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Singers - still get in free - 2009

Ian Fyvie 18 May 09 - 01:51 PM
Ian Fyvie 29 Mar 09 - 08:53 PM
Valmai Goodyear 26 Mar 09 - 09:39 AM
Frank_Finn 26 Mar 09 - 07:47 AM
evansakes 26 Mar 09 - 05:16 AM
Banjiman 25 Mar 09 - 02:01 PM
George Papavgeris 25 Mar 09 - 01:15 PM
Banjiman 25 Mar 09 - 12:46 PM
breezy 25 Mar 09 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Cliff 25 Mar 09 - 10:52 AM
George Papavgeris 25 Mar 09 - 09:45 AM
Ian Fyvie 24 Mar 09 - 10:29 PM
BB 23 Mar 09 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Iannotsignedin 23 Mar 09 - 03:44 PM
Banjiman 23 Mar 09 - 04:44 AM
Ian Fyvie 22 Mar 09 - 09:14 PM
GUEST,Stuart Reed 22 Mar 09 - 05:01 PM
Ian Fyvie 22 Mar 09 - 04:03 PM
Ian Fyvie 22 Mar 09 - 03:44 PM
Jack Campin 21 Mar 09 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,Stuart Reed 21 Mar 09 - 07:21 AM
LesB 21 Mar 09 - 06:42 AM
Sleepy Rosie 21 Mar 09 - 05:24 AM
Phil Edwards 21 Mar 09 - 04:48 AM
evansakes 21 Mar 09 - 04:18 AM
Ian Fyvie 20 Mar 09 - 09:32 PM
Ian Fyvie 20 Mar 09 - 08:49 PM
Ian Fyvie 20 Mar 09 - 07:25 PM
The Sandman 20 Mar 09 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Stuart Reed 20 Mar 09 - 08:40 AM
Ian Fyvie 19 Mar 09 - 10:47 PM
GUEST,Stuart Reed 19 Mar 09 - 07:41 AM
Ian Fyvie 18 Mar 09 - 09:34 PM
GUEST 18 Mar 09 - 09:30 PM
evansakes 18 Mar 09 - 06:05 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 18 Mar 09 - 04:57 AM
Ian Fyvie 17 Mar 09 - 09:10 PM
breezy 17 Mar 09 - 05:13 PM
Ian Fyvie 17 Mar 09 - 02:43 PM
Banjiman 17 Mar 09 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,Stuart Reed 17 Mar 09 - 12:43 PM
Banjiman 17 Mar 09 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 17 Mar 09 - 11:17 AM
Ian Fyvie 17 Mar 09 - 11:07 AM
Ian Fyvie 17 Mar 09 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Stuart Reed 17 Mar 09 - 10:05 AM
GUEST 17 Mar 09 - 09:56 AM
The Sandman 17 Mar 09 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 17 Mar 09 - 05:23 AM
Ian Fyvie 16 Mar 09 - 11:37 PM
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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 18 May 09 - 01:51 PM

Thanks to everyone who contributed info to this thread earlier in the year,

Villain started a long overdue Permathread for all clubs which made a listing as proposed here less urgent.

But if anyone wants to add any more free-entry-for-singers info, perhaps its worth having a second run. It's summer nearly (honest!) and a good time for people to explore new clubs (and I may still do the listing - perhaps I should learn about permathreads.... )

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 08:53 PM

Frank Finn - thanks for the info - noted and will be listed shortly.

Valmai - thanks also - I knew! (made over once a few years back admittedly...). Ruth also reminded me when I saw her shopping in Hove last week!

Ian


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 09:39 AM

Ian, you'll know about this one but perhaps others won't: there's a free singaround at the Trevor Arms , Glynde, East Sussex, right next to the railway station, on the third Tuesday of every month. It was run for decades by Sandra Goddard and is now run by Ruth Cooke, Jamie Crawford (both of Brighton Storytellers as well as being singers) and Elizabeth Rimmington, with support from Sandra. The Snail and I usually go to it.

It's quite small and there's a fair bit of discussion of the songs and tunes; it's also very ballad-friendly.

A note of caution: the current landlord and landlady are retiring in May, so after this month it would be wise to check that we're still welcome under the new administration before setting off.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Frank_Finn
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 07:47 AM

Sligo Traditional Singers Session. 2nd Wednesday of every month, Ballinacarrow, Sligo ,Ireland. All free and you also get barbecue spare ribs, cocktail sausages, etc.
Sligo Traditional Singers Circle
Contact Us


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: evansakes
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 05:16 AM

What do you think, George?

Finger-pickin' good!


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Banjiman
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 02:01 PM

George,

If you arrive by helicopter I'll get you a bargain bucket as well!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 01:15 PM

Do we get a Family-sized Bucket of Chicken Wings too?
Oh - sorry, misread... :-)


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Banjiman
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 12:46 PM

OK, Cliff, Ian,

I'll let any singer into KFFC for free if they arrive by helicopter, but they must land it on the village green outside the club!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: breezy
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 12:37 PM

But Reuben's Train do it best


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: GUEST,Cliff
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 10:52 AM

Kris Kristofferson thought it worthwhile to hire & fly a helicopter to land on Johnny Cashs lawn to get him to listen to ONE song.
Sunday Morning Coming Down - turned out to be well worth it IMO.


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 09:45 AM

Never mind what happened in the 60s and 70s, when clubs were folk were flocking to the folk clubs and finances were not as serious an issue in running a club. And never mind the distinctions between singers' clubs, payclubs, sessions and plain old birthday bashes. Today things are different - fact is fact - and the folk scene has evolved (or degenerated, if you are that way inclined) into what is there now. I would not begrudge anyone their charging policies - they cut their suit to fit the cloth.

And if one is not willing to spend money for a good singaround, there are free sessions and there is always the birthday bash - invite some folk to your place then! But as one snigger/snogwriter (nod to the Countess) to another, I cannot agree with the statement "one song - it really isn't worth my while getting my guitar out...".

Not so long ago (2003) one song was worth it for me to travel 200 miles each way for a singaround AND pay an entrance fee. And if the Open Door was still running, it would still be worth it. Herga and Sharps' and Twickfolk, and Tudor, and Bacup and dozens of clubs around the country are worth it. Because what matters is the chance to sing your song - for a songwriter at least. And whether you have to pay to help out an organisation with similar interests to yours, or not have to pay, is in my opinion less of an issue. For a songwriter, this is a case of putting one's money where one's mouth is.


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 10:29 PM

Barbara

Thanks for your Combe Martin singaround info.

Have a look at the Blue Clicky facility (bottom right of dialogue box). It'll give everyone an instant link to your club's website.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: BB
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 04:22 PM

Half our nights are singarounds where, we hope, everyone puts the price of a pint in the pot, but there's no-one standing over them with a whip. That money goes to paying the expenses of occasional pre-arranged visiting performers who do get to do a few extra songs in return - it also goes towards subsidising occasional skills workshops. And with the number if performers who attend, whether or not there's a 'visiting performer', they never get more than a couple of songs - but that's not what it's about. It's about sharing songs with others.

The other half of our nights are concerts with pre-arranged 'floor spots' - and everyone, but everyone, except the main guest pays - and I've never had someone invited to do a floor spot refuse, including the occasional one who gigs elsewhere, because they're all there to enjoy the guest performer who works damned hard to exhibit the skills on display, whether they be musical skills or 'reacting with the audience' skills.

Oh, the club is called 'Shammick Acoustic' and it's in Combe Martin, North Devon. More details at our website. You now know what you'd be getting, and all I can say is, you'd be very welcome if you're down this way on holiday any time - I think most locals already know about it.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: GUEST,Iannotsignedin
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 03:44 PM

Hello Paul

I'm being positive again! At Stuart's Club you get to sing, and see a guest and still don't pay except how much you want to in the collection (I gather.... Stuart will correct anything I've got wrong I expect),

So - many good value models around.

All I paid for last night at an excellent Sunday Singaround was for 3 pints of Harveys (cynics will say that at North of England beer prices you can still buy three pints and have enough to go to a Guest Folk Club compared to us..... )


BW Ian


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Banjiman
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 04:44 AM

You're goading me again Ian!

We charge £5 for a club night at KFFC.... for this you get 2 top quality pro standard acts..... as well as the opportunity to do your own stuff at the after show singaround.

I think that represents excellent value! Full of "real" people as well.

I'm expecting 50+ in for The Young'Uns on Saturday night. Speaks for itself really.

The charge is up front.... people can decide to come or not based on this, we won't "ambush" you with a whip round.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 09:14 PM

Shameless Stuart? Why not be proud you're offering a low cost folk night - real people doing real things - at a time when lots of people have less money, yet don't want to sit at home replaying the same DVD they forgot to return.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: GUEST,Stuart Reed
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 05:01 PM

Shameless plug for the above mentioned session because I've just learned how to insert a link!
http://www.brightonacoustic.com


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 04:03 PM

A posted a PS to Pip Radish - but its gone to a different thread!

Basically - this thread is needed because 1) there are folk fans who want a cheap night out (re Sleeoy Rosie); 2) there are folk enthusiasts for whom folk is a participatory thing (me) - not a cinsumer product. 3) there are singarounds that charge singers and Guest Clubs that don't - so we need the informaion to allow us to make the right choice for our particular preferences in Folk.


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 03:44 PM

Thank you Stuart - that's helpful info for anyone coming on to this thread simply to find out where they can share a song with other folk enthusiasts without paying.

Twickfolk - I've always assumed you run a concert club - no floorspots, so no-ones going to encourage floorsingers to invade your territory.

This thread is precisely about pointing (eg.visiting) singers to where they ARE welcome to do what they want to so: SING FOLK SONGS.

It does no-one any favours sending a visiting floor singer to a club where s/he's not wecome, or get a hard time if s/he dares think s/he is also a folk singer.

LesB - you're a convenient marker for the dividing line between Info at the begining of the thread - and the argument therafter, until the last 48 hours at least.

I'm happy to confirm that you were one of our contributors offering useful information.

Sleepy Rosie - I guess it's possible - but worth giving it another day or so to accumulate a few more Singer's Clubs - sessions info perhaps.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Mar 09 - 07:49 AM

Jim Maclean:
I let Bob Dylan in for nothing when he first arrived at the King and Queen, in 1962. He was virtually unknown (to me and most of the audience) but he had a guitar with him. Should I have charged him? He did sing though.

I was in the King and Queen last weekend, and the impression I got from the framed copy of the press cuttings about that was that he had a paid gig. You're saying he didn't?

Either way you blew an opportunity to change history for the better by telling him to bugger off and where the local dole office was.


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: GUEST,Stuart Reed
Date: 21 Mar 09 - 07:21 AM

In belated response to the thread title - everyone gets in free to the Brighton Acoustic Session and everyone gets the chance to sing at least one song.

Details at www.brightonacoustic.com


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: LesB
Date: 21 Mar 09 - 06:42 AM

"After LesB's posting is when info becomes overwhelmed by debate."

I hope that you are not crediting me with this development :-)
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 21 Mar 09 - 05:24 AM

Must admit I've had a bit of trouble following this thread - and have barely scanned the bulk of it! Possibly because many of the issues are outside of my realm of experience, and probably my interest likewise. However it is of interest to me to know anywhere that provides a fun evening at minimal expense. And it seems a pity that the thread lost its purpose somewhere along the line.

Ian Fyvie, would it be worth cut and pasting the straightforward answers to the question posited, and copying to fresh thread? This one could always be retitled as a debate or whatever about the issues raised and could rage on independently. A thought...


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 21 Mar 09 - 04:48 AM

SO....... WHERE CAN SINGERS GET IN FREE?

SINGAROUNDS, USUALLY.

OR DID YOU MEAN, WHERE CAN SINGERS (BUT NOT PUNTERS) GET IN FREE? IN WHICH CASE I NEITHER KNOW NOR CARE.

(WHY ARE WE SHOUTING?)


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: evansakes
Date: 21 Mar 09 - 04:18 AM

"SO....... WHERE CAN SINGERS GET IN FREE?" (Ian Fyvie)

Ian, did it ever occur to you (even for a nanosecond) that "getting in free" isn't as high on many people's priorities as it obviously is on yours?

No?

Thought not...

Stick to the weekly singarounds where you and your cronies can sing as many songs as they like without unlocking the combinations on your wallets. Leave the proper clubs to get on with what they do (and what their audiences enjoy)....ie supporting a circuit of guests who are endeavouring to make (usually meagre) livings by playing music that (in most cases) exhibits true artistry.

The two types of event can happily co-exist. As has been said many times nobody has criticised the open-access, anything-goes, toll-free singaround events that you yourself patronise...please don't continue to insult those who arrange and attend events that are different.

Thank you (Over and out)


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 09:32 PM

SO....... WHERE CAN SINGERS GET IN FREE?

Most info can be found within the first 25 postings. After that comment vastly outweighs information!

See early postings by: Ian Fyvie, Terry McDonald, Richard Bridge, Alex s, Sussex Carole, Virginia Tam, Suzi Z, Banjiman and info on singers' clubs where singers pay from Breezy and Dame Pattie Smith to start with.

A number of others have mentioned singers nights at guest clubs.

After LesB's posting is when info becomes overwhelmed by debate.

..............ANY MORE CLUBS TO ADD?


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 08:49 PM

Stuart

My posting above covers your second point by and large.

Who are they? I'm certainly not naming names though I've heard two mentioned.

The reason being paranoid envy? The envy bit could be right when you know that the source of this opinion is the concert club and festival scene. Besides hearing the comment on BBC Radio (as stated above) it has been discussed in my presence by people who know the above scene.

The envious ones?   My guess it's guest singers who have done the rounds and are envious of those parachuted in. It's probably arisen from talk in the bars. Creationist theory? Why not put it to those nearer to the scene where the view was probably created? I don't mix in those circles.

**Sentence one - semantic quibbling? You're peddling a wrong message. No point in arguing over which wrong word you want to use in a complete misrepresentation.

**Popular singers reputations made by a consensus? I'm not doing essays. I could argue around various tangents, but as a basic statement - it's wrong.

**Unrepresentative minority quote? Again an essays worth to break it down. Want to do surveys of opinion within the entire folk scene? I don't. Every political party and pressure group in the land is actually a minority - its not going to stop any one of them putting forward their views.   

**Guest reputations rubbished? Believe all guests are God (and all floor singers are rubbish?) if you like. Rather sad I'd say , if that's really what you believe.

Back on the paranoid envy (of guests)....   did you actually think I was suffering it? I don't crave large folk club audiences. It wouldn't bother me if I never ever played again outside of a singaround club.


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 07:25 PM

Re: Big Names parachuted in etc.

CaptB - your list could extend to the vast majority of guests. My statement, quantatively, says "A number of". No contradiction!

I'm certainly not talking actual numbers, same as you - I doubt if anyone could. The question is whether my statement is wrong ie - it applies to no-one. My information comes from a commentator on BBC Radio!


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 10:29 AM

I know for a fact ,that the following musicians have done floorspots and sat in folk clubs ,Steve Turner,Keith Kendrick,Peter Bellamy,Louis Killen,Chris Wilson,Ken Wilson[WilsonFamily],Dick Miles,Richard Grainger,Dave Walters,Pete Castle,Martin Carthy,Tom Paley.


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: GUEST,Stuart Reed
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 08:40 AM

Ian

OK, I'll indulge your semantic quibbling and substitute admitted for discovered. So now answer my point that popular singers' reputations are made by a broad consensus and then defend yourself against the charge that you belong to a tiny and unrepresentative minority who consistently rubbish these reputations.

As for

It's well know that a number of Big Names who guest in the folk scene have seldom sat in a folk club audience / done a fllorspot

Well known to whom?

The implication is that your (unnamed) Big Names just waltzed into the club circuit they had "seldom" set foot in, got bookings and became Big Names, just like that.

This is chillingly close to Creationist theory and stinks of paranoid envy.


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 10:47 PM

Stuart

You're ot of touch. It's well know that a number of Big Names who guest in the folk scene have seldom sat in a folk club audience / done a fllorspot.

To suggest I'm claiming to have discovered the "base-up" process of finding guests is the real jaw dropping bit. If you're convinced that what I said then I presume you can find a quote from me to that effect.

Your comments are descending into C**P!


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: GUEST,Stuart Reed
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 07:41 AM

Ian,

So you've finally discovered the "base-up" process for identifying good performers that club organisers have been using for years.

The well known performers on the club circuit have gained their popularity because it's audiences who have "hyped them up" by word of mouth.

To suggest otherwise, namely that the multitudes of people who have paid to see them over the years have been duped by a "coterie" of club organisers and record companies is jaw-droppingly patronising.

Your manifesto is like that of an elite cabal which is proud to claim its superiority over the masses - more hot house flowers than grass roots.


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 09:34 PM

Oops - forgot to sign in - like Stuart a couple of post ago.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 09:30 PM

Hello Tom (wearing a big smile after reading your last posting)

After breezy's posting and not dissimilar comment from new mudcatter Keith (Welcome Keith) to me in person tonight, let me elucidate!

Brighton Cellarlolk was my spur-of-the-moment spin off from the Brighton SIngers Folk Club which, two years ago was experiencing several problems. Keith by the way, came up with the Cellarfolk name.

It was an experiment in trying to put right the problems referred to above, and to try to create something like my ideal folk club where people share music, and have a bit of fun at the same time (how many clubs are full of good musicians- but like Death?).

An unintended experiment was to book an occasional guest. These bookings arose NOT by scanning the folk adverts, seeing whose hot on the circuit, promising them a fee at the going rate - and hoping to cover costs. Plenty of clubs do that - and I heard organizers of a more recently started club, have already made losses like £70 on booking guests - but that's only hearsay - I don't know the organizer (I'm told I probably saw him around the club scene in the 1970's).

(Back to Cellarfolk....) We simply offered bookings to people who came along to Cellarfolk, and went down well. They were booked because our regular supporters thought they'd like to hear more from them - NOT because they were a Hot Name. Our guests were booked through an organic process (this is going to solicit comments!!) not a commercial one.

So to start with, we are giving a platform to genuinely talented people (not hyped* ones) who in the vast majority of cases have had little 'exposure' in the formal Guest Club scene. Secondly, the economic relationship is between club supporters and guest direct. They receive in the hat collection a reflection of what club supporters think of them and what supporters can afford (this should please Free Market fans). Therefore I am not a promoter.

We could argue that we're simply rewarding particularly good floor singers rather than booking guests artists, if you follow through breezy's recent comment (I was tempted breezy, perhaps in another thread).

And artists at our recent full guest nights** have been quite happy with their collections I gather.

So here's the counter to those who might just have thought I was being hypocritical - folk who appear as guests with us do so through a base-up process ie. people who our supporters have seen and liked. The normal/conventional guest comes from a top-down process. ie. who's available? What price?

Our process is the one that will nurture much (probably the best) of the talent of the future. Sadly more will continue to come from the: Record company +£££ route, I suspect.

The footnotes

*hyped ones - as in you've probably seen the leaflet - the folk mag advert etc; had a canvassing call. Our guests have all done a bit in our singaround circle first.
**some of our featured artists simply do an extended spot - and don't have a collection. Our last full guests were Rattlebag from Hastings - and were superb. - worth the Big Boys and Girls booking if they're looking for fresh, energetic yet traditional entertainers IMHO (am I allowed to offer you such suggestions Twickfolk?).

The foot footnote: Guest nights don't go down well with some of our supporters. Our club is basically and always will be Singers' Club, but with special nights balanced to serve our key supporters. So we haven't "Sold Out".

I trust I've answered all your points Tom.


Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: evansakes
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 06:05 AM

For guest club organisers like myself and Ian "denial" is just a river in Egypt, Tom.


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 04:57 AM

Well, Ian. I'm (almost) speechless.

So in truth you run a reasonably conventional Guest Club, against which most of the accusations that you aim at others can reasonably be laid? Goodness gracious me.

You book guests. How do you make sure you avoid booking anyone who has been 'hyped' or had a write up in a local mag?

You advertise. How, then, do you avoid 'hype'?

You restrict floor singing time by booking a guest. How do you then manage to ensure that everyone gets as many songs as they want, (at least four each is it)?, no matter how many turn up demanding a go?

You admit a non-participating audience. How do you then make sure that you let in no-one who might have been 'indoctinated' or who admires the guest in some way?

You advocate free entry as a political principle. How do you square the collection of money for the guest (which really is no different to a door charge in practice) with your beliefs?

It seems to me that the only difference between your club and those you despise is that in yours you are in control, so can please yourself. If that's too strong, I apologise, but if it's not then maybe you should think about all those you have insulted above.

Wanders off muttering darkly.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 09:10 PM

Hello Breezy

Can't believe it - two enquiries about Cellarfolk bookings in one night!

The other person is a local singer who played a spot at another nearby club last year. Better watch out we don't become 'popular'!

Best give me a ring on 01273 509552.

Had a sad tinge to tonight's club, as Crown and Anchor singaround supporter - Elanor - made her first and last visit to Cellafolk. She's moving back "up North' first thing tomorrow.   She's a natural Folk Club organizer so suspect she'll be starting a singers' event somewhere "not very far South of Manchester" as soon as she's established.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: breezy
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 05:13 PM

Hello Ian

The term 'Guest' doesn't ring true Ian , maybe your idea of a 'guest' would not be the same as a 'club guest' for example I can't see the likes of Roy Bailey, Martin Carthy and Vin Garbut appearing for you, mind you they would attract a large attendance and the attendeeswould be willing to pay upwards of £8. They may not want to hear you though.

I doubt if many or your guests travel from too far away and would probably be residents at other clubs rather than gigging artistes, but I could be totally wrong.

I do know that some would travel to you as a means of increasing their exposure, but it would cost them in the process.

So when do yuo want me to come, I'm slack in September.

There's a challenge to both of us, I'm up for it so do you have the balls ?


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 02:43 PM

Back again!

Banjiman and Tom - yes of course I recognise you both support Guest Clubs and Singarounds. I'm picking up on various points and comments for a general readership to this thread - and trying to summarise my position to round particular points off at the same time I guess (rushed sometimes - not advisable!)

There's a reasonable consensus and having explored with mudcattes some of the things we discuss during "Chat and Tune Up" I heartened that there are people determined to regenerate folk.

On Cellarfolk - Stuart, thanks for your comments. I recognise that you're busy on Tuesdays (was it that long ago we used to see you at the Cleveland?)

Booking guests >> succecss?   Generally no. We've always attracted a few new/occasional people on guest nights - but lost others because of less turns in the circle.   So future guest nights have to be weighed up more carefully. Its knowing what our regular supporters prefer - that, I have to say is chance to play 3 songs!

No, Banjiman, we don't charge even on guest nights - just have a collection. We had some excellent guests despite no fixed fee* (I can anticipate a likely comment here...)

Hope I've covered all the latest points - off to Cellarfolk!

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Banjiman
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 12:46 PM

What! the man books guests...... but he would never pay to see one!

Do the audience have to PAY to get in????


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: GUEST,Stuart Reed
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 12:43 PM

I've only been able to get to you Cellarfolk club once because I am committed elsewhere on Tuesdays but I have only heard good reports of it, so hats off to you.

Stuart

PS I wonder if it's the most successful of your ventures because you book guests?


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Banjiman
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 11:49 AM

"Banjiman - what better way of promoting and expanding folk than to list SIngers Clubs that are free to go to, particularly if you're a singer?

Do you really want everyone entering the folk world to pay an entry fee and see a guest when they just want a cheap night sharing folk songs? The pure economics alone will be be a barrier for many - quite apart from the guest club not providing the sort of thing they actually want!"

Ian,

If you re-read my posts you'll see that I attend and support a weekly singaround (Burneston Folk Club) as well as run a Guest Club. I enjoy both and see brilliant performers at both. You do see the not so good at singers nights as well...... which is a rarity at a guest club with no floor singers (I've had negatiove comments about one of the fifty or so semi-pro or pro guests I've booked over the last 18 months).

Though there is a fair degree of overlap between the 2 attendances we do get "audience" at KFFC who would never attend a singaround. There are also those who won't pay to come to KFFC and only attend when they are a booked support (the cads!). So both approaches promote the folk scene..... so please stop knocking pay clubs, if you don't like 'em, just leave them alone. I'm certainly not knocking what you do..... and I don't see anyone else knocking it either.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 11:17 AM

"The problem overall here is seeing booked guests as the only source of learning; and with it a denial that you can see brillaint and inspirational people at singarounds."

I can't think why you feel people think like this Ian - I see no evidence of it. It's just so obvious that no-one needs to mention it!

"Do you really want everyone entering the folk world to pay an entry fee and see a guest when they just want a cheap night sharing folk songs?"

But that's the beauty of the folk scene. You don't have to. There's clubs and gatherings of all shapes and sizes and prices to suit all tastes and requirements, and that's as it should be. No need to knock anyone else in order to promote your own corner. What I'm trying to do is to protect the 'guest' corner, but you don't hear me belittling anyone else, do you? Quite the opposite - I'm constantly saying how important the 'am' sector is, and I support it myself all the time (I'll probably be out at a session tonight).

It's starting to emerge that you are locked into some battle from thirty years ago. If you changed your mind, and actually went to see a few guest artists today you might be pleasantly surprised not only by the artists but by the welcome - and the number of songs you got to sing! But if that's too much to swallow perhaps you might consider toning down your comments a little on the grounds that you might just possibly be a smidgin out of touch, and so save me from having to do all this darned typing! :-)

Tom


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 11:07 AM

Stuart - looks like posting crossed in the ether.

I don't remember you visiting Cellarfolk tuesdays very often.   There has never been less than 11 people in the entire club history (founded May 2007).

We were running at nearly 30 many weeks for a time. The natural selection process kicked in (re Marje a couple opf days ago) and it now runs at a comfortable 12 -19 most weeks.

Crown and Anchor singarounds - certainly 3/4 some times (not often recently). But last time you came along (February) there were about a dozen of us - again an ideal size for a singaround - unless you get a lot of listeners. But we don't go for numbers - we go for a quality evening. Crown and Anchor nights are always enjoyable.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 10:53 AM

Tom - Very good news about the study - that's going to be a major step in the right direction.

On the floorspot issue, the examples I draw on are mainly on the late 1970s/early'80s era. The type of rudeness towards floor singers was suffered by a number of people I know / knew in the past. As mentioned last posting - I still hear stories of this type from singers who come to our Singarounds who get about more than I do*.

I wasn't actually a major victim (though it may seem that way!) - once I'd sussed the way a club was run I simply steered clear of it.
\
Sadly a number of singers saw these clubs as THE folk scene so kept on trying - so kept on being treated badly. Result? some fine musicians and songwriters have had an unhappy life in music - a number more have been
scared away from folk for ever.

The best thing we ever did was to set up the alternative folk scene. This, I hope, saved many more singers being driven away.

*I stopped going to guest clubs in the early 1980's (except one where I was resident) - and the last time I paid to see a guest was on Bob Copper's 80th Birthday - a long time ago! All I do now is support our local weekly singarounds - with an occasional visit to a nearby club (singers night, special event or to support friends) or a London area Singers Club / Singaround. Plus I have some unfulfilled invitations on the list which are only acessible by car.

Quick one or two more -

Capt B - Folk Cliques - all iI said was that they were all too common - not that all folk clubs are run cliques. I wouldn't give any examples here but some of my friends are quite happy to name clubs where this is still the case right now.

Breezy - I did go to clubs (see above) for several years. I saw a good selection of the Guests doing the circuits of the day. I was impressed by two brilliiant singer songwriters (famous ones) and two more excellent ones who fall into Tom's Journeyman catagory (never became big names).

I was not impressed with most of the other 'Journeymen' however - good performers nearly always - but it comes to taste at some point - unless you are that folk club "stalwart ".

The problem overall here is seeing booked guests as the only source of learning; and with it a denial that you can see brillaint and inspirational people at singarounds.   

Banjiman - what better way of promoting and expanding folk than to list SIngers Clubs that are free to go to, particularly if you're a singer?

Do you really want everyone entering the folk world to pay an entry fee and see a guest when they just want a cheap night sharing folk songs? The pure economics alone will be be a barrier for many - quite apart from the guest club not providing the sort of thing they actually want!

Snail - sorry but I really think you missed my point!


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: GUEST,Stuart Reed
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 10:05 AM

Sorry, forgot to sign the post above


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 09:56 AM

Ian, no one could deny the admirable work done over the years - you've been tirelessly indefatigable in your championing of open-access singarounds but I think your claims of widespread disillusionment with the folk scene are wide of the mark.

You say that clubs "drove many new singers away" and "stopped a wider variety of people getting involved with folk." and refer to "a large number of potential floor singers.." and then "a critical mass was reached where there were enough people to form an alternative 'scene'"

These are exaggerated generalisations, solipsistic in the extreme. If there were that many disillusioned, disenfranchised performers, desperate for a chance to sing then your well-publicised thrice-weekly sessions would be bursting at the seams. But that's not the case is it?

I've been to your sessions many times when there have been three or four of us in the room whereas, despite what you say, most of the regular clubs in the area are in a pretty healthy state. To give one example: the very small and isolated town of Arundel runs a weekly folk club which alternates between booked guests and singers nights. You have to drive to get there and pay to get in - and it's packed to the rafters every week.

And here's a curious thing. There must be a couple of dozen open mic nights in Brighton every week and they're thriving in the ruthless bottom line commercialism of the high street pubs. A good or a bad thing?


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 06:45 AM

The problem in my experience living in different parts of England over many decades is the folk clique who see things as a pecking order, therefore looking down on floor singers, Singers Clubs and Singarounds - typically anything/one that's not commercially active. They are still all too common. These are the antagonists - and it's inevitable they will stimulate reaction. Ian Fyvie[quote]
No the antagonists are people who make generalised statements like this.
Here is my own experience ,I [circa 1970]started off as a floor singer,went on to run several clubs and ended up as a professional folk singer,it was through doing floor spots that I ended up doing gigs.
it is possible to graduate from doing floor spots,to doing gigs,if you work at it,and long may that continue to be the case.
I can only think of one club where I used to be a floor singer where I know I would not be booked,but it is a minority not a majority.
http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 05:23 AM

Well Ian, there may be some truth in what you say, and you're not the first to make accusations of cliquery. But might it not be that organisers are merely either rewarding loyalty - i.e. favouring those who turn up reliably every week, or trying to maintain a chosen club ethos, such as traditional or contemporary, higher skill levels, chorus songs, or 'performance standards' (specially on guest nights) or whatever?

Cliques usually turn out to be no more than groups of friends, and if you're friendly too you soon get along fine. Your songs seem to be right in the middle in terms of trad/cont (much as mine are), and obviously you sing and play nicely too, so there has to be some other reason you're not getting spots - unless you're wanting more limelight than guest club averages can reasonably offer. In which case starting your own gig is the obvious solution, though taking pops at other typse of club might not be.

I get the impression you're out a lot and travel far. If so you'll be a 'stranger' at a lot of clubs, and it may take a good few visits to get accepted. I agree this is not ideal, and it's much nicer to be welcomed and feted at the first visit, but it's kind of human nature, so firing off salvos of 'grape'-shot here is unlikely to improve your situation, plus it's terrible PR for folk music.

Yes, I'm calling for an academic study. Philip Butterworth from the Arts Council is starting a survey, ant this must be good news - but I don't know what his terms of reference are, so how his findings may impact.

tom


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Subject: RE: Singers - still get in free - 2009
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 11:37 PM

Thanks for today's comments.

Twickfolk - I didn't expect to be thanking you re. reference to our Myspace site.

The bit that's missing, for space / trying to be concise reasons is a bit of detail about the origins of Singarounds here. I was reminded of the point when reading Tom's Living Tradition article (at last!) monday morning.

The folk environment we found in the late 1970s was pretty much as some of the themes (Hands up!) I keep refering to - in various threads. There were good organisers of course, as well as exclusive ones but its the latter I blame substantially for the long term decline of Guest Clubs.

And the problems they caused must be adressed if folk is to have any sort of popular future.

The argument: Their cliquery (by that I mean letting chums walk later in the evening and getting a spot at the expenxse of floor singers promised a spot 7.30pm when they first arrived for example) drove many new singers away.

If you've been insulted, or see things run in a totally unfair way; not only will you give up trying to participate in folk, but you'll quite likely tell your mates that the folk scene is pretty awful - and the word spreads through a peer group.

This stopped a wider variety of people getting involved with folk and possibly contributed to the "uncool" perception of folk among younger generations.

Luckily what happened here on the ground one evening was that a large number of potential floor singers experienced "can't fit you in" treatment on the same night. But instead of disappearing into the anti-folk nightime, got together and compared notes. The result was a new singers club based on fairness - as an antidote the exclusivity that prevailed (and still rules OK in many places - I hear reports from Singaround supporters/visitors who've tried to get floorspots very recently).

In this case; instead of a trickle of people steadily encountering these 'in groups' and being driven away, here a critical mass was reached where there were enough people to form an alternative 'scene'.

So what of places where no such critical mass occured? One Folk scene, dying, because is was closed to outsiders so failed to replenish itself by this being "closed"?

Of course there's another group: those organisers who,despite their exclusivity were actually very good at the Folk Business - running Guest / Concert Clubs; offrering the right guest at a price audiences are prepared to pay - so are among the ones that thrive through to this day.   

But the fact looking longterm - we must surely all agree, is that there were a hell of a lot of clubs 30 years ago compared with now - and it would help all types of folk supporters to be realistic and honest about what's gone wrong where it has gone wrong.

May I make a suggestion (didn't Tom hint at this?) - that we try and encourage actual research (University student looking for a project?) into the facts and figures of the folk scene over the years; and qualitively, get a better idea of public attitudes and perceptions of folk music: clubs, concerts, singarounds, bar sessions, Morris dancers the lot.

I did something like this for the Steam Railway Preservation movement for my degree. Some of the findings produced great surprises.

Breezy, Snail - I'll get back to your contributions later.


Ian Fyvie


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