Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Are Folk Clubs untraditional?

Mr Happy 24 Mar 09 - 08:36 AM
The Sandman 24 Mar 09 - 08:41 AM
Mr Happy 24 Mar 09 - 08:55 AM
Jack Campin 24 Mar 09 - 08:56 AM
Jack Campin 24 Mar 09 - 09:01 AM
Will Fly 24 Mar 09 - 11:23 AM
Mr Happy 24 Mar 09 - 11:29 AM
Phil Edwards 24 Mar 09 - 11:37 AM
greg stephens 24 Mar 09 - 11:38 AM
Mr Happy 24 Mar 09 - 11:39 AM
breezy 24 Mar 09 - 01:53 PM
Richard Bridge 25 Mar 09 - 02:00 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 09 - 03:34 AM
Will Fly 25 Mar 09 - 04:21 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 09 - 05:22 AM
Will Fly 25 Mar 09 - 05:41 AM
vectis 25 Mar 09 - 08:15 PM
greg stephens 25 Mar 09 - 08:22 PM
GUEST,jOhn 25 Mar 09 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 26 Mar 09 - 09:23 AM
Ross 26 Mar 09 - 09:33 AM
Goose Gander 26 Mar 09 - 01:11 PM
greg stephens 26 Mar 09 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,Working Radish 26 Mar 09 - 01:32 PM
greg stephens 26 Mar 09 - 01:38 PM
TheSnail 26 Mar 09 - 01:56 PM
Mr Happy 05 Apr 09 - 09:38 AM
Nicholas Waller 05 Apr 09 - 02:44 PM
Girl Friday 06 Apr 09 - 08:58 AM
Brian Peters 06 Apr 09 - 10:32 AM
vectis 06 Apr 09 - 06:59 PM
Peace 06 Apr 09 - 07:05 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 08:36 AM

With the various debates going on just now prompts me to ponder such terms as ?etraditional setting?f etc

If we?fre about defining topics, shouldn?ft we then consider how & in what settings/environments the ?etraditional?f songs & music were performed?

My guess, but I can stand to be corrected, is that songs weren?ft originally performed to a passive audience from a stage [or front of room] but rather informally, similar to ?edive in ?e sessions of today.

I?fm aware that in the late 19th & early 20th centuries in England were ?eGlee Clubs?f where folk got together to sing chorus songs & particularly ?erounds?f

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glee_(music)

In the case of music only events, it seems that the music session is a relatively recent practice & formerly instrumentalists would only play as soloists or would only play with others for dancing.

Thoughts?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 08:41 AM

could you translate,your computer seems to have had an overdose of magic mushrooms.
the first folk club[was the Topic in Bradford 1956?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 08:55 AM

So that's your considered, erudite opinion of the question?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 08:56 AM

Glee clubs date back to the middle of the 18th century, but their repertoire never had much in common with what is now sung in folk clubs.

There were singing clubs in the late 19th century that were much closer. I found an advert in the Dalkeith Advertiser from the 1870s for one that met weekly in Newbattle, the core of modern Newtongrange, the village outside Edinburgh that I live in. Newtongrange still has a folk club (weekly singarounds, monthly guests). The 19th century club's repertoire could virtually all have fitted into a present-day singaround night without anybody noticing anything unusual. The only real differences were that they announced what they were going to sing a week in advance, and had a piano instead of everybody bringing their own guitar. I would suggest looking at the adverts in local papers from the late 19th century, you might be surprised what went on.

There are clear descriptions of quite definite solo performances of Scottish folk songs back to the early 18th century, by singers who had a reputation for the way they sang certain numbers. Obviously not everything was done that way, but things like the big ballads seem more likely to have come from a small class of "trained" singers (meaning they came from a lineage of performers and consciously worked at doing it) rather than being common property from the start.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 09:01 AM

Mr Happy, I just saw what Captain Birdseye might be complaining about. You seem to be using curly quotes in the native character set of your computer, which means they display on mine as ?f and ?e. Don't do that. Stick to ASCII. There will be some way to turn off "smart" or "curly" quotes when editing messages for this forum.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 11:23 AM

Dickens in his writings described gatherings of clerks and similar types in the City in the mid-19th century who met for an evening of food, drink, tobacco and singing. A chairman was usually elected and songs were contributed by the company - almost like a modern singaround.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 11:29 AM

Any ancient descriptions of anything like a FC?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 11:37 AM

Yes. No. Er... you'll have to define "anything like a FC"!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 11:38 AM

I went down to ye Dogge and Partridge the otherre nicht for to mete with ye laddes and sing a few old ditties.I pade one groate to be admited to ye backe room, whiche unfortunately was fulle of certeyne miserable ancient bearded schooltecherres clerkes and librariannes who sange sundry tedious ditties they hadde mayde uppe about unpleseuynt but tediousse thingis in therre lives, and other dirges pretending to be aboute ye olde days on ye canalles and inne ye milles and other places where workynnge folk do toil. I made my excuses and hied me to Mistress Snagtooth's Emporium of Young Ladies for otherre diversiones
(Obediah Catchpole's Diaries 1595-1628, ed Stephens)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 11:39 AM

LOL!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: breezy
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 01:53 PM

so after 400 years its still the same.

Now we have George Papavgeris upholding ye tradde, without beard.

But we love it

only £2.20 a pint of IPA at Herga FC 46 years old last night

next week singers night !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 02:00 AM

I think another of Mr Happy's observations from elsewhere ought to be revived: -

"Subject: RE: Ye Olde English Instruments
From: Mr Happy - PM
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 08:23 PM

Stig,

Don't know if you knew, but your use of 'Ye' in your title is erroneous.

It's a typo from Caxton's time & there's really never been any such word as 'Ye' in the English language.

Caxton's printing press couldn't print the old English letter 'Thorn', which had the sound 'th', as in 'the', so he substituted a 'Y' instead, hence 'Ye'- which should really be pronounced 'the' as in modern English.

See here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%DE "


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 03:34 AM

"the first folk club[was the Topic in Bradford 1956?"
Debatable Cap'n - it has been claimed that the first folk club was the one organised at The Thearte Royal, Stratford, East London by MacColl etc, closely followed by The Ballads and Blues in Holborn.
Sam Larner described singing sessions similar to folk clubs in his youth in the back Room of his local, The Fisherman's Return, Winterton.
Don't want to get the Cap'n started on the subject of competitions (especially as I won't be here to keep him in order, but their were singing competitions reported to have been held among fishermen right up the east coast, as far north as Peterhead.
Most singing here in rural Ireland, apart from that done in the farmhouse kitchens, took place in recognised 'singing' or 'music' pubs.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 04:21 AM

Jim - do they still have dancing at a crossroads in Ireland - or has that gone the way of all things?

One of my Great-Grandmothers (born in Notts., but of Irish parents from Kildare) described to me (when I was very young) the experience of being taken to Ireland as a young girl by her parents and seeing a dancing platform set up at a crossroads, with fiddlers and other musicians, for a rural dance. There were also large cauldrons bubbling away containing "crubeens" - pigs' trotters - and crates of some dark liquid in bottles...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 05:22 AM

I'd love to have met your great grandmother Will.
There is very little information on the crossroads dances, particularly from the point of view of the participants.
They died out some time in the twenties and thirties I think, largly due to the hostility of the clergy who, at times, physically intervened and broke them up. There are a few accounts (and a couple of photographs), but that's all.
I am surprised to find that there is no direct reference to them in Fintan Vallely's excellent 'Companion to Irish Music'.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 05:41 AM

When I was a student on work placement in Leicester in '64, I worked for a spell in a pub called The Victoria, in London Road, owned by an ex-army man called Tony Collis. His bar manager was a huge Irishman called Brendan - fat and red-faced - from Co. Clare. I recall chatting with him about the crossroads dances, and he recalled them as a young lad - he would have been around 40 then, which ties in (just) with your dates. The crossroads was a convenient place as it was outside the village and away from prying eyes, convenient for people from other localities to travel to - and perhaps had some older ritualistic signifiance (though Brendan didn't phrase it in those terms).

He also recalled a row of 4 terraced houses in a small village - the end one of which was used as an illicit drinking place. The Garda constantly raided it but always found it empty when they got there. What they didn't know was that there were hidden connecting doors which allowed access from one house to the other. So, when they were spotted coming (which they always were), the drinkers simply slipped next door - and next door - and next door...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: vectis
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 08:15 PM

The Travelling Folk meet in the public bars of Kentish pubs and sing and play there. That's probably about as near traditional as you can get in thei day and age.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 08:22 PM

Vectis: I am delighted to hear that it is still going on in Kent. But it is not the only such survival in England, the pub singing of old hunting songs still continues in Cumbria, though obviously not by hunters as that as been made illegal.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: GUEST,jOhn
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 08:29 PM

mr happy- how you put them little squares in your message?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 09:23 AM

Well, I think it is generally agreed that the Topic is the oldest running club in the UK, but it is entirely possible that there were others that functioned before 1956, that could be described as being in a similar format to what we now regard as 'a folk club'.

Don't forget though that many of them came out of skiffle clubs, many of which were offshoots of the earlier trad jazz clubs. (What Diz Disley used to lovingly refer to as "The Great Skiffle Disaster")

It wasn't until the late 50s and early 60s that the big explosion of folk clubs took place, and a lot of that was on the back of commercial success at that time - fuelled by Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter Paul & Mary etc.

The lines do get very blurred.

The question is, will any current commercial success generate a renewed interest in the folk club format? Probably not, unless they are being run by the same age group who started them up way back then, ie the teens and 20s. I certainly don't remember any clubs back then that were run by old farts, and I don't think they would have held any attraction to my generation at the time if that HAD been the case.

Of course there was always singing in pubs, where much of the folk song canon was collected, and where the oral tradition still continues (to a much lesser extent) today.

Back in the 60s, folk clubs were a 'voyage of discovery' for most of us. Nowadays, they are just another branch of the Entertainment Industry, plain and simple.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Ross
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 09:33 AM

Didn't the Romans invent folkies - to throw em to the lions

But it made them hyperactive

So they found Christianity


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 01:11 PM

Travelling Folk of Kent is a mobile folk club?

" . . . the pub singing of old hunting songs still continues in Cumbria, though obviously not by hunters as that as been made illegal."

Hunting is illegal in Cumbria? Or singing by hunters is illegal? Either way, it sounds odd to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: greg stephens
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 01:30 PM

Michael Morris: my phrasing was ambiguous. I meant people keep singing hunting songs in Cumbrian pubs, but the singers are clearly not hunters, as hunting has been made illegal.(There is, I have to say, a little irony in my remark.)

Re Graham Bradshaw's remark "The question is, will any current commercial success generate a renewed interest in the folk club format? Probably not, unless they are being run by the same age group who started them up way back then, ie the teens and 20s."
I have just played as guest at the Kit and Cutter folk club in Deptford, the second night of its existence. The place was packed, ram jam solid, and the organisers are both(I think) in their early twenties.Whether this is a sign of things to come, who can say?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: GUEST,Working Radish
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 01:32 PM

Setting dogs to kill wild animals is illegal throughout the UK. It's perfectly legal to use dogs to flush wild animals out into the open and then shoot them (the wild animals, not the dogs), but apparently that's just not the same.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: greg stephens
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 01:38 PM

It depends on the animal. It's OK with rabbits, illegal with hares and foxes. Sometimes it is a little difficult to discern the moral basis of laws!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: TheSnail
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 01:56 PM

GUEST,Graham Bradshaw

The question is, will any current commercial success generate a renewed interest in the folk club format? Probably not, unless they are being run by the same age group who started them up way back then, ie the teens and 20s.

According to my research, when they formed the Ballad and Blues Club in 1953 (later to become the Singers' Club), Ewan MacColl and Alan Lomax were 38, A.L.Lloyd was 45 and Séamus Ennis was 34.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 09:38 AM

So anything resembling a folk club dating back to 1953 is 'traditional'?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Nicholas Waller
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 02:44 PM

"the first folk club[was the Topic in Bradford 1956?"

I do the website for The Topic, including writing up the history page, where I looked a bit into the question of what is currently the oldest folk club, though not what was the first. There were predecessors, like the Ballads and Blues in 1953, and so The Topic doesn't claim to be first; it does claim at least to be the oldest still-existing continuously-operating weekly English-style pub-based folk club, though as a matter of fact for the last year it has been in the Bradford Irish Club and not in a pub.

It has been going since 1956 and as far as I can tell has only been dark/closed on about 35 nights in that time (Xmas day 2008 and New year's Day 2009 were the first closed nights in 5 years).

As a matter of minor interest the Topic's guest next week is Marie Little, who is the first name on our current listing of past guests 1970-2009, having performed in October 1970. Unfortunately records of who appeared when between 1956-1970 is lost or mislaid (though The Humblebums appeared in October 1968, I believe).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 08:58 AM

"do they still have dancing at a crossroads in Ireland - or has that gone the way of all things?"

I just found some photos of my last visit to Ireland, about 6 or 7 years ago tops. Was invited to just such an event. There was singing inside the pub, and a large stage outside where a small band played for the dancers. Then it was smething akin to square dancing, and maybe there were other formats, but we had to leave for the ferry home.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 10:32 AM

The folk club format, at least in its singaround aspect, has much in common with 'singing pubs', at several of which recordings were made in the 1950s and 60s. The best known is probably the Ship at Blaxhall, Suffolk, where Cyril Poacher, Geoff Ling, Bob Scarce and others used to perform under the chairmanship of Wicketts Richardson. Each singer would take his turn, and the chairman would maintain good order for the songs to be heard respectfully.

Another well-known singing pub was the Eel's Foot at Eastbridge, where A. L. Lloyd made recordings in 1939. Given Lloyd's status in the early revival, it doesn't take too big a leap of the imagination to suggest that his knowledge of this tradition might have been influential on the format of early folk clubs.

A bit off topic, but Jack Campin wrote:
> the big ballads seem more likely to have come from a small class of "trained" singers (meaning they came from a lineage of performers and consciously worked at doing it) rather than being common property from the start. <

An interesting idea, but what about Anna Brown (b 1747) up in Aberdeenshire? Didn't she learn her ballads - which included many of the greatest in F. J. Child's canon - from an aunt who had herself learned them from working women of the parish?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: vectis
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 06:59 PM

Michael Morris
The Travelling Folk is not so much a mobile folk club as a mobile mixed session and sing combined.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Are Folk Clubs untraditional?
From: Peace
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 07:05 PM

"So that's your considered, erudite opinion of the question?"

That remark was not addressed to me, but had it been my answer would have been "Well, yes and no" in so much as it pertained to the original thread question: "Are Folk Clubs untraditional?"

Just wanted to make that clear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 24 February 1:31 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.