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Support your local Folk Club

Les in Chorlton 02 Nov 09 - 06:30 AM
Tim Leaning 02 Nov 09 - 08:33 AM
Banjiman 02 Nov 09 - 09:24 AM
Les in Chorlton 02 Nov 09 - 10:00 AM
The Sandman 02 Nov 09 - 01:29 PM
The Villan 02 Nov 09 - 01:48 PM
Will Fly 02 Nov 09 - 01:57 PM
Tim Leaning 02 Nov 09 - 01:57 PM
VirginiaTam 02 Nov 09 - 02:07 PM
TheSnail 02 Nov 09 - 02:20 PM
Aeola 02 Nov 09 - 02:39 PM
The Villan 02 Nov 09 - 02:44 PM
Tim Leaning 02 Nov 09 - 04:07 PM
The Villan 02 Nov 09 - 04:14 PM
Tim Leaning 02 Nov 09 - 04:33 PM
Tim Leaning 02 Nov 09 - 04:34 PM
Tim Leaning 02 Nov 09 - 04:39 PM
TheSnail 02 Nov 09 - 04:40 PM
Les in Chorlton 02 Nov 09 - 05:02 PM
The Villan 02 Nov 09 - 05:05 PM
Nick 02 Nov 09 - 05:22 PM
Nick 02 Nov 09 - 05:24 PM
Tim Leaning 02 Nov 09 - 05:32 PM
Nick 02 Nov 09 - 05:32 PM
The Villan 02 Nov 09 - 05:37 PM
Les in Chorlton 02 Nov 09 - 05:40 PM
Nick 02 Nov 09 - 05:40 PM
Nick 02 Nov 09 - 05:58 PM
Bernard 02 Nov 09 - 06:01 PM
Nick 02 Nov 09 - 06:40 PM
Tim Leaning 02 Nov 09 - 06:47 PM
The Villan 02 Nov 09 - 06:49 PM
Tim Leaning 02 Nov 09 - 06:51 PM
VirginiaTam 03 Nov 09 - 02:39 AM
Les in Chorlton 03 Nov 09 - 04:53 AM
The Villan 03 Nov 09 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,CS 03 Nov 09 - 05:34 AM
The Villan 03 Nov 09 - 05:55 AM
theleveller 03 Nov 09 - 05:59 AM
GUEST 03 Nov 09 - 06:02 AM
Marje 03 Nov 09 - 06:18 AM
The Villan 03 Nov 09 - 06:30 AM
Valmai Goodyear 03 Nov 09 - 07:08 AM
Marje 03 Nov 09 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,PeterC 03 Nov 09 - 01:41 PM
VirginiaTam 03 Nov 09 - 03:46 PM
Les in Chorlton 03 Nov 09 - 04:08 PM
Paul Reade 03 Nov 09 - 05:08 PM
Old Vermin 03 Nov 09 - 05:22 PM
VirginiaTam 03 Nov 09 - 05:26 PM
Old Vermin 03 Nov 09 - 05:30 PM
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Subject: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:30 AM

I recognise that as soon as something needs supporting it may genuinely be too late. And I guess the best support Folk Clubs can get is when somebody goes to one, doesn't enjoy the event and tells the organisers why.

However, lots of us go to folk events that are not Folk Clubs. Concerts and Festivals occur throughout the year and the standard and range of music is generally very high.

Could performers and organisers, in some low key sensitive way that did not impinge on the event, encourage people to go to folk clubs?

L in C
In naked self promotion:
1st & 3rd Wednesday Singaround at The Beech, Beech Road, Chorlton, Manchester
Last Tuesday Beginners Tunes sam venue


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:33 AM

Gainsbro this Friday


thread.cfm?threadid=79492


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Banjiman
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 09:24 AM

Les,

I'm not sure they are all dying. We've just sold out the Saturday at the KFFC Big Birthday Bash in 2 weeks time. This is a mixture of top class performance and very informal singaround. It's not massive (we're licensed for 100 but I'm only selling 95 tickets) but we are seeing an upward trend in attendances for our regular (concert based + after show "session") monthly nights as well.

5 miles down the road we also have Burneston Folk Club which is always a (weekly) laid back singaround. We share alot of membership across the 2 clubs and work very much hand in hand. Again, attendances are on the up with up to 15+ performers and often a healthy "audience" as well.

We encourage those at the KFFC concerts to give Burneston a try (which most have) & encourage the "players & singers" at Burneston to attend some of the concerts at KFFC (with mixed success until they are offered a perfomance slot!!!).

Are your numbers suffering?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 10:00 AM

I run a small Singaround that can only fit 25 or so. We vary between about 12 and 25.

Chorlton Folk Club is about a mile away and it is very well supported.

My concern is not really about the Singaround at the moment. I went to the Ewan MacColl Memorial in Salford and was struck by the lack of any reference to local clubs. From this it struck me that pro and semi pro folkies could help the club scene in general by mentioning them when they play at concerts and festivals.

Is this a lost cause?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:29 PM

in my opinion,if every professional did one floorspot once a week in a folk club,the benefit to folk clubs would be enormous.
I made a point[when I was last touring in England]of doing one floor spot[pot and glass ,Eaglescliffe]


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: The Villan
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:48 PM

No problems at http://www.faldingworthlive.co.uk/

We get 60 to 100 normally


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Will Fly
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:57 PM

My experience - for what it's worth - is that, in my part of Sussex at any rate, there are enough clubs, singarounds and sessions to fill every night of the week. Some are pcked out, some are quieter than others, but they carry on, month in, month out.

As I've said elsewhere, this may not be the case elsewhere...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:57 PM

But you don't have floor spots V its a (very good ) concert venue.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 02:07 PM

Shouldn't this have started as a positive thoughts needed for ailing folk club?

I have added my local to the Essex explore culture website which is getting big promotional push through banners, posters, beer mats, window devals, buttons, bus wraps, etc. Will see what happens.

Is there nothing your local council can do to help promote local folk clubs?

Anyway. Best wishes in building up membership/attendance everywhere.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 02:20 PM

I would have thought the best support Folk Clubs can get is when somebody goes to one, does enjoy the event and tells their friends about it.

I suppose part of the problem is that folk clubs ARE local and independant. There is no umbrella body to organise a national campaign of Support Your Local Folk Club and some of the national folk organisations don't seem very interested in clubs. That may change with the re-invigoration of EFDSS.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Aeola
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 02:39 PM

........ folk clubs are local and independant...

You're probably right, only folkies know where folk clubs are!!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: The Villan
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 02:44 PM

I used to Tim, but my health and time no longer allow that. I also asked for people to take over a thriving venue, before it became a concert venue, but like all things in life, nobody did. So what is your point and why make such an aresole comment. I notice that a lot of people who used to get regular floorspots no longer come along, for the concerts, unless they are the support act. I wonder why that is?

There are enough singarounds to accomodate your requirements.

I put on what is wanted in Faldingworth, based on what I am now capable of doing after many requests from people not to stop.

Other people put on what they want.

Together, those people that put on any event whether it be Folk Club, session, Folk concert event do it for nowt for the benefit of other people. the end result hopefully is that new people are introduced to Folk music who might never have put their toes over the doorstep.

If you are worried about floorspots Tim, may I suggest you start your own Folk Club.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:07 PM

You should read my comment again and I will wait for your apology Les.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: The Villan
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:14 PM

Sorry Tim, my hospital appointment must be getting to me.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:33 PM

"I used to Tim, but my health and time no longer allow that."
(Yes I know I have sympathised often)
"I also asked for people to take over a thriving venue, before it became a concert venue, but like all things in life, nobody did."
( You did,and for the same reasons that I cannot attend the concerts very often I couldn't take that on either.)
"So what is your point"
(My point was that you run a concert venue and therefore the attendance should be high because you attract people who are "audience" oriented and they know by your reputation that the entertainment you provide will be worthwhile attending,but it is also the venue s of your type that Les In Chorlton was very mildly asking would encourage attebdance at,or at least mention the local folk clubs when they have their massive audiences captured as it were)
"and why make such an aresole comment."
(I didnt,you did that all on your own)
"I notice that a lot of people who used to get regular floorspots no longer come along, for the concerts, unless they are the support act. I wonder why that is?"
( I wouldn't know matey perhaps you should ask them b4 you give them a support slot next time?)
There are never enough singarounds to suite my requirements,and if there were I wouldn't be able to go to them for the same reasons we dont get out to Faldinworth.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:34 PM

Ok Mr V.
I just posted my diatribe then saw your reply.
Are we mates again now?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:39 PM

And Faldingworth does have a policy of providing an extensive list of all things local and folky in the interval.
It would be good if the other big audience places all idd the same.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:40 PM

Aeola

You're probably right, only folkies know where folk clubs are!!

Or what fun they can be. The question is, how do we let the World know?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:02 PM

OK, it's very easy to get at cross purposes when we swap posts here. Trust all is well with you two.

As TheSnail said:

"I would have thought the best support Folk Clubs can get is when somebody goes to one, does enjoy the event and tells their friends about it."

Absolutely true. But we all need A Little Help From Our Friends?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: The Villan
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:05 PM

Tim :-)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Nick
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:22 PM

I do when I can - most of them aren't 'clubs' - clubs are a different thing in my mind. Though I haven't been to Gainsborough I have seen and heard enough about to know that's it's good and also has a strong sense of what works (for the organiser, the players and the audience - which is surely what it's about?)

In my localish area in the fairly recent past I have been to:

Our own one in Flaxton for about 6 years
Black Swan in York (proper folk club)
Maltings (session in York)
Tap and Spile (in York)
Gay Hussar (York)
Black Something in Camblesforth
Pub in Mickleby
Three Tuns in Thirsk when it did
Three separate pubs in Boroughbridge
Easingwold Folk thing before it changed (and also the manager charged me about £3.70 for a pint and a half of blackcurrant and soda)
A pub in Bagby nr Thirsk (sp?)
Burneston
Bedale
Pickering
Swan and Talbot at Wetherby
The folk at home that I spilt the red wine on the carpet and still feel bad
Pubs in Whitby
Ryedale Folk events
Helmsley Folk weekend
Various local things
I have even played in a Sam Smiths pub AFTER the ban and the landlady lived for a while after
That's forgetting the ones that I've played the odd gig in with people
Two things for the WI in village halls and one in a Methodist chapel (whoops shouldn't have sworn)
Kirkby Fleetham
Kirbymoorside pubs on a festival
NECM York
etc etc

Forgotten loads probably and these are just the localish ones


I would guess I'm much like lots of people who like playing music that we find places to play and play. More and more places open their doors now as more people realise you can not only drink at home for less but you can also EAT. Lot of empty space in pubs that try just do cheap crap for big numbers because the return business isn't there.

I enjoy playing music with people and I'm not a solo performing artist. I play rock in a band which I love and play occasionally at odd things where people get me involved. I am an accompanist mostly so like sessions and singarounds. Perhaps I'll find a folk band or duo or trio at some point and do that but I doubt I'll ever try and play at a folk club.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Nick
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:24 PM

Sorry I meant Faldingworth not Gainsborough (though I'm sure that's wonderful too). I get confused because it's flat.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:32 PM

Nick
I heard you sing and play,you do both in a way that people like to listen too.
I don't really know what is meant by "folk club". I suspect there are as many definitions of that as there are The "f" word itself.
What would you say Flaxton is?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Nick
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:32 PM

Les in C - when my son was at Manchester Uni I remember being in touch on a message somewhere and you said you were pretty full to bursting where you were as you had such a small room so I never bothered.

Not a criticism but an observation.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: The Villan
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:37 PM

Thanks Nick.

Gainsborough is a singaround Folk Club that has occasional performers. IMHO they are a very good example of what a singaround should be. It is inclusive and they encourage people to give it a go, but do not pressurise people (apart from me - Dratsabs :-) ). They are very fair to all attendees and they are like a big family and have lots of fun and good music. If it wasn't for people at Gainsborough who encouraged me and supported me, Faldingworth (ex Market Rasen Folk Club) wouldn't have been born.
Unfortunately my situation means that I do not get there very much these days or anywhere else come to think of it.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:40 PM

Thanks Nick,

we have burst out of the room and we have quiet nights. I always feel that at almost all kinds of collective event with more than 25 people a raffle should happen. In the same way I felt that at The MacColl Memorial somebody could have said to 300+ folkies Support your local Folk Club.

L in C


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Nick
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:40 PM

One of the problems may be that who goes to pay regularly to see the people you can see for free? I don't or only occasionally. If I am off to a folk concert it needs to be significantly better than I can experience for nothing. I enjoy playing more than I do listening PLUS I can watch the best any time I want on the internet. I can also experience some very good people playing for free in pubs - if I have the time (I probably play music out at practice, gigs or local things three or four times a week and could easily do it seven)

Probably means the world is changing a bit.

Those who run proper folk clubs and balance books and stuff know that you make a choice if you run a proper folk club and how you balance the famous with the local and keep people coming. I wouldn't have a clue.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Nick
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:58 PM

Les in C - probably right but there are many audiences out there and I sense with precious little crossover. And I think part of that is that going to a pub and going to a concert are totally different things. The village hall opposite where I live (village popn c1000) occasionally puts on a band called the Foresters who I saw years ago. They play something which people would associate with folk whether rightly or wrongly. One is an event - one isn't.

Would never see a soul who went to that at £x a ticket at the pub down the road. Different things.

We have never promoted our gathering apart from I mention it on Mudcat when we talk about things. I met a load of people from Beverley and Hull through here but they rarely come because they are both well catered for locally and also it's a long way. I don't get to Beverley as much as I used to which is sad as I enjoyed it. We have a regular 25 to 40 people a week to a pub some distance away from homes (probably 5 people are wihin the village itself so everyone else has made an effort even though it maybe just so they can have a chat). We have acquired another fine fiddler who comes often now who lives two miles away and has 'known' about it for over 5 years without coming. Weird.

There is certain stuff you can get away with in a pub and certain stuff less so I reckon. Childe Ballads pretty tricky. Anything you learned at school before the age of 8 perhaps. Not folk but jigs and reels that people associate with folk you can and people have fun - it has a beat and a life that people can associate with other things. Pure unaccompanied songs are quite hard for most people - unless they are very local and loved in the community :) Our thing is that we sing and play music together - we are not a performance place though will behave if people want to. It's just how we grew up together over the last 6 and a bit years 'and it's the ethos you either accept or don't.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Bernard
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:01 PM

Nothing else compares with the atmosphere of the real thing... I can't see t'internet ever replacing live venues, simply supplementing them.

Anyway, what Les was originally referring to wasn't specifically concert clubs... I don't see t'internet even getting close to replicating a singaround!! You have to be there!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Nick
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:40 PM

I agree with you Bernard. It wasn't a question of replacement rather that it sets an expectation of quality.

I play LIVE music at least three times a week as I said sometimes 5 or 6 so I think it fairly obvious where that I prefer live.

Places are different. We have people visit us who told us how totally wrong we had it and what we should be doing which is great if it makes them happy. I remember going to Lymm some years ago and it just wasn't me - not worng but just not me. The little group of people were loving it and each other so I left rather than either attempt to get involved or potentially spoil.

One of the things I do think you have to do is never shut your doors because you never know. I mention our place to people and some come and some don't which is fine. Many of the perple involved with it I know disagree with me on this but it positively thrives on people visiting and challenges and makes us better and I love that.

I always loved Pinter's throwaway line about his plays (though he said it meant nothing later) - 'the weasel under the cocktail cabinet', the menace from within in a cosy little world. I realise that that is intrinsic to my understanding and love of music whether in the playing, the listening, the arranging or the organising of.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:47 PM

Sooooo that's Flaxton,Gainsbro' with open doors.
And Kffc let banjo's in...Cottingham live is fab.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: The Villan
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:49 PM

Louth Folk Club is also a very good one, but the room is small.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:51 PM

Never been there yet is a folk club in the same way as Gainsbro?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 02:39 AM

How do we let the wider public know how much fun [folk clubs] are/can be?


Try to make them go viral.


Get some videos up on youtube, especially of performances that show the very best. Young singer song writers, acts that do funny songs, groups that get the audience/ other singer/musos really pumped up.

Once the videos are up, set facebook and twitter accounts, start accumulating friends and post links to the videos. Each video should have descriptive info - name of folk club, location and when it meets.

Damn! That plan could be a business for someone or another function of EFDSS.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 04:53 AM

Perhaps we need umbrella organisation like Folk against Fascism? A commitment from people who either organise or perform at concerts and festivals to simply encourage the audience to go to local folk clubs.

Clearly the reciprocal is that folk clubs are good and encourage people to go to concerts and other folk clubs

L in C


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:27 AM

I think word of mouth is very effective.

However, you tend to get "Thats a good club" or "Don't go there its crap"

Thats the nature of the folk beast :-)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:34 AM

"I think word of mouth is very effective."

Effective for those who already move in folk circles.. But there are entire generations that don't move in folk circles and hardly know that 'folk clubs' even exist. I was one of them until not so long ago.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:55 AM

I agree. I publicise as well. Newspapers, Websites, Forums, Handout Diaries, Radio.

However, even though we have been going for quite some time, we still get people coming along who never knew we existed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: theleveller
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:59 AM

I went to my local folk club in Hemingbrough, near Selby, on Sunday after quite an absence (it's a bit tricky to get out now that our live-in babysitter has gone to uni) and although it was quite busy there was very little evidence of folk music. A couple of George Formby impersonators, 60s and 70s rock, Vera Lynn – even an American 'beat' poet – but folk music was distinctly lacking and not particularly appreciated. I was told that attendances had been dropping down to around 10, whereas the sister club at The Ferryman's Inn in Thorganby had had 21 performers at the last session (this is in a tiny pub well off the beaten track).

Anyway, I won't be going back to Hemingbrough in a hurry but I was given details of a new Folk, Blues & Jazz Club starting in Goole on 3rd December, so might give that a try. (And we really MUST get down to Gainsborough and across to Driffield!)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 06:02 AM

Well I can think of one club that has survived a chairmanship that would kill most endeavours. Mainly because the membership predated the chair and some even returned after its departure.

But how it managed is anybody's guess, the pedigree of the chair was littered with the debris.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Marje
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 06:18 AM

I recently asked someone who's interested in singing "world" music in choirs whether she'd consider visiting the local folk club. She came out with the old "finger-in-the-ear" cliche, which saddened and irritated me, but the circumstances were such that I hadn't the opportunity to question her further about what it was she really feared or thought she wouldn't like about a club.

And I wish I'd had the chance to tell her that she'd missed a fantastic evening with Pete Coe at the local club (Totnes). A club is really the best place to see a performer like that - no PA, no distractions, and the opportunity to sit q


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 06:30 AM

>>She came out with the old "finger-in-the-ear" cliche<<

So many non folkies have that impression.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 07:08 AM

Sorry if this is obvious, but try leaving information in:

Tourist information centres
Libraries
Hotels
Bed & breakfasts
Cafes

You need smallish handouts for all these. The Lewes Saturday Folk Club uses a piece of A4 folded in three, printed on both sides.

Try to have posters on display in your venue, particularly where they can be read from the pavement outside.

I've just started sending stuff to the student unions of local universities; it remains to be seen whether they bear fruit, but every university and college had a folk club years ago and there must still be a few students interested.

Valmai


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Marje
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 07:10 AM

Woops, part of my post above has gone missing. What I meant to say after the bit above was:

.. and the opportunity to sit quite close, so you can see and hear everything.

The club supported with a very good selection of floor spots (no fingers were inserted in ears at any time!), and I was quite proud to be part of it all. A night like that more than makes up for the occasional patchiness in quality on the regular singers' nights, and it's a shame if people who would enjoy it miss out because of preconceived notions of what goes on at a folk club.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:41 PM

Getting non folkies into a club takes a lot of leg work but isn't difficult. Getting them to come back is another matter.

Some clubs make strangers comfortable, some don't.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 03:46 PM

Yes same here. Youngish colleague (early 30s) said she listens to Liza Carthy to beat work stress. I said "how about dropping into local folk club this Thursday." She said" Ohhh dunno. Not into the beardie weirdies." I said, "It's not like that. All kinds of stuff, singers, musos, singer/songwriters, music hall, american folk, blues, even some rock, real mixed bag."

She said "My partner likes the ahem more traditional stuff." I said, "We got that too. And as it is in upstairs function room, you can sit downstairs in pub proper and then poke you head in if you hear something you like, come in sit for a spell or not." Very loose and welcoming group, half and half participant/spectator."

She said "I dunno. We'll see."


TWITTER is virtual word of mouth.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 04:08 PM

Perhaps we should wait until we are as old as those old blues singers - then we might be sort out and celebrated?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Paul Reade
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:08 PM

Those who read "Tykes' News" will know that I've been "banging on" about this for years. Folk clubs do not have a good image, with comments about beards, fingers-in-ears etc. Some of it may be deserved, but let's be positive: I think the relaxed, laid back atmosphere of a good folk club is ideally suited to the style of the music rather than the more formal concert setting.

We could ask "does it matter"? So what if folk clubs fold – if they're past their "sell by" date we can still hear the best of folk at festivals, which is much better than dragging yourself out on a cold January evening to hear the same old performers at the local singers night. The thing about folk clubs is that they're the bedrock, the "roots" of the folk scene, and if you cut off the roots the plant will very quickly die.

The average age of your folk club audience is steadily going up, but are younger people encouraged? There is now a revival of acoustic singer / songwriters, but the problem for us is that folk clubs have a pretty bad image among these up-and-coming musicians, so they have set up "open mic / unplugged" sessions, a "grass roots" movement similar to folk clubs.

In the ones I visited, the atmosphere was very similar to early folk clubs – a real "buzz" from a packed audience of all age groups really appreciating the performers, just like the old days. You need to get there early to get a seat, and you definitely need to arrive early if you want a spot.

You could argue that we are here to preserve 'the tradition' rather than merely provide entertainment. If that's your opinion, fine – but a traditional song will be listened to and appreciated at an "unplugged" night just like any other genre of music. Which is better for keeping alive 'the tradition' – fifty people hearing one traditional song or five people hearing ten traditional songs? Discuss.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Old Vermin
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:22 PM

Word of mouth worked for me - next-door neighbour mentioned the local session back in the 90s.

On Friday I'll probably go and listen and play a bit in a backwoods pub[1] where there might be 15-20 people rather than go to hear a R2 Folk Awards contender in a club that's more of a concert for 50 or so.

[1] Cranleigh Folk club of course isn't in Cranleigh but in the Compasses at Alfold. Does Mudcat count as word of mouth?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:26 PM

Does Mudcat count as word of mouth. Only as much as preaching to the choir.

The idea is to draw in those who are not familiar with folk music.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Support your local Folk Club
From: Old Vermin
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:30 PM

"The idea is to draw in those who are not familiar with folk music."

Well, I'd been away from any involvement for twenty-plus years when my neighbour mentioned the local session. And I was joking about Mudcat as word-of-mouth for this purpose.

Anyone from here likely to make the Compasses on Friday?


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