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should the BBC folk awards be scrapped

The Sandman 10 Feb 09 - 11:01 AM
terrier 10 Feb 09 - 11:06 AM
Mr Happy 10 Feb 09 - 11:15 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 10 Feb 09 - 11:26 AM
Tim Leaning 10 Feb 09 - 11:35 AM
wyrdolafr 10 Feb 09 - 11:46 AM
LesB 10 Feb 09 - 11:50 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 10 Feb 09 - 12:04 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 10 Feb 09 - 12:04 PM
Folknacious 10 Feb 09 - 12:12 PM
The Borchester Echo 10 Feb 09 - 12:13 PM
The Villan 10 Feb 09 - 12:17 PM
greg stephens 10 Feb 09 - 01:00 PM
greg stephens 10 Feb 09 - 01:01 PM
peregrina 10 Feb 09 - 01:01 PM
TheSnail 10 Feb 09 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 10 Feb 09 - 01:25 PM
Tim Leaning 10 Feb 09 - 01:31 PM
The Sandman 10 Feb 09 - 01:37 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 10 Feb 09 - 01:37 PM
Folkiedave 10 Feb 09 - 01:50 PM
TheSnail 10 Feb 09 - 02:17 PM
Joe Offer 10 Feb 09 - 02:28 PM
The Sandman 10 Feb 09 - 02:35 PM
Jack Blandiver 10 Feb 09 - 02:45 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 10 Feb 09 - 03:39 PM
peregrina 10 Feb 09 - 03:47 PM
Folkiedave 10 Feb 09 - 04:11 PM
Folkiedave 10 Feb 09 - 04:13 PM
Jack Campin 10 Feb 09 - 04:20 PM
BB 10 Feb 09 - 04:24 PM
BB 10 Feb 09 - 04:35 PM
Dave Sutherland 10 Feb 09 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Edthefolkie 10 Feb 09 - 05:53 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Feb 09 - 05:56 PM
Eric the Viking 10 Feb 09 - 06:08 PM
Howard Jones 10 Feb 09 - 06:19 PM
steve_harris 10 Feb 09 - 06:53 PM
Folknacious 10 Feb 09 - 07:54 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Feb 09 - 03:35 AM
Stu 11 Feb 09 - 03:58 AM
Dave Sutherland 11 Feb 09 - 03:58 AM
Betsy 11 Feb 09 - 04:04 AM
le cheffie 11 Feb 09 - 04:09 AM
The Sandman 11 Feb 09 - 04:13 AM
The Borchester Echo 11 Feb 09 - 04:13 AM
The Borchester Echo 11 Feb 09 - 04:18 AM
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Banjiman 11 Feb 09 - 05:43 AM
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Spleen Cringe 11 Feb 09 - 06:30 AM
The Sandman 11 Feb 09 - 08:27 AM
Folkiedave 11 Feb 09 - 08:41 AM
The Borchester Echo 11 Feb 09 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 11 Feb 09 - 09:03 AM
matt milton 11 Feb 09 - 09:13 AM
JHW 11 Feb 09 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 11 Feb 09 - 09:20 AM
Tim Leaning 11 Feb 09 - 09:23 AM
The Sandman 11 Feb 09 - 10:19 AM
pavane 11 Feb 09 - 10:20 AM
The Villan 11 Feb 09 - 10:26 AM
The Borchester Echo 11 Feb 09 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 11 Feb 09 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Ken J, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA 11 Feb 09 - 12:04 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 11 Feb 09 - 12:09 PM
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The Borchester Echo 11 Feb 09 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,Denzil 11 Feb 09 - 02:19 PM
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The Borchester Echo 11 Feb 09 - 02:32 PM
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Jim Carroll 11 Feb 09 - 03:00 PM
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Howard Jones 11 Feb 09 - 04:14 PM
Howard Jones 11 Feb 09 - 04:33 PM
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Subject: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 11:01 AM

what is their purpose?is it to promote folk music,or folk revival performers? or both.
are competetitive awards the best way to promote folk music .
should competitions be given air play?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: terrier
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 11:06 AM

What is their purpose? Entertainment, I guess. If there's enough good feedback from listeners then maybe the competitions will be given more airplay.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Mr Happy
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 11:15 AM

Lately, the Beeb's had a penchant for airing time fillers such as 'Celebrity?? Come Dancing & on ice'

Perhaps next'll be 'Celebrity?? Come Folking'?

Not sure how well they'd do on ice tho......


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 11:26 AM

Ummmmmmmm . . . to cause fights at Mudcat?


;-)


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 11:35 AM

Well as one who only ever watches stuff by accident.
I must admit to never having seen the awards all the way through.
I gather from the threads here about them it raises the temperature a little for some.
As far as I know it is only held once a year,therefore will watch it with a veiw to possibly enjoying it for what it is to me.
That is a chance to see some performers that I wouldnt normally bump into down at me local,hopefuly performing something I am not familiar with to a good standard.
I like the Jim Moray song that someone put alink to on a previous thread.
Even if I were good enough a performer,and my music could pass for folk,I wouldnt put myself forward for anything like that.
SO good luck to all who want to be involved and well done to all those who already are.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 11:46 AM

I can't see the point in scrapping them. The division created by these awards is that those who aren't keen appear to feel they're not representative of particular aspects of a/the 'folk' scene. Those that are generally supportive of them obviously feel they reflect at least some aspect.

Therefore, it seems to me that the issue isn't so much whether they should exist or not, but more should they be expanded in some way in order to cover areas that perhaps some feel aren't that represented.

Also, if a few more categories/awards were introduced, there maybe less chance of the same names getting more than one award - which is always contentious no matter what the competition. When a couple of people win 4 of only 11 awards, it does make it look as if there's 'less going on' and 'unrepresentative' - even if they are actually deserving of the awards. That's an observation rather than a criticism before anyone starts reaching for the nearest pitchfork and burning torch!


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: LesB
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 11:50 AM

Anything is preferable to nothing.
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 12:04 PM

Ummm...I think I *might* be allowed in this one, as it's not a 2009 thread, Joe? :0)

She tippytoes softly to the keyboard...and......

No, they shouldn't be scrapped, just made to encompass far more performers, be far more inclusive, and have no 'radar' in them whatsoever.

They're a huge boost for the folk world, and the more popular they become, the more people will want to hear the music, and they'll be far more performers who'll be able to make a living doing something they love. And nope, I have no problem about people making a living out of folk/traditional music.

They just need to make them fairer, broader and wider, for all concerned, because there are one helluva lot of great musicians out there who are way overdue for a mention/nomination/award in the Folk Awards.

They also need to put the Awards on BBC 1, not hidden away in the vaults somewhere else. They should also *heavily* advertise it on Radio 1 and 2.

And Dick, I disagree with you totally about workshops, I'm afraid. That's not the way forward at all, imo.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 12:04 PM

If some of you want to be involved , fair enough. I've stated elsewhere what I think of such things, I've no need to repeat myself.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folknacious
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 12:12 PM

No, certainly not.

They have helped a lot by getting mainstream recognition/ coverage/ publicity for the music.

I never agree with all the winners, but so what?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 12:13 PM

the more popular they become, the more people will want to hear the music

Distinct absence of logic here.
Pop Idol and associated dross is very popular on network television.
But it wouldn't matter how many times I watched it (which I don't).
I still wouldn't like it.
The Folk Awards are what they are - an industry showcase and serve that purpose.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 12:17 PM

I don't see why they should be scrapped.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 01:00 PM

I'm all for them I don't like everything about them, but they can be tweakeds. They get publicity, raise profiles etc. There are some ludicrous anomolaous resauilts from time to time, but that is down to the organisers, not to the principle of awards.
I noticed the Grammys publish the membership list of the voting panel. That would be the single best improvement that could be made to the BBC folk awards. A litle transparency never did anybody any harm.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 01:01 PM

Actually, come tyo think of it, it's the Baftas that publish the list.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: peregrina
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 01:01 PM

Why?





It's not as if they'd be replaced with the workshops you advocate.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 01:06 PM

Lizzie Cornish

And Dick, I disagree with you totally about workshops, I'm afraid. That's not the way forward at all, imo.

Ours seem to be very popular. We've got some good ones coming up including Tom McConville (who we booked long before he won his well deserved award).


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 01:25 PM

someone wrote: "When a couple of people win 4 of only 11 awards, it does make it look as if there's 'less going on' and 'unrepresentative' - even if they are actually deserving of the awards."

The BAFTAS have been in the news this week ... one film won several awards ... and the same thing usually happens with the Oscars -- that's the way these things go!

Derek


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 01:31 PM

Would scrapping them make things better?
Apart from maybe leaving the way open for a thread about how awful it is that they were scrapped?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 01:37 PM

why not scrap them?
they are promoting a competitive element,that is purely subjective,and only reflects the judges[a handful of people] tastes.
most people seemed to be of the opinion,that introducing competitions in the comhaltas style was bad,yet this kind of competition is, ok,sorry that is completely illogical.
if you are against competitions in music,then you should be against the BBC awards.

Martin Simpson and Nic Jones have both recorded Icarus,both are good versions ,their music[imo] does not need a handful of people telling us that one is better than the other,and providing a sort of top ten pop, type, system .
it is not [imo]the best way to promote this music.
the bbc would be better off [imo] concentrating on the roots of the music,and informing its listeners in detail about our traditions ,styles of and history of morris dancing,unaccompanied solo singing,varying regional instrumental styles.,so that the public becomes aware of its heritage and the roots of the heritage .
if you dont water a plant its roots will die .


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 01:37 PM

So, the folk awards are following the same narrow path as the Baftas and the Oscars, then?   :0(

Why do we narrow everything down? A handful of top models in a world filled with beautiful women, a handful of films in a world filled with incredible actors, producers and directors. Why don't the Folk Awards orgainsers choose to lead the way in a whole new outlook? As many Awards as possible, for as many artists as possible, taken from an ever increasing world of amazing artists.




"the more popular they become, the more people will want to hear the music"


"Distinct absence of logic here.
Pop Idol and associated dross is very popular on network television.
But it wouldn't matter how many times I watched it (which I don't).
I still wouldn't like it.
The Folk Awards are what they are - an industry showcase and serve that purpose."


You're missing the point entirely, possibly because you don't want the folk world to become 'popular'? Those who follow Pop Idol *love* the music and the artists. Nowt wrong with that. It's not my music either, but thousands adore it.

Is there something wrong with thousands adoring Folk Music again, as they once did back in the 60s? And as I write this I'm listening to Seth pounding his way through 'The Hurlers', and yup, I can see all those young people, back in The Great Hall of Exeter University, pounding the floor to his music, loving every second of it.

Bring as many artists in as you can, don't keep it narrowed to the same old, same old. Yes, there were a few new names in there this year, but there need to be even more. And it was great to see The Demon Barbers getting 'Best Live Act' because, like Seth, they're bringing in thousands of young people.

Folk Awards becoming 'popular' ?    I can't wait for it to happen!

And no, sorry Snail, your workshops may well be popular, but it ain't the push that the music needs. It will attract a raindrop, as opposed to a flood.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 01:50 PM

Why don't the Folk Awards orgainsers choose to lead the way in a whole new outlook? As many Awards as possible, for as many artists as possible, taken from an ever increasing world of amazing artists.

And hire the Millenium Dome?

The Folk Awards organisers are Smooth Operations. Why not write and tell them instead of saying it on here?

Contact them here.

Let us know how you get on with that sugggestion.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 02:17 PM

Lizzie Cornish

And no, sorry Snail, your workshops may well be popular, but it ain't the push that the music needs. It will attract a raindrop, as opposed to a flood.

Floods are made by accumulating raindrops.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 02:28 PM

I would caution you all to keep this a civil discussion - no finger-pointing or idle accusations or anything like that. It's beginning to appear that you Brits are simply not capable of discussion these Folk Awards - or folk music in general - in a civil manner. And to think that we Americans used to look up to you as our civil, cultured ancestors.....

Anyhow, I have to say I don't really understand this issue. Is the essence of the conflict between traditional singers and singer-songwriters, between folk and "folk rock," or between young and old? If you could discuss this issue in a way we Americans could understand, it might keep the discussion on a higher plane.

We had the Grammy awards in the U.S. the other night. I noticed that the next morning's newspaper did not list any of the winners in the folk music categories. Until a year or two ago, we've be able to read about all the categories - folk, polka, spoken word, etc. - in the newspaper, but not any more. The Grammies have folk and traditional categories, and the folk stuff is usually singer-songwriter. The traditional stuff is usually by songwriters, too - but the songwriters are over the age of 50, so it's considered "traditional."

We also have something called "Folk Alliance" in the U.S. It seems to be mostly singer-songwriters, but I know that Art Thieme has been associated with it.

But back to the Folk Awards and related discussions. It does seem that folk music is far more alive in the UK than in the U.S., but I can't imagine it's healthy enough to survive all these battles. The Awards may not satisfy everybody, but at least it's a way to promote an interest in folk music.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 02:35 PM

snail, out of molehills. mountains grow,Bryan, your club has it right.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 02:45 PM

out of molehills. mountains grow

Not strictly true; not yet even proverbially. However, there's always a case of making mountains out of molehills which, I fear, is a perennial difficulty in the folk world.

Like Sun Ra says - either it is or it ain't.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 03:39 PM

"out of molehills. mountains grow"

Well this is most certainly the biggest molehill I ever did see


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: peregrina
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 03:47 PM

'I wish I was a mole in the ground'


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 04:11 PM

Hi Joe,

The Folk Awards are an industry bash, but for various reasons are often a source of conflict.

There is only one music programme on mainstream radio (The Mike Harding Show) and that is subservient to "follow-through" - the idea that it has to retain listeners from before the show to the next show - thus it tends to be bland. I emphasise the word tends because sometimes he strays from that brief.

The programme is outsourced - the BBC do not run it a firm called Smooth Operations does on behalf of the BBC.

Smooth Ops - for short - also organise the annual BBC Folk Awards.

The voting is anything but transparent but supposedly is done by 150 or thereabouts invited industry professionals. Of course they are no such thing - but all of them would have an interest in one form or another. There are two rounds of voting; the first short lists four nominations for each category. The second round vvotes a winner out of those four.

I believe there is a "secret" layer from the industry above this to avoid the problem two years ago when a recently written song actually won the category "Traditional Song".

There is a category for a contemporary song to win (All You Pretty Girls this year).

Arguments this year have been: we shouldn't have competitions; "Pretty Girls" is quite old - 1983 I think; the people presenting the awards made snide remarks about folk music; some artists are thought to be ignored; etc etc.....always loads of scope for arguments.

It seems to me that we UK citizens with the occasional American contribution argue incessantly about the music; most of the arguments between your fellow country men are below the line and are about politics! With the occasional UK contributor.

The shame is that some of the vitriol has driven people with a lot to contribute away from the board. I include one of the UK's best known artists and the Director of one of the UK's largest festivals.

And that is a real shame.

HTH.

Dave


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 04:13 PM


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 04:20 PM

Anyhow, I have to say I don't really understand this issue. Is the essence of the conflict between traditional singers and singer-songwriters, between folk and "folk rock," or between young and old?

At least one of the main problems seems to be that they are run by Smooth Operations, who also run the Mike-Harding-presented weekly programme on Radio 2, the highest-profile media slot in the UK labelled as being "folk music". They are generally despised by the British contributors to the this forum for turning that into a showcase for middlebrow Americanized acoustic-pop mush, so there is a lot of mistrust about any other media circus they might be involved in.

As I haven't listened to a minute of Radio 2 in years, don't have a TV, and would be quite happy to see both Radio 2 and the entire world television industry consigned to the cesspit of history, I find it kinda hard to get excited by this dispute.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: BB
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 04:24 PM

"It does seem that folk music is far more alive in the UK than in the U.S., but I can't imagine it's healthy enough to survive all these battles."

Joe, the battles aren't enacted 'live', just on forums (fora?) like Mudcat. It's only because so many of us are so passionate about the music - trad. or contemporary - that we verbally battle about it. When we do it face to face, it's called "putting the (folk) world to rights", and doesn't get anything like as nasty as it sometimes does on Mudcat.

As to where the essence of the conflict is, i.e. between "traditional singers and singer-songwriters, between folk and "folk rock," or between young and old", the answer is probably 'All of the above' and none exactly. Sorry, I know that's not helpful, but I can see why Americans find it difficult to understand if their concept of 'traditional' is "songwriters... over the age of 50"!

I think sometimes you worry too much about the battles - don't panic. Most of it's down to very few people, and there will always be those who cannot see any other point of view but their own.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: BB
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 04:35 PM

Apropos of what I said above, this, from another thread "I think the key difference between online and real-world is there's much more distance and much more intimacy online - you can spill your guts with confidence, because it feels that much less 'real'." Exactly. You worry too much, Joe. :-)

Barbara


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 05:50 PM

Is there something wrong with thousands adoring Folk Music again, as they once did back in the 60s?
Well we didn't have any Folk Awards back then and there was precious little folk music on the radio in those days too!
For all I couldn't give a rats arse about the awards I wouldn't like to see them scrapped - we'd have one less thing to argue about; and then there is the rare gem like Tom McConville winning something this year.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Edthefolkie
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 05:53 PM

No they shouldn't be scrapped, in spite of my flippant remarks about flaneurs on the other thread. Ms Easby hit the nail on the head about what the awards are actually for. I also don't think that SmoothOps are the devil incarnate as painted by certain folks.   

It would be nice to see the awards on TV though, the BBC could use Woss's unpaid three months worth of salary to do a series of 10 programmes in Hi-Def. Then there'd still be lots of spare cash to resuscitate the aborted documentary on Sandy Denny.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 05:56 PM

I think it would be nice if there was an industry showcase and a roots (or current performances of roots) showcase - without sarcasm.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 06:08 PM

I think it should all (Awards, winners and loosers etc)be settled on "Strictly come morris dancing" A new show going to be launched on prime time TV on a Saturday night.Simon Cowell, Maddy Prior and Martin Carthy to be judges, presented by Mike Harding with Andrew Lloyd Webber giving advice.Music by Show of Hands.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Howard Jones
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 06:19 PM

Dave S, there may have been "precious little" folk music on the radio in the 60s, but what there was accurately reflected the folk scene - by the late 60s when I started to take an interest, "Folk on Friday" presented by the great Jim Lloyd presented mainly British, mainly traditional material.

I think this, and related threads, reflect the frustration that many feel that the only folk programme on the national radio network, and the only high-profile folk awards, are of little interest to the very people who are most involved in presenting and performing folk music.

I used to delay going out to my local folk club until I had listened to Folk on Friday. Now I hardly ever bother with Mike Harding's show, and when on occasion I do catch it, it only confirms that I am right to ignore it.

The folk awards, MH's show and Smooth Ops are what they are. There's nothing wrong with what they do, the problem is they're the only show in town.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: steve_harris
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 06:53 PM

No, they shouldn't be scrapped, just made to encompass far more performers, be far more inclusive, and have no 'radar' in them whatsoever.

Absolutely, Lizzie!


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folknacious
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 07:54 PM

"the only high-profile folk awards, are of little interest to the very people who are most involved in presenting and performing folk music."

Why wouldn't they be interested in Jackie Oates, Chris Wood, the Demon Barbers, Lau, Tom McConville or the Black Swan Folk Club, or be pleased that they've won an award from our national broadcaster? And are none of the above involved in presenting or performing folk music?

Ah, but I see, you're sad its not still the late 60s and the BBC isn't still broadcasting Folk On Friday. Unfortunately there's not much any of us can do about it being 2009 and the fact that there's a new and rather good generation of dedicated younger artists.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:35 AM

"the BBC isn't still broadcasting Folk On Friday........ there's a new and rather good generation of dedicated younger artists."
Resolve this contradiction and you have the answer to WHAT the BBC SHOULD be doing rather than holding vacuous award ceremonies.
If you have decided that "there's not much any of us can do about it " then you've thrown in the towel.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Stu
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:58 AM

No they shouldn't be scrapped.

But as I said (and was roundly ignored on the Mockery thread), take a look at Clare FM and their programming to see how folk music should be presented. Relevant to ordinary players, singers, dancers and storytellers, not to mention Joe Public (no relation to Joe Offer). Award ceremonies are industry-driven, for the industry, and not particularly relevant to the players who are out week after week in the community (except for the the Young Folk awards, which is an excellent showcase for raw talent).

We need something else with authentic people can relate to. The Kitchen Sessions provide the blueprint for this format.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:58 AM

Howard as you correctly say Folk on Friday came in, like a breath of fresh air, at the end of the sixties and after much moaning from the folk fraternity regarding the lack of traditional British folk music on BBC. Prior to that we had to suffer the likes of "Country Meets Folk", "My Kind of Folk", "A Cellar Full of Folk" and "Kinda Folksy" among others. To listen to what was reflective of the national folk scene one had to explore the bowels of the Third Programme or Home Service for some crumbs which were broadcast either when you were at a folk club or at work!
I listen to "Folkwaves" over and above the Harding programme these days.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Betsy
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:04 AM

There is plenty of scope to mirror the Film /Acting or Pop Music or Boxing ? industries.

They all have different forms of Awards

Film /Acting - Oscar / BAFTA / Tony and others

Pop Music - Grammy ,MTV and Varous music paper awards

Boxing - World Champions in 3 different organistions.

So we arrive at the Mudcat Folk awards ( both sides of the Pond ).
When the winners are announced ,people will say that's a load of shite because Mudcat wouldn't let me vote because I'm not a Member (Just thinking ahead Joe )and we're back to the same old discussion - who and how were these R-Soles voted as winners.

Seed planted Joe - whaddya think ?

Cheers

Betsy


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: le cheffie
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:09 AM

Radio 2 frequently boast Live music on a lot of theri programmes, but hhey seem to churn out the same heavily promotoed mainstream pop artists.
Wouldn't it be good if they could promote some folk artists on day time radio and not leave them to the obscurity of mid wednesday evening or late night bbc4

As for the awards I haven't listened to them for years as I'm usually at work and can't be bothered to sit at the pc for two hours to catch up during the following 7 days

Nick


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:13 AM

my argument is this.
that this is not the best way to present folk music ,either on radio or television .
second point, I consider this sort of presentation second best,I am not prepared to accept second best.

the good as anything we have at the moment argument,is similiar to its good enough for folk ,folk music deserves a more sympathetic presentation ,this competition is not the best way to present and make people aware of the music,I want the best not just any old thing.
I am not interested in revival musicians careers being furthered,I am more concerned about the state of the revival folk scene[programmes like this do nothing to help ]
and also the necessity of people to be aware of the roots of the music.
folk music [imo] would be better served with a more in depth presentation .


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:13 AM

folk artists on day time radio

Isn't this what Woman's Hour, R4's folk, roots and acoustic flagship programme, is for?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:18 AM

in depth presentation

Yeah, yeah, a 24-hour digital transmission of trad music.
Why did no broadcaster ever think of this?
Oh, yes they have. Just not here.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Captain Jack Sparrow
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 05:22 AM

Joe,

if you look at the original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson wrote a whole paragraph about the atrocities of George III and the British Folk Personss in the Coffee Houses of the Thirteen Colonies, but Benjamin Franklin got him to leave it out to save on printing costs, on account that it doubled the length of the declaration.

I love these moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 05:43 AM

No they shouldn't be scrapped.

Despite the in-fighting they cause on here they have a much greater reach than any other folk outlet. This can only be a good thing.

And Jackie Oates won something this year.... that can also only be a good thing.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 05:57 AM

Sorry Dick you should really stop digging.
If you want more In Depth representation of traditional music. You pay for it. Sure as hell no broadcasting organisation will do it. Not in England anyway. (Maybe Ireland is different).
Of course the Folk awards should stay. Just because you and I don't feature, doesn't make them a bad thing.
It's a minority interest, always has been, always will be.
How many people have contributed to this (and similar) threads...25? 30? 35? 40?
How many people watch Strictly Come Dancing? 5 or 6 million?
Which one is going to get the funding?
I rest my case.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 06:30 AM

The folk awards are about the industry promoting its product. I hope they will continue to do this to the best of their ability. There is always scope for improvement, and Smooth Ops aren't exactly difficult to track down and make suggestions to. It's nice for the individual artists who win, and I'm really pleased that Jackie Oates and Jim Moray and Chris Wood and the Demon Barbers et al have gongs to take home and hopefully a bit of a raised profile. However, essentially the awards are not about individual musicians but about raising the profile of folk music as a whole, with the potential effect of more bums on seats at gigs and festivals, more CD sales, and so on. This might also contribute to more people discovering music by other artists not nominated for awards (via magazines, radio and internet shows, myspace, sites like this, etc); more people turning up at or starting folk clubs and acoustic nights (and thus creating more opportunities for less well known artists to play live - if they use their marketing and networking skills well); more people at sessions and sin-arounds; more people having a crack at learning an instrument or singing. And let's not forget the possibility of more folk musicians getting or putting on gigs outside of the folk world entirely. All of which is good for folk and traditional music, is it not?

Of course, none of this will necessarily happen, but it's worth a crack, isn't it? Lets face it, whatever your personal views on the music of, say, Show of Hands or Seth Lakeman or Rachel Unthank or Kate Rusby, the fact that they are out there, taking folk music to an audience way wider than the confines of the 'official' folk scene has to be a damned good thing, doesn't it? Personally, I think some of the music made by less well known names in the folk fraternity deserves far better than the niche market it currently exists in (Insert own artists of choice here: _____________). The folk awards - as well as being good for the profile of folk music generally - are part of a chain of processes that might just acheive that for anyone with talent who is willing to put the work in.

The awards also, of course, should mean more profits for the industry, which in turn means more incentive for them to continue to promote folk music outside the particular world of the full-on folkie. My world, that is: the world of people who initially come to the music as complete folk-scene outsiders...


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:27 AM

Just because you and I don't feature, doesn't make them a bad thing.[quote Ralph Jordan]
sorry this comment is unecessary,and has nothing to do with my opposition,please apologise.
I have made it very clear that all the winners are good peformers.
I have made it very clear why I think the awards should be scrapped,you or I being selected has nothing to do with it.
your remark has very unpleasant insinuations,it suggests that I oppose the awards because I havent been nominated.,you are out of order
I am not resident in the uk.,so am not eligible anyway.
I am entitled to have a different opinion,without having my character slurred .


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:41 AM

I am sure Ralph was not imputing that Dick and I suggest you are being over sensitive to imagine so. (What he said applied equally to himself)

We all have wish lists for the music we love. Having a wish list or in your occasion an opinion about a wish list is not sufficient, you have to work hard at it.

That means writing letters and challenging people when you get chance to those who can make things happen - in this case the BBC, Smooth Operations and so on.

You are unilkely to get much joy writing to the BBC and Smooth Ops since you are not a resident in this country - but it wouldn't stop you winning an award. Two went to Americans this year.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:43 AM

Smoothops' remit is, roughly, to reflect musical output from "the English-speaking world".
Not to confine itself to music produced in the UK.
Dick, your material is largely English and would qualify, if nominated.
Perhaps you should change your PR people (or pay them more . . . )


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 09:03 AM

Ok Ok Dick I apologise.
But......Where is the funding to come from for your grand scheme to help the masses appreciate their history and tradition?
I'll put in a fiver if you do the same.
Reality check here. Strictly come dancing, either on ice or concrete or in a mud bath gets funding. A Bloke singing a song with a beard and a concertina doesn't.
It's not going to happen. Let us all just appreciate the crumbs that are thrown our way. Celebrate the winners and the runners ups at the only Folk award ceremony in the UK. Thank BBC4 and Channel 5 for occasionally broadcasting some interesting programmes. (Remember the 60's? All those bloody hay bales?)
You want more? Go on then. You pay for it. Sure as hell the BBC won't.
Look at the problem that the new Morris film is having getting a distribution deal.
Anyway as you say. You live in Ireland. So what's it got to do with you? Go and moan at RTE.
I think that, all things considered The English media is doing rather well at the moment. Not perfect, but...


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: matt milton
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 09:13 AM

"what is their purpose?is it to promote folk music,or folk revival performers? or both."

I think there's also something of a tautology in the question above: promoting a music is all but inseparable from promoting its performers. Music is, after all, made by musicians.

There's that use of "revival" in the question, however. Which makes me think yet again that all too many of the discussions and heated arguments on this forum stem from the fact that folk is a nebulous term. It simply cannot be defined in the hard-and-fast hermetically sealed way that some posters here are convinced it can.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: JHW
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 09:17 AM

Yes. The public assume they are THE folk awards


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 09:20 AM

Matt Couldn't agree more.
Nebulous...Now there's a word to conjour with!
A blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat, that isn't there.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 09:23 AM

"Isn't this what Woman's Hour, R4's folk, roots and acoustic flagship programme, is for? "


Ha ha Thank you D.E. that gave me a real laugh and cheered me up.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:19 AM

I am not interested in winning awards.
I am interested in the music being done proper justice when it is presented on air .
I am not of the opinion that these vacuous awards[Jim Carrolls words]do the music proper justice .
I believe that our music would be served better without a competitive award system .
I am interested in the weaknesses of the folk revival scene being improved .
I am entitled to a different opinion to you.
I do not attack people on a personal basis,who have a different opinion to me,
for example Lizzie Cornish ,and the Villan,on this thread.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: pavane
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:20 AM

I agree with Betsy

MUDCAT folk awards would be more representative

What can we lose?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:26 AM

>>I do not attack people on a personal basis,who have a different opinion to me,
for example Lizzie Cornish ,and the Villan,on this thread. <<

I should hope not Captain Birdseye, or I would have to call you a blaggard and hit you with my wet fish :-)


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:27 AM

Dick, if you mean me then I apologise for suggesting that you're too stingy to put your money where your mouth is.
But there again, how exactly is what you say you want going to be paid for?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:38 AM

Err - I'm staying out of this thread because I'm already trying to keep up with the other one and two on the BBC site, but just for the record, the problem is not money. It's access to that big tall tower with the aerial on top and the zigzags coming out. Putting Dick's programmes on air would mean bumping something the suits believe will get many more viewers/listeners (or advertising revenue). And they can't do that because of rules around the licence fee and market forces. They're wrong in the longer term, of course, but there's no way to bridge that gap now other than the one I've outlined, which is to attack from the bridgehead smoops has already won, not to retreat to the beach and start scaling some cliff somewhere else. Tom


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Ken J, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:04 PM

I understand that there is a lot of crankiness that there is not more folk music on the BBC national channels, but this is not Smooth Operations' fault.

I've been listening to the Harding show for seven years. The worst thing I can say is that he represents the conservative (stylistic, not political) face of British folk. The Harding show is a good guide to current popular folk music for the general listener, and even for someone like myself who considers himself a bit of a specialist, it provides valuable tips on new releases and performers. I'd have to dig out some playlists, but seems to me that somewhere around 25% of Harding's selections could be deemed traditional songs and tunes.   And, for me, Harding's show inspires a decent number of CD purchases each year.

And if you still want to be cranky about Harding, get on the net and start playing with the other BBC radio folk shows. Good heavens, you have a lot of them!! I generally listen to: Folkwaves (Radio Derby), Travelling Folk with Archie Fisher, Global Gathering (when it's not too Latin for my tastes), Late Junction (a surprising amount of traditional music buried in amongst the classical, jazz and experimental stuff). Sometimes I listen to Genevieve Tudor (Radio Shropshire) and Frank Hennessy (Radio Wales).   

It doesn't matter if it's a local programme on transmitter towers; on the Internet, it's a show with a global audience, and the BBC even lets you listen at the time of your convenience. And you can even fast forward to the good bits now!!!

Political advisory: my position is that my strongest interests are in contemporary presentations of traditional material.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:09 PM

"Show of Hands or Seth Lakeman or Rachel Unthank or Kate Rusby"

this leads back to somewhere I personally would rather not go ie what is and what is not considered "folk" music


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: KEVINOAF
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:14 PM

never mind the folk awards the BBC itself should be scrapped


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:17 PM

I was awaiting that remark it only took 66 posts to arrive..


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:27 PM

are competetitive awards the best way to promote folk music .
should competitions be given air play?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:31 PM

Anything that keeps folk music alive must be and is worth doing even if some opinions are that it is biased. Let's face it, people will argue for ever as to what folk music is and what it should be and who is a "true" folk artist and who isn't really folk. There have been hundreds of threads about this on mudcat and no end of discussion and arguement. No-one has defined folk in such away that everyone accepts. I doubt they ever will.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folknacious
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:32 PM

"MUDCAT folk awards would be more representative"

Of what?

(Voice off: "The narrowminded pontificationss of several dozen geriatric bearded ferrets scrapping in a box?")


"What can we lose?"

Audience, profile and credibility spring to mind. Just when the music was doing rather better for those than it used to.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Denzil
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:57 PM

I usually lurk and will continue to do so, but I'm puzzled.

Why does Captain Birdseye think that the BBC folk awards are a competition?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:03 PM

I've no idea. PErhaps he has never listened to it.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:04 PM

I don't think the Captain does - I think he means that awards should be given for competitions, and that they should be held on the BBC.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:13 PM

From my reading, I think the Capt. meant there should be a competitive awards show rather than an industry showcase awards show, and it should be shown by the BBC.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:16 PM

The good Cap'n doesn't, apparently, know a lot about the Folk Awards nor has he spent much time listening to them. That's why I tried to send him off to read the webpage. What is a lot more alarming is that a fair number of contributors to this and other threads admit to never having heard of many of the nominees, despite the relevant CDs having been available all year.

So how, exactly, would Mudcat folk awards be more "representative"? And of what?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Denzil
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:19 PM

'f you are against competitions in music,then you should be against the BBC awards.'

Thus spake the Captain.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:24 PM

Chris Woods was available much earlier and my copy is dated 2007! Gulp!


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:32 PM

Just looking at my Trespasser and you're right.
I hope no-one's going to start a Mercury-stylee out-of-time rumour . . .


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:32 PM

I didn't watch the damned thing and I've listened to a good number of the entries from this year, according to my daughter, and she says that if you've not listened to at least a couple of the entries you probably shouldn't be criticising. That's her though..


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:00 PM

I.m struck by the great difference between what happens in the UK and what happens here in Ireland.
As far as I can see the BBC does virtually nothing for folk music apart from holding these meaningless award ceremonies - no regular programmes, no serious discussion, no half-decent coverage of folk events - sod-all (unless you count the regular 'Rambling Sid-type piss-take on programmes like 'Have I Got News For You').
Here, the Irish-language channel TG4 gives us a wall-to-wall feast of well presented, stacks of air-time, light and serious, and above all, totally respectful to the point of being proud of.... Irish traditional music (as well as the ersatz stuff).
A couple of weeks ago they held their annual award ceremony, where two of the recipients were the great songwriter Con 'Fada' O'Drisceol and our own Reg Hall.
The right to hold award ceremonies should be an honour 'awarded' to the channel which does the best job in presenting folk music on a permanent basis - not the other way round.
From where I'm standing, you're like a bunch of poodles waiting for an extremely tight-arsed owner to throw you a biscuit.
Why are you dining in the same restaurant as these pricks - let alone allowing them to eat at your table - F*** the ponces.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:45 PM

I think people are asking and awful lot of one hour long show on one channel. Especially when you think of the breadth of styles and sheer volume of catalogue to choose from.

As for the awards themselves, I see nothing wrong with them. And I like to get the album that they bring out afterwards. I've gotten into stuff I would never have dreamt of buying a cd of through those albums.

By all means, make suggestions to both the BBC & Smooth Ops, heck start a campaign. But simply denouncing them and the awards does nothing but hurt what certain people apparently want to promote.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Howard Jones
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:14 PM

Folknacious, you've misrepresented what I was saying - or perhaps I expressed myself badly. I was not criticising the musicians who took part in the folk awards, my point was the way so many people who are heavily involved in the British folk scene feel alienated from these awards and from the only national folk radio programme.

The very fact that there are at least two separate threads about the folk awards on Mudcat alone proves my point. The Radio 2 Folk Awards should be attracting the interest and support of everyone who is seriously interested in folk music. Instead there's massive disagreement over how they are run and whether or not they are representative of the British folk scene. Similarly, Mike Harding's show should be essential listening, instead a large number of the very people you would expect to form its core audience never listen to it.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Howard Jones
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:33 PM

Guest KenJ, you're right, there is a lot of good stuff being "broadcast" on the internet, some of it even coming from the BBC. That doesn't get around the fact that most people listen to the radio on a radio set, at home or in the car.

I live less than 60 miles from Shrewsbury but I can't receive Genevieve Tudor's programme on Radio Shropshire unless I go online. The only nationwide folk radio programme is, as you say, a very good guide for the general listener - that more or less sums up its remit - but has little for anyone who is more involved. There is also a strong emphasis on Irish and American music - nothing wrong with either, but it would be nice to hear the British Broadcasting Corporation focussing a bit more on British music.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 02:58 AM

The only thing wrong with BBC Folk Awards is the odious Smooth Operations Company running [ or was that ruining ] it.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 04:11 AM

I have no love for Smooth Ops - but I do suspect they have a brief and they have to stick to it.

If they didn't the BBC would find someone else to do it.

SOps have a number of people who know what they are doing in the world of folk working for them.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Faye Roche
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 10:57 AM

My gripe against these, or any other kind of awards, is the absolute predictability and exclusiveness of them.

Let's consider the Oscars, for example. Just because Tom Cruise or Cate Blanchett win one, does that mean that they're better actors than the unknown professionals appearing in your local repetory company? No, of course not. In the same way, if Lau win "best live band", does anyone seriously believe that there's no-one in the country that's better?

Of course, opinions are subjective; you can't compare Lau with, for instance, The Claque and say that one is better than the other; it's a matter of taste. That's why the awards are meaningless.

I can imagine the conversation that goes on around the judging table: "Well, of course we have to nominate Eliza's album, but maybe someone else should win this year? And Rachel had her turn last time; now we should give Jackie a chance?" Who are the judges? They're not, by any chance, agents and managers of some of the artists are they? (What a nasty suspicious mind I have!)

My solution would be to scrap them and replace them with a show that features all sorts of folk performers, famous and otherwise. That would REALLY represent what's going on in the UK folk scene.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 11:19 AM

Rumour has it all the disciplines are to be included in the London Olympics! The idea is that all the performers do their thing at the same time and the last man standing gets the gold. Except the "sprint", the fastest time to sing a standard 5 verse song.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: DMcG
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 04:03 AM

Except the "sprint", the fastest time to sing a standard 5 verse song.

Somewhere in one of Bob Copper's books he says they used to do something like this at Harvest (or was it Christmas? There was a pint for the fastest singer of a 'trad' song - they didn't have to sing the same one, though. His was "Twenty, eighteen" if I remember rightly.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: evansakes
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 04:21 AM

Faye said ........"I can imagine the conversation that goes on around the judging table"

How many more times does this this need to be said?
There is no judging table!! It's a secret ballot.

........."The Claque"

Who?
The people who get seen my thousands are going to stand more of a chance of getting noticed and acknowledged than those that are seen by dozens. That's a simple fact of life and no doubt the reason why your favourite band didn't win. No qualitative comparisons are being made but most people would agree you have to earn the right to get noticed.

........"replace them with a show that features all sorts of folk performers, famous and otherwise"

No-one would want to fund it, no-one would broadcast or write about it, no vital publicity would ensue. In short...no good would become of it.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 04:33 AM

A twenty five year old pop songs wings Best Original Song at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and the organiser of a major folk club has never heard of The Claque.

Don't we live in curious times?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 04:48 AM

The Claque are just four old blokes. Very good at what they do but not very exciting.
The Best Original Song category is for a recording released during the past year.
It is not a judgment of the song All You Pretty Girls, released by XTC in the early 80s, as such, but an award for Jim Moray's reworking of it on Low Culture.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 05:01 AM

You scarce would be believing.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 05:22 AM

Hi,

It isn't surprising that some people haven't much heard of the Claque.

Between September 2008 and June 2009 according to their website, they have 6 booked gigs and they sing twice each month once at at Sidmouth and once at Exeter.

Apart from Cheltenham they don't seem to get booked much north of the Thames. This may be their choice - it may be organisers choice - I have no idea, but they are hardly high profile.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 05:32 AM

You're right Dave, Twickenham is north of the Thames so you can't expect Twickfolk to have heard of them.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 07:47 AM

For me, The Claque are very exciting indeed: strong, almost dangerous vocal harmonies and a repertoire that's unusual for these days. They did several festivals last year: Chippenham, Wadebridge and Tenterden.

They are booked at the


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 07:51 AM

.... (whoops) Lewes Saturday Folk Club on Saturday 27th. June.

Tickets will be £6. We expect a brilliant night in the superb acoustics of the Elephant & Castle.

Valmai


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 12:45 PM

Yes, I remember playing several times at the Elephant an Castle ,I always had good gigs there,good acoustics and good beer.
mind you I generally drink adams ale ,these days.http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 12:50 PM

I saw the Claque last year and was impressed. I don't impress easily.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 12:51 PM

It was at Tenterden - 100


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Betsy
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 03:45 PM

Dick ,I trust you meant Adnams ale and not Adams ale.
Perhaps not,water is a fine drink especially Chateau Kielder but Adnams is a finer drop which unfortunatley is not locally available to me.
My Mudcat suggestion was only tongue in cheek , and as Folknacious and others have shown we on Mudcat would still argue about its structure and validity.
I don't think anyone who is invited to the award ceremony is complaining about the awards , I think they feel as if they are part of the inner sanctum and are rubbing shoulders with their peers as top performers in the folk world ,so let them get on with it.
I look forward to a Mudcatter being nominated (or Mudcat itself !!!) Wendy , Bonnie , Dick , B.Crow etc who knows - one day.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 04:12 PM

"Don't we live in curious times?"

No we don't, there are those who have heard of The Claque and those who haven't, it's the same with many other bands, in any music genre.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 04:33 PM

I drink Adam's Ale these days too - I just happen to like it flavoured with other substances like barley and hops.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 06:55 PM

I think if the BBC were to scrap the folk awards, it's highly likely that they would spend the money on something with more of a majority interest, sadly. I think we are lucky that the Beeb gives 'folk' as much coverage as it does.

Folk music isn't popular, its apparent rise in popularity in the 60's was largely due to the baby-boom providing big enough numbers for marketing people to take an interest. I'd hazard a guess that if the BBC gave it more coverage then, it was because, though obviously not exclusively, they perceived a big enough minority to be worth keeping in front of the box.

Hands up who wants to pay a bigger license fee..


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 07:12 PM

Rifleman

there are those who have heard of The Claque and those who haven't

Find them out. You won't regret it.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 07:24 PM

The Claque comprises former members of Isca Fayre and Songwainers, plus Sean O'Shea.....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 03:55 AM

Hands up who wants to pay a bigger license fee.

I don't mind - I'd take a one hundred% increase. Course, I don't have a telly so I don't pay one.....

I'll get mi coat...coming doctor.....


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 04:04 AM

Dave, increasing the licence fee,is not the only way of raising revenue,If one find advertisements irritating, just turn the sound down and make a hot drink .


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 06:48 AM

Dick,

As far as I know there are no adverts on the BBC.......


I knew I should have gone with the doctor.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: evansakes
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 06:50 AM

Re The Claque. No, I haven't heard of them....judging from the mollusc's reaction this is obviously to my eternal shame but that's hardly the point.

Why would I have heard of them? They never play anywhere near where I go to see gigs, they don't have a website (beyond a page on someone else's) and there's no where like MySpace on the internet that I can actually hear them if I went looking to do so. Good luck to them....I'm sure they're very good but the fact is they're happy to do residencies around their own area and not stray much further apart from the odd festival (and perhaps an occasional pilgrimage to the self-proclaimed epicentre of the folk universe over in East Sussex)

This was the quote from Faye Roche's posting that I was reacting to...

"Of course, opinions are subjective; you can't compare Lau with, for instance, The Claque and say that one is better than the other; it's a matter of taste. That's why the awards are meaningless"

We put on Lau at our club just over a year ago (supported by Jackie Oates and James Dumbleton). This was before they'd won any folk awards but we still had over a hundred people, it was a great success and the event was reviewed very favourably by Robin Denselow in the Guardian a couple of days later. Lau have a vibrant record label, a go-get-em agent, great management and publicity behind them. They play all over the world, tour the country, appear at all sorts of festivals, advertise, get written about. Not only that you can sample their wares on the internet (I'm listening to six preview tracks from their upcoming album on MySpace as I type). In short, they have a professional attitude. Of course none of this would mean a bean if they were rubbish. Fortunately they're not....in fact they're bloody good. When you see them live it's not an experience you forget in a hurry.

Is it really any wonder Lau get acknowledgement in the Folk Awards? ....and that The Claque don't?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 06:52 AM

thats my point,introduce them,and use the revenue to fund workshops on folk /roots music ,and promote the music in other ways other than a vacuous competition .


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 10:01 AM

TwickFolk

Re The Claque. No, I haven't heard of them....judging from the mollusc's reaction this is obviously to my eternal shame

Well, I wouldn't put it quite that strongly, I just found it a little surprising that a folk club organiser in the south of England had never heard of them. (Sorry about the "north of the Thames" crack; it was irresistable.)

I was more concerned with what point you were trying to make when you said "Who?". Of course Lau are excellent and nobody could possibly begrudge them their award but the implication of your last posting was that they won not through their talent but because they had a pushy agent and a powerful publicity machine. Apparently you can only get your profile raised by an award if you've already got a high profile. I doubt if The Claque are losing much sleep about not winning anything.

We do seem to move in different worlds. Yours is a (relatively) big venue holding concert style performances. Those of us with more modest ambitions need to look further afield than awards ceremonies and the internet. MySpace and YouTube can never give a real feel for what a performer is like in front of a live audience and by getting out and about, we find some real gems.

Nobody, at least not in folk, can leap to instant stardom. They need to serve their apprenticeship somewhere and that is the function of grass-roots clubs like ours. I notice you've got the Askew Sisters booked for the 29th March. Excellent choice. We gave them their first folk club booking a few years ago.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: evansakes
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 10:43 AM

If you were the first to give the Askews a gig we couldn't have been to far behind, Bryan....they got their first chance in Sept 2005 (support to Nancy Kerr & James Fagan) and their first headliner the following summer. We're also fully committed to giving young up-and-coming names a chance and have consistently done so...the first time Jim Moray came in July 2003 was the first proper gig he'd ever had in a folk club (before his debut album was released).

We have all sorts of folk evenings...some big concerts with major names but that's not all we do by any means. Last night we had a simple but wonderful singaround....during the course of the evening we had some Andean music by a Peruvian duo playing guitar and charrango, a primitive blues version of 'Who Do You Love' on resonator guitar, Gerry Milne playing traditional songs on his concertina, a ten year old lad singing Weird Al Yankovic's 'eBay' (a parody of a Backstreet Boys hit so I'm told). Everybody enjoyed everyone's contribution, embracing and celebrating the different music on offer....we even had Gerry Milne jamming along on a Everly's style close harmony version of a Razorlight song. No kidding! Eclectic...but all good!


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 11:37 AM

Sounds excellent, TwickFolk. I'd rather got the impression from your previous posts that if anyone didn't have an award or massive recording deal or a professional management team, they weren't worth considering. Hence your rather dismissive attitude towards The Claque.

Why would I have heard of them?

Isn't that what folk club organisers do, seek out talent to put before their audiences? The world is bigger than YouTube.

I really think you should find out about The Claque. They really are very good and great fun.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 06:06 PM

Adverts and 'folk/roots workshops' on the BBC?
Hmm..
Nice to see the weather's cheered up a bit.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Phil Beer
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 07:09 PM

The Claque are a wonderful bunch of veteran unnacompanied singers, two of whom are part of the original group, Isca Fayre, who were residents at the old Jolly Porter folk club in Exeter through the sixties and early seventies. I first heard them when I was sixteen and have been singing songs learnt from them ever since. My version of 'Adieu Sweet lovely Nancy' was originally heard from them as were most of the 'Songs of the west' that I know. They are great blokes and well worth a listen!!


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,JM
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 11:06 AM

The Snail said (about Twickfolk) :- Yours is a (relatively) big venue holding concert style performances.

hahahahahaha... (sorry Gerry, couldn't resist)


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 11:20 AM

I was going by Twickfolk's own description. It sounds relatively big and concertlike compared with most folk clubs I've come across.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 02:16 PM

Groups like the Claque are typical of many performers on the folk scene - very good at what they do, but operating in a limited geographical area. In some cases they would be more than capable of holding their own on a national stage, but for various reasons - day jobs, family commitments etc - they choose to keep it as, essentially, a part-time hobby. Performers like this, who don't get widespread exposure, simply aren't going to appear on the radar of national folk awards, no matter how good they are.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 06:03 PM

I think there is also an assumption as well - that they - the band WANT to be a big national name. Some do - some don't.

There are a lot of downsides to being a "name" as well as upsides.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: evansakes
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 03:18 AM

The Snail said "I was going by Twickfolk's own description. It sounds relatively big and concertlike compared with most folk clubs I've come across"

What a hoot! Where did you read that, Snail?

Nothing wrong with putting on events as a concert though. We approve of that.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 06:14 AM

We've been presenting folk music events most Sundays at the Cabbage Patch Pub in Twickenham since 1983. It's now one of best known and most highly respected folk venues in the London area and takes great pride in presenting an eclectic selection of folk/acoustic acts from all over the world in 'concert' conditions (Your emphasis.)

We put on Lau at our club just over a year ago (supported by Jackie Oates and James Dumbleton). This was before they'd won any folk awards but we still had over a hundred people.

Sounds relatively big to me.

We have all sorts of folk evenings...some big concerts with major names but that's not all we do by any means.

OK, you don't do it all the time but you can. Our old venue had a maximum capacity of fifty and you really knew when you'd achieved it. Our new room may hold a few more but we haven't had any major events yet; generally numbers in the twenties. In my experience, that is more typical.

I was basically looking for the differences between us that explained how come you've never heard of The Claque.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: JHW
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 07:26 AM

"How many more times does this this need to be said?
There is no judging table!! It's a secret ballot."

All explained in a R4 'Feedback' programme a year ago when Seth Lakeman was accused of writing a Traditional song. 160 burghers of the folk 'industry' nominate those for the categories then those same 160 do the voting.

As representative as the Mike Harding show.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 09:03 AM

I have mixed feelings...

On the minus side there is the risk that media producers could look at the awards as the be-all and end-all of everything folk, thus marginalising everything that is below the surface - not just on the professional circuit, but also the social circuit (including clubs, sessions, ritual, dance, etc.). - I did not see the awards so I dont know if there were nominations for best morris side, best dance band, etc.

On the plus, it could do some good if some of the unconverted majority decide to look deeper at what folk is all about and want to know more, and even participate.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Musket
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:13 AM

I listen to a programme and hear good music.

Sorted.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:24 AM

my points are thess ,
1 .is it the best way the BBC can promote folk music[My answer is NO]
2.an alternative folk programme,aimed at improving the weaknesses of the folk club scene[ie instrument/singing workshops,in the style of the BBC hold down a chord]would serve the folkscene better.,and help to raise standards,where they need to be raised.
3 Extra funding,can be obtained,through the BBC, adopting commercial breaks between programmes.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 11:17 AM

I'm not sure you understand what the BBC is, Captain. For a start, it has a different legal structure to most broadcasters and a charter that prohibits the advertising you suggest. If it did accept paid advertisements, it would be extremely difficult to justify also having a licence fee, so you are essentially talking about disbanding the BBC as a broadcaster, at least in anything like its current form. But even if there was a way to square the circle, why should the advertising revenue end up subsiding folk? That sort of hypothecation does not happen with any of the other channels. And what makes you think it is the remit of the BBC to *promote* folk music or anything else?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:06 PM

Actually the BBC uses advertising on the "world edition" of their website, so it cannot be said the 'theBeeb' is entirely commercial free. Indeed I agree with DMcG in the statement regarding

"And what makes you think it is the remit of the BBC to *promote* folk music or anything else?"


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:12 PM

Absolutely right DMcG. The advertisers would demand even more banal programming to attract the audience they seek and that certainly would not include items for folk music enthusiasts.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:26 PM

I should have been clearer, as usual, on the advertising rules but rather than try again here's the BBC statement on advertising.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:28 PM

I `ad that meejah mogul Murdoch in my cab the other day. `e `ad `is `ead well into this folk song book and `umming a few tunes.
I said, "What`s got you so engrossed then?"
`e said, " Jones`s Ale"
I said, "What, you gonna learn it up and do it at a club, or something?"
`e said, "Nah, we`re featuring on some folk music t.v. programme tonight and I`m gonna get `em to change it to `Fosters XXXX`!!"

Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 01:33 PM

well take a look at RTE,It is a state run company it uses adverts,and it promotes folk music .
the BBC needs to take agood look at itself .
the BBC used to have a remit,to be educational[check out Reith] .Iunderstand perfectly well what the bbbc is /was and has noew become,
Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing - PM
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:12 PM

Absolutely right DMcG. The advertisers would demand even more banal programming to attract the audience they seek and that certainly would not include items for folk music enthusiasts.[can you prove this?]
so why are RTE able to do it ,remember the population of Ireland is much smaller, so less licence payers .


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,The Claque
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:20 PM

In response to Diane Easby.
Surely this lady is mistaking us for somebody else!
I cant imagine that there can be anyone more exciting than us!

Sean O'Shea,The Claque


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:41 PM

Diane Easby,I hope thats not Ageism .
maybe she should rename your group, four old blokes who are not exciting .


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 03:32 PM

I've said what I intended to so I don't see much point repeating it. But the reference to Reith and the educational aspect is not as simple as it appears. Your definition of 'educational' may be significantly different to Reiths.

I don't really know anything about RTE beyond the fact the politics at the time it was founded, those in place when the BBC was founded and for the BBC now are all quite different and [in my judgement] quite enough to account for the different approaches.

In any case, it seems absurd to me to propose a major reorganisation of the BBC including Acts of Parliament given what you want to achieve. You will have to find another way to fund it, I fear.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 04:00 PM

Captain Birdseye,
                Umpteen years of ITV(Independent commercial broadcasting) in Britain is enough "proof" to demonstrate my point. The number of folk music orientated programmes put out on the ITV channels since its` inception cannot amount to many compared to what I`ve seen on the BBC, t.v. and radio.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,ALAN PARGITER
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 04:30 PM

There must be something about these Claque fellows.Not only does Phil Beer cite them as an influence when he was but a lad,but I notice that Jackie Oates,who is as new as you can get,has them as influential on her My Space pages.That's some long time to be an influence.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Phil Beer
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 04:47 PM

To enlighten everyone further. This is how I came to connect with Jackie. Barry Lister (of Claque notoriety) Mentioned to Mr Mick Burch (Local musician, staunch supporter of the Topsham folk club and founder of the Barnfield open mic nights and owner of the property where our own 'Riverside' studio is located) that a young musician called Jackie needed to record some songs on a very limited budget. Barry and Mick are people whose judgements I have a profound respect for and I said yes. Jackie turned up and within ten minutes, I knew I was listening to something utterly compelling, the like of which I had not encountered for a very long time. At the end of the session, I told her to keep her hard earned cash and we continued (over a lengthy period whenever I had time) to develop these recordings until we had the first album in the bag. Its as simple as that. Its great to think that Barry can still exert that influence even after all these years. (Tips forelock reverently)


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 04:53 PM

meanwhile, commercial irish television,shows plenty of good quality folk music,
tonight Nicolas Carolan ,presented Siar an Bothar.
so it doesnt follow that because television is commercial it doesnt present folk/roots /traditional music .
and the amount shown in Britain on all channels is Minescule compared to Irish Television,which has fewer licence payers[smaller population].
meanwhile Irish radio presents a lot of traditional music.
I rest my case .


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 05:13 PM

I rest my case

I very much doubt it!

:-)


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: MBSGeorge
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 05:51 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me to be only those who are connected to previous winners that get anywhere with these sorts of things and I for one am fed up with any BBC television programmes on folk because they have interviews with the same group of well connected folkies on the 'scene'.

More variety please.

G x


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 06:47 PM

the amount shown in Britain on all channels is Minescule compared to Irish Television,which has fewer licence payers[smaller population].
meanwhile Irish radio presents a lot of traditional music.
I rest my case .


The same could be said of Scotland, though perhaps to a lesser degree. Maybe it's something to do with quality and popularity.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 07:30 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong

You're wrong.

Unless you can tell me which previous winners Lau; Tom McConville; Jim Moray; Demon Barbers and Chris Wood are "connected" to....

Jim Moray and Jackie Oates are brother and sister of course, so maybe there is a "connection" there.

It is possible to find a connection - they have all made records for example. Is that what you meant?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: MBSGeorge
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 09:40 PM

I just meant that they all seem to be well connected throughout the folk circuit, there aren't many 'unknowns' even if they are not people I have personally come across before.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 04:55 AM

mbs george ,good point.
unfortunately. the folkworld like the pop world,and probably every other musical genre is full of jobs for the boys,networking ,backscratching etc etc.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:09 AM

to clarify,my previous remarks were general observations,not aimed at any particular people.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Liam
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:43 AM

Jim Moray of course already had two Folk Awards (Horizon and Best Album) from a previous year, while Chris Wood also won Best Contemporary Song for One In A Million a couple of years back and also won an award last year as part of The Imagined Village.

You could draw a wonderful "Folk Family Tree" around the relationships between winners and working in or with members of Waterson:Carthy and several other combinations too. You could probably do an even more intriguing one between the raltionships over the years between some of the winners, the voters and those organising the awards.

So, yes there are many interconnections with previous winners, some of which are with those winners themselves on previous occasions.

And No, you are not going to find winners coming from bands who do not get seen or heard by many of the voters, because they neither travel very far or bother themselves to have aa website, MySpace, Facebook etc. People who do that only eventually get widespread recognition through those disciples who do now use 21st century techniques in additionto to the oral tradition.

Perhaps Sidmouth's leading MySpacer should now embrace The Claque and do them one her excellent adoration pages?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Jim Moray
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 06:28 AM

"I just meant that they all seem to be well connected throughout the folk circuit, there aren't many 'unknowns' even if they are not people I have personally come across before."

I think this is because it's a friendly scene. If I hear a record I like then I'll go out of my way to get in contact with the person who made it to say hi. No one stays unknown for long because they get welcomed into the fold very quickly. That's because folk music is populated with (mostly) nice people.

"unfortunately. the folkworld like the pop world,and probably every other musical genre is full of jobs for the boys,networking ,backscratching etc etc."

Sorry Dick, but this is utter rubbish. The acts that you are doing down work incredibly hard and thoroughly deserve the accolades they get. The people at the top of the "pro media-friendly folk" tree (as it were) got there through graft, not "jobs for the boys, networking, backscratching etc" - thats just plain insulting.

The Claque are great and I would recommend them to anyone, but you can't compare them work-wise to someone like Lau who are playing nearly every day somewhere in the world and live out of a suitcase. At one stage Jon Boden was doing 250+ gigs a year - thats five days a week non-stop away from home, with hundreds of miles of motorway driving every single day. There is, therefore, a reason why it was him I saw holding 700 frenzied people in the palm of his hand last night and not Barry Lister.

If anyone wants to know the secret handshake to the "inner circle" I can tell you right now - play as many gigs as you can, be nice to everyone you meet (you never know who'll turn out to be important further down the line) and make records that ordinary people want to buy. Good luck - I look forward to seeing all of you at the Folk Awards next year.

"Jim Moray of course already had two Folk Awards (Horizon and Best Album) from a previous year, while Chris Wood also won Best Contemporary Song for One In A Million a couple of years back and also won an award last year as part of The Imagined Village."

Yes, but I didn't win an award - Andy Partridge did.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 06:48 AM

I am not doing down anyone Jim,because as I said it was a general observation,not aimed at any particular people.
Why dont you read my two posts again.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 07:03 AM

I don't think anyone has suggested that The Claque should have won an award, quite the opposite in fact. Faye's original point was that trying to compare two widely different groups such as, for instance, Lau and The Claque was a matter of taste and made the award for "best" meaningless.

I expressed the opinion that it was curious that the organiser of a major folk club had never heard of The Claque. Perhaps he'll seek them out now.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 07:09 AM

I said GOOD POINT,by that I mean worthy of discussion.
there is no evidence at all,thsat the BBC FOLKAWARDS,are connected in any way to back scratching, networking or jobs for the boys,and neither did I say at any time that this was the case.here were my words
Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Captain Birdseye - PM
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 04:55 AM

mbs george ,good point.
unfortunately. the folkworld like the pop world,and probably every other musical genre is full of jobs for the boys,networking ,backscratching etc etc.

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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Captain Birdseye - PM
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:09 AM

to clarify,my previous remarks were general observations,not aimed at any particular people.
to continue
To pretend that back scratching,jobs for the boys, does not exist on the folk scene is dishonest.
to clarify further, I repeat,I did not say that the winners of the bbc folk awards,had not deserved their awards.,or had obtained them through any dishonest means.
the folk awards ,are the subjective opinions of a number of judges,who all have strong folksong connections,and who are all very experienced ,however [imo]these competitions are not the best way to promote folk music on the air,and are not [imo],the best way to rectify the weaknesses of the folk club/festival scene.
have a look at Irish radio and Television broadcasting,and you wil see much more air play given to folk music,without the need for vacuous competitions.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,baz parkes
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 07:12 AM

I would like to nominate Barry Lister for the "Makes the Best Gin and Tonic" award.

It's as valid as a lot of the stuff on this thread.

Baz


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 07:53 AM

Irish televison are showing a programme ,Friday night, rte2,that is archive material.
Nicolas O Carolan is the presenter.
there is no reason why the BBC ,can not provide something similiar,Programmes like this are generally low budget.
it is not as if archive material is not available .


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 08:02 AM

They do - Dick. On BBC 4.

And as I understand it, they do this on BBC 4 because the execs were made aware of the value and interest in folk music by the awards process.

Your idea os introducing adverts is far to big for this debate. It IS a topic worthy of a debate, but to change it for the sake of this music would be to have the tail wagging the whole husky team.

The awards are what they are. See them as a rocket sent high into the night sky. They get people's attention. They're pretty and they go bang. And they light up, briefly, the scene below - including where us poor swimmers are fighting the tide.

By all means agitate for better coverage of folk music on the BBC. But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater and alienate both suits and stars.

Caviar may be delicious or horrid according to taste. But it's existence doesn't stop you enjoying fish and chips


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Faye Roche
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 08:34 AM

The Snail- thank you, that was exactly the point that I was making.

I'd hate the folk scene to become like the showbiz world in which "celebrity" is valued more highly than talent. And before I start another argument, let me say that I'm emphatically NOT criticising any of the award winners. Please read that last sentence again- I don't want another accusation of trolling people I don't like! Isn't it true that the same names crop up again and again: Bellowhead, Eliza, the Unthank/Oates tribe, etc. There is far more to folk music than this very restricted list.

Even if the ballot is made in secret, I'm sure that the judges are privately thinking the thoughts that I expressed earlier- "Hmmm, I must at least nominate Eliza even if she doesn't win this time" etc.

Somone asked how a programme that incorporated all corners of the folk field- stars and unknowns alike, could be funded. Isn't that what we pay our BBC license fee for? Wouldn't it be good if you could listen to the radio and discover some hitherto unknown artist who was absolutely wonderful? Wouldn't that be good for up-and-coming artists as well? Wouldn't that be a better situation all round; where performers are judged on talent, not on how famous theyve become? (Again- NO CRITICISM INTENDED!!!)


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 08:49 AM

Faye - please go and read the BBC explanation of how the awards actually work.

Your sentence "Wouldn't that be a better situation all round; where performers are judged on talent, not on how famous they've become?" takes my breath away.

No-one is judged as you suggest. Fame and success are the twin babies of talent and hard work. If an artist is talented and works hard (and gets lucky) there is bound to be a correlation between an artist's public profile and his odds on a nomination - that's life. (And you can't do anything about the 'lucky' bit - that's life too).

Ok, folk music is not supposed to be about showbiz - but it is and always was about entertainment with a small 'e.' Cap that and you cap the urge to improve, and deny the reward of recognition. Showbiz is the natural end result of effort and talent, and it was always thus even in the days of yore. And that is right and proper.

The winners list is restricted because of cost, and because awards must be restricted by definition.

Yes, you could pick talented unknown artists from the ether and hold them up to the light for a brief moment of fame. But that would not be an efficient use of the value system of the award phenomenon to other unknowns (the awards would loose impact), and it wouldn't do all that much good to those artists careers either.

We do have such awards - the BBC Young Folk Awards for a start, and there are others, but these do not do the job of the R2 awards - which, on the whole, offer excellent value for money to the business end of folk music - (which exists because a LOT of people want it to, and we live in a democracy).

Tom


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folknacious
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 08:50 AM

Wouldn't it be good if you could listen to the radio and discover some hitherto unknown artist who was absolutely wonderful? Wouldn't that be good for up-and-coming artists as well?

I believe it's funded by Rupert Murdoch. It's called MySpace. I'm sure that many more people listen to that than the BBC channels where they play the most folk & acoustic music (Radio 3, Radio 4 . . ., BBC 4 TV)

When people then get better known, the radar picks them up and they get things called "gigs", even put out things called "records" if they're actually seeking a career in music (many people don't). Then more radar picks them up and one day they get nominated for these things called "Folk Awards". I believe that topical man called Darwin called it "natural selection". Certainly beats conspiracy theories anyway.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 08:52 AM

Isn't that what we pay our BBC license fee for?
Only if you grant equal status to stamp collectors, train spotters, model gamers, chess players, bridge and whist players, ...

(I agree I am inconsistant enough that I'd like to get privileged status for folk music though!)


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 08:53 AM

Thank you Folknacious. I'm off to bash seven shades out of my mandocello! T


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 09:05 AM

I sympathise with Catters who regret that the R2 Folk Awards give a fairly limited (perhaps even distorted?) picture of the current folk scene.   But (as Mr Bliss pointed out) Radio 2 is Show Business. It aims to attract (and hold) mass audiences by offering them lots of easy listening. (Challenging the audience's prejudices and expectations is the job of Radio 3.)

And if mass audiences are what you're after, then competitions - whether genuinely competitive, or stage-managed and scripted – have a proven record. If properly run, they generate a spectacle which appeals to people way beyond the circle of enthusiasts who know (or care) about whatever the competitors are doing.   Some of us may not like the results, but if your job security depends on your channel's audience figures, that's the way to go.

For all that, some of the real stuff still manages to slip past the market-conscious mandarins who dictate the BBC's play-lists, and a lot more is available elsewhere, if you look for it under the radar. The liveliness of this thread makes that point clearly enough.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 09:14 AM

A thought has just struck me.

So many people seem to think that the panel somehow colludes as if it was a committee of a dozen people in a smoke-filled room.

Are these people unaware of what actually happens?

The voting all takes place by email, and with 170 people all voting in isolation there is amost no opportunity for a fix at that stage.

Technically it would be possible for the vetting committee to ignore the nominations and votes of the panellists and announce different results, but there is no evidence for this.

Please understand that this is an open vote by a lot of informed people. It's NOT juke box jury, and it's NOT the x factor. It's something else, which it does work pretty well.

If you want a more informed debate on the real issues, see the BBC's own thread on the topic.

Tom Bliss


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 09:55 AM

Take a look at Lau's gig list here compared to the Claques gig list here and ask yourself who is most likely to win an award - assuming you had never heard of either of them.

The first time I saw them they were phenomenal and they were finishing a forty day tour - with about two one day breaks in all of that.

They go to Japan and Canada to play. They rehearse and all work with other artists and they have solo projects.

I have interviewed a number of professional singers and musicians over the years including most of the award winners.

In the last two weeks I have spoken to three people who as professional musicians practice four hours a day. A well-known singer and guitar player - right at the top of his tree when gigging NB tries to do three hours a day.

That's how they get to the top.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 09:58 AM

Tom Bliss,
          Surely votes by "informed" people should not be the criteria by which awards are given. Better it would be if judgement was made on the results of what a group of enthusiasts of all ilk found pleasing to the ear, enhancing the "genre", recognising virtuosity, informative and entertaining. I am not saying the results would be any different but they would reflect the democracy we live in, as you say.
Also whether or not someone opts to drive around the country all the time has nothing to do with it. It is what they offer to the listener and viewer that counts.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 10:00 AM

Somebody asked if I was being ageist when I described The Claque as "four old blokes". Not at all. It's what they are.

There's nothing at all wrong with what The Claque do.
They look and sound like a dozen other a capella bloke harmony combos, largely because, individually, they've been a part of one or the other over the years.
They do what they do competently. No surprises. No excitement in the sense that it's predictable. It's what many people like. Allegedly.

It always makes me feel more than slightly nauseous when expressions like "well connected", "the folk circuit / scene" and "networking / backscratching" arise along with a strong whiff of sour grapes. This is not a "scene" I've ever had, or wanted to have, anything to do with. It seems to involve never actually attending any event but hanging out in adjacent pubs or beer tens that don't charge entrance, making a GEFF-like noise and slagging off any artist who works hard on musicianship, arrangement and presentation, who tours indefatigably and produces a recorded output.

If you recognise yourself as one of the first category, carry on. There's no-one exhorting you to try and emulate the second. But if you want to BE among the second and even become eligible for one of those awards, you'll need to work at it. Hard.

It's what Jackie Oates (to single out just one artists, I hope not inappropriately or unfairly) has long been doing. Someone seems to think she has sprung from nowhere. Absolutely not true. She's been at Sidmouth I think every year since birth but I came across her perhaps 6 or 7 years ago (many have known her work longer). I can also recall a very small Eliza Carthy squabbling with an equally miniature Benji Kirkpatrick and a pre-duo Chris Wood and Andy Cutting just hanging out and looking for people to play with on the promenade.

Those who have been winning Awards over the past decade do so because of the tremendous amount of work they have put in. You may not like the system. I don't. Other "awards" are available. But the fact remains that they are the only industry benchmarks that exist currently.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Liam
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 10:02 AM

"with 170 people all voting in isolation"

I wonder how isolated some of them are, especially on the first round where just a few concerted votes can secure a nomination in several of the categories. Collusion on Round 2 needs a lot more people to "agree" and should be much more detectable, assuming processes to detect it and keep the vote tally secure are in place.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 10:29 AM

I prefer to make my point on this on the BBC board as that seem to be a more appropriate place for this debate. But yes, Liam the ratio of artists to the number on the panel with four choices each does deliver low numbers at the nomination stage. I think this is a weakness and have said so to John Leonard. There are ways of improving the ratio for the benefit of all - but i don't the results would be very different. But this is a far cry from the horrid huddle of hoary hacks that many imply.

I don;t follow you John, when you say:

"Surely votes by "informed" people should not be the criteria by which awards are given. Better it would be if judgement was made on the results of what a group of enthusiasts of all ilk found pleasing to the ear, enhancing the "genre", recognising virtuosity, informative and entertaining."

The 'informed' people ARE "a group of enthusiasts of all ilk." I've suggested that a bigger panel would be better - and this year they did ask (admittedly not very loudly) for new volunteers (most people qualify by one means or another). Artists are still debarred, but agents are now banned from voting for their own acts (an improvement though not watertight yet). Both these developments have a lot to do with the very good results this year (not that they were bad before - just less robust).

Take the trouble to find out exactly how the awards work, then make polite suggestions to the right people and you may just get results.

Tom


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,THE CLAQUE
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 10:47 AM

May I comment on the spurious suggestion that THE CLAQUE are all old blokes.
Only three of them are old blokes.I'm the one who isn't.While the rest of the group receive a share in the fee for booked appearances,I take no share as I claim carer's allowance.
I hope this touchy and embarassing aspect of the forum can now be put to bed.

Sean O'Shea


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 10:53 AM

Don't worry Sean. Diane lives north of the Thames. They've never heard of you up there.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 11:00 AM

What I find interesting about the people who seem to be complaiing about the awards are arguing with people who like Tom have been saying there are things wrong and things that need changing for years and have said so to the people who have power to change things.

Please - instead of arguing on here - lovely and opinionated as it is (!!) can I suggest you only do so once you have actually complained to the BBC and to its agent in these things Smooth Operations? Once you have woven your way through the labyrinth that is the BBC's complaints procedure and had a reply from Smooth Ops come back on here and tell us what they said in answer to the points you have made.

As for

Also whether or not someone opts to drive around the country all the time has nothing to do with it. It is what they offer to the listener and viewer that counts.

The fact is that if you don't drive around the country you are limiting yourself to your local area and thus what you offer goes no further than your local catchment area. Musicians tour - it is how they make their livelihood. I have never met a professional musician who didn't tour - of any genre.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 11:12 AM

Tom,
    I wonder what the BBC Radio Two programmers` response would be to this suggestion, bearing in mind there are still many active "folk clubs" in these islands.
1) Advise, through the medium of the highest profile
   folk/roots/accoustic music programme they put out that there
   is to be the annual recognition of performers in the above
   genres with awards to be given.
2) Invite all interested parties to respond by e-mail giving the
   details, in their opinion, of who should be recognised as the
   preferred performers, that year, for the various categories as
   decided by the programmers.
3) Set the "Answers In By Date"
4) Monitor the results and present a programme based on those
   results.

I know, I know, of course there will be attempts to rig, just like many elections but it would not take rocket science and it would certainly not be beyond the wit of the programmers to filter out the dross. This is just for starters and I`m sure a deal of polishing would be necessary but I would love to see it tried.
I fear though if such a proposal or suggestion was put to Radio Two it would fall on stony ground.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 11:29 AM

For a start, R2 outsources programme-making in this area to Smooth Operations which employs a mere handful of people. Where, exactly, will the resources come from to sift through responses from Every Man / Woman and his or her dog about this or that floor performer? Who's going to go out and record them? And who will want to hear them anyway? And what would it be for? The Smoothies wouldn't do it

(a) because they couldn't and
(b) it would lose them their contract in record time.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 11:47 AM

Since they would be seeking information from those who listen to a particular, minority radio programme the responses would be limited.

There is no need to go and record them, all that is required are the peoples selections. Once this has been settled offer the "winners" the opportunity of recording for the programme if it is necessary.

The people who listen to the programme are those that will be interested the results and what the "winners" have to offer.

Everyman/woman and his or her dog ARE the people who support the artists therefore their opinions must be considered paramount.

Regarding budget, if the BBC can vote £18m over three years for a not particularly engaging talking head then surely it could find enough money for a company like Smooth Operations, or any other company, if they don`t fancy it, to come up trumps.

I expected a great deal of objections. Now then, don`t tell me the problems, brainstorm and tell me how you think it COULD work.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 12:18 PM

There are lots of other ways of skinning this particular cat.

But like it or not it's the only cat in town at the moment, so it would be advisable to skin it without killing it.

The BBC see folk music as a minority genre, and they have bean counters who allocate funds accordingly. This is a science and not one that can be fudged. There might be a better way of spending that money, but we're unlikely to have anyone better placed than John Leonard to fight our corner - which he does well. (There would be no awards at all without his tenacity and vision).

Yes, you can make a case for an open vote (the MH request shows are not far from what you're suggesting - albeit filtered through the bbc brief) - but if you're planning to use the MH show as a conduit, bear in mind that this has instructions to keep its audience from the NB country show before it (if it doesn't, it'll lose its contract, and there will be NO folk on R2 at all), so you'll probably get more 'acoustic/country' folk winners than '58 folk' winners. I doubt that's what many want. You can fling the door open and have a full public vote - but this has been ruled out in the past on the basis that the people with the biggest PR machine would definitely win every time.

Alternatively you could change to a Mercury committee system - and this has merit, but doesn't appeal to JL, and he has his reasons.

I've suggested a bigger panel (more democracy), but through a vetting committee with editorial clout (more accountability/common sense/room for outsiders).

But all the changes I've suggested are merely to reduce the bickering and improve the PR, not to change the outcome.

Tom


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 12:20 PM

Is there anywhere we can read the BBC explanation of how the awards actually work? I suspect, from something said on the BBC board, that the way they are named may be slightly misleading with respect to the actual criteria.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 12:54 PM

ubject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss - PM
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 12:18 PM

There are lots of other ways of skinning this particular cat.

But like it or not it's the only cat in town at the moment, so it would be advisable to skin it without killing it.

The BBC see folk music as a minority genre, and they have bean counters who allocate funds accordingly. This is a science and not one that can be fudged. There might be a better way of spending that money, but we're unlikely to have anyone better placed than John Leonard to fight our corner - which he does well. (There would be no awards at all without his tenacity and vision).

Yes, you can make a case for an open vote (the MH request shows are not far from what you're suggesting - albeit filtered through the bbc brief) - but if you're planning to use the MH show as a conduit, bear in mind that this has instructions to keep its audience from the NB country show before it (if it doesn't, it'll lose its contract, and there will be NO folk on R2 at all), so you'll probably get more 'acoustic/country' folk winners than '58 folk' winners. I doubt that's what many want. You can fling the door open and have a full public vote - but this has been ruled out in the past on the basis that the people with the biggest PR machine would definitely win every time.

Alternatively you could change to a Mercury committee system - and this has merit, but doesn't appeal to JL, and he has his reasons.

I've suggested a bigger panel (more democracy), but through a vetting committee with editorial clout (more accountability/common sense/room for outsiders).

But all the changes I've suggested are merely to reduce the bickering and improve the PR, not to change the outcome.

Tom
alternatively Smooth operations come up with a non competitive,programme of folk music .


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 12:56 PM

John,

It is clear from what Tom has said in the past that he has spent time with Smooth Ops trying to help them improve their service to folk music.

But if he is a lone voice then he will get nowhere, no matter how hard he tries. If there are lots of people each writing independently it might make a difference.

Now, write to the BBC, write to Smooth Ops and get organising. If you care about the music you love and you clearly do so as much as I and all the rest of us - get talking to the right people.

Mudcat is notthe right people.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Liam
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 01:19 PM

The Nick Barraclough Country Show has been gone for about 2 years. That was when the time of the folk show changed. Mike Harding now has to take the Chris Evans audience and keep them happy until Radcliffe and Maconie arrive. It is actually quite illuminating to see how often Chris Evans does his bit to get people in the right mood with the last track he plays having perhaps a "folk" flavour. He does his bit for "follow through" quite often.

I've never found Leonard at all open to entering into a dialogue with the audience. Like many, he thought that all he had to do was to smarm up to Lesley Douglas and Smooth Ops paycheck was assured. That has all gone back to square one and they now all have to butter up a different controller. You can almost hear the fearful, almost tearful comments of certain producers and presenters in the press and on air that their special relationship with Ms Douglas has gone down the plughole.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 01:29 PM

The BBC see folk music as a minority genre, and they have bean counters who allocate funds accordingly. This is a science and not one that can be fudged. (Tom Bliss)

My point exactly.

If 'folk' music was popular it would be treated and marketed as 'popular music'. The moral being, be careful what you wish for..


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 01:42 PM

Sorry Liam - I've been out singing for my supper. You're right of course.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 01:44 PM

"If 'folk' music was popular it would be treated and marketed as 'popular music'"

What a horrible thought. Getting what you wish for indeed!

Entering into 'dialogue with Smooth Ops and the BBC? Let me put it this way, at least if you bang your head against a brick wall you get a headache.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 02:02 PM

Folkiedave,
          Quite right. I`m getting writers cramp already. I shall pass on the suggestions similar to what I posted previously and let you know the outcome.
                                                 John


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 02:25 PM

If 'folk' music was popular it would be treated and marketed as 'popular music'. The moral being, be careful what you wish for..[quote]
it is nevertheless,played much more on the Irish television and radio programmes.,without themusic being compromised.
having listened to one of the winners of these BBC AWARDS,I would say that that particular person,has already decided ,to take the commercial pop road.
popular music with a folk flavour ,competently performed,but bland.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 02:39 PM

It's not quite that simple. Folk music may well be a minority interest but many of that minority, perhaps a majority in fact, like their 'folk' music to sound like 'pop' music. It's a fact of life. This further muddies the water. I don't understand why 'youth' is the flavour of the month when there are so many older acts out there who have served their time and received no recognition from the media. One has to come to the inescapable conclusion that 'young and pretty' is much more important than 'old and authentic'. The folk scene has pretty much shot itself in the foot on this issue. Already there are young artists on major festival stages announcing, 'I learned this from a Nic Jones album of me dad's'. What happened to learning a song from yer dad?
The BBC similarly, don't understand folk and the need to absorb traditional music rather than 'learn' some songs and tunes, and so follow their 1960s mandate of giving people what they want. The BBC charter actually makes it incumbent on them to 'educate', fat chance of that.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 02:42 PM

it is nevertheless,played much more on the Irish television and radio programmes.,without themusic being compromised.

It is indeed, but that's not comparing like with like, either in the case of the music or the audience.

having listened to one of the winners of these BBC AWARDS,I would say that that particular person,has already decided ,to take the commercial pop road.
popular music with a folk flavour ,competently performed,but bland.


I agree with that, and I could grumble for the County about it, but surely it's a matter of subjective taste?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folknacious
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 02:53 PM

If Irish radio and TV has been playing wall-to-wall Irish folk music all this time, how come Irish folk music seems to have gone completely off the boil in terms of evolution, innovation and as an international brand leader. The days when Irish folk groups were looked to as world leaders have long gone, and whilst there are certainly many, many excellent musicians at play, very little has shown up in recent years that isn't an identikit clone of bands from the past. It's in a rut, a popular tradition becalmed. The days when Planxty, the Bothy Band, Altan, Moving Hearts etc blew everybody's minds because they were brilliant and moving things forward have long, long gone. Whereas England, which gets virtually nothing on the radio in real terms, has had an explosion of quality, evolution, youth involvement and real excitement in recent years. Sometimes, things flourish in adversity, with just a few straws (like the Folk Awards?) to grab for. It feels great to be here right now.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 03:30 PM

If Irish radio and TV has been playing wall-to-wall Irish folk music all this time, how come Irish folk music seems to have gone completely off the boil in terms of evolution, innovation and as an international brand leader[.quote]
has it?thats your opinion,not mine,and whats this shite about being a brand leader[more competitive crap].
who needs brand leaders,traditional music[imo] is not about being brand leaders,it is about being performed with passion, integrity,and love.
pop music with a folk flavour,is not the real mccoy,its like eating a chocolate eclair made with synthetic cream and baking powder,it looks good,but when you take a bite,you wish you hadnt.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 04:12 PM

Quite right. I`m getting writers cramp already.

I think I wrote my first letter to the BBC about folk music (lack thereof) in 1968. Written about ten a year since - minimum. Took them to the Freedom of Information Commissioner last year over the secrecy over the judging of the Folk Awards.(Came second). Currently reviving that one after a test case.

Raises painful head from typewriter.......ouch!!

Don't let the horlicks grind you down.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 10:19 PM

If Irish radio and TV has been playing wall-to-wall Irish folk music all this time, how come Irish folk music seems to have gone completely off the boil in terms of evolution, innovation and as an international brand leader

So who is now perceived as the international brand leader? Whose traditional music has spread, with such recognizable 'purity', further afield?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 24 Feb 09 - 11:41 AM

Dear Folkiedave,
                As we discussed earlier I e-mailed my suggestions concerning the voting process of the BBC Folk Awards programme and Mr. John Leonard had the good grace to telephone me to discuss the points and explain the regime Smooth Ops. are subject to rather than reply by means of e-mail. By doing so he felt that points arising could be discussed at the time rather than require another e-mail full of questions. Speaking with him, I get the impression that he is also aware of the need for a belief that a popular vote has been met and ways to achieve this is never far from his mimd. It appears, especially since that business of a number of t.v. programmes fiddling with competition results, the BBC, quite rightly, require absolute transparency in anything involving the public.
             Regarding the candidates, John Leonard explained that for the first vote the 170 or more selectors are invited to name ANYBODY they thought were the best in each category for the year with the proviso there was no business, folk circle, social or family interests between them that would influence their choice. They are at liberty to name popular artists, floor talent, long time established performers, new boy/girl on the block, etc. From that vote the top four are put forward for the final choice. Regarding my suggestion of e-mail voting, it is not the logistics of handling or cost but the ability of interested parties such as fan bases or artists touting for support to sway the figures. I feel his explanation goes a long way to satisfy my query and would like to think the programme makers are aware of the public concern in this area among folk music enthusiasts.
I must thank him for taking time out call me to discuss points they regard having much relevance to their output.
                                             All The Best,
                                                 John


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Feb 09 - 12:55 PM

brand leaders,is folk music to be treated like Persil ?.
Peggy Seeger made a point in a recent interview,that her music was not commercially viable,it wasnt meant to be.
it is about time that some of the people leading the English Folk Revival,made it clear that leading the folk revival down a commercial[popular music path]will not benefit the music.
people who talk about brand leaders show a mindset that indicates they like commercialism, and that they like competitions.,it is as silly as the national school league tables.
I repeat vacuous competitions are not the best way of promoting any knid of music on television /radio.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 24 Feb 09 - 01:43 PM

people who talk about brand leaders show a mindset that indicates they like commercialism, and that they like competitions.

Eh?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Feb 09 - 02:44 PM

Hi John and thanks for coming back to the forum.

And I would suggest that you have had more effect on his thinking than a million posts on Mudcat.

Would that everyone did it.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 05:29 AM

A few days ago I asked, in all innocence, if there was anywhere we could read the BBC explanation of how the awards actually worked. Judging by Folkiedave's post of 19 Feb 09 - 04:12 PM, this was a naive hope. However, the third message on this thread on the BBC message board claims to give the game away. It's been there since November so the Beeb can't mind.

It makes interesting reading. Although some of the awards ask for "best", more common are "most impact" and "significant". This helps make sense of Folkiedave's rather surreal "Take a look at Lau's gig list here compared to the Claques gig list here and ask yourself who is most likely to win an award - assuming you had never heard of either of them.". It doesn't seem to be a question of whether Lau were "better" than The Claque or, for that matter, Bellowhead, Faustus or Mawkin:Causley. That's not what they were being given the award for.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 06:31 AM

It makes interesting reading. Although some of the awards ask for "best", more common are "most impact" and "significant". This helps make sense of Folkiedave's rather surreal "Take a look at Lau's gig list here compared to the Claques gig list here and ask yourself who is most likely to win an award - assuming you had never heard of either of them.".

Not sure what "rather surreal" means in this context.It is obvious which is the more likely to win an award to me. If that is "rather surreal".............................

But if it helps to make my meaning clear it is hard to miss Lau; it is possible to miss the Claque.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 06:45 AM

The award is not for Easiest Group Not To Miss, it is for BEST Group. The idea that you can judge which group is best without even having heard OF them let alone having heard them does my head in.

Were Lau "better" than Bellowhead, Faustus or Mawkin:Causley or just less easy to miss?


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 07:24 AM

and anyway all this best stuff is puerile and childish.
less easy to miss ,could be about having good promotion or a good agent or both.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 08:02 AM

of course ,because someone,promotes themselves well or is promoted well,it doesnt mean that they are not good .
my comments are not intended as a criticism on any of the winners but more a criticism,of awards,and awards being considered good television/radio .


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 09:13 AM

my comments are not intended as a criticism on any of the winners but more a criticism,of awards,and awards being considered good television/radio

Ah Dick, that's an altogether wider-ranging question. It would seem, from the regular programmes highlighting the Oscars, the BAFTAs, the Grammys, the Emmys - and the whole hoopla - that broadcasters, unfortunately, DO consider them to be "good radio and TV". By which I mean pulling in the listeners and viewers as part of the ratings game. I never listen to or watch any of them myself, but there they are, as large as life, and I can't see them going away! :-)


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 12:22 PM

I ain't a judge.

"Best" is a matter of opinion. You disagreed with the judges. So did I.

I can live with it.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 01:09 PM

200.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: TheSnail
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 03:40 PM

No Dave, I haven't disagreed with the judges about anything (apart from a slight puzzlement about the Best Original Song). That isn't the issue.

Just to make a couple of things clear -

Nobody has suggested that The Claque should have won the award.

Nobody has suggested that Lau should not have won the award.

That isn't the question. The question is, what did they win the award for? The title says "Best" which suggests that their performance, either on stage or recording, was better than anybody else's. Maybe it was, I don't know, I've never seen them. (I saw The Claque three times last year.) The guidance for voters says "most impact". With your concentration on gig lists and foreign tours, you seem to favour the latter. They aren't the same thing.

Faye's point (excuse me if I've got this wrong) is that "best" is meaningless if you aren't comparing like with like.


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Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
From: GUEST,THE CLAQUE
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 04:50 PM

I'm reluctant to infringe,off-topic,on this thread's origin,but if anyone would like us to come and sing to them at their event,I can be contacted at sean.oshea@hotmail.co.uk.In its own limited way,this thread spreads our name a bit.We don't travel a lot because we don't have a PR stream and because that's not what we want in a big way.We have an album on WILDGOOSE RECORDS that was critically acclaimed on a national level,last year and played on Radio 2 and 3 and across the US and Australia.As a group,in the last two years,we've done WHITBY,CHIPPENHAM,WADEBRIDGE,SIDMOUTH,CHELTENHAM,TENTERDEN festivals as booked guests.

Awards on this scale don't apply to us.It seems to me that these awards celebrate success on a bigger plane than we aim for or would want to achieve and I think that's all right.But there are many working folk artists who underpin and continue to underpin the folk world at a genuine roots level-this is,to my mind,not where many of the award winners are.
It's like two different co-existing strata,one youth-driven,one veteran maintained and it's the former group who would expect the gongs as it stands.Having said that,I think that the veterans who do get the gongs are the ones who have embraced the young thrusters more visibly and ,at times,for non-esoteric motives.How do you,as a veteran,appear cool to the kids?Why,you fawn over them,of course.


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