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Awful singers

GUEST,Faye 11 Nov 08 - 06:50 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Nov 08 - 06:57 AM
Paul Burke 11 Nov 08 - 07:09 AM
kendall 11 Nov 08 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,Faye 11 Nov 08 - 07:16 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 11 Nov 08 - 07:19 AM
Nick 11 Nov 08 - 07:29 AM
The Sandman 11 Nov 08 - 07:33 AM
Banjiman 11 Nov 08 - 07:37 AM
Emma B 11 Nov 08 - 07:48 AM
SINSULL 11 Nov 08 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 11 Nov 08 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,No Fixed Abode 11 Nov 08 - 08:06 AM
The Villan 11 Nov 08 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 11 Nov 08 - 08:43 AM
Leadfingers 11 Nov 08 - 08:51 AM
Backwoodsman 11 Nov 08 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Faye 11 Nov 08 - 09:46 AM
The Sandman 11 Nov 08 - 09:53 AM
Silas 11 Nov 08 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Betsy at work 11 Nov 08 - 10:21 AM
Maryrrf 11 Nov 08 - 10:53 AM
Marje 11 Nov 08 - 10:58 AM
glueman 11 Nov 08 - 11:02 AM
Bernard 11 Nov 08 - 11:09 AM
Hawker 11 Nov 08 - 11:37 AM
Zen 11 Nov 08 - 11:53 AM
EBarnacle 11 Nov 08 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,woodsie 11 Nov 08 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Faye 11 Nov 08 - 12:24 PM
Alan Day 11 Nov 08 - 12:28 PM
Tim Leaning 11 Nov 08 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 11 Nov 08 - 12:53 PM
Dave (Bridge) 11 Nov 08 - 12:57 PM
jeffp 11 Nov 08 - 01:08 PM
Nick 11 Nov 08 - 01:13 PM
VirginiaTam 11 Nov 08 - 02:43 PM
VirginiaTam 11 Nov 08 - 02:48 PM
Steve Gardham 11 Nov 08 - 02:53 PM
Brakn 11 Nov 08 - 04:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 08 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,Ed 11 Nov 08 - 05:05 PM
Bobert 11 Nov 08 - 05:45 PM
Aeola 11 Nov 08 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 11 Nov 08 - 06:01 PM
Liz the Squeak 11 Nov 08 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Rafflesbear 11 Nov 08 - 06:07 PM
Bobert 11 Nov 08 - 06:16 PM
GUEST,maple_leaf_boy 11 Nov 08 - 06:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 08 - 06:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 08 - 07:09 PM
Dave Schipper 11 Nov 08 - 09:04 PM
Joe Offer 11 Nov 08 - 09:34 PM
theleveller 12 Nov 08 - 03:28 AM
Folkiedave 12 Nov 08 - 03:57 AM
Alan Day 12 Nov 08 - 04:08 AM
Alan Day 12 Nov 08 - 04:28 AM
GUEST,jonny sunshine 12 Nov 08 - 05:16 AM
kendall 12 Nov 08 - 08:19 AM
GUEST 12 Nov 08 - 08:59 AM
matt milton 12 Nov 08 - 09:07 AM
The Sandman 12 Nov 08 - 09:31 AM
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Subject: Awful singers
From: GUEST,Faye
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 06:50 AM

This kinda follows on from the discussion on folk club manners...

I went to a club last week (I'm not revealing its name but you'll know it if you were there) where the guest(s) was/were so awful (more deliberate ambiguity to protect the guilty) that he/she/they were taken off after the first set and the evening ended with a singaround.

Has anyone else experienced this? How did these people get booked?

And no, it wasn't Tone Deaf Leopard (who I think are funny.)


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 06:57 AM

Blimey - I have often said on other threads that there are some bad peformers about but I have never heard of this one Do you mean it was a booked and, presumably, paid guest that was so bad?

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Paul Burke
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 07:09 AM

Funny, I can't remember where I was performing last week....


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: kendall
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 07:10 AM

This is why I never applaud for something that is just bad. I can't see encouraging someone who shouldn't be performing.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,Faye
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 07:16 AM

Yes, it/they was/were booked and, presumably, paid.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 07:19 AM

What happened next and how did the BG [Booked Guest/s] react? Did they get offended and leave, or get offended and stay, sit and listen to the others, or what? I've seen some bad BG's but never any so dire that they got the hook from the wings pulling them offstage by the neck. Tell us more... (with the names changed to protect the guilty, of course).


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Nick
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 07:29 AM

Or did they just hoover up the money and smile...

Perhaps you ought to mention who it was in case someone else books them and has the same experience. I presume they did get paid?

Out of interest did they stay and take part in the singaround?


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 07:33 AM

I am sorry but I dont like this.
somebody has done a bad gig[or perhaps were not suitable for the particular club],surely the organiser is partly to blame,did they not see the guest before they were booked?.
how was the guest bad,were their instruments out of tune,did they sing out of tune,were they drunk?, did they forget the words,please specify.
what does this thread achieve,apart from, teaching the organiser not to book people without seeing them.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 07:37 AM

.... it gives people an excuse to have a go at "paid" folk musicians and singers.

......which a certain element on Mudcat seems to enjoy.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Emma B
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 07:48 AM

I second Captain Birdseye's reservations.

I attended a folk club (to hear some friends play) where the booked artist was a young man who sang his own songs of teenage angst for 40 minutes that seemed like a lifetime of torment - however he had brought his own fan club base who obviously enjoyed his performance.

This person was, I hasten to add, a skilled muscian and I enjoyed his treatment of the one or two songs he performed that were not his own.

It is important to find out what kind of material someone performs both for the people booking artists AND the potential audience themselves.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 07:57 AM

I have been at paid performances where the artist was too drunk or otherwise impaired to remain on the stage. Hauled off and replaced by a void.

But never for a "bad" performance.

EmmaB, the only thing worse than teenage angst is middle-aged angst and they too bring their fan club while the rest of us endure. LOL Not too long ago, a gentleman sang a song he had written at the birth of his son. Then a song he had written at the death of his uncle which (thank god) included a mention of the birth of his daughter, She mercifully did not get her own song. And the club limit was two songs. It was one of those "just kill me now" moments.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 07:58 AM

No - I'M Spartacus!


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,No Fixed Abode
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 08:06 AM

I have difficulty in understanding how in this day and age someone would book someone without either seeing them live or having a look at some video footage. As a performer we regard our youtube footage as a key tool in introducing us to new potential venues.

While I can accept that some people may not have access to the internet this is still not a reason not to see some video footage as we send a dvd or video for a potential clients to see.

It could be the guest had a bad night..................


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 08:36 AM

I don't like this thread either. If you didn't like the act for whatever reason, go and get your money back from the organiser or make sure you don't go to watch them again, and as I have done in the past tell the agent if there is one. However coming on a forum and pubilcally (even if names are not mentioned) complaining is very bad taste and can lead to flaming.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 08:43 AM

It's difficult to comment without knowing more. Was the guest a professional/semi-pro who for some reason had a bad night? That would be unusual, but it happens, especially if they like a drink!

If it was an inexperienced amateur who somehow was given a gig, then it seems to be a misjudgement on the part of the organiser. But doing a gig is a lot more pressurised than a floorspot, and it may be that someone who had appeared to be sufficiently competent just fell apart on the night.

If the performance was fine but the guest's music wasn't to the audience's taste, well "folk" is a broad church and we can't be expected to like everything. However the organiser should have a better understanding of the tastes of his or her audience.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 08:51 AM

On ONE occasion , I booked a band on the strength of a Cassette they had sent to the club - I Five piece Irish style band that sounded VERY good ! On the night , they were a Four piece and only TWO of the four had played on the Cassette , and none of them were'singers'
This was iun the 'Good Old Days' before Internet and U Tube etc !

But I agree that this thread is NOT a good idea !!


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 09:41 AM

Caveat Emptor. Period.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,Faye
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 09:46 AM

Sorry, folks, I didn't mean to upset anyone. I probably came over in a way that I didn't intend, even though I deliberately didn't mention any names. Please accept my apologies- I honestly didn't intend to stir anything up.

To enlarge upon the evening in question, the guests (OK they were a duo, not well known, and I won't name them. They were actually good instrumentalists and had they played tunes all night, I think that they'd have been kept on. It was just when they opened their mouths to sing that they let themselves down.

Yes, they stayed to the end of the evening, though they didn't play in the second half and I don't think they realised what the problem was.

I'm quite new to the folk world and have never seen this happen before. I just wondered if it was a common occurence.

Once more,apologies to anyone that I've offended. Mudcat organisers- please remove this thread if you like; I don't want to give myself a bad name.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 09:53 AM

again, blame lies with the organisers.
Faye,I know what area you are from,and I have guessed the club,and the guests[who are not familiar to me],but as you righly say anonymity is the correct procedure here.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Silas
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 09:54 AM

Sorry Faye - too late.

Faye is a really bad name, you need to get one like mine - Selina, now thats a good name, try that one!


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,Betsy at work
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 10:21 AM

Sounds like inexperience of both Organiser and performer(s). Faye it's not a regular occurrence - or it shouldn't be - you just need to do your homework on performers who will suit your audience.
We all have knowledge of good performers having a duff time with an audience who have come to see / hear a different type of performer. Let's hope you and the performers learned something positive from this unfortunate experience.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Maryrrf
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 10:53 AM

It happens sometimes, and I have experienced it both as booker and as audience. In one case, another member of the committee booked an act he had seen a year ago. When the performers in question came they had 'evolved' their act to the point where, to my mind, it wasn't very traditional and I didn't think it was particularly good. Another thing that has happened is that I thought acts that I had booked were good but had negative comments from some audience members - maybe it was a matter of personal taste.

I've also attended events and wondered how some performers got booked but just figured it was either a matter of my own preferences being different, or the performer having an off night.

It wouldnt' put me off of a folk club or concert series if it just happened once in a while.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Marje
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 10:58 AM

I don't think Faye has done anything wrong in raising this as an issue and wondering how common it is. She made it clear she wasn't repsonsible either for booking the act in question or for the decision to restrict their performance time on the night. She wasn't complaining, just surprised and taken aback at what she'd experienced.

I think some of the responding posters have misunderstood this.


Marje


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: glueman
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 11:02 AM

Would it not be the case that a moderate/mediocre musician with a cracking voice would get more acclaim than a genius player with a voice like a foghorn?
It also begs the question 'what's bad?'. Some of my favourite singers are technically rubbish but have personality in spades.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Bernard
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 11:09 AM

I have to echo the reservations of others, and to agree that this kind of thing is exceptional - almost to the point of being unique.

It's something I've never witnessed, and hope I never will.

However, I have seen guests who were booked purely on the basis of a CD sent to the organiser, and didn't have any audience skills. They weren't 'bad', just not as entertaining as they maybe should have been.

Did I say 'entertaining'?

Yes... I didn't mean they should be telling jokes all night, but 'big names' such as Vin Garbutt, Harvey Andrews, Martin Carthy (sorry to all those I didn't mention!) entertain their audience in different ways, because that is what it's all about. It's what I aim to do when I'm a club guest, and I know Tom B and Dick both do (in bucketfuls), because we've worked together.

People are entertained by a wide variety of things, and I do know a duo who entertain their audience, despite the fact that they are abysmal singers and musicians, but have pots of enthusiasm. So being able to play an instrument in tune and to sing in key are not necessarily measures of quality...!

Unfortunately we have another problem... how do people 'cut their teeth' as perfomers if they are not allowed to work with a real audience. Doing floor spots is all very well, but putting together two 45 minute sets is a different matter.

What this didn't say was whether the audience was expecting quality and were let down, or if they knew what to expect...

Lymm Folk Club (and others, no doubt) runs occasional 'Big Spots' where a club regular is given the entire second half of a Singers' Night. This is obviously a case in point where the performer could turn out to be a complete let-down, but they all manage to rise magnificently to the occasion even though for many of them it's a first.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Hawker
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 11:37 AM

Well I for one know only to my cost how important it is to mke sure you see a guest perform before you book them! Dont rely on recordings, these studios can make the worst singer sound great rather than grate! Those there at Bude last year will remember my memorable moment - and no Im not going into any more detail - you had to be there! I just wish someone had video'd me when said guest performed!
You live and learn!
Cheers, Lucy


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Zen
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 11:53 AM

I've seen it once... but one member at the club also thought the person(s) in question was(were) the best thing he'd ever seen...

Zen


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: EBarnacle
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 12:00 PM

In terms of working with audiences, that's what open mikes and get togethers are for: To try out material and work with an audience who might give advice and help.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 12:18 PM

Who were the duo - Dylan & Morrison?


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,Faye
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 12:24 PM

Cap'n Birdseye- it wasn't my local club; I was staying with a friend in a completely different area. So the club's anonymity is preserved!

Thanks, Marje- as I said, I probably didn't express myself clearly enough.

The whole issue of what's good and what isn't is a personal one. An ex-boyfriend of mine couldn't "get" folk music at all. I think that we can all agree though that hopelessly out-of-tune singing is beyond the pale whoever it is. (I'm not talking about a great performance that's slightly marred but not spoiled by the off duff note- this was consistently way, way off the mark.)

Yes, I agree, there are performers who are technically not great but have something special about them that makes them irresistable. Unfortunately, this duo were not amongst their number.

Perhaps if they read this they'll get the message and stick to playing instrumentals (which they were good at.) Or get a singer.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Alan Day
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 12:28 PM

No it was Peter Brough and Archie Andrews
Peter had a sore throat.Archie had woodworm.
Al


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 12:33 PM

This subject makes me uncomfortable.
Especialy as we are going to play a few spots around the north east next week.
Shudder to think we would be so unlucky as to get that sort of reception.
Glad its just fun for us.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 12:53 PM

My definition of "awful" may differ somewhat from the responses above. In the 1950's, there was an elderly lady who used to appear on the Merv Griffin Show. She went by the nom de voyage of Mrs. Miller. She was very sincere and passionate and obviously believed she was a great talent. Her voice was like a rusty file scraping a tin plate and always about 1/4 to 1/2 off key, especially on the high notes. I thought it a cruel joke that she was used in this way, but I'm sure she was well compensated. She was so "over the top" bad, that people actually bought her record (I pray that she only made the one).

We have all likely seen a few performers who, unaware of their musical or vocal shortcomings, proceed to embarrass themselves and torture their audiences, all the while believing they are quite good. Apart from "open mike" nights, these folks should be weeded out by the people booking the acts.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Dave (Bridge)
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 12:57 PM

I have only once booked a guest, purely on reputation. This person emptied the club, more or less and could not understand why he was not put on for his second half, or why he was not paid his full fee. He also keeps asking for more bookings. That is the last time I have ever made that mistake. No matter who recomends an artist


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: jeffp
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 01:08 PM

I remember Mrs. Miller. You can find a lot of information on her with a simple Google. Poor dear, she passed away 2 years after her apartment building was levelled in the Northridge earthquake.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Nick
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 01:13 PM

Someone we know booked an artist who came and played and was good but probably wasn't the right artist for that particular place on that particular night. We like to support him so we went the FIRST time. A high percentage of the people in the pub that night did not like him - not because he wasn't good but because of their own preferences. He then booked him again for 6 months later off the back of the 'success' of the first night and was then really surprised when noone turned up the second time.

I'm afraid that was the guy who booked it's own fault in that he took no notice of what the audience liked or wanted.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 02:43 PM

I am Tony Curtis!!!! Snerk. Good one Tom Bliss.

This thread is another dangersous one, though I understand that Faye did not mean it be.

So to lighten things up a bit. Have a listen to Jonathan and Darlene Edwards

Classic!


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 02:48 PM

and another one

I swear, I cannot stop laughing.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 02:53 PM

If you wanna see and hear bad, watch some of these tv 'talent' spotting programmes in the early stages. And most of these people think they're God's gift. Cruelty can sometimes be a kindness!


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Brakn
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 04:21 PM

I'm not bothered about someone who doesn't have a voice - I love people who have a try. Much the same as I do.

What I do dislike are people who have confidence when they shouldn't.

And people who drag a 3 minute song out to 6 minutes because they think that it enhances a song and gives them more spotlight. Painful.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 05:02 PM

Mrs Miller sings "A Hard Day's Night"


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 05:05 PM

McGrath,

Mrs Miller sings "A Hard Day's Night"

She didn't ask me to pay, and she was quite good. Your point is?


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 05:45 PM

Sorry, I thought this was a Cris Cristofferson thread...lol...

But, at least he a fuine guitar player and song writer... Just can't sing...

But then again Johnny Cash couldn't quite hold a tune but it didn't matter 'casue he had soul... Right???... Well, I thought he did...

I'm not too sure how folks get booked when they cannot sing??? Who didn't so their/his/her homework???

B~


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Aeola
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 05:49 PM

Everyone should have the chance to perform in front of an audience.Basically they should not be paid until they have proven their potential, as they say practice makes perfect! There are plenty of places to get the initial experience. Unfortunately there are some people who have too much confidence in their ability, nevertheless, one would hope they do not get recalled.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 06:01 PM

"I have difficulty in understanding how in this day and age someone would book someone without either seeing them live or having a look at some video footage."

Perhaps the club organisers went to "see" them - but didn't listen to them?!


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 06:03 PM

I've sat through a festival performance from a trio that were usually quite good, but the singer was monumentally pissed, and consequently couldn't carry a tune in a bucket....

It was obvious to all but her that it was awful, the band tried to play a bit more strongly, to encourage her into the right key, but it didn't work. Had I been them I would have closed the set, got the hell off stage, returned the fee, got the singer sobered up and apologised. They were never booked there again despite previously being regulars and have since split up (although that wasn't anything to do with this particular event), but this left a bad taste in the mouth for all concerned.   It was a shame because she normally isn't that bad... but that one performance queered a lot of pitches for her.

Everyone has bad days. If every day is a bad day, then maybe they should be encouraged to find another outlet.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,Rafflesbear
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 06:07 PM

Can't see why Tone Deaf Leopard got a mention - they are brilliant and have cheered me up on many occasions when other acts were wearing thin :-)


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 06:16 PM

Well, being pissed ain't no reason to sing poorly, unless one sings poorly all the time...lol...

But, yeah, Aeola has it right... There are plenty of places for folks to perform until they either get comfortable with it or stink up the joint... Now if they do well, then- and only then- should they start gigging for $$$...

B~


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,maple_leaf_boy
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 06:24 PM

start Quote:
Sorry, I thought this was a Cris Cristofferson thread...lol...
But, at least he a fuine guitar player and song writer... Just can't sing...
But then again Johnny Cash couldn't quite hold a tune but it didn't matter 'casue he had soul... Right???... Well, I thought he did...
I'm not too sure how folks get booked when they cannot sing??? Who didn't so their/his/her homework??? (End quote)


Well, they're
better than a lot of the stuff
we hear on the radio today.
AND
They have a lot more soul, too.

And yes, everybody messes up on stage at some point.
Nervous, tired, too much energy, drugs or alcohol induced, OR a/an
error(s) with the sound equipment (possibly caused by the technician),
Sore throat.
Some places might have a loud and rowdy crowd, and the vocalist can't
hear themself; and strains out their lungs and vocal cords.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 06:35 PM

The pleasant thong about a good singaround is that it isn't s much about singers giving a performance, it's about the songs they are presenting to the company. A good song with a not-so-good singer earns more respect than a good singer with a really crap song.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 07:09 PM

"Pleasant thong." That wasn't quite what I meant to write...


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Dave Schipper
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 09:04 PM

Com'on I can top you all... I belong to a band that's called Holy Crap... we've had one paying gig. We heard that they had $150 for a band but it fell thru, so we negotiated it down to $75 and took the gig.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 09:34 PM

I've never been to a bad folk performance, but I went to awful performances by Bob Dylan, by singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin who blamed her nastiness on PMS, and one other one that just slipped my mind - oh, Bob Hope. All three treated their audience with disdain, and all three gave poor performances. I think you're just as likely to get a bad performance from a big-name performer, as you are from an unknown.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: theleveller
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 03:28 AM

I think this thread raises some important issues that, without turning into any form of witch hunt, need to be aired for the benefit of artists, organisers and audiences.

If the artists performed their usual material to their usual standard then the fault lies with the organisers for not doing their research.

If it was just that the artists were having an off-night, it's a different matter. Whilst I do believe the addage that amateurs practice until they get it right and professionals practice until they can't get it wrong, anyone who earns their living in any creative arena will know that you have good days and bad days. Experience and acquired professionalism teach you how to compensate when, for instance, the biorhythms aren't favourable or you've got flu coming on.With a performing artist it's obvioulsy more noticeable and serious than with, say a writer or painter.

I do think, however, that in the current rush to turn pro, artists need to beware. Whilst turning a hobby into a means of earning a living may seem attractive - and it's a great boost to the ego to think that someone will pay money to see you perform - you have to realise that, by accepting money, you are entering into a business contract and, like any business, you will be expected to deliver goods or services of a consistently high quality, time after time. Anything less is short-changing your customers and you will probably go out of business and leave a lot of people unhappy.

On the other hand, this professional lapse didn't leave anyone dead or hurt, cause serious financial losses or leave obscene messages about anyone's children on answerfones so, in the scheme of things, not all that serious.

Maybe the thing to do would have been to approach the artists, say why you weren't happy, negotiate a reduction in fee and either partly reimburse the audience, buy everyone free drinks or put the money towards subsidising future gigs.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 03:57 AM

I have seen a professional in the last few weeks who seemed so pissed he almost fell asleep whilst playing. No doubt he had a cold and the small glass of chateau-bottled Wincarnis he had taken had reacted badly with his medicine.

A colleague remarked how good he was and if he could play like that after his medicine - imagine how much better he would be sober.

I stopped going to folk clubs because some of the floor sngers were so bad. A club I go to where they are very good is full most weeks. The one I go to occasionally where they are bad gets little audience.

It is why I prefer festivals with top quality and up and coming artists with decent sound systems.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Alan Day
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 04:08 AM

Nerves can play a very important part in an artists performance, including shortage of breath,sweaty hands or a runny nose when playing an instrument, or straight forward stage fright.There is a lot of preparation work that goes into a performance and if the early ones are a disaster,things can get worse.A discussion with the organiser at the break with regards to the second half or even a bit of encouragement from the organiser could make all the difference.
There is not one artist on this site that has not had a bad evening or possibly played with a band or singer that has had too much to drink.My heart goes out to them.The next one may be a winner.
Al


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Alan Day
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 04:28 AM

Well I never heard about that!!

Hallo Fred not seen you for ages how's things.
Well the last time I saw you I was playing in a Jazz Band
Yes I remember that
Well we were invited to play on a Cruise Liner
Well I never heard about that!
Yes we travelled all around the World.
Well I never heard about that!
One of the passengers came up to us after our performance and said he owned a nightclub in New York and offered us a job to play there.
Well I never heard about that!
We did great and I started writing tunes and songs
Well I never heard about that
Yes and one got to the top of the charts in the USA, made me a very rich man,
Well I never heard about that!! So what are you doing over here.
Well I thought I would come back and see some old friends go to some of the places where I used to play ,that sort of thing.In fact I went to my old club the other day and they invited me on stage for a play.
I had a terrible night forgot the words and my playing was dreadful.
Yes I heard about that!!
Al


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST,jonny sunshine
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 05:16 AM

I've certainly never seen an act being stopped from finishing a performance, and I'd be very surprised to see it happen. Surely though most club organisers won't book an act they haven't seen perform?

I did once play a gig where we sacked the soundman halfway through, but that's a different story.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: kendall
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 08:19 AM

The sound man can make or break you.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 08:59 AM

I'm not sure you can draw any conclusions or make any generalisations about the topic of this thread. There isn't enough to go on. I'm very suspicious of singing being described as "bad" – singing more than any other musical practice actually – because personality and taste have so much to do with that.

For instance, there are plenty of big name folk acts who I think make utterly boring, tedious music. They are "bad" singers (though I wouldn't use that word excatly) in my book because they are bland, and characterless singers. If anything, I'm more likely to enjoy a singer who others would think of as bad – I'm much more a fan of a rough, grainy, wayward voice.

So, in contrast to some of the other responses to this thread, I'd like to know who the performers were. Send me a private message if you like – I promise not to tell anyone. But I'd like to know - just so I can check out their myspace page and decide for myself whether they "can" or "can't" sing.

Secondly, having promoted several nights myself, I'd be very wary of forcing a band offstage - whether they were paid guests or not. I really don't like that idea. If they're drunk or offensive I might make an exception, but if it just comes down to music then I think the audience will vote with their feet. If an act totally loses the audience, well, the act will soon know about it... I mean, if I don't like an act, I just go to the bar...


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: matt milton
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 09:07 AM

bah, hadn't logged in when I posted the above post.


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Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 09:31 AM

Subject: RE: Awful singers
From: Folkiedave - PM
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 03:57 AM

I have seen a professional in the last few weeks who seemed so pissed he almost fell asleep whilst playing. No doubt he had a cold and the small glass of chateau-bottled Wincarnis he had taken had reacted badly with his medicine.

A colleague remarked how good he was and if he could play like that after his medicine - imagine how much better he would be sober.

I stopped going to folk clubs because some of the floor sngers were so bad. A club I go to where they are very good is full most weeks. The one I go to occasionally where they are bad gets little audience.

It is why I prefer festivals with top quality and up and coming artists with decent sound systems.
DAVE, a good singer should not have to rely upon a sound system,in some situations they are necessary,but they can also [not always]create a barrier between the performer and the audience.Idont accept that the standard of guest is any higher at festivals than clubs,they are often the same guests.
is it not also true that bad singers turn up at festival singarounds,and occassionally get booked at festivals.
I am not going to name names,but one feted singer with a nice voice,gets booked at lots of festivals,but his /her interpretation is non existent,a bad singer in my opinion.


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