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'More pretentious than Bellowhead'

Will Fly 05 Oct 10 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,Ed 05 Oct 10 - 05:28 AM
Les in Chorlton 05 Oct 10 - 05:40 AM
GUEST,gluemania 05 Oct 10 - 05:45 AM
Will Fly 05 Oct 10 - 05:53 AM
Acorn4 05 Oct 10 - 05:56 AM
theleveller 05 Oct 10 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Ed 05 Oct 10 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 05 Oct 10 - 06:43 AM
Howard Jones 05 Oct 10 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,gloomman 05 Oct 10 - 06:54 AM
Will Fly 05 Oct 10 - 07:07 AM
theleveller 05 Oct 10 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Foul Ole Ron 05 Oct 10 - 07:22 AM
GUEST 05 Oct 10 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 05 Oct 10 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,gluer 05 Oct 10 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Foul Ole Ron 05 Oct 10 - 07:52 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Oct 10 - 07:57 AM
Old Vermin 05 Oct 10 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,gluest 05 Oct 10 - 08:01 AM
RTim 05 Oct 10 - 08:27 AM
Les in Chorlton 05 Oct 10 - 09:41 AM
Tim Leaning 05 Oct 10 - 10:55 AM
treewind 05 Oct 10 - 02:11 PM
Continuity Jones 05 Oct 10 - 02:35 PM
squeezyjohn 06 Oct 10 - 05:11 AM
George Papavgeris 06 Oct 10 - 05:23 AM
George Papavgeris 06 Oct 10 - 05:25 AM
Rain Dog 06 Oct 10 - 05:44 AM
Les in Chorlton 06 Oct 10 - 05:53 AM
Will Fly 06 Oct 10 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,Ed 06 Oct 10 - 06:04 AM
Will Fly 06 Oct 10 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,glueman 06 Oct 10 - 06:58 AM
Will Fly 06 Oct 10 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,Ed 06 Oct 10 - 07:20 AM
Les in Chorlton 06 Oct 10 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,glueman 06 Oct 10 - 07:46 AM
Will Fly 06 Oct 10 - 08:07 AM
Brian Peters 06 Oct 10 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 06 Oct 10 - 08:24 AM
SteveMansfield 06 Oct 10 - 08:27 AM
TheSnail 06 Oct 10 - 08:29 AM
Will Fly 06 Oct 10 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,glueman 06 Oct 10 - 08:32 AM
Howard Jones 06 Oct 10 - 08:47 AM
Phil Edwards 06 Oct 10 - 09:11 AM
Brian Peters 06 Oct 10 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,glueman 06 Oct 10 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,glueman 06 Oct 10 - 09:51 AM
Yvonne 06 Oct 10 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,glueman 06 Oct 10 - 10:20 AM
Phil Edwards 06 Oct 10 - 10:21 AM
theleveller 06 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM
Will Fly 06 Oct 10 - 10:37 AM
Dave Sutherland 06 Oct 10 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,leeneia 06 Oct 10 - 11:32 AM
theleveller 06 Oct 10 - 11:33 AM
theleveller 06 Oct 10 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,Catherine Foster 06 Oct 10 - 11:41 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 06 Oct 10 - 11:47 AM
TheSnail 06 Oct 10 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,leeneia 06 Oct 10 - 11:50 AM
Howard Jones 06 Oct 10 - 11:52 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 06 Oct 10 - 11:55 AM
Dave Sutherland 06 Oct 10 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,Meggly 06 Oct 10 - 11:58 AM
Will Fly 06 Oct 10 - 12:00 PM
Phil Edwards 06 Oct 10 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,LDT 06 Oct 10 - 12:23 PM
Les in Chorlton 06 Oct 10 - 12:54 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 06 Oct 10 - 12:59 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 06 Oct 10 - 01:06 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 06 Oct 10 - 01:29 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 06 Oct 10 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,glueman 06 Oct 10 - 01:36 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 06 Oct 10 - 01:39 PM
Will Fly 06 Oct 10 - 01:39 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 06 Oct 10 - 02:27 PM
Herga Kitty 06 Oct 10 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,glueman 06 Oct 10 - 03:10 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Oct 10 - 03:14 PM
Howard Jones 06 Oct 10 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,glueman 06 Oct 10 - 03:38 PM
Continuity Jones 06 Oct 10 - 03:56 PM
GUEST 06 Oct 10 - 04:06 PM
Will Fly 06 Oct 10 - 04:15 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Oct 10 - 05:38 PM
Will Fly 06 Oct 10 - 05:55 PM
Richard Bridge 06 Oct 10 - 06:39 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 06 Oct 10 - 06:46 PM
Phil Edwards 06 Oct 10 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,glueman 06 Oct 10 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 07 Oct 10 - 08:36 AM
MGM·Lion 07 Oct 10 - 09:00 AM
Phil Edwards 07 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM
Phil Edwards 07 Oct 10 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,Barry Denning 07 Oct 10 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 07 Oct 10 - 09:40 AM
Les in Chorlton 07 Oct 10 - 10:10 AM
Backwoodsman 07 Oct 10 - 10:35 AM
Tootler 07 Oct 10 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 07 Oct 10 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 07 Oct 10 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,D. Brinkman 07 Oct 10 - 11:45 AM
Will Fly 07 Oct 10 - 12:25 PM
Will Fly 07 Oct 10 - 12:26 PM
TheSnail 07 Oct 10 - 12:46 PM
TheSnail 07 Oct 10 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,glueman 07 Oct 10 - 01:16 PM
Will Fly 07 Oct 10 - 01:26 PM
TheSnail 07 Oct 10 - 01:46 PM
Rob Naylor 07 Oct 10 - 06:08 PM
TheSnail 07 Oct 10 - 07:03 PM
Backwoodsman 08 Oct 10 - 04:05 AM
Richard Bridge 08 Oct 10 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,Amy Taylor 08 Oct 10 - 04:55 AM
Hesk 08 Oct 10 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,Amy Taylor 08 Oct 10 - 05:49 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 10 - 05:57 AM
Les in Chorlton 08 Oct 10 - 06:11 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 10 - 07:40 AM
Howard Jones 08 Oct 10 - 08:38 AM
Gedi 08 Oct 10 - 08:49 AM
GUEST 08 Oct 10 - 09:13 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Oct 10 - 10:19 AM
TheSnail 08 Oct 10 - 10:25 AM
GUEST 08 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM
GUEST 08 Oct 10 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Dave 08 Oct 10 - 10:46 AM
Brian Peters 08 Oct 10 - 11:25 AM
Phil Edwards 08 Oct 10 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Dorothy Peterson 11 Oct 10 - 09:41 AM
mattkeen 11 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Gary Keeper 12 Oct 10 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,glueman 12 Oct 10 - 03:38 AM
mattkeen 12 Oct 10 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Alex 12 Oct 10 - 05:58 AM
mattkeen 12 Oct 10 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,folkiedave 12 Oct 10 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,Pete Flood 12 Oct 10 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Ed 12 Oct 10 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,Jack The Shed 12 Oct 10 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Appleseed 12 Oct 10 - 09:33 AM
GUEST 12 Oct 10 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,pete flood 12 Oct 10 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Dorothy Peterson 12 Oct 10 - 10:03 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 12 Oct 10 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,Sam Sweeney 12 Oct 10 - 10:28 AM
Manitas_at_home 12 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Pete Flood 12 Oct 10 - 10:53 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 12 Oct 10 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,JM 12 Oct 10 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,Dorothy Peterson 12 Oct 10 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,Dorothy Peterson 12 Oct 10 - 11:20 AM
Richard Bridge 12 Oct 10 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 12 Oct 10 - 11:48 AM
theleveller 12 Oct 10 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Pete Flood 12 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,Foul Ole Ron 12 Oct 10 - 12:17 PM
GUEST 12 Oct 10 - 12:26 PM
S.T.M. 12 Oct 10 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 12 Oct 10 - 12:35 PM
Tim Leaning 12 Oct 10 - 12:37 PM
Will Fly 12 Oct 10 - 12:37 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 12 Oct 10 - 12:45 PM
Chris Green 12 Oct 10 - 01:27 PM
Tim Leaning 12 Oct 10 - 01:46 PM
The Borchester Echo 12 Oct 10 - 02:21 PM
Brian Peters 12 Oct 10 - 02:38 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 12 Oct 10 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,Lakey Hill 12 Oct 10 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,irritable guy 12 Oct 10 - 03:42 PM
Ruth Archer 12 Oct 10 - 04:26 PM
Phil Edwards 12 Oct 10 - 04:49 PM
Phil Edwards 12 Oct 10 - 04:56 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 12 Oct 10 - 05:41 PM
Ruth Archer 12 Oct 10 - 05:46 PM
Phil Edwards 12 Oct 10 - 06:02 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 12 Oct 10 - 06:08 PM
Richard Bridge 12 Oct 10 - 06:09 PM
Herga Kitty 12 Oct 10 - 06:09 PM
Big Mick 12 Oct 10 - 06:12 PM
John MacKenzie 12 Oct 10 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,folkiedave (Dave Eyre) 12 Oct 10 - 07:45 PM
Jack Campin 12 Oct 10 - 07:49 PM
Suegorgeous 12 Oct 10 - 07:50 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Oct 10 - 09:08 PM
andrew e 13 Oct 10 - 03:16 AM
theleveller 13 Oct 10 - 03:36 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Oct 10 - 04:05 AM
GUEST,Banjiman without cookies 13 Oct 10 - 04:16 AM
raymond greenoaken 13 Oct 10 - 04:35 AM
Ian Hendrie 13 Oct 10 - 04:44 AM
Howard Jones 13 Oct 10 - 05:00 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Oct 10 - 05:12 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Oct 10 - 05:22 AM
mattkeen 13 Oct 10 - 05:29 AM
Dave Sutherland 13 Oct 10 - 05:41 AM
GUEST,Lowden J 13 Oct 10 - 05:59 AM
TheSnail 13 Oct 10 - 06:06 AM
Ralphie 13 Oct 10 - 06:38 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Oct 10 - 07:46 AM
GUEST,Jack The Shed 13 Oct 10 - 07:52 AM
Ralphie 13 Oct 10 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Jack The Shed 13 Oct 10 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,Irritableguy 13 Oct 10 - 08:58 AM
GUEST 13 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Neil D 13 Oct 10 - 09:07 AM
Les in Chorlton 13 Oct 10 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Neil 13 Oct 10 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Jerry Simon 13 Oct 10 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Julie Hindley 13 Oct 10 - 06:04 PM
Backwoodsman 14 Oct 10 - 02:38 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 14 Oct 10 - 04:21 AM
GUEST,Ed 14 Oct 10 - 04:27 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 14 Oct 10 - 04:46 AM
Rob Naylor 14 Oct 10 - 04:50 AM
Backwoodsman 14 Oct 10 - 04:53 AM
TheSnail 14 Oct 10 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,johnp 14 Oct 10 - 12:47 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Oct 10 - 03:06 PM
VirginiaTam 15 Oct 10 - 05:20 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 15 Oct 10 - 05:46 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 15 Oct 10 - 06:10 PM
The Sandman 15 Oct 10 - 06:27 PM
The Sandman 15 Oct 10 - 06:29 PM
The Sandman 15 Oct 10 - 06:38 PM
Tim Leaning 16 Oct 10 - 10:04 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 16 Oct 10 - 10:20 AM
VirginiaTam 16 Oct 10 - 01:33 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 Oct 10 - 07:42 AM
VirginiaTam 17 Oct 10 - 08:11 AM
TheSnail 17 Oct 10 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Adam Smith 17 Oct 10 - 08:43 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 Oct 10 - 09:54 AM
TheSnail 17 Oct 10 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,Adam Smith 17 Oct 10 - 10:10 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 Oct 10 - 10:52 AM
TheSnail 17 Oct 10 - 11:21 AM
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Subject: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 05:19 AM

I hope that GUEST, Catherine Foster will forgive me for hijacking her comments in the Peter Bellamy thread, in order to examine her theme here. To quote you, Catherine, you said:
    ... Shrewsbury FF is a FOLK FESTIVAL. It appeals to folkies and within those hallowed, insular walls each and every one of them can feel comforted that their mediocre tradition is safe in the hands of the even more mediocre Kerr, Fagan, Sartin, Hield, Kerfuffle, Causley etc. A more dull and less exciting, forward looking event would be hard to find.

    You may want to bring up the Afro Celts. Christ so would I. More pretentious than Bellowhead (and that's saying something), but musically inferior.

    It was folkie through and through with a capital F. What upsets me so much is that this is music that our entire nation should be celebrating and as long as we present it in this kind of way, Joe Public isn't going to sit up and take notice. No other nation would stand for their traditional music being treated as such.

Whenever I see comments like this in Mudcat or any other forum, I immediately think "beauty is in the ear of the listener". Whether you love or hate a band like Bellowhead (for example), your preference tells us more about you than it does about Bellowhead.

I find it interesting that you believe that the music of a "mediocre tradition" is "music that our entire nation should be celebrating". I've never believed, and never will, that the nation should be celebrating anything - particularly one genre of music. I've just had a thorough read of "The Imagined Village", as it happens, and the subverting of a musical genre - traditional song and dance in this case - to the differing "national" ideals of people like Sharp, Karpeles, Gardiner et al is definitely not to my taste.

The fact, whether you like it or not, is that traditional music - by which I mean tunes as well as songs - is strong enough and well enough as a recorded and documented body of music to withstand any periodic variations in performance, presentation, arrangement, interpretation, adaptation and augmentation. Decrying current trends in all these matters is to miss the point. The music exists in its own right, and no amount of proselytising for one trend or another will make a huge amount of difference, in our wired world, to its popularity or otherwise.

As it happens I almost never attend folk festivals, preferring on the whole to get my fix of traditional tunes from sessions which, because of the different people who attend, are each unique in flavour. However, it does seem rather pointless to belabour a folk festival because it appeals to "folkies" - whatever you mean by that word. I'd be interested to hear how you think traditional music should be presented, and what music you would include in the presentation. A difficult question to answer, I'm afraid, without starting up yet another tedious debate of the "what is folk music" type.

I should add that my personal musical tastes are extremely wide and that, as far as traditional music is concerned, I much prefer tunes to songs. Interestingly, the tune "canon", for want of a better word, has a much more fluid boundary than the song "canon". I recently picked up a book of fiddle tunes composed by the fiddler James Hill from the Bagpipe Museum in Morpeth - tunes arranged for small pipes keys, of course. The interesting word here is "composed". The tunes are either his tunes or ones that he was known for regularly playing - so a mixture of old and new. So I have no objection to the "canon" being added to.

I have to say, though, that after a quick listen to the Mumfords and Marling on Spotify, I'd rather have a couple of minutes of Elvis singing "Let's Play House", or Billy Briggs spitting his way through "Chew Tobacco Rag" than them. Which, of course, says more about me than the Mumfords and Marling...


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 05:28 AM

Hear, hear, Will.

Those who do like Bellowhead may be interested to know that there's a 'Bellowhead Special' on Radio 2's Mike Harding Show this week.

And no, that wasn't an invitation to tell the world how crap you think Mike Harding is. If you can do better, do it. And give me a link to your podcast...

Ed


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 05:40 AM

Well said Will.

As for Bellowhead, I have a number of their CDs and they are ....... very good but I find Bellowhead live very exciting, as I do Whapweasel, Duncan McFarlane, The Boat Band, Peat Bog Faries and erm lots of others.

Bellowhead on CD cannot match what they do live because ......... well they just are amazing live. But i don't expect everybody else to like them

L in C#


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,gluemania
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 05:45 AM

I agree with Catherine's broader point and like Bellowhead. There aren't nearly enough show bands doing old-style acoustic music and they're a very tight combo. A good night out, especially with beer. Is there a higher accolade?
On everything else Catherine was right.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 05:53 AM

On everything else Catherine was right.

Well, I would like to see some evidence for her views and some practical options for change. Mere assertion is nothing.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Acorn4
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 05:56 AM

I can't think of many folk bands LESS pretentious than Bellowhead!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: theleveller
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 06:10 AM

I think Ms Foster's statement is utterly stupid and ignorant. She may as well have said "I went to a Beer Festival and it was full of beer drinkers and I couldn't get a decent glass of wine".

BTW, how can a tradition be 'mediocre' or otherwise?

OK, she didn't like the music - so what kind of folk music does she like (if any)?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 06:19 AM

Looking at the posting history, it's clearly obvious that 'GUEST,Catherine Foster ', and GUEST,gluemania are the same person.

Quite why he/she has created these personae, I do not know.

As others have said, what would you do better?

Ed


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 06:43 AM

Ed: Gluemania is Glueman with and extra "ia" and has a much longer posting history than CF. And a totally different writing style.

I doubt we'll see CF again. I think she came in to blow off a little steam and has gone again. Whilst she's totally entitled to her opinions, right or wrong, about various players from the folk world, I do wonder why someone would complain that a FOLK festival is "folkie through and through"... what did she expect to hear? Death metal? X-factor pop? And as several people have rightly pointed out, why should we expect the entire nation to be celebrating a form of music that has all but died out as a vernacular idiom and is now the preserve of relatively small pockets of hobbyists and enthusiasts?

I'm also entertained and slightly perturbed by the line, "No other nation would stand for their traditional music being treated as such". I think when we get into the realms of a "national" traditional music, we get onto dangerous territory where folk music becomes subservient to the narrow, usually jingoistic political ends that people who concern themselves with notions like "national music" want it to serve. And in any case, many of the traditional songs and tunes of the British Isles are regional rather than national, whilst others transcend boundaries and are shared parts of say the English, Scottish and Irish traditions. It's even more fluid for tunes, what with the cross pollination with Scandinavian and French traditions, for example. And talking of the French, I'm not convinced that outside of Brittany or medieval re-enactment events, its that easy to come across traditional music being played, and god knows I've tried. In comparison, the UK traditional music scenes are very healthy.

In an earlier post on the Bellamy thread, CF invoked the names of Laura Marling and Mumford and Sons. If this is her alternative vision, I suspect she's missing the point. Nothing wrong with acoustic singer songwriters and acoustic indie-pop per se, but its a different sort of music to folk (though there's obviously a little cross fertilisation)... and these two are far from the best examples of either.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Howard Jones
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 06:54 AM

Well, it is a FOLK festival so to complain about it being too folky seems to rather miss the point.

So how should it be presented in such a way that "Joe Public" will sit up and take notice? It seems to me the usual approach is either to present the music in the latest "modern" style, or bland MoR by the likes of Foster & Allen. I find neither appeals to me very much.

However I think Catherine is unduly pessimistic. There is a young generation of performers trying new and different things - not always to my taste, either, but that's not the point. More importantly, the internet has allowed young people to be far exploratory where music is concerned and their tastes are probably much wider and less tribal than their parents' were. These are very likely to include folk in some form (although possibly, Jim, not as we know it). My own 20 year old son, who expresses considerable distaste for the sort of folk I play, seems to like the Mumfords, so I suppose there's a faint hope for him.

The reality is that folk music is never going to be part of the mainstream. However the same can be said for many forms of music, including sub-genres within "popular" music. I don't see it as a problem. It might be nice for it to attract the attention and money that other genres do, but then it probably wouldn't be folk, and we'd could lose much of what we find most attractive about it. Many of us like it for the very reasons which make it unattractive to "Joe Public".


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,gloomman
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 06:54 AM

I think we all know what Catherine Foster meant. As a fairly regular festival attendee I identified with a certain wetness CF alluded to, though not with all her targets, some of whom I enjoy. Jim Causely may well be the fin de siecle Val Doonican and Bellowhead the Barron Knights of the nu-tradition but I own albums by both.

She was having a good rant and getting the usual targets frothing and we applaud her for it. As far as I know, I am not, nor ever have been, Ms Foster.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 07:07 AM

Oh, I don't know, Oh Gloomy One - I'm not particularly frothy. Just curious as to what could have provoked such a reaction to a folk festival, and equally curious as to what she considers to be the remedy. As for applauding froth-raising, I don't think a general "we" may be the case... Or is it the royal "we" you're using? :-)


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: theleveller
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 07:14 AM

Errr...does the royal wee create a lot of froth? And how do you know?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Foul Ole Ron
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 07:22 AM

If you ask me not that you woudl do this 'Catherine Foster' is an obvious speudonym pepople come on the Cat all the time using these unimgaginative psuedunyms and write provocative nonsenes to get pepole wound up its the oldest trick in the book. Don't feed the trolls is what i say not that you asked. Millneeniumm hand and shrimp.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 07:25 AM

In 1812, physicians caring for England's "Mad" King George III reported a bluish tinge to the King's urine that left "a pale blue ring upon the glass near the upper surface".

Blue blood and blue wee. No mention of froth though...


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 07:26 AM

In 1812, physicians caring for England's "Mad" King George III reported a bluish tinge to the King's urine that left "a pale blue ring upon the glass near the upper surface".

Blue blood and blue wee. No mention of froth though...


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,gluer
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 07:40 AM

Ms Foster didn't appear to be trolling, though it's hard to be sure. She seemed to have a solid grasp on what she expected from a folk festival, which is more than can be said for most of us (well, er...me) and what she found didn't meet with her approval. Dunno why people think she expected heavy metal, perhaps she expected something 'folkier'.

When I first posted I was accused of trolling, so have a natural empathy with spontaneous responses. Weight of words rarely leads to enlightenment, much less truth.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Foul Ole Ron
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 07:52 AM

altrenatively perhaps you actaully were trolling, ie posting stuff that was bound towind people up. Me i never find it that ahrd to tell when someone wants to discuss stuff and when they just want to say "this stfuf is all rbuish and youre all idiots for liking it". It's quit e abig difference if you ask me not that you woudl.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 07:57 AM

It's internally self-contradictory tripe, and gives no clue what Ms Foster would have wanted. It contains about as much sense as putting a rant like that in the Peter Bellamy thread. That said, it has made me consider whether it might be worth going next year.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Old Vermin
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 07:59 AM

No way would I call, say, Paul Sartin mediocre. Of those listed, I've heard him much the most and he's bloody good. Likewise Bellowhead are excellent fun, and are the better for it. I deduce trolling or a very 'interesting' set of tastes.



Really wouldn't worry about it.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,gluest
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 08:01 AM

ican ausure u Ron missis foster and me arentt he sam persone.

Besides, being wound up is not compulsory. Traditional certainly, but not an inevitable consequence of different views.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: RTim
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 08:27 AM

As someone who has been involved with "Folk" music for over 40 years and have a very wide appreciation of many styles, I find this thread interesting.
I have never been a fan of Peter Bellemy, but we live in a broad church and I have no problem that others loved him.
Similarly, I can't say I like Bellowhead, but I haven't seen them live!
But if they are liked by many, so be it, there is still plenty to love within our music.
And that is what I really love - it is or can be OUR music, we can contribute at many levels.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 09:41 AM

I try to set a standard at the Beech which others can rarely get below. This is not a popular strategy in some quarters but it has it's strong points

L in C#


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 10:55 AM

Lc. Good 4 u. :-)


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: treewind
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 02:11 PM

I'd like to see Catherine Foster give a specific example of what or who she thinks is good in folk music (whether from this country or another) so we can get an idea of where she's coming from.

It's one thing to write off various luminaries of the folk scene as dull, pretentious or unmusical, but you haven't really nailed your colours to the mast until you've had the courage to nominate something or someone that does get your enthusiastic approval, and thereby created some sort of scale of comparison.

(And be prepared to be challenged by dissenters, of course.)

Otherwise there's nothing to discuss: It's just a re-statement of Sturgeon's Law.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 02:35 PM

I think Bellowhead are horrible. But then, I've only seen them live once and not heard their album(s). If I met any of them in a dark alley and they smiled smugly at me I may just have to tread on their toes.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: squeezyjohn
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 05:11 AM

Thanks Continuity!

A threat of violence because we've chosen to make some music that you can choose to listen to or not? I'd say that was probably a bit of an over-reaction.

John Spiers

;-)       <- my attempt at a smug smile to see if it's true


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 05:23 AM

Funny how some threads go quiet suddenly...


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 05:25 AM

B*ll*cks, I thought John's message was dated yesterday, so my own smug sarcasm ended up with poo all over it. Just as well I am not pretentious. Pas moi!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Rain Dog
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 05:44 AM

Are you typing at me?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 05:53 AM

I would say to anyone - anyone at all folkie or none folkie - go and see Bellowhead they are very exciting, very accomplished and original.

I have enjoyed other groups and individuals more but so what.

On here we say go and see xxxxxx - you will enjoy them.

Go and see Bellowhead, Duncan McFarlane, The Boat Band, Calan, Chris Wood, Les Barker ...... their are hundreds of great singers and groups to be enjoyed.

What is the point of saying I didn't like yyyyyy? That conversation is going nowhere.

L in C#


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 05:56 AM

For those that care to read my original post in this thread, can I repeat that Bellowhead was used as purely as an example of the love/hate relationship of music to individuals. In other words, if you say you detest the music of Nic Jones - for example - I believe it says more about you than the music of Nic Jones. Gerrit? I thought it was sufficiently clear in the original post that the thread was about far more than the music of one particular performer or performers. But then some people just don't read threads thoroughly. The thread title is a quote from another post... sigh!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 06:04 AM

I'm sorry, Will, if my initial response made it a 'Bellowhead' thread.

But such is the nature of conversing online...


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 06:10 AM

No Ed - 'twas not a pop at ee!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 06:58 AM

Why does disliking a performer tell you more about the person doing the disliking? The folk revival is predicated on a reaction to the commercial music around at the time, the whole thing was created by 'haters'.
I happen to think Bellowhead are a good night out but I reserve the right to dislike all kinds of music and musicians for all kinds of reasons. The woman whose quote triggered this thread was cheesed off with what she heard, her tastes may not be honed to the revival or she may have a very elevated musical palate. Either way it's her right to gob off on an internet forum. That's what it's there for, unless someone knows different?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 07:17 AM

I don't believe there are absolutes in music, or any other kind of art (which is not another way of saying there are no standards), and that to say what you don't like is some guide to what you do like.

Read the post quoted again - it's at the top of this thread. It contains the words:

...the even more mediocre Kerr, Fagan, Sartin, Hield, Kerfuffle, Causley etc. ... You may want to bring up the Afro Celts. Christ so would I. More pretentious than Bellowhead (and that's saying something), but musically inferior.

This is not just saying you don't like something - of course anyone can like or dislike whatever they want to - it's saying that the music is mediocre and/or pretentious. But disliking something and saying it's pretentious is not the same thing, and the two may not be logically connected. One man's pretention may be another's avant garde...

If you believe that something is mediocre and/or pretentious, you should be able to justify it, rather than just assert it, and you might want to offer an alternative "something" to make your point. But to say - for example - "the artist James McNeill whistler is total crap" is a totally subjective and meaningless statement. And it does give an indication of what you and your critical faculties might be like.

And of course you can "gob off" - but what's the point?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 07:20 AM

Dead god, glueman.

I can only be thankful that I'm not as bitter as you. I don't have time to refute your ridiculous assertions, as I'm going out.

Take a 'chill pill' as modern parlance has it.

Ed


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 07:28 AM

"the whole thing was created by 'haters'"

This simply isn't true.

L in C#


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 07:46 AM

No, it isn't universally true Les, but like most stereotypes, there's something in it. My observation of the 60s revival, i.e. the one most people still alive hooked on to, is that it was indeed a reactionary movement.
As for bitter Ed, on the contrary. A neater summary of my position is I find most live and recorded folk music a bit derivative in performance terms, mediocre if you like. One of the things Bellowhead are not, is derivative, or at least derivative of what the man in the street's expectation of folk music might be. Which is no doubt one of the reasons why they enjoy commercial success and some posters want to step on their toes.

The fact is music appreciation in the UK has been factionalised as long as I can remember, so let's not feign outrage because someone says like/dislike without a thesis behind their caprice.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 08:07 AM

It's not a question of "feigning outrage" because of a stated like or dislike. I'm rarely outraged these days.

The point I'm (obviously laboriously) trying to make is that, if you choose to insult somebody on a discussion board by calling their music dull or pretentious or inferior or mediocre - particularly a board which the persons concerned are likely to read - then some justification for the insult might be a reasonable thing to do. I thought John Spiers' wry comment here was very restrained.

I wouldn't call differences in musical taste "factionalised", either. Of course there are differences in taste - there always have been and always will be - but, so what?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Brian Peters
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 08:12 AM

"the whole thing was created by 'haters'"

No - it was created by music lovers, many of whom had very broad tastes. There was to some extent an anti-capitalist agenda - Lloyd and MacColl liked to draw a distinction between 'folk' and 'commercial' music - but even that hid a more nuanced analysis when it came to, for instance, commercial recordings of old country music.

"let's not feign outrage because someone says like/dislike without a thesis behind their caprice"

If Catherine Foster has the right to "gob off" on this forum then people are entitled to gob back. Far from outrage, the counter arguments merely invited her to say what she does like. The odd thing about her original post was that it took aim specifically at the younger generation. So perhaps she's a Critics' Group diehard? Seriously, anyone who thinks Nancy Kerr or Paul Sartin are "no better than eager amateurs" is grinding some kind of axe.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 08:24 AM

"The whole thing was created by 'haters'"

Obviously, as a mere slip of a middle-aged man, I wasn't around at the height of the folk revival in the sixties and seventies. But I've read plenty of books that cover it (most recently "Dazzling Stranger" - the Bert Jansch biography - and "Electric Eden" by Rob Young) and listened to plenty of the wonderful albums this era produced. I can't see how the likes of Bert Jansch, Nic Jones, Mr Fox, Anne Briggs, Shirley Collins, Peter Bellmay etc etc could possibly be described as "haters" - all sorts of human emotions are present in their work, but that's not the immediate one that springs to mind. I've sure the same could be said of most of the people who got pleasure from listening to their records or seeing them perform.

And in my admittedly local experience of people who were around at the height of the revival and are still involved in singarounds and folk events now, again I cannot possibly attatch the word "haters" to them. The one thing that shines more strongly than anything else is the absolute joy and pleasure singing, playing and listening to this music gives them. The thing is, it's all too easy to issue a blanket dismissal people online and forget we're dealing with real people with all their individual strengths and foibles.

So I'm with Les on this one.

I would respectfully suggest, G, that you're conflating the pig-headed views of a small handful of Mudcat contributors with the participants in the revival as a whole.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 08:27 AM

4 star review for the new album in The Guardian.

This album is clever and enormous fun. - no mention of pretentiousness funnily enough ...


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 08:29 AM

We haven't booked all of the people on the list - Kerr, Fagan, Sartin, Hield, Kerfuffle, Causley - yet. But when we have booked some of them, the room has been generally packed out with people we don't see the rest of the time. Joe Public seems to be sitting up, standing up and hanging out the windows to take notice.

We've booked Boden and Spiers as well with the same result.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 08:30 AM

Well, I was around - and performing in folk clubs - in the mid-60s and for a few years after. In the north and in London, mainly, and I met and jammed with quite a few of the performers of that time. And, as the esteemed Spleen says, all that was ever cared about was the music - and having a good time.

As you can see, I'm now very old and may have shortly to be put down for being an old '60s folk luvvie... In my defence, I should add that I also spent 10 years playing mainstream jazz, 13 in a 1950s rock'n roll band and 15 in a New Orleans/Memphis soul funk'n boogie band.

It's a good life if you don't strengthen.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 08:32 AM

Well as CF disappeared we shall never know. I do wonder why Bellowhead raise such ire on this board? Their musicianship and that of many new folk acts is beyond reproach, B'head members could do a fair impression of a Stax house band or a string quartet but choose English vernacular as their route.
Perhaps their accomplishment and versatility leads folkies to believe they're on their territory? Posters are fully entitled to ask her for an explanation of someone's viewpoint, but in the end its taste with varying degrees of erudition to back up the fancy, and CF's broadside shouldn't mark her out as less informed, neither should being informed matter a toss to appreciation.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Howard Jones
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 08:47 AM

glueman, I'm more interested in your assertion that you "find most live and recorded folk music a bit derivative in performance terms" Derivative of what? Derivative of a certain style? "Folk" in its wider sense is defined as much by style of performance as it is by anything, so surely that is to be expected?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 09:11 AM

the pig-headed views of a small handful of Mudcat contributors

Could I respectfully suggest that when people posting elsewhere start pointing fingers at those awful, closed-minded, reactionary Mudcatters, posters on Mudcat refrain from joining in?

I've already pointed out the sad irony in Joan Crump and Ian Anderson rejecting the "not like those boring old folkies" shtick with which new acts are perpetually garlanded, then reviving it in the next breath so as to hang the BOF label on Mudcatters. It saddens and annoys me to see fRoots 'othering' Mudcat, so I certainly don't want to see Mudcat posters 'othering' this mysterious small handful of nasty people. Apart from anything else, who knows who Ian or Joan - or Spleen, for that matter - has in mind?

Department of Curious And Doubtless Meaningless Coincidences:

Ian Anderson, 3/10 3.52: the typical Mudcat braindead who think they know everything but don't really know anything about anything and have beans in their ears, the ones who rarely contribute anything to the scene other than the foetid air of kneejerk renta-opinions

Ian Anderson, 3/10 5.02: I'm sure most readers will know exactly who I mean (by name and by type). Hence Joan's earlier remark. At least four of them are among the half dozen banned here for variations on offensive trolling.

fRoots forum registration page, 6/10: "Sorry, but this e-mail address has been banned."

I've written to the admin asking if they can explain (or, better still, unban). In the mean time, I'm finding it a bit hard to give remarks like Ian's the charitable reading which they probably deserve.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Brian Peters
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 09:18 AM

"I do wonder why Bellowhead raise such ire on this board? Their musicianship and that of many new folk acts is beyond reproach"

One poster on this thread said they were "horrible". Another didn't care much for what he'd heard, but was prepared to give them another chance. Everyone else defended them. Most of the other comments I've ever read on here about Bellowhead have been positive.

The person who was really rude about Bellowhead and several other new folk acts was, of course, Catherine Foster. Yet you value her opinions so much, you offered to buy her a pint. Curious.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 09:43 AM

What I admired BP, is her willingness to voice a strong opinion without feeling the desire to elaborate. Most of the stuff that passes itself off as judgement, even discernment on Mudcat, is opinion in a frilly hat. I like Bellowhead enough to attend their concerts and buy their albums while respecting the opinion of those who might think Bellowhead are a complete crock. What makes my heart sink is the direct or covert inference that the folk revival is a branch of history. It's a genre, no more, no less and as such you like it or you don't.

I may have indirectly answered your question Howard, but it'd proven to my satisfaction that a lot of folk music performances (we won't argue numbers) are versions of earlier revival performances. How much that matters depends largely on how much value one attributes to the original (sic) delivery.
I feel I know what the poster meant by Bellowhead having pretentions, I happen not to be disturbed by what they are pretending to, which is a modern spin on some old classics.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 09:51 AM

I meant to add that the anti-Bellowhead, or indeed anti-Unthank, anti-Causely or anti-any-other-young-bugger, goes back a lot further on Mudcat than this thread.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Yvonne
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 10:12 AM

Jealousy....pure and simple.

The individual members of Bellowhead and Nancy Kerr, Jim Causley etc are immenseley talented, young and beautiful....enough to get up the nose of any nasty, vindictive, grumpy git (of which there are many) on here!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 10:20 AM

Alright Rachel, you scrub up pretty well, no need to gloat.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 10:21 AM

enough to get up the nose of any nasty, vindictive, grumpy git (of which there are many) on here!

Are you calling Catherine Foster a nasty, vindictive, grumpy git?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: theleveller
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM

"The individual members of Bellowhead and Nancy Kerr, Jim Causley etc are immenseley talented, young and beautiful...."

You're right. I hate you! HATE YOU! HATE HATE HATE YOU!!!!! (Sob!)


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 10:37 AM

Don't worry, Leveller - you can be like me: old, ugly - and immensely talented...

(Gets coat).


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 10:58 AM

"Are you calling Catherine Foster a nasty, vindictive, grumpy git?"
I'd be more inclined to call her/him a WUM who has achieved exactly what they set out to do.
From her initial postings on the Bellamy thread I suspect that this person is a newcomer to the scene who quite possibly has only been to the one festival as all the artiste she lists were on at Shrewsbury.
Is the autumn the season for trolls and WUMs?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 11:32 AM

Catherine Foster wrote "... Shrewsbury FF is a FOLK FESTIVAL. It appeals to folkies and within those hallowed, insular walls each and every one of them can feel comforted that their mediocre tradition is safe in the hands of the even more mediocre Kerr, Fagan, Sartin, Hield, Kerfuffle, Causley etc."

Well, folks, I find it odd that Catherine, who seems to despise folk music, can rattle off so many names. If she doesn't like it, why is she so absorbed in it?

(I, for example, dislike rock music. I don't listen, I don't pay attention to it, and I could name you only one rock musician. Jim Morrison. For some reason I've heard of Jim Morrison. He's dead, I believe.)

I can think of only one reason for Catherine to dislike the music but know all the people. And that is that she's employed in the business. She's somebody's agent, girlfriend, publicist, or roadie. And as such she has a hidden agenda. I don't know what it is, but I'm prepared to ignore her opinions of music.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: theleveller
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 11:33 AM

"Don't worry, Leveller - you can be like me: old, ugly - and immensely talented..."

Well, two out of three - unfortunately, not the right two!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: theleveller
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 11:34 AM

Er, me that is, Will - not you!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Catherine Foster
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 11:41 AM

Hello,

Sorry I haven't responded sooner, but I have been without internet access for a while. I'm surprised but heartened to see my posts (tirades) have encouraged such reaction. In reply to some comments

I didn't mean to single Bellowhead out specifically, although they do seem to be flavour of the month at the moment. Must be the new record. In fact on the whole their collective ensemble seems to have more musical ability than most - I'm not sure individually I can say the same though.

I don't think the tradition is mediocre (yet), although if it continues to be curated by out of touch, defensive historians and isn't challenged then it certainly has the potential to be (and I don't believe it's being challenged at the moment)

When I describe the musicians I did as mediocre (and there are many more to add to that list) I stand by that. This scene encourages below standard music making and, at it's best, is no better than the eager amateur. Those lucky enough to be able to headline a folk festival are still only at the top of a rather sad and undernourished tree. It's all relative. They would not cut it in any other genre (in my opinion).

I love English traditional music and am exceptionally passionate about it, I just think the current scene is so full of itself and happy to accept the level of performance presently available that it is in more danger than ever of being consigned to history (regardless of this new "revival" the media likes to pat it on the head for)

To clarify, I'm not jealous, vindictive a WUM (whatever that is) or a troll. I am involved in the music business, but not directly with folk music. I am however disillusioned and thus sightly grumpy


Catherine


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 11:47 AM

"if it continues to be curated by out of touch, defensive historians"

Kinda curious on this. Are you referring to those people more generally who voluntarily organise school days and traditional music workshops and the like, or the EFDSS in particular, or else those who organise bigger events such as the folk festival that irked you?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 11:49 AM

I thought I'd do a bit of Googling.

'With her gleaming and powerful voice Catherine Foster is a truly impressive Brunhilde'

Is that you?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 11:50 AM

"I am involved in the music business..."

I thought so.

Catherine, if you love English traditional music, why don't you share your love by providing links, posting lyrics and tunes, discussing performers you enjoy?

I love music, and that's what I do.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Howard Jones
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 11:52 AM

Catherine, glad to see you're back and contributing to this debate.

In what way are folk musicians mediocre, and what would you have them do differently?

And in what ways would you like to see the tradition "challenged"?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 11:55 AM

I concur, I'd be good if Catherine would be willing to share contrasts to the music which she found unsatisfying. Are there any artists (past or present) who've really nailed traditional English music for you?
Not being antagonistic here.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 11:55 AM

WUM = Wind Up Merchant


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Meggly
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 11:58 AM

And I would be interested to hear which genre of music the top-of-their-game folk musos wouldn't stand up against and why. As this is an opinion that has been reasserted.

If we're talking about the technically intricate opera world then it's perhaps an unfair, impossible and pointless comparison; are we expecting N. Kerr, or E. Carthy to warble like a soprano here? If we're talking pop, then I'd be interested in what it is about folk musicians that doesn't stack up in a genre that has a range of abilities and talent and that is often manufactured to sound polished.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 12:00 PM

Thank you for returning, Catherine. I took the liberty of starting a separate thread with quotations from your post, not only because I thought it not appropriate to start hijacking a post dedicated to the memory of Peter Bellamy, but also because I was personally interested in receiving some positive riposte from you. Positive in that you would give some reasons for your criticism of the music, and that you would suggest your options for matters such as repertoire, performance, etc.

As I said in my first post in this thread, pure dislike on its own is easy to write, but tells us nothing other than the personal dislike.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 12:18 PM

Catherine:

curated by out of touch, defensive historians

Not sure what you mean. Who can you recommend as having done work you wouldn't regard as out of touch and defensive?

When I describe the musicians I did as mediocre (and there are many more to add to that list)

Please don't. I'd be much more interested to know who you think is better than mediocre.

I love English traditional music and am exceptionally passionate about it

Tell us more. Who was the last performer (active, retired or dead) that you raved about?

And who do you think is less pretentious than Bellowhead?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 12:23 PM

I try not to think of music in genres. For me Tunes & songs are either good or bad, I like it or I don't. Even when I was listening to 'mainstream' music I hopped between genres and bands. I've got eclectic tastes me.
(btw. I'm a bellowhead fan)

regards,
a yoof


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 12:54 PM

No "For me Tunes & songs are either good or bad," No idea what this means

Yes "I like it or I don't" That's all their is it either does something for you or it doesn't

L in C#


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 12:59 PM

From 'Catherine'

"..Those lucky enough to be able to headline a folk festival are still only at the top of a rather sad and undernourished tree. It's all relative. They would not cut it in any other genre (in my opinion)..."


Considering you're supposedly working in the music industry, you sure do talk out of a lacking-in-fabulous-musical-knowledge-arse.

Some...no...MANY of the BEST musicians in this country,(UK) and in other countries too, lie within the Folk World.   It makes me hugely angry that so many of them are ignored or almost completely unheard of *outside* the Folk World...and that they have to put up with such vitriolic nastiness from ignorant prats.

May I politely suggest you go and find out about some of the most wonderful musicians, singers and songwriters in this country (and others), before you make any more insulting and ludicrously stupid comments.

And, hey, you don't 'cut it' in my opinion either.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 01:06 PM

"from ignorant prats. .. May I politely suggest"

Umm, LC.. you might want to review that statement ;-)


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 01:29 PM

Quite right...

"from ignorant prats....May I *im*politely suggest..."


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 01:34 PM

And with all due respect, CS, I've probably written about more Folk Musicians than you've had hot dinners....got more folks interested in much of this music too...

I still mourn the loss of the 'live' chat that used to take place on the BBC F&A board way back, during BBC Radio Derby's 'Folkwaves' programme...got 'em all buzzing along to that...Such a great pity that so many of the Pretentious Ones became so locked into getting me silenced, rather than joining me in shouting out loud about such brilliant music, played by so many incredible musicians...A damn shame, but heyho, such was their intent..


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 01:36 PM

Catherine, your comments are welcome. I happen to think you used a blunderbuss where a few well aimed rifle shots would have served better. Welcome to the board.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 01:39 PM

"And with all due respect, CS, I've probably written about more Folk Musicians than you've had hot dinners....got more folks interested in much of this music too..."


Are you STARTING something LC?
Huh, are YOU???

..calm down there missy - only pulling your pig tails!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 01:39 PM

Eh, Lizzie, and with respect, I honestly don't think vituperation adds anything to the debate. Now that Catherine seems to have reappeared on the thread, we should let her respond properly.

A robust musical genre like traditional music is surely strong enough to be the subject of an open debate.

I'm reminded of the attitude of a Naval captain during the 2nd World War, when an enemy plane dropped leaflets exhorting the crew to mutiny. One of his officers asked if the leaflets should be collected up and destroyed as quickly as possible. "Of course not", was the reply, "put them up on the mess notice boards so everyone can see 'em".


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 02:27 PM

"vituperation" Ooh, Will, that's my Word of the Day! :0)

No need to show me respect, Will, purely 'cos I didn't show any to 'Catherine', but thanks anyway...

Personally, I think 'Catherine' is winding you all up something spectacular...and folks who say what she did about the folk world and make derogatory remarks about their talent don't get any respect from me...

Hell to good manners when folks are being deliberately offensive to highly talented people who have to struggle so hard to get their music out there, because 'folks' like 'Catherine' are so snootytooty about something which they know nothing about.


OK, I'll relent...just a tad..

Welcome to Mudcat 'Catherine' but hell, what the fuck are you even doing here if you think English folk musicians are crap??????


There ya go...

;0)


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 02:59 PM

On the subject of mixing genres, and ability... would just like to point out that Paul Sartin (for one) is a classically trained musician who was a choral scholar and chorister at Oxford when he discovered the English folk scene (and Ian Giles) in an Oxford pub.... and whose singing style changed dramatically as a result.

Some of us came to folk music via skiffle, some (including eg Martin Carthy and Moira Craig) can read the dots and sang in choirs when we were young.

If you're used to classically trained singers singing folk songs you might have difficulty adjusting to people who haven't been classically trained. But I now cringe when I hear famous classical singers' versions of folk songs. (Apart, possibly from Kathleen Ferrier singing Blow the Wind Southerly, but that's just because I like Kathleen Ferrier and it was played at my dad's funeral.)

Kitty

Kitty


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 03:10 PM

Odetta's delivery is pretty classical and rather good.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 03:14 PM

For all Lizzie's somewhat hysterical stridency - of course there is a great deal of medeocrity to be found in folk.
When I first suggested this to be the case some time back I was met with such a tidal wave of "outrage from Tunbridge Wells" that I thought I was completely off beam and I was prepared to accept that I was too long away from home to make any sort of reasonable assessment - until I got involved in some of the 'standards' threads.
Suggesting that a 'singer' should be able to sing in tune, remember words or understand the words to such a degree that they were capable of passing it on to an audience - in other words, that a singer was able to master the rudimentary techniques of singing before they were let loose on an audience, brought forth an avalanch of abuse, "elitist" being among the most prominent.
It was even suggested by one bright spark that good singing was to be discouraged as it drove away the poor singers.
Sorry folks - letting loose singers who sing out of tune, can't remember words to the extent of having to read from crib-sheets, and don't understand the song you are singing.... and all the other things that were being argued for on these threads, proves, to me at least, that mediocrity is not only acceptable in the clubs today, but it is posetively encouraged.
Come down off the ceiling Lizzie.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Howard Jones
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 03:30 PM

Before we all get outraged, let's just bear in mind that Catherine may well have a point. That depends on what criteria she's using to judge mediocrity by. I think it's quite possible that we may regard these criteria quite differently.

I can't think of any folk singer who wouldn't get absolutely slated by the panel of the X-Factor, but that doesn't mean to say they're mediocre, simply that you shouldn't judge one art form by the standards of another.

Let's see what Catherine has to say.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 03:38 PM

"Let's see what Catherine has to say."

Or indeed give her the right to believe she's finished her answer or claim the 5th.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 03:56 PM

Thanks Continuity!

A threat of violence because we've chosen to make some music that you can choose to listen to or not? I'd say that was probably a bit of an over-reaction.

John Spiers

;-)       <- my attempt at a smug smile to see if it's true

----------------------------------------------

No, it was a threat to tread on your toes if you smiled smugly at me in a dark alley.

Thanks for pointing out the choice though - I made the choice to see you play once, regretted it, and now make the choice not to listen to you. I'm sure you're doing very well without my patronage.

However, I do apologise for coming on a message board and basically making a negative statement which was neither asked for nor added anything to any debate. I must have had too much sugar in my tea.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 04:06 PM

As a musician and singer of some years, I am quite taken aback by the awesome standard of some of the new performers now coming onto the scene - a lot of them but not all, coming from the Newcastle Uni folk degree course. for musicianship look at 422 band, they are excellent.
As far as I understand, many of Bellowhead particularly the brass come from a professional background and play in many other genres when not in folk music. I fully appreciate that some will and some will not like the Bellowhead approach to folk music, but surely what the "scene" needs is some who will preserve the traditional sound and others that will make experiments with it and create new approaches to traditional material.

That said, I do agree that if performing for a fee, singers and players should be presenting polished material. Folk clubs do however have to provide a facility for new singers to practice their trade and if this was not available, any performer would never know whether they are likely to make the grade or not. I suppose the position we have have is that whereas, in the olden days, folks would stand up in their local pub and sing "their"song for the benefit of the crowd, we now have a situation where people have paid to go into a folk club and are perhaps quite right to expect a minimum standard of performance. I too do cringe also when singers do not at least try to present a polished performance.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 04:15 PM

Just a quick reminder, before we all go scooting off down the well-trodden "performance standard in folk club" path, that Catherine's original comment was about the standard she perceived at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival, and that the people she was criticising were people like Spiers, Bellowhead, Causley, etc.

Her criticism, presumably, was thus about mainstream, professional performers and - if we stick to the mainstream thread topic - it's this we should be debating.

Sorry to sound like a headmaster, but that's my perception of her main critique.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 05:38 PM

"Sorry to sound like a headmaster, but that's my perception of her main critique."
With respect Will - this neatly sidesteps the fact that the general public (folk music's potential future audience) is far more likely to encounter it in the local clubs rather than the festival showcases for officianados.
The lifeblood of the revival was always the clubs - abandon them and you've abandoned the music by placing it at arms length.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 05:55 PM

I understand what you're saying, Jim. I just feel that the folk club debate has been hacked over so many times - with the same indeterminate outcomes - that it's possibly more interesting and refreshing to have a debate about the perception of the more polished and professional presenters of the music.

And I would agree with you that the clubs - and singarounds and sessions - are often the wellsprings from which the professionals rise. What's interesting to me is that many (not all) of the clubs I go to have an audience which is probably around 50+ in age group. The Bellowhead concert I attended several months ago in Lewes had an audience who were hugely diverse in age, with lots of much younger people - in their 20s - happily dancing away and enjoying what was a fine performance. Now, if Catherine Foster is criticising performers who are obviously attracting a much wider and younger fan base than, say, your average folk club, then what does she expect? Whether you like a band like Bellowhead or not - I do, as it happens - they bring people into the music in droves. So - what does Catherine prefer if she doesn't care for it?

It's worth pointing out that members of bands like Bellowhead play in smaller, offshoot groups which do play on the folk club circuit. I saw Faustus in Arundel some months ago - great performance, huge energy, great respect for the music - and the place was packed to the gills with all ages, and a huge number of young people. But Catherine's criticism of just these people has been made - so what should we expect in festivals and in clubs?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 06:39 PM

Oh, several amazements. I have to agree with something Mad Lizzie wrote.

Anyone who does not understand the importance of history to folk music does not understand folk music or any other folk art or medium.

Any anyone who thinks all the performers at a folk festival are substandard has never been to an open mic night where the average punter or maybe I should say munter sounds like "Jim kissing you" (folkie ref, look it up if you don't know).

Foster is ignorance and prejudice impersonating a critic. And we all know about critics.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 06:46 PM

"Oh, several amazements. I have to agree with something Mad Lizzie wrote."

Ha! I *knew* I'd get you one day, Grumpy! ;0)


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 07:04 PM

Or indeed give her the right to believe she's finished her answer or claim the 5th.

At the cost of completely disregarding what she's said. Anyone can say that everything is rubbish: it conveys no information. If someone says that A, B, C, D and E are rubbish, it tells us nothing unless they also say what they think isn't rubbish.

So, Catherine: either you're just a grumpy old misanthrope, in which case we can disregard everything you say, or else there's something specific that you do actually like, in which case pray tell.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 07:44 PM

But not everyone wishes to run the Mudcat gauntlet, or submit to the star chamber of self appointed experts. Identikit arguments, even down to the same cut and paste, are posted by the same poeple and I still disagree with the original premise two years later.
You are entitled to call Catherine names like misanthrope, so long as you regnise (to paraphrase) it tells us more about the name caller than the original complainant.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 08:36 AM

In response to my phrase: "the pig-headed views of a small handful of Mudcat contributors", Pip suggested:

Could I respectfully suggest that when people posting elsewhere start pointing fingers at those awful, closed-minded, reactionary Mudcatters, posters on Mudcat refrain from joining in?

Now then, Pip, Mudcat doesn't work on the basis of democratic centralism. There's no party line to promote and its a broad church rather than a united front. And I think I'm grown up enough to make my own mind up about things rather than simply agreeing with what Ian AA says, though in this case I do think he has a perfectly valid point, as does Mudcat founder Max.

I'm not going to name names here (but I may pass you a short list at the school gates when no-one's looking). For me, it's not necessarily about some posters' views on folk music, rather its about how the dreary and/or confontational manner in which they put these views across. It can appear on occasion that there's not a single ounce of joy or pleasure to be had from the music - so much so that you could be mistaken for thinking they're discussing a dessicated husk rather what can at its best be a vibrant, breathtaking and spellbinding form.

It makes me very glad I started listening to traditional music before I started reading discussion forums about it...

**********************

Catherine's original critcisms seemed to be partly about standards of musicianship and singing. One of the reasons I like folk music is that usually its not all about technique and flash - at its best there is a rawness and soulfulness that I suspect no amount of formal training can teach anyone. Not saying that musical abilty doesn't come into it, but without the soul and passion it can be a sterile beast.

I suppose, to draw a 70s rock parallel, its why I'd take the Stooges over ELP any day. Or Jonathan Richman over James Taylor.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 09:00 AM

>Richard Bridge: "Foster is ignorance and prejudice impersonating a critic. And we all know about critics."<

Well, I happen to be a critic, Richard [mostly theatre nowadays, but Folk also for many years, as oldies on this thread may recall].

So, please, Richard ~~ WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ME?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM

All I can say is that I've been bored, irritated, annoyed, baffled and infuriated by a number of Mudcat posters in the past, but not one of those people could be characterised as a joyless, closed-minded traddie pendant. Infuriating cranks, we get 'em. Conservative traddies, we get 'em. Infuriatingly crankish conservative traddies... not so much.

I really do think this manoeuvre is just beards and pullovers at one remove. "Folkies, you're all wrong about folkies, folkies are great - except for those other folkies of course! God, they're awful!"


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 09:07 AM

PS Now then, Pip, Mudcat doesn't work on the basis of democratic centralism.

Hence my use of the words "may I respectfully suggest", as opposed to "let me remind Comrade Cringe". (Good name for a band, actually.)


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Barry Denning
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 09:25 AM

Hello everyone,

As this seems to have become more specifically about Bellowhead and mediocrity I thought I'd throw my hat in.

I recently acquired their latest record, "Hedonism" and here are thoughts on it, with reference to Catherine Foster's points.

1) They're certainly a bunch of musicians who can play their instruments

2) Some of the musical arrangements are brilliant (Cold Blows the Wind, The Hand Weaver and the Factory Maid, New York Girls)

3) Some of the musical arrangements are awful:

Parson's Farewell - No better than a GCSE composition (trust me, I've heard lots)
Amsterdam - Basically a crescendo on Greensleeves (they've butchered Brel)
Broomfield Hill - Chintzy folk with disparate stylistic wanderings and pedantic, hackneyed word painting

4) Despite the fact Parson's Farewell is awful, the record needs more than the two tunes on it. The strength of the band is in its instrumental playing. The vocals of Boden are not strong enough or engaging enough and begin to grate really quickly.

On the whole, I don't think it's "mediocre", it does have it's faults though (and it must have cost a fortune!)

Barry


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 09:40 AM

Takes deep breath and holds nose...

Catherine, if you're reading this may I try to explain a little why some people are affronted by your remarks? This is partly because no-one has, I feel, forensically addressed the remarks you've made about friends who (as I'm sure you know yourself) are effectively denied a right to reply by the rules of the game, and partly because I think you may not be giving due attention to some key sub-texts to the folk music agenda - and market.

I hope you already appreciate that folk music (accepting the broadest use of the term) has at least three axes:

The first is the performance/participation axis. This, unlike the world of opera, is a continuum from extreme skill and expert presentation at one end, to cheerful self-expression (with its roots back into history) at the other. The latter is often more prized than the former, because this is 'Folk' (People) music - need I say more. And there is much more movement up and down this scale than you'll find in classical or opera, because different people are perceived to offer different strengths under different circumstances, according to the intersection of the other two axes. So technically poor musicians like me manage to get onto big festival stages, and even be admired there, because we're representing something other than technical excellence which is perceived to be of value.

The second axis is about style/repertoire. A 'poor' performer may also be lionised because he or she is able to present specific material or skill (such as the playing of a rare instrument or multi-instrumental abilities), or some other thing of beauty or interest. In this, authenticity (this comes in many guises) is prized over artifice - so the untrained voice is often perceived to have more beauty than the trained one. I'll be honest now (I rarely say things like this in public, but I think I must since you have been so frank yourself) - I actually have to leave the room if I hear bel canto. I'm not being personal - I genuinely can't stand the sound of trained vibrato, it grates on my ears something rotten and always has.

And the third is the historical/cultural one. Folk music taps back into and overlaps with an area of genuine academic concern - and because of this, many key people in the folk world have an academic interest which they champion or defend, which can look like 'out of touch historianism' if you're not paying proper attention.

Now, you named a few acts back there. I would put all of them at the top end of the scale of technical quality - in ANY arena. I doubt Nancy's style (she's worked just as hard on her instrument as you have on yours) would get her a chair in the LSO, but how many of them can play authentic fiddle, AND sing at the same time? And then, for heaven's sake start dancing as well!? And please understand that doesn't do this just to show off (though that's a perfectly adequate reason and we're happy to pay for it) but because there's whole traditions of this sort of thing which we'd pay to witness even if it was being done very badly indeed.

All of those acts also perform in theatres and venues well outside of the 'hallowed insular walls' of folk, and all of them win over newcomers with their honesty, authenticity, technical and creative ability (yes, indeedy) and charisma.

Others have asked you to name some folk artists who you do admire.

I'd also like to know how many folk festivals you've been to. Are you sure there was not technical problem that night which impacted on the performances? It happens, and without the luxury of a 58 piece orchestra and an army of fawning assistants you can wind up being pretty exposed up there.

Tom


I would have sent this message to you personally, but you have only provided emails for your agents on your website. You can find my mail and phone numbers on mine.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 10:10 AM

Exlnt Tom I feel sure you speak for many

L in C#


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 10:35 AM

Wise words well said, Tom.
You certainly speak for me.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Tootler
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 10:49 AM

Well said Tom. I have been scratching my head trying to find a way of expressing my feelings about Catherine's comments. You expressed my feelings very well and in a polite manner.

I would really like to see Catherine expand on her comments and explain why she thinks the artists she listed are mediocre. Having seen Nancy Kerr and James Fagan perform, I found them anything but mediocre. They are also thoroughly professional in their approach. When Nancy was ill with a sore throat and was unable to fulfil a booking at our local folk club, James still came and brought Rob Habron with him in her stead and gave us an excellent evening. No question of withdrawing even though it is a small club and he could not expect a large audience.

I would also like to see her justify this statement in more detail.

What upsets me so much is that this is music that our entire nation should be celebrating and as long as we present it in this kind of way, Joe Public isn't going to sit up and take notice. No other nation would stand for their traditional music being treated as such.

Like you, Tom, I have no great love of the operatic singing style and, to me, Wagnerian Opera represents it at its most extreme. That, however, is a matter of personal taste, and I would suggest that Catherine needs to show that her comments go beyond personal taste.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 11:33 AM

'Hence my use of the words "may I respectfully suggest", as opposed to "let me remind Comrade Cringe".'

Thanks, Pip. That made me chuckle!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 11:36 AM

Indeed.

Perhaps Catherine is not aware how our indigenous music became 'alternative' or at least a minority or 'acquired' taste in the first place.

This did not happen because of any intrinsic lack of quality in the songs or tunes (though there are some real dogs for sure). Rather, public taste has been developed by education and the entertainment industry in two directions - both of which have taken us away from the older styles of playing and singing.

One of those is of course the whole classical 'eye-to-hand-avoiding-the-ear' disaster, which has been blunting children's musical development for far too long, and distancing us all from the aural systems we were born with.

The other is the whole mid Atlantic popular music phenomenon, which does of course overlay with folk at one end of the spectrum, but at the other we have to deal with 100 years of Ear Wax poured from loudspeakers various, which is kind of hard to hear though.

I've had members of my own family decline to come to my gigs because, they explained, they were classical musicians, and they knew they wouldn't like it. And they probably wouldn't - I don't sing 100% in tune and my voice is kind of scratchy and they've been brought up to notice and mind about things like that. No problem.

And I've got loads of chums from the rock world who love scratchy out of tune vocals, but won't come because they think they won't like the songs. Until some of them did - and couldn't talk about anything else for days!

I understand where Catherine's coming from. There's a huge gap between the two mainstream popular cultures and our musical heritage and we need to do something about that, but you can't bridge the gap by forcing folk in either of the other two directions.

Classical and pop both grew out of folk, so the only way to lead people back to that root is by getting them to notice the flowers and the fruits, and then lead them gently back down the branches and the truck to the best place to sit and listen to music...

With your back against the tree.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,D. Brinkman
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 11:45 AM

"When Nancy was ill with a sore throat and was unable to fulfil a booking at our local folk club, James still came and brought Rob Habron with him in her stead and gave us an excellent evening"


I wish more people would do that. Eliza?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 12:25 PM

We're assuming, of course, that Catherine IS the operatic Catherine Foster...

I recall a programme hosted, many years ago on Radio 2, by the jazz saxophonist and jazz critic the late Benny Green. He was discussing the then trend of opera singers to get involved with other forms of musical and, in particular, was comparing a recording of Kiri Te Kanawa (as Nellie Forbush) to the singing of Mary Martin. His fairly scornful comment, after playing the two versions of "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair", was Kiri Te Kanawa just couldn't cut it. She had good classical operatic training, a superb voice, etc. - but that essential, hard-to-define "it". In other words, different musical genres require different approaches and techniques - and critiques.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 12:26 PM

Sorry - forgot to say - Nellie Forbush is a character in "South Pacific"!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 12:46 PM

We're assuming, of course, that Catherine IS the operatic Catherine Foster...

Oh dear. I assumed people would realise my reference to THAT Catherine Foster was intended as a joke. I hope we haven't caused the lady any embarrassment.

Like Richard I find myself in the peculiar position of agreeing with Lizzie. I'm inclined to think that THIS Catherine Foster is a wind up, quite possibly perpetrated by a regular Mudcatter.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 12:54 PM

Jim Carroll

For all Lizzie's somewhat hysterical stridency - of course there is a great deal of medeocrity to be found in folk.
When I first suggested this to be the case some time back I was met with such a tidal wave of "outrage from Tunbridge Wells"


No Jim, the outrage was because you claimed that ALL UK folk music was mediocre or worse and would be better swept away. I rather think that someone from Tunbridge Wells knows rather more about current UK folk music than someone from Miltown Malbay in fact, there is a very good club just up the road in Tonbridge.

that I thought I was completely off beam and I was prepared to accept that I was too long away from home to make any sort of reasonable assessment

I must have blinked and missed that.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 01:16 PM

I'm interested as to why so many punters want to watch Bellowhead. No doubt marketing and TV exposure play a part, but plenty of acts get coverage on folk radio without the same crush. No doubt a few will say it's easy listening but is it? I don't think so.
Clearly B'head are giving a lot of people a lot of pleasure while keeping the tradition going and I can't see anything wrong with that.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 01:26 PM

I first got to know of them through fellow musicians - I'd never seen them on TV, heard them on the radio or spotted anything in the press about them. Eventually, some mates were off to see them at a gig in Lewes, so I went along - and was knocked out by their musicianship, style, humour, presentation and the music itself. (This was at the time when they'd put out the "EPOnymous" and "Burlesque" albums and were about to release "Matachin"). They were very refreshing - and bloody good entertainment. Lewes Town Hall was packed out and, by the end, there were masses of people dancing in front of the stage, having a whale of a time. And the Harveys was very tasty as well!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 01:46 PM

The same night we had Martin Carthy at the Lewes Arms across the road. When we came downstairs after tidying up we found Martin with a glass in his hand looking rather bewildered along with most of Bellowhead, their manager, their roadies and quite a lot of the audience including several members of the Copper family. It's a small pub; I don't think the landlord knew what had hit him. He certainly seemed to forget all about closing time. Jon Boden apologised for the clash. I said "You sold out. We sold out. No problem.". A night to remember.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 06:08 PM

TheSnail: I rather think that someone from Tunbridge Wells knows rather more about current UK folk music than someone from Miltown Malbay in fact, there is a very good club just up the road in Tonbridge.

Not just in Tonbridge. The one at The Beacon in Tunbridge Wells has some pretty good people on....with a fairly intimate but good singaround on alternate fortnights. There are 2 or maybe 3 other regular sessions actually in Tunbridge Wells, and within 30 minutes drive you can get to a (or several) great club(s) or session(s) virtually every night in the week. Mondays are a real problem...there are usually 3 or 4 to choose from.

OK, there are some medicore performers (I'm one!) but there are a LOT of excellent ones too, and it's good that those of us who are less than perfect performers do actually get a chance. I don't think we drive anyone away, because the ratio of good performers to medicore is uually biasedon the good side. Interstingly, at the last session I attended in town, there was a young lad of Irish extraction who said that he only ever played or sang Irish tunes...he refused to believe it when I pointed out that everything he'd played that night was either English or Scottish in origin...the songs were "too good to not be Irish"! :-)


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 07:03 PM

Rob Naylor

Not just in Tonbridge. The one at The Beacon in Tunbridge Wells has some pretty good people on....

My deepest apologies, how could I forget. Don't get there very often but the last time was for Bill Whaley and Dave Fletcher. Brilliant.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 04:05 AM

"Don't get there very often but the last time was for Bill Whaley and Dave Fletcher. Brilliant."

Indeed they are, and not at all pretentious (unless you count Bill's pretending to be a mardy old sod, which those of us who know him can assure everyone that, in Real Life, he absolutely isn't!). :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 04:43 AM

quotes about criticism


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Amy Taylor
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 04:55 AM

Hiya,

This is my first time posting here, but I've lurked for a while. I really love the energetic discussions that this board throws up (that sounds worse than I meant it!), but I must take issue with Catherine Foster's damning of the tradition and those experts who are successfully keeping it alive and healthy.

I am a fan of Bellowhead and have been for nearly it's entire existence. I love all of the records and I think the new one is great, although maybe it doesn't live up to all the hype.

What I do find extraordinary and a great shame is that despite the wealth of vocal talent in that band, including Benji Kirkpatrick, Paul Sartin and Rachael Mcshane, no-one else is given an opportunity to sing lead. Don't get me wrong, I think Jon Boden does a fair job, but I would love to hear others taking centre stage and really exploiting the talent and potential sound world within their ranks.

Amy Taylor


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Hesk
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 05:34 AM

Hi Amy,

Paul is an acquaintance, and I have met some of the others several times, including a memorable New Year's evening at the pub at Wherwell, having an all out "bellow"!
The point is, that far from being pretentious, they come across as quite modest, especially Benji, who I would imagine would fight shy of taking the lead vocal. Paul, although a great singer, would not fight for a place as a lead vocalist, either, or so it would seem.
I don't think I have met Rachael, so can't comment.
I too, love the band, and have all their CD's.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Amy Taylor
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 05:49 AM

Hi Hesk,

New Year's evening "bellowing" sounds great - in fact I was lucky enough to attend their New Year's Eve party at the Southbank Centre. At that concert Benji, Paul, Rachael and even Pete did step up to the mark to take the lead (albeit on cover versions of popular songs), so I'm not so sure they're that backward at coming forward!

If I remember rightly, at the Valentine's Day concert of slightly more risque material they performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Benji took lead on a song as well. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of it.

I would love to hear these different lead voices consigned to record or, indeed, utilised in their live performances.

Amy


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 05:57 AM

"No Jim, the outrage was because you claimed that ALL UK folk music was mediocre or worse and would be better swept away"
I would love to see where I said that Bryan
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 06:11 AM

Sound of breath not being held?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 07:40 AM

"Sound of breath not being held?"
Assuming you're referring to an impending row between Bryan and me, don't worry Les - it is this type of dishonesty that goes through these discussions like Blackpool goes through rock and makes me think that fRoots has a point.
I really can't be arsed when it sinks to this level.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Howard Jones
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 08:38 AM

Could we please take the "impending" row as read :)

Catherine claims that the top folk performers "would not cut it in any other genre". She's probably right, but the reverse is also true. Attempts by opera or rock singers to sing folk songs are usually painful. Does anyone remember Yehudi Menuhin's embarrassing attempts at playing jazz violin?

Different genres have different performance values as well as different techniques, and it is misguided to judge one genre by the values of another.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Gedi
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 08:49 AM

I've been reading this thread over the last couple of days and I have to say it makes fascinating reading. I endorse wholeheartedly Tom Bliss's comments, they sum up the situation very nicely.

But for me the real folk scene is not Bellowhead, or any of the other names mentioned (no offence intended), but in the grass roots singarounds and sessions such as takes place at The Beech in Chorlton, and the fabulous weekend of music, singing and dancing (Morris, French and other styles) that just took place in Tideswell in the Peak District (organised by the Freaks in the Peaks). And anyone who says that the Folk movement in England is dying really should come along to the next event to see just how wrong you are. Wonderful stuff.....

Ged


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 09:13 AM

1) They're certainly a bunch of musicians who can play their instruments

2) Some of the musical arrangements are brilliant (Cold Blows the Wind, The Hand Weaver and the Factory Maid, New York Girls)

3) Some of the musical arrangements are awful:

Parson's Farewell - No better than a GCSE composition (trust me, I've heard lots)
Amsterdam - Basically a crescendo on Greensleeves (they've butchered Brel)
Broomfield Hill - Chintzy folk with disparate stylistic wanderings and pedantic, hackneyed word painting

4) Despite the fact Parson's Farewell is awful, the record needs more than the two tunes on it. The strength of the band is in its instrumental playing. The vocals of Boden are not strong enough or engaging enough and begin to grate really quickly.

On the whole, I don't think it's "mediocre", it does have it's faults though (and it must have cost a fortune!)


******************************************************************************************

I agree with all of that

Guest


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 10:19 AM

"quotes about criticism" ...

For which thanks, Richard. I take it these were in response to my querying of your previous assertion that 'we all know about critics', as to what precisely we all know. Predictably, the quotes contradict one another ~~Aristotle was all for critics, Eli Wallach isn't: So we aren't much forrader with regard to what 'we ALL know', are we?

Best critical regards

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: TheSnail
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 10:25 AM

It seems that Jim is allowed to continue his rubbishing of UK folk clubs but I have no right of reply.

I'm a bit busy helping to run a folk festival this weekend so I'll get back to you.

Here's a snippet to be going on with.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM

Sheffield City Giant's (and occasionally Sheffield City Morris and Sciorr) have a trained classical fiddle player/violinist playing for them (ex-CBSO). When she first started she couldn't play folkie stuff. She was doing a number of things outside her comfort zone: without music in front of her; outside in the open air; alone; stood up; etc etc. When she saw a group of folk fiddle players on the stage at Warwick Festival for the first time she was gob-smacked at the talent.

I went to a concert in Sheffield this time last year with a classical player, (Peter Cropper) two people best known as "traddies" (Alistair Anderson and Catriona MacKay) and another fiddle player who crossed both sides, (Donald Grant was brought up in the tradition - but is now best known as a classical fiddler). Peter Cropper said he couldn't play folk - his playing did not have the right "voice" he said and no matter how much he tried he just couldn't do it! Donald Grant played the same jig "classically" and "folky" to illustrate the difference.

Incidentally where would you place Joe Broughton as a fiddle player?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 10:42 AM

Sheffield Hmmm? Have your ears been burning?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 10:46 AM

Joe Townsend. Now there's a fiddle player/violinist/musician who seems able to transcend styles with ease. One of a very few. The only other player I've ever heard who has been able to do that convincingly is Giles Lewin.


Dave


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Brian Peters
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 11:25 AM

Still waiting (in hope) for confirmation that Catherine Foster actually is the Brunhilde lady. And that the real reason she thinks all those folk performers are 'mediocre' is that they should be doing it more like Peter Pears.

Much good sense from Tom Bliss at 9.40 on Oct 7, but beware, Tom, of arguing your excellent points so systematically that you imply a degree of intellectual respectability in Catherine / Brunhilde's original diatribe.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 11:47 AM

Peter Cropper said he couldn't play folk - his playing did not have the right "voice" he said and no matter how much he tried he just couldn't do it!

Cf. the "get Swarb!" story about the Transports - the violinist in Roddy Skeaping's ensemble was a terrific player from the dots, but (by his own admission) he couldn't do the looser stuff that was also needed. I think you can hear the difference if you listen to the final track on the original recording, the Convicts' Dance: it's good, but you can tell it's being played from a score. (Mind you, I think you can only really hear the difference when you're comparing with really good playing by ear; I play by ear myself, and a good reader can play me out of the room.)


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Dorothy Peterson
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 09:41 AM

After all this debate and posturing I don't think anyone's any nearer a resolution to this bizarre thread. What I would say is that Bellowhead, and everyone mentioned in any of these postings, are far more appealing and far less pretentious than Jim Moray (or should that be Doug Oates) with his whiny voice and uninspiring, try-hard, must do better, appeal to the lowest common denominator arrangements.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: mattkeen
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM

Well thanks for that Dot - I completely irrelevant, dig at Jim Doug.

"As for D Perkins..........................."


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Gary Keeper
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 03:19 AM

Another one of these "nu-folk" pretenders who has seems to be darling of the month in the folk scene, but is musically bereft and sorely lacking in talent or technique is Bellowhead's own Sam Sweeney. A less able working "musician" would be very hard to find.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 03:38 AM

Ha ha! Nice troll Sam. Glad your sense of humour is intact.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: mattkeen
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 05:46 AM

Hey Sam - bet you can play the opening to Candadidio better than Jim did at Sidmouth - even if you are otherwise useless!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Alex
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 05:58 AM

Quite possibly, but could he play the solo at the end of Bristol Harbour? (for that matter, could Nic have done it? probably not.)

The Sidmouth mishap must have been embarrassing, but the guy isn't without his area of expertise.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: mattkeen
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 06:03 AM

Yes Alex - I was avin a lurf


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,folkiedave
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 06:07 AM

Why have a pop at Jim? I happen to think he is an extremely talented musician and an excellent singer. He also has some good ideas about arranging and folk music.

Heard his latest CD?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Pete Flood
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 08:34 AM

Well, I wasn't going to say it while it was my band being discussed, but pretentiousness in this context is really only a negative spin on creative ambition, without which we'd all be derided for treading the same old tired paths. FWIW I'll happily join Jim in the pretentious corner, and if it means that a few of the bilious dullards round these parts give me a wide berth, so much the better.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 08:56 AM

Exactly, Pete.

Don't let the miserable bastards get you down. You've worked on some fabulous albums in my opinion.

Those that criticise should put their work up for public scrutiny. Obviously, they won't because they haven't done anything worth releasing....


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Jack The Shed
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 08:57 AM

Tell you who else is shite that's that Eliza Rusby - jesus crisps he can't play trombine for toffee what he's doing playing with The Waterman's is beyond me.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Appleseed
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 09:33 AM

Here, here. As this discussion is about poor performance in folk it's worth noting that on the four occasions I've witnessed the Bellowhead "spectacle", the tempos of tunes have differed widely from gig to gig and even altered during individual songs and tunes. Surely the role of the drummer should be fundamentally that of a metronome.......?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 09:48 AM

thanks Ed, but I never was particularly bothered by the opinions expressed on this board about bh - it's a big band and I am merely 9% of it. And lots of people were very complimentary about us, which is always nice.

But I do think people need to clarify what they mean when they use words like pretentious - a lot of the time they're saying "displaying musical or conceptual ambitions which in my opinion fall short of brilliance". I don't want to put words in Dorothy's mouth, particularly not after calling her a bilious dullard, but if that's what she means about Jim, she should have the grace to admit that that it's a better world and a richer culture in which artists take a few risks.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,pete flood
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 09:54 AM

that above were me.

"Surely the role of the drummer should be fundamentally that of a metronome.......?"

Only if you discern musical worth in rigid, unchanging tempos - I don't myself - but to each their own.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Dorothy Peterson
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 10:03 AM

Gosh Pete, you obviously transcend the drummers art. I must mention that to Ralph Salmins next time I see him.

In response to the replies to my comments about Jim/Doug, I think the crux of my point was that I find his music making awkward, uninspired and lacking musical coherence. Referring to pretension was obviously a mistake. A risk taker he isn't


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 10:03 AM

"Metronome" Surely Appleseed was having a bit of a laff there?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Sam Sweeney
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 10:28 AM

Been prompted to look at this website by a recent FaceBook conversation...

"Another one of these "nu-folk" pretenders who has seems to be darling of the month in the folk scene, but is musically bereft and sorely lacking in talent or technique i...s Bellowhead's own Sam Sweeney. A less able working "musician" would be very hard to find."

and

3) Some of the musical arrangements are awful:

Parson's Farewell - No better than a GCSE composition (trust me, I've heard lots)

Where do you horrible people come from?

Gary Keeper, can you tell me why I'm not an able "musician". Is my playing not up to scratch? And how am I a darling of the month? I've been gigging professionally for over 8 years... What am I "pretending" to do? Make a living from playing music professionally?

Hmmm... what a lovely forum this is. I shall make sure never to come back!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM

If you make that judgement on the basis of one non-regular's opinion then you're as bad as he is. If you come onto a folk discussion board you should expect to find criticism even if it is unfounded.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Pete Flood
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 10:53 AM

of course I transcend the drummers art, I'm a percussionist ;)

Give Ralph my regards and ask him if he can play the Black Page yet...


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 11:08 AM

Sorry for the thread drift, but I wonder if Appleseed and Dorothy can both be serious about a drummer as mere 'metronome'? And ditto to the Zappa reference suggested of course, among numerous others.

As a generally unaccompanied singer I've found that some percussion can be great (both to listen to and to receive) but in both instances I've been aware of the drummer observing the singer for cues as to how the tempo should be going.

The only time I saw this go wrong (though to no serious effect) was where the unexpected accompaniment (to a usually unaccompanied singer) happened to be blind, and as as such he wasn't able to follow any subtle cues as to where she wanted to shift tempo wise.

Otherwise, I do believe the drummer is more than a mere metronome. And that well crafted shifts in rhythm and tempo are one of the numerous pleasures of engaging with music.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,JM
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 11:13 AM

Personally I find it quite refreshing to be referred to as "not a risk taker". I can't decide if I prefer it it the usual "not all his wilful experimentation is successful" criticism of me.

I'll let you know when I work it out.

re: the role of drummers, Dorothy - you are making the mistake of assuming that things are black and white. A lot of drumming takes the role of timekeeping, just as a lot of guitar playing takes the role of harmonic support, but who says that *all* music must be that way - sounds pretty boring to me. And you criticise for being dull and unimaginative?

clap clap clap. well done. no - really, well done.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Dorothy Peterson
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 11:18 AM

Doug

I merely responded to Pete Flood's post which in turn responded to Applessed who was the poster commenting on the fundamental's of drumming. It is Appleseed who you should direct your interrogation toward.

I'm glad you found my critique refreshing. I stand by what I said.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Dorothy Peterson
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 11:20 AM

Pete I will indeed pass on your regards to Ralph, and quiz him about the Black Page.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 11:26 AM

Drummer - metronome - surely country music, not folk?

FWIW while I don't always like the outcome of JM's innovations, I am sure he is right to try them out.

And FWIW although I find that Bellowhead drift too readily towards a "disco-Irish" or "Euro-celtique" sound, again they are right to try different things out.

Folk music is not a sound but a derivation, and just as rock music got badly bogged down in meretricious technical exhibitionism in some aspects of prog-rock (and did not "rock"), other bits of prog-rock were inspiring: likewise some old and some new presentations of folk music and song may be illuminated by technical expertise but may also be deprived of the centre of their being (ie cease to "folk").

I think Tom Bliss had it very well nailed above (so long as he takes care about what is "folk").


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 11:48 AM

Am I alone in suspecting that Catherine Fosterself, Dorothy Scottage, Game Keeper (though maybe he was just being ironic but without the humour of Jack the Shed) and specially Danny Behringer are one and the same person?

For the record Sweeny is also one of the best drummers I've ever seen, and he can keep a beat (steadily or swerving in response to other factors good musicians do) WHILE PLAYING THE FIDDLE AT THE SAME TIME.

I saw that Dorothy Scottiche performing once...

I'm always nice about people, but...


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: theleveller
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 11:53 AM

I think Bellowhead should compose something called 'Dance of the Trolls'. Bound to be a winner!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Pete Flood
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 11:56 AM

Ok Dorothy, and just so that Ralph knows what you're talking about, here's where I'm coming from.

Rigid tempo - tempo giusto, is neutral - it has no intrinsic musical worth. You could argue that it implies stability, but that stability needs a period of instability to contextualise it otherwise it's a musical nothing.

Most musicians use some modulation of tempo as a musical device - the possibilities are many, and I'm not going to bore you with examples - I'm sure that if your listening includes genres beyond pop you can find your own.

Personally, I'm more than happy to play to clicks, but I don't feel it's appropriate to bh - glad to say that the few times I've tried it in rehearsal I've been politely asked to desist as it was making the whole thing overly sterile.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Foul Ole Ron
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 12:17 PM

What do all you folkie people actually like thats' what Id like to know not that you were askign. Nothing clever about saying evetrythigns s**t pardon my astersisks anyone can do that and freqeuqntly does. Me i liek Nic jones and i think his brother Toms good too. Milleenniumm hand and shrimp.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 12:26 PM

Tom,

You can't have seen that many drummers then, or the one's you have must have been pretty lame (or you haven't got a clue what you're talking about). Sweeney is one of the worst "drummers" I've ever seen. Hitting a drum skin within the ranks of Boden's small group does not a drummer make, and calling him a drummer is just plain wrong.


BTW Mr Flood. I think you are a fine drummer/percussionist and I always enjoy your playing, artistry, technique and creativity.
    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: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: S.T.M.
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 12:30 PM

This is another one of those ridiculous threads that people here seem to thrive on. It takes me back to the reason I first joined; to argue with you all about defending the "weak breathy female voice"- and now you come up with another load of crap.

This time though, no long posts, all I'm going to say is this...

Bellowhead have sold how many gig tickets? How many albums?

And you have sold...? Or right...hmm, okay then.

Jim Moray has sold how many albums, how many gig tickets? How many folk awards has he won? And you? ....

And for the record, I have seen Sam Sweeney perform twice, and although I'm not as musically gifted as thou, I think it's safe to say that I could FEEL his playing (and I was sitting in the back seat, furthest corner...). Not only was his playing accurate and lively and vivacious- I could FEEL it. For me, that says it all.

But whatever, I'm sure the whole of Bellowhead are now crying and composing their next album called "We're all going to hang ourselves because Mudcat hate us, boo bloody hoo" now, whilst you lot go on making the best selling music ever...


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 12:35 PM

No, you're right, guest. I have only seen two, and one of them only had one arm and he was on the telly.

I was lying about Sam. And that chap who plays with Ron Sexsmith (who everyone thinks is my brother because he's my double, only he is) and can drum and play the cello at the same time is rubbish too. So's that Pete Flood who just hits things with sticks. That's not music. That's just hitting things in time to the music. Rubbish.

I was foolishly thinking they were good because they were really entertaining and fun and had a really good feel and drive that made your pulse race and your heart sing, but you're right.

In fact music IS rubbish, now I come to think about it.

And food, too.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 12:37 PM

W A M B o M C T


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 12:37 PM

Perhaps I ought to remind the more recent posters on this thread - who don't appear to have read it thoroughly - that the purpose of the post was not to knock Bellowhead, and it wasn't even specifically about Bellowhead. The thread title is a quotation from another thread (about Peter Bellamy), where the writer was taking modern professional performers - including, but not solely Bellowhead - for not doing justice to our traditional music.

I felt that the criticism was unsubstantiated and invited that critic - one "GUEST,Catherine Foster" to (a) give reasons why she had made that criticism and (b) to provide examples of who she considered to be good performers. She has not replied in any substantive form.

This recent pointless criticism of a professional and talented band - which I personally consider Bellowhead to be - adds nothing whatsoever to the debate. Likes and dislikes are purely personal affairs - there's little point in airing them on a discussion board, and nothing to be gained by doing so.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 12:45 PM

"We're all going to hang ourselves because Mudcat hate us, boo bloody hoo"

How many posters have said (approximately) "Bellowhead are pants!" on this thread? I haven't counted them to be fair, but I imagine if I did so I could number them on one hand and still have a couple of fingers to spare.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Chris Green
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 01:27 PM

Christ, there are some twats on this thread! Personal taste is one thing, but to seriously suggest that Nancy Kerr, Sam Sweeney, Jim Moray and the rest of Bellowhead are mediocre musicians is quite simply factually inaccurate. Not to mention the increasingly unpleasant ad hominem attacks on those people.

This thread and a seemingly endless dreary parade of others like it have brought me (probably belatedly) to the conclusion that the few sane and coherent voices on this forum will be forever drowned out by the noise of far more numerous empty vessels. As such, I don't think I want to be associated with it any longer.

So to the intelligent, courteous and civilised minority - it's been nice knowing you. To the baying horde of gibbering nutters who appear to be taking over the asylum - enjoy the shabby, blinkered little corner of cyberspace you've created for yourselves.

Bye!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 01:46 PM

There do seem to be more than the usual number of those redered bitter and twisted by all the years they have suffered the agony of being over looked by fame and fortune.
Sense of entitlement overload one suspects.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 02:21 PM

As such, I don't think I want to be associated with it any longer

Nor me. For quite some time I've been out of the loop and really wish I'd stayed there. This is one of the most horrible, misinformed and damaging threads I have ever seen on this forum, far worse than when I made my first contribution 8 years ago in defence of a young and talented artist who was receiving a kicking for being just that. Current targets however are experienced and brilliant musicians who have been performing professionally for up to a decade or more. No-one is forcing you to listen or even like them. But until and unless you have something informed to say. Till then, do everyone else a favour and shut up.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Brian Peters
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 02:38 PM

Yes, the thread title was unfortunate to start with - although I realise that the original intention was to engage with a guest poster whose previous, spiteful remarks some people thought worthy of polite rebuttal. Now it's just become a bandwagon for embittered no-marks (most of them apparently not regular contributors) to hurl shit anonymously. Get it off here!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 02:58 PM

"embittered no-marks (most of them apparently not regular contributors) to hurl shit anonymously. Get it off here!"

On a quick scan of the thread, one Mudcat member said they don't like Bellowhead. All other negative comments (including the quote which inspired the thread) have come from a smattering of non-regular Guests. The Guest posting is pretty much the only thing I'd be happy to see eliminated from MC.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Lakey Hill
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 02:59 PM

Not been on here for months and I'm really sorry I returned. Personal attacks on musicians, whether we like their music or not, is surely not the purpose of this venerable forum. Critical comment on music is one thing but the sort of garbage that is being peddled further up this thread is just deeply unpleasant. When musicians, be they professional or amateur, put their music out into the public domain, they take a risk. That risk should not include the risk of being attacked personally. I sense some deep jealousy somewhere. Keep your green-eyed monster for somewhere else.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,irritable guy
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 03:42 PM

Some people simply shouldn't be allowed to have opinions.

Some of you picky bastards couldn't pay your way onto studying composition at Birmingham Conservatiore. You have to be good at what you do to get in there, it's where Doug Oates went. He knows what he is doing; he knows his stuff about all styles of music and he plays more instruments than all of these naysayers put together.

To say that Sam Sweeney is "sorely lacking in talent or technique" is simply ridiculous. I thought that was a joke at first but sadly it turned out not to be.

Some of you people think that being able to hide behind a computer keyboard and a screen, and spew malicious and opinionated crap onto one of these websites makes you into a world class music critic.
Sam Sweeney is a bloody good musician. I saw him play when he was 12, he was amazing back then and he is amazing now. Nobody deserves to be ripped apart on these online forums for all to see, not least young musicians.

It can really dent one's confidence to read comments like these and people should have a little respect.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 04:26 PM

Ah, Mudcat at its finest. But of course, there are no cranks or nutters here. Heaven forfend anyone should suggest such a thing.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 04:49 PM

Tush and pish, Ruth. Firstly, most of the 'embittered no-marks' upthread are one-shot anonymous GUESTs. You could criticise Mudcat for allowing one-shot anonymous GUESTs to blow in and stink the place up, but that's a bit different from saying Mudcat harbours cranks and nutters. Secondly, and more importantly, nobody's denied that crankism and nutterage exists on Mudcat, sometimes courtesy of well-established and prolific posters. What has been challenged is the idea that the cranks and nutters are prescriptive traddies, and the suggestion that prescriptive traddies are cranks and nutters.

I mean, I could name you half a dozen posters who regularly make other Catters sigh and duck for cover, and half a dozen posters who think Bellowhead ought to stop messing about with the tunes and Jim Moray ought to start singing properly. Nobody on both lists, though.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 04:56 PM

And I might add that this thread was started in an effort to steer a one-shot anonymous bomb-thrower into a more constructive discussion - with some excellent posts by Tom Bliss, Les in Chorlton, Anahata, Spleen Cringe and Foul Ole Ron, as well as the original poster Will Fly. Patiently and constructively responding to destructive criticisms, even when the person making them refuses to engage in the discussion - I think that probably is Mudcat at or pretty near its best.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 05:41 PM

"there are no cranks or nutters here."

I know, it makes one crave the security of more sterile secure forums where anonymous trolling and loony vendettas don't happen.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 05:46 PM

Mudcat's free-for-all bile-fest has a few apologists. The shit that's been hurled on this thread has genuinely upset talented people whose only crime is to have worked very hard and gained a bit of profile.

A few regular posters have in the past suggested that these kinds of personal attacks are par for the course for those who have chosen a career in music, and that those under attack should suck it up. Trolls aside, perhaps this is the real Mudcat disease - a select little band of self-delusional, smug bile-merchants who have elected themselves to rule the school, dressing up their pompous witterings as significant musical criticism. When, of course, it's often just a self-congratulatory circle-jerk of the mediocre, who never seem to accomplish an awful lot themselves, but CHRIST, do they have a lot to say.

At least the several disgusted responses to this festering turd of a thread would suggest that the scales may have fallen from a few more eyes, which can only be a good thing.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 06:02 PM

Who, exactly, are you talking about? As far as I can see, every single one of the slag-offs and put-downs has come from GUEST posters, most of whom we've never seen before. So who on earth is this "select little band of self-delusional, smug bile-merchants", etc, etc?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 06:08 PM

"a select little band of self-delusional, smug bile-merchants who have elected themselves to rule the school,"

I already have a fair idea of the people whose opinions displease you. Some of these fellons are my friends (they are among the cranky, the odd and the subborn members here). But perhaps you'd care to offer a fuller list to this "select little band"?
It's important, because those artists under your patronage need to remember that *your* support is of course, much more important that a few random "opinions" offered on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 06:09 PM

Ruth, you mean critics?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 06:09 PM

There are some nit-pickers and regular sparring partners who post under their Mudcat registered names, but most of the really rubbish posts have been from guests. There is no way of telling whether guests giving their names as well-known artists are the artists they purport to be, or impostors.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Big Mick
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 06:12 PM

I knew I should not have opened this thread. When, Lordy, when will I ever learn. SSDD at its very finest.

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 06:23 PM

I have learned not to express my personal distaste of Bellowhead. Last time I mentioned it, I got jumped on by the intolerent ones who see any expression of tastes that differ from their own, as a personal affront.
Just thought I'd pop in and mention that. Didn't read many posts, but Mick's post above, tells me, that this thread is all I suspected it might be.
Byeeeee.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,folkiedave (Dave Eyre)
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 07:45 PM

What an absolutely shit thread.

It isn't about criticism John - it is about talking shit.

Vulgar, nasty shit.

I do hope people feel better.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 07:49 PM

I have learned not to express my personal distaste of Bellowhead. Last time I mentioned it, I got jumped on by the intolerent ones who see any expression of tastes that differ from their own, as a personal affront.

Spare us. I find them a bit underwhelming on CD (I've never seen them live) and have posted here saying so. Nobody (including the band themselves) took what I said as any kind of mortal insult. But then I stuck to specific and objective musical criticisms when saying what I took issue with.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 07:50 PM

hmmm.. but I got the distinct impression that most of those anonymous one-shot guests were Bellowhead members..?!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 09:08 PM

Never heard Bellowhead, but now will have to try to go out of my way to find their sound. With that much heat generated about them, they certainly seem to have pissed off a lot of 'critics' (I do accept that some have said that they just have bias - do not like their style! - that is acceptable comment!) - so they must really have some talent! Thanks for bringing them to my notice! :-)

Last night I attended a High School 'band concert'. They were somewhat shaky on the early part where they did some 'Classical Symphony style' Music, but when they hit the more 'pop/rock' stuff they were A+. The young singers did have a few wobbles here and there, but overall they were great. Enjoyed the evening. Realized that the level of confident performance was directly related to the type of music that these kids were most likely to have listened to most of the time while growing up - on radio, etc in their lifetime.

I grew up playing pipe organ. I always wanted to play piano accordion as a kid, but my parents could not afford one. I found one at a price I could afford some years ago and fell in love (now have several) - the two instruments are very similar in playing technique.

I gave up listening to negative wankerscritics when some all knowing clown (didn't see him playing at all at that accordion festival!) tried to tell me that the piano accordion - fitted with various switches to bring in and remove various sets of reeds on demand from the keyboard (like a pipe organ does with pipes), should never be played with only one set of reeds engaged for the keyboard!

There's often a certain amount of jealousy from 'B graders' - those who cannot perform more than 'passably' (or often cannot even play any instrument at all!) towards those better - a sort of self defensive self justifying delusion.

As a player, you MUST know deep within yourself your real level of competence - allowing for nerves and practice history - :-) - if you get a few very nasty comments now & then, perhaps you should know these negative critics for just what they really are. :-P

:-)


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: andrew e
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 03:16 AM

Well I'd never heard of Bellowhead either, so checked them out on youTube. Quite a few movie clips there.
I suppose quite a few folks wouldn't really call that "folk", but they are quite entertaining. There's plenty of them, they fill up the whole stage.Some clever and well worked out arrangements.

The idea that if we say we don't like someone/something, then it's a reflection of how we are. I think that must be right, as it is a personal thing.
I think it's fine to say it, though maybe we don't really need to unless asked.
But why do we really like some music, or anything really. We can give reasons, but if you like it you just like it! Or the opposite!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: theleveller
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 03:36 AM

Are groups like Bellowhead an inspiration to youngsters to be interested in folk? You bet! My 10-year old daughter plays Bellowhead ad infinitum and idolises Rachel McShane. Her ambition is to get Rachel to give her cello lessons (that's after she's had fiddle lessons from Eliza). So thanks to Bellowhead for giving the whole family a huge amount of fun and pleasure, live and on CD, you've helped me prove I'm not too old to pogo.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 04:05 AM

I had wondered about the same thing that SueGorgeous does. Are we at all confident that the posts taking the piss out of Bellowhead are not in fact Bellowhead having a jolly jape?

But in any event, the thread was not really about that in the beginning, but about a different cruise-by guest on a different thread criticising a folk festival because it was not opera or modern jazz (or something like that). If that cruise-by "Foster" was serious (and I somehow doubt that too then the excellent analysis by Tom Bliss above perfectly demonstrated the ignorance of that Foster.

In fact I am tempted to consider whether that Foster was actually one of our resident horse definitioners or devotees of meretricious technical excellence. The same discounting of derivation (or "roots" if you prefer) and plans to raise barriers to entry seem to be givens in "Foster"s approach.

I suggest that people are getting wound up about all the wrong things.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Banjiman without cookies
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 04:16 AM

Oh dear.

Well this thread did make me go and watch Bellowhead on YouTube again and try really hard to like them! I still don't get them, but that is hardly the point.

There is however, no doubt that they are excellent musicians and really shouldn't be subject to gratuitous slagging as to their abilities on this or any other forum. It is simply not true to say that they have no technical merit.... they clearly know what they are doing and appeal to a wide range of people.

Why do people feel the need to slag others off? What can the "decent majority" on this forum do about it?

I've no idea.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: raymond greenoaken
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 04:35 AM

"free-for-all bile-fest...festering turd of a thread..."

Oh really? Why shouldn't it be characterised instead by the warmly glowing vein of sweet reasonableness that has run through it from the start?

Face facts: giving a thread a title like 'More pretentious than Bellowhead' is inevitably going to attract people who like to lob stink bombs over the fence. And if you choose to become a public performer you implicitly accept all the reactions your performances are going to generate, good and bad. Some people deal with this nimbly and with dignity (take a bow Mr J Moray): they should teach this on the Newcastle Folk Degree , perhaps...

People have opinions, and are entitled to express them in language they feel comfortable with. Free speech – one each!, as Roy Harper used to say.

Somebody thinks Sam Sweeney is shit. No problemo, surely, amongst grown ups? I happen to think Sam is a man of awesome gifts, and not only because he lives up the road from me and was polite to me once. He can not only play drums and fiddle at the same time, he can also peel an orange and scratch himself between the shoulder blades, all without recourse to multi-tracking. Hear it all on his new live CD Eight Arms And An Anglepoise Back Scratcher, Mudcat Records CRAP1

And he's still only 12 and a half.

What threads like this also do is attract the likes of The Borchester Echo and Ruth Archer, who pop their heads round the door just to remind us why they don't pop their heads round the door any more. Interesting contrast. Ruth and Echo, as I understand it, are people who have a certain amount of power and influence on the folk scene, and seem to be easily outraged by those whose only power is to shout Yah Boo and run away. They take umbrage when musos they rub along with are criticised, but are happy enough to spray out quips like "acres of self-regarding wank" at people who aren't part of their charmed circle.

Y'know, over on the fROOTS forum posters have to use their real names and submit a bit of biog. Might be a notion that Mudcat could fruitfully adopt. It's hard to have an informed discussion when some posters know who other posters are and some don't. It kind of excludes newcomers, I think. And we might not end up believing every rude anonymous poster is a member of Bellowhead.

By the way, I am Catherine Foster. I'm wearing my arias as I type. Hope that clears everything up.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 04:44 AM

"Why do people feel the need to slag others off? What can the "decent majority" on this forum do about it?"

I don't know if the 'decent majority' can do anything except remain positive and avoid being dragged into these 'discussions'. The folk fraternity, as one might expect, just seems to reflect society as a whole ('hole?') where some individuals are driven by ideas of self-perfection and delight in the condemnation and criticism of others. This is very sad and may well be a flaw in the human species, or perhaps it is what has driven human life to 'win' in the battle with other species. Sad!

As far as Bellowhead are concerned I like them, and if I didn't then I wouldn't be 'slagging them off' on this forum. It was The Spinners and The Corries who were my introduction to folk music back in the late 60's and they have received a lot of criticism on this forum over the years.

I hope that this forum can overcome the negativity and confrontations that some contributors revel in. If it doesn't, no problem, I'll just stop logging on.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Howard Jones
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 05:00 AM

I'm rather disappointed that Ms Foster hasn't returned to explain her original comment. If it was a troll, it was an unusually articulate and thought-provoking one which could have turned into an interesting debate instead of being side-tracked into name-calling and abuse.

Calling something, or someone, "pretentious" is an easy way of putting down an innovation you don't like. But innovation is how the music moves forwards. Most of the aspects of the music we now take for granted, such as the use of the guitar, were once innovations, but have become so established that we don't think of them in those terms. All innovations will at the time have attracted both praise and criticism, but some come to be generally accepted, while others turn out to be blind alleys.

If you don't like Bellowhead, or Jim Moray, or anyone else, that's a matter of personal choice. There are enough people doing different things that you should be able to find something you do like. However, to criticise them for doing something different is to miss the point.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 05:12 AM

QUOTE
cannot even play any instrument at all!
UNQUOTE

To explain what I meant by that - while it is true that singers do have a powerful natural instrument - their voice - my point is that playing a physical hunk of complex tubing, or mechanical things that can break, or an instrument that needs to be 'blown into tune', etc gives one a different understanding of 'how music is made' than just opening one's mouth.

Thus I do tend, even though I use them myself, to look down a little on the purely electronic boxes if that is the ONLY 'instrument' one ever plays - they are 'too slick' - always in 'tune' - often dully mechanically so, and take no effort to manhandle into playing a tune.

This effort makes one appreciate not only making music oneself, but also appreciate the mastery of another, as well as the whole history of imposing one's will on the physics of nature to make the bastard thing play in tune! :-)


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 05:22 AM

The Luvvies (TV 2003)

An awards show which, instead of giving out awards for achievement, tracks down and awards celebrities who have disgraced themselves in one way or another during the past year.
Director:
Russell Norman
Release Date:
15 February 2003 (UK)


Hmmm lucky we don't get it here in the old penal colony....


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: mattkeen
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 05:29 AM

Anyway...

Whats so special about BH is that they are exciting risk takers and that sometimes means it can fall over into a bit of a mess.

Thats the point - it might be great it might not be. Thats why its exciting.

To think they are not talented musicians is absurd.... and nobodys even mentioned Paul Sartin's playing credentials yet


Finally : Pete Flood is great. So there


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 05:41 AM

"Are you calling Catherine Foster a nasty, vindictive, grumpy git?"
I'd be more inclined to call her/him a WUM who has achieved exactly what they set out to do.

Reverting to my post of 06/10/2010 sadly I rest my case.
For all her indignation at being called a wind up merchant Guest Catherine Foster has not returned to substantiate which aspects of traditional music she is so passionate about although I doubt that anyone who dismisses the performers that she did as mediocre can appreciate much about the music at all.
Unfortunately the thread has decended to such an extent that it has played totally into the hands of the Mudcat detractors (see fRoots posts etc) and I would endorse the feelings of some of the regular contributors regarding guest posters.
The crass comments regarding Sam Sweeney certainly hasn't affected his booking at our place and we'll be pleased to welcome him, along with Hannah James, to Tiger Folk, Long Eaton on 7th November.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Lowden J
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 05:59 AM

I've just bought a Bellowhead CD and on 1st listening have to say I'm disappointed; it's not to my taste. The disappointment is that it's not to my taste. They are obviously a dynamic band and talented musicians who will be very entertaining on stage for sure. I will still take a chance on future folk CD purchases, and aim to broaden my taste in music along the way.
For further entertainment I will continue to smile and giggle at comments like those of Ms Catherine Foster, but at the same time feel a tad sorry for the likes of her and other sad souls...


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 06:06 AM

At great personal cost, I have gone through this whole thread looking at who said what.

Apart from one bit of gratuitous nastiness from Continuity Jones, all the attacks on Bellowhead and other professional artists came from -

GUEST, Catherine Foster
GUEST,Dorothy Peterson
GUEST,Gary Keeper
GUEST,Appleseed
and
GUEST,Barry Denning

further interjections were made by -

GUEST,Bryn Terfel
GUEST,Lakey Hill
GUEST,irritable guy
and
GUEST,Jack The Shed

Apart from Catherine Foster, who posted three times to the Bellamy thread, none of these people has ever posted to another thread.


Even the apparently habitual GUESTs have to be looked at with some suspicion. They may not be who they seem.

For goodness sake people IT'S A WIND UP!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Ralphie
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 06:38 AM

What a hugely enjoyable thread! Thanks all.
Whether GUESTS are trolls or members of the band having a laugh is really immaterial.
Having known most of the members of the band for many years. I can say that they are dedicated musicians and likeable people, just trying to earn a crust. And they work bloody hard at it.
I suspect that the detractors have no musical ability themselves, and are therefore jealous.
Simple solution.
If you like a particular artist or band...Great. Buy the CDs, go to the gigs, Shout it to the world. Whatever.
If you don't like an artist/band, Great. Don't buy the CDs, don't go to the gigs, and Don't Comment.
As someone above has said. Do all you trolls realise how hateful your personal comments can be?
No...I don't suppose you do.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 07:46 AM

"For goodness sake people IT'S A WIND UP! "

So now this is officially a WUT?

A Wind Up Thread?

So let's wind it up... :-P


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Jack The Shed
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 07:52 AM

I agree Ralphie, we should all follow your wondrous example and tell people we don't agree with to Fuck Off.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Ralphie
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 08:30 AM

GUEST Jack the Shed? What???
Sorry. You come on as a GUEST
GUEST=TROLL
Goodbye.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Jack The Shed
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 08:53 AM

Glad you've learned some manners Ralphie, the F-word is so unnecessary.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Irritableguy
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 08:58 AM

Whoah, hang on a minute sunshine! I wasn't flagging Bellowhead off, I was defending them. I love that band and I love Jim Morays music.
I was criticising the people who are saying nasty shit about them.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM

*slagging, not flagging


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 09:07 AM

Part of the post that started it all read: "What upsets me so much is that this is music that our entire nation should be celebrating and as long as we present it in this kind of way, Joe Public isn't going to sit up and take notice. No other nation would stand for their traditional music being treated as such."
    Well many other nations treat their traditional music like a museum piece, kept behind glass and dusted off for the occasional history lesson. You Brits are lucky to have a healthy traditional scene that attracts thousands of people to clubs and festivals. I don't think that even the U.S. has as vibrant an atmosphere for trad music. While this discussion has become acrimonious at times, I think all here would find it preferable to no discussion at all for lack of interest.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 09:25 AM

Good point Mr Diamond

L in C#


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Neil
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 10:41 AM

Lol Les! While my wife thinks I'm a real gem I'd better state for the record that I am not the much more famous Neil D that you reference. You never know who might get the wrong idea on this thread.
                                    Neil Devore


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Jerry Simon
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 12:45 PM

Been thinking about some of the stuff here since reading it yesterday. Thought: what's pretentious about Bellowhead? Personally, I don't find BH pretentious in the slightest - what are they pretending to be that they're not?
Thought: I am in absolute awe of the way James Fagan can deliver a song. Maybe that poster has never really listened with due attention. Nancy's fiddling. Sam's fiddling. Mediocre? Really? No way.
Thought: I don't WANT all the performers at folk festivals to be "professional" as opposed to "eager amateurs". I REALLY don't. If e.g. Whitby was all "professional musicians" on big stages, and I was just there to be ticket-fodder, I would hate it, wouldn't bother going.
Thought: Who the hell were "folk-songs " collected from anyway?
Thought: I LOVE it that "folk music" can be performed by far-from-professional musicians & singers, and that the many of the folk professionals value, encourage, and even apparently ENJOY offerings by ordinary people who love this music (and are co-owners of it too).


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Julie Hindley
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 06:04 PM

For those of you who appreciates Sam Sweeney and Hannah James we might squeeze you in to our house concert on saturday night in Doncaster, 01302 854864


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 02:38 AM

Hannah and Sam were superb at The Unison Club, Lincoln a couple of weeks ago. Nice, talented people...............and 110% UNPRETENTIOUS!

Their CD, 'Catches and Glees' is a treat!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:21 AM

Those who were really upset by the horridness of this thread and indeed Mudcat in general, might like to compare the first list (posted by Snail) to the second one (as posted by Joe Offer on Will's leaving thread):

"From: TheSnail - PM
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 06:06 AM
At great personal cost, I have gone through this whole thread looking at who said what.
Apart from one bit of gratuitous nastiness from Continuity Jones, all the attacks on Bellowhead and other professional artists came from -
GUEST, Catherine Foster
GUEST,Dorothy Peterson
GUEST,Gary Keeper
GUEST,Appleseed
and
GUEST,Barry Denning"

Joe Offer: "There is evidence of some identity manipulation in the "Bellowhead" thread, but it is a bit difficult at times to tell which is which.
In the "Bellowhead" thread, the following posters are of questionable identity:
      GUEST, Catherine Foster
      GUEST,Dorothy Peterson
      GUEST,Gary Keeper
      GUEST,Appleseed
      GUEST,Barry Denning
      GUEST,D. Brinkman
      and probably a few others..."


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:27 AM

I'm sorry, Crow Sister, and perhaps I'm a bit dim, but what is supposed to be gleaned by comparing those lists?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:46 AM

Ed, until an unknown person (or perhaps persons plural, but I somehow doubt it) decided to troll the thread under a number of identities, it was actually quite a peaceable well-mannered discussion (as was pointed out by Pip and Raymond). After it turned crap however some Mudcat regulars turned up to say "I told you so, Mudcat's horrible and this thread proves it!"

This trolling and in particular the backlash it caused, made one of our nice guys Will Fly to feel pretty crap about starting this thread, so much so that he felt like buggering off. That's a shame, because it clearly wasn't his fault, or indeed the fault of any genuine Mudcatters (regular GUESTS included).

I guess all I'm getting at is that if you weed out the trolls, Mudcat clearly isn't all that bad, but unfortunately it is easy to turn it into a crap place if you feel like signing in under multiple GUEST identities, as was suspected and indeed has been demonstrated here.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:50 AM

Ed: Pretty obvious, I'd have thought....ie that there's some concrete evidence that the suspicions of some people (that one or two people have been "guesting" under multiple identities and that those people are the ones who've been slagging off Bellowhead) are well-founded.

ie, that it's not a whole tribe of "nasty, vicious, anal...etc...mudcatters" but just a couple of visiting non-mudcatters, whether with Bellowhead connections or not, who are sitting back, watching the fireworks and having a laugh. Little things.........


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:53 AM

We all have an IP address. Can't multiple GUEST posters be tracked by their IP address and blocked?

I'm no IT expert, but surely there's a way to prevent this kind of puerile behaviour (which is several levels lower than spraying graffiti or proliferating viruses, IMHO)?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 05:02 AM

I'm not sure what Crow Sister's point was either but mine was that outbursts such as Ruth Archer's at 12 Oct 10 - 05:46 PM are hardly justified when, with one exception, all the nastiness and some of the righteous outrage probably all come from the same person having a larf.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,johnp
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 12:47 PM

Taste is subjective. I prefer Jim Eldon to bellowhead but not on the basis of any attempt to judge musical ability. I will be out singing and playing tonight in my own mediocre way, hopefully with others, who no doubt will be of varying abilities. It will be an enjoyable evening and after all is'nt that the point. It is a social activity not a competion. let us try and lighten up


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 03:06 PM

IP addresses are not the answer - but MAC addresses are harder to spoof.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 05:20 PM

How fortunate we are to have someone to tell us what constitutes "mediocre."


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 05:46 PM

Don't get up on your bloody high horse, FFS!

Mediocre only counts in the midst of a Circle Jerk!


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 06:10 PM

One of the most annoying things about this thread is to have been able to finally expose the mystical "Inner Circle" that Lizzie Cornish is always going on about, because these people apparently get to spout their worthless opinions far more *potently* than the rest of us!
And here they are finally exposed (or not):

GUEST,Catherine Foster
GUEST,Dorothy Peterson
GUEST,Gary Keeper
GUEST,Appleseed
GUEST,Barry Denning
GUEST,D.Brinkman


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 06:27 PM

Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Dave - PM
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 10:46 AM

Joe Townsend. Now there's a fiddle player/violinist/musician who seems able to transcend styles with ease. One of a very few. The only other player I've ever heard who has been able to do that convincingly is Giles Lewin.

yes you are right, and he is my nephew.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 06:29 PM

Vic Smith, please note the name Joe Townsend,and my nephew, and a fine Fiddle player.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 06:38 PM

Dick Miles is more pretentious than Bellowhead, and he is old.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 10:04 AM

Bellowhead are ok but i really don't like the short one who was standing behind the one with the fiddle last year.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 10:20 AM

"Mediocre only counts in the midst of a Circle Jerk!"

Which begs the question of course what makes a really top quality circle jerk as opposed to the more mediocre variety? And is this kind of thing traditional at folk events?


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 01:33 PM

I prefer the circle jerk of mediocraty (note spelling) where I have been fortunate to be exposed to some pretty phenomenal talent sans pretentious and precious behaviour. I am reasonably sure that a fair few of the celebraty enjoy a circle jerk now and then, themselves.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 07:42 AM

"I am reasonably sure that a fair few of the celebraty enjoy a circle jerk now and then, themselves."

Good point. I'm sure there's fewer disappointingly mediocre circle-jerks amongst professional circle-jerkers.

Otherwise here's a fragment of a brilliant old ballad I just collected:

A circle-jerk a circle jerk
A fiddley diddley doo
You tickled my fancy mary dear
and I did tickle yours too

Bob and bill and sarah was there
A fiddley diddley dee
And if only there were more ye olde village traditions like this one
then there'd be far fewer folk songs about unwanted pregnancies and suicide oh.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 08:11 AM

Oh! I may have heard it somewhere before but memory fails. I think the melody goes

tum tee tum tee tum tee tum

tum tee tum tee tuuuuummm tee


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 08:14 AM

I think you are getting your traditions a little mixed up, Crow Sister. The Circle Jerk has a distinctly American sound to it. I think the English (Public School) equivalent is the Daisy Chain.

I wouldn't really know, I didn't go to Public School*.

*For USA readers, a public school in the UK is what you would call a private school. What you call a public school we would call a state school.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Adam Smith
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 08:43 AM

In Scotland, it's called Eat The Biscuit.

There's an old travellers song about it:

Wha's tae finish last?
Ye'll aye hae tae fast
afore ye drink ye whisky
ye'll eat the cum sodden bisky


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 09:54 AM

"afore ye drink ye whisky
ye'll eat the cum sodden bisky"

Wow, thanks for that. It's great to see so many variants of these traditional folk customs.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 10:09 AM

The pnishments if you do it on a Sunday are severe.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: GUEST,Adam Smith
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 10:10 AM

blue clicky


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 10:52 AM

Phew, I risked both those blue clickies with more than a tad of anxiety..

Snail, punishment? I'll say! In fact that's the top secret location where us poor innocent amateur circle-jerkers are ritually sacrificed by the circle-jerk illuminati overlords, it's a bit like the Wicker Man crossed with the Bilderburg Group and Cecil Sharp House.


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Subject: RE: 'More pretentious than Bellowhead'
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 11:21 AM

Not quite what I meant, CS. Perhaps I should have used Stanton Drew.


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