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Folk sushhhhing folk

Pierre Le Chapeau 30 Oct 09 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 30 Oct 09 - 06:16 PM
Pierre Le Chapeau 30 Oct 09 - 06:22 PM
Jack Campin 30 Oct 09 - 06:31 PM
Joe Offer 30 Oct 09 - 06:34 PM
Tyke 30 Oct 09 - 06:56 PM
Bernard 30 Oct 09 - 08:04 PM
Don Firth 30 Oct 09 - 08:33 PM
Bernard 30 Oct 09 - 09:03 PM
Pierre Le Chapeau 30 Oct 09 - 09:42 PM
Pierre Le Chapeau 30 Oct 09 - 09:54 PM
Commander Crabbe 30 Oct 09 - 11:40 PM
Pierre Le Chapeau 31 Oct 09 - 12:36 AM
Stower 31 Oct 09 - 04:21 AM
Howard Jones 31 Oct 09 - 04:46 AM
Will Fly 31 Oct 09 - 05:12 AM
VirginiaTam 31 Oct 09 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Flora G of Rakes of Rochester band. 31 Oct 09 - 05:41 AM
Will Fly 31 Oct 09 - 05:48 AM
Bernard 31 Oct 09 - 07:12 AM
Leadfingers 31 Oct 09 - 07:23 AM
Valmai Goodyear 31 Oct 09 - 08:12 AM
Tyke 31 Oct 09 - 08:18 AM
Will Fly 31 Oct 09 - 08:29 AM
melodeonboy 31 Oct 09 - 08:38 AM
Suegorgeous 31 Oct 09 - 08:42 AM
melodeonboy 31 Oct 09 - 08:49 AM
VirginiaTam 31 Oct 09 - 08:51 AM
Suegorgeous 31 Oct 09 - 08:55 AM
Tim Leaning 31 Oct 09 - 10:53 AM
VirginiaTam 31 Oct 09 - 10:56 AM
Bernard 31 Oct 09 - 11:06 AM
Old Vermin 31 Oct 09 - 11:24 AM
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Pierre Le Chapeau 31 Oct 09 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,FloraG 31 Oct 09 - 11:49 AM
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Pierre Le Chapeau 02 Nov 09 - 04:20 PM
Pierre Le Chapeau 02 Nov 09 - 04:31 PM
Don Firth 02 Nov 09 - 06:29 PM
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Pierre Le Chapeau 02 Nov 09 - 07:11 PM
melodeonboy 02 Nov 09 - 08:01 PM
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Jim Carroll 03 Nov 09 - 10:33 AM
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GUEST,Steamin' Willie 10 Nov 09 - 04:36 AM
Pierre Le Chapeau 10 Nov 09 - 05:06 AM
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Subject: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:08 PM

I was at my Folk club the other night and a chap was playing that I have great respect for has a person and also for his guitar playing and singing.

Anyway I made a remark to the chap sitting next to me I hasten to add not loudly and the chap I was refering to above stopped playing and Sushhhhhhed me down the microphone and told me to be quiet because he couldnt concerntrate on what he was doing?

I was sitting right at the back of the hall so he could not have heard me unless he has very acute hearing comparable to that of a
Fruit Bat? apart from that it was PA night?

I think he got Rattled because he saw me talking and thats a completely differant thing.

Sushing at my local folk club has got completely out of hand everyones doing it to everyone it like contagous affliction.

If I come into a hall and someone is playing I will wait for them to finish before I sit down or walk across the Hall but I will be buggered if I am gonna be sushhhhed and told to be quiet by someone if they see me talking.

I have no issue with people talking because I shut me eyes and ears to the audiance so i cannot see or ear folk belt out the song and switch back on eyes and ears at the end of the song to hopefully a decent round of applause.

I thought the above was a complete over reacation by the performer.
so please folk only sushhhhh when it completely nessesary or its turns out to be a right Fiasco. and a bloody parlava
Regards Pierre.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:16 PM

In UK Folk Clubs, where there isn't a bar in the room, I think it's expected that the audience doesn't talk: full stop!


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:22 PM

Hi Tunesmith
The above comment,
Thats all very well but is that not what gives UK folks clubs the reputation for being clicky? "folks must communicate"
Being disruptive is one thing.
But seeing some one talk but not being able to hear them is another surely?


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:31 PM

Was he playing into a PA without a foldback monitor?

That can be a really disorienting experience. As the performer, you can't hear the volume of sound that's being thrown at the audience. But the audience hears a sound level high enough that they think it must be drowning out normal conversational speech. It does - for them. But not for the performer behind the speakers. They're only hearing their own *unamplified* sound level, and anything you say comes through to them exactly as if no electronics were present.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:34 PM

Hi, Pierre-
In the US, the term is "shushing" - interesting difference.
When I'm trying to listen to a song or sing something difficult or soft or in a minor key, any amount of conversation or background noise drives me crazy. A big part of that is that I have a hearing loss - so when sound comes from two sources, all I hear is an unintelligible din. This happens even if the primary source of sound is quite strong, and the secondary source quite weak.
BUT I have to say that I sometimes am guilty of the same thing that drives ME crazy when other people do it. I notice that some people talk VERY LOUD during some music event, so the people next to them can hear over the music. I wonder if they realize that the whole audience hears them, too. And I wonder if I'm guilty of the same thing, especially since my hearing loss makes me do strange things at times.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Tyke
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:56 PM

Sushhhing the Audiance disgusting and not very professional. How on earth are you suposed to answer you mobile phone quietly. They will be stopping you joining in on your Bowron next.














I'm joking!


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Bernard
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 08:04 PM

Try it at an orchestral concert and you'll be asked to leave... it's only manners to give the performer(s) your full attention, or have your chat outside the room. It's got nothing to do with 'being clicky', it's common courtesy.

It's also quite arrogant to suggest what you think the performer may or may not be able to hear from the stage. The performer in question may well have been aware of something you may not have been - other members of the audience being distracted by you, which has a knock-on effect.

If you cannot behave at a concert, stay away!!

As for 'PA', or more correctly, 'Sound Reinforcement' (PA is short for 'Public Address', ie an audio paging system), it isn't put there to mask the noise of the audience, it's there to help the audience hear, which is a vastly different thing.

My comments are made both as a performer and as a professional (ie day job) sound engineer...


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 08:33 PM

I've told this story here before, but I'll tell it again.

I've spent a lot of time singing in coffeehouses where, I fully realize, I am not the only attraction. It's the total experience the patrons are after. A high-priced cup of exotic coffee or chocolate or tea, plus miscellaneous light menu items such as freshly made sandwiches, cheese boards, pastries. . . .   And, of course, the singer.

Oftentimes they've come in after a movie or symphony concert. In the place where I sang a lot, it was not uncommon to see occasional formal dress—gowns, tuxes, and such. In such a situation, it would be egotistical and downright churlish of me to expect the patrons not to talk a bit.

I tended to minimize disruptions by singing in sets of about a half-hour's duration, like a night club act, with a half-hour break between. This gave time for conversation and for the waitresses to circulate among the tables and take orders—along with asking people who had been occupying a table for a long time if (ahem!) they would care to re-order. Then, when I come on at the expected time, most people were prepared to listen. But there usually would be a murmur here and there of quiet conversation. Sometimes a patron at a nearby table might ask a chronic babbler to keep it down.

I was up there on the riser with a mike connect to the sound system, and did my thing. No one in the place had any trouble hearing me, even over a quiet bit of nearby conversation. If someone wasn't especially interested in what I was doing, there were plenty there who were.

There was a guy who came in fairly frequently for awhile who told me he was an actor, and between sets he proceeded to give me vast quantities of advice on how I could—and should—improve my "act." Some of it was okay, but most of it was just him blowing up his ego. One of his bits of dogma was that it was the performer's responsibility to capture his attention. He had a number of criticisms of me, such as every now and then, I would do a set composed entirely of songs around a particular theme. He didn't like this. He found a half-hour of all nautical songs, for example, "boring." Counteract that was the occasional patron who told me that they especially liked it.

One evening he came in with a couple of friends, and as I sang, he ran his mouth at the top of his lungs. His friends looked downright embarrassed. All through my first couple of songs, his stage voice boomed through the place. He was letting me know that, even though people around him were giving him dirty looks and asking him to keep it down, I wasn't getting to him. I was boring him.

Finally, I'd had it with him! When I reached the end of my current song (the audience gave me an especially enthusiastic round of applause, letting me, and Alex, know that they were with me), I leaned forward with my mouth about an inch from the mike and, in my own stage voice, said

"Alex!"

My voice boomed and echoed through the place like the Voice of God. Startled, he looked up at me.

"Alex," I said firmly, "shut the hell up!!"

The audience burst into enthusiast applause complete with a few cheers. After a few seconds of sitting there stunned, Alex got up, walked out, and I never saw him again.

Don Firth

P. S. In a formal concert situation, if someone leans over and makes a quiet comment in someone else's ear, that's hardly something for the performer to take offense at. I see that all the time at symphony concerts, operas, and such. In a coffeehouse situation, one can hardly object to this. Loud conversation is hardly acceptable, though, and it's a capital crime in a formal concert, recital, or opera situation. But if the whole audience lapses into general conversation during the performance, the performer might take that as a message.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Bernard
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 09:03 PM

Yes, Don, exactly right. Been there!

We don't really know the exact situation mentioned in the opening post, but I'd think that if it were enough to distract the performer, it was probably a distraction to other members of the audience.

It also seems odd that this particular person seems to attract 'shushing' wherever he goes... perhaps there is a lesson to be learned?!


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 09:42 PM

Hello everyone
I do not find any of the singers at my local folk club boring they are all of various degrees of talent musically and vocally and a very incouraging aldience to boot with people joining in chorus lines and great rounds of applase at the end of each performance which does great things to ones confidence.

Jack Campin.
There are no fold back monitors at my club just two large speakers on stands ever side of the stage. The auldience sit at tables placed here and there in a large hall with two ajoining bars.

Most folk await the performer to finish what they are doing including myself before I go to the ajoining bars or even to the toilet.and has I said in a previous posting I never walk in front of the stage or across the hall or even get up untill the performer is finished. and all that applys to a lot of the folk who attend.

mobile phone are a boil on the backside of the population has far has Iam concerned and I wish folk would put them on vibrate.

They cannot be expected to turn them off incase of a outside emergency but some folk sit there texting while people perform which I think is much worse then being told off for a mere quiet comment.

I put it to you all that this chap got vexed because he had seen me speak. ie my lips moving. He could not have heard anything.
I have poor eyes sight but to make up for that very good hearing but has I say I turn meself off to the aldience picture in my mind the song Iam singing and turn meself off to the folk in the hall untill my performance is finished. I then come back to the aldience.

I admit I am a fairly young Pup when it come to singing and playing has no doubt you amy have gathered and my nerves are shot to pieces prior to getting up but certainly not through a few garbled whispers.

But crikey I do feel great once my perforce is finished and that its all gone well.

Clearly from some of the comments (which I appreciate) I am the one in the wrong and I will refrain in future. I dont want to go from being popular to unpopular over night.
Thank you all kind regards Pierre.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 09:54 PM

Bernard.
I do Not get Shushed whereever I go I am not a loud person and that is honest.
There are noisey folk at the club and I have been told off before has in a table load of people not has a individual.

I guess it time to take up a position on me own in the club.
I SUPPOSE THEY,LL MOAN ABOUT THAT NEXT WEEK After all some folk do sit on there own.
That way they can go stright to the perpetrators of the noise and not to a mild mannered man has I like to think that Iam.
Iam not a Dumb Cluck mind.
Regards to you Pierre


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 11:40 PM

Pierre

"I have no issue with people talking because I shut me eyes and ears to the audiance so i cannot see or ear folk belt out the song and switch back on eyes and ears at the end of the song to hopefully a decent round of applause."

It would be wrong to assume that because you have no issue with something, that others feel the same way!

Also audience feedback is a great measure of how you are doing, if you shut your eyes and ears to it how are you going to know?

Our session is held in a pub, there are always a few (non musical here for the drink) regulars that talk (mostly quietly) during the session. It is particularly satisfying to hear them go quiet when i'm performing.

It may only be for one song but you've captured them. Try a similar song/tune maybe you can capture them again and again!

CC


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 12:36 AM

Hi Commander Crabbe.

It is great to capture an aldience without doubt and I understand where you are coming from.
We have a wide range of members and guests who play a variaty of different songs and it is not all folk music by any means I play Chuck Berrys BYE BYE Johnny at the end of the night.

I dare say some folk clubs would scoff at that but we are quite a opened minded lot.
we are also a friendly lot we do have good regard and respect for each other but I have never seen it taken to this extream. in regards to a mere muttering.

I will take heed of whats been put to me on this thread.
I opened it for the advice.
Thank you all.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Stower
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 04:21 AM

If I had the choice of going to a folk club where I, as an audience member, may not be able to hear a performer due to unregulated audience chat or one where I know audience members will actually listen and will be told if they don't ... I'll choose the latter any day.

If I, as a floor performer, had to choose between these clubs, I wouldn't even bother going to the first. If I, as a booked performer, am asked to do a gig at both, I will refuse the first and tell the organiser why - and have done so.

"I will be buggered if I am gonna be sushhhhed and told to be quiet by someone if they see me talking." Pierre, it's called good manners. If you don't want good manners, choose a folk club where they don't care.

This reminds me of a gig the great Bruce Cockburn did a few years back, solo with full PA. During one introduction to a song, there was a man at the back talking audibly to the person stood next to him. Bruce stopped introducing the song. Then from the stage he said, "If you are talking loud enough for me to hear from up here you're certainly talking too loud for the people around you who have paid to hear me. SHUT THE FUCK UP!" He got a rousing cheer and round of applause from the audience.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 04:46 AM

I find the arrogance of the OP astonishing. Whether or not the performer could actually hear you, whatever you were doing was sufficient to distract him. As you yourself admit, you got him rattled. That puts you in the wrong.

A folk club is a concert situation - the audience is expected to shut up and pay attention. In return, the performer must be spot-on, because any mistakes are likely to be noticed. This is very different from performing in a bar, where you have to expect background chatter and distractions but where mistakes are less likely to matter.

People go to a folk club to listen to the music. If you want to hold a conversation, or even pass remarks, leave the room or at least wait until the music has finished. To do otherwise is disrespectful to the performer and the rest of the audience.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:12 AM

As a performer, having people talk while I'm performing is something that happens from time to time. If I'm playing in a bar or at a function - solo or with a band - then talking, chattering, laughing, shouting, conversation, glasses clinking, etc., is just part of what goes on. The same goes for folk singarounds or sessions in a public bar. I choose to be in the public bar - I put up with what goes on in the bar.

At a folk club, I would never shush a member of the audience who was muttering, whispering or talking - even loudly. It doesn't put me off - it tells me that they're perhaps not interested in what I'm playing - and it tells me that the loud talkers have no manners. But I think the silent toleration of it - perhaps with a meaningful glance at the obnoxious ones that other audience members can pick up on - is more effective. Actual heckling is a different matter completely - and I put down hecklers unmercifully, after the end of the song/tune. I've never been heckled in a folk club, but it's common enough when playing in pubs and you have to learn to deal with it.

Pierre - I personally wouldn't have said anything to you because it wouldn't have bothered me - but everyone's different.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:20 AM

I've been to a fair few sing a rounds and such with Pierre. Many situations where the quietest performer is usually overwhelmed by background chatter. PlC is not one of those. He is a lover (listener) not a fighter (talker). If he believes he was not loud enough to disrupt the performer, then knowing him as I do, I support him.

Evidently this performer was maybe hypersensitive, upset about something else entirely or as Jack said the sound in the room really does come over strong.

Still, it is poor behaviour to shush. It is not a class room and the performer is not a teacher. A lighter joking admonition or honest explanation would have been better way to handle the situation.

I agree with the texting on mobile phone thing. Bugs the hell out of me.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Flora G of Rakes of Rochester band.
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:41 AM

I did a barn dance the other night which included a large number of children. There was a lot of noise - but I mostly asked them for a minutes hush while I was explaining the dance. Fortunately this worked as most of the children and parents wanted to dance, but in another situation it might not have. After every second dance we had a few minutes break where we reminded dancers to take some liquid and we played a tune which allowed time for conversation.

I know I tend to forget that my voice is amplified and I have to resist the tempation to raise my voice.

I should be pleased to hear how other performers deal with this situation - any tips?

As to paid gigs in pubs - you tend to expect noise thus the reliance on PA. If the audience is listening you can talk a bit - introduce the band - tell a funny story - but if they are not - just play and ensure at least every third song/ tune is one they are likely to know.

A folk club is a club - there for the members of the club - so it is up to the club which sort of etiquette they wish to impose, not the performer. A performer can choose to accept or turn down a booking.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:48 AM

Hi Flora - we also alternate dances with tunes, unless the dancers are really up for it and to keep going without a break. We do a fair number of weddings (there's one tonight), and there are often many children. To be honest, our caller (and drummer) is quite a character, with a top hat, waistcoat and one of the longest bears in the land. He's also very witty and funny and rarely has to worry about getting attention.

S0 - if you want the children to pay attention and be reasonably quiet: acquire (a) a top hat (b) a waistcoat (c) a really long beard... :-)

Seriously, I've found over the years that being absolutely silent but very visible in front of an audience usually has the effect of making them quieten down - they're all wondering why you aren't saying or doing anything and a sudden hush descends.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Bernard
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 07:12 AM

Yes, Will, exactly - or to put it a different way, 'noise breeds noise'!

Flora: it's all very well if the performer is aware of the situation before accepting the gig, but to find out on the night is unaccepatable - and could be considered a 'breach of contract'.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Leadfingers
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 07:23 AM

Saw a Top Guitarist/Singer doing a gig - In trhe middle of a song with a VERY Neat Guitar break , someone came in and left the door to the bar wide open ! Cessation of Music - "SHUT THAT F****** DOOR" and music resumed right where it had stopped ! Brilliant !!
Concerts , (And Clubs) KEEP QUIET !! Bar sessions , are a different matter !


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:12 AM

Will Fly writes: 'To be honest, our caller (and drummer) is quite a character, with a top hat, waistcoat and one of the longest bears in the land.' I didn't know James was licensed to perform with animals.

I agree that an active sort of silence or sharply dropping the volume can effectively produce a sudden hush. Having got the hush, you've then got to hold the listeners' attention

Tootle pip,

Valmai


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Tyke
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:18 AM

The main reason for paying to get into a "Folk Club" is so that the organizers can take limited control of the room. I has nothing to do with the cost or who's on it is to allow for those little subtleties of a live performance.

On the other hand I agree with Captain Crab the pleasure and satisfaction gained in capturing the audiences attention in a bar room situation is fantastic.

Some one on the Mobile Phone learn to walk play and sing and stand right next to them in the audience. The thing I have most difficulty with that I find very annoying is someone coming and standing between myself and the audience in the middle of a performance. Not only dose he or she soak up all the sound but they always manage to distracted the audience so that the lose the plot and story line.

What do you do? Well you do not loose your cool and be polite and smile. I once brought all the Musicians out on strike until the offending customer bought a round of drinks for all the Musicians in the session.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:29 AM

Hi Valmai - James is indeed licensed to perform with animals - and also has one of the longest beards in the land :-)

As it happens, one of the quietest band members is Reg, James's bull terrier. He has been known to play the bones but usually spends most of his time snoozing on the stage, between the PA speaker and me - farting occasionally (Reg, that is, not me).


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: melodeonboy
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:38 AM

"I've been to a fair few sing a rounds and such with Pierre. Many situations where the quietest performer is usually overwhelmed by background chatter. PlC is not one of those."

Yes, Tam. I agree with your comments on PlC. I also think you're right to point out the background chatter that goes on. (For general information, Tam and I often go to the same sessions.) The odd quietly spoken or whispered comment, or even heckle, where appropriate, is neither here nor there, but it's sometimes the case that a performer will sing his or her song, preferring, if not expecting, the attention of others, and then burst into full-blown gossip mode when the next person starts singing. I don't like to be bossy, so I don't generally make an issue of it, but I am aware of it, and I think it's rather disrespectful to the performer, and I find it quite tiring trying to listen to someone play or sing while there's chatter going on. It doesn't affect me so much when I sing 'cos I've got a voice like a foghorn, but it's hard on those who sing more quietly.

The above applies primarily to the singarounds that I go to. I obviously wouldn't apply the same criteria to pub gigs. As for amplified "concert style" performances....hmmm, I'm not sure; I suppose it depends on the situation.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:42 AM

In the UK, the term is also "shushing".


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: melodeonboy
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:49 AM

"In the UK, the term is also "shushing"."

Quite. "Sushhhhing" is a rather specialised verb which refers to the act of eating vinegar rice by a person with a stammer.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:51 AM

I belong to the foghorn club too, but I still find it difficult to start if there is a lot going on. Didn't used to be the case. I used to just jump in and if people stopped to listen, ok. If they didn't that was ok too.   usually the shear volume of my voice settled every one right quick.

Now, I feel like I am interrupting the goings on, if I just jump in. Suddenly I've come over all shy. If I could work up witty or informative things to start, wedge in that AHEM moment before I launch in song it would be better. Too shy for that too.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:55 AM

Mel - absolutely! I was trying to steer the thread in that direction, cos that's much more of a problem in my local folk club - any ideas? :)


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 10:53 AM

What is cliquey is the performers who have friends /drinking companions and are give hush when they perform then sit talking during other performances.
They also tend towards the end of the evening to assume the right to take over the sing around or session and any one who isn't in their crowd gets any further chance to sing or play.
Its pure ignorance.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 10:56 AM

ignorance would be forgivable.. that is pure rudeness.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Bernard
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:06 AM

Yes, Tim, I've seen that occasionally. Sometimes they even leave the room when someone else is playing/singing, and return when their friend(s) turn comes around.

I suppose they are less distracting when out of the room, but it's equally rude and insulting!


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Old Vermin
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:24 AM

Varies with context. Local pub session in bar, conversation goes on round it. Can go quiet for a singer - or not.

In a club, turning round and raising and eyebrow seems to work well. Have known the wife or partner of a paid act chat during a floor spot preceding - there's living dangerously.

Performers need to cope with it. Very good guitarist of may acquaintance came to a dramatic halt when someone coughed or spoke during his performance and rather flouncily said 'Do you mind, I [heavily emphasised] am playing'. Not a good idea to suffer sense of humour failure. Yes, he's very good, but the point is to entertain and inform the audience, not to let them know about any excess self-esteem.

Having someone go on talking when you're trying halting to sing is rough. Also very effective feed-back.

If someone is being a total tw*t, see what allies you have ine hte room.

Presently I find a small club audience will listen, probably to see if I can get through the piece without it falling over....

As for mobile phones...


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Reinhard
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:27 AM

Yesterday i was at a concert, and in the interval I showed the singer a cover version of a Sandy Denny song on my iPod. I stored it away in my pocket without noticing that I didn't switch it off properly. Unfortunately Linde sang the first song after the interval unaccompanied when I noticed that the iPod was still playing quietly through the earplugs. Embarrassed I tried to cover the plugs with my hands but to no avail - Linde heard it, stopped in mid verse and asked who was playing music. I didn't have such red ears in a long time...


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:35 AM

Hi EVERYONE.
To those above VT and Melodean boy who have joined me in past singer-rounds thanks for the above character references.
many of the folk who have commented on this thread do not know me and so judge me on what they themselves interpret possible from my postings. and some make judgments that are completely wrong and out of my character completely. Thats to be expected on a forum
But

I put it to you that the chap I am referring to may be sensitive and expect absolute silence while he performed but he was over the top on this used me to shut up every body else and I find that rude . Where would all these perfectionists be without a audience sitting at home playing to the Cat or up in a bedroom maybe and apart from that .
Two wrongs do not make a right, in regards to what is rude and ho is being rude to who.
I hope that makes sense?
Kind regards to all .
PLC


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:49 AM

Bernard - some folk clubs are in private rooms - some in public bars. I think most performers or their agents would find out about the club they are going to before they attend. I should also think they would find out if it is a performers club or an audience club - as you would tend to do a lot more choras songs in the former. I am always surprised at how much folk clubs vary.

I know Mary Black got very cross at a previous venue of the Cambridge folk club because of the noise but it was a room with a bar in it - and few bar staff would consider not serving. The room they have now is an upstairs one without a bar so is much better.

I know Doug Hudson who does some agency work from Broadstairs has actually said to me that some venues would not be suitable for us - bless him. As an agent he knows his venues well.

Sessions in public bars are more difficult. The bar is the preserve ( reserve) of the locals. Do songs with 90% choras content if noisy would be my advice. Miss a turn if your voice / instrument is not loud enough.

Will Fly - thanks for your advice about the Top hat. I think a distinct image is a good idea.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 12:07 PM

Hey Pete,

At least it wasn't a repeat of the chair emitting rude noises scenario.

You do seem to get lucky (NOT) in the drawing unwanted attention to yourself area. Remind me not to sit next to you any more. Don't want to get caught in the fall out.

:P


You knows I loves ya.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Jenny Brampton
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 03:40 PM

When the singer's on, shut the f+ + k up!
Simples
JB


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 04:40 PM

Hi VT.
Clearly I just want to hear what folk have to say and I have read all the threads and will continue to follow it with interest. The chair leg scraping on the floor board incident resulting in that Fart like sound was clearly a accident.

I remember once I went to a club above a pub and a man brought a dog in with him. He secured the dog by putting the loop of the dog lead around the table leg.

The dog settled down under the table has good has gold. The bar was down stairs and when the chap had finished his drink he went down stairs to get another pint and has soon has he dissapeared from the dogs sight the dog flew after him.

Beer went everwhere and the table was dragged some yards acroos the floor.

On another accasion some one was reciting a poem over the light of a candle WHILE STILL SEATED at the table and suddenly a big brown mark appeared in the center of the page. she the candle flame had set the bloody paper alight.
Having lighteniong reflexes I threw me pint over the flames and put the flame out. It was a thankless task because all folk done was moaned at me for covering them in beer.
and everone started sushhhhhing me then too.
regards Pierre.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 06:34 PM

I agree with VT, a performer being outright unpleasant or sarcastic to paying member/s of the audience, is bad form (unless they are receiving abuse themselves.) It also causes discomfort to ALL, as we witnessed at Knockers last June with one member loudly complaining about a noisy but jolly crowd of newcomers. Sometimes folks don't necessarily realise they're being noisy, and they can cause disruption without realising it's 'not the done thing' or it's disturbing others. I used to think it was rather rude when people sometimes chatted through other peoples performances, but I got used to the informality of a song session, and realised that it's not a precious environment. It doesn't bother me now, though if I were hearing a very 'light' unaccompanied singer or a sweet little solo on guitar, I think most people would be sensitive to that and pipe down accordingly.
If a performer feels the need to 'silence' his audience, he should either do something stunning which captivates, or at least work out before-hand friendly or amusing methods of communicating to problematic audience member/s that they need to keep shtoom.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Kampervan
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 06:50 PM

That's a pretty selfish viewpoint, Crow Sister.
Just because you don't want to listen to the performance doesn't mean that someone next to you, or just in front of you, doesn't want to either.
Maybe they're loving it, and having paid to hear the performer don't want to listen to your whispering.
If you don't like what's on, go outside to talk.

K/van


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Folknacious
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 07:01 PM

Anything which makes the audience uncomfortable and gives the impression that they are not allowed to relax and enjoy themselves is a bad thing. Folk clubs that feel like a church or a classroom do not do the music any good at all. If a performer can't hold the audience's attention in a venue set up specifically for lovers of the type of music they play, they usually only have themselves to blame. There's no excuse for rudeness and inconsiderate, oblivious chatting, but no wonder folk clubs are seen by many as the last place you'd go for a good night out. Just imagine prim, self-important people going "shush" in the Blaxhall Ship of old . . .


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: michaelr
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 07:06 PM

My band (lightly amplified acoustic folk) was playing an afternoon gig at a brewpub. A couple with a toddler came in and the child began to emit extremely loud, ear-piercing screeches at 40-second intervals.

After a few of these, I stopped in mid-song and said, not in an unfriendly way, "I can't work under these conditions. Please restrain your child from screaming."
The young couple was mortified and let soon after. My band members berated me for being rude. Was I?


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 07:11 PM

Hey KVan, where did I say anything like what you said?

I don't think I condoned talking through a paid performance, I said it's a good idea if the performer has *pleasant strategies* to hand for managing noisy audience members (who might not realise they are causing disturbance), instead of being rough about it.

I also said I used to find other peoples chatty behaviour in song sessions rude, but now I'm used to it and accept the informality as a norm.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Tyke
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 07:14 PM

I told the Resident Whitby Buskers in the middle of a a song that if they did not stop talking whilst I was singing that. I would come down and talk whilst they were Busking. Keep smiling humor works just don't get anyone back up.

Failing that pick on the smallest quietist person in the room and the when no one is looking buy him a pint.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:06 PM

I also said I used to find other peoples chatty behaviour in song sessions rude, but now I'm used to it and accept the informality as a norm.

That was why I asked about the PA setup - the one I guessed might be in place (and which actually was, on PlC's account) is not informal at all. One person is up behind the mike performing, and they're in a situation which feels nothing like being in an unamplified singaround with background chatter. It makes people chatter at much greater volume, since as they perceive it, nothing they say can be heard very far over the PA sound. But the performer behind the mike isn't hearing any PA sound, since it's it's so directional - they're only getting their own unamplified sound. Along with the sound from the auditorium of people chatting away at volumes high enough to compete with PA. This feels quite bizarre and scary as hell.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 09:23 PM

FOLKNACIOUS Echoes what I said earlier in I quote

"no wonder some folk think that folk clubs are the last place to go for a good night out.
"Exactly"
That is what I ment in my earlier posting in regards to folk clubs being clicky.

My folk club where this took place is not like the clubs some of you lot discribe on this thread whereby breathing out is banned while performers are performing.
"Are you allowed to drink while performers are performing
.Yes but you are not allowed to swollow.

The chap who sushed me was pleasent and polite about it. Ok I got cross because I thought that was uncalled for but Christ I,ll stick with the folk I know. Bugger going to some of your clubs.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 09:41 PM

Sometimes playing with a PA can mean this kind of thing is worse. Someone makes a remark to a neighbour in what seems like a quiet voice with the music playing - but by chance times it just when there is no music and no singing, because silence and pauses can be an important part of putting over a song.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 10:26 PM

Sushis in pubs? whatever next... :0


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 08:24 AM

Thank heavens that audience do keep quiet and listen in folk clubs.
I remember being at the Cambridge Folk Festival many years ago. Bert Jansch was performing in one of those big tents, and the audience listening quietly, and attentively, to his spoken introductions but then engaged in endless converations while he was singing. Very strange.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 08:33 AM

Pierre, you have put your point across several times during this thread, but I still do not understand why you thought it was "uncalled for" for the performer to ask you to be quiet. You appear to believe that you have more right to converse (however quietly) than the musician has to perform or the rest of the audience to listen.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 09:15 AM

Hi folks
In regards to being a member of my local club I have often played in the past on stage during PA and have had (with out personal request) people. join in on Harps and others join in on various over instruments on one occasion one chap crept on stage behind me and joined in on Harp. followed by another chap on guitar. Before I knew it I had become a three piece ?
BUT
I think if I stopped playing and has charming to the last Jenny Brampton puts it, in an above thread,


told them all" to sit down and (I quote) shut the F..K up I would probably lose a lot of very good friends and shock a lot of the elders who attend the club to boot and if there were any new guests sitting in on the night I doubt they would return.

IIn regards to starting has a solo performer and ending up has a three piece I must admit it did come has a wee bit of a shock but I carried on regardless and I admit I throughly ENJOYED THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE. and so did those seated who saw all this happen and showed it by giving us a riotous round of applause.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 09:53 AM

I did not find it uncalled for Howard Re rights or anything else.
I am not very good at writing re explaining myself. let me explain a bit more about this parlava

I passed a compliment on to a neighbor in a whisper sitting beside me regarding the performer in question,

I said I quote.
"I like this chap he does this song really well . nothing more.

Clearly he did not hear the compliment or he wouldn't have told me to be quiet .
Thank you now be quiet. Maybe.

I approached the chap at the end of the evening and apologized and he said I do not wish Pierre to fall out with you over it. Thats it finished.

I did not go up to him and threaten to stick his guitar so far up his arse he would need a to
stick his fingers down his throat to tune it.. no more then I would be abusive to any one else.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 10:26 AM

Pierre, I was quoting your post 31 Oct 09 - 09:23 PM when you said "I got cross because I thought that was uncalled for"

Does it matter that what you were saying was complimentary? Surely the point is that, to quote you again, your behaviour got the musician "rattled" and put him off his performance. Perhaps a more experienced performer would have been less likely to be distracted - again that isn't the point.

The fact is that your behaviour was - no doubt unintentionally - disrespectful to the performer and the audience. You then make matters worse by criticising the performer for allowing himself to be put off by you, and for telling you to be quiet.

So far as the performer is concerned, he told you the matter is over with. So why bring it up here?

The fact is, you were in the wrong. Please accept that, and learn from it.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 11:30 AM

micahelr - you absolutely were NOT rude. That young couple obviously needed some education about controlling their tot in a situation where its behaviour was disturbing others. Parents who think that everyone within earshot of their screaming children, should just suffer it, are themselves rude and insensitive.

Back to chatter at sing around sessions and open mic nights. Some sing a rounds are less structured than others, especially if they are one offs and attended by folks who have not seen each other in several months.

An open mic session is more formal. It is scary as hell to get up in front of a group. Acoustics can wreak havoc on your nerves, sense of audio proportion, etc. So it is best if people refrain from talking.

As for non participating, pub patrons talking over performances. It is a very difficult call for the session organiser or performer because the pub landlord/lady might not appreciate it if you offend paying patrons.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 11:42 AM

Pierre, you have put your point across several times during this thread, but I still do not understand why you thought it was "uncalled for" for the performer to ask you to be quiet. You appear to believe that you have more right to converse (however quietly) than the musician has to perform or the rest of the audience to listen.

If someone wants to do his thing on stage, he better get used to people whispering the odd sentence to eachother. In Pierre's account of events I didn't spot anything that would warrant the reaction of the musician. what does he think he is, a schoolteacher calling a group of ten year olds to order?

Mind you extended loud conversation are a different matter depending of the setting. Your man should come out and play in Ireland, that will teach him.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Mick Woods
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 12:04 PM

I was sittimg next to Pete on the night. When the performr started the intro to his piece - A Kirsty McColl song Pierre turned his head toward me and whispered in the quietest of tones "I love this song" That was when the performer stopped - totally uncalled for. Incidently there are powered foldback monitors at the venue which is a rugby club and bar not a concert hall. The performer in question is a school teacher and he tends to address his audience as if it is a school assembly which I find quite entertaining.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 12:18 PM

Well, I got the schoolteacher bit right anyway.

Seriously, playing for people is a mutual give and take and a demand for absolute attention seems rather pompous to me.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 01:26 PM

I can see why Perre might have been taken aback. But I can't see he felt cross about it.

"I approached the chap at the end of the evening and apologized... I did not go up to him and threaten to stick his guitar so far up his arse he would need a to lick his fingers down his throat to tune it"

Putting it that way seems to suggest that the apology might not all that authentic.

"Sushing at my local folk club has got completely out of hand everyones doing it And that suggests that most people in the club prefer not to have others rabbiting during the singing.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Santa
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 01:43 PM

No-one has suggested absolute attention, for the fairly obvious reason that you aren't going to get it. All you are being asked to do is keep quiet whilst others are performing. If you aren't exactly absorbed or enamoured, study the level of beer in your pint or daydream about whatever turns you on. Just shut it!


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 02:11 PM

Is there such a thing as an "audience Nazi?" Or an "I'm performing and I demand absolute silence and attention from the audience!" Nazi?

T'would seem there are a few about.

Scene: 1962. A coffeehouse in Seattle called "The Place Next Door." I was the first singer to sing there when it first opened, and many others had sung there since. Some of us had learned that Jesse Fuller would be available, and we managed to talk the owner of "The Place" into hiring him for two weeks.

One evening when Jesse was singing, I was there with a friend, who, in turn, had brought a date. My friend's date was not familiar with folk music, and as we sat there listening, she leaned close to me and whispered, "What is his name?" I whispered back, "Jesse Fuller." That was the total conversation at our table until Jesse finished the set.

Some guy at an adjoining table turned to my friend and said, "Your two friends were talking so much I could hardly hear Jesse sing!"

A total of six words, all whispered. I'm surprised this guy at the next table even heard us. It occurred to me that had I and my confreres not managed to talk the owner into booking Jesse, this gink wouldn't have heard him at all!

He must have had a very large bug up his butt!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 02:13 PM

Just shut it

So Pierre was indeed out of line whispering 'I like that song' ?

For fecksake, grow up, music won't thrive in that sort of enforced reverence.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 02:24 PM

The performer may have been oversensitive to disturbances. But if you are a nervous or inexperienced performer attempting something demanding then it is very easy to be "rattled" by what to an outsider might seem insignificant distractions. The point is, the man was trying to perform in a concert situation (not a session or singaround) and was entitled to expect the audience not to put him off. Playing in a public bar or a session is different, a performer has to accept that there may be other distractions, but equally he is probably under less close scrutiny and under less pressure than when on a concert stage.

His response may not have been very tactful. Teachers have a tendency to forget when they are dealing with adults. But it seems to me that Pierre is trying to put the blame on the performer for his reaction, rather than accepting that it was his behaviour (which I'm sure was unintentional) which triggered it in the first place.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 02:30 PM

If you're really that precious about what you're doing you best stay at home and play for yourself.

Mind you, as I said before, response to a loud conversation is one thing, jumping on a whispered phrase in the back row is just plain ridiculous.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: mandotim
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 02:31 PM

A bit of chatter is fine in my book. It only becomes a problem when people start having conversations long enough and loud enough to distract the performer and spoil the evening for the rest of the audience. It's always a judgement call about what to do, and performing experience comes into play a lot of the time. There are lots of gentle ways to drop hints, like 'this next song is a very quiet one, so you'll need to listen carefully', and 'can you hear me ok at the back?'. There are less subtle methods, and I'm with Will about using lack of volume. My late brother taught me the trick of gradually playing quieter and quieter during a song, so the noisy individuals stand out even to themselves; this works even better with PA. You can also use 'would you like me to play quieter so you can hear yourselves shouting?', but it pays to know your audience with this one.
I'm lucky in my local pub session though; the landlord is a musician and plays in the session every Monday. Too much rowdiness in a quiet song can get you barred! This goes double for young or inexperienced singers; they get the best of order, and often a bit of help from the 'house band'.
Don't get me started on unofficial shakey egg players...
Tim


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 02:59 PM

I'm guessing that the performer in question is a floor singer rather than a professional. I'd expect a pro to be less easily distracted and more adept at dealing with the situation. On the other hand, I'd also expect an audience to be more attentive, especially if they've paid and come especially to see that guest.

Perhaps as a performer myself I'm biased, but my sympathies are with the performer. It's not "precious" to want to put on a good performance and neither is it precious to get very nervous and on-edge about it. With experience you learn to deal with this, but you need to gain that experience in front of an audience, and even experienced performers will feel it to some extent when trying something difficult.

I think it's the tone of Pierre's reaction to this which has annoyed me. He appears to be unwilling to accept any responsibility for his part in the situation. I can see why Pierre was upset by the manner of the performer's response. However the indisputable fact is that, however unwittingly, he had behaved in a way which distracted the performer. Other performers might not have been affected, but this one was. Rather than blaming the performer for this, in my opinion he should have thought "well, that's me told!" and learned to be more careful of his behaviour in the future - which perhaps he has.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: paula t
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 04:03 PM

The funniest "shushing" experience I've had was while watching Jethro Tull at Cropredy a number of years ago. I hadn't realised how silent the audience was in our area of the crowd ,as a particularly wonderful flute solo was being played. A rather merry guy - who had been steadily and very happily drinking all afternoon- was suddenly overcome with emotion and ,with a tear in his eye, yelled,"Ian Anderson for Prime Minister!" As one , about 1000 people looked his way and chorussed very gently...."shhhhh". Wonderful. No malice, but the point was made.

Oh , by the way...as a teacher I never forget I'm talking to adults when I'm performing.Just needed to get that one off my chest.It rankles a bit when comments like that are made(however justified they might be in some cases!)


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 05:19 PM

Why did Pierre apologise, if he felt so strongly that there was nothing to apologise about that he stored it up to complain to a global audience?


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 05:38 PM

[Just imagine prim, self-important people going "shush" in the Blaxhall Ship of old . .]quote.
order was kept, however in the Blaxhall Ship,By Wicketts Richardson.
the Blaxhall Ship was a public house, not a seperate room with an admission charge,so you are not comparing like with like , a different set up altogether.,would you compare The Blaxhall Ship ,to seeing Martin Carthy at an arts centre or a Folk club?
ok,I wasnt there, neither were the majority of the posters and we have not heard the performers version of the events,so really we cant make a proper judgement.
I dont know if the performer was being precious,I wasnt there.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Santa
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 06:00 PM

Talking whilst someone else is performing is bad manners. Any question, or answer, or comment, can wait until the end. Talking whilst someone is performing is you announcing to the world that you are more important than the performer, and more important than the entire audience. It is your comment that has to take priority over everyone else.

As for how short or unimportant the conversation was, who is to start drawing lines on how long a conversation has to be before it is acceptable or a nuisance? Are ten syllables OK, or does it have to be 20 to cross some boundary? How loud is acceptable - 20 decibels, 40 decibels, 80 decibels? The only boundary is being quiet, or not being quiet. Being polite, or not being polite. Being an self-centered arse, or not.

As for whispered asides, I suspect I have been guilty of some myself, in my time. But I'm not proud of it, nor expounding it up as a normal and proper way to behave.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 06:15 PM

Various things here, about general etiquette in concerts, sessions or whatever:
People who think they are casting a quiet aside to their neighbour may well be louder than they think.
Seeing folk muttering to each other while you're singing can be very disconcerting, especially if you'r paranoid enough to think they're talking about you!
Some folk (usually singers) will be very attentive during songs but think it's fine to talk at the tops of their voices over tunes, while tunes-only players will sit and fidget and noodle during songs.
Classical concerts, yes, an entirely differnet ball game but there are still thos who think it's OK to talk all the way through the overture of an opera or musical for example - it's not, it's all part of the total performance.
And mobile phones - none of this "switch to silent" nonsense - switch the buggers OFF or confiscate them! A Christy Moore concert was spoiled for me by the people next to me spending the whole night texting on a flashing bright blue screen (my peripheral vision being better than I thought it was)- silent but still VERY intrusive.
Shushing during festival sessions - now you're on dangerous ground: this happened at one festival I went to while someone was singing at a late night session, when most folk are already well oiled, shall we say. A local female person (definitely not a lady) took very huge umbrage at being told to shush as it was her "effing local, and I come here every effing Setterrday nicht, and you cannae tell ME whit tae dae in MA effing pub": it took 3 strong men to restrain her from punching the shusher, as well as she nearly bust oot o' her bra!


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 11:16 PM

Hi Howard Jones.
We are all Floor singers at my local club and the chap in question is used to gibber jabber has we all are. In extream cases folk are told to quieten down but I have to put up with it so do others.

I ddid not get cross .Angry with the chap I was somewhat surprised in regards to him responding to a mere whisper. In a concert or guest playing situation I would be has I say stunned in to silenced through out.

I put it to you Howard
Im sorry I failed to mention he was and we all are Floor singers. but does that alter your that opinion on the matter in question?

I did mean my apology when I spoke to the chap.
The reason I brought it on here has you put it in a earlier posting of yours is because I was interested in the response it would get from Catters and it certainly has caused a lively debate.

Clearly not everyone thinks the same has you and others
and clearly you dont agree with them.
This is a discussion site and the issue has been discussed.
and long may it continue to be.
Pierre Le Chapeau.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 11:21 PM

How do folk all over the world view this debate please post.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 02:40 AM

....unofficial shakey egg players

I love that! So how does one go about getting a qualification in shakey egg and while I'm at it, spoons and castinets?


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: mandotim
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:00 AM

Hi VT! I'm talking about those who sit in the front row, a dreamy look on their faces, swaying gently, with a shakey egg that they shake in what they fondly imagine to be the rhythm of the music. There is a way of dealing with this; when I played in a duo, we used to carry a gold coloured shakey egg, with no beads inside, so no sound. We would offer this to the front row irregulars, telling them it was a professional model, but slightly more difficult to play. When they couldn't produce a sound, we would ask for it back. By this time, one of us would have quietly slipped a real shakey egg up a sleeve. We would shake the 'professional' egg, and there would be sound! This generally produced a laugh, and then we'd explain that we liked percussion on some songs, but not on others, and we'd let them know which ones. (We had a few songs that really suited audience percussion, so everyone was happy). A good spoons player can be a joy to behold (are you there Dame Patti EPNS?)
Tim


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Guest John Hartford
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:06 AM

hi

This thread is an interesting one that shows the wide differences of opinion that occurs in the "folk" fraternity.

Long may it be the case that people can express differing opinions in a sensible way.

As a performer of more years than I care to think about I can feel for both sides of this particular discussion.

However my view is that the performers need to understand the audiences that they are playing to. They do vary from night to night and venue to venue.

I have played at places where it is absolutely forbidden to make any kind of noise what=so-ever during performances. Some places have the door-person to stand outside the room with the door closed and refuse entry until a song finishes. I have played at one place where the atmosphere was so quiet that the sound of the latch on the door being lifted made me jump as I was playing.

I would like to think that audiences and performers should be sympathetic to each others needs.

I once was singing at a venue ( no names ) when two women came and sat a a table near the stage. The started talking very loudly as soon as they sat down and continued through a couple of numbers. I tried eye contact and other warning looks without success so as they were right in the middle of what seemed to be a animated topic, I went down from the stage with the mike AND SAT NEXT TO THEM AT THE TABLE AND JUST PUT THE MIKE BETWEEN THEM.

They looked at me in amazement and as they did so I told them to carry on as their conversation was far more interesting than my song.

They laughed and apologised and I got back on with the performance. They didn't stop talking completely, occasionally launching into voice but I just laughed at them and motioned to join them again.

This went on most of the night but the audience enjoyed it and everything went well.

At the end of the night the women came and chatted with me and told me that they hadn't been upset by my interference and came to a few of my gigs at other venues. Also several of the audience that night complimented me on my handling of a difficult situation.

I hasten to add here that before acting I had weighed up the situation and considered in this particular venue that I would get away with it.

My main message however is that the performer should try to understand and cater for audiences not being silent. They are only human and in most cases they are paying your wages !!!

I will point out that when I am in the audience I do respect the performers. After all I have been there !!!!

I would never "shush" anyone from the stage. To me it is a matter of pride. Grin and bear it and get on the performance.

cheers

John


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Banjiman
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:47 AM

I love Mandotim's shakey egg story!

We have a guy who comes to see us pretty often who likes to play the spoons..... not always in time.

We now invite him on stage with us for a couple of songs and give him a set of silent plastic spoons to play ..... he loves the attention, takes it all in good heart and we all have a laugh about it.

On the general theme, quiet is nice, but you can take yourself to seriously. You have to remember that the audience enjoying themselves is the most important part of the evening, not the performer.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:23 AM

I don't see anything particularly wrong with a muttered comment to a neighbour in this situation. Often enough it's an appreciative comment or something I might not have noticed that a friend has. Full on conversations with nothing to do with the music are another matter. (Except in a pub obviously.)


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: skarpi
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:29 AM

How on earth are you suposed to answer you mobile phone quietly.
well if you are havin a concert you ask everyone kindly to turn them
off , thats what we do , and it has no problem s so far .

but when you play in a pub or play for a dance , you try to get the people with you , get them to sing with you , for you , klapp their hands , sing jibbjæjæjæ get them in feeling , then you are gonna
be fine , its not possible to get all quiet in a pub , but in a concert
thats a another matter .

good luck all .
Skarpi Iceland .


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:46 AM

"I don't see anything particularly wrong with a muttered comment to a neighbour in this situation."

Although I do think you should sit and listen to the performer, in most circumstances you could expect it would not be sufficient to distract either the performer or other members of the audience. It may not be particularly wrong, although that doesn't make it right, but usually you could expect to get away with it without upsetting anyone.

On this particular occasion, however, it was sufficient to distract the performer. In these circumstances I think the performer should be given the benefit of the doubt. The impression Pierre has given, at least to me, is that he thinks the performer was in the wrong for allowing himself to be distracted, and that he (Pierre) was in no way at fault.

It does make a difference if the performer is a floor singer rather than a pro. A floor singer is more likely to be susceptible to distractions and disturbances, and perhaps less adept at responding to them. The audience should be sympathetic to this and cut them more slack.

Dick Gaughan, a supreme professional, has said that one of the things which distinguishes him as a pro from even the best amateurs is that at some time during his career everything that could go wrong has gone wrong, and he's learned how to deal with it.

I agree the performer's response was a bit peremptory and I can understand Pierre being upset and annoyed by it. But I still believe it was the performer's prerogative to ask him to be quiet.

To answer the OP's original question, I believe that in a concert the performer (and the audience for that matter) is entitled to silence and attention from the audience. If he doesn't get this, to the extent that it is affecting his performance and/or the enjoyment of the rest of the audience, then he his entitled to express his feelings. Ideally, he should do this in a tactful and humorous manner which does not upset anyone, but this is not always possible.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:12 AM

If it's someone who is performing and wants to keep performing whether professionally or not they are going to have to learn to play on through the odd minor distraction eventually, but i spose I see how a nervous newbie kind of person ought to be cut some slack there.

Didn't see the performer so I can't be sure where they were at experience wise but it does sound like they overeacted to me. And then an (aguably)condescending "it's a closed matter, let's not talk about it" reaction to an apology. I don't know them, but they sound like they might have a little bit of an ego to me.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Crow Sister
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 09:02 AM

"a nervous newbie kind of person ought to be cut some slack there."

First: A nervous newbie should perhaps cut their teeth at a few pub sessions where there will be constant chatter from the regulars (and maybe even session goers) and that may help them overcome the illusion that it's "all about ME!"

Second: Folk Clubs will never attract younger audiences with such a "tut tut" atmosphere for the odd whispered comment*. Give me a bonfire and a few friends, with chatter and laughter and songs somewhere in the middle of it all, if folk clubs are indeed such puritanical places.




*Note: "odd whispered comment" - not constant loud bellowing...


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Simon Heywood
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 09:04 AM

A performance is a collaboration, a dialogue between the performer and the audience. Anyone who performs (I think) would recognise the difference between an audience which is listening and one which isn't, and the effect this has on the performance. The harder they listen, the better you play. There is also an underlying principle that the performance is a shared thing: the person isn't on stage as a superstar or faceless service provider, they are there as part of the same community as the audience, to give of their best and express some common feeling or interest on a more or less equal footing with any audience member.

Folk clubs, I think, used to be regular "shushing dens" where this was generally recognised and acted on, because one disruptive act can be very, well, disruptive. I think this is/was a good thing. It seems to have declined, partly because we have lost some of the sense of that the performers and audience members are members of the same community and the people on stage now feel more like people apart - both in the good sense of being 'special' and the bad sense of being people who are paid to just get on with it, think of the money, and put up with any way the audience chooses to behave. The wider use of PA systems seems to exacerbate this problem by increasing the barrier between the stage and the audience and creating a sense that the music is so loud that it doesn't matter what the audience does. I saw a very vivid illustration of this point a few months ago where owing to logistical glitches the first few acts on a mixed bill had to perform acoustically and the PA was only switched on halfway through the night. Before the PA arrived, everyone had to strain a bit to listen to some beautiful but rather subdued music, and the resulting atmosphere was (for me) magical. Then on went the cabinets and everyone headed to the bar and started yacking away at 90 decibels, and the later performers ended up shouting through mikes at the back of people's heads like they would at any pub rock gig. I think this is a real loss which leads to the impoverishment of traditional music. We all get shushed for talking from time to time (at least, I certainly have been ... ahem), but as a general point, the specially intense quality of listening at folk clubs is a valuable thing, part of the bedrock of the music, and in my view it should be recognised and maintained as such.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 10:03 AM

At our local singaround people are respectful of each other's performances - however, that's a shared understanding, not an enforced dictat. The real problem is in trying to compete with the canned music in the bar...

I think something that starts out as basic good manners can become a stick to beat people with in the hands of those who want to excercise a bit of power, and that's a shame. Self-policing is always preferable to being policed by self-appointed others, don't you think?


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Bernard
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 11:45 AM

Exactly... someone being rude provokes rudeness from someone else, and it's a vicious circle.

Unfortunately, some people are so thick-skinned that they are blissfully unaware that they are upsetting others - and that goes for both sides of the problem!!


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:20 PM

Hi everyone
I am floor singer performer I consider myself a strummer on guitar and I do not know what to say about myself vocally.

Two years ago I went to a club in South East London and I recited The Mermaid song.

It was ok and I was happy with the response I got.
One chap on the committee said

"That was good Pete I would like to see you come back again. This this was my first visit. so I returned the next week.

Anyway next week was comprised of more regulars then guests so I thought ok I do the same song again. this one chap was a night mare he talked all the way through but I ignored him and carried on with out fault.

When I finished I got a good response but this one chap who has been with the club for years got quite out spoken. He Said" You done that one last week do you not know any other F..king song?
The week before prior to my first performance at this club this very guy struggled on the guitar and vocally performing Streets of London. I watched him with interest and gave him a hell of a response in regards to applause.

Clearly I have never been back to the club again. I meet some of the club members on my folk visits to the Medway Towns and they ask me why I have never returned.
When I tell them they say so what get over it.

I have got over it. But I,ll never return.
If I behaved like that at my club I would expect to be asked to leave. and not return.

Has it happens the club I am in and the folk I have met on the local south east and Kent circuit are great encouragers and it through them now focus to try to impress.

Kind regards to all.
This thread is interesting remarks from Iceland and Ireland where are our friends comments from across the pond?


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:31 PM

Please be aware it was not what he said?
It was the spitting fit way he said it.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:29 PM

When the late Bob Gibson first decided to become a performing singer of folk songs, he set a "training regime" for himself. Knowing the kind of places he would be singing in, he set himself the task of capturing an audience. He would wander into a beer joint with his banjo and begin singing. In some places, the patrons would listen to him with interest. Very good! But in others, the bartender would tell him to get the hell out. In still others, the patrons would tell him to stop the racket or they'd wrap the banjo around his neck. He would immediately leave and go to the next beer joint down the street.

In some, the patrons would ignore him and keep right on drinking and chattering with each other. These were the ones. It was up to him, he figured, to capture their interest and keep it.

He said that it would be hard to give a point-by-point detailed outline of just how to go about it. He said, "After doing it a lot, you develop a feel for what to do and what to sing. I'm sorry, I can't really explain it. You learn by doing it. A lot!"

I watched him once dealing with a hostile heckler. It was masterful. It wound up with the heckler losing his temper and coming for Gibson, at which time a couple of burly bartenders grabbed the guy and frog-walked him out the door.

Gibson said, "In that kind of situation, do not lose your temper. Use the situation as an opportunity for comedy. Get the audience laughing with you at the heckler. When he realizes that he's the butt of the jokes, he'll either shut up and sit down, or he'll get himself thrown out."

A bit of an apprenticeship singing in noisy venues might just make a singer a bit less sensitive to the occasional whispered aside. The coffeehouses that existed around where I live back in the 1950s and 60s were not concert halls. The entertainment attraction was usually a singer of folk songs, but people also came there for the exotic coffees and other comestibles—and to socialize. A bit of quiet conversation at some of the tables was to be expected, but there were generally enough people listening attentively so that the singers' egos managed to survive.

Unless they were pathologically sensitive, in which case, another line of business might have been advisable.

Don Firth

P. S. Mind you, I really appreciate a quiet, attentive audience. But you have to be realistic about the nature of the venue and what you can expect to find there.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Tootler
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:42 PM

And mobile phones - none of this "switch to silent" nonsense - switch the buggers OFF or confiscate them!

A very understandable sentiment, but there are circumstances when it has to be switch to silent. When my wife was waiting for a kidney transplant she had to have her phone on all the time as a call could come anytime day or night.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:11 PM

Tootler
you are right I always put mine in my pocket close to my underpants on vibrate so if it goes off Im aware of it.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: melodeonboy
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:01 PM

Hmmm... soumds a bit kinky to me, Pierre!


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 04:07 AM

Don, what you say is absolutely right, and good advice for anyone who wishes to become a singer. However, I'm not sure it's entirely suited to the British folk club.

While folk clubs are nearly always in pubs, formal concert-style clubs are usually held in separate function rooms, which may not even have a bar. Where this is not possible, they do at least usually occupy their own area separate from the general public. People go to listen to music - yes, to meet friends and socialise as well, but the understanding in most clubs is that this takes place before and after the performances and during the interval. During performances, and certainly during the actual songs, an attentive silence is desirable. Any comments should be made during the applause or (less acceptably) introductions. These should be quiet and brief - if you want to hold a conversation then go outside. Usually, people will only be permitted to leave or enter the room between songs. Just as you'd expect in a theatre or concert hall.

Most clubs have very few formal rules, it is usually simply a matter of behaving with courtesy and respect for the performers and fellow audience members. Most club goers seem to understand this.

Many, perhaps most, of the floor singers have no aspirations to perform on a professional or semi-professional basis but are simply content to play to their friends on a regular basis. That's not to say that they shouldn't be encouraged to perform well, but it's understandable that many are simply not capable of this, or lack the the experience and expertise to handle interruptions or distractions in the best way. I will not comment on whether this is a good thing (there are endless threads about this) but it is how it is for many clubs.

There are of course many less formal gatherings which do take place in open bars with all the noise and distractions you would expect, and of course performers at these do have to learn to cope. On the other hand, they are probably under less close scrutiny and less pressure to put in a perfect performance.

In this environment it is understandable that an inexperienced performer may feel under considerable pressure and may be very easily distracted and upset by a minor incident, and may over-react. It's no good saying they should go and learn their trade elsewhere - a folk club, rightly or wrongly, is the place where aspiring performers cut their teeth.

I can see that in Pierre's situation the performer possibly was over-sensitive to a minor incident which would probably not have affected most performers, and that he may have over-reacted in the way he responded. But the performer is the person up on stage, and the one under pressure, and imo should be given the benefit of the doubt every time.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Gyuest John Hartford
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:38 AM

hi Don

You are absolutely right....I couldn't have put it better myself.

There is no other way to learn how to handle audiences than to do it until it comes reasonably natural.

There is no manual you can read. Also it is a matter of personality. Some people have the ability to want to involve the audience and can do it. Others don't.

Many years ago I was standing in for a guitarist mate who played in the resident band at a Manchester ( England ) large cabaret club.

This club had top line international acts ( not folk - there weren't any !!).

I was playing in the band one Thursday night. These nights were stag nights and several strippers augmented the top acts. As anyone who has been to stag nights will know, rowdyiness through excess booze in "normal".

The act that week was a South African lady vocalist called Eve Boswell. At that time she had some years had earlier a number of hits.

From the moment she walked on the stage she was greeted by raucous shouts of " gerrem off " etc. We could see that Eve was noticeably upset but she did not get annoyed. She just curtseyed to the audience and said that she would leave the stage to allow more suitable performers to entertain the audience. She walked off blowing kisses to the crowd. The crowd rose to applaud her.

She appeared the following evening as though nothing had happened and went down a bomb.

There is a lesson here !!!

Obviously this is an extreme case and one that wouldn't happen in folk clubs......although I have played in more than one rugby club folk night when "mooners" have decided to "entertain". lol

Different people react differently in certain situations.

As we say up here " thurs nowt as funny as folk "

Happy playing

John


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: scouse
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 06:04 AM

I well remember Nic Jones saying to the crowd he was playing for over here in dear "Cloggland." "Please excuse me playing while your talking." Main point being the show was being recorded for VPRO Radio Folk.'Nuff said.
As Aye,
Phil.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 08:13 AM

It could be worse. I've just seen a sign in a local Village Hall: "Please do not flush the toilet during the performance". Presumably they don't sell pints! (OR perhaps they supply wellies!)


RtS


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Dita
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 08:15 AM

Quieting a noisy room.

Danny Kyle - "Shhhhhh, (pause), the cat's peein'."

Iain MacKintosh- He would play quieter and quieter and mummble inaudibly into the mic until one by one the room hushed to hear what he was saying, then he started.

Rowdy individuals/crowds

Danny Kyle- "Go and sit against the wall, it's plastered tae".

Diggery Venn - "Some village is missing it's idiot tonight".

Cilla & Artie, and Dick Gaughan, pack up and leave, if orginiser not taking control.

Robin Williamson During bardic period, telling stories and playing harp, when confronted with drunk Incredible String Band "fans" loudly insisting on ISB songs, including some of Mike Heron's!. Gig halted while said fans evicted.

I've also used a variation of the "take the mic to the table" trick.

Someone at the back talking loudly and oblivious to what's hapening on stage. Stop mid song, fold arms and listen intently, suddenly the talker realises that all's gone quiet. Looks around puzzled, looks at stage. Moments silence with eyes engaged, then you say "Sorry, my singing and playing was interupting your conversation, it won't happen again".
Round of applause, silence, restart gig.

Kids

In the 70's/80's folk cubs in Scottish seaside town's often had tourists making a large part of the summer crowd (and so giving the clubs a bit of cash in the bank for winter bookings). These crowds often had kids with them, (no baby-sitters in a hotel then).

We used to get the kids down front about the middle of the first set, and spent ten minutes doing kids songs with them. After that we could do no wrong. Our approach contrasted favourably, one organiser told me, with that of a more famous singer/songwriter, who the week before had told a child to "be quiet they were in a folk club". Parents who were regulars, left never to come back.

Doesn't work with sceeming weans though. :)


Whatever you do, do it with good nature, the last thing you want to do is make your audience feel ill at ease, either due to your handling of the situation, or by feeling you are arrogant and bullying. I'm not suggesting you should do nothing as a performer, just do it well, and with humour.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,James Hyde
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 08:45 AM

Dear Friends,

How about this one? You've just started a heartfelt rendition of some tune and the BARTENDER starts making cracks over the PA. Really. About you. Really. All in good fun.

And what about trying to sing while standing beside someone like Bob Wills (whom I love) who keeps popping off with all kinds of bestial noises?

Finally: You have to be able to hear your own voice and instrument loudly and clearly, or you'll be in trouble in any performance setting.

Thanks, folks, for letting me "pop off" too.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 10:33 AM

Worst display of bad manners from a member of the audience we ever came across was in a London club about ten years ago, by a veteran folkie performer (noted for his loud mouth).
The guest was a singer from the Aran Islands, and she made a point of briefly explaining her Irish language songs to the non-Irish-speaking listeners.
Your man - sitting in the seat behind us, made a point of talking over each introduction - loudly - until we turned around and asked him to shut up.
His response - "I came here to listen to singing, not talking; I thought we'd got rid of this introduction shite back in the sixties".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Bernard
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 12:06 PM

A good plan regarding mobile phones... explain that you don't mind them going off during your performance as long as the owner doesn't mind donating a fiver to the Charity Box for the privilege...!


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Bernard
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 12:07 PM

One Hundred!!


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 12:21 PM

I'm content with a plate of just chips - and a glass of mead. ;-)>


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: mandotim
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 12:35 PM

Wav; huh? As non-sequiturs go, thats a cracker!


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:16 PM

Jim,that sounds like Bob Davenport?


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 02:04 PM

Wav,Silicon chips?


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Tootler
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 03:31 PM

I was at a concert in Durham a couple of years ago and Alistair Anderson was performing.

He was a bar or so into a slow air when a mobile phone went off. He stopped looked round the audience then after a moment or two more, looked very sheepish and put his hand into his pocket.

It was his own mobile phone!


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:06 PM

As far as I know, we don't really have English-style folk clubs in this area, so I'm not all that familiar with the precise protocol (I gather that it differs a bit from club to club), but there are gatherings here (Seattle) that are, perhaps, similar. "Open mike" nights at various places open to the general public, and gatherings often in private homes where folk song enthusiasts get together sometimes once or twice a month and either do the "song circle" thing or use some other kind of format so that anyone who wants to sing gets a chance.

I spent most of my weekend evenings as the "house singer" in local coffeehouses during the late 1950s and well into the 1960s, where the situation that I describe in my above post prevailed. As long as there were patrons who were listening to me, if there were other tables where quiet conversation was going on and this bothered me, I would have been in for a very rough time, because that was the nature of the venue. If I couldn't have handled that and simply gone ahead and done my thing, I might have quit singing and taken an honest job.

I did sing a lot of concerts—many of them growing out of someone hearing me at the coffeehouse and asking me to come and sing a concert, usually at one college or another. So my (I like to think) professionalism in entertaining those who wanted to be entertained and not being flustered by those who were indifferent to me paid off very nicely. Often, one concert led to another, then another and another.

In 1959, I met a marvelous Mexican woman with a rich contralto voice and an old, deep-toned guitar, retired from a lifetime of singing Mexican folk songs in cabarets and nightclubs. She once told me, "If the whole audience is ignoring you and talking among themselves, but one person IS listening to you—sing to that one person."

In addition to the coffeehouses, I've sung for groups of as little as a couple dozen people at a house concert to a capacity audience at the Seattle Center Playhouse (800) to, on one occasion, an outdoor amphitheater audience of 6,000.

You simple can't control everyone.

Lawrence Olivier's advice to young actors:   "Know your lines and try not to bump into the furniture."

Don Firth

P. S. On one occasion, I did, basically, "read out" an audience. I was hired to sing one weekend at a newly opened coffeehouse in a small town on the Olympic Peninsula across Puget Sound from Seattle. I wasn't going to be the only singer. The other was a young woman named Marilla. Marilla and I first met on the ferry crossing the sound. We spotted each other's guitar cases, got to talking, and learned we were both going to the same place.

Marilla had been playing guitar and singing folk songs for some time, but this was to be her first paid gig. She was excited and more than a little nervous.

My first set at the coffeehouse that evening did not go well. Fairly loud conversation prevailed and most of the audience simply ignored me. It didn't take me long to figure out that these folks had never been to a coffeehouse before and simply didn't know what went on in one. I knew that Marilla's first engagement was going to be a very unpleasant one if this went on.

So—I cut my set short and addressed the audience. I explained to them that this was not just a coffee shop, it is a coffeehouse. A coffeehouse is a place where one goes, not just to drink a cup of coffee, but to enjoy a range of exotic coffees, and to listen to entertainment as well. If they didn't take advantage of the opportunity, they weren't getting their money's worth. They listened, rather wide-eyed. Then—I introduced Marilla, and asked the audience to welcome her, and to listen to her, because she was really quite a good singer (I didn't know that yet because I'd never heard her sing, but fortunately, what I said turned out to be true).

When Marilla mounted the stage, they gave her a nice welcome, listened quietly and attentively, and applauded enthusiastically after each song. So her first experience in front of an audience was a positive one. My next set went very well, as did the rest of the evening.

And the following evening as well. I noted that a few of the folks who had been there the first night and heard my remarks were hushing newcomers who hadn't got the clue yet.

They simply didn't know, and it took a word or two to "civilize" the


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:08 PM

. . . them.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Old Vermin
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:55 PM

Now the late Ronnie Scott is meant to have had a way with words with his audience....including the classic - "Thank you, madam, you've just made a happy man very old."


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 08:24 PM

Hello everyone,
Has a floor singer Im used to distraction.So I shut my self off to it. shut my eyes ,ears try to focus on the song and picture in my mind some vision to help me muddle through I then awaken and come back to the audience when Im finished looking bewildered and happy that I finished the song .
Thank the audience for there patience and retire to me beer.

Yeah Yeah Pierre I hear you say but has posted out earlier not everyone can do that.
Which I appreciate. I have worked with the public for by on 30 years.

I am gonna give you an idea. that I do that helps Me.
I finger-pick Streets of London   with Black Sabbath blaring out on my hi fi. at the same time
With complete concentration focused on the mood I explained above I try to endeavor to play the song without mistake.

I have found that if you find
your own distraction and blank it out it helps, Not fool proof mind.
Regards to all Pierre


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 09:15 PM

PS
It does not have to be Black Sabbath.
I choose them being Halloween/.
Have fun I chose The Bangles walk like a Egyptian.
But change the lyrics to, Walk like a erection.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 10:21 PM

If you get visits from folkies who think they're God's gift to the genre (ie. they're 'slumming it' at your club for a bit of sport); then they can use tolerance of talking at your club as a weapon against singers they don't like, reserving silence just for their chums.

At a bar singaround it has to be part of the territory of course, it's their right to talk and there's not much you can do - officially at least. But in a function room supporters can stamp on selective intimidating behavior by being prepared to politely Shush as a first step of laying down the ground rules of respect for all performers. Luckily 'God's Gift" types will know this and probably not bother you in these circumstances - their only weapon if they were to attend would be selectively going to the bar/bog.

Crucially - this does not have to make for a stilted atmosphere at the club. We have good fun at our Brighton Cellarfolk nights despite me having to Shush occasionally. And Shushing was a feature of the very first club I went to in the 1970s - it was also a good fun club despite the Hosts' shushing when necessary.

Remember there's a learning curve for newcomers to Folk also. It does no harm to let people know the basic rules of respect in a function room based club; ie. you don't hold conversations while a singer is performing; you wait for a gap between songs before entering/leaving the room unless the performer can indicate it's ok to come in (we have a glass door at North Brighton Singarounds).

The sad thing is that there are various types of people who might attend a Folk Club who are self centred and selfish for a number of reasons - could be simply that they'd had too many drinks before the Folk Cub began is a recent example I can think of. And we've heard stories of singers touting for bookings who have not the slightest interest in listening to anyone else in the room so are happy to whisper with organizers/residents over any performer they suspect isn't that important.

But one essential thing is that if you do have to shush - do it with a smile. Most people are well intending and will realise there's no malice.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 03:32 AM

Could be that sometimes the club regulars aren't happy that there are visitors.
It does happen sometimes.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 12:38 PM

Hi Tim Re your top posting.
Club regulars are not happy that there are visitor.

I have seen that Tim but I cant understand it all.
"Whats all that about."? I cant understand it
I find that very peculiar,
trouble is I bet none of them can give a explanation has to why they are not happy.
Like kids in the playground.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 01:01 PM

There is a bunch of professional Musicians in my area who meet in a pub they are exactly like that if you come in off the street buy a pint and go up there end of the pub they all go peculiar.
I am not being rude its true.
They Peer over the tops of there reading glasses at you while there playing.
if one settles down on a stool giving them the impression your enjoying there music and you intend to stay they go all funny again.
When I couldnt bear the atmosphere any longer and one got up to leave you can see the relief in there faces. and they all strike up with Horn pipe in D. clearly to cheer themselves up.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 08:22 PM

Tim and Pierre

A modification of your observation (Tim)-

"Could be that sometimes the club regulars aren't happy that there are visitors" .....that don't have a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed). We used to call them Facefit clubs - they checked to see if your face fitted before you were allowed a floorspot!

Sad to say, I've come across Irish bar sessions that match your description Pierre - also English "tune" sessions.

Ian Fyvie (PS. never been to a Scottish "tune" session, maybe you'll find the same...)


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Mick Woods
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 06:02 AM

Greenwich?


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,synbyn no cookie
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 06:39 AM

we'll see what happens in the Mixer at the Good Intent next Tuesday 10th Nov plug plug ... be warned, P & M, it's a session hosted by an ex-teacher and he can ring your underpants... that's no w... no, hang on, P might like that...
seriously, the mixer session is all about participation and if you've got time to chat then you're in the wrong place! in fact, in bars generally, the sound of a good singer shushes the place anyway- but it's unrealistic to expect an open bar to be so tolerant all the time, which is where the host's discretion comes in... the job is to create a platform for everyone to perform so everyone goes home feeling happy....


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 02:54 PM

'Jim,that sounds like Bob Davenport?'
Got it in one Cap'n - pick up your prize at the door.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 05:45 PM

But one essential thing is that if you do have to shush - do it with a smile. Most people are well intending and will realise there's no malice.[quote]
yes, do it with a smile,at the same time kick them in the testicles, it does wonders for their singing.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 08:29 PM

:-)


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 09:28 PM

re: Guest - synbyn

Sounds like a really good session. Details?

Must add that my two co-founders of Brighton SIngers' Club were both teachers.   It didn't stop other teachers marginalizing them though. Perhaps there are "good teachers" and "bad teachers".

and Good Soldier... re: Shushing with a smile...

a bit cynical? If our intent as organizers is to run a pleasant freindlly club, which needs a bit of polite Shushing occasionally, what's wrong with that?   

Please give us an alternative for dealing with people who sit in at the Folk Club; hold conversations, talk on their mobiles, and generally ruin it for people who want to listen to the singer - that you wouldn't consider a "kick in the testicles".

Ian Fyvie



teacher


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: melodeonboy
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 04:20 AM

Ian: The session referred to above, which synbyn is running, will be held on Tuesday 10th, November at the Good Intent, John Street, Rochester. 8.30 start, I believe.

See the Kenward Mixer Sessions thread.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 09:59 PM

Thanks - and best wishes for the Good Intent session next Tuesday.

Ian F


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,JOHN SIDDALL
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 04:23 AM

If a performer has to give a hush they are poor performers.

A good performance should grab its audience to the extent that the performer is the sole focus of attention.

Most regular folkies will give attention and order to a performer and encourage even the weaker or less tuneful singers.

FOLK is the music of the people performed for the people - it isn't meant to be perfect and performed in a perfect environment

Good folk should involve and engage the audience with some interaction


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 08:27 PM

Sorry Tootler, re mobile phones: I do sincerely hope your wife got her transplant, and successfully.
But I'm 99.99% sure the couple next to me at that Christy Moore concert with their bright blue flashy screen were NOT talking about transplants.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 04:33 AM

And those of us without testicles......? guess we just have to get voice lessons.... :)


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 04:36 AM

I thought there was a reason folk clubs no longer do it for me.

Reading this thread has been most helpful..

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 05:06 AM

Suegorgous
a slight twist of a females nipples usually makes a women sing higher.
regards to all Pierre.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 06:25 AM

A slight twist of a woman's nipples, uninvited, is likely to end up with the man singing higher :)


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 12:17 PM

Saints preserve us what a par-lava "I was not suggesting do it Howard"


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 12:19 PM

What is this thread coming to?


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,abdul on the laptop
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 01:37 PM

I love the "slight" twist....very thoughtful.

Al


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 10:31 AM

Now now Abdul please dont you start,
Can someone tell me what the little red box and share this thread is all about.
Regards Pierre,


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Abdul The Bul Bul
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 01:42 PM

Ere, Pierre what ever happened to the lino guitar? I missed the end of that.
How long has the little swiss box been around?
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 03:44 PM

Hi Abdul.
The Lino Guitar is finished in that the sound box and string holes/ bridge/ sound hole are all sucessfully completed with a inlaide Mermaid on the back for decoration.
I have also inlaid seahorses round the soundhole

The bridge is a Yamaha bridge. Abdul I am looking for a approiate neck for it at various different auctions I go then theres the problem of fixing the neck to body.
Regards Pierre.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 04:38 PM

I `ad that "Pete the `at" in my cab the other day with his guitar and a brown cardboard box. `is crest was definitely fallen. `e asked me to take `im to that Dartford Folk Club.
I said, "Gawd `elpus Pete. You got`m all on that Mudcat `uffing and puffing over that story about getting "shusshhed" by some sensitive singer".
`e said, "I know, Jim. The story`s got round the clubs and I`m only allowed in, on condition now. Would you Adam and Eve it?".
I said, " And what`s that then?".
`e said, " On condition that I wear this bleedin` gas mask!!".

Whaddam I like??


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 08:17 PM

Howard - couldn't have put that better myself :)


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: GUEST,Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 11:02 PM

Suegorgeous you did ask. several threads back. In regards to the THE FACT you had no bollocks to kick and taking up voice lessons.

I merely suggested a alturnative.

I guess you should take up voice lessons.

There was no sushhhhing at my local folkclubs this week.

Evereyone went around kicking each other in the bollocks instead? or tweaking nipples some took up voice lessons. some face stiff penelties for GBH.
Anyway thank you all for your views throughout this thread when I and indeed had some interesting replys from both sides of the bollocks I meqan coin.
Kind regards to all Pierre.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 10:38 AM

Hi Abdul The Bul Bu.l
There are photos of my vinyl Guitar sound box on my Mudcat thread entitled
Why does it have to be wood or plastic.


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Mick Woods
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 10:46 AM

Here's the link to pictures of the linolin in the early stages Lino guitar / mandolin


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Abdul The Bul Bul
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 02:54 PM

It's got no ole Pete, should have an ole. The sound will be in there forever if you don't have an ole.
And I wish you wouldn't write so loud.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk sushhhhing folk
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 09:37 PM

Its got no ole/
Well its got a hole now.
I put it to you. that was months ago during early stages and it is not made out of Lino it made out of vinyl floor tiles.
There are appropx 50 that make up the front sides and back you can see the thickness if you look at the end where the neck will go.

I have now inlaid a mermaid and seahorses has I said in a upper thread, I have added 8 coats of varnish and a soundhole and it hold an echo so I hope when it finished it will sound ok???????
Im awaiting to find a crap guitar at auction so I can have the neck off it.
The only thing so far thats a bit of aset back is it weighs a ton.
Its has not started sushhhhhhing yet ever?
Regards Pierre


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