 Oct 08 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,Rafflesbear 19 Oct 08 - 08:50 AM
Marc Bernier 19 Oct 08 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,woodsie 19 Oct 08 - 09:29 AM
Will Fly 19 Oct 08 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,Dave Mc 19 Oct 08 - 09:37 AM
GUEST 19 Oct 08 - 09:46 AM
Will Fly 19 Oct 08 - 10:04 AM
Acorn4 19 Oct 08 - 11:03 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Oct 08 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 19 Oct 08 - 11:20 AM
Aeola 19 Oct 08 - 11:46 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 08 - 03:26 PM
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Subject: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST,Amber
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 01:59 PM

We had a new person at our folk club last night, he had a couple of guitars and a dulcimer. He waas obviously looking for gigs andhad a list of folk clubs which he had visited. Very talented if you like folk rock.

BUT Oh dear, oh dear, he:

                     Looked bored when other people were performing

                     Played with his guitar strap instead of
                     looking at the performer

AND WORST OF ALL HE CRUNCHED CRISPS AND NIBBLED NUTS.

Set me thinkin about folk club manners. When my son first started in folk at the age of 16 I told him:

NEVER come in or go out when people are performing.

NEVER sing a song which you know someone does regularly.

What examples of bad folk club manners can you give?

What advice would you give?

Amber


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: breezy
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 02:39 PM

Did he perform?

Why were you not looking at the performer yourself ?

Does the club not have signs to guide folk club virgins through the mine field?

One sign had words to the effect of 'eat crisps at your peril' and Fleggy did, ! what happened next was borrowed from Joe Stead gig 1969 ish

perhaps he was bored !!


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: paula t
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 02:56 PM

Kathryn and Sarah were playing at Banbury festival last weekend. A guy's 'phone rang and then he proceeded to have his conversation while sitting right in front of them. Luckily ther girls were not too upset and in fact thought it was quite funny.Sarah actually invited the guy on the other end of the 'phone to join in with the song too.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 03:09 PM

Big signs up all round our folk club calling for silence while people are performing. Once I was in the middle of a number - a pretty difficult number, at that* - when someone's phone rang. And rang. And rang. It was the standard Nokia ringtone, as immortalised by Dom Joly. It turned out to be the MC's phone, which he'd left behind (switched on) while he went to the bar downstairs.

You've got to laugh, really.

*Round Midnight. This was before I got heavily into trad.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Acorn4
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 03:14 PM

I think flicking through folders of words to decide what you're going to sing next when others are doing their bit can be a bit offputting.

I've occasionally resorted to it, I will admit, when arriving a bit late, and wanting to try something new out, but only ever briefly. Some folks seem to have the need to do it incessantly, made even worse when they're the organisers.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Bernard
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 03:16 PM

The best approach with mobile phones is to point out that the club appreciates people may have emergencies requiring them to leave their phones switched on. However, there is a charge of five pounds for charity each time one rings...!


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST,Pete the hat
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 03:26 PM

Hi I am Pete The Hat from the Tudor Barn home of Folkmob Eltham. Folkmob.com

Our code is you shut up when folk are performing.and if people are to noisey we ring a bell to shut them up before the performer/s start. You dont cut across performers line of vision on route to the loo or anywhere else, you wait till the performer is finished

All our Smokers sit by the main door to the barn so they can go puff outside when they wish without disturbing singers or players.

I sit with the smokey noisey naughty lot has we are known but we do have respect for fellow performers and we expect the same in return
Regards Pete the Hat


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: melodeonboy
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 03:39 PM

"NEVER sing a song which you know someone does regularly."

I'm not so sure about that one. We don't have a problem with that at the clubs that I go to. In fact, on a number of occasions someone's sung a song which others have enjoyed so much that they've been stimulated to go away and learn it themselves. Nobody owns a song, and it actually becomes very interesting to hear how different people interpret and sing/play a particular song.

This does, of course, all have to be done with respect, and if I'm aware that someone gets a special pleasure out of singing a particular song, then I'd be considerate enough not to do it before them on every occasion.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 03:44 PM

Regarding singing 'Other Peoples Songs' - What about stealing arrangements ?? Happened regularly local to me after 'The Trio' split !
I just took it as a complimentt to how good we COULD have been !


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: bruceCMR
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 04:21 PM

"Once I was in the middle of a number - a pretty difficult number, at that* - when someone's phone rang."

You've got the mic... say "go on, answer it.... tell them you're on your way home..."

I stole this one - it's (c) the referee at a snooker tournament


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 04:56 PM

I was at a session recently which is mostly (Irish) instrumental but with room for occasional unaccompanied songs and even
a recitation, dance.... whatever. Anyway, I was asked to sing a song. Among the dozen or so musicians was a trio of teenage girls - a fiddler, accordion and concertina player, respectively. While I was singing, not only did they chat among themselves - but they were simultaneously busy texting their friends! I was torn between being annoyed and being lost in admiration of their multi-tasking skills!

All three are already good musicians but, Jeez, they still have a lot to learn!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 05:07 PM

If that's you wife, tell her I'll be round in a bit


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 06:15 PM

The fact that the guy whose phone was ringing was out of the room narrowed the options for a witty putdown. The fact that it was the MC didn't help, either.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 07:00 PM

Did the chap in question ask for a booking at the end of the night and when you refused did you tell him why?

A good way to shut an unaccompanied phone up is to drop it in the owner's beer - or answer it and give the caller an ansafone style message.

I put a notice on the door telling people to wait until the performer has finished before coming into the room. It's surprising how many people can't read!

We have someone who will play sudoku or whatever on their PDA all night. I need a suitable put down for that one.

If someone does your song better than you then learn from it. If you do it better then do it the next time they're in the club.

Cheers
Mark


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 07:30 PM

Sometimes we have "upset Little Legs" nights in which we ALL take it in turns to do one of John Matthews' songs before he can!


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: melodeonboy
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 07:36 PM

Indeed. And ain't it fun?


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 07:38 PM

This all reminds me of why I left the folk scene.

It's full of precious performers who don't learn their songs and have to resort to crib sheets and bore the pants of the audience.

Many folk floor singers no longer have the ability to capture the audience with their music because they are not used to playing to 'live' audiences. They expect silence and attention when their performances seldom warrant it.

People usually talk, eat crisps etc because they are bored! It's the performer's job to engage them.

Try the open mic scene or a real pub with real people for crying out loud!


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 07:38 PM

I sort of agree. I think we should all be courteous and nice to people, and careful of each others feelings.

On the other hand, I DO feel that somehow we sort of lose something when we insist on the rapt attention of the audience. After all much of this music sprang from noisy alehouses and the like.

There are some clubs and radio programmes that are very disrespectful of people that play folk clubs, but also are capable of doing pub gigs. It makes me wonder, if theres not an element of jealousy in the equation - because if you can't have at least a brave attempt at dominating a room - you will have a job making a living as an entertainer. That is if you're not one of the folk scene's elected- who all seem to do 'very nice - thankyou!'

Also its sad. because depending on a silent respectful audience is very limiting. I was amazed once when i was corresponded with Noel Murphy and he told me he could not bear to play noisy Irish theme bars. Similarly Jack Hudson would never touch the country and western clubs. Both artists could have made a fortune if they could have got their heads round gigging such places when they were thriving. Well not a fortune - but enough money to live comfortably.

I know what's coming. You people are such aficionados that a gross character like myself could never understand your fine feelings - but ordinary people have to make compromises. they go out to jobs they hate, they get their lives wasted. Why is it wrong to say to a musician - well theres supply and demand. And there ain't a demand for what you WANT to do, but there is a demand for someone with your sort of talents.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 07:50 PM

I'm with the "make it noisy" crowd. For the sort of music we're talking about, performers have been expected to carry on through multiple simultaneous sex acts, opium smoking, ecstatic religious possession, gambling and gunshots.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 08:10 PM

Captain Swing has defined it.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST,Amber
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 08:38 PM

Well I'd better just go and join the Ladies choral Society!

Amber


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: mg
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 09:03 PM

I certainly wouldn't criticize someone for playing with their guitar strap or silently texting somone or playing with a non-noisy game boy. How does it hurt anyone? Maybe they are along with someone else who likes the music and they are just providing company or whatever. mg


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 09:04 PM

There's RULES?!!!


So THAT's why they kicked me out!


.....

:-P


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 09:39 PM

"If that's your wife, tell her I'll be round in a bit"

Tell your wife I'm not finished here yet - what time do you lock up?

"We have someone who will play sudoku or whatever on their PDA all night. I need a suitable put down for that one."

We DO like to share here, mate! The nine in the top right corner! :-)


"I'm with the "make it noisy" crowd."

While it is good (from personal experience) to start out performing in front of a quiet appreciative audience, It's actually more fun to work a noisy room. If you can shut them up and get them involved, you don't need to ask anybody else how good you are... I actually find it MUCH harder to work a handful of people, than a large mass (The smell of the crowd and the roar of the greasepaint - Come feel the noise!) - a few hundred is probably the largest crowd. Telling a story that gets the audience involved so hard that they say afterwards that they were actually frightened and saw the beastie... wow!

While playing an instrument and/or singing - that takes far more internal focus and concentration than 'just talking' - for me at least.

I once watched a master at work. He started on banjo (normal volume) - the crowd was noisy. He gradually got quieter and quieter - then Boom! loud. All eyes in the room turned to him and all conversation stopped! :-)

"On the other hand, I DO feel that somehow we sort of lose something when we insist on the rapt attention of the audience. After all much of this music sprang from noisy alehouses and the like.""It's full of precious performers who don't learn their songs and have to resort to crib sheets and bore the pants of the audience. Many folk floor singers no longer have the ability to capture the audience with their music because they are not used to playing to 'live' audiences. They expect silence and attention when their performances seldom warrant it."

The top British performers (musos and comedians) in the 60s/70s (till they died) learned their trade in The Music Halls - only the trapeze and knife throwing acts got silence! There is an expression - 'dieing' - which I can assure you - you should experience ONCE, so you never want to feel that again and work harder!

"not used to playing to 'live' audiences"

And that IS the whole point of 'entertaining'... otherwise these days, just put it on a self published CD and make your own webpage which you always put in your signature at the end of every post on the web in which you tell everybody else how brilliant your ideas are, and they don't know what they are talking about because you once attended an Adult Education course on beadworking and take long walks in the country where your muse inspires you to make music by smashing trash can lids together while gargling Listerine... that way you don't have to deal with real people and their illogical ideas.

I can, at times, walk the walk - but it IS hard work - and I can understand the idea of showing respect, and especially ENCOURAGING beginners.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 04:47 AM

Well, sorry, I don,t think texting or playing on a game boy, evenly silently, is acceptable, although it depends on how noticeable it is I suppose - if it is in a smallish room or with people sitting round in a circle, these type of activities do give give the impression of being bored and I may be old fashioned but I don't think that is polite or appreciative. The guy's body language and facial expression gave a definite message of, ' I'm bored amongst these amateurs. When is it going to be my turn again? They should listen to ME'. I have to add that he may have been bored I suppose, but he shouldn't have been as there were some excellent performers there that night, doing a wide range of interesting stuff.



Amber


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 05:52 AM

In my view what is/isn't acceptable depends upon the setting. On one hand singing in bars/pubs where the public are free to come and go and at a lot of socials where the music is largely 'wallpaper' it is up to the performer to earn the attention of the audience.

In a club then it is nice to have mutual respect between performers who should know better; folk clubs do have two purposes - one to perform folk song/music and/or see it performed but also as a social gathering where one meets up with friends. However, it is good manners to to keep any conversations down to a reasonable level, at the back of the room - not just for the performer, but also for the audience members who rather listen to the performers than other peoples conversations/mobile phones, etc.

In a concert venue, then everyone should display the same manners as would a theatre or opera audience, especially if the tickets are expensive.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 06:32 AM

"Noisy crowd"
I think a lot depends on the noise.
I find it quite nice that once in a while the pool players wander through to have a listen or the drunken lad is singing along.
But sometimes the muso's are far to precious and sulky about how much attention is being payed to them.
Of course much of the noise can be coming from yer fellow performers,and if you just decided that you should play in a local pub on dominoes night, or seem to be trying to take over "their" local
you do get resistance.
Now if you have a room set aside for aconcert or just for a singaround tell em to shut the f*** up!
I find a simple honest aproach works.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 06:43 AM

Never mind being too noisy. What about people who actually go to sleep in folk clubs? I was once in a concert where Les Barker was performing when a guy was fast asleep and snoring on the front row! I don't know how he managed it but I think the 8 - 9 pints might have had something to do with it!   Les came right down, stood over him and sang right down his ear!

Charlotte


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 06:56 AM

It's the ones who go to sleep *while performing* you worry about more.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 06:59 AM

Yes, I've been in clubs where the performer stands noodling away, eyes closed gently swaying - you do wonder!

Ella


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 07:00 AM

Horses for courses, isn't it? If we're playing in an open acoustic session - in a pub bar - and the punters in the bar want to talk, that's up to them. If they want to listen, jolly good! One thing I do know: there's nothing like a girl singing a song in a quiet voice to get the background noise down to nothing. Good tip, isn't it? Drop the volume to get the attention.

However, in a folk club, say in a room set aside for the occasion, then audience quiet and respect is a sine qua non. As for those high and mighty performers who are up their own arses, I usually find there's someone around to show them up or make them look small. And if they behave like that and then want a booking, then it's always a pleasure to tell 'em to go and f--- themselves!


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Silas
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 07:08 AM

OK guys. What is the best way to tell a performer who just turns up to a regular session in a pub, that he is utter crap?


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 07:19 AM

If it's an open mic, open stage or folk club setting - i.e. with performers taking their turn to do a spot - then I think you have to let them have their spot. Depends what kind of crap you're talking about. If they're full of themselves and obnoxious, then I would have a quiet word with them outside the set. If they're a pure beginner and not very good, then I think patience is essential - so many of us learnt what to do in a sympathetic folk club setting.

If it's an acoustic session with everyone joining in, then you can either (again) have a word to explain why they're not gelling, or - more likely - they'll probably just get drowned out anyway! Once again, people have to learn, and you can't get always the feel of a tune from music. Not easy though!


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 07:58 AM

Because I am a teacher I have a real job in stopping myself from saying to people who use their mobile while people are performing, 'I think you know the rules. I'll look after that until the end of the session!' That would go down well, wouldn't it?

Millie


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 08:09 AM

"OK guys. What is the best way to tell a performer who just turns up to a regular session in a pub, that he is utter crap?"

"If they're a pure beginner and not very good, then I think patience is essential"

Everybody has the right to get up and have a go - they may have been practicing for weeks at home and go to pieces in front of an audience. Why not have a quiet word with them and say something like "you seem to be having trouble with those chords - can I suggest a better way of playing them?" or you get the people who start too low because it sounded OK in their front room - again a word of advice like "It's not a problem if you want to stop and put the capo up a couple of frets - we've all been there"

I don't expect concert performances from people who come to my club - we're there to enjoy ourselves at the end of the day but it's good to see how people improve over time if you give them some encouragement and advice now and again.

Cheers
Mark


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Silas
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 08:12 AM

The guy I am thinking of is not that much of a beginner, he is a refugee from another club that has closed down - his guitar playing is pretty poor and his voice is dire. He does, though, bring a few people with him who can sing and play well.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 08:28 AM

I know of one session that was thrown out of a pub because of a particularly dire singer (he was funny the first time but less so when he did it every week).

Maybe you could get the bar staff to ban him?


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: mauvepink
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 08:29 AM

Manners maketh the man and woman. They cost nothing but can have major effects when not used...

I thought I was pretty well mannered until I read this thread and saw some of the things that annoy others. By far the biggest thing I am guilty of is sometimes choosing my next song while someone is singing. I do it quietly but I can see how it could be contrived as being uninterested in that performer's song. I will no longer do that and try to go better prepared in future.

My phone once went off in someone's performance break (a few seconds earlier or later it would have happened while they sang). I have corrected that since.

Yes, I have done some of the things above unintentionally but thanks to the thread will now do my utmost to correct it.

I try not to sing somone's song if they are there. I would hate to make a mess of their song. But if I go to another club I will gladly 'advertise' who I heard sing that song and why it got to me. I like to plug ability in others that I do not have. I can only aspire to get anywhere close to those I admire and listen to the most but it is also important to listen to the newcomers too because I am clsoer to that time than most. We all began somewhere and I have had a great deal of help and encouragement from so many in the few months I have been on the scene. I now frequent at least three clubs regularly and have to say that most members are never intentionally rude or bad mannered. Manners can also come from a mutual respect.

As there are so many Teachers in Folk in this part of England I think I should listen to the above report and do something about "Must try harder" in future. Both with songs and manners! I have certainly been guilty of bad manners and yet would have considered myself most polite before reading this thread.

Let her who is without song cast the first note! ;-)

Best wishes

mp


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST,Rafflesbear
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 08:50 AM

If you can't sing, don't sing - I can't sing and I don't sing

They also serve who only sit and listen


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 09:18 AM

Don't try and talk to me while I'm trying to listen!!!

We don't have "Folk Clubs" here. And, being a musician who gets gigs, I don't get to see others perform very often. But at every festival I do, I'll be stand in the back watching some, or trying to, and invariably someone will come up and start to tell me a story.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 09:29 AM

"Don't have folk clubs here"

Where?

Good opportunity to start one I'd say!


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 09:31 AM

Mark Dowding:

"I don't expect concert performances from people who come to my club - we're there to enjoy ourselves at the end of the day but it's good to see how people improve over time if you give them some encouragement and advice now and again."

Amen to that, Mark. I can still recall my first performance at a club - back in 1965 - shaking life a leaf, but grateful for the chance, and overjoyed at the applause. We all have to start somewhere and folk clubs are/were traditionally quite forgiving environments. And I learned good manners in these clubs a well!


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST,Dave Mc
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 09:37 AM

If I look bored through the residents' spots at my local folk club it is because they are boring me. Surely courtesy goes both ways? After sitting patiently through hundreds of renditions of the same badly sung, badly written, out-of-tune guitar schlock by the same culprits, week after week, aren't I now entitled to have a quiet read and a sigh while they are busy wanking in public? There are a couple of exceptions on the panel of residents who do a good job, but the rest really are only delaying the main act's appearance. They are an inconvenience not an asset. I find that discourteous to the billed artist and to me as paying customer.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 09:46 AM

Excellent post Dave Mc - excellent


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 10:04 AM

Dave Mc - I know what you're talking about. There's a club near me where many of the "regulars" I( can't call them "residents") are, on the whole, absolute tosh. In the end, I decided to not go there and take me interest elsewhere. However, there should be places where newbies can start - if they don't improve, then so be it - but let's not diminish the opportunity.

By "tosh", I mean things like: (a) bringing the music when they know they only have two songs to perform - not taking the trouble to learn them beforehand; (b) singing inappropriate material - Abba at a folk club anyone?; (c) thinking they're great when they're absolute crap - no self-critical sense...; (d) add your own. A penance, to be sure - but where do you draw the line.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Acorn4
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 11:03 AM

We go to a range of clubs within a 30 mile radius of where we live.

The most successful ones are where the organisers actively encourage all the performers whatever the standard.

Those where the opposite happens remain "incestuous" and cliquy.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 11:15 AM

I remember one night i was watching Wizz Jones at the Mansfield club and there were these really noisy sods at the back chattering excitedly in the first half. And next to me was this guy who had come all the way from south of Leicester to see Wizz and I could see the chatterers were really spoiling several peoples enjoyment inclusding this bloke who had come miles.

thankfully - someone shut the buggers up somehow for the second half. there has to be some sort of tough guy (or tough gal!) who can face down the idiots.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 11:20 AM

Some years ago we had a super Folk Club in one of our village pubs run by a doctor. The pub was noted also for it`s cuisine, one speciality being Cumberland sausages with mashed potatoes, onions and gravy you would kill for. One evening a visitor brought his meal into the club and proceeded to enjoy his meal whilst the performers strutted their stuff. His table manners were impeccable, he appreciated the songs and music, was quiet and attentive and applauded sincerely. BUT, he offered nobody a taste of his dinner, even the guest would you believe. Now that is the acme of bad manners.


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Aeola
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 11:46 AM

Mark,....' I don't expect concert performances......'

Nice one ! One of the good things about Folk clubs is the fact that you get a wide range of abilities. This can serve a useful purpose of perspective of your own perceived performance. Also you get a lot of encouragement and at the end of the day ' practice makes perfect'. I'm sure everyone has experienced that wonderful feeling when you realise that everyone is listening to you, after that the odd noise here and there doesn't really matter. Good job the gymnasts aren't put off by a little bit of noise!!


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Subject: RE: Folk Club Manners
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 03:26 PM

Bad manners come in all shapes and sizes. It used to piss me off no end when 'booking seekers' turned up, left their names at the desk, then went down to the bar, making no effort whatever to find out what the club was about. On numerous occasions when I did the door I was asked to page such people when it was 'their turn to go on'. Invariably they had nothing to offer the club and we had nothing to offer them, so they were not booked - arrogant prats.
"One of the good things about Folk clubs is the fact that you get a wide range of abilities"
In the light of a currently running thread thread 'Folk music ridiculed again', while it is true that abilities can vary, unless you set a reasonable standard, and if you allow your club to be used as a place to practice in public, it will never raise above being 'amateur night at the Frog and Ferret'.
It is unfair to those who have put in the work, an insult to the perception of the audience and a contempt for the music to encourage people to perform if they have not put in enough work to make an acceptable job of a song. Clubs should be places for 'the finished article' and not 'work in progress'.
When I was involved with The Singers Club we were regularly visited by a young woman who was totally incapable of producing two notes which related to each other. She invariably asked to sing and was allocated one song (not by me).
Over the year she attended she never improved; she was invited to attend our singing workshop but felt she didn't need it.
After a year the audience committee received a letter of protest from her and her friend complaining that she was only allowed one song.
If you are serious about encouraging new singers run a workshop.
Otherwise folk music will roundly deserve all the ridicule it receives.
Jim Carroll


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