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Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk

Marje 17 Dec 09 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,henryp 17 Dec 09 - 09:00 AM
Marje 17 Dec 09 - 10:26 AM
Folknacious 17 Dec 09 - 03:46 PM
The Villan 17 Dec 09 - 04:03 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 Dec 09 - 04:12 PM
Weasel 17 Dec 09 - 04:16 PM
Weasel 17 Dec 09 - 04:20 PM
VirginiaTam 17 Dec 09 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,Aghast 17 Dec 09 - 04:33 PM
Effsee 17 Dec 09 - 04:33 PM
VirginiaTam 17 Dec 09 - 04:35 PM
The Villan 17 Dec 09 - 04:35 PM
VirginiaTam 17 Dec 09 - 04:37 PM
Jack Blandiver 17 Dec 09 - 04:38 PM
Jack Blandiver 17 Dec 09 - 04:40 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 Dec 09 - 04:41 PM
Weasel 17 Dec 09 - 04:44 PM
Sarah the flute 17 Dec 09 - 04:46 PM
double stopping 17 Dec 09 - 04:48 PM
BusyBee Paul 17 Dec 09 - 04:52 PM
The Villan 17 Dec 09 - 04:53 PM
The Villan 17 Dec 09 - 04:54 PM
BusyBee Paul 17 Dec 09 - 05:01 PM
Will Fly 17 Dec 09 - 05:04 PM
Wyrd Sister 17 Dec 09 - 05:07 PM
double stopping 17 Dec 09 - 05:07 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 17 Dec 09 - 05:09 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 17 Dec 09 - 05:17 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 Dec 09 - 05:25 PM
nutty 17 Dec 09 - 05:30 PM
Jack Blandiver 17 Dec 09 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Dec 09 - 05:31 PM
SussexCarole 17 Dec 09 - 05:33 PM
Dave MacKenzie 17 Dec 09 - 05:36 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 17 Dec 09 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Guest 17 Dec 09 - 05:58 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 17 Dec 09 - 06:20 PM
Folkiedave 17 Dec 09 - 06:21 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 17 Dec 09 - 06:23 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 17 Dec 09 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Dec 09 - 06:34 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 17 Dec 09 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,folkfan 17 Dec 09 - 06:56 PM
Folknacious 17 Dec 09 - 07:08 PM
Weasel 17 Dec 09 - 07:14 PM
Howard Jones 17 Dec 09 - 07:15 PM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Dec 09 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,Arrrrgh 17 Dec 09 - 07:21 PM
Dave MacKenzie 17 Dec 09 - 07:33 PM
Howard Jones 17 Dec 09 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Dec 09 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Tim 17 Dec 09 - 09:02 PM
Effsee 17 Dec 09 - 10:14 PM
Abdul The Bul Bul 17 Dec 09 - 10:30 PM
VirginiaTam 18 Dec 09 - 01:42 AM
Jack Blandiver 18 Dec 09 - 01:50 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 18 Dec 09 - 02:13 AM
Backwoodsman 18 Dec 09 - 02:36 AM
Backwoodsman 18 Dec 09 - 02:37 AM
GUEST,Mike of Hessle 18 Dec 09 - 02:54 AM
Dave Sutherland 18 Dec 09 - 03:08 AM
Folkiedave 18 Dec 09 - 03:08 AM
VirginiaTam 18 Dec 09 - 03:11 AM
Will Fly 18 Dec 09 - 04:02 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 18 Dec 09 - 04:27 AM
Will Fly 18 Dec 09 - 04:35 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 18 Dec 09 - 04:37 AM
Howard Jones 18 Dec 09 - 04:41 AM
Will Fly 18 Dec 09 - 04:41 AM
Jack Blandiver 18 Dec 09 - 04:43 AM
The Villan 18 Dec 09 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,Lizzie Befuddled Cornish 18 Dec 09 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Lizzie, thinking about it again... 18 Dec 09 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 18 Dec 09 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 18 Dec 09 - 05:07 AM
julian morbihan 18 Dec 09 - 05:07 AM
The Borchester Echo 18 Dec 09 - 05:12 AM
GUEST,Lizzie Cornish 18 Dec 09 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,SC 18 Dec 09 - 05:25 AM
Ruth Archer 18 Dec 09 - 05:27 AM
George Papavgeris 18 Dec 09 - 05:30 AM
The Borchester Echo 18 Dec 09 - 05:30 AM
George Papavgeris 18 Dec 09 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,JM 18 Dec 09 - 05:36 AM
The Borchester Echo 18 Dec 09 - 05:42 AM
George Papavgeris 18 Dec 09 - 05:50 AM
The Villan 18 Dec 09 - 05:52 AM
The Villan 18 Dec 09 - 05:55 AM
Mavis Enderby 18 Dec 09 - 06:13 AM
The Borchester Echo 18 Dec 09 - 06:30 AM
doc.tom 18 Dec 09 - 06:31 AM
mattkeen 18 Dec 09 - 06:38 AM
mattkeen 18 Dec 09 - 06:39 AM
Ruth Archer 18 Dec 09 - 06:41 AM
evansakes 18 Dec 09 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,non-folk fan 18 Dec 09 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Isawit 18 Dec 09 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 18 Dec 09 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 18 Dec 09 - 08:04 AM
George Papavgeris 18 Dec 09 - 08:11 AM
The Borchester Echo 18 Dec 09 - 08:19 AM
theleveller 18 Dec 09 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,sophie 18 Dec 09 - 08:56 AM
billybob 18 Dec 09 - 09:05 AM
Folknacious 18 Dec 09 - 09:07 AM
mattkeen 18 Dec 09 - 09:07 AM
Howard Jones 18 Dec 09 - 09:10 AM
mattkeen 18 Dec 09 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,Isawit 18 Dec 09 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 18 Dec 09 - 09:23 AM
mattkeen 18 Dec 09 - 09:24 AM
mattkeen 18 Dec 09 - 09:40 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 18 Dec 09 - 09:42 AM
Edthefolkie 18 Dec 09 - 09:49 AM
Vic Smith 18 Dec 09 - 09:54 AM
Vic Smith 18 Dec 09 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Captain Farrell 18 Dec 09 - 10:05 AM
nutty 18 Dec 09 - 10:11 AM
Folknacious 18 Dec 09 - 10:12 AM
nutty 18 Dec 09 - 10:25 AM
Folknacious 18 Dec 09 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Captain Jack Sparrow 18 Dec 09 - 11:24 AM
PercyBysshe 18 Dec 09 - 11:41 AM
Jack Blandiver 18 Dec 09 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,JM 18 Dec 09 - 01:25 PM
Marje 18 Dec 09 - 01:28 PM
PercyBysshe 18 Dec 09 - 01:28 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 18 Dec 09 - 01:31 PM
Suegorgeous 18 Dec 09 - 02:37 PM
Sarah the flute 18 Dec 09 - 03:10 PM
Tootler 18 Dec 09 - 03:18 PM
Folkiedave 18 Dec 09 - 03:28 PM
Ruth Archer 18 Dec 09 - 03:47 PM
PercyBysshe 18 Dec 09 - 03:59 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Dec 09 - 04:21 PM
Tootler 18 Dec 09 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Dave Hunt 18 Dec 09 - 06:46 PM
Ruth Archer 18 Dec 09 - 07:06 PM
VirginiaTam 18 Dec 09 - 11:49 PM
GUEST,Phil B 19 Dec 09 - 07:20 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Dec 09 - 07:36 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Dec 09 - 02:09 PM
Folkiedave 19 Dec 09 - 02:26 PM
Tootler 19 Dec 09 - 04:04 PM
Mavis Enderby 20 Dec 09 - 11:15 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 20 Dec 09 - 02:16 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 20 Dec 09 - 03:16 PM
Jack Blandiver 20 Dec 09 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Coldone 20 Dec 09 - 05:26 PM
Hamish 21 Dec 09 - 04:44 AM
Vic Smith 21 Dec 09 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 21 Dec 09 - 07:25 AM
Will Fly 21 Dec 09 - 07:57 AM
Will Fly 21 Dec 09 - 08:02 AM
Marje 21 Dec 09 - 08:52 AM
evansakes 21 Dec 09 - 10:21 AM
Marje 21 Dec 09 - 11:06 AM
Dave MacKenzie 21 Dec 09 - 11:19 AM
mikesamwild 21 Dec 09 - 02:57 PM
Gervase 21 Dec 09 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Isawit 21 Dec 09 - 03:30 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 21 Dec 09 - 03:34 PM
EnglishFolkfan 21 Dec 09 - 04:49 PM
Effsee 21 Dec 09 - 10:51 PM
evansakes 22 Dec 09 - 04:21 AM
Smedley 22 Dec 09 - 04:40 AM
Suegorgeous 24 Dec 09 - 09:40 PM
LesB 25 Dec 09 - 05:39 AM
Suegorgeous 25 Dec 09 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 25 Dec 09 - 06:45 AM
Backwoodsman 25 Dec 09 - 01:27 PM
Aeola 25 Dec 09 - 02:59 PM
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Subject: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Marje
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 08:22 AM

Taken from the Radio Times website (I've set my PVR to record it!):

BBC FOUR Christmas Session: Fire and Ice

Thursday 17 December
9:00pm - 10:00pm
BBC4

BBC Four celebrates midwinter with a blend of folk tradition and burlesque fun. Bellowhead and The Unthanks get together with singers Thea Gilmore and Lisa Knapp, plus other guests, to perform seasonal songs of their own alongside yuletide favourites. There are folk ballads, carols, parlour songs and carousing dance numbers, with everyone coming together for a final knees-up. Filmed at Shoreditch Town Hall, the setting evokes an old music hall combined with a festive Victorian family parlour.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 09:00 AM

BBC Four Christmas Session - and it's repeated too!

Fire and Ice. December 17th, 2009 at 9:00pm BBC 4
Fire and Ice. December 17th, 2009 at 11:30pm BBC HD
Fire and Ice. December 18th, 2009 at 3:05am BBC 4
Fire and Ice. December 20th, 2009 at 10:30pm BBC HD
Fire and Ice. December 24th, 2009 at 5:15pm BBC HD
Fire and Ice. December 24th, 2009 at 10:30pm BBC 4
Fire and Ice. December 25th, 2009 at 3:00am BBC 4


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Marje
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 10:26 AM

3 a.m. on Xmas morning's an interesting time - is this for Santa to watch while he chills out after his duties, I wonder? Or for parents whose children wake them up at this time to open their prezzies?

Marje


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Folknacious
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 03:46 PM

In about 75 minutes, the first person will pop up here to say how much they hated it, with special ire reserved for the Unthanks. Guaranteed. It's a Mudcat tradition.

White Christmas, anybody?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:03 PM

I have seen the unthanks live, and IMHO they are brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:12 PM

I'll do it!
What a dull 'singing by numbers' uninspired dirge.
Sounds like something 'uncomfortable' from the school nativity to me.. ;-)
Can I have my Mudcat grumpy prize?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Weasel
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:16 PM

Sorry, I've never seen or heard Unthanks before: oh dear.

I have to agree with everything crow sister has said. Suffice it to say that mid dirge I turned to this forum to see if I was the only one suffering. Apparently not.

Sorry if everything else they do is wonderful but they just lost my pound.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Weasel
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:20 PM

Sorry, it's about 9.25 and I've had enough - it's going off.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:28 PM

I just turned to it and caught last chorus of something to do with mistletoe bough.

It was dire, but I should not make a judgement on a fragment.

Why are they being so cheesy in the talking parts between songs?

Also is it a fancy dress affair?

Coventry carol not to my taste.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Aghast
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:33 PM

I hope nobody's feeling suicidal!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Effsee
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:33 PM

I lasted as long as the Weasel did! Knap-sacked, you might say!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:35 PM

christ... think i might swear off folk now...

ears bleeding from x factor style Emanuel.

they are murdering sans day carol.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:35 PM

Some young lady came on, and my daughter of 14 said "That is dreadful"


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:37 PM

now that's better... I like the swanee whistle


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:38 PM

Just caught 20 seconds of O Come Emmanuel in between Gavin & Stacey and QI. On the evidence of this I am reassured that English folk is indeed alive & well and in very rude health indeed. I am heartened & inspired.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:40 PM

Rapunzel's pointed out that people might not get the irony embedded in my last post. X-factor sums it quite nicely, VT.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:41 PM

Oh, I was just commenting on the Unthanks 'In the Bleak Midwinter' - which of course was set up as an "I dare you" by a previous post anyhow! But it was god-awful frankly. Had Mr.CS peeing himself laffing at my imitation of it a minute ago ;-)

I didn't dig Bellowheads take on Mistletoe Bough much - too drunkenly rollicking for the death of a bride - even if the lyrics are cheesily sentimental.

I thought Lisa Knapp's Coventry Carol was stunning myself - she's got a thin, breathy sounding voice (like the Unthanks do) which I don't dig too much usually, but it was atmospheric from the theatre - which she seemed to draw up outa somewhere. Never heard her before BTW.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Weasel
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:44 PM

Just switched back and caught Unthanks doing "Tar Barrel in Dale" (sounds like that) - I rather like it.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:46 PM

I thought Jim Moray sounded in pain as he "sang" - especially in the Rejoice chorus bit Hmmm

I was at the pub christmas session on Tuesday and it surpassed all of this. Some fine singing and magic tunes.

What a sad ruined space of the very little folk time we get. All the performers looked nervous and unsure or super smug

Just my thoughts I'm sure some will enjoy - think I'll turn over for the news of the expected snow deluge at 10pm

Sarah


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: double stopping
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:48 PM

The Coventry Carol was dire and thankfully the Unthanks (no pun intended) are at last performing something that has a bit of rhythm and life. This show is turning out to be rather disappointing - had expected something more lively.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:52 PM

The only time I've seen Bellowhead live (about 2 years ago) I either loved it or hated it - no shades of grey. This programme is the same. Sloe Gin Set on air now is great.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:53 PM

I am happy that we have Kerfuffle on in 2010, where we can see Sam Sweeney at his best :-)


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 04:54 PM

Oh hello Deirdre :-)


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:01 PM

Hi Les. I'll not be watching that on iPlayer. The audience were irritating too.

Bah humbug!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:04 PM

A very mixed bag, IMHO. Having got the hour on DVD, I switched over to catch the end of the Freddie Starr show - which I saw when it first came out. The dear folk souls on BBC4 should have seen Freddie singing an Elvis medley backed by a cracking house band plus The Jordanaires - that would have been an education for them. Starr, whatever else he may be, being probably the best interpreter of Presley in this country and any other.

The final "Jingle Bells" bit of the BBC4 show was like the very worst of the Billy Cotton band Show...


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:07 PM

Hmm. Very curate's egg.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: double stopping
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:07 PM

I had set it to record so I could watch it again later and enjoy - won't be bothering, just about to delete the recording. If that was the best that could be served up as a Christmas Folk special then we certainly won't be winning any converts. My other half walked in, pulled a face, asked what it was, gave me the "you are watching this" look complete with raised eyebrows then promptly went off to bed!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:09 PM

I enjoyed some of it, but an electric guitar and a drum kit?!...and, for a final knees-up, James Lord Pierpont's "Jingle Bells" - why (as I've suggested here) not let Americans be Americans?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:17 PM

See? They should have invited Show of Hands and Seth along... :0)

I wasn't able to watch it, but I'll try to catch it on repeat....but going on the posts above....oh dear me..


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:25 PM

"The Coventry Carol was dire"

It was the only part of the program I liked myself! Though she did do an embarrassingly pants attempt an an 'early music voice' (Ohhh leetal tihney chylde'), which should have been dropped in favour of err her own actual voice.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: nutty
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:30 PM

I watched it all - just to see if it got any better - unfortunately it didn't.
The whole production was dire.

All that clapping and most of it out of time with the music was most annoying, as were the camera shots,whizzing around the room at a rate of knots - it was enough to make you dizzy.
And why , in this age of technology, were they all attempting to swallow their microphones - surely radio mics would have been more suitable for a TV broadcast.

You can't lay all the blame with the artists - its the producer and director that should be shot and all the rest of the people whose names appeared in the credits.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:30 PM

but an electric guitar and a drum kit?!

What's wrong with electric guitars & drumkits? Some of the greatest English Music of all time involves electric guitars & drumkits - not much of it in the name of folk, alas - although there is this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MdI_ACf7Nw

Check it out!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:31 PM

I have to agree with most posters that this was disappointing overall - especially as I was watching it as some compensation for not going to the Topic FC tonight because of the weather! The Unthanks version of In the Bleak Mid Winter was turgid - one of my favourite carols, it is slow, yes, but it does need some life. Glad they sang 'Tar barrel in dale' as this was some compensation. Enjoyed Lisa Knapp's Coventry Carol and Jim's Emmanuel (my very favourite carol). I was expecting more Bellowhead - the Sloe Gin set was great and enjoyed the Misteltoe Bough. Overall though it felt very contrived and as somene else mentioned it will win no converts and I imagine many people less comited than us folkies will have turned over fairly soon - possibly immediately after the introduction. The sound seemed muddy too. I should stress that I am a huge fan of Bellowhead, Jim Moray and the Unthans but just feel that this seemed to be more influenced by TV producers than musicians.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: SussexCarole
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:33 PM

So very disappointing! Dirge like renditions of songs we hear time & time again at Christmas over supermarket tannoys and at school nativity plays. Where were all the up beat unusual Midwinter songs/carols that we hear sung around the folk clubs?

What a shame that an hour of TV time devoted to folk just had me reaching for the off button.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:36 PM

I'm just watching (and listening) on the hard disc, in the hope that it's not as bad as everybody says, but unfortunately I've got agree with most of the previous comments. So far this year I'm coming to the conclusion that carols are much more fun to sing than to listen to (a bit like male voice choirs), though The Holly so far doesn't sound too bad, just half-hearted.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:51 PM

Did Ian Anderson produce it? ;0)


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 05:58 PM

Thought it was dreadful. Enough to put people of folk for life. why couldn't they have shown Albion Christmas or ST Agnes fountain instaed ?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 06:20 PM

Ooh, did someone mention St. Agnes Fountain?

Their Myspace page... :0)

And of course....there's the lovely Magpie Lane

Their Myspace page....


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Folkiedave
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 06:21 PM

Or Show of Hands? Seth Lakeman?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 06:23 PM

And...A Merry Albion Christmas...of course...

Their Myspace page...


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 06:26 PM

Well, funnily enough, Dave...I was just about to suggest that it's way overdue that Show of Hands did a Christmas Album...Seth and The Oysterband, too.

But you beat me to it! Yay! That's the way, lad!

I'd have had the Duncan McFarlane Band on there too...and George Papavgeris. A real showcase for folk..

BBC Radio Devon has been playing a lovely Kate Rusby Christmas song this week...


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 06:34 PM

Much as I deeply love George, Lizzie, and saw him do a wonderful couple of sets at the Topic in Bradford last week, I think his intimate and conversational style is much better suited to clubs and festival stages rather than TV.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 06:44 PM

Have you heard his song about Christmas, Joe?   About his mother-in-law and how she used to make Christmas so special for everyone? So moving!

I disagree. George should be up there on the main stages at folk festivals, not hidden round the back in social clubs etc...and he'd be wonderful on TV...we *so* need gentle and touching performers like George on our TV screens again...


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,folkfan
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 06:56 PM

You big whingey bunch of wankers. How many of you make a living from music?
Amateur critics to a man I would guess.
I thought the show was fine. Not stunning but certainly not as bad as you lot are pretending.
You all make me laugh.
Happy fucking holiday


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Folknacious
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 07:08 PM

I was right then (see post No.4). And that was before I saw it, simply based on experience here.

God you're all so predictable. I'm sure many of you watched it determined to hate it.

It was fine, really. Not great, but nicely entertaining and occasionally moving. Probably done without much rehearsal by the look of it and hardly with X-Factor production values.

I watched it with a non-folkie friend who I've had difficulty persuading to give New Year over to the Bellowhead South Bank thing. After watching the show she's definitely on for it and even looking forward. Result.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Weasel
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 07:14 PM

Errmm...folk fan - I for one make a living from music. And, Folknacious, not knowing anyone on the programme, I went in with a completely open mind.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 07:15 PM

I imagine that if you were there in the theatre it was a great show, despite the slightly disappointing choice of material. However the TV completely failed to convey the atmosphere, and spoiled the music with bad sound which left half the instruments and most of the lyrics inaudible.

However I'm afraid I still fail to understand the appeal of the Unthanks.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 07:20 PM

I was fully expecting to love it and was a bit disappointed as I said above but I'm really pleased your non folkie friend enjoyed it and its great that she was converted to attending the gig at New year - I really hope other people have as positive a reaction as Bellowhead & everyone else on the programme are amongst the most innovative and exciting artists around.

Oh and Lizzie I wrote a long reply re George but it has disappeared and I'm too tired to write it again - basically it was 'Yes love that song - my favourite is Anytown' but with lots other bits in about urban design & place making and why the latter song is an ever present reminder of what can happen when people like me get things wrong! Though I should add that I wasn't responsible for the 60's & 70's townscape!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Arrrrgh
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 07:21 PM

Happy CHRISTmas folkfanny


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 07:33 PM

I felt disappointed and cheated, because BBC4 folk and music programmes are usually so good.

Anyway, have a good Yule, whoever and wherever you are.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 07:35 PM

It's also fair to say that the programme received an enthusiastic preview in The Times. It was certainly a lot different to most of the "seasonal" programmes on the box, and will have pleasantly surprised a lot of people who have a stereotyped idea of folk music. The reason for my disappointment is that I know it could have been so much better.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 07:37 PM

Good comment - exactly how I feel.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Tim
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 09:02 PM

You really are a bunch of ridiculous buffoons.

But I guess you've figured that out by now.

You are aware that people come to this forum just to laugh at you, right?

I mean, they don't want to. Like myself, they all come here thinking how brilliant it is to have an international forum dedicate to the sharing of folk knowledge. But the reality is all too evident.

The bit about folk so few of you seem to grasp is that it's for everybody. And it's for everybody to do with what they will. It's clearly galling that the BBC4 show happened without your permission. But you put yourself in this ghetto. You only have yourselves to blame that it's not to your liking. Since, while you were all still arguing about whether something could be called an autoharp technique or not (or whatever trivial detail you're concerning yourself with today), a whole new generation went out and made vital, thrilling folk music that ended up on TV. They grasped the baton while you twats were still arguing about the best way to hold it. And now you're all trying to sound ever so above it all, like the only kid shivering in the changing rooms while everyone else is splashing about in the pool.

You should come on in sometime, the water's lovely.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Effsee
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 10:14 PM

Tim..."a whole new generation went out and made vital, thrilling folk music "...

If you think that was vital & thrilling, you've led a very sheltered life!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Abdul The Bul Bul
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 10:30 PM

He he, nice one Tim.
How can anyone on here not ever heard or even heard of the artists?!! Perhaps as you say, they are trapped in their own traditional folk capsule. I listen to folk music trad and everything in between. I listen to folk music from anywhere in the world on mostly UK online radio progs but as many festivals and concerts that I can get to. Ever since the Beatles were issuing singles, I learned that you don't judge on first hearings. It was new and different and took a while to get used to and we know what happened with them!
I'm at risk here as I havn't heard the prog yet but will when I get back to UK next week. But yes, this generation of kids has injected excitement and innovation and vitality. The Unthanks, Lakemans, etc are steeped in the tradition they've developed their own style of presentation and have made it to the telly. They have class and they worked bloody hard to get there.
They should be cheered, applauded and loudly. I do and I will as soon as I can get there.
Al


but


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 01:42 AM

You can't lay all the blame with the artists - its the producer and director that should be shot and all the rest of the people whose names appeared in the credits.

Think Nutty may have something there. This show didn't feel like a real folk concert/session.   At least not like the ones I attend in Kent, UK, which are (for want of a better term) organic... natural.

I have seen Bellowhead on youtube and what I have seen was unrelentingly fun. Concerts of theirs I would seek to attend at festivals.

I have also heard the UnThanks do better. I think possibly the wrong people were making decisions and it may have put some of the performers in not best performing state.

Also let's not forget that everyone has unique taste. I am clutching now to my hard earned old fogeyness.

I loved the Sloe Gin set too.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 01:50 AM

Here's some Christmas music that everyone can enjoy:

http://www.jinglebrass.co.uk/

And it's all for free!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 02:13 AM

Right then.....A Challenge...
I will give you (theoretically of course!)
1. A Venue of your own choosing.
2. Several TV Scanners (Complete with camera crews, Video editors..etc..about 100 people)
3. BBC Sound 1 (Huge SSL Mixing desk, with some of the top sound balancers in the business!)
4. Prime Time BBC1 on Christmas day..(Just after Her Madges speech, perhaps?)
5. Your choice of artists.
6. Your concept.
And you think you could do better??

I watched it, I enjoyed it. And, I'll watch it again.
Do any of you really understand how difficult it is to organise such a gig? Have any of you ever attempted such an event?....No??
Well, until you do, just shut up.

My congratulations to all involved.

What would you rather have? A repeat of the bloody X Factor???

Of course it wasn't perfect. I'm sure that most of you would rather have the White Heather Club on New Years Eve too.

Reading this thread has made me both sad and angry at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 02:36 AM

"You big whingey bunch of wankers. How many of you make a living from music?
Amateur critics to a man I would guess."

The 'Amateur Critics' about whom the poster of the above speaks so nicely are, in fact, the very people who pay for the tickets and the CDs, the proceeds of which are the source of much of the professional musician's income. On that basis, the Amateur Critics are the very people the professional musician needs to please. Otherwise the professional musician won't be professional for very long, he'll be spending his time stacking shelves in Tescco, or practising on his front-room sofa and living off his Giros.

Best not to forget that. IMHO of course.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 02:37 AM

TESCO (bugger)!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Mike of Hessle
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 02:54 AM

Saw the programme last night and on the whole was disappointed. The unthanks rendition of 'In the Bleak Mid-Winter' really had me squirming. Have seen and heard a lot better at various Folk Club Christmas Parties.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 03:08 AM

Unfortunately, due to some tragic news within the family, the programme was only on in the background last night so I couldn't gain a complete impression; hopefully I'll catch a repeat. However as I watched it did occur to me that Jon Boden, Sam Lee and Sam Sweeney will all be appearing, on separate occasions, at Traditions at the Tiger, Long Eaton next year.
Not bad for a club "steeped in the tradition".


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Folkiedave
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 03:08 AM

Well, funnily enough, Dave...I was just about to suggest that it's way overdue that Show of Hands did a Christmas Album...Seth and The Oysterband, too.

But you beat me to it! Yay! That's the way, lad!


Perhaps I read your mind Lizzie?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 03:11 AM

Well why did the early transatlantic sessions feel so real and not over produced?

True the camera cannot catch what one catches in personal attendance. I have videoed simple things like school concerts and nuances are lost and atmosphere so different on tape from the actual experience.

So yeah it has to be a real bear to do.

Maybe I missed the jollier songs as I did come in late but to me some of it was X factorish. Just because some decent musicians decided to co-opt trad songs into popped up versions doesn't mean it is for everyone.

The bit about folk so few of you seem to grasp is that it's for everybody. And it's for everybody to do with what they will. It's clearly galling that the BBC4 show happened without your permission. But you put yourself in this ghetto. You only have yourselves to blame that it's not to your liking.,

Blame myself for my own taste? Why? Am I not permitted to have an opinion, just because they managed to get onto telly? Dear god no wonder there is much dross on TV. No one is allowed to criticise it.

That explains the long run of Big Brother House and Celebrity Get a Life shows.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:02 AM

I was looking forward to this programme very much and set the DVD so that I could both watch it as it was being broadcast and then go back over it later. I've seen Bellowhead and many of the other artists live and have, on the whole, enjoyed their performances very much - particularly Bellowhead.

However, I am surely allowed to say, with all reasonableness that, though I'm very glad the programme was shown on BBC4, I didn't care for all of it. I think it was actually over-produced and made more complex than it need have been, and I didn't care for the "Good Olde Days" style of presentation. (And, yes, I've made a fair bit of money over the last 40+ years, from making music, GUEST,Tim).

I've been to two local Sussex sessions recently where I've been lucky enough to mix with some wonderful musicians and singers - and that's at least the standard by which I judge the performers on TV. In some instances, TV doesn't always produce better goods - and this show was, as I said before, a mixed lot.

As said above by another Catter, I don't lose my critical taste because it's on the telly. It's not a question of being a stick-in-the-mud or a mouldy fig or anything else - it's just having a personal taste and standard. Let there be more of this on BBC4 - and let it be even better.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:27 AM

I will just make my point again.
I'm old enough to remember those dreadful 60's TV shows with The Spinners (Gawd Bless 'em) complete with Aran Sweaters and dolly birds sitting on hay bales in a mocked up barn.....
Yes, of course there were parts of last nights show that I didn't like much. (And no, I won't get personal). But I ask the question.
Could any of you have achieved a better show?
Yes? No?
If Yes. Go on then. Do it. Get the funding, Get BBC4 interested enough to back your idea. In essence... do the work!

With no real knowledge about the production criteria, I'm assuming that the concept of a slightly warped version of "The Good Old Days" came from Bellowhead. Jolly good I say.
Why not? What is there to criticise?
Good luck and Merry Christmas to them.
My only criticism would refer to too much camera time devoted to the bloke with the suspect leggings.
No doubt, you will all disagree with me. But, Hell...I don't care. I know how difficult it is to even get a show like this through the buraucracy that is BBC Commissions.

Well done to all involved. And lets stop carping, and congratulate BBC4 for doing it at all, and ask for more, please.

(End of Rant)


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:35 AM

dolly birds sitting on hay bales in a mocked up barn.....

Ooohhhh... you wouldn't tease an old man would you, Ralphie?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:37 AM

Oh Will.
I've got hours on Video if you want it!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:41 AM

Ralph, I know I couldn't have done better - but I'm not a professional TV producer with a team of, as you say, some of the best technicians in the business.

Leaving aside whether I liked the concept or some of the the performers, which are matters of individual taste, it seemed to me that the sound was poor - many of the instruments (including at times John Spiers' melodeon and especially concertina) weren't very audible. I'm sure a band like Bellowhead must be a sound engineer's nightmare, and the way the show was presented probably made it more difficult, but the Beeb does have, in your words, some of the top sound balancers in the business, and a lot of the time this didn't seem very balanced.

It seemed to me that the music came a long way behind the presentation. Perhaps that's inevitable with TV, but it does put on good concerts in all genres so it's not impossible. The show may have appealed to a more general audience, but are they likely to find it on BBC 3? I felt this did a disservice to the type of audience who were most likely to tune into this programme, and to the musicians themselves.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:41 AM

But seriously, yes, I do remember those programmes from the 60s. And I understand the BBC bureaucracy very well from my days there in the late 60s and early 70s.

I also remember a fairly recent BBC4 presentation of June Tabor from St. Luke's, with the likes of Martin Simpson in the band. The stunning simplicity and wonderful atmosphere of June singing Richard Thompson's "Strange Affair", with just the guitar of Martin as backing is a piece of folk on TV that was everything it should have been. Just an example of not making a programme over-complex and concentrating on the music.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:43 AM

The bit I saw last night had dolly birds laying around the floor looking on dewy eyed whilst some bloke sang O Come Emmanuel in an R&B style X-Factor American accent. Plus ça change?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: The Villan
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:44 AM

I just wonder how many people who aren't folkies, bothered to watch it anyway. It was a program for Folkies and we were all aware of the program.

It was an OK program, but I would rather have seen it in the flesh. Nothing like being there.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Lizzie Befuddled Cornish
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:55 AM

And....where were The Demon Barbers?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Lizzie, thinking about it again...
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:59 AM

To be honest, Ralph....the vast majority of the peoplel who've written in here love traditional folk music, but seem to be bitterly disappointed at what was presented last night. I still haven't seen it, therefore I can't yet comment, but surely the message, whether you like it or not, is coming through loud and clear.

You know, as well as we all do, that the folk scene is thriving with hundreds, if not thousands, of deeply talented musicians, singers and dancers, many of whom hold audiences spellbound.

That didn't seem to happen in this show, and I think that's very sad indeed, because to have such a wonderful opportunity...and blow it...is a really bad move.

When I've watched it, I'll comment on it..


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:01 AM

Howard . (and others)
The balancer on last nights show comes from a TV background. I won't name him.
If they had let Group 2 (Radio....The guys that do Maida Vale sessions, All festivals, and all my old colleagues!) loose on that show, the sound would have been a hundred times better!

Will mentioned the St Lukes gigs...Sounded great...why? Group 2 Studio Managers.

In the TV world, Sound balancing comes a poor 4th in the pecking order.
At any major gig....(The Proms, Glasto, etc...) The sound is provided by Radio Studio Managers. Not being bothered with pictures, we do the mix, and just provide the tele boys with a stereo feed.
Sadly, The budget on last nights show obviously didn't run to it.

I would have loved to have seen/heard what Mike Walters would have made of it!

Hope that helps!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:07 AM

And Howard...
Yes...B/Head are an Engineers nightmare...
Have done worse though...
The Uke Ork of GB on 5 mics, Live on a Johnnie Walker show. No Sound/Line check.....NOW!
Fairport....the same...Walk through the door...10 seconds later...Playing!
That's mixing with brown trousers I can tell you!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: julian morbihan
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:07 AM

As with almost everyone else it seems, we were disappointed with the programme - with the presentation, the sound quality, the choice and delivery of the material.

How about them bringing back "A Christmas Present from the Albion Band"? Now that was when Christmas shows were really good!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:12 AM

Hmmm, first off, I haven't seen it. Can't find it on the iPlayer yet and I'm not rushing to find it. Of course it wasn't a programme for "f*lkies" (yeuk) however you define that species. It was conceived "Xmas entertainment for the masses" with all the dumbing down that entails. But if it prompts one or two Joe Publics to investigate further what some of these artists really can do, good.

You only have to look at the expression on Pete Flood's face during the trail on Breakfast yesterday morning to get some idea of how cringingly embarrassing it was for serious musicians to be exposed to such unbriefed and pseudo-ho-ho interviewing. Had a sousaphone player from a brass band or symphony orchestra been on the couch, would they have been subjected to such ridicule? I don't think so.

However, television production of trad music doesn't have to be like that, even in England. Transmissions from St Luke's prove that it is not so.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Lizzie Cornish
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:18 AM

"You only have to look at the expression on Pete Flood's face during the trail on Breakfast yesterday morning to get some idea of how cringingly embarrassing it was for serious musicians to be exposed to such unbriefed and pseudo-ho-ho interviewing. Had a sousaphone player from a brass band or symphony orchestra been on the couch, would they have been subjected to such ridicule? I don't think so."


No. That is totally condescending, Diane. And it's why English folk music is so often sneered at for being the music of the Luvvies.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,SC
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:25 AM

To say that better sound and production would have improved the performances implies that the performers can't sing. I've always thought that regarding two young ladies from Gateshead anyway. A bad workman/woman blames his/her tools would seem to apply here if Ralphie is to be believed.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:27 AM

"And it's why English folk music is so often sneered at for being the music of the Luvvies."

By whom - except for you?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:30 AM

Blame it on my poor taste, or perhaps on the wonderful snowy scene outside my window this Friday morning, as I watched the show on iPlayer, but.... I loved it! The show overall, I mean. Sure, there were bits I was not over the moon about, and bits where my toes curled somewhat, but I won't mention them, it would be unfair. Instead I will mention my personal highlights, in no particular order:

Paul Sartin's MCing was deliciously tongue-in-cheek throughout, and if he wasn't quite up to 's standard, I don't give a toss. After all isn't such a versatile and great player of so many instruments and characterful singer. So there.

George Unthank's song about the Tar Barrels in the snow was gorgeous, evocative and excellently sung by the Unthanks and rest of the crew.

Thea Gilmore's song "That'll be Christmas" is in the "I wish I'd written that" category, and she sang it very well, I thought.

I actually loved the "Mistletoe Bough" song. Great ghostly story, and I am a fan of Jon Boden's voice, so couldn't go wrong.

I thought Sam Lee did great to step in at the last minute for the voiceless John Spiers - and his is another voice I like anyway.

And Belshazzar's Feast were great, and Bellowhead themselves the most fun I've seen them on the screen.

And overall, a great selection of appropriate material. I don't often say this, but I wish I'd been there.

So quit bellyaching and tune into iPlayer and watch it - again.

.................

As for the kind comments above - thanks. And I know I'd be great on TV, not that I'll ever get the chance, but I have the figure to do a wide angle lens justice, and the kind of face HDTV was invented for (I could also do surface-of-Mars close-ups). But seriously, thanks.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:30 AM

Stick, wrong end of. Yet again. Though I'm not surprised that you fail to recognise the condescending and ignorant view reserved purely for English trad displayed by the public at large and their representatives on Breakfast.

This is an exclusively English disease and accounts for what is wrong with a lot of media presentation of said genre. Horses and incest.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:32 AM

Bloody HTML... the second para above should read:

Paul Sartin's MCing was deliciously tongue-in-cheek throughout, and if he wasn't quite up to InsertNameHere's standard, I don't give a toss. After all InsertNameHere isn't such a versatile and great player of so many instruments and characterful singer. So there.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,JM
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:36 AM

Suibhne O'Piobaireachd wrote : "The bit I saw last night had dolly birds laying around the floor looking on dewy eyed whilst some bloke sang O Come Emmanuel in an R&B style X-Factor American accent."

I know I shouldn't rise to this but...

Sorry I don't have a particularly strong regional accent. I was born in Cheshire and brought up in Stafford. I've always spoken like this - a fairly middle-class, middle-england accent - and I don't sing any differently to how I speak. But calling it an 'X-Factor American accent' is fairly wide of the mark. I grew up on 90s British indie bands and Bowie/Beatles etc. - I thought from the things you write on here you of all people would understand that... (unless you and WAV have actually been the same person all along and this has all been some incredible hoax)

As for the 'R&B style X-factor' bit - It was put together at very short notice and in actual fact I stole some of the chord progressions from something else - Vaughan Williams' 'Variations on Dives and Lazarus'. Maybe I have a hairdo like Joe McElderry and that threw you off. I don't know.

I'm just puzzled. Thats all.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:42 AM

So where is it on the iPlayer? Can someone post a link? I looked under Fire and Ice and Christmas Sessions then gave up.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:50 AM

Here you are
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00pcnsp/b00pcnsf/BBC_Four_Sessions_The_Christmas_Session/


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: The Villan
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:52 AM

See if this works

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00pcnsp/BBC_Four_Sessions_The_Christmas_Session/


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: The Villan
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:55 AM

LOL goed gedaan George


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 06:13 AM

Just checked, since comparisons have been made between this session and the St Luke's gigs - same producer, Serena Cross.

JM wrote "...unless you (Suibhne) and WAV have actually been the same person all along and this has all been some incredible hoax"

Now there's a thought!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 06:30 AM

As was pointed out further up, the difference between the sound recording of this Hackney session and the ones further up the road at St Luke's lies in the teams involved. Serena Cross had nowt to do with it (unless you can pin the blame on her for booking the wrong engineers).

Thanks to those who posted me links to the online iPlayer. I've now seen the first 10 minutes of last night's broadcast but sound and vision was so out of sync that I've abandoned it till Virgin Media get round (if ever) to updating their iPlayer listings and I can see it on a proper telly.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: doc.tom
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 06:31 AM

Given the little I know of the workings of TV, it looked to me like a curate's egg falling between Bellowhead's ideas and producers ideas. OK, the Dickens/Music Hall setting was naff - but it fits public image.

Line-up: lets not go there - but the show was under-rehearsed.

Sound: so right Ralphie - and as you say, good luck to them.

Agree with George - Sartin does a great piss-take!

I've seen worse (and I've seen better).

Credit for the attempt.

Tom Brown


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: mattkeen
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 06:38 AM

Ok the battle lines are drawn

I can't be arsed to argue this stuff with logic anymore - its beyond that

I THINK IT WAS GREAT AND I HAVEN'T SEEN IT YET


Its great because of the committment bravery, skill and adventurousness of those involved especially Bellowhead and JM


First we take Maidenhead; then we take Berlin


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: mattkeen
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 06:39 AM

Folk will eat itself


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 06:41 AM

I agree with pretty much all that Tom said, except that I think it fell between wanting to be a good live show and wanting to be a good TV broadcast. Maybe not enough rehearsal or re-takes for the latter, but it looks like it definitely delivered on the former.

I had misgivings about the whole Victorian thing - I couldn't really see how it would work in my head, and a pathological fear of fancy dress (combined with far too much work that week) meant that I ended up not going along. But I have to say, I thought the venue looked magical. I don't think it confirmed a stereotypical folk image - more a tongue-in-cheek nod to stereotypical Christmas images.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: evansakes
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 06:50 AM

I agree the production didn't seem up to the usual standard of the BBC Sessions series

Wonder why they didn't use St Luke's then? Clerkenwell is only down the road from Shoreditch after all. At least the production folks would've been in a familiar environment and known what they were doing. I suppose St Lukes is a bit smaller....though they could've solved that by removing the tables like they did for Springsteen's Seeger Sessions Band (where the sound was faultless).

Personally, I didn't enjoy last night's show much (though I've got a lot of respect and time for many of the artists on show). With all the 'Good Old Days/Jack The Ripper era fancy dress it all seemed a bit contrived to me and the 'merriment' a bit forced.

The audience seemed particularly well oiled. Nothing wrong with that of course but why do drunken people find it so difficult to clap in time?

Maybe you had to be there? I only watched on the iPlayer today.....last night I had a long drive home listening to St Agnes' Fountain's 'Comfort and Joy' album as the snow fell (snow on snow). Comparing St Agnes Fountain to the 'session' in Shoreditch is chalk and cheese of course but listening to Julie, Chris W, David and Chris L jingled my bells last night....and got closer to the true spirit of Christmas.

I think Bellowhead and co are more of a New Years Eve thing...


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,non-folk fan
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 07:37 AM

Found this site while googling for more info on Bellowhead/Unthanks.

What to say? Ah yes. What a bunch of whingeing, carping and sniping arseholes you lot are! Clearly this site was named *after* you had all been posting for a while, else how could it have been labelled so accurately (imho).

I watched the Christmas Sessions show by accident (couldn't be arsed looking for the remote to change channels) and enjoyed much of what I saw/heard. The Unthanks were dodgy on their first song - crap harmonies through nerves I would have, charitably, thought - but 'Tar Barrel in Dale' was quite beautiful, as was their harmonising on Lisa Knapp's song.

Bellowhead's 'Mistletoe Bough' was excellent, and is the song that made me sit up and start paying attention to what was on TV. It made sense to me that everyone was in period costume, since many of the songs (I assumed) were rooted in the past (a bit like some of your attitudes to be perfectly frank). 'Jingle Bells' was crap, but then presumably that's what you had all been hoping for .... aye?

So this non-f*lkie (what's with the stars? Are you ashamed of the genre?) thought he'd have a look round for more info on some of the acts this morning and finds this forum; and a bunch of twallies seemingly intent on shooting themselves in the foot (feet? paws?) by sneering at a show which managed to get at least ONE person interested in your type of music.

Tragic.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Isawit
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 07:43 AM

IT WAS POOR AND I HAVE SEEN IT

The usual suspects have predictibly closed ranks here and over on frootcakes. Their joint afflictions of tone deafness and arrogance have made them oblivious to the debacle that it was.

Folk has shot itself in the foot.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 08:01 AM

Somebody above mentioned lack of rehearsal...Almost certainly correct...Presumably all the acts are out gigging the rest of the time...Like, maybe earning a living perhaps?
How on earth would they find the time and the money for a rehearsal day? The BBC certainly wouldn't pay for it.
Jim M (at the last moment apparently) had to dep for John Spiers (who'd lost his voice) and valiantly stepped into the breach. (A decision probably made on the day). Bloody good too.

I say again to all you knockers. You bloody well come up with something better. submit your idea to the BBC. Get rebuffed 100 times. and then you can critisise the people who have done this programme.

So, instead of bitching on here.. Go and hassle the Beeb, tell them how much you enjoyed it, and ask for more.

How difficult is that?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 08:04 AM

GUEST Non Folk Fan.
Well said......say it again....LOUDER.
Cheers
Ralphie


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 08:11 AM

GUEST,non-folk-fan and mattkeen are perfectly right.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 08:19 AM

Sam Lee sang with Jon Boden for On Christmas Day, a duet which he normally performs with a temporarily voiceless John Spiers, and this was undoubtedly unrehearsed (I haven't seen it but I did hear it, and well done Sam). And Jim Moray depped for Benji Kirkpatrick who was unable to be at the recording. What this demonstrates is how versatile and skilled English trad musicians are, over and above many another genre. Though Joe Public wouldn't be aware of this and those Good Enough For F*lk carpers from the Swiggin' Pig who proudly proclaim unawareness of the artists involved wouldn't care.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: theleveller
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 08:22 AM

I didn't see it but just a general point here - when did expressing an honest opinion, even if it is a critical one, make a person a 'big whingey wanker'? Surely that is what Mudcat is for. Seems to me that some of those who consider themselves the folk 'cognoscenti' are doing another spot of brow-beating.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,sophie
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 08:56 AM

i really enjoyed :D
i thought bellowhead were excellent
maybe could of done with less of unthanks and more bh
and maybe a couple jumpy jiggy songs
but i thought it was brilliant
everyone looked great
everyone did really well :D
jim moray was brilliant and i though lisa knapp was good
and its defentely got me in the christmas mood :)
(just thought id add some possitive for people to read)
(and hey its christmas people, lets all cheer up a bit)


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: billybob
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 09:05 AM

I sat down with a glass of wine, a log fire and really enjoyed it.Started Christmas for me and the snow outside was a bonus.
If you did not relax and enjoy ,why not switch off and have a sing instead?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Folknacious
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 09:07 AM

And haven't we been here before with the similarly excellent and slightly wonky BBC 4 Daughters Of Albion a few years back? I expect there's an anorak on hand to find the thread, unless I'm doing mistaken identity with the BBC Folk & Country board


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: mattkeen
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 09:07 AM

That in itself doesn't make them that particular type of wanker, but nevertheless they still might be one


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 09:10 AM

The question in my mind is who does the BBC think is the main audience for the BBC 4 Sessions? They may attract some mainstream viewers, by chance or out of curiosity, and from that perspective it made a great show - a bit different from anything else on, and miles away from the mainstream perception of "folk". So in that respect, well done.

However I suspect that the majority of viewers for any of the BBC 4 Sessions are people who are already familiar with the performers, or at least the genre, and who will more be interested in the music than the show. In the majority of cases (the June Tabor session stands out as a shining example) this is what they provide. It looks as if they tried to do something a bit different and special for Christmas, but in doing so took their eye off the ball.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: mattkeen
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 09:12 AM

Replying to thelevellers comment by the way

I dont want my comments about masturbators being associated with the Daughters of Albion


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Isawit
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 09:20 AM

mattkeen

Only wanker here would appear to be you.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 09:23 AM

DVD'd it late last night..


I'm saving watching it until after xmas pudding and I'm well cidered up
and starting on the apple brandies..

should be just as good as any of the rest of the seasonal shite on christmas day telly.


.. glad i didn't go to watch it live though..

i effin hate smug middle class artwank poser fancy dress parties..


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: mattkeen
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 09:24 AM

Thank you very much


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: mattkeen
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 09:40 AM

In mitigation........ I was brought up a Catholic...

But I cannot tell a lie - the accusation is correct


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 09:42 AM

"I'm saving watching it until after xmas pudding and I'm well cidered up
and starting on the apple brandies..
should be just as good as any of the rest of the seasonal shite on christmas day telly."

Good call Punkfolkrocker! Perfect in fact.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 09:49 AM

I think considering the amount of depping (weren't some of the First Family of Folk originally supposed to appear?) and obvious lack of rehearsal, it wasn't too bad at all.

I must agree with others that the sound didn't do anybody any favours, and some of the "featured" audience were embarrassing. But at least it was nearly real, unlike the prerecorded regurgitated cr*p we have to put up with most of the time on telly.

It should be also be remembered that the BBC expertise about acoustic/folk performers which used to exist (eg BBC Bristol, Philip Donnellan et al) seems to have gone to the four winds.

Thea and Lisa - if you ever read this would you please do some gigs in the E Midlands or round Sheffield? Thang Yew.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 09:54 AM

I didn't see the programme - too busy last night singing, dancing, playing for dances and calling dances for others, but I do know - from urgent phone calls seeking replacements - that the day before the final rehearsal with the filming the day after, that the Watersons had to drop out of the programme that was broadcast last night because Norma was indisposed and that the replacement that was being sought was The Copper Family. Obviously, his did not come off, but it certainly would have given the programme a different bent if it had done.
I don't even know for certain who the late replacements were - though I have got a pretty good idea - but what is certain is that at least one of the acts were there at less than a day's notice to prepare for what was probably the biggest exposure that they have had in their careers.

Folk enthusiasts! What are we like? I may think differently after I have seen the programme, but we are given an hour of prime time on a major channel and, from the majority of comments on this thread, we can only moan about it.

We have got to realise that tellyland is a very different place from the folk club. If folk performers are invited into tellyland, they have to play it by tellyland rules.

I worked very hard last night, but I didn't get paid for it. That doesn't stop me being thankful that some top folk perforers did get good exposure and good patment last night.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 09:56 AM

perforers = performers
patment = payment

Trying to rush things.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Captain Farrell
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 10:05 AM

Last night I was out playing so had to record Christmas Folk.I read most of the comments first then went to see what all the fuss was. Did I watch the same program it was fantastic well done to all involved and the audience had one hell of a night.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: nutty
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 10:11 AM

I say again to all you knockers. You bloody well come up with something better. submit your idea to the BBC.

It was perhaps unfortunate that 24hours previous to watching this on TV, I had been to see the Geordie's Winter Almanack Radio Show Starring Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies and Benny Graham - which was top class entertainment.

Fire and Ice paled by comparison


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Folknacious
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 10:12 AM

This lot would have hated the Copper Family, Vic. They'd have said that they sang out of tune, or the wrong tune, or that you got better things in their local folk club doing floor spots where the "real grass roots"people without whom there wouldn't be a folk scene go. They'd have piled into the Watersons as well. Hardly anybody ever wins around here. I'm with "Ralphie" and Guest non folk fan.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: nutty
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 10:25 AM

This lot would have hated the Copper Family, Vic. They'd have said that they sang out of tune, or the wrong tune,

Folknacious - After over 40 years of involvement with the folk scene I have seen enough folk 'stars' come and go to have made up my own mind about what I like and don't like. I don't need to be patronised or condemned for my views. They are mine and I don't give a damn if you agree with me or not.

As matter of interest - I was present (many years ago) when Rachel Unthank sang in public for the first time. It wasn't the artists fault that this production was so bad.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Folknacious
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 10:29 AM

The usual suspects have predictibly closed ranks here and over on frootcakes.

I went and looked at "frootcakes" as you so amusingly put it. Most of the comments since the programme went out seem to be from non-folk people whose names are absent here. They apparently enjoyed it, since they obviously didn't know they were supposed not to, and at least one says she's off to buy CDs as as a result. Sorry to be bearer of adverse news.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Captain Jack Sparrow
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 11:24 AM

If this is the rejoicing with which Bellowhead on the telly is welcomed, the joy after Seth Lakeman's My Music repeat on DirtyDigger Arts 1 on Monday and Tuesday could be overwhelming.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: PercyBysshe
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 11:41 AM

I've watched about half of it so far. I'm a huge fan of Bellowhead and its various off-shoots so my opinions are bound to be somewhat skewed I supposed. I thought Paul Sartin made an excellent MC, and of the music I've seen/heard so far I really enjoyed BH's contribution, Belshazzar's Feast and Jim Moray. I'm not convinced by the Unthanks although some of their material is wonderful. I don't have a problem with the dressing up thing - that just added to the sense of fun I think. There was a feel of the "Good Old Days" about it, but as someone else has said, it was tongue in cheek and there's nothing wrong with that.

I'm just so pleased BBC4 has seen fit to show some more folk music at a time when people might actually watch it. I do wish they would televise the Folk Awards again. I discovered so much new music from the one occasion that I did.

I'll let you know what I think of the rest of it when I've had a chance to watch it.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 01:02 PM

I know I shouldn't rise to this but...

Pay no notice to me, JM - as I say I only caught about 20 seconds of what you sang tuning in BBC4 briefly between Gavin & Stacey and QI to see what all the fuss was about. Anything I write here is by way of mouthing off & not to be taken too seriously - sorry it upset you. In the folk stakes I am a Bellamist and an Eldonite who listens to source singers for musical pleasure; I also dig Bowie, Lydon, Damo Suzuki, Mark E. Smith, Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner and Eric Burdon - none of whom sing in their own accents. I love Robert Wyatt, but wince at Billy Bragg. What is a boy to do? Anyway, what you are doing is very important and I wish all power to the lot of you.

Wassail! - S O'P / Sedayne

PS - I am not WAV, though I do know the man & might heartily recommend him as being as jovial & appreciative a cove you're ever likely to meet in a singaround & an interesting singer too. And I wouldn't take anything he says too seriously either.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,JM
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 01:25 PM

Don't worry - I'm not upset. You have every right to say/hold whatever opinion you want, but I'd rather try to give you an answer, seeing as I'm here reading the thread. No offence taken whatsoever.

what's a boy to do?

he's to do whatever he wants to do in whatever way he wants to do it, and not take any notice of anyone who tries to deny him that right.

As you've probably gathered a lot of the show was assembled in the hours leading up to the actual filming, due to line-up changes etc. so it was a bit rough around the edges in places. I also have my own reservations about the dressing-up aspect. But it was a fantastic thing to be part of and I enjoyed watching it back, flaws and all.

Wassail! to you too


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Marje
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 01:28 PM

Well, having posted the original "Heads Up", and having now watched it on playback, I think I'll say, "Don't bother after all!" I found it disappointing; the folk-meets-music-hall format just didn't work for me. The Unthanks' version of Bleak Midwinter was dire and dirgy, although their Tar Barrel song was much better. Of the rest, Thea Gilmore was the only act that really made me listen, while several others made me reach for the fast-forward button. Bellowhead seemed to melt into a cacophony of noise that was somehow much less than the sum of the parts. And I cringed when the MC was trying to show us just how wacky and weird the audience members were.

The whole thing often seemed overblown and self-indulgent, a style which may suit some music-hall material but doesn't suit much other music nearly as well.

To those who say, "Well go on then, what do you want?" I'd point to the BBC Folk Prom as a much better showcase for English folk music. If the production of an event like this BBC4 session is such a headache, then evidently it's not suited to this music - perhaps a production style more like the Transatlantic Sessions would be more effective.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: PercyBysshe
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 01:28 PM

JM - you are a gent!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 01:31 PM

"I wouldn't take anything he says too seriously either."

Aye - I only replied to this thread by way of responding to a "dare you to be the first baddy" posting, myself.
However, I remain unrepentant: the Unthanks as supposed "professional singers" were IMO appalling. Sorry but they just were. As an amateur singer myself - I was shocked at their performance... I could wax on and on, but I won't..

Whether I personally dug the *style* of some of the other performers is neither here nor there - but JimM & BellowH are certainly top-class as far as their competent musicianship & professionalism is concerned.
I find Jim's vocal styling somewhat derivative of 20thC Pop too (no doubt honest & unintentioned on his part) - BUT that itself is equally refreshing in terms of evident eschewing of a faux 'English Country' classic revival 'folk voice'.
I've found this 'taint' impossible to shed so far myself..

I would have loved to have heard Sam sing *solo* tho'.
It might have potentially been the best thing in the show.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 02:37 PM

I'm intrigued now after all the above... but as I want to watch it on my TV, I'm gonna wait for its chillout-hour Xmas Eve showing, sprawled happily in front of the log fire with a glass of wine, when I'll be more mellowed, Christmas-spirited and forgiving (if anything needs forgiving). And I'll enjoy Sam Lee if nothing else, I love his singing.

JM - heard you stepped in last night too, for Tim being taken ill... hope the show went well.

Sue


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 03:10 PM

Who were the audience ? If the guy in the striped leggings is who I think it was (not going to mention names) then he is an actor I know. Were all the other dressed up people Equity Card holders too ?

I echo the catters who have suggested a more transatlantic sessions approach (so long as they don't fill it up with Cara Dillon but Karen Casey instead - that's just my presference)

A curious

Sarah


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 03:18 PM

Well what a miserable, mean spirited lot you all are.

This was clearly meant as a light hearted take on Christmas and a little different from the usual Christmas entertainment and in that respect overall, it worked.

Sure there were aspects that could have been better. I also cringed when the Unthanks started on "In the Bleak Midwinter", but that was not because of the Unthanks performance, but because I cannot stand that ******* carol. I thinks it's awful.

I would have preferred some of the carols that are heard at singarounds and the like at Christmas rather than the well worn ones hear everywhere else, but if you are pitching at a more general audience, which I suspect this was, then compromises are inevitable.

No one has mentioned the Unthanks third song (whose title I do not know) but it was lovely music hall song, though Rachel perhaps did not "belt it out" enough, but her voice is not of that character.

Finally I thought the venue was gorgeous.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Folkiedave
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 03:28 PM

The music hall song they sang - was this one. It is a "hidden or bonus track" on their latest record.

http://www.mysongbook.de/msb/songs/b/betsybel.html

Do not be mislead by the reference to Mudcat at the bottom of the list of singers. That links to a totally different song.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 03:47 PM

"Who were the audience ? If the guy in the striped leggings is who I think it was (not going to mention names) then he is an actor I know."

I don't know his name, but he is the new fool for the Belles of London City, a morris jig trio who performed on the night.


"Were all the other dressed up people Equity Card holders too?"

No. It was an invited audience, and the invite specified:

"Suggested attire:

Dickensian Bustles, Burlesque and Boas, Flash Cats,
Vagabonds & Paupers, Pocket Watch & Chains and Grandmother's Finest Jewellery"


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: PercyBysshe
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 03:59 PM

Some of my friends were in the audience and they certainly aren't Equity cardholders. The BBC invited people to apply for free tickets to the event. I think it was a names out of a hat thing.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:21 PM

I'd just like to add that I also enjoyed George's tar barrel song and I'm going to decline from commenting on the rest.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 06:20 PM

Thanks FD


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Dave Hunt
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 06:46 PM

Well I really enjoyed - (well most of it!) It would have been nice to have some other less well know carols - eg some of the wonderful Sheffield settings of While Shephers Watched. It was a change - and a pleasure - to hear an unaccompanied song- well sung by Jon and Sam. I though Bellowhead were their exuberant selves, and very good, as were Balshazars Feast -I also liked Jim Moray's excellent contribution - but did not like Lisa K- and really disliked the Unthanks - never have liked them and this confirmed my opinion. But overall - a jolly romp - and at least it was in prime time telly for a change.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 07:06 PM

Anyone watching the Liberty of Norton Folgate on BBC2 right now?? Strangely familiar vibe...


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 11:49 PM

Suibhne

That Gower Wassail is just spine tingling especially at 4:30 am

Thanks for posting. I loved it.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Phil B
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 07:20 AM

Audio tip number 1187. Plug your television into your Hi Fi and turn it up nice and loud. You'll be surprised how much mixes tend to improve. More things come into focus that way. Only,however, in straightfprward stereo. Surround sound systems tend to make it worse depending how they are set up.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 07:36 AM

"That Gower Wassail is just spine tingling"

Yeah, everything they do is good. I wish more modern folk was as interesting, or moreso..


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 02:09 PM

Just watched the first 15 minutes and loved it. Just like folk should be, to me anyway. Some brilliant, some, maybe, a bit below par, but all good fun and very enjoyable. Decided it would be better on the 'big screen' (Well, 37" anyway) so rather than watch it all on iplayer, I will record Christmas Eve's.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Folkiedave
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 02:26 PM

This was cut from the final edit.......

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p005k006


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 04:04 PM

What a pity. That would have made a much better finale than what they did use.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 20 Dec 09 - 11:15 AM

Finally viewed this on iPlayer and enjoyed it - I wasn't expecting to as I've something of the "big whingey wanker" about me and I contributed to the autoharp thread. But I liked it so much I might even watch the Christmas Eve repeat on the 'proper' telly.

It sounds like it was lucky to go ahead at all given the line-up changes. Jim Moray was particularly versatile. Interesting comment above about the performers looking nervous. All I can say is you can't play slide guitar that well if you are nervous otherwise some unintentional tremolo creeps in!

May I suggest Kerfuffle if there's a follow-up next year?

Pete.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 20 Dec 09 - 02:16 PM

I've just watched it on the iPlayer too and really enjoyed it. (I listened on phones and the sound was fine - if you're watching on tv it might be worth following the suggestion above and routing the sound through your hi-fi. The only thing I really disliked on the sound front was the acoustic guitar accomapnying Lisa Knapp - worst kind of electrified pick-up sound).

The atmosphere doesn't come across as well as being there, but when does recorded sound rival the live thing for that. The effect was still discernible and in B/H's Sloe Gin Set you couldn't help feel it (think the Orquestra Simon Bolivar Orquestra at the Proms a few years ago - same feel).

I agree with some of the opinions of individual performances cited above and disagree with others - but I don't see that that's a reason to describe the people I disagree with as whingey or wankers or anything else. What you like's personal and someone not liking what you like doesn't make them any more of a bad person than you are. So in the process of disagreeing with others, I'll say I did actually like the Unthanks' In The Deep Midwinter and B/H's Mistletoe Bough. And I though Lisa Knapp's Coventry Carol was one of the most arresting performances I've heard.

I thought the sense of enjoyment came across from the opening promenade entry to the end. (I did listen to the omitted Shepherds Arise and while that was really good, I think, the perhaps artistically inferior as a song, Jingle Bells was the better finisher).

I think those of you planning to settle down to it on Christmas Eve (was it?) with a bottle of wine, or other favoured tipple, won't be disappointed. One of my Christmas rituals since the 70s has been to play a record called something like A Mediaeval Christmas (the Boston Camerata) and I don't think Christmas has started until I hear Oriente Partibus. But I could easily play a recording of this concert instead to put me in a Christmas mood.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 20 Dec 09 - 03:16 PM

"I think those of you planning to settle down to it on Christmas Eve (was it?) with a bottle of wine, or other favoured tipple, won't be disappointed."

Yeah, Punkfolkrockers post summed it up well too.
I might well give it another shot myself on one of the replays (isn't there half a dozen or so?)

Must confess - as already indicated - if the gauntlet is thrown, it's impossibly tempting not to take it up!

We're not all going to dig the same stuff, but this is a discussion board devoted to folk music, so when a discussion of folk music is 'invited' by opening a thread like this, discussion and differing opinion is what you're gonna get. Natch.

Frankly, successful music celebs such as those showcased on this Xmas prog, no doubt have their fill of sycophantic loveydom elsewhere anyway. And anyone wanting to censor honest, robust opinion on their fave acts probably aughta stick to "Mwah Mwah" MySpace.. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 20 Dec 09 - 04:15 PM

I don't think Christmas has started until I hear Oriente Partibus.

Me neither - although with me it has to be on The Clemencic Consort's classic 1979 recording La Fete de l'Ane in which they reconstruct a medieval Feast of the Ass, a piece of ritual reversal in which the entire Mass was inverted into a veneration of the ass & related misrule. Of course, tracking a copy of this down even on CD might prove problematic, but lovers of great & wild music can download the etire thing GRATIS from HERE


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Coldone
Date: 20 Dec 09 - 05:26 PM

Seems to me the problem was in the editing. Bellowhead's 'Remember Thou Oh Man' and the Unthanks 'Sad February' were cut, though the BBC does show them (and I think BH has it up on one of their sites). It was a good show, but could have been better... fewer (or better) Unthanks, as in the bit the BBC didn't use, more Bellowhead, more of the crowd singing. But the decorations in Shoreditch were very attractive and Christmassy and overall, I liked the show very much, though there are several perts in which I fast forward. Thank you BBC for giving folk music a viewing.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Hamish
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 04:44 AM

Yep: brill in parts, slightly embarrassing in parts, a couple of bits that were actually quite poor, but overall great fun.

Just like most folk events. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Vic Smith
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 07:10 AM

A considerable number of posts ago, Marge said

"perhaps a production style more like the Transatlantic Sessions would be more effective."

.... and it raises the question of why is it that folk enthusiasts consistently find the atmosphere of Transatlantic Sessions so successful whilst they find their music presented on a grander scale to be something of a challenge to watch? Certainly, the performers seem to be just concentrating on their music rather than putting on a stage show on the TA programmes. Is it because the homely friends-getting-together-for-session-in-a-hotel set up is more suited to this essentially intimate homespun music than to a concert stage with a large audience? The TA session atmosphere is closer to the situation in which most enthusisiasts and participants encounter and enjoy folk music. I would be interested in reading people's reactions to these thoughts and their relation to the programme under discussion.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 07:25 AM

Interesting questions raised by Vic, although of course many of the Transatlantic Sessions guests are more used to the concert stage than the "informal" session.
This is an interesting thread, though contrasts with the one on the fRoots message board on the same topic!
Derek Schofield


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 07:57 AM

Personally, I don't think it's the setting as such that matters. It seems to me to be more about the performances themselves and the overall production styles and standards. I mentioned the June Tabor concert at St. Luke's, which I thought was wonderful. Looking back at that, what made it so good (IMHO) were:

1. The superb performance by June Tabor herself
2. The excellent musicians performing alongside here
3. The choice of material
4. The simplicity of the setting
5. The quality of the sound and camera work

Interestingly, I also absolutely loved the Springsteen Seeger Sessions concert at St. Luke's. If I remember correctly, there were 16 musicians playing on stage - many of them on a variety of instruments - and the overall atmosphere and production was stunning. I then saw a concert of the same things by Springsteen in the open air in Dublin - and it was just as good!

So, my summing-up would be that it's not so much the setting as a combination of things that make the occasion work.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 08:02 AM

I should have added to my previous posts that, if I were to analyse the Royal Oak evenings that Vic and Tina organise, the same parameters apply. The evening is structured - tunes, residents, guest, break, floor spots, guest - and the room is properly prepared. The introductions are extremely well done and the floor spots are carefully chosen. Yes - the setting is smaller and more intimate than St. Luke's or Shoreditch Town Hall - but the same care and attention to detail is applied.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Marje
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 08:52 AM

Good question, Vic. Do we have a problem with seeing "folk" dressed up and presented with fanfare and fuss? And if so, why?

I must say my favourite way of experiencing both music and song is either in a participative session in a pub, or in a small club setting (like the Royal Oak) where we can see and hear our favourite performers close up, without amplification. So yes, that could have a lot to do with my preference for the format used in the Transatlantic Sessions - it preserves the intimacy of those small-scale settings.

I do also enjoy seeing individuals and bands on a big stage (say, at a festival) but rarely find it as rewarding as in a more cosy, personal setting.

Perhaps it's that much of this music is somewhat fragile, and not suited to flashy presentation. Some songs and tunes are better suited to a big-stage performance (The Mistletoe Bough, for example,fitted the music-hall format quite well with its overblown drama) but much of this material loses something of its special qualities on the big stage.

Or it could be, too, that I don't like to hear a big build-up given to an act, only to find that it's something like a dull floor-spot in a mediocre club. If the BBC is going to present a rare concert of folk, I'd like it to be absolutely the best that the folk world has to offer, because I see it as a showcase for a wider audience.

And of course, that's the problem: if lots of us feel like this, we'll fail to agree on what the lineup should be, as we have different tastes and standards.

But I'm not going to dismiss the whole effort and say the BBC shouldn't do it. I'm glad they put on the show, and I can see now that last-minute problems made it not quite the show they'd planned. On the other hand, I'm not prepared to grovel with gratitude that they gave us a folk show at all. There's no reason to not to share our opinions on what we liked or disliked about it, and I've found it very interesting to see what others thought.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: evansakes
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 10:21 AM

Here's a rather nice performance scooped up from the cutting room floor (scroll down to the bottom of the page)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcmusic/2009/12/christmas_records_day_17_thea.html


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Marje
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 11:06 AM

I'm beginning to think I'd prefer a broadcast made up of the out-takes - I liked both that and Shepherds Arise much more than most of what was broadcast.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 11:19 AM

I enjoyed the Seeger Sessions. I also think that Springsteen did the only successful Superbowl half-time show. Being comfortable with your material, your venue and your audience has a lot to do with it.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: mikesamwild
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 02:57 PM

I saw the lads on Breakfast trail and enjoyed Whiskey is the Life of Man, I thought ey oop New Pogues! Jon Boden's singing really well. Then the show was somehat disappointing because of venue, sound, lack of atmosphere etc but tthere wre some high spots too.


I still don't think the non folkie public would be too taken with it.
my missus said it was bit like the InterVarsity crowd we used to get at the pub she ran, up their own bottoms and too precious.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Gervase
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 02:59 PM

Just seen it on iPlayer and thoroughly enjoyed it. OK, so the sound could have been better, and some of the arrangements were a touch ragged, but huge fun and I wish I'd been there.
And I can see exactly why so may of the thumb-up-bum naysayers here hated it, and would have haed it sound unheard, because it didn't feature hours of noodling, nasal droning and unpolished godawful folk-club amateurism.
But sod 'em - they can carry on going to dying clubs while the rest of us enjoy what we like.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Isawit
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 03:30 PM

But it did feature unpolished godawful folk-club amateurism. That's the problem. Never mind the thumb-up-bum naysayers - take your head out of your own.
As for Lisa Knapp's arresting performance - what about her criminal record?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 03:34 PM

"As for Lisa Knapp's arresting performance - what about her criminal record?"

Huh?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: EnglishFolkfan
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 04:49 PM

As pointed out in the link via TwickFolk above:

Serena Cross states
"I recently produced BBC Four's The Christmas Session, for which Thea and her husband-producer-guitarist-sometime co-writer Nigel Stonier turned up mid-tour to Shoreditch Town Hall, gamely donned Dickensian top hats and tails and immediately launched into a version of her Christmas single, helped out by folk musicians they'd never met before that afternoon."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcmusic/2009/12/christmas_records_day_17_thea.html#comments

A show and 13 out takes where there is no evidence of petulance or hissyfits by any performer only their professionalism to overcome difficulties and make it work certainly gets the thumbs up from me. Well done everyone and hopefully the production team will have learnt from the experience too.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Effsee
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 10:51 PM

..." her Christmas single"... WTF is that all about? X Factor?


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: evansakes
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 04:21 AM

You don't have to appear on a televised karaoke game to qualify for releasing a seasonal single Effsee. Even the much lauded Unthanks have wares available in this year's Christmas market y'know...

Talking of Thea Gilmore though....having enjoyed her appearance on "BBC4 Christmas Folk" so much I went to her MySpace for a quick listen to the recorded versions of both songs she performed (That'll Be Christmas and Midwinter Toast) and found something else from her latest album that might be the best grumpy and anarchic Christmas song since 'Fairytale in New York'.

'St Stephen's Day' Murders (written by Elvis Costello) reminds me very much of family Boxing Days in years gone past. Her duet partner is a voice you should know well....in my opinion this would have been a GREAT one to have done with Jon Boden and Bellowhead at Shoreditch.

http://www.myspace.com/theagilmore


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Smedley
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 04:40 AM

Vic Smith makes an excellent point; in my view the Transatlantic shows find favour because they offer an image of intimacy and authenticity, qualities that folky folk usually revere (and often with good reason). But the show puts those images together as a conscious, artful construction, just as the recent BBC show opted to put together a different kind of construction.

Both are artifice, but of different kinds.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 09:40 PM

Well, sorry but I thought it was ****ing brilliant (and I'm usually the first to hate and deride and put down corny slushy stuff). Lisa Knapp's (whom I've never even heard of) rendition of Coventry Carol was stunning. Moray's Emmanuel was imperfect and heartfelt and wonderful. Actually, so was most of it... Imperfection rules!!


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: LesB
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 05:39 AM

I finally got around to watching it last night on my PVR and after the lambasting it got on here I wasn't expecting to enjoy it,but I did. Bellowhead were their usual exellent selves, but it doesn't work as well on TV (you have to feel the Bellowhead sound). The Unthanks bleak midwinter was as bad as I expected, I'm always dissapointed by them, I feel I ought to like them cos Rachael can sing o.k. on her own, but it's this breathy over arty approach that kills it for me. Theo Gilmore never heard of, thought it was agood song & she's got a good voice. Never heard Lisa Knapp before, liked her version of Coventry carol if a bit high in the register & breathy for my taste at times. Jim Moray I thought did a good job, although he is someone who I don't normally get. I think Paul Sartin did an exellent job comparing. All in all a nice way to round off Xmas Eve.
Merry Xmas
Les


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 06:31 AM

Forgot to say in the lateness of the hour - a very happy and peaceful Xmas to all!

Isn't O come Emmanuel a hymn rather than a carol? used to be about my favourite at school, and never heard anyone sing it since - what a gorgeous treat.

I unexpectedly enjoyed the Unthanks last night, having been very disappointed when seeing them live recently.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 06:45 AM

Having read all the various comments on this programme, and having watched it again last night.
My conclusion is......
Bloody Good.
Could you lot have done better?
Must go....I have some nits to pick..
Ralphie
(Well done to the Beeb for booking the show in the first place, and to all the performers for making it work)
PS. Really enjoyed "O Magnum Mysterium" Half an hour later.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 01:27 PM

"PS. Really enjoyed "O Magnum Mysterium" Half an hour later."

Yup, me too, Ralphie, along with everything else in the 'Kings' prog.
Of course, it helps when the performer(s) can actually sing in tune, and hold a note at pitch.

Thea Gilmore and Jon Boden were excellent in 'Fire & Ice', best of the bunch by a very great deal.

And I'd go along with Pete's (Burton Coggles's) suggestion re putting 'Kerfuffle' on next Christmas. A great band.

IMHO, of course, others will no doubt disagree and that's fine, it's their entitlement to do so.

Merry Christmas everyone.


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Subject: RE: Heads up - BBC4 tonight Christmas Folk
From: Aeola
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 02:59 PM

I ,unfortunately, thought the programme was rather mediocre. However I think this is more to do with the actual recording within the studio. Have you ever noticed how the '''live rcording''' on TV falls short!!


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