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Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?

Tim Leaning 07 May 11 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 07 May 11 - 04:38 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 07 May 11 - 02:48 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 06 May 11 - 09:06 PM
GUEST,Pulseroom 06 May 11 - 07:47 PM
Tim Leaning 06 May 11 - 06:19 PM
Steve Gardham 06 May 11 - 04:12 PM
Herga Kitty 06 May 11 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,lively 06 May 11 - 03:52 PM
Herga Kitty 06 May 11 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 06 May 11 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 06 May 11 - 03:32 PM
ollaimh 06 May 11 - 03:07 PM
Steve Gardham 06 May 11 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 06 May 11 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 06 May 11 - 01:10 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 05 May 11 - 10:26 PM
srothman 05 May 11 - 08:52 PM
GUEST,No Fixed Abode 05 May 11 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,Folkiedave 05 May 11 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,No Fixed Abode 05 May 11 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,folkiedave 05 May 11 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,No Fixed Abode 05 May 11 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,folkiedave 05 May 11 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,No Fixed Abode 04 May 11 - 11:31 AM
Nick 02 May 11 - 12:53 PM
GUEST 02 May 11 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,glueman 02 May 11 - 11:59 AM
GUEST 02 May 11 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,glueman 02 May 11 - 07:43 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 02 May 11 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,glueman 02 May 11 - 07:34 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 02 May 11 - 07:12 AM
Will Fly 02 May 11 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Gail 02 May 11 - 06:18 AM
melodeonboy 02 May 11 - 06:15 AM
Folkiedave 02 May 11 - 04:54 AM
Paul Davenport 02 May 11 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,glueman 02 May 11 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 02 May 11 - 01:36 AM
Steve Gardham 01 May 11 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 01 May 11 - 01:36 PM
Steve Gardham 01 May 11 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 01 May 11 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,lively 01 May 11 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 01 May 11 - 06:36 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 01 May 11 - 05:55 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 01 May 11 - 05:08 AM
Steve Gardham 30 Apr 11 - 07:06 PM
GUEST,Joe G 30 Apr 11 - 06:44 PM
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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 07 May 11 - 11:04 AM

What we don't seem to have is a vibrant underground scene ready to spring a load of fully formed and unexpected talent out into a weary waiting world.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 07 May 11 - 04:38 AM

Ah yes! the old argument.

The politics of envy..........and anyway the fix is in, so don't rock the stoat! don't unpop the weasel! what the country needs now is stability, so dissenters will be shot.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 07 May 11 - 02:48 AM

Steve...Well, I have watched the particular Jools Holland programme, a couple of times now, and the Unthanks sat very nicely in it. Considering the other artists on the show. What's not to like? Let us all stop bickering about success. My reason.....?
Because it sounds like jealousy...And, surely we are bigger than that.
Good luck to the Unthanks, and many many more artists, who spend their lives driving up and down the country for very small amounts of money, and, if any of them get a sniff of media coverage. Well, Good Luck to them, Whoever they may be.
I could list countless names that deserve acclaim, and will never get it. But, that is pointless. There are some artists who have done the publicity thing. Maybe not the artists that float your boat, but Hey, Why knock them?


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 06 May 11 - 09:06 PM

Not strictly true. To my certain knowledge - The Unthanks saw the profound truths our discourse had stumbled upon. In consequence, they decided to split up - one of them entered the library service (which meant taking a vow of slence) - the other stayed in showbiz and accepted a long residency working as a mime act in trappist monastery. Its a responsible job, she has to do a mime informing everyone if the fire alarm goes off.

So you're wrong.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Pulseroom
Date: 06 May 11 - 07:47 PM

One of my first public performances back in the 70s was "Punch and Judy Man" John Conolly. My wife said I was brilliant I prefer your version, recently my son heard both and said not true, I prefer john. So! I asked Harry Hill, he said I don't know, who did do it best? Ian or John? He said ......Fight......

Maybe it should have been put to the Mudcatters..... Hmmmm maybe not.

You know, It wouldn't really matter to me what you think? I enjoy what I do, I won't stop whatever anyone thinks or says. I dont think the Unthanks will geve a damn either. Hey! Do they get paid? Wooop Wooop. Maybe there's the answer.

John inspired me to support folk clubs, good on yer mate!!!!

Or am I missing the point?


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 06 May 11 - 06:19 PM

Hiya Nick ..When I was a child we used to have favorite bands that we thought were special to us and only we really knew them and they sang songs that " the man " wouldn't play on his radio station.. Then they took the devils dollar and went over to the dark side...LOL
I guess some of us didn't grow up as we aged eh?
Take care matey and keep playing.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 May 11 - 04:12 PM

Ralphie,
I agree totally with everything you've just said, but that is nothing like what you said in the previous post that I criticised. As I've already stated on several occasions, I haven't even seen The Jools Holland thing. That's not what this thread is about. If I see on the box something embarrassing in the name of folk music, I reserve the right, and the right of others, to criticise, and praise.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 06 May 11 - 04:01 PM

Lively - yep, quite true. It's on an Enya forum, here , as well as being mentioned on a previous Mudcat thread, here .

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 06 May 11 - 03:52 PM

"when Rod Shearman initiated a legal action against Enya for plagiarising Sail Away"

Jaw hanging here..
Is that really so?


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 06 May 11 - 03:46 PM

The exchange between Ralphie, Al and Steve, reminds me of when Rod Shearman initiated a legal action against Enya for plagiarising Sail Away (which, of course, Rod lost). Jim Mageean went to give evidence in support of Rod, but Enya's counsel asked if he was a career professional singer, and then implied (when Jim said no) that this was because he wasn't good enough to be a professional singer.

Gan Canny....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 06 May 11 - 03:44 PM

ollainh. Show Of hands are an English male Duo (nrmally bumped up to a trio) who are very popular here in the UK. Even sold out the Roayal Albert Hall in London once once!
Steve G. I fail to see why you regard my post as disingenuous. Of course there are thousands of musicians/singers/dancers...name any art you like here, that decide to either do it as a hobby, or as a sideline to their day job...Indeed, include me in that list. It's just that if an artists/band attempts to push the boat out a little further, and make their artistry their "Day Job", and are moderately successful, shouldn't we all rejoice? Particularly if they get on a programme like "Later".
In all the years I worked for John Peel and Andy Kershaw, There were lots of artists that I may have not been that keen on at the start of a session, but nearly always, by the end of the day, I would have discovered something about them of interest.
My point being, is that to criticise an artist from just seeing 2 songs on BBC2 is a tad harsh.
One of the first people I ever saw in a folk club was Dick Gaughan in 1973. Scary long haired seemingly angry man, singing in an impenetrable accent. Bloody terrifying! Since then, I have worked/recorded him several times, and have discovered what a thouroughly kind and thoughtful man he is.
Never judge a book by it's cover, and never judge a band by 1 appearance on the TV.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 06 May 11 - 03:32 PM

Show of hands are really good. they are a duo - although they sometimes appear with a lady called Miranda Sykes. They are a west country duo - and a lot of their songs are about the west country. steve Knightley is the songwriter, with flowing locks and dark brooding good looks and phil Beer is the folk musician who can play everything stringed. They have an accomplished live act- which does theatres and festivals. They do solo gigs on the folkscene also.

Lond before Show of Hands, Phil beer was in a duo with probably the best folk guitar accompanist in the country - a guy called paul downes. they used to do Steve Knightleys songs back then. Paul and Phil were much loved, but were nevber quite as popular as Show of Hands are nowadays.

here is one of their great songs cousin jack - about the economically depressed area of Britain - Cornwall, how national policies have affected the place and how the miners of that area are scattered to the four corners of the earth.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aV5JESfaZ1c


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: ollaimh
Date: 06 May 11 - 03:07 PM

ok i have to ask? who are show of hands?

is this the california folkie trio from the eighties who sang and wrote"i've been patient too long"

they were great at times--un even but that song and their lead singer(olsen i think) was fabulous.

i'm guessing there is anew band called show of hands?

and i loved kate rusby with poozies--they recorded some of the finest folk i've ever heard. haven't heard her recently.

sonce i am part of the "celtic music scare" from the seventies on, when we discovered we had a radition of our own, well i do get tired of bad covers at every folk event.but i love good ones. celtic music does not need drums or rarelt needs bass, and the more aucoustic the better. however the "celtifornian" singer song writers did open the door to a lot of good traditional musicians. stan rogers paved the way for figgy duff and many others.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 May 11 - 02:52 PM

Ralphie,
Your statement there is totally untrue and lacking in any logic.(IMHO)
You have no idea about what talent the critics have. They may have chosen to go in another direction that doesn't involve some of the problems Alan has just described. There are some extremely talented people out there who choose to keep their music as a hobby, or prefer the safety of a day job, or indeed a myriad of other reasons why they don't want to go down the publicity road. We are all entitled to our opinions, particularly on a forum like this.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 06 May 11 - 05:25 AM

Totally agree Ralphie! No point in analysing or disapproving of the success of others. Lets face it...we have no idea what sacrifices it took to become Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Lieutenant Pigeon.... or even the bands we don't like. Success as you say, is unfathomable.

I clouded the water by saying that I don't believe (in fact i know damn well) people in places of public trust whose job it is to foster and encourage genuine talent and artistic striving, often don't. Try Simon Napier bell's memoirs of a lifetime spent utilising payola at the beeb. Human frailty is there in every system at every stage.

But THAT was an irrelevance. Nothing to do with the begrudging.

I think we are all guilty of toadying to the successful.I remember the time I was lured to spain to gig the gig the fleshpots of Torremolinos. so I flashed the plastic to get over there with the Lada full of gear.

So I got there and the agent said - sorry Al, I've been too busy wih Elton John tour.

So i said, fair enuff! NOT what I said, when I relised that actually he was fixing a a few gigs for a bloke from Eltham, called John.....Eltham John!

War stories, eh!


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 06 May 11 - 01:10 AM

srothmans diatribe (hideous though it may be) actually brings the thread topic full circle in a weird sort of why. Why do some people begrudge the success of others? Because, they haven't got the talent to do it themselves!
Simple as that.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 05 May 11 - 10:26 PM

srothman - if you really have looked at Tony and Una's website - you will notice that all the congratulations are not from themselves but from people who have booked them. Perhaps your toes curl naturally because you are the spawn of the devil. Check for a pointy tale and a tendency to carry a trident.

As for Una being an unconvincing singer - well she did a three year residency at Bunratty castle - they don't tend to give those out to the unconvincing singers.

here's an idea why don't you:-

1) go to toilet and have a poo
2) insert stick into toilet
3) rotate stick thoroughly

This may satisfy your need to stir.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: srothman
Date: 05 May 11 - 08:52 PM

Hey FolkieDave - I got a bit lost somewhere in this thread but my instincts tell me that yer man Tony of No Fixed Abode is a self-aggrandising narcissist - what with him covertly blagging all his gigs - so I wouldn't rush to see him again any time soon - except to punch his smug face - after they've finished playing, naturally.

I've come to this conclusion after wincing my way through their toe-curlingly self-congratulatory website. A handsomely attractive but wholly unconvincing singer and a superfluously flashy guitarist do neither a credible nor creditable combination make.

Yours,
Sean


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,No Fixed Abode
Date: 05 May 11 - 02:21 PM

Hi Dave,
               Thanks for that.....I regard the matter resolved.....look forward to seeing you somewhere down the road.
Take care
Tony


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Folkiedave
Date: 05 May 11 - 12:20 PM

You are right Tony I shouldn't have mentioned it.

As for your email - sorry my records do not go back that far - but I am sure it never reached me.

Your memory is better than mine.

If I am free I shall come to a gig. But you are wrong - I have seen you perform live - but not recently.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,No Fixed Abode
Date: 05 May 11 - 09:39 AM

Hi Dave
I am somewhat confused.....perhaps you can clear up a few points for me..... If you do not want to discuss it here why did you make a public statement here that was not in fact based on any official complaints or basis, just gossip amongst your friends. I would have much preferred you to have emailed me privately if you had a grievance.....Why did you feel the need two years after the event to do this? I would have been happy (and still am) to discuss any legitimate complaints. Perhaps it would be better if you could define complaints...

I am also confused about the thank you as I have a copy of an email I sent to you on the 12th Jan 2009 11.30am that thanked you for your help and assistance.....I also asked the young lady who produced the show on the day to pass on my thanks.

Having said all that I welcome you to come and see us perform, it's a pity you have not yet seen us perform live....we are busy over the summer touring but we do have a few gigs in Sheffield you may wish to note
Sunday August 21st The Bath Hotel 9.00pm
Monday August 29th The Rising Sun 9.00pm
Monday November 7th The Rising Sun 9.00pm

I hope that you get the chance to come and see us somewhere down the road
Thanks

Tony


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,folkiedave
Date: 05 May 11 - 07:55 AM

   Sorry to hear that you can't make it on Sunday Dave....perhaps we should meet at Sheffield Live and we can go through the complaints (I assume the station keeps a complaints log as per Ofcom licence requirements) the station received and your grievance with what we did on the show with the station manager......please suggest a date which suits you.
Thanks


Not really the place to discuss this. Suffice it to say that the complaints were not to the station but to me personally.

The biggest complaint was from me. I am still waiting for a thank you letter.

But please - don't bother now.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,No Fixed Abode
Date: 05 May 11 - 07:05 AM

Hi Dave,
       Sorry to hear that you can't make it on Sunday Dave....perhaps we should meet at Sheffield Live and we can go through the complaints (I assume the station keeps a complaints log as per Ofcom licence requirements) the station received and your grievance with what we did on the show with the station manager......please suggest a date which suits you.
Thanks
Tony


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,folkiedave
Date: 05 May 11 - 04:24 AM

Not trying to avoid you but I can't make that.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,No Fixed Abode
Date: 04 May 11 - 11:31 AM

Hi Dave,
                We are just back from a successful week giging in Norfolk.... Sad to see you making comments about us here.....as Tom says
30 Apr 11 - 08:12 AM   "What I do believe, as a matter of old fashioned manners if nothing else, is that no-one should ever voice an opinion in a public forum (knowing as they should do that their target is very likely to read it) unless they'd be willing to say exactly the same thing to that person's face"

fully agree Tom......as luck would have it we are in Sheffield this Sunday at the New Bath Hotel 66 Victoria Street starting at 9.00pm Dave why don't you come down to the pub and discuss the issues you have about us face to face....hope you can make it.
Thanks Tony
No Fixed Abode


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: Nick
Date: 02 May 11 - 12:53 PM

Whoops that was me


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 11 - 12:52 PM

>>As to the subject of the thread, I think that the thread title is based on the mistaken assumption, that many on Mudcat make, that if you don't like the music/singing/performance or whatever else of someone who has any kind of success in the folk world, then it must automatically be because you are resentful of their success, rather than because you actually don't like what they've done! Rather silly methinks!

I'm afraid your assumption is completely incorrect as I pointed out earlier.

It is the manner and tone of the criticism that I was opening up for discusion. Nothing to do with whether people liked people or not. To me, there seem to be some recurring threads over time where the name of the artist may change but the thrust and tone stays very similar. That was what I was interested in hearing other people's views on, NOT whether they liked someone or not; nor whether it is OK to say that you like someone or not (of course you are AND allowed to say it - who can stop you apart from yourself?)

It may be as simple as has been stated already - ie there are some things that some people consider 'folk' and which other people don't and that, depending on which side of that particular fence you are on you either can accept (or even like) it or not; almost on principle. It may be that certain people dislike certain sorts of music and feel it important and incumbent on them to share their (correct and proper?) view with the world - usually in as short and dismissive a sentence as possible. Often without needing to even listen to the performance to come to a view.

If you want to see some eerily familiar threads (and even posters) try these three:

Mumford
Kate Rusby
Bellowhead

It may be nothing about begrudging success, it may be something completely different. It's what discussion is about and why I raised it. Perhaps it's just that all these people are 'just rubbish'?

Oh and anyone who feels that this is a personal attack on them it may indeed be so. But it might not be.

(As an aside Bono's view of ABBA across 30+ years I find quite entertaining. I watched a programme on a while back where he has come over that period to realise that he might well have been wrong about his 'principled' hatred of their music back in the 70's)


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 02 May 11 - 11:59 AM

People should do what they want, but there's a big difference between attempting to make a living singing old songs and dissing the people who manage to do so.
Spread the love.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 11 - 09:19 AM

For myself, there's something peculiar about expecting to make a career out of singing tradition songs .

I am not sure why this should be so? Most people who try and make a living at singing traditional songs that I have known - started by doing it at weekends and locally. Then got more work and became fulltime. Others have supportive partners. Most get by but like the life. Some like Tom (and I do hope I speak correctly of him here) found that mostly whilst he was just about scraping a living costs were going up faster than income.

But why not make a living doing something you love? As it happens I was talking yesterday to someone who has done it, is one of the hardest working musicians I know - and thinks it is a great life. Why would you not want to do it?


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 02 May 11 - 07:43 AM

"Actually, there's so wide a range of different interpretations over the word 'folk' that such a channel probably would stand a chance"

Of commercial success I agree Paul, of satisfying folkie's requirements of a channel, none whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 02 May 11 - 07:42 AM

Having eaten a sandwich and thought about it, though, I will just explain in my defence, Gail (and Steve) that my ill-mannered comment was in response to something I felt was unfair that I'd understood Steve to have said to me and others here on this forum.

My instinct for defence mostly applies to people who may not feel in a position to defend themselves, which is not quite the same thing, (though the criticism was fair, and my apology - which I had already made to Steve anyway - stands.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 02 May 11 - 07:34 AM

Every time the Unthanks come up, or indeed any young band, they have an incendiary quality on the board. It's fair to say there's nothing abnormal in what they do, if they sing traditional songs they're folk singers, if they don't they are light entertainers or pop or whatever euphemism you wish to bestow but there's nothing inherently 'wrong' with their performances. So why the inflammability?

Well clearly it's because people choose to press the ignite button. The reason is purely one of resenting their exposure or believing a performer should somehow 'represent' folk music. It's odd that the UK doesn't have any national scale traditional music broadcast medium but Britons seem to prefer commercial music of one kind or another. The talk of selling souls is nonsense, if you appeal to a large enough number The Maaan will pick you up - if you want to be picked up - and if you don't you'll have to plot whatever route through obscurity you can muster.

For myself, there's something peculiar about expecting to make a career out of singing tradition songs. Do it for love absolutely and if you're gifted and beautiful enough to be the one in ten thousand that makes a living good luck to you, but *expecting* a career from it sounds like the old 'Coronation Programme Seller' joke.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 02 May 11 - 07:12 AM

Yes, you're right Gail. I apologise.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: Will Fly
Date: 02 May 11 - 06:58 AM

Can you imagine a dedicated folk channel, the visual equivalent to Mudcat?

Well you could start by listening to Fred McCormick's latest streamed playlist (Worlds of Trad May 2011) on Live 365. Fred puts together a great programme of traditional music from all over the shop.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Gail
Date: 02 May 11 - 06:18 AM

I'm not bothered by the 'folkier than thou' contingent, nor by the 'modernisers'. I don't mind if people want to criticise or defend a performance. All have valid viewpoints on a music discussion forum. What irritates me is arrogance disguised as eloquence.

Tom Bliss said : "If someone's being criticised in a public place, my instinct will be to defend them".

He then said to Steve Gardham: "Later did not want any of the hundreds who could do it better (though actually you mean DIFFERENTLY, if you did but know it)".

IF YOU DID BUT KNOW IT? That's just plain old patronising sneering. Either it's OK to belittle someone in public or it isn't. Nobody's perfect, eh Tom?


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: melodeonboy
Date: 02 May 11 - 06:15 AM

Well, he hasn't been anywhere that I've been! I think he needs to get out more!

I've been out and about in a similar fashion to you, Folkiedave, and I haven't seen anything of that ilk either.

As to the subject of the thread, I think that the thread title is based on the mistaken assumption, that many on Mudcat make, that if you don't like the music/singing/performance or whatever else of someone who has any kind of success in the folk world, then it must automatically be because you are resentful of their success, rather than because you actually don't like what they've done! Rather silly methinks!


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 May 11 - 04:54 AM

An endless succession of folkier than thou elucidations punctuated by someone with a cod-mummetshire accent offering a 115 verse ballad and accusing those who turn off after the first twenty of 'killing folk music'.

I have been to a folk clubs, three sessions, one festival and watched a young performers competition since last a week ago Friday.

Never saw anything like that. Didn't see anyone in Aran sweaters signing in fake-Irish accents. Or indeed breathy women singers. Or even - goddamn - people with fingers in their ears.

I did see; a couple of concertinas; couple of mouth organs; couple of melodeons; about four fiddles; a string bass; a cello; a number of guitars and some singer-songwriters.

I wonder where you have been?


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 02 May 11 - 04:43 AM

Glueman; you're probably right but…shouldn't people have a right to decide for themselves? Currently we have Radio 2 playlists that tell us what we can hear on radio. The said playlists are the product of a considerable amount of money changing hands and nothing to do with popular taste. Actually, there's so wide a range of different interpretations over the word 'folk' that such a channel probably would stand a chance. It'd certainly be more interesting than wall to wall 'pop' which is so uncontroversial.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 02 May 11 - 04:01 AM

Can you imagine a dedicated folk channel, the visual equivalent to Mudcat? It would be an absolute nightmare! An endless succession of folkier than thou elucidations punctuated by someone with a cod-mummetshire accent offering a 115 verse ballad and accusing those who turn off after the first twenty of 'killing folk music'.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 02 May 11 - 01:36 AM

Well, in the Radio Times, it has always been billed as "The Mike Harding Show" It stopped being "Folk On Two" when Jim Lloyd left, and Smooth Operations took over.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 May 11 - 04:22 PM

To be honest, thinking back over what folk music I've seen on the box over the last five years most of it has been very good, which is probably why the more embarrassing stuff stands out so much. As for radio, I don't know how long Mike's programme has been using this title, but it is very clearly introduced as 'Folk, Roots and Accoustic' which is pretty much what it has always been.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 01 May 11 - 01:36 PM

Steve. Please carry on voicing your opinions. My comments were not a dig at you, honestly. It's just a fact that "Our" sort of music is really un-important as far as all the main stream broadcasters are concerned, and we should be grateful to the handful of presenters/producers who keep the flag flying as much as they can.
I fear that in the future, there will be far less to listen/watch.
Lowest common denominator will rule...Bugger!


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 May 11 - 11:23 AM

I see nothing at all to disagree with on the last five posts, and as a parting shot, I will continue to offer my opinion on what is presented by the media, until told to desist by the site owners.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 01 May 11 - 07:01 AM

And actually GUEST lively, It's astonishing that anyone gets through the fence into mainstream media coverage, even to a little level! Don't even get me started on that Gaga woman. Less talent than an amoeba, but that's just my opinion....!


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 01 May 11 - 06:54 AM

"The market decides."

Precisely. For any act - WHATEVER THE GENRE - to successfully break into a less specialist and more mainstream audience, it will almost inevitably have be 'dumbed down' to a degree and made safe for consumers who expect a certain ease of listening. Just look at how ordinary sounding Lady Gaga is, once you get past the theatrical garb, her brand of pleasant and not very challenging danceable pop has been doing the rounds for something like twenty years now. That's the world of top of the pops for you.

In order to appeal to the mass market, It's highly unlikely that more rootsy type folk acts of the kind which might appeal to those of a strongly traditional bent, is ever going to make it big. The Unthanks seem like a very pretty and pleasant sounding folk act, and while their brand of music is not particularly interesting to me, I certainly do not begrudge them success among more mainstream audiences.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 01 May 11 - 06:36 AM

Tom. You are so much more erudite than me!
Steve. The miniscule amount of airtime broadcast by the BBC, considering, is actually very good. The documentaries on BBC4 in particular. Yes, of course there should be more, lots more. Sadly, with all the cutbacks within the BBC that are happening at the moment, I fear that there will be less.
But,at least the small amount that we do get to see/hear is treated with respect (Whether you like the artists or not).
No more "White Heather Club" or the Spinners in a barn with the audience sitting on hay bales!
At least, on the rare occasion that "Folk" artists appear in the media, they are treated as equals. The Unthanks followed by PJ Harvey wouldn't have happened 20 years ago.....They even had a Folk Prom last year!
Having recorded many artists for Peel/Kershaw....etc over the past 3 decades, I can say that the presenters didn't regard Folk music as a sort of "fill-in" genre. Far from it. Sadly, management prefer bums on seats, so, an eyecatching act like Bellowhead will always get the thumbs up over (sorry) Tom Bliss! That's the way the broadcasting cookie crumbles.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 01 May 11 - 05:55 AM

Steve, I apologise in that case. I had no idea you had not seen the show (it's not clear from any of your previous posts) and the impression I had was that overall you had the opinions I've reacted to, apart from a few minor saving graces you mentioned in the other thread.

As I have no idea which acts and shows you are in fact referring to, I can't really contribute, except to say that at today, as always, marketing/management craft is as important as playing, singing, writing/researching/arranging and performing craft. Put simplistically, you add the scores together in each category and the higher the number the larger your audience will tend to be. 'Cross-over' acts have always had good management, from The Wurzels to Richard Thompson - it's a requirement, because you're now competing with non-folk artists. It does mean some compromise, and it does mean that soft-core talent will tend to triumph over hard-core (though not always - depending on the strategy etc).

If you get do hyped beyond your capabilities, or to the wrong market, then you don't tend to stay there for long. The market decides.

All the mainstream outlets, as identified by Ralph, are themselves in competition for their slots. They have to make the maths add up - audience figures, budgets, tick-boxes etc. They are competing with other types of TV or radio programme, so they have to balance what they do carefully to maximise their chances of getting the next commission. The Peter Principle again.

You can no more ring-fence folk music in marketing/business terms than you can in terms of repertoire or performance style. Even two-bit travelling van-singers like me put as much time and effort into desk work as writing, practising and performing. The higher up the food chain, the bigger the audience, the bigger the risks and the fiercer the competition - so the more power you need in the back office.

It's just how life is in a neo-liberal economy.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 01 May 11 - 05:08 AM

Reality check needed here methinks.
The only national (UK) broadcaster that tips it's hat to "Our" sort of music is the BBC. Forget ITV/Commercial radio/Sky et al.
And within the domestic BBC services. Radio. Well there is Mike Harding for 1 hour a week. (let's not start the debate as to what he plays...at least it's in the right area!)...The odd track on Late Junction, the occasional artist on Womans Hour, Peel used to play some stuff, but he's dead, Kershaw likewise, but he was sacked. You might stumble across a Radio 3/4 feature with someone like Chris Wood, (If you're lucky).
Local Radio coverage is being culled on a weekly basia.
Television....Again, we can ignore the commercial sector.
Apart from "Later" (Love it or loath it) The only place that tries on occasions to do in-depth documentaries is BBC4. And very good they are too.
I could probably name hundreds of artists that deserve more airtime on the media. But, deal with it folks. It ain't going to happen, anytime soon. X factor, and Britains got talent (dubious) put bums on seats. Dick Gaughan doesn't....It's as simple as that. So, just be grateful for the few crumbs that fall from Simon Cowells table. and, stop whingeing!
And Happy May Day!


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 07:06 PM

Tom,
Once again you have totally misrepresented what I have said and indeed misread my thoughts and leanings.
I haven't even seen the Jools programme; I was referring to the presentation of such acts on TV and national radio over the last couple of years, speaking very generally.

If you'd have read my previous posts on both threads, as you stated, you'd have seen I was praising one of their contemporary songs in particular. It has nothing to do with trad/contemporary. As far as I'm concerned that's an irrelevance. I would not expect the media to favour one of these over the other, or indeed, in most cases to be able to tell the difference.

I'm also aware that the acts I'm talking about are doing a great job in drawing new people into the music as they have always done.

It still does not alter my opinion that some of the programmes put out by the media have been of poor quality with some dire stuff in them, and I defend the right of those people who have an opinion on it to express that opinion, here and elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: Unthanks et al. Why begrudge success?
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 06:44 PM

Well I have just watched them and thought they were excellent. I have to admit that I was totally blown away first time I saw them a few years ago when Belinda O'Hooley was in the band and have followed their progress with interest. I've got mixed feelings about the way they have developed but they are never less than interesting and some of their arrangements eg Patience Kershaw are stunning - I also like the first song they sang on the programme I watched tonight.

There are lots of people who deserve such exposure and will never get it but we should not begrudge those who do as long as they can perform well which clearly the Unthanks can - whether it is to one's individual taste or not. There are a couple of folk musicians whose music did not appeal to me but have done very well. For a while I felt were comparatively over exposed but I never begrudged them their success - just wished others could have a share.


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