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folk outside of clubs and festivals

GUEST,Guest No Fixed Abode 01 Dec 08 - 03:41 PM
Maryrrf 01 Dec 08 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 01 Dec 08 - 04:23 PM
melodeonboy 01 Dec 08 - 06:57 PM
Leadfingers 01 Dec 08 - 07:21 PM
Acorn4 01 Dec 08 - 08:07 PM
GUEST 02 Dec 08 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 02 Dec 08 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,No Fixed Abode 02 Dec 08 - 04:48 AM
Manitas_at_home 02 Dec 08 - 05:22 AM
Banjiman 02 Dec 08 - 05:37 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Dec 08 - 05:49 AM
theleveller 02 Dec 08 - 06:48 AM
Sleepy Rosie 02 Dec 08 - 07:22 AM
theleveller 02 Dec 08 - 07:49 AM
Banjiman 02 Dec 08 - 07:56 AM
Sleepy Rosie 02 Dec 08 - 08:20 AM
Mark Dowding 02 Dec 08 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Essex Girl 02 Dec 08 - 09:17 AM
Fidjit 02 Dec 08 - 11:50 AM
greg stephens 02 Dec 08 - 12:06 PM
Zen 02 Dec 08 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,No Fixed Abode 02 Dec 08 - 06:42 PM
Anne Lister 03 Dec 08 - 02:51 AM
theleveller 03 Dec 08 - 03:44 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Dec 08 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,Rafflesbear 03 Dec 08 - 08:49 AM
Marje 03 Dec 08 - 08:57 AM
folkypaul 03 Dec 08 - 02:09 PM
Big Al Whittle 04 Dec 08 - 06:28 AM
Joe G 04 Dec 08 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,Rafflesbear 04 Dec 08 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,Joe G 04 Dec 08 - 03:18 PM
GUEST 05 Dec 08 - 08:52 AM
The Villan 05 Dec 08 - 11:23 AM
The Villan 05 Dec 08 - 12:04 PM
Marje 05 Dec 08 - 12:34 PM
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Subject: folk outside of clubs and festivals UK
From: GUEST,Guest No Fixed Abode
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 03:41 PM

I was not going to comment on this thread as I thought it would degenerate into an My clubs better than yours type thread but fair play it is refreshing to see everyone trying to help and understand.

So here are a few points that may add to the debate (or not!)


I read with interest the "what sort of folk club is yours" thread and it got me thinking about the fact that I have never seen a thread broadening the discussion about folk music outside the festival/folkclub arena yet I know from personal experience that folk music exists outside the clubs/festivals circuit

We are a duo who do occasional folk clubs and festival gigs but we could never earn a living doing this alone so as professionals we earn most of our income from Pub and "other venues" Now to explain……Pub gigs have a bad reputation among "Folkies" however we have found more than enough "good" pubs for us to survive for the last three years. Yes you have to be able to entertain and at times it can feel like missionary work but we believe that if folk music is to survive it has to come out of the "back room" and back into places where "ordinary" people reside. Now I should point out that the type of folk music we do in a pub situation is what the traditionalist would call common folk, and it is true that traditional folk would possibly struggle in a pub environment but if people do not hear even some folk music one thing is for sure it will disappear.. We accept that when we perform at pubs we are not going to get the public's attention or silence without earning it and it is so rewarding when you do shut the pub up, and at the end of the night it is great to get people coming up to you and saying things like "where did that song about the storms come from?" "Tell me more about that song,"

perhaps there should be another club called folk friendly pubs/bars I have not seen anyone talk about folk in bars/pubs yet it clearly exists, would it be interesting to know if folk music is actually migrating from the back room into the bar?

The second category is Other Venues and this may be more contentious but there are a number of clubs throughout the UK who do support folk music on occasions an example is last weekend when we supported a rock band called never the bride at a club called the pokey hole club. Tickets were £20.00 and the gig was sold out..200 people, full sound and light system and if we are not folk enough this club has over the years booked people like Derek Brimstone, Magna Carta, Colvin Quarmby Steve Tilston, We added over 40 people to our mailing list and sold 24 cd's so maybe there is an audience for folk that is not being tapped.

Places like the Musician in Leicester, The Boardwalk in Sheffield Blue cat café Stockport the Maze Nottingham.

It is always interesting to see how the Americana artists seem to be able to get there music into these types of clubs but having spoken to a number of these venues they rarely get approached by Folk artists for gigs…I am at a loss to explain why.

I do accept that I may have not put my points eloquently so please forgive me if I appear "harsh" I to want folk music to survive and thrive so my points are made with this in mind.

Tony


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Maryrrf
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 03:51 PM

You bring up a good point. I also play pubs (I'm in the United States) and while I must do the 'expected' pub songs, I weave traditional music into my repertoire. This is especially possible during the quieter times. For several years, I played at a pub on Sunday evenings. Little by little I introduced traditional ballads, usually telling the story before I sang the song. The audience got drawn in, and after a while we had a regular little Sunday group of people who came to hear the traditional stuff and would request it. I must agree with Tony - if you only do folk music in 'folk' venues you won't get any new people interested in the real thing.


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 04:23 PM

As I'm not a performer I have little to add to this thread other than to say how encouraging it is to see people doing this. I've long contended that the "folk scene" is but one tiny part of the larger world out there where folk music could be thriving. Personally, I'm not really a folk club type by preference (although I have dabbled!), and most of my friends, who are into music in a big way - including plenty of acoustic and folk-ish music - would not be seen dead (for all sorts of reasons) in a folk club. I believe by taking this stance, they're missing out on some good music that they'd enjoy. They'd say they have standards to maintain...

So more power to your elbow for taking whatever you're doing out into the real world!


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: melodeonboy
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 06:57 PM

"They'd say they have standards to maintain..."

I'm not having a go at you, Spleen Cringe. But I would like to know what "standards" your mates are referring to!

And I agree with your final comment.


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 07:21 PM

I have been a 'Serious' Entertainer/musician for nearly twenty years , doing 'Costume Theme' stuff - Medieval Banquets and such !
Nearly everything we do is 'Folk' (Ever LISTENED to 'proper' medieval from an Entertainment point of view) but what we do would be shouted down in a lot of 'Folk' venues . The Wild Rover MAY be hackneyed , but a hell of a lot of people are aware of it and DO Join In . AND we get well paid for doing it .


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Acorn4
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 08:07 PM

Agree with you 100% No Fixed Abode and have posted a comment with similar message on the What kind of club thread.


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 04:42 AM

"They'd say they have standards to maintain..."

Melodeonboy - good question. I've asked it myself. They generally cite crap experiences of rubbish nights out at not very good folk clubs and vow never to darken their doorsteps again...

Seriously, I think there are shedfuls of music fans out there who would enjoy folk music live, but because they have grown up with gigs and not clubs, would find the rather 'special' world of the folk club a bit twee and self-referential.

My feelings are that if they won't come to the clubs the music should be taken out into the real world. Where I suspect the best of it 'belongs' anyway.

And I'm not, I promise, having a pop at folk clubs by saying this.


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 04:45 AM

Sorry, me above


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: GUEST,No Fixed Abode
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 04:48 AM

Interesting comments so far ladies and gentlemen,

Marynf
       Good point about introducing people slowly to good music, would love to know if more people have had success doing this. We do a similar thing at one of our regular venues and yes the audience comes along with you.

Spleen Cringe
             Would love to know where you and your friends do go to listen to acoustic or folk type music and if you can give a general age I would be interested to know as I find different generations find live music in different ways. We go to a number of open mikes and we find at the risk of being ageist, that people under 30 tend to be at the open mikes whereas in the folk clubs the average age is a lot older.

Leadfingers,
            Interesting point you make as my partner Una worked in Bunratty Castle Ireland doing medieval banquets for 4 years so understand what you mean. We do still include the wild rover in our sets sometimes and it is with some irony that at a lot of singaround sessions in the UK the Irish songs prove to be the most popular and most well known. Wonder why that is? (Maybe another thread sometime.)

I would be interested in hearing from other musicians who may do some folk music as to where they perform outside of the usual folk and festival circuit. It would be nice to see where folk music permeates through to.

One area I know a number of folk musicians work in is the Nursing/care homes here in the UK are there others?

Thanks
Tony


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 05:22 AM

Tony, bad example - the Wild Rover is an English song.


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Banjiman
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 05:37 AM

OK NFA, we are complete musical tarts.......we (Blind Summat!)play a mixture of trad (English/ Scottish/Irish/American), contemporary and quite a few self penned (mainly but not exclusivly) "folky styled" and a few unexpected things. Some of the set is quite "American" sounding (Old Timey, some bluegrassy and a few covers from excellent song writers like Townes Van Zandt etc).

The other half (Wendy Arrowsmith)solo tends more towards the Scottish/ English trad with a few of her own traddy sounding songs.

We (and Wendy Solo)play in a whole mixture of places. Wendy gets a lot of Folk Club gigs, the band is starting to get some of these as well....and we seem to be made very welcome at some of the local small & medium sized "folk" festivals.

We also play pubs (probably my personal favourite gigs), "acoustic" nights, old folks homes, Women's Institute parties (which suit us very well as they tend to be local and not too long which makes getting a baby sitter easier, well paid, they buy LOTS of CDs and the cakes are excellent!), birthday parties.... well anything really.

Wendy is playing to the Christmas shoppers in Middlesbrough next Thursday afternoon as an example.

I think our experience is that you can get away with "proper folk" (we do a version of The Cruel Mother on Congas, fiddle and DADGAD guitar for instance) as long it is part of a mixed set where people recognise some of the songs and tunes. Entertainment and competence are the key factors to engaging the public, not style..... and not taking yourself too seriously.

There is nothing quite as satisfying as playing to an initially disinterested (or hostile, see "What kind of Folk Club" thread)pub crowd, getting them on side and ending up having a really good night. Secret weapons for this include things like female solo unaccompanied singing (often trad.... "Recuited Collier" works well as does "She Moves Through The Fair" {I know it's not trad!}), which can quieten the noisiest venue or something really upbeat and familiar e.g.Irish Rover or a set of upbeat Old Timey tunes which gets peoples toes tapping.

BTW, we really enjoy Folk Club gigs as well.....it is a different challenge though.

NFA....is this the sort of thing you wanted?

Cheers

Paul


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 05:49 AM

I think what you are doing is brilliant, Tony. I started the 'what type of folk club' thread, purposely not including pubs and other venues because they have not, up to now, been seen as included in the 'folk scene'. I hope you have noticed though that I have strongly advocated taking folk out into the bars as a potential way forward. Good luck to you for doing just that already.

I am glad to say that you are not on your own either. I have friends who have been paid, by pubs, to go and play 'popular' folk music. Oddest one was a new Irish bar who wanted folk music, regardless of whether it was Irish or not! They paid well apparantly:-)

A local duo, the Likes of Us, comprised of Rob and Vern - Vern is no longer with us, rest his soul, made a good living in the local pubs and clubs. It used to frighted Rob to death when he did the folk club - He always said he didn't like people actualy listening to him:-)

One final thing, just to show you can find folk in the oddest situations. At our recent Ceilidh the room next door were hosting their regular Friday Karaoke night. It was fine and didn't 'bleeed through' or anything but late on, when the band were done (thanks again Greg and co:-) ) we were listening to people murdering various songs when the last one came up - A very passable version of 'The Blackpool Belle'!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 06:48 AM

This is a very good question. For me, folk clubs and festivals are just a part of the vibrant folk scene around us. I suppose a part of our social life is, to some extent, an extension of the clubs we go to where many of the people are personal friends. This means we often have parties (which can take place at home, in village halls or outbuildings) and a major part of that is people having a sing or a play. I wouldn't class it as performing, it's just mates making music and having a good time. Invitations usually say 'bring a bottle and instruments'.

At festivals, too, some of the most entertaining times have been 'after hours' when people get to together for impromptu singarounds.

I feel that this is, in many ways, more in the true spirit of folk music than formal performances or organised events (much as I enjoy these, too). Everyone can have a go or join in and there's nobody around to criticise or say that someone isn't good enough (just as well, considering how drunk some of us get!). Quite often these can go on all night and at several festivals we have been asked by stewards to keep the volume down (sorry!).


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 07:22 AM

The Leveller, can I come to your parties please?

Went to a lovely little eclectic music fest this year. Lots of Eastern European Folk acts, amid the hippy techno festi music, but no native folk. The presence of such a lot of European folk, spurred me to ask the guy who's organised the show for many years if he ever puts on more native traditional folk acts? He said no, it just never happens.

With every other kind of music going there, I was more than perplexed at the complete absence of any native folk, not just that year, but *ever*. I just thought 'huh?'

As I was, and indeed still am, only a newb to folk in general, I didn't quite get if there was something up with that, or not. Of course I know there are lots of dedicated folk festivals, but I'm curious about eclectic music festivals and indeed other eclectic music venues. Does folk live in a bubble? Or is this anecdote a purely personal, isolated and unrepresentative one?


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 07:49 AM

"The Leveller, can I come to your parties please?"

Certainly, Rosie. Not sure when the next one will be. We're in disgrace in the village at the moment since our 17-year old son organised a party in the village hall right opposite our house, someone posted it on Facebook, around 500 yobs turned up and the whole night had to have a continual police presence! And, of course, it's the parents who get the blame even though we had nothing to do with it... we weren't even invited!

Actually, I think it's about time for another 'Mushroom Shed Session' organised by a vet friend of ours in a huge disused mushroom shed she has on her land. Wonderful acoustics, well away from civilisation and plenty of room for tents and caravans around. Plus she does the most amazing food and we usually end up dancing round a bonfire – she's pretty good at skin grafts, too. Must mention it when I next see her.


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Banjiman
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 07:56 AM

Leveller, Rosie.....we have monthly "Front Room Folk" bashes up here in North Yorks (sometime County Durham, W. Yorks, Teeside).....very laid back singaround/ sess type things.

If you are interested pm me and I'll get the organiser (using the word loosely of course) to put you on the circulation email list. We are hosting Oct next year......but please don't put it on Facebook!

Paul


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 08:20 AM

The Leveller, ooh, a promised invite... heh! I wasn't being weird & pushy btw. Just a bit cheeky...

But of course, now you're bound by words in text on't forum. ;-)

Seriously, your do's sound real fun. If you mean it, and I'm able, I'd be very much up for it.

As for embarassing young folk, heh, no excuses, you bred 'em that way. But what exactly does one do with 60's parents who ain't got over it yet...? There's nuthing to rebel against. No wonder I'm a boring adult now. My parents squandered all my rightfully inherited genetic Rock & Roll quotient!

Rosie the blagger


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 08:21 AM

I've done a few charity Lancashire nights over the past couple of years with a number of people including a clog dancer or two and whilst we tend to get a number of our "Folkie" friends to come along, many people who buy tickets have never been to a folk club but they enjoy what we put on for them. OK we don't sing endless Child ballads - more the likes of what the Spinners were singing on the telly 30 years ago but everybody has a good time and joins in. I have a repertoire of stuff that isn't "folk" as some people would class it - 20s and 30s variety songs from Weston and Lee, and Billy Merson - the number of people who come up when I've sung "The Spaniard that Blighted my Life" and tell me that their Dad used to sing that!
The other outlet I've been doing recently is Women's Institutes (I've got one on Friday). Similar sort of repertoire but it always goes down well and you usually get fed and watered with scones and jam and gallons of tea - great stuff!

Cheers
Mark


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: GUEST,Essex Girl
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 09:17 AM

In Kent there are several pubs which welcome 'roving minstrels'. The Good Intent at Rochester has regular evening and weekend sessions.The Fos & Hounds at Romney Street has a session every Monday and the Greyhound in Maidstone has one fortnightly.Travelling Folk perform twice a month in a variety of pubs in Kent & East Sussex. Anyone is welcome to listen or to join in. Folk Mob did the same in South East London until the pubs got taken over by landlords wanting the juvenile trade with loud electronic music. We also have 'house parties' where anyone who wants to come and play is invited.(Just bring a bottle and your instruments)


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Fidjit
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 11:50 AM

We have to do a lot of explaining over here in Scandinavia.
Mr. and Mrs Average have usually heard of the Dubliners or Fairport Convention. But little else.
So it helps to explain that there's another world out there than just the "River Dance" stuff, Kilgarry Mountain and the Wild Rover.

There are groups that have their fingers on the puls. They have even translated "Matty Groves" and the Child Ballad No10. The Cruel Sister etc. into Norwegian ! Even, would you believe "Gathering Corn" !!

The Swedes translate everything that's Pop to do their "Covers" Gigs.

I do a lot of Libraries or Church gigs these days. There the audience is up to listening to what the song has to say.

I also have song sheets which I pass around. With, at least, the choruses there so that they can follow along.

There are not that many folk clubs as such so you have to diversify to get the folk message across.

Folk Music wise. There's a vast amount of it over here. Mostly for dancing. Which I'm finding is a lot of fun. Bit like English Barn Dances or if you like English Country Dances.

Getting more and more Swedish tunes in my repertoire.

Chas


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 12:06 PM

Excellent thread topic. Many folkies need reminding that the folk scene has precious litle to do with the folk. The scene grew up from the 50/60's revival, and the clubs and festivals developed as places where people could preserve and experiment with material of folk origin. Forty years later, you can't help feeling that the stuff ought to be re-released into the wild: quite a lot of performers are doing that, and fair play to them, but there is another whole range of performers who rarely venture even to dip a toe into the wider world.
There are a huge range of non-folk venues that employ a lot of folk acts, and it's a great pity that more specialist folk performers aren't prepared to try their skills in the general music venues, the pubs, the non-folk festivals etc etc. And it doesn't have to involve wearing long dresses or minstrel hats and going to Bunratty! Glastonbury Festival is a good place to start: put your music alongside rock and jazz and other stuff, and see how it all fits together. You'll enjoy it.


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Zen
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 12:06 PM

It's a long time since I've attended a folk club and even longer since I was a regular at one (not thick on the ground where I live).

But I play in pubs that welcome music, usually as a session, once or twice a week plus "house session" and other non-club things (I have access to a local community facility) as and when time and peoples' availabilities permit.

Zen


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: GUEST,No Fixed Abode
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 06:42 PM

Sorry I have not been able to respond..........busy day.......

Manitas at home
I have read the mudcat thread on the origins of wild rover and I guess the more I read the more it appears that no one can give a definitive answer so let's all share it!

Paul,
      Yes I thought your info would be really useful for someone starting out trying to find somewhere to play folk music. Have done a few WI'S and you are right they are great fun but can lead to sudden weight gain!

Dave,
    Your thread started me thinking and led to this thread. Folk Karaoke.........now there is yet another idea!! I can see it now...at a festival near you ..in the beer tent....Oh nurse the screens!!

Leveller,
          So it is YOU who has stopped me getting my ugly sleep at festivals.... I can see your point..... however because I sometimes have to drive us home from a festival night as we have a gig the next day I have had to stay sober and some of the late night sessions I have seen have been....well lets just say that had they been video's some people would have red faces..... Like gathering in peoples homes for music.....again we get 5-10 bookings a year for private parties in people's houses....

Sleepy Rosie,
             Good point.....we have not tried the alt festivals and I have assumed rightly or wrongly that this is more the home of the "young" folks... would love to hear any young folks opinion on this.

Mark,
    Interesting that WI's come up again could they be unwittingly helping a type of folk music to survive...has anyone ever done a "tour" of WI's

Essex girl,
          We have performed at Rochester Sweeps festival a few years ago so know the pubs...what response do you get from the locals? Are the evenings attracting people in to the pub or are the locals leaving the pub to the singers?

Chas,
    Una my partner's sister lives in Malmo so Una has been to Sweden. Interested in the Church gigs as here in the UK churches are doing a lot more live music but at the moment it seems to be classical/coral/light opera. Churches would seem a natural fit for folk music so anyone have an idea why folk is not in churches (or have I missed it)

Greg,
    Very interesting point..Why do established performers not try and do missionary work by playing non folk/festival gigs? these people should be our ambassadors..........very interesting point and will think about this one............anyone else have a thought about this?

Zen,
    You are another member of the unsung folk heroes!

thank you for the comments so far.

Tony


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Anne Lister
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 02:51 AM

Recent gigs include the Farmswomen's Club in a local village for their Christmas Tea (weight gain? Don't talk to me about weight gain! Had to almost fight off the third mince pie!), the Abergavenny History Society and the Govilon Gardening Club. I have a feeling more will follow as the word spreads, but the fees aren't great even if it's nice to be fed.
Oh, and some Brownie and Guide evenings. This is more to do with my storytelling, but the music goes down well too.

Anne


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: theleveller
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 03:44 AM

Paul, thanks for that - I'll pm you.

Rosie, next time we have a party there are quite a few catters who we'll want to invite - you know who you are!


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 03:51 AM

I should mention that we are having a sunday afternoon song/session on the 28th December at the Nag's Head Lower Stoke Kent ME3 9RD and certainly a few locals have said to me that they are looking forward to it.


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: GUEST,Rafflesbear
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 08:49 AM

taken from the Norcsalordie website

"We want to bring folk music to life - to rescue Folk and Traditional music from its staid musty image. We want to take it out of its little box and share it with as wide an audience as possible - reaching people who would never consider going to a folk club while still appealing to dedicated folk fans with open minds.

We are passionate about it - our motivation is to see you out there in the audience really enjoying yourselves at our gigs - singing, clapping and dancing."

I believe you could literally count their appearances in Folk Clubs on one hand but in the last year they have performed in the region of 150 full gigs from Leeds to Taunton to Broadstairs including appearaces at venues that are mainly Rock orientated - latest example Saturday 29 November

OK they have to mix in the popular standards but they still include both the obscure and their own material. This comment from a member of the audience in Somerset is not unusual - "You have just converted someone who hates folk music - as soon as Mike Harding comes on I turn off - I should have been home an hour and a half ago"

There is a selection of their material on YouTube


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Marje
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 08:57 AM

Don't forget the pub "session" scene. Can't speak for the US, but in the UK, pub sessions usually take place in a bar where members of the public are also there for a drink. These sessions tend to be mainly instrumental, but most of them include the odd song - sometimes something upbeat that the instruments can join in with, but also occasional unaccompanied solos, which often make the passing punters stop in their tracks and listen in. In fact, if there's no singing, the listeners-in sometimes ask for a song.

So this is, if you like, another aspect of the "missionary" approach to the music. It takes place very much on our (the musicians') terms, but the public often enjoy what they hear and get drawn in to it. If they don't like it they can usually find some other part of the pub out of earshot, or at least retreat to a corner where they can treat it like musical wallpaper. So it's not like a folk club where you're stuck there for the evening whether you like it or not. I think that's a very easy way for non-folkies to begin to get familiar with some of our tunes and songs, withour having to make any big commitment or paying to listen.

Marje


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: folkypaul
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 02:09 PM

I once mc'd a folk club in the bar of a pub in reigate, surrey.

The landlord bought drinks for every singer/musician that played and I often asked complete strangers if they wanted to sing a song.

If they said they didn't know any "folk" songs, I'd tell them to sing anything they wanted to.

We got a lot of different songs at times.

PaulO


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 06:28 AM

The thing about performance is that it is a skill.

There are many facets to it.

The people who make their living (or incapable of earning a living, but have their being - the one trick ponies) who do nothing but folk clubs and festivals where the respectful audiences live - they sneer at the musicians who have in their eyes sold out. They exclude them from their radio shows, 'serious' magazines, poncy record labels - and that's how the serious artists can be regularly seen pissing away creative opportunities that more versatile and flexible thinking artists could make work. They've stayed in the shallows of folkworld all their lives - so they never go off the deep end and make much of a splash.

In fairness to them to the 'serious' artists - you aren't going to learn to do one of the 'big' ballads gigging the lounge of the Dog and Duck. Mind you, it has to be that if you stay in the folkclubs theres no guarantee you will either. For every John Kelly and Brian Peters there are two hundred who've never learnt to engage with the audience at all - they just expect the audience (if there is one) to sit there and 'appreciate' them reading from an exercise book tattooed on the inside their eyelids.

We need both inputs and we need a degree more respect from 'the powers that be' for the thoroughly professional outfits like No Fixed Abode who venture out of Hundred Acre Wood.


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Joe G
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 08:16 AM

I'm just about to start running an acoustic night at The Raggalds Inn near Queensbury in West Yorkshire on Fridays starting in the New Year - it will be interesting to see if that proves to be sustainable given that it is quite a remote location.

My intention is to have the best quality acts I can afford with the budget I have been given by the landlord as I believe only by keeping quality at a high level can you hope to keep people's interest. I think this is where some folk clubs struggle as quality can be variable to say the least. I would rather have someone good appear several times over a season than compromise on quality just to have a different artist every week.

I will let people know how it goes!


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: GUEST,Rafflesbear
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 10:45 AM

Amen to that weelittledrummer

sorry everyone - a bit of business here -

Joe - is this a club or just a pub? If it's a pub let me recommend Norcsalordie they will give you up to 3 hours exciting energetic folk music that will put a smile on the faces of the punters and the landlord

Don't take my word for it - read the unsolicited comments on the home page for references and visit the demos page to hear and see them - there is an enquiries page for a quote


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 03:18 PM

Thanks for tht - I will check them out!


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 08:52 AM

Definately agree with the sentiment of releasing folk into the wild. One of the most perplexing things I've experienced is being in a room full of people singing songs at each other, with the rest of the non-folkie people in the pub/club stuck on the otherside of the (closed) door!

One of the best things I've seen when on Morris tours around the country, is informal sessions springing up in pubs etc with the locals very much part of the fun. Although not the intended purpose (they're done because we enjoy them!), they probably do more to spread folk music & song that a host of clubs do. Not having a go at clubs by the way, they exist to serve a different purpose, but closed doors lead to closed minds?
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: The Villan
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 11:23 AM

I think that with the demise of the pub, there is a wonderful world out there for Village halls. I am a very strong "save the village hall" person, and have been putting folk on for 5 years at Village Halls.
We now run concerts which get very well attended partly by the villagers but 2/3rds are from the surrounding area.
The villagers that attend, are always gobsmacked at the variety and qualty of performers out there. The problem is that a lot of people won't go to pubs, whereas there is a crying need for community based venues such as Village Halls.
The rural arts scheme goes a long way to helping performers and venues by giving subsidies to the organisers. I have only used that option once, but non the less it is a cheaper way of getting some of the top quality entertainment into the village.

An example is Corringham Village Hall near Gainsborough Lincolnshire who this month have Martin Simpson on through the Rural Arts Scheme.

Les


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: The Villan
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 12:04 PM

No Fixed Abode

With a voice like that (una) and guitar to match (Tony), how could it not work.
Una is blessed to have a voice like that. Tony on the other hand is a very good guitarist who complements Una's voice, like 2 jigsaw pieces locking together.
Having seen them live, I can say that they are really worth seeing if they are in your area.

I'll PM my address for the fiver Tony. :-)


Les gets his whisky :-)


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Subject: RE: folk outside of clubs and festivals
From: Marje
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 12:34 PM

I agree, Guest, that morris gatherings make another very strong contribution to bringing folk into the wider community. But you've got to admit, the sort of singing that will work in a crowded pub has to be very robust, and the singers pretty thick-skinned (I should know, I've done it often enough!).

But I believe there's also a place for the closed-off club, and I don't see anything weird about it. In almost all instances, anyone who wants to can come in and listen or sing, as long as they pay any entrance money (often required for the hire of the room) and abide by the etiquette of the club. It's not very different from many other sorts of hobby or pastime for which enthusiasts gather - art clubs, drama groups, poetry clubs, etc.

This sort of club is the only place that keen singers and musicians can get together and concentrate on what they're doing, and listen to each other without outside interruptions. Sure, there are some members of such clubs who only ever perform in that setting, but there are lots more - probably the majority, in my experience- who also take part in open sessions, informal gigs, and other public music-making of various sorts. For many of us, all these are valid and worthwhile ways of making and sharing our music.

Marje


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