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fRoots albums poll

Folknacious 16 Nov 09 - 08:57 AM
Smedley 16 Nov 09 - 09:01 AM
matt milton 16 Nov 09 - 09:41 AM
Ruth Archer 16 Nov 09 - 09:43 AM
Folknacious 16 Nov 09 - 10:04 AM
Chris Green 16 Nov 09 - 10:59 AM
SteveMansfield 16 Nov 09 - 01:05 PM
Ruth Archer 16 Nov 09 - 01:11 PM
George Papavgeris 16 Nov 09 - 02:03 PM
Chris Green 16 Nov 09 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,Guest Vivienne 16 Nov 09 - 03:52 PM
Ruth Archer 16 Nov 09 - 04:57 PM
SteveMansfield 17 Nov 09 - 03:51 AM
Folkiedave 17 Nov 09 - 04:17 AM
Valmai Goodyear 17 Nov 09 - 04:45 AM
Folkiedave 17 Nov 09 - 04:50 AM
The Borchester Echo 17 Nov 09 - 05:01 AM
Ruth Archer 17 Nov 09 - 08:29 AM
The Borchester Echo 17 Nov 09 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Chris Murray 17 Nov 09 - 11:48 AM
The Borchester Echo 17 Nov 09 - 12:47 PM
The Sandman 17 Nov 09 - 01:14 PM
BB 17 Nov 09 - 03:57 PM
MoorleyMan 17 Nov 09 - 05:41 PM
The Sandman 18 Nov 09 - 12:54 PM
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Subject: fRoots albums poll
From: Folknacious
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 08:57 AM

See here for this years nominees, good showing for folk. Does anybody else rate Spiro?, great twist on English trad tunes.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: Smedley
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 09:01 AM

I admire the Spiro album, but I don't think I could ever love it. It sounds like a really clever musical game - not enough heart & soul for me.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: matt milton
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 09:41 AM

Are they actually English trad tunes? Going on the titles alone, The White Hart looks like the only contender.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 09:43 AM

I have only just started listening to them, and I like them a lot - in fact, I was listening to their CD when the announcement of the nominations popped into my e-mail box.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: Folknacious
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 10:04 AM

Lots of tunes from NE & NW tune books, according to the credits.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: Chris Green
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 10:59 AM

For my money, Spiro are one of the most exciting acts I've heard in a very long time. The arrangements are genuinely fresh and new, and the musicianship is simply stunning (all the tracks were recorded live with no overdubs!) What baffles me is that apparently they're finding it quite hard to get gigs. Could it be that they're a purely instrumental outfit who don't do songs?


And yes, virtually everything on there is based on trad tunes - quite a bit of Playford and a load of 3/2 NW hornpipes.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 01:05 PM

What baffles me is that apparently they're finding it quite hard to get gigs. Could it be that they're a purely instrumental outfit who don't do songs?

Quite probably, but thank goodness they haven't taken the route that so many bands have taken, of having one member singing because it's expected despite the fact that singing is not their primary (or even particularly well developed) skill.

Spiro are great and their newish CD is excellent, very deserving of the plaudits it's received. I think it's a huge shame that all-instrumental bands can't get gigs (outside of dances obviously), but that does seem to be the way of it ...


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 01:11 PM

Lau don't seem to do too badly.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 02:03 PM

The Chieftains too did OK with hardly any vocals of their own, back when song was in its heyday. I agree, sfmans, let Spiro stick to what they do best. And if many folk clubs will not have them because of that, let this be so. I am sure festivals will fill the gap ably.

Let's face it, size of group is another parameter, making it hard to get gigs at the less well financially endowed clubs.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: Chris Green
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 03:52 PM

Touche, Ruth! I have to confess I don't know all the in and outs of why they're finding it hard to get booked - it was something a mate of mine who's a mate of theirs said a while ago. But it is something I hear fairly regularly from a few instrumental bands - that clubs particularly are reluctant to offer all-instrumental line-ups bookings.

Any further thoughts anyone?

I mean that in a non-stirry kind of way - I'm just interested to hear what people think. My own band is based almost entirely around vocals and song so it's not though I have a vested interest! :)


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: GUEST,Guest Vivienne
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 03:52 PM

Lau isn't totally instrumental - Kris Drever sings.

Flook did pretty well though.

Vivienne


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 04:57 PM

Lau's live set is about 90% instrumental. I think with Spiro it's been an issue of profile till now - not sure they have been going for folk clubs - probably too expensive and perhaps a bit too esoteric. So it's more arts centre/festival bookings they've probably been after, but that takes time to develop. They've done some good work on their profile this year - a couple of good festival bookings and the fRoots nomination are good acknowledgement of how much they've come on.

I think they'll be a lot more visible next summer.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 03:51 AM

Yes Valmai, after I'd posted (and with a D'oh! slap-of-forehead) I remembered Flook.

I've not seen Lau so didn't realise they were so instrumental-heavy, I think I'd assumed that with Kris Drever on board they'd make use of his singing.

The other all-instrumental act I would cite is the wonderful Michael McGoldrick Big Band, which has been my live highlight of the year.

It would be really good to see Spiro getting more gigs next year, best of luck to them.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: Folkiedave
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 04:17 AM

I wasn't overly impressed with the M.McG.B.B. I did wonder precisely what some of the the performers added.

It was a bit like watching an Irish session going on in front of you.

But that I stress is just a personal opinion and others differed - my wife being amnongst them!

But Lau......wow!!


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 04:45 AM

sfmans, I think you're replying to Guest Vivienne as I hadn't taken part in this discussion so far.

For what it's worth, the Lewes Saturday Folk Club has very happily put on Tommy Peoples (no singing when he visited us, and very little talking) and Tim Edey (two songs in an hour and a half) in the last couple of months. We have also booked Alistair Anderson, Matt Seattle, and Richard Heacock & Becky Price, none of whom sing at all.

Several folk clubs book Dave Swarbrick solo.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: Folkiedave
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 04:50 AM

I think the first non-singing performer was Felix Doran the uillean piper.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 05:01 AM

Dave Swarbrick solo

Indeed, but it's a terrible shame when he doesn't include a song or two. Remember Now Be Thankful and the entire John Babbacombe Lee album.

It is, equally, quite tragic when a band is coerced by "convention" into vocals when none of them is experienced enough to handle it. It's a bit like the comedian on Sunday Night At The London Palladium ending the act with a song just because all the others do.

I think it's fabulous that Spiro is nominated and look forward to bands such as Methera, Stocai and Wistman's Wood getting much greater attention.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 08:29 AM

Not sure that Wistmans Wood are still up and running, now Jackie's solo career has taken off to such an extent, and Methera must be somewhat dormant now John Dipper's largely resident in Canada...


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 10:04 AM

Methera did a gig a couple of weeks ago in Camden Town (not Canada) along with Fagan Kerr Harbron. And they said the intention is to spend the winter recording the next Methera album. And I'm sure Jackie gets together with Exeter friends whenever she's back. I certainly hope WW (and the John Dipper Band come to that) will get round to recording a full CD of their lovely music. What I meant to convey was that this sort of ensemble isn't ephemeral and dependent on the latest "top song hit" but a continuing expression of English music.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 11:48 AM

Lunasa are instrumental and they're pretty good.

I think that one compromise is to have a singer with the band who isn't always on stage - like DeDannan did. Many singers started their careers with this band. Also the Chieftains have guest singers - we saw Mary Hopkin with them once - and very good she was too.

Also - Mawkin were a successful instrumental group who expanded their appeal by joining up with Jim Causley, who had a good fanbase himself.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 12:47 PM

Not that any of that has anything to do with the Critics Poll which is for Album of the Year. Anyhow, Mawkin still do gigs on their own. They are billed as "Mawkin Without A Cause".


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 01:14 PM

why cant the youngsters of today sing?, Lack of singing in primary Schools, is partly to blame.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: BB
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 03:57 PM

I don't think it's a case of them not being able to sing - I could quote loads who can - I think that a lot prefer to play. If that means in a band, then most FCs can't afford them, or at least the fees they WANT to be paid, so they get agents who get them the village touring/arts centre/concert hall gigs, all of which pay better than FCs. For that matter, that applies to a lot of the young singers as well as many of them tend to work with or as bands.

The (other) reason why many clubs hesitate to book purely instrumental acts is that, as someone has already said, many FCs are song based, and certainly those who attend the club I run, which is perhaps not really just a 'folk' club, would not sit through a whole evening of instrumental music - they do require 'entertaining' and prefer to be able to join in with choruses. Although they're happy to sit and listen to the occasional instrumental, they seem happiest if they can engage with words, either listening or joining in.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 05:41 PM

Being equally non-stirry, Chris:
Yes, clubs may hesitate to book all-instrumental lineups, but their hesitation is even more marked in the case of unaccompanied singers, which is strange when the potential of such acts is equally great in terms of scope and variety (and delivery, believe it or not) of their material.


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Subject: RE: fRoots albums poll
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 12:54 PM

they want to cop on.


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