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What became of 'Perform'?

Howard Jones 25 Jan 10 - 02:29 PM
The Sandman 25 Jan 10 - 03:21 PM
Anne Lister 25 Jan 10 - 05:34 PM
Andy Jackson 25 Jan 10 - 06:24 PM
The Sandman 25 Jan 10 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,Susie Stockton 25 Jan 10 - 06:58 PM
Howard Jones 25 Jan 10 - 07:45 PM
The Sandman 26 Jan 10 - 09:09 AM
Richard Bridge 26 Jan 10 - 09:26 AM
BB 26 Jan 10 - 02:40 PM
Anne Lister 26 Jan 10 - 03:36 PM
The Sandman 26 Jan 10 - 04:02 PM
John MacKenzie 26 Jan 10 - 04:40 PM
The Borchester Echo 26 Jan 10 - 04:56 PM
John MacKenzie 26 Jan 10 - 05:14 PM
The Sandman 26 Jan 10 - 05:24 PM
The Sandman 26 Jan 10 - 05:27 PM
The Borchester Echo 26 Jan 10 - 05:33 PM
The Borchester Echo 26 Jan 10 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,999 26 Jan 10 - 05:45 PM
The Borchester Echo 26 Jan 10 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,999 26 Jan 10 - 06:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jan 10 - 07:15 PM
Joe Offer 26 Jan 10 - 07:52 PM
The Borchester Echo 27 Jan 10 - 05:03 AM
BB 27 Jan 10 - 05:32 PM
The Borchester Echo 27 Jan 10 - 05:55 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Jan 10 - 02:28 AM
The Borchester Echo 28 Jan 10 - 03:36 AM
Howard Jones 28 Jan 10 - 04:30 AM
GUEST,Mick Coakley in Dublin. 26 Feb 10 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Susie 13 Feb 12 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 13 Feb 12 - 05:28 AM
Vic Smith 13 Feb 12 - 06:56 AM
Will Fly 13 Feb 12 - 07:09 AM
Vic Smith 13 Feb 12 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 13 Feb 12 - 07:22 AM
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Subject: What became of 'Perform'?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 02:29 PM

"Perform" was an organisation created in the UK in the 1980s. It was intended to bring together everyone involved in organising or performing folk music, in any capacity (unlike Britfolk which is restricted to professional performers).

It started with a well-attended conference in Manchester's Free Trade Hall. I believe Dick Gaughan was Chair and Susie Stockton was Secretary. I recall a lengthy debate over how to describe its geographical sphere of influence - the Irish objected to the "British" Isles, the Scots and Welsh objected to the "United" Kingdom, and the lefties objected to "Great" Britain. I don't remember what was finally settled on, but must have been fairly complicated since it not only had to find terminology which would not offend anyone but it also had to include the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and other constitutional oddities. This took up most of the morning before we'd even discussed anything to do with music, which didn't bode well.

The conference was also overshadowed by the news of Nic Jones's accident (which would end his career). I can still remember the shock which went all around the room when it was announced.

Despite all this, Perform was established and set out with lots of ideas and good intentions. It then seemed to fizzle out. So can anyone remember if it actually achieved anything?


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 03:21 PM

no, it acheived nothing as regards improving the way professional artists are treated, witness the way I was treated by Mansfield folk club, recently.
Alex Campbell who was laughed at during one of the meetings,was proved right.
Dick Gaughan went on to have a successful career,and became a nationally known performer.
I am sure that Dick Gaughan had the best of intentions in trying to improve working conditions,for professional performers,sadly it achieved nothing.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: Anne Lister
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 05:34 PM

As one of those there at that Manchester meeting (which was at the Midland Hotel, not the Free Trade Hall) - yes, we achieved a few things. We had another well-attended meeting in London and set up regional groups, and the London/South East group ran a series of "Cheer Up January" events in various pubs, where we were welcomed in to do an informal song session. We also ran a hiring fair event at Bracknell Folk Festival. I'm sure other regions did other stuff as well, although it's less imprinted on my memory for the obvious reason that I wasn't there!
Dick was already a nationally known performer, of course, which is one reason we achieved anything at all.
The major reason for starting Perform was to ginger up the EFDSS, as it had become a caricature of the "Dance Earnestly and Forget About Song Society". I think we felt by the time we wound up the Perform structure that we'd managed to do this - albeit in a limited sort of way. I don't think that improving the working conditions for professional performers was ever one of the main reasons for setting it up so it's not really surprising if it didn't succeed in that.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 06:24 PM

From what I remember of Perform it acheieved a certain amount of good will and refreshed interest in Folk Song generally. So I agree with Anne it shook up the EFDSS which has come out of the doldrums with renewed vigour.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 06:25 PM

how did perform ginger up the EFDSS?

I dont think one of the main reasons for setting up perform was to ginger up the EFDSS,thats the first time I have heard that.
perhaps Howard has a memorandum with the original proposals for what performs aims were.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: GUEST,Susie Stockton
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 06:58 PM

I have been sent the link to this chat discussion by friends who thought I might like to add my four penn'orth. It's nearly thirty years ago and my memory isn't what it was, but this is SOME info that may throw light on a series of events which I still feel deeply privileged to have been involved in.
In 1980, Dick Gaughan's discussion document was given print space in one of Karl Dallas' folk publications; Dick suggested that it was time the WHOLE folk scene got together to discuss where it was going. Dick received sackfuls of letters, most of them containing donations to help get an inaugural meeting going.
Having read the article, I went up to Leith and listened to Dick explain his vision of a meeting to provide a forum. He talked almost non-stop for a whole weekend.
At the end of it, I said "Okay - I'm in. What can I do to help?".
He paused, sniffed, and said "Organise it".
Gulp.

He had offers of assistance from many of the movers and shakers in the folk scene in the British Isles, and a small contingent from Western Europe - a very vocal one from the Netherlands - and North America. Those people became the steering committee who helped set up the first conference.

I recall a first get-together of the steering committee in early January, 1981, organised by Allan Taylor, in Angelina's Cantina, a Mexican restaurant in Leeds; many of us were suffering from the flu. One abiding memory was of Dick handing over to me two black bin bags of letters, which he had read and replaced in their envelopes. The Conference being in less than two months' time, most of my waking hours [when not teaching], was spent writing back to those correspondents. I didn't own - couldn't afford - a computer and much of this was done by hand.

The first get-together was at Cecil Sharp House, the EFDSS HQ in London, over the last weekend in February, 1981. It was intended to be a forum for the whole 'scene' to discuss where it was going - and, co-incidentally, as Anne Lister says, to try to bring the EFDSS into the 20th century. There were over 600 delegates from all over the British Isles, the Netherlands and North America, at what began to be referred to as the inaugural PERFORM conference. It was a major logistical exercise.
Dick didn't want anyone to be out of pocket for attending, and the proceeds of the two legendary concerts there that Saturday evening helped to pay for people's transport to the conference. Mel McLeod, the London area rep, co-ordinated accommodation and her mighty efforts for that amazing weekend will never be forgotten. (The effort of doing it nearly killed me - I ended up with double pneumonia and pleurisy, and was bedridden for six weeks. It did make me give up smoking, though...)

The conference decided that it wanted an organisation for the performance and enhancement of folk and other related musics; it wanted a forum where people could come together to air views. [The North American Folk Alliance sprang from this same idea].

In hindsight, what it did NOT do was give that organisation clear direction or appropriate funding to fulfil those aims. We waited for 'the scene' to tell us what it wanted us to do - but there was no precedent and there were no clear cut objectives, other than to provide that annual forum, provide a contact and information service and do what we, collectively, could do to further the good ideas that came out of having the 'movers and shakers' all together to talk.

Our wonderful area representatives co-ordinated transport and accommodation in 1981 and supported regional projects and ideas [like Eddie Upton's 'Folk South West'] latterly, but the 'organisation' was comprised of a handful of willing, unpaid volunteers, all of whom worked their socks off to the best of their abilities, while running full time jobs and lives - and often folk clubs! - elsewhere. All praise to Richard Thompstone, our press / publicity officer; to John Guy, our Treasurer, to the late David Brindley and the late Matt Armour for chairing the organisation after Dick resigned.
The charming, diplomatic and urbane Jim Lloyd, Mike Harding's predecessor at BBC Radio's 'Folk On 2' played a very important guiding role - my personal thanks to him for all that he did.

It is indeed correct that the second conference was held in 1982 at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. The evening concert was at the Free Trade Hall.
This weekend was overshadowed by the news of Nic Jones' dreadful accident, made even more immediate as Nic had been playing in the Glossop Folk Club, run by Will Williams, who did so much to help organise the weekend. Will had pleaded with Nic to stay, as Nic had intended to come to the Conference, but was determined to travel home to Julia, his wife. He fell asleep at the wheel and put his car head on into a lorry.
The conference served as a platform to help raise funds to support Julia and family in the traumatic months that lay ahead - from my faltering memory, John Guy administered something in the region of £15,000 to enable the Jones' to rebuild their lives. In Nic's case, 'rebuild' is probably the correct term to describe what the surgeons did for his shattered body. It is a miracle that he survived. I am so glad that the scene immediately pulled together to support such a worthy common cause.

However, the year's relief effort eclipsed what was the intention of the second conference - to get a clear remit, a plan, for action from the delegates. However, the spotlight thrown on the more conservative elements of the EFDSS did promote a rethink; all aspects of the folk scene did achieve a higher media profile... by the osmosis of hard graft, some of the ideas behind the original meeting did happen.

The final conference was held in Edinburgh in 1983.

Perhaps I should write that book which my sons keep telling me I ought - but I would need a lot of help in recalling the details!

Yours aye, as Dick would say.

Susie


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 07:45 PM

Thanks for that, Susie, good to hear from you.

As you say, despite the enthusiasm for the idea the conference failed to give clear direction or appropriate funding to fulfil those aims. Perhaps the distraction of Nic's accident had something to do with it - it rather took people's eyes off the ball so far as the conference itself was concerned. I think its other failure was in not keeping the momentum going, so in the end the work all fell on a few shoulders. Of course, in those days, without computers (let alone the internet and email), keeping a nationwide organisation like that together was much more difficult. Now you'd just have a Facebook page.

For me, it also had something of the feel of a students' union meeting about it - too much time spent earnestly debating trivialities (such as the discussion over geography which I mentioned in my original post) rather than getting to the main issues.

Did it really give the EFDSS a kick up the proverbial? If so, it can't have lasted long. My impression is that it's only fairly recently that the EFDSS started to get its act together.

If Perform achieved nothing else, the financial and other help it offered to Nic and his family makes it worthwhile.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 09:09 AM

correct,the EFDSS revival has been a much more recent phenomenon,and has nothing to do with perform,but more to do with individual EFDSS members getting stuck in and working hard to promote the EFDSS,from what I can make out much of the work has been unpaid.
it is ridiculous for anyone to suggest that PERFORM has played any part in the revival ofthe EFDSS.
perform is succinctly described as a fart in a circus,and is best forgotten.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 09:26 AM

Hmm, do I hear the sound of axes being ground?


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: BB
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 02:40 PM

As I recall, EFDSS did actually provide the venue for the inaugural meeting free of charge. At the time, before staff cutbacks due to the recession of the early '80s, and the whole issue of the future of Cecil Sharp House reared their heads, EFDSS was actually quite song-oriented, with numerous festivals running under its auspices, including Sidmouth, Chippenham and Whitby to name but three, and one sub-committee totally devoted to the song side of its work. Membership was rising, mostly on the song side. When the recession hit, many of those things went by the board, and there wasn't a lot left but the dance side.

No, I don't think Perform had any particularly connection with EFDSS nor intention of changing it - possibly working with it, but that's all.

I think that recession may have been another reason why Perform failed to achieve its aims - times were hard, and I think it ill becomes anyone to criticise those VOLUNTEERS who were unable to keep it going.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: Anne Lister
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 03:36 PM

All I can talk about with any degree of authority was the bits of Perform that I was involved with personally - and we in the south east were certainly doing what we could to ginger up the EFDSS (and that was indeed the phrase that we used at the time) and that formed a great part of discussions in our meetings. Things have improved without Perform as time has gone on, for sure, but that's not a good reason to have a kick at what was an honourable attempt at the time. No one was paid by Perform, as Susie makes clear, and a lot of us worked hard - not only for no reward, but now to hear Dick Miles make stupid comparisons with farting and tell us our efforts are best forgotten. Thanks a bunch, Dick. I have no idea why Dick Miles is so antagonistic - I don't remember him being involved in any of our meetings or, indeed, Perform in general.   
But, Dick, if you're wanting to improve the lot for professional performers in the UK by means PM me about Britfolk, which is a performers' network set up by performers for performers - which is not what Perform was ever intended to be. Or of course you could consult the Musicians' Union.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 04:02 PM

yes, I did not get involved with Perform,I joined the musicians union, and used musicians union contracts.
the musicians union contract proved very useful to me ,when I had trouble with the old kidderminster folk club.
In my opinion the musicians union , is the best organisation for folk musicians to join, to protect themselves.
Barbara,I cannot see a logical reason why perform should be above criticism because it was run by volunteers,there are plenty of people who are prepared to criticse EFDSS,[Anne herself thought they needed gingering up, yet the EFDSS was then, and still is run by volunteers].
So why is it ok to criticise EFDSS? an organisation that relies largely on volunteers,but not Perform?
Perform[IMO] was a well intentioned idea,that did not achieve very much.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 04:40 PM

I was reading a critique of The Good Soldies Schweik, the other day. the author of the piece, described him as a sort of European Forrest Gump :)
I thought it an apposite comment!


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 04:56 PM

Forrest Gump was shot in the arse in Vietnam in a conflict about which he hadn't a clue then when he got back he just ran and ran and ran, for no discernible purpose. Whatever has that got to do with Dick?

I'd completely forgotten about Perform, not that I had anything at all to do with it, not being in the country during its brief life. Though things didn't even begin to look up till nearly two decades after its demise, especially in EFDSS terms. The 80s was truly the nadir of tradarts in these islands when all that happened in the "clubs" were unfunny comedians and tedious singer-songwriters. Yet there are some today who want to turn the clock back to those dire times. Fortunately they're losing out big time.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 05:14 PM

It's got nothing to do with Dick, Diane, and everything to do with an excellent book, by Jaroslav Hašek.
Sometimes you're just so busy being snide, and arrogant, that you can't see the wood for the trees.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 05:24 PM

the best way to appreciate the book called The Good Soldier Schweik,is ..to read it, it is a very funny book.
since Forrest Gump was not written until the year 1986,and good soldier schweik,was written before 1923,it would be more apropraiate ,if one were discussing the merits of the two books, to say that Forrest Gump was based on or was a plagiarised version of the good soldier schweik,however if you read good soldier scheik,you will realise that the critic who described it as a european forrest gump,was not understanding the book the good soldier schweik,andwas illustrating his unsuitabilty to be a book critic.
John Mackenzie,please read the book,then you will understand.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 05:27 PM

john mackenzie,
I got the impression,perhaps mistakenly, that you were trying to be snide at my expense,I did not find Borchester echos comments snide at all.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 05:33 PM

Yes, I've read the tome you mention - in the original as it happens. Which has not a lot to do with F. Gump, a trashy film about total unawareness of or connection to actuality, nor with Dick Miles, as it goes. It might go some way to explaining the opacity of your consciousness though.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 05:42 PM

I should explain that I haven't read Forrest Gump (the crap film was more than enough) but I read an original edition of Good Soldier Schweik. Mr Mackenzie does seem somewhat challenged chronologically. Maybe grapeshot in the buttOCKS would help . . .


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 05:45 PM

"Maybe grapeshot in the buttOCKS would help . . . [sic.]

It would in yours. Likely improve your disposition.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 05:58 PM

Why the "sic"? Clearly you have not had the misfortune to have seen the rubbishy film.

To veer somewhere close to back on topic, joining the MU certainly is a way to help improve conditions for musicians on the ramshackle club circuit. Though "Guest 999" (and certainly not Mr Mackenzie) will be unaware of "the power in a union".


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 06:53 PM

The sic is necessary because you didn't end the sentence. There's no end punctuation.

I have been union for over 44 years, thank you.

Last for now: You think you're Dorothy Parker, but you're coming across like Joan Rivers.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 07:15 PM

Never mind the thread, just cut to the quarrel...


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 07:52 PM

So, whatever happened to "Perform"?


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 05:03 AM

I think the wonderful Susie Stockton has explained adequately what happened to Perform. It met its end in Edinburgh in 1983, just as I returned from trying to stir up interest in trad music in mainland Europe. As I described, other than the ceilidh circuit, it was to be deepest doldrums in these islands for quite some time to come. It was just over a decade ago when a noticeable recovery began to set in until today when the prospects for a bright future for the tradarts looks secure. Celebrate where we are now is what I say.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: BB
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 05:32 PM

Dick said, "I cannot see a logical reason why perform should be above criticism because it was run by volunteers,there are plenty of people who are prepared to criticse EFDSS...the EFDSS was then, and still is run by volunteers."

EFDSS has, for at least the last 40 years to my certain knowledge, had paid some paid staff. Not necessarily many of them, but Perform was run entirely by volunteers.

And Diane, you must have gone to different clubs to the ones I went to, all the way through the 80s - I was never into comedians nor singer/songwriters, but I never had any difficulty in finding plenty of traditional music in the clubs. Perhaps that's why you're so bitter...?

Barbara


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 05:55 PM

The EFDSS used to pay me. Not very much though.

Between returning from Germany in 1982 where I'd been promoting concerts and going to Tyneside a decade later to run a disastrous production into the ground, I hardly ever entered a "f*lk club". They were utterly dire and crawling with Thackrays and Hardings. And, presumably, Ms Brown (who I have never met).

I came across the teenage Nancy Kerr and Eliza Carthy in the Caedman Hall in Gateshead in 1994 or thereabouts and realised that dawn was finally breaking. Bitter? Yeah, had a pint or two of Newcastle Brown to celebrate.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 02:28 AM

Diane - re the 80s: lots of Thackrays & Hardings and not-over-gifted singer-songwriters about indeed, to judge, not from attending, which I didn't do v much that decade, tho occasionally to Cambridge Crofters, a traditional club [& still don't much], But I was thruout the decade being sent records for review in the Guardian, TES, ED&S, Times, &c, for all or which I was regularly reviewing at the time. I only ever bothered to review the traditional ones, tho, in papers where I could pick my own to fill a regular column, & the specialist journals soon learned only to send me traditional, knowing that was where my knowledge & tastes lay. The point is that I received lots - all traditional, enough to keep all those outlets going: & they, obviously, will have been made by performers who were simultaneously getting enough club gigs to make a living. Flicking thru my press cuttings file for the 1980s, I find reviews of Peter Bellamy, John Kirkpatrick, Boys of the Lough, Roy Harris, Dick Miles, Helen & Roger Watson, Martin Carthy, Watersons, Jez Lowe, Dave Burland, Arthur Knevett... & that was just a 2-minute flip. All these must have been finding folk clubs where the traditional was welcome to be able to keep going at all. So why couldn't you?


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 03:36 AM

Why couldn't I find "f*lk clubs"in the 80s? Largely because I was going out of my way to avoid entering most of these outmoded dens of tediously embarrassing caricature. Don't forget that this was the decade during which the tradarts were forcibly exported because that was where the work and livelihood was. Of course, I saw all the artists MGM lists but mostly at festivals and venues other than parodies of the working men's club. I reviewed them too occasionally, though I was no longer retained as a permanent critic, dragging some of them into studios to take part in Children's Programmes I was then involved in producing. Only a very few "f*lk clubs" stayed true to their original purpose and they remain a bit like hens' teeth today. And right now there are, fortunately, a multiplicity of alternative venues in which the tradarts are again flourishing as a part of "normal" life, not hidden away for a weird bunch of cliquey throwbacks dressed in tie-dies and brandishing tankards. Now that some of the best exponents of the genre can fill the South Bank and the Roundhouse with audiences reflecting the gamut of today's society, there is indeed hope for the music of this New England.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 04:30 AM

If you were avoiding the folk clubs, how can you be so sure what was taking place in them? It seems to me that you had made up your mind, perhaps based on a few experiences when you first returned to the UK.

During the 80s I was actively involved in some of the clubs in Manchester and the surrounding area mentioned in another current thread. I remember seeing most of the artists MtheGM mentions in the clubs, together with many more top names, most of them performing traditional material. And yes, I saw Mike Harding and Jake Thackeray too, but so what? It's easy to dismiss Mike Harding now for his radio show, but he was a damn good entertainer, and sang a lot of songs between the jokes, not all of them humorous. As for Thackeray, he was just a superb songwriter - nothing to do with folk, of course, but I'm glad I had the chance to see him. The folk club scene I was part of was strong enough to accommodate these alongside traditional performers.

It's true the clubs did start to see a gradual decline in numbers towards the end of the decade. I put this down to the aging audience getting sidetracked by family and professional responsibilities - certainly my own club activities were severely curtailed when I had a family.

I share your delight in the current revival, although I'm slightly disappointed that it's largely taking place away from folk clubs. At their best, they were superb, and it's a pity there are now so few regularly booking top-name guests.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: GUEST,Mick Coakley in Dublin.
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 03:10 PM

Hi Susie,

I did "perform" a few searches over the recent years to track you down. I was delighted to read your story on Perform.   I did attend at least two of those conferences.   I recall being in Birmingham as well as Manchester.

You did pay a visit to the folk club that I was running in the early 1980s for the performance of Rab Noakes. I still run that same club - The Phoenix Folk Club - and like all clubs, it's going through a recession.

Please make contact with as I would like to send you some info on Perform that I believe you would like.   My contact details are below.

Kind regards,

Mick Coakley.
thephoenixfolkclub@myspace.com.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: GUEST,Susie
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 04:47 AM

Gosh!
Blimey, wot larks!
Thanks, Howard and Anne.
Here we are in 2012... but if anyone DOES have any memories of my involvement in ANYTHING before, during or after that period, I would LOVE to hear from them. I'm trying to remember...
Kneeless in Builth...
Susie


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 05:28 AM

If you want to look at something a bit more positive than recriminations about the state of folk music in the 1980s, you could do worse than check out Alan Day's thread about the Folk Performers' Association:

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=137194&messages=102#3283529


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 06:56 AM

Diane wrote:-
"The 80s was truly the nadir of tradarts in these islands when all that happened in the "clubs" were unfunny comedians and tedious singer-songwriters.


There speaks a woman who clearly suffered as much as I did at the time.
There were a minority of venues who struggled against this trend... but it was a real minority.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 07:09 AM

No memories of '80s folk for me. I got seduced on to the dark side - mainstream jazz, 1950s rock'n roll and then Southern soul - in 1978, and gave the folk scene a miss for over 25 years.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 07:11 AM

I remember the enthusiasm that early Gaughan-chaired Perform meeting at Cecil Sharp generated. Everyone was there and it seemed that we might change the world. I also remember the speed with which this spirit of enthusiasm dissipated after it.

I can also remember before that the BFFC (British Federation of Folk Clubs) meetings - chaired usually by Dave Campbell, father of Ian with Eric Winter taking a big part.

I can see the same thing happening now with the new Facebook-based The UK Folk Club Network or Folk21 as it is already changing into. I wish it well and will support it but without financial backing and a clear united policy, my feeling is that it will also be doomed.

Seriously, I believe that the folk scene's movers and shakers should put the vast majority of their efforts into their own local manifestations of the traditional arts. That is what I intend to continue to do.


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Subject: RE: What became of 'Perform'?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 07:22 AM

Isn't it funny how different people's experiences can be? I was fairly heavily involved in folk clubs during that period, and the clubs I went to regularly (which included Chelmsford and other clubs in Essex, and later Harry Boardman's club in Manchester, Susie's own club in Altrincham, and the White Swan in Fallowfield) all presented a broad spectrum of folk but were grounded in traditional music. I also travelled pretty widely on business and got to visit a number of other clubs around the country, and found no shortage of good traditional music.

Yes, there were comedians in the clubs, some of them unfunny, and singer-songwriters too, some of them undoubtedly tedious, but there was a lot of great traditional music as well. I certainly wouldn't of said these clubs were in a minority, but that was just my own experience.


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