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2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened

GUEST,Tom Bliss 14 Dec 08 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 14 Dec 08 - 12:06 PM
Phil Edwards 14 Dec 08 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Joe G 14 Dec 08 - 12:09 PM
Leadfingers 14 Dec 08 - 12:41 PM
The Borchester Echo 14 Dec 08 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Mr Oldbugger 14 Dec 08 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 14 Dec 08 - 01:10 PM
Folknacious 14 Dec 08 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Joe G 14 Dec 08 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,Mr Oldbugger 14 Dec 08 - 01:41 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Dec 08 - 01:54 PM
The Borchester Echo 14 Dec 08 - 02:55 PM
Phil Edwards 14 Dec 08 - 03:01 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Dec 08 - 03:50 PM
Folknacious 14 Dec 08 - 04:00 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Dec 08 - 04:09 PM
greg stephens 14 Dec 08 - 04:12 PM
Big Al Whittle 14 Dec 08 - 08:31 PM
Ruth Archer 15 Dec 08 - 03:45 AM
Richard Bridge 15 Dec 08 - 05:19 AM
greg stephens 15 Dec 08 - 05:29 AM
Ruth Archer 15 Dec 08 - 05:36 AM
Banjiman 16 Dec 08 - 04:30 AM
Ruth Archer 16 Dec 08 - 06:12 AM
TheSnail 16 Dec 08 - 06:57 AM
Ruth Archer 16 Dec 08 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Guest folkie 18 Dec 08 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Toothless Mary 03 Apr 09 - 08:39 AM
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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 11:57 AM

Thanks for that thoughtful post Marje.

I do sympathise with those who would like the BBC awards to favour traditional material, because we certainly need to keep that flag flying as high as we possibly can in England - if not the other British countries. Scotland still has a Young Tradition award and Wales and Ireland have other ways of highlighting both young, traditional and young traditional music - but we all need all the help we can get.

However I think those who object to this year's winners of the YFA are missing a really really important point: That it's not only the final winner who benefits. ALL the contestants gain massively from the experience and the exposure, and the finalists gain almost as much as the winners.*

And there was a good spread of styles including trad represented across the board this year - as there usually is. Certainly there's always been a goodly dollop of Young Trad in the YFA.

Now, in the UK, we have this persistent problem when it comes to selling traditional music; The Silo Effect. The 'Traditional' brand image is damaged by various misconceptions, and the general public does not respond to it in the ways that we might like.

If we did have a contest which only permitted traditional music, it would be - sadly - a great deal harder to get it up the flagpole. That is, I believe, why the BBC sets the brief it does, (and incidentally why the MH show and the R2FA have the brief they do as well) - the idea being to embrace a wide interpretation of FRAT styles, and so maximise the audience and all that goes with it.

Smoops seems to have done this very well. And on the night one act at one end of the spectrum came out, clearly, on top (as seems to be universally agreed by those who were there, never mind the judges). It might have been someone at the 'trad' end, or way off in the 'roots' dimension, but the point was that all these talented youngsters deserved to be there, they all got an excellent showcase at a prestigious venue, and a massive audience heard them all - and were impressed by them all.

And I suspect that if we could ask any of the past competitors what they'd got out of it, they'd say 'a lot.' I suspect they'd all endorse the judges decisions on the night, and I doubt any would feel they'd 'failed to get the recognition they deserved'.

Cups 90% full all round, I'd say.

Bottoms up!

Tom

*Which is why I'm agitating for additional nominations and awards in the R2FA, NOT to change the system to alter the typical outcome.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 12:06 PM

Sorry second para should go:

"those who object to the inclusion of this year's winners in the YFA"


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 12:08 PM

Cups 90% full all round, I'd say.

Bottoms up!


But, but... they won't be 90% full any more if we do that...

Tangentially, I was talking to my sister a while back about a friend of mine whose attitude to life is essentially "not only is the glass half full, but half a glass is exactly the amount I wanted". My sister and I agreed that we were more "I think somebody's knocked my glass over..."


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 12:09 PM

As Tom suggests if we did have a competition that was just based on traditional music the audience would be tiny thus benefiting all the finalists less. I suspect that the existing competition only has a fairly small audience so restricting it further would be plain bonkers! Don't get me wrong - I love some traditional music but I also recognise that the idea of trad is a real turn off for some people and the last thng we want to do is to lose any potential audience from such events. As I said earlier we should celebrate the fact that young people are valuing acoustic music and do not all want to be in rock bands or become DJ's (not that there is anything wrong with those that do of course)!

Greg - that comment on Jim (whom I admire greatly) certainly doesn't sound like coming from a member of a baying pack - it seems pretty reasonable to me!


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 12:41 PM

Perhaps Ms Easby ewas being ironic again ??


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 12:47 PM

That thread about "new face of f*lk" contained a lot of vile putdown and I remembered Greg Stephens dismissing Jim Moray's music as "messing about with computers" Musicians down the ages have always used what's to hand as it became available and presumably the first C19 player to use a box to accompany a Morris side was ridiculed by the backward-looking old sods of the day: "Oh, they'll never catch on . . . "

[Just wondering when the outcry about Low Culture is going to break out. Are you all waiting for All You Pretty Girls to win Best Original Song at the Folk Awards or are you going to pass on that one since Smoothops didn't manage to get it nominated for Best Trad Song?]


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Mr Oldbugger
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 12:56 PM

I'm in my early 50's, and I want to perform only Trad 'folk' songs on vintage analog
electronic musical equipment.
[no modern digital, I'm a hardcore traditionalist !!!]
This will be a new project outside of my usual band.
I've never perfomed 'solo' in public before, so will be essentially, a 'new singer'.
Which 2009 BBC Radio 2 Award should my Agent/Publicist enter me for ?
thankyou..


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 01:10 PM

Although I'm sure he can look after himself here's Greg Stephens quoting what he himself actually said in 2003:

"Jim Moray is having a play about with computers, as are many other people.Fair play to them. The music's out there to play with. Enjoy yourselves. Time will sort the wheat from the chaff." (surely the soul of sweet reasonableness?).

And in spite of Diane Easby having this re-quote readily available for reference, here's what she still insists she thought Mr Stephens said:

"I remembered Greg Stephens dismissing Jim Moray's music as "messing about with computers""

Why are you so desperate to rush to the defence of the young and the new, Ms Easby? Surely our chosen musical field is one where the old and traditional have, at least, some relevance. Have you ever thought that you might be in the wrong field?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folknacious
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 01:33 PM

Like I said earlier, this is really no different from the people who want folk banned from World music awards because this year Jim Moray won. Nobody made any such noises the previous 10 years when Africans always won. The same goes for the Young Folk Award - every year it has been won by somebody playing traditional music, but this year it was won by somebody in a different branch of what some people categorise as folk. On these statistics its no more likely that a singer songwriter will win next year than that a folk record will win the world poll, so why all the fuss and wanting the rules changed. Both won this year because the people who vote judged them the best. Why not let them enjoy their deserved wins and move on - there are worse things happening in the world, including some that may have a much worse effect on music making.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 01:36 PM

I do start to worry a little about what people think about our discussions here (if anyone but us reads them which I believe they do) - it could get as bad as when I and others had to leap to the defence of the Folk Prom on the R3 MB due to the narrowmindedness of some of the R3 classical audience.

Surely there is room for all musicans - old and young, contemporary and traditional in the 'folk' world. Narrow mindedness and bigoted attitudes will surely lead the way to the extinction of the very music we love. What Jim and other musicans like him do is help keep the music alive and relevant and surely we can all be thankful for that whilst still enjoying more traditional approaches if that is what we prefer. Neither is better or worse - they are just different and therein lies the interest which music must sustain to survive.

So here is a toast to all those fantastic people who perform with relatively little in the way of recognition or reward and by their efforts make all our lives so much richer.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Mr Oldbugger
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 01:41 PM

..point is, should any of us be so keen to passively allow our future creative 'culture'
to be determined by the outcome and interests of any corporate media showbiz 'talent' contests..

phone lines are open now.......


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 01:54 PM

If the Irish can get mass audiences for competitions about traditional music, why can't we (the English)? It can't be because we tolerate incompetence, for that will not be demonstrated in a competition, will it?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:55 PM

My post of 13 December @ 0935 commenced with:

I did not intend to return to the subject of Jim Moray's courageous post some miles above because I suspect he would now like to place the way he was treated on this forum behind him.

Some scribblers are intent neither on heeding that nor in reading the rest of that extensive contribution which collated numerous other matters arising. Such is the nature of the literacy-challenged Mudcat pond.

I touched on how not only had Jim Moray not been declared a YFA winner but neither had his sister, Jackie Oates, also at the age of 20, the competition's upper limit. That was four years ago yet the post immediately following appears to be holding out a vain hope for a Jackie Oates win. Like her brother, she's well esconced in the grown-up FAs now, thank you, and far too unnew and unyoung to qualify.

Then someone went on to wonder if I was in the "wrong field". As I also wrote in that post, I spent last night sitting literally at the feet of Dave Swarbrick and found the grass really most verdant, thanks, although (as I touched on), the magnificently far-reaching repertoire would have been way out of the comprehension of the types so aptly encapsulated in the thread I just looked at about why the stereotypical, past sell-by "f*lk club" is dying. Bring on the wood for the funeral pyre.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:01 PM

Narrow mindedness and bigoted attitudes will surely lead the way to the extinction of the very music we love.

Obviously(?) I'm not advocating narrow-mindedness and bigotry, but I really think it's a problem when music which has no attributes unique to folk music - nothing to say that it's folk music and not some other kind of music - is accepted as being folk music, let alone hailed as a particularly excellent example of folk music. That way, surely, lies the end of 'folk' as anything other than an optional label for certain styles of pop music.

But no, we shouldn't be beastly to the Henwoods*: the problem's not with them, or even with the judges on the night who rated them highest. The problem's "folk" being used as shorthand for "folk and" ("and acoustic" in this case).

*Feels weird typing the name: one of my best friends at school was a Henwood. Wonder if they're related?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:50 PM

Ah well. Plenty of fertiliser on that grass, obviously.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folknacious
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 04:00 PM

Pip: "folk" has been used as a label for anybody who plays anything with an acoustic guitar, writes their own songs, plays unplugged, has a beard etc since at least the 1960s. One newspaper recently claimed the popularity of an American band called the Fleet Foxes who sound like Crosby Stills & Young, have acoustic guitars and beards meant that "folk" was hip again. Thats why all these "what is folk" and "so-and-so isn't folk" arguments are pointless because the world in general has its own idea of what folk is. Why not say "traditional music" or better still something specific like "irish traditional music" if that's what you mean. Both lots of BBC Folk Awards are run by Radio 2 - popular mainstream station, popular mainstream labeling - and the young ones are not called the Young Tradition like they used to be. In Scotland they have Traditional music awards, no confusion. Traditional music from everywhere in the world will fare much better by being called traditional music and not being confused with what the global music industry calls folk. They won ages ago I'm afraid - there's not point keeping fighting long lost battles. I'm very happy that lots of people playing good traditional-ish music get into the finals of both sets of Folk Awards each year, and win on the whole.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 04:09 PM

Folknacious, this is under discussion on the "What is Acoustic Music" thread.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 04:12 PM

"I remembered Greg Stephens dismissing Jim Moray's music as "messing about with computers".
Diane Easeby, that is a quote of yours. I am not resposible for your inaccarate memory. I said no such thing, as you know, I have writen on this thread what I actually said. I have always been a champion and admirer of Jim Moray from his very early days, as anyone who reads what I have to say knows.Far from dismissing him,. I have consistently singled him out as someone to watch out for. I always work with young people, and I hope I am reasonably good at encouraging them.
Incidentally, unlike a lot of Johnny-come-latelies round here, I have been playing around with computers myself, since 1968. It's fun!


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 08:31 PM

The Irish have a totally different (more rural more epic sense of self as you see in American couintry music - as opposed 'oh shit! i'm a victim! I've been transported, flogged, fucked over school of English folskong') sort of society from us. Thats why it works over there.

that's why it doesn't work over here. As the Irish are always pointing out - they are a separate nation.

would I say what Dave Swarbrick does isn't folk?

No. But then again I'm not the one who kept on bleating that every ten year old in Kerry could play better fiddle than dave. that was yer actual traddies.

At some point you will have to take on board the fact that all the subject matter of all the significant folksongs of our islands came from the working classes. And its most unlikely anything similar is going to come from the middle classes - who tend by and large to have different preoccupations - mainly preserving old stuff - as opposed to survival by means of tooth and claw.

but then you've been choosing (for the last thirty years) to present folkmusic in a way that civilians - non residents of folk city - will find puzzling and unintelligible.

I had this discussion with someone recently on mudcat and he took it as some sort of vindication of his point of view that he did gigs at PTA's not just folkclubs - which the traddies systematically emptied somewhere round 1974...

As any teacher will tell you, there is this huge trenche of people that won't go near schools - not for parents evening - not for love nor money. And I'm sorry to say its that class of people, the folksongs come from.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 03:45 AM

WLD, are you finished with your prolier than thou rant? Excellent. Because I'm not really sure what it has to do with the price of eggs.

As someone who is always giving out about the narrow boundaries that traditionalists place around folk music, I'd have thought that you would heartily approve of this year's R2 YFA winners. After all, they beat two young, unaccompanied traditional singers and a load of fiddle-dee-dee instrumental types, didn't they? So what's the problem?

Oh, that's right: it's that you and your mates have never been acknowledged in the same way. So that makes these kids crap, and the people that you rate as far superior talents (I repeat, that YOU rate - because this is ALWAYS about personal taste and opinion, and NOT about absolutes of quality, which are virtually imossible to quantify in an artistic context) victims. You clearly feel you've been fucked over. Sounds like you ought to write an English folk song about it.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:19 AM

You know, Al, I would not dream of saying that the working classes were too idle stupid or feckless to give a shit about their history. Why do you say it?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:29 AM

To edge a little back towards the topic of this thread, that Joe Henwood is a quite extraordinarily fine sax player: given his age, almost miraculously so, I think. I am not talking about technique or any boring stuff like that: just going by what it sounds like.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:36 AM

They remind me a bit of early Everything But The Girl.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Banjiman
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 04:30 AM

"They remind me a bit of early Everything But The Girl. "

Which is a really good thing......but it isn't a folk thing!


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 06:12 AM

Banjiman,I understand your reservations. But like Diane, I think "folk" is almost a meaningless term. I'll fight like a scary fighting thing to keep definable parameters around the definition of "traditional" (at least in the UK - there's very little we can do about the wierd American/Grammy Awards definition, I expect) but folk means so many things now. If John Tams can sing original songs with Barry Coope accompanying him on an electric keyboard and it's folk; if I can sit in a music session next to tenor sax, oboe or clarinet players and it's folk; if what Karine Polwart does is folk; why is what Megan and Joe are doing not folk? Would Karine stop being folk, for instance, if she introduced a sax player?

EBTG were an acoustic duo (till the whole drum n bass thing, but i'm referring to their earlier stuff). It was intelligently written acoustic music, which is what much of the world would categorise as folk. What Megan and Joe are doing, for me, sits well within those parameters.

Personally, I'm really encouraged by the fact that there were two unaccompanied, traditional-style singers in the finals. I think that speaks volumes about the health of the tradition among young people.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 06:57 AM

Ruth, would you book Everything But The Girl for Sidmouth?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 08:39 AM

In a heartbeat.

I'm not saying I'd fill the programme with them or bands like them, but festivals do need to represent a range of music, which some will consider "folk" and some will not. EBTG, one night only in the Ham marquee? Why not? I also book bands that I would not necessarily listen to myself, because it's not just about my personal taste.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Guest folkie
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 10:29 AM

Interesting thread, some real emotion from some posters on a subject which is close to our hearts. Having listened to the radio show i was struck by the craft and maturity of the performers, including Megan and Joe. To me,and no i don't know her' Megan sounded great and i think she, and her brother, are clearly a bit of a find and in that way they are an exciting choice because they have a 'crossover' sound,elements of folk, (story telling,english perspective) of pop ( accessable songs)and jazz. No of course its not trad. roots folk but it sits perfectly well, for me, within a broader folk music spectrum. I also love and value our traditional folk music forms but interesting and challenging crossover's have a place within the genre as well.

Brian Bailey


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Toothless Mary
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 08:39 AM

Message for Ruth Archer,

Thanks for the things you said about our band further up the page. To settle debates raised by other people, we do write our own material but this is equally balanced with traditional ceilidh tunes all of which are played in our style. I do believe we are not the first band out there to put a twist on already traditional tunes and as a group we pride ourselves in being able to fuse influences from our different backgrounds to make the style (hopefully) fresh and interesting. Unfortunately though to answer an earlier query our ages range from 19 - 25 which eliminates the possibility of the award- Which is a big shame.

a good forum though


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