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Oi - mate - can you play...

Will Fly 19 Oct 11 - 06:42 AM
Mr Happy 19 Oct 11 - 07:01 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 19 Oct 11 - 07:26 AM
Maryrrf 19 Oct 11 - 07:41 AM
Johnny J 19 Oct 11 - 07:43 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 19 Oct 11 - 07:53 AM
alex s 19 Oct 11 - 08:15 AM
theleveller 19 Oct 11 - 08:33 AM
Will Fly 19 Oct 11 - 08:34 AM
Leadfingers 19 Oct 11 - 08:34 AM
Will Fly 19 Oct 11 - 08:36 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Oct 11 - 08:48 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Oct 11 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Oct 11 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Oct 11 - 09:20 AM
theleveller 19 Oct 11 - 09:25 AM
BobKnight 19 Oct 11 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,blogward 19 Oct 11 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,Don Wise 19 Oct 11 - 09:53 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Oct 11 - 10:00 AM
Pete Jennings 19 Oct 11 - 10:50 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Oct 11 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Oct 11 - 11:39 AM
theleveller 19 Oct 11 - 11:59 AM
Ernest 19 Oct 11 - 12:11 PM
GUEST,kenny 19 Oct 11 - 12:37 PM
Will Fly 19 Oct 11 - 02:43 PM
Wesley S 19 Oct 11 - 03:21 PM
redhorse 19 Oct 11 - 03:21 PM
Diva 19 Oct 11 - 03:34 PM
Don Firth 19 Oct 11 - 04:05 PM
Phil Cooper 19 Oct 11 - 04:07 PM
Dave the Gnome 19 Oct 11 - 04:46 PM
Phil Edwards 19 Oct 11 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,roderick warner 19 Oct 11 - 06:07 PM
alex s 19 Oct 11 - 07:02 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Oct 11 - 07:30 PM
Bugsy 19 Oct 11 - 08:38 PM
Will Fly 20 Oct 11 - 04:10 AM
GUEST 20 Oct 11 - 04:44 AM
banjoman 20 Oct 11 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 20 Oct 11 - 05:21 AM
DrugCrazed 20 Oct 11 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,Don Wise 20 Oct 11 - 05:49 AM
DrugCrazed 20 Oct 11 - 06:05 AM
Richard Bridge 20 Oct 11 - 06:09 AM
GUEST,kenny 20 Oct 11 - 07:10 AM
The Sandman 20 Oct 11 - 07:52 AM
Diva 20 Oct 11 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,Geoff he Duck 20 Oct 11 - 08:13 AM
The Sandman 20 Oct 11 - 08:18 AM
The Sandman 20 Oct 11 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,glueman 20 Oct 11 - 08:31 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Oct 11 - 09:39 AM
Pete Jennings 20 Oct 11 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 20 Oct 11 - 10:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Oct 11 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 20 Oct 11 - 11:18 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Oct 11 - 03:08 PM
olddude 20 Oct 11 - 03:11 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Oct 11 - 04:29 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Oct 11 - 04:38 PM
Geoff the Duck 20 Oct 11 - 04:39 PM
Phil Edwards 20 Oct 11 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 20 Oct 11 - 06:44 PM
olddude 20 Oct 11 - 06:53 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Oct 11 - 07:19 PM
Bugsy 20 Oct 11 - 08:02 PM
Bugsy 20 Oct 11 - 08:11 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Oct 11 - 08:17 PM
terrier 20 Oct 11 - 08:48 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Oct 11 - 08:49 PM
MGM·Lion 21 Oct 11 - 12:17 AM
Will Fly 21 Oct 11 - 03:47 AM
theleveller 21 Oct 11 - 03:55 AM
paul vaughan 21 Oct 11 - 04:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Oct 11 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 21 Oct 11 - 06:20 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 21 Oct 11 - 07:20 AM
TheSnail 21 Oct 11 - 07:28 AM
DrugCrazed 21 Oct 11 - 07:35 AM
Tigger the Tiger 21 Oct 11 - 07:36 AM
The Sandman 21 Oct 11 - 07:48 AM
theleveller 21 Oct 11 - 08:32 AM
SteveMansfield 21 Oct 11 - 08:36 AM
Will Fly 21 Oct 11 - 08:50 AM
theleveller 21 Oct 11 - 09:30 AM
davyr 21 Oct 11 - 09:48 AM
Boston Bass 21 Oct 11 - 02:44 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Oct 11 - 07:59 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Oct 11 - 08:31 PM
Elmore 21 Oct 11 - 09:24 PM
Elmore 21 Oct 11 - 09:31 PM
MGM·Lion 22 Oct 11 - 12:34 AM
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Subject: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 06:42 AM

We've all been there, haven't we? You're giving a polished, considered, artistic presentation of your personal musical skills - when some bod comes up and asks for something totally inappropriate.

I'm sure this has been discussed here before but the topic was rekindled for me by a conversation at an open mic last night. Dave, the organiser was reminiscing about seeing Bert Jansch playing in a pub a few years ago. Up came the bod with ,"Oi, mate, can you play..." (whatever it might have been). Poor old Bert - one of Britain's greatest - and he still had to put up with the same crap as the rest of us mere mortals.

The stupidest request I've ever had - when playing solo guitar in a pub one night - was to play "Duelling Banjos". My revenge, in these instances, is to say "no", let the person walk away a bit - and then just play a quick fragment of it...


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Mr Happy
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 07:01 AM

....& then you play it.

10 mins later, they come to you & say 'When are you going to do n?'

Duh!!


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 07:26 AM

"I could but then I would have to kill you".

"I could but I am a gentleman".....


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Maryrrf
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 07:41 AM

My favorite is "Can you play this song...Um I think it's Irish, but it might be Scottish. It's about this girl named Mary or Nancy or somebody like that. I can't remember the title or who wrote it but it was performed by this folk group - can't remember their name. It was a love song. I'll hum you a little of it" (Hums tunelessly and you can't even hear them above the noise in the pub). So can you play that one for me?


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Johnny J
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 07:43 AM

Even more annoying is when they call my mandolin a "banjo"!

Also, they often ask for the "music from Deliverance" and don't even have the courtesy or knowledge to call the tune by its name.

I think movies have a lot to answer for....... :-(


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 07:53 AM

The number of folks who come up to Hunt and ask for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" is astonishing. Strangely, no one has ever asked me for "Lady of Spain" when I'm toting my PA!


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: alex s
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 08:15 AM

"Do you know 'The Wild Rover'?" - No, mate, never heard of it........


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 08:33 AM

I keep getting asked if I can sing a song I've never heard of called 'Somewhere Else'.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 08:34 AM

It's a companion song to "Over The Hills And Far Away".


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 08:34 AM

For me the Classic is (as I tune my Five String Banjo) can you do Leaning on a Lampost


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 08:36 AM

And your revenge is - to play it.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 08:48 AM

Tune? Banjo? Shome mishtake shurely.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 08:56 AM

That's accordion to the circumstances


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 09:05 AM

We did a floorspot once and the MC said: "You can finish the night as long as you do Danny Boy." We declined, but got the penultimate slot instead, though joined heartily in as everyone in the club took the stage to finish the night with a mass jam on Danny Boy in D which was quite amazing.

Someone asked us for Duelling Banjos and the reply we gave was 'Sorry - we've only got the one.'


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 09:20 AM

PS - What is it with Banjo Jokes anyway? Or folk jokes in general? Is it a social-bonding thing? I must add that I do have a sense of humour, just can't see anything remotely funny in the almost ceremonial recital of the same dour old cliches (such as Richard Bridge does a few post earlier). Something original would be nice, but every time the banjo comes out of its case it's the same old same-old (...and that's before you start to play! Boom-boom!)


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 09:25 AM

Well you should hear what cirttern players have to but up with (no, I prefer standing up).


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: BobKnight
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 09:39 AM

This happened about 20 years ago when I was playing in a country band. After every second or third song the same girl would come up and request a "Danial O'Donnel" song. Since we didn't perform such a well-hacked repertoire as D O'D, we had to refuse. The next request was greeted with, "Well, tell me something he's written and I'll sing it," which kinda stumped her for about ten minutes. Then she came back again. "You're a really big D O'D fan," I said to her, and she eagerly nodded her head. "Bet you have all his records at home?" and again she agreed, at which point I said," Well, instead of bothering us every five minutes, why don't you f*** off home and listen to them?" Luckily, she burst out laughing. I've mellowed a lot since then I have to admit.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,blogward
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 09:48 AM

Duelling Banjos? I suggest playing 'Copperhead Road' and assuring them that's the original version.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 09:53 AM

There was a irish brickie, pissed out his head, in Leipzig...stood about 30cm. from me and demanded 'The Wild Rover'.....I do sing 'The Wild Rover', but not THAT version.........I can't remember now if I sang it(THAT version) or whether I rapped it........Maybe I took pity on him- a long way from home, couldn't speak german, no friends apart from Guinness......


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 10:00 AM

In pubs you get asked for:-

Apache
I am the music man
The Birdie Song
and i used to get asked for Penny Arcade

In Irish pubs:-

Sean South from Garryowen and not to play ANY rebel songs at all - usually by the same group of people.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 10:50 AM

Or you do play it and afterwards they come up and say "Why didn't you play it like so-and-so?"

Answer: "Because I'm not f*****g so-and-so!" Just try not to say it out loud...

Pete


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 11:06 AM

Warning! This post contains praise for two banjo players , albeit one in part only!

The reason many people criticise the tuning of banjos is because most banjos are out of tune. It's an inherent design defect. The tension on one string affects the depression of the skin which affects the tension on all the other strings. It's a bit like tuning a floating bridge divebomb tremolo guitar but at least those come with locking nuts and vernier tuners on the floating bridge to make life easier - and it's still wise to go round all 6 strings 3 times. A very few players using plastic skins tightened up very very tight are less affected.

The other reasons people criticise them (which I didn't do here yet) are: -

1. The sound is usually horrid - a violent attack with no tail or sustain. Banjitars (banjo neck on guitar body - Joe Stead has one made by Peter Abnett and it sounds quite nice) - are better. This, I concede, however, is a matter of personal preference.
2. Most players use them to dominate the soundscape rather than to commingle with it. There are a few exceptions - Phil Birkin is one (although his old-fashioned long-neck appears to be a bugger to tune) and that bloke with the bright blue eyes seen for example at Broadstairs - I always forget his name, it's an unusual one for a man, Tracey, or Stacey, or something - has a melodious 5 string banjo made for him in Ireland that tunes and which he plays with sensitivity and impeccable taste, no matter how drunk, from a whisper to a cannon-shot. It even does sustain when played gently.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 11:39 AM

because most banjos are out of tune

God knows there can be little excuse in these days of electronic tuners, though I do admit there will always be a wayward harmonic resonance that might sound odd to certain ears, but that's different from being entirely OOT (expressed in my native Geordie tongue as well as a serendipitous acronym). The stability of modern banjo heads is beyond doubt (we use Remo plastic fiberskyns on both banjo & frame drums - note: frame drums not bodhrans) - though I've no doubt you speak from long years of bitter experience. What irks me most in this respect is that WE FOLKIES are supposed to cherish such earthy homegrown irregular filthy resonances which are the heart and soul of the Banjo (and bagpipes / hurdy-gurdy / melodeon &c.)

The sound is usually horrid - a violent attack with no tail or sustain

IYHO, Richard, which is fair enough, but the delight of a banjo lies in its multiplicity of timbres each of which is unique to the instrument and its many & various playing styles - and the players thereof - from piano to forte and all points in between. The sound which so offends you just happens to be one of my chief delights.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 11:59 AM

Maybe that's why early banjos were fretless - easier to compensate for dodgy tuning. I remember in the 60s having to send to America for a Weatherking head after I got fed up with wrestling with wet goatskin.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Ernest
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 12:11 PM

Richard,

banjos are instruments that were invented by black slaves and became very popular with people of the working class.

And now you are dissing them. Shame on you!!!!

;0)
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 12:37 PM

We once got asked to play the theme from the "South Bank Show". Very sophisticated in Aberdeen.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 02:43 PM

The reason many people criticise the tuning of banjos is because most banjos are out of tune. It's an inherent design defect.

Many banjos may be out of tune, but an inherent design defect it is not. It's all down to the neck seating in the pan, skin tension, quality of strings, scale length, action, bridge placement - and the person playing like it. A bit like other stringed instruments, really.

I went to see Debbie McClatchy recently. Her banjo playing was beautiful - immaculate, bang in tune, sophisticated - and the tone of the instrument was clear and sweet. And if you want ultra sophisticated and modern banjo sounds, have a listen to Bela Flack. End of my thread digression...


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Wesley S
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 03:21 PM

Or there's the person who asks you to sing the song you just did 5 minutes ago.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: redhorse
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 03:21 PM

"The reason many people criticise the tuning of banjos is because most banjos are out of tune. It's an inherent design defect."

Speaking as a banjo player, there is an element of truth here. Banjos don't have compensated bridges, so with three plain strings and one wound (usually), if the bridge is set to give correct intonation for the first and fourth strings, the intonation on the third string is probably out.

I use a moon bridge which helps, and also sometimes do a fine tune by ear after electronic tuning, but it still can be a bit approximate.

I also find that intonation drifts out as the strings age, so unless you compensate by regularly moving the bridge(or replace strings a lot more often than I do), yes you do end up with that traditional off-key banjo sound

nick


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Diva
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 03:34 PM

Once, many moons ago at a local folk club someone asked me to sing the Wild Rover.....so of course I obliged with the minor key version which I had just learned......yep....they did the usual as mentioned earlier, ach weel.....


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 04:05 PM

Same phenomenon appears a number of places.

My wife worked for years as a librarian--main, downtown Seattle Public Library--maybe millions of books.

Occasionally someone would come in and say, "I'm looking for this book. I can't recall the title and I don't remember who the author is, but it's about this big" (hand gestures) "and it has a blue cover."

Yeah, right!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 04:07 PM

I was once playing a bar gig where a bachelor party was infesting the first bunch of tables. Between passing out gag gifts (if you get my drift, and I think you do) and drinking a lot, the future groom asked if I knew any Simon & Garfunkel. I didn't so I said sorry, I don't know any. Every twenty minutes after that he was loudly say, is he going to play any Simon & Garfunkel or what? After the sixth repeat of that, I did say I didn't know any effing Simon & Garfunkel, which did seem to shut them up.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 04:46 PM

banjos are instruments that were invented by black slaves and became very popular with people of the working class.

Just like folk music was invented by the Irish and I suppose...

(Funny sort of grin to indicate that I don't really mean what I say but thick people on the Mudcat may not understand that. Or do I?)

DtG


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 05:47 PM

Everyone's heard Billy Connolly's "Needle of Death" story I take it?






Not quite everyone? Oh, go on then.

The story goes, Billy Connolly - back when he was a working folkie - was doing a gig and generally going down OK, except that somebody kept calling for "Needle of Death". Not only was this song not in his setlist, he didn't actually know it. The first couple of times, he ignored the guy and just did the next song he was planning to do. Then they called out "Neeeedle of Deeeath!" again, so he paused and said "Sorry, pal, I don't know Needle of Death" before going into the next song. At the end of it: "Neeeedle of Deeeath! Play Neeeeedle of Deeeeeath!" "Look, pal, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I don't actually know Needle of Death, OK?" End of next song: "Neeeedle of Deeeath! Neeeedle of Deeeath!" He tried making a joke of it, he tried taking the piss, but nothing worked: all the way through the gig, after every song, there would be that voice from the back of the room: "Neeeedle of Deeeath! Play Neeeeedle of Deeeeeath!" So, he got through the set, then he got off stage and went to seek out this idiot who'd done his best to ruin his act. He found him and (being quite a big bloke) pinned him up against the back wall and explained his position forcefully: "Look, pal. I don't know what your problem is, but will you PLEASE stop asking for Needle Of F*cking Death. I am NOT going to play Needle Of F*cking Death, because I DON'T KNOW THE F*CKING SONG. OK?"

It turned out it was the promoter.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,roderick warner
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 06:07 PM

As a busker for too many years, many stories of idiotic requests.
My favourite one was when playing once on a pitch on Carnaby Street circa 1967 with the Earl of Mustard tapdancing and someone came up and said: 'Can you do any Pink Floyd numbers?' Acoustic guitar/vocals and deranged tap-dancer - if only we had tried... Can't remember what we went into but it wasn't 'Set your controls for the heart of the sun' or anything approximate - but he bunged us anyway...


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: alex s
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 07:02 PM

Dave the Gnome - take note: there are no "thick people" on the Mudcat....


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 07:30 PM

God, what a bunch of po-faced, snobbish, self-regarding twits this thread has thrown up. If you know it and you get asked for it, why not just play/sing it. You don't have to do it all night. Some of you lot remind me of a great joke that I heard Marilyn Middleton-Pollock come out with. "You're a folk singer, are you? OK then - depress me!" Once or twice an evening it doesn't hurt to ditch "the message" and spread a little happiness instead.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Bugsy
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 08:38 PM

Or when they ask you for a song that you are familiar with but don't play, so you say "No I don't know that one" and the Bastards sing it at you.

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 04:10 AM

Well Steve, the point of the post is that it's not about folk-singing at all - it's about the incongruity of being asked to play something that is utterly at odds with what you're obviously doing - and with what you're obviously capable of doing. It's not snobbish at all - it's quite funny most of the time - and good for a lot of jokes.

Life is full of little ironies - and sometimes they're worth a small celebration.

As a response to your rather ill-tempered post, let me relate a story about an odd gig I once did...

Many years ago I got a telephone call from the landlord of a pub one evening. The band he'd booked had let him down at the last moment - could I help him out with some music. I said it would be impossible to get the rest of my band along at such short notice and, in any case, I had no PA - just my electric guitar and a guitar amp. So, to please him, I popped along with amp and guitar and played some jazz and blues. The beer flowed... One of the blokes at the bar called out "Play Apache!" I smiled and said it wasn't really possible - and then he made the mistake of saying, "Bet you any money you can't play Apache" - a cry taken up by his mates at the bar. My reply was: "Ten pounds - from each of you - says I can play Apache. Ten pounds to each of you - from me - if I can't".

What they didn't know was that I played in a rock'n roll trio - no second rhythm guitar - so I was quite used to playing all the lead and lots of rhythm fills... I got my ten quids - six of them!


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 04:44 AM

I walked out of a music hardware shop in Brixton in London , with my new Beringer mixer-amp , some drunk swaggers up to me a can of tennents super in his hand ..... " oi mate... give us a tune !"


"F~#k OFF!" ... worked an absolute treat for me.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: banjoman
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 05:17 AM

No matter where I am if I get the banjo out of its case someone will ask for "That banjo tune - you know the one I mean" I usually say I dont know it or that it needs 2 banjos. However, recently we played an afternoon set for some disabled people and afterwards a lady came up and said that her husband who is paralyzed as a result of a severe stroke was disapointed that I had not played "That tune" and it would make his day if we would. How can you resist a request like that so I played it doing the repeat bits an octave up - I think it made his day -and mine


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 05:21 AM

I came out of one of the local supermarkets one time carrying a cardboard box to hold my shopping. Jackie Daly was on the other side of the street and shouted across 'come on Peter, give us a tune on the box'


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 05:38 AM

See, this is where Marian Call wins. Most people know her through Paul & Storm, and there's a running heckle to them which is "PLAY FREEBIRD!" Which Storm will call out and say "No Paul! Noooo" while Paul goes, "You want Free Bird. YOU WANT FREE BIRD!? HERE'S ONE FREE BIRD *sticks one finger up* AND HERE'S ANOTHER *sticks up another*".

Somehow this continued into Ms Call's stage presence, to the point her latest album has a song called Free Bird, which she wrote so she had a perfect response to people requesting it.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 05:49 AM

.....and nowhere the classic retort," No, but hum a few bars and I'll fake it!"


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 06:05 AM

I get away with that a lot, but I'm a guitarist at a tune session. It's kind of my job to fake it.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 06:09 AM

I think the best response to requests for "Duelling Banjos" is Geoff the Duck's version - in which he uses kazoo for the guitar responses!

As to the Wild Rover I think the Banana Boat song version is quite fun.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 07:10 AM

Someone once asked a wel-known female Scottish singer to sing "Flower O'Scotland". Her reply was "Listen pal, ye're TALKIN' tae the Flower O Scotland"!


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 07:52 AM

when people ask me do I know the wild rover, I generally reply yes i do i saw him this morning and he had a hangover


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Diva
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 08:11 AM

Aye yir right enough Steve, it's the cheery wee numbers like The Wild Rover, a song about alocholism, that spead a little happiness. Dae ye know Micky's Warning..its a real jolly number?


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,Geoff he Duck
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 08:13 AM

Don't know where my cookie has disappeared...
I was wondering whether to comment, but seeing as Richard has brought it up here goes the story...

As Leadfingers almost said, wandering around with a banjo, you get aske the two "Do you play...?" questions.

Leaning on a lamp - I never was that much into George Formby, and try to explain that he played a totally different instrument that looks similar, but is much smaller and works in a different way.

Duelling Banjos. Same instrument, but needs a second one - guitar, which also needs a second person - There's just one of me. SILLY QUESTION!

- unless, of course, the person asking the question is some young lad holding a guitar, who expects you to play something extremely flash on your banjo while he strums a few chords in the background, then goes off claiming half the credit.

                ************************
Start of story...

I don't actually object to Duelling banjos as a tune, but I play Clawhammer style banjo and not Bluegrass. One friend who does play bluegrass used to occasionally rope me in to do the backup.

As said above, there is always some freeloader with a guitar wanting to profit from the banjo player's hard work and expertise.

It isn't the fact of the two questions, but the constant repetition of them that starts to get on the nerves.

One day I cracked...

I'd heard them one time too many...

I thought "Sod 'em"

There had to be a solution.





I sat in my room and thought...

An answer came into my head...

I was quite capable of playing a backup accompaniment to the duet, but that didn't cover all the bluegrass "leaping fingers" bits. How could I produce an identical effect of notes flying out from apparently random direction?

Inspiration hit! - Kazoo...

In my earlier life I had achieved Grade 7 in Kazoo Studies, so was well placed for musical acrobatics.

I found a note, and tuned up my Kazoo. As mentioned in earlier postings, it isn't necessary to tune a banjo, so a good cup of tea was all that I needed to complete the operation.

A couple of hours later, the bud of an idea was blossoming into the delicate petals of a musical masterpiece.....

I took it out, played it.....






people laughed....







Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 08:18 AM

Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Steve Shaw - PM
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 07:30 PM

God, what a bunch of po-faced, snobbish, self-regarding twits this thread has thrown up. If you know it and you get asked for it, why not just play/sing it. You don't have to do it all night. Some of you lot remind me of a great joke that I heard Marilyn Middleton-Pollock come out with. "You're a folk singer, are you? OK then - depress me!" Once or twice an evening it doesn't hurt to ditch "the message" and spread a little happiness instead."
The above post suggests that we may not be spreading happiness, because we are not singing the wild rover.
Steve maybe, we might be allowed to play what we want to, rather than what some person thinks they have a right to demand, would you go up to Martin Carthy when he was playing and request him to sing the wild rover., would you be happy if you were playing your harmonica at an irish session and somebody asked you to play a totally inappropriate tune like "god save the queen" or harmonica boogie.
Steve your post,reveals a lot about yourself, and your attitude to folk singers, you clearly dont know what you are talking about if you think all folk singers do is sing depressing folk songs or sing songs with messages., of course a few folk songs are depressing[ as are some of leonard cohens songs] and yes some folk songs do have a message, but many folk songs are songs with interesting stories some have have endingsand some are a celebration of life[joy of living springs to mind]   
but your generalisation about folk singers is inaccurate, and is nearly as a wild inaccuracy as the person, who made the following statement on the session forum
"Well, to be specific, most traditional Irish music is rubbish because most traditional Irish musicians are rubbish.

And most traditional english music is just plain rubbish."


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 08:21 AM

"have have endings", should read, have happy endings


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 08:31 AM

Given the amount of time some well respected names take to tune a guitar between each song, slagging off banjos is a bit rich.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 09:39 AM

Well why not? Martin's balls wouldn't drop off, if he sang The Wild Rover. Ron Kavanagh used to do beautiful versiion of the song. really something.

After all it's a good song. Just because Clover margarine got hold of it doesn't make it bad.

Two things

1) don't despise songs or writers who help you put food on the table, and The Wild Rover can go in places where While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping simply wouldn't survive. Some songs are like Piglet and can go out in the world, some like Pooh have to stay in Hundred Acre Wood, the Folk Club.

2) I've forgorgotten the other thing.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 09:42 AM

Once when I was introducing the "The Trees They Do Grow High" I made a joke about it being different from most traditional songs in that only one person dies. That set off a bit of good-humoured banter with the audience, mainly joky requests for "depressing" songs and my missus shouted out "don't ask him to play Needle of Death - cos HE WILL!"

So I played it, just for her...

Pete (still in the doghouse)


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 10:42 AM

The Wild Rover can go in places where While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping simply wouldn't survive

Depends how you source it; I've seen many an unaccompanied singer go arse over tit because they try to reproduce June Tabor's Macrame Beat approach. The source I would recommend is Bob Roberts on Songs of the Sailing Barges - it doesn't need folking up, but keeps its quiet dignity, and is one of a number of songs I reserve for non-folk punters because it's a lovely wee tale that never fails to put a smile on people's faces.

I would never sing Wild Rover though, even if threatened with a red hot poker. When asked (it does happen) I offer them a ready alternative: I Was a Young Man or The Rambling Comber or The Roving Journeyman great songs which you never hear enough, unlike the Wild Rover which, if I never hear again will be too soon.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 10:48 AM

Sweeney, listen to Ron Kavanagh and hear the song anew! Let the scales fall from your eyes. Its a beautiful song with everything.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 11:18 AM

On your recommendation, Al, I certainly shall. Actually Ross Campbell sings a nice one too come to think of it...


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 03:08 PM

take note: there are no "thick people" on the Mudcat....

You don't know me very well then do you Alex :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: olddude
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 03:11 PM

Ever been asked if you can do "stairway to Heaven"

I have ... ya just give them that look and they go away


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 04:29 PM

God, what a bunch of po-faced, snobbish, self-regarding twits this thread has thrown up. If you know it and you get asked for it, why not just play/sing it. You don't have to do it all night. Some of you lot remind me of a great joke that I heard Marilyn Middleton-Pollock come out with. "You're a folk singer, are you? OK then - depress me!" Once or twice an evening it doesn't hurt to ditch "the message" and spread a little happiness instead."
The above post suggests that we may not be spreading happiness, because we are not singing the wild rover.
Steve maybe, we might be allowed to play what we want to, rather than what some person thinks they have a right to demand, would you go up to Martin Carthy when he was playing and request him to sing the wild rover., would you be happy if you were playing your harmonica at an irish session and somebody asked you to play a totally inappropriate tune like "god save the queen" or harmonica boogie.
Steve your post,reveals a lot about yourself, and your attitude to folk singers, you clearly dont know what you are talking about if you think all folk singers do is sing depressing folk songs or sing songs with messages., of course a few folk songs are depressing[ as are some of leonard cohens songs] and yes some folk songs do have a message, but many folk songs are songs with interesting stories some have have endingsand some are a celebration of life[joy of living springs to mind]   
but your generalisation about folk singers is inaccurate


Ah, Dick, Dick, Dick, Dick, DICK. My post did not contain even the whiff of a generalisation. Carry on, old chap.



...and is nearly as a wild inaccuracy as the person, who made the following statement on the session forum
"Well, to be specific, most traditional Irish music is rubbish because most traditional Irish musicians are rubbish.

And most traditional english music is just plain rubbish."


Ah, you mean Michael Gill! Why didn't you say so! Because you're a bloody coward, that's why!


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 04:38 PM

Gosh, my italics started way too late there. Sorry!


Well Steve, the point of the post is that it's not about folk-singing at all - it's about the incongruity of being asked to play something that is utterly at odds with what you're obviously doing - and with what you're obviously capable of doing. It's not snobbish at all - it's quite funny most of the time - and good for a lot of jokes.

Life is full of little ironies - and sometimes they're worth a small celebration.

As a response to your rather ill-tempered post


Not ill-tempered, Will, but aghast at the apparent unanimity of posters to this thread (with the odd honourable exception). Dammit, you can always say you don't know it. If you do know it, it is probably at least tenuously connected to what you're doing in some way. Not everyone who comes to a folk club or gig is a member of the folkie in-crowd, and good luck to 'em. I wasn't exactly suggesting that you sell your soul to the populist devil, was I? But what harm is the odd Wild Rover or two going to do in a whole evening of the stuff that you want to do? I remind you that preciousness is an accusation frequently levelled at folkies, and not always without good reason. There's plenty of it in this thread!


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 04:39 PM

I do enough of Stairway to Heaven to make them wonder why they asked in the first place...

Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 06:22 PM

what harm is the odd Wild Rover or two going to do

Off the top of my head: once you've done one song they know, some punters may think it's a request show and ask you to do Streets of London, Black Velvet Band etc - or for that matter Angels, Chasing Cars etc; punters may stop paying attention to the stuff they don't know, thinking there'll be one of the good ones along in a minute; and if you go down well, you may get asked back on the understanding you'll do a set full of Streets of London, Chasing Cars etc. Careers have ended on less.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 06:44 PM

Gosh - I'd forgotten I even knew NoD! Must try it out on fiddle at my local sesiun.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: olddude
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 06:53 PM

LOL but when do it it sounds more like stairway to hell ... gotta have the chops to sing that one ...

Now had they asked me for some Eagles yah I can ... one time a guy ask for Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. Freddy Mercury I am not


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 07:19 PM

I get really offended by that "Why do you have to tune" crap. I know several players who don't. Oh Jesus the cacophony that results. Indeed I sometimes don't myself, because of the shibboleth. I always regret it afterwards.

GO AND GET SOME SODDING EARS AND RECOGNISE THAT THE PEOPLE YOU DENIGRATE (I KNOW WHO YOU REALLY MEAN) ARE SOME OF THE GREATEST GUITARISTS ON THE PLANET AND WHO UNLIKE YOU YOU CLOTH EARED MORON DO NOT PLAY OUT OF TUNE.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Bugsy
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 08:02 PM

I really don't mind playing any request, If i know it.

The worst request I ever got was during a folk night in a rather raucus pub when a drunk came up to me at the end of a song and asked if he could put the Juke box on! Now that really is taking the piss.

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Bugsy
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 08:11 PM

Quoting GUEST, Peter Laban,
"I came out of one of the local supermarkets one time carrying a cardboard box to hold my shopping. Jackie Daly was on the other side of the street and shouted across 'come on Peter, give us a tune on the box' "

You don't share a passing resemblance to the inimitable TED EGAN , "World Champion Lager Carton Player" do you Peter?

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 08:17 PM

what harm is the odd Wild Rover or two going to do

Off the top of my head: once you've done one song they know, some punters may think it's a request show and ask you to do Streets of London, Black Velvet Band etc - or for that matter Angels, Chasing Cars etc; punters may stop paying attention to the stuff they don't know, thinking there'll be one of the good ones along in a minute; and if you go down well, you may get asked back on the understanding you'll do a set full of Streets of London, Chasing Cars etc. Careers have ended on less.

It's your gig. You can do a couple of crowd-pleasers good-naturedly then back off. You're in charge. They'll forgive you for not doing more if the gig's good enough. As for careers, hands up all those around here who have given up the day job.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: terrier
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 08:48 PM

"Can you do any Billie Jo Spears", "No, who's he?"
Sometimes you just gotta' admit defeat..


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 08:49 PM

To be honest, I don't think you've got a clue about folk music until you give the day job up.

What makes people sing. what makes them dance, what makes them listen..how CAN you understand, if they sing, dance, listen - just out of good manners? Or because someone in Froots or the Observer says they're 'worth listening to'.

If you're a pro, someone comes up and says, oi mate - can you play?

You listen. Unless he's a card carrying twat.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 12:17 AM

···"Your generalisation about folk singers is inaccurate, and is nearly as a wild inaccuracy as the person, who made the following statement on the session forum
"Well, to be specific, most traditional Irish music is rubbish because most traditional Irish musicians are rubbish.
And most traditional english music is just plain rubbish."···
,.,.,.,.
Agree with your points in general, Dick. Easy for people to get carried away and overstate things.

But one should always have at back of mind distinguished science-fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon's [obviously ironic - up to a point!] Principle Of Science Fiction:- "90% of Science Fiction is rubbish; — because 90% of everything is rubbish".

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 03:47 AM

hands up all those around here who have given up the day job.

Me! Me! Well... I AM retired...

Actually, in the days when I did earn a living from music alone (in the '80s), I played in a 1950s-style rock'n roll trio and, when I say 1950s, I mean it. Nothing later than 1961 or 1962 - pre-Beatles and Stones, really. We had an extensive repertoire of the period - around 200 numbers - we dressed to suit the period, etc. Why, I even had a Watkins Copicat and a Hofner Verithin. We got bookings through an agent and were fully advertised as a 1950s band.

We did occasionally get the "Oi - mate -" question. And we we steadfastly refused to play anything beyond the repertoire - not out of pettishness, I should add - we simply just didn't know any non-'50s stuff well enough to do it properly.

Agents, of course, can be greedy buggers who will make a quick buck by getting bands to do inappropriate gigs - just for the percentage. On a couple of occasions, ours booked us for '60s nostalgia nights - quite a different scene - we turned up to play in front of people dressed in Beatle wigs, flares, psychedelia, etc - and they got very ratty at first when we didn't play any Beatles stuff or Stones stuff. We couldn't blame them - told them to complain to the agent as we'd taken the booking in good faith, etc., etc.

All good fun, eh?


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: theleveller
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 03:55 AM

"To be honest, I don't think you've got a clue about folk music until you give the day job up."

Don't you think that's just a teeny-weeny bit of an overstatement, Al? Folk music is essentially the music of the people - amateurs. The professional folk musician is a comparatively recent (although not unwelcome) phenomenon.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: paul vaughan
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 04:45 AM

I had a good 'un a couple of years ago, some mouthy kid at the bar shouted out " 'ere mate, can't you do summfin we know?"
So I gave him a couple of verses of " The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round......"
He wasn't impressed but I enjoyed it, hehe!


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 06:16 AM

Not so much of an overstatement, Mr Leveller - more complete opinionated bollocks. Its a dialect I'm getting better in, as I get older.

But yes, it does concentrate the mind wonderfully on the job in hand of trying to entertain a roomful of people, when its your principal source of revenue. You learn what is the sinew of 'folk' music, and what is just musical necrophilia with stuff that should be left in a museum.


If the nobs running folk radio won't play you and the other lot the journos won't review you, you don't get heard - you don't get a reputation, you don't get booked - so you have to develop a bread and butter gig (or two over a lifetime). That is if you are to pay for nice guitars and new guitars strings and spend a long time every day perfecting your art.

Existentially its your choice - no one holds a gun to your head and says - you've got to be a folksinger. And when you've devoted your life to it - there's still some folk who say - well that's not folk music. But for my generation - that was certainly the option. With these folk degrees and Radio 2 competitions, and the web - I like to think its better for this generation coming up.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 06:20 AM

The professional folk musician is a comparatively recent (although not unwelcome) phenomenon.

I'd say Pros and Amnatuers are exact contempories myself.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 07:20 AM

Last night I got asked if I could play any Bach.

I had to say no, but gave them some Handel, Widor and a bit of Pietro Yon.

There's the old story about the punter who wanted "That's what you are".
Eventually when asked to sing a bit of it he gave the first line - "Unforgettable, that's what you are".


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: TheSnail
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 07:28 AM

Why, I even had a Watkins Copicat and a Hofner Verithin.

Can't work out if those are shoes or haircuts.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 07:35 AM

Just pull a Martin Simpson and make it seem like you're just showing off when you're tuning.

Damn him being being better than me.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Tigger the Tiger
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 07:36 AM

I thought Pete Seeger handled requests rather well. People who went to his concerts knew they could run up on stage during intermisssion and leave a note with a request. I had fun when he was in an outlying area,as people did not know to do this. I would put MY requests up there;people thought I was nuts as usual. He would just then quietly choose whatever he felt like playing.Easy for him as he had such a repertoire. Quite a gent.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 07:48 AM

I am neither a coward or a charlatan, and yes I gave up the day job 35 years ago, and earn my living through playing and teaching music.
What I cant stand are generalised statements denigrating   any kind of folk music, be it trad or contemporary , irish, english, american.
let every performer be allowed to play what they wish and not be intimidated by loud mouth drunks who want the birdie song or whatever their alcohol besotted brains demand.
it is all about respect for performers, nobody would go to a classical concert and in the middle of an overture call out give us holsts planets.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: theleveller
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 08:32 AM

"Existentially its your choice - no one holds a gun to your head and says - you've got to be a folksinger."

I suppose there are worse ways to earn a living - I once knew someone who was a pig wanker (honestly).I think his actual title was AI Porcine Semen Collector.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 08:36 AM

nobody would go to a classical concert and in the middle of an overture call out give us holsts planets.

Ooh, sounds fun!

Oy, Kennedy, leave off the Polish jazz nonsense, give us the 4 Seasons!


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 08:50 AM

I thought Al Porcine was an American-Italian actor.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: theleveller
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 09:30 AM

LOL!


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: davyr
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 09:48 AM

Just in case there's somebody on here who hasn't already seen this (sorry about the brief ad before the sketch starts):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1YNEtaHbzA


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Boston Bass
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 02:44 PM

From Jay Turner...

Can you play something we know?

(Jay)....Better that we play something that WE know!


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 07:59 PM

When gigging with Clive Lever, we pray for somebody to say "Oy mate, can you play The Wild Rover?"

He gets two or three of Clive's hundred or so biteingly witty versions of the Wild Rover, in the style (perfectly reproduced) of Johnny Cash, or Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Elvis................

Three will shut up the most persistent, and leave everybody else curled up laughing.

Can't do much wrong after that!

I have a policy regarding requests. If I know the song and the punters are paying to get in..........You know the saying "He who pays the piper........

If it's a charity gig, I'll do it also, but if I'm performing buckshee as a favour............I'll probably still do it. I might get asked back, for money!

In short, I always perform any request, as long as it doesn't end with the word "off!"

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 08:31 PM

Nice one, Don, but would you play Over The Hills And Far Away? :-)


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Elmore
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 09:24 PM

No,no a thousand times no! I'd rather see my life blood spilling.I'll sing anything, even "God Save the King", but I'll never sing any Bob Dylan - Eric Bogle

king",

i

i'll sing


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: Elmore
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 09:31 PM

Oops. Sorry. Drunk.


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Subject: RE: Oi - mate - can you play...
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Oct 11 - 12:34 AM

Sorry, Elmore; don't know that one. But if you'll just hum it...


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