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Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban

Tradsinger 06 Aug 10 - 08:10 AM
Tradsinger 06 Aug 10 - 08:29 AM
Mick Tems 06 Aug 10 - 08:37 AM
Mick Tems 06 Aug 10 - 08:46 AM
Green Man 06 Aug 10 - 08:53 AM
catspaw49 06 Aug 10 - 09:19 AM
Les in Chorlton 06 Aug 10 - 09:22 AM
Banjiman 06 Aug 10 - 10:05 AM
TopcatBanjo 06 Aug 10 - 11:47 AM
PoppaGator 06 Aug 10 - 12:36 PM
GUEST 06 Aug 10 - 01:51 PM
greg stephens 06 Aug 10 - 01:58 PM
Leadfingers 06 Aug 10 - 02:08 PM
Les in Chorlton 06 Aug 10 - 02:42 PM
Gurney 06 Aug 10 - 02:56 PM
PoppaGator 06 Aug 10 - 02:59 PM
Lonesome EJ 06 Aug 10 - 03:36 PM
PoppaGator 06 Aug 10 - 04:04 PM
Lonesome EJ 06 Aug 10 - 04:56 PM
catspaw49 06 Aug 10 - 05:33 PM
Howard Jones 07 Aug 10 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,leeneia 08 Aug 10 - 12:33 AM
Les in Chorlton 08 Aug 10 - 03:31 AM
greg stephens 08 Aug 10 - 04:03 AM
Will Fly 08 Aug 10 - 04:59 AM
evansakes 08 Aug 10 - 05:31 AM
Rob Naylor 08 Aug 10 - 07:57 AM
Les in Chorlton 08 Aug 10 - 02:22 PM
Will Fly 08 Aug 10 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,leeneia 08 Aug 10 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,Meggly 09 Aug 10 - 05:17 AM
evansakes 09 Aug 10 - 05:57 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Aug 10 - 07:17 AM
Tug the Cox 09 Aug 10 - 07:44 AM
Rob Naylor 09 Aug 10 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Meggly 09 Aug 10 - 11:11 AM
Lonesome EJ 10 Aug 10 - 12:41 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Aug 10 - 03:54 AM
GUEST 12 Aug 10 - 04:09 AM
evansakes 12 Aug 10 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 31 Aug 10 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,Meggly 31 Aug 10 - 11:05 AM
greg stephens 31 Aug 10 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 31 Aug 10 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,999 31 Aug 10 - 01:33 PM
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Subject: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: Tradsinger
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 08:10 AM

This story incensed me, especially the bit about 'taste and diversity' Can we all lobby Transport for London. This is appalling.

Here is the link.

Tradsinger


Small, comical and associated with the light-hearted music of George Formby, the banjolele might seem innocent enough.

But it doesn't amuse Transport for London, which has banned buskers from playing it on the Tube.

TfL officials have branded it "undesirable" and have placed it on an instrument blacklist along with its larger cousin the banjo. The ban was revealed by musician Nigel Burch, who plays the banjo/ukulele hybrid.

He said: "Apparently deafening electric guitars and backing tracks and amplified saxes are desirable but my small acoustic instrument that I use to accompany my voice is not. This is an outrage. There are many musicians, not all banjo and uke players, who find this musical instrument discrimination outrageous."

Mr Burch has been busking at Leicester Square, Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus stations for about 30 years. He signed up to the licensed busking scheme when it was introduced six years ago - but after his licence expired he was told he could not renew it.

In an email to Mr Burch in March, TfL stated: "Unfortunately for these applications the banjo was listed as not desirable, and therefore your application was unsuccessful." He was also told the ukelele was undesirable, though TfL said today it had since changed its position.

Peter Murphy, who runs an online group representing Tube buskers, said: "There are degrees of professionalism as to how each instrument is played, so how can you make a blanket assumption that customers won't want to hear a particular instrument?"

John Howlett, who runs the Hobgoblin folk music shop in Rathbone Place, off Oxford Street, added: "It is a popular instrument at the moment because of [Mercury Music Prize shortlisted band] Mumford and Sons."

A TfL spokeswoman refused to say why the banjolele was considered "undesirable", adding: "Licensed buskers are chosen on talent and diversity, with emphasis strongly placed on meeting the varied musical tastes of Tube customers."


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: Tradsinger
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 08:29 AM

Well, I have now had the following email from "Transport for London", which gives a different story. I withdraw my indignation.

Tradsinger


"Thank you for getting in touch. Of course we haven't banned ukuleles and banjos and have would have no desire to do so to instruments with such a proud heritage.

There is no truth that London Underground (LU) is banning “folk instrumentsâ€쳌 on LU busking pitches and LU is proud to have a diverse range of buskers, including some with these instruments, play on our busking pitches.

We recently ran a process to audition new members for the busking scheme. Musicians were shortlisted on diversity, presentation, musical ability, range of songs and originality. Not passing the selection process was not a reflection on any particular instrument or music genre - we realise that some entrants will be disappointed."


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: Mick Tems
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 08:37 AM

Transport For London? Totally Fascist Loons! This senseless blanket ban is an incomprehensible outrage.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: Mick Tems
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 08:46 AM

The messages crossed in the email. It seems as though TfL are the victims of an inaccurate report, and I totally withdraw the comments I made earlier.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: Green Man
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 08:53 AM

Banjos underground, best place forum.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 09:19 AM

What a shame the story was wrong.......................


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 09:22 AM

One more crack like that Mr Man and you will find yourself peaking out of the top corner of an old church with no way down.

L in C
Banjo Learner grade 3 and I am not alone


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: Banjiman
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 10:05 AM

I bet Green Man is a bodhran player.........


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 11:47 AM

An outrage!! ;o)


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: PoppaGator
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 12:36 PM

If TfL is not issuing a "blanket" ban of his instrument, what other reason could they possibly give for revoking the busking license of an artist with thirty years experience entertaining the tube riders?

I haven't heard the guy's work, so I can't vouch for its quality, but he must be relatively OK, or he would not have continued playing all these years.

Fascist twats...


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 01:51 PM

Commie bullshit - their property, their choice.


    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 01:58 PM

Pity they back-tracked. Tube travellers have a basic human right not to have their ears blasted by banjos. Where will it end? Listen to this dreadful racket


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 02:08 PM

But Greg !! Is it FOLK music ???

And I dont think its a Racquet - Thats for Tennis ! LOL


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 02:42 PM

Exlnt bit of banjo led music!

People who abuse banjo players need to take care. We are taking no more of your sh*t. We are armed and we know where you live and what to do.

L in C


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 02:56 PM

Les in Chorlton: "Banjo learner grade 3 and I am not alone."

Give it time, Les! Most of your friends probably don't even realise you have gone to the dark side, yet.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: PoppaGator
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 02:59 PM

"Commie bullshit - their property, their choice."

I am less familiar with UK law than I am with the American system of jurisprudence, but still:

I'm pretty sure that all public-transportation rights-of-way, including any subway station in any democratic nation, is public property, not the private property of a group of political appointees.

Your position, GUEST of yesterday at 1:51 pm, is fascist blullshit!


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 03:36 PM

Lucky for brit banjo players if it's only a ban. In Colorado, public banjo players may be subject to hanging, or even face worse fates, like being imprisoned with guitar players who play everything in B#m.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers
From: PoppaGator
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 04:04 PM

B-flat exists; not so for B-sharp (major or minor).


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 04:56 PM

ok, A-flat then...


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 05:33 PM

Poppa....Leej was confused....He meant F flat..........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Howard Jones
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 06:32 AM

Poppagator, just because land is owned by public bodies, and in that sense is publicly-owned, doesn't mean that the public has free rights of access to that land and can do what it likes. Public bodies have the same rights as private corporations and individuals to control what access is allowed to the public and what activities are permitted. These rights are subject to the law in general and the bodies' statutory functions and authority in particular.

In the UK, a right of way is just that - a right to pass over land. It does not grant any other rights, including the right to stop and busk.

TfL has the right to control, and indeed prevent, busking on the London Underground. They could have banned it completely, but instead have a fairly enlightened policy which maintains musical standards and avoids disputes over pitches and annoyance to travellers. I can't comment on the rights and wrongs of this particular case, but even if the original basis for the thread had not been shown to be wrong, TfL are entitled to decide who and who not may busk on their premises, and even entitled to ban banjos is they wished to do so.

I would be surprised if that is any different in the US. If the public has unfettered access to the public transportation system, then how can the transport authorities charge a fare? Where there is a difference between the UK and the US is that we don't have your First Amendment rights which (if I understand the arguments in the Seattle Folk Life thread ) would prevent a public body from exercising the same control over buskers.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 12:33 AM

Greg Stephens, I followed your link. Which one is you?
=======
Since we're talking about undergrounds, I would like to pass on a serious tip. I recently read an article in the Sunday paper about hearing damage. Doctors named undergrounds (subways) as one of the worst environments for the ears.

I always carry hearing protection with me, and I have used it on the underground in Paris, Budapest and New York. Can't remember how London sounded.

Well worth thinking about.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 03:31 AM

A greater danger can be inflicted when a person, having repeated one of those old, tired anti banjo jokes, finds himself assaulted with a banjo.

You have all been warned

L in C
But can travel freely with a bus pass


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 04:03 AM

leenia said "Greg Stephens, I followed your link. Which one is you?". I regret to have to admit to being the banjo player. It is a habit I have been unable to give up, despite many attempts at rehab.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Will Fly
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 04:59 AM

Greg, as you know, it's possible to kick the tenor banjo habit by buying and playing a tenor guitar. Same tuning, etc., but a different sound. I bought one just over a year ago and haven't taken my banjo from its case since. I still keep it in a corner though, as instructed by Banjoholics Anonymous. I caught a glimpse of Les's banjo at the Beech some weeks ago, but turned away just in time. :-)


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: evansakes
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 05:31 AM

TfL stated in an email to the banjolele playing busker at the centre of this story....

"Unfortunately for these applications the banjo was listed as not desirable, and therefore your application was unsuccessful"

Later TfL are attributed as saying....

"Of course we haven't banned ukuleles and banjos and have would have no desire to do so to instruments with such a proud heritage"

Am I the only person confused by 'Transport for London' speaking with forked tongues here ??


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 07:57 AM

ARE they speaking with forked tongues, though?

What they also said was: We recently ran a process to audition new members for the busking scheme. Musicians were shortlisted on diversity, presentation, musical ability, range of songs and originality. Not passing the selection process was not a reflection on any particular instrument or music genre - we realise that some entrants will be disappointed.

It's feasible that they felt that Mr Burch' playing/ singing fell short in one or more of the above categories, and that the quote (it WAS the Daily Mail) was selective or taken out of context. ie, that there was a preceding sentence explaining where the shortcomings were felt to be that the Daily Mail in its wisdom chose not to quote.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 02:22 PM

I have to say Will I have been seriously tempted by those tenor guitars. I have played a few in Hobgoblin - very tasty but for sheer presence and naked agression you can't beat a brashh tenor banjo - always gives melodeons a run around

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Will Fly
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 02:40 PM

True, Les - we have to keep on top of those melodeons...


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 04:10 PM

I like your band, Greg. (the Boat Band) That number 'The magic island' involves an impressive line-up of instruments. Congratulations to all of you on co-ordinating that.

Of course it's the banjo that keeps everybody together. You probably know this, but many people don't know, that the banjo was important to the first jazz bands and to 1920's dance bands. It provided the basic beat that kept everybody together.

Bertie Wooster tried to master the banjolele, but failed. But then, Bertie failed at almost everything. He wasn't a Drone for nothing.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: GUEST,Meggly
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 05:17 AM

I'm also confused TwickFolk.

They're telling the Banjolele player that it's because banjos and ukuleles are 'undesirable' (where have I heard that euphemism before?), but telling everyone else it's because the individual in question is rubbish. D'you think they were just letting him down gently?


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: evansakes
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 05:57 AM

I dunno. I wouldn't have thought they'd have to give anyone a reason for not being granted a licence.

However one thing's for certain. It's impossible to reconcile those two statements attributed to them


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 07:17 AM

I think it's time the military wing of the EFDSS flexed it's muscles a bit. For too long they have remained in the camouflage of felt skirts and neat blouses laying low in country dance display teams.

This might have been all very well when they were a rural task force but now the challenge is urban they need to don shell suits, tracky bottoms, tee shirts and hoodies and bring terror to the faceless ones who denigh our national banjo heritage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And stuff like that

L in C#
Raise your banners high and other stuff


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 07:44 AM


B-flat exists; not so for B-sharp (major or minor).

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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Lonesome EJ - PM
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 04:56 PM

ok, A-flat then...


Erm, surely B-Sharp is C natural.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 09:11 AM

Twickfolk: However one thing's for certain. It's impossible to reconcile those two statements attributed to them

No it'sd not. All that needs to have happened is that Mr Burch or the Daily Mail ommitted a preceding qualifying sentence, as I said in my previous post. Could have been along the lines:

"Your audition included a very narrow range of "pop standards" more suited to the guitar. Unfortunately for these applications the banjo was listed as not desirable, and therefore your application was unsuccessful".

I don't know what qualifying statements, if any, actually DID precede the sentence quoted, but any of a range of statements could have stated that the banjo (or banjolele) wasn't suitable for *those particular reasons* without implying an overall ban on a type of instrument.

Having long experience of seeing journalists and complainants quoting out of context to bolster their positions, I have a fair idea that something like that probably occured.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: GUEST,Meggly
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 11:11 AM

Aha, Rob, I see your point now. Although that would be an equally narrow-minded policy. I would like to know how someone TFL thought a vaccum cleaner should be listed as a desirable saxaphone player, but ho hum.

I'm sure we'll never know whether it was a mis-reported story or, that other human trate, a Volte Face in the face of, well, mild outrage from a bunch of folkies!


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 12:41 AM

Alright you guys. I admit it. The logic of the fretboard eludes me entirely. Until 6 months ago I thought a Circle of Fifths was a fraternity drinking game.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 03:54 AM

I still think we should violence a chance

L in C


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Aug 10 - 04:09 AM

Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 07:44 AM


B-flat exists; not so for B-sharp (major or minor).
snip

ok, A-flat then...

Erm, surely B-Sharp is C natural.

My understanding is that if you are playing in a key that has C# in it - eg key of D, and you want to write a chord with both C# and C natural, then you would write the C natural as a B#


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: evansakes
Date: 12 Aug 10 - 06:28 AM

The key of C# major has seven sharps in it. So includes not only a B# but also an E#

However, more often than not this key is notated in the enharmonic equivalent of Db (I suppose five flats are easier to get your head around than seven sharps)

Whichever, it's a bugger of a key to play in (that's why capos were invented!). Goodness knows how violins do it....

So....a discussion that started with extreme banjo prejudice ends up with some fairly advanced music theory !!

Who'd have thunk it?


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 10:54 AM

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2010/aug/31/transport-for-london-buskers

One thing that may shed some light on all this is another list which definitely does exist and has been distributed to all buskers. This one concerns specific instruments banned on specific pitches. It includes items lsuch as "robotic sax" – which appears to be there specifically to ban a guy called Steve Aruni, who plays guitar along with a latop-controlled modified sax-playing Henry the Hoover. Genuine health and safety concerns may lie behind some of these specific pitch bans; others seem totally arbitrary.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: GUEST,Meggly
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 11:05 AM

That's the Hover I was on about. Laptop controlled? I thought Henry was really playing that sax... :-(

I suppose one ought to take the article with a pinch of salt as it was written by someone who could, legitimately or unlegitimately, have an axe to grind, but it sounds like another case of someone's arse being detached from their elbow.

If the management is now in the hands of TLF, like the man says, they'll be looking out for their own and subject to the whims of station managers. ('I can't stand that bl00dy flute another day, get them out of here.')


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: greg stephens
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 11:08 AM

The rise of the amplified busker on the tube makes me sad. Till just a very few years ago, pleasant acoustic music of all kinds was the norm. I went to London last week, and on a couple of tube trips every busker I heard was amplified. Totally unnecessary in all the cases I encountered: the acoustics are fine without.


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 11:31 AM

Until the true position is established - perhaps the title of this thread, which states that there is no ban, can be ammended to show the current uncertainty on this issue?


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Subject: RE: Banjo ban for London buskers - untrue - no ban
From: GUEST,999
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 01:33 PM

``I went to London last week, and on a couple of tube trips every busker I heard was amplified.``

If ya can`t be good, be LOUD!


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