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BBc defends folk awards

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EmmaHartley 21 Nov 11 - 06:00 PM
The Sandman 21 Nov 11 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,henryp 21 Nov 11 - 07:10 PM
GUEST 22 Nov 11 - 03:40 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Nov 11 - 03:44 AM
Howard Jones 22 Nov 11 - 03:46 AM
Howard Jones 22 Nov 11 - 04:00 AM
Spleen Cringe 22 Nov 11 - 05:01 AM
Banjiman 22 Nov 11 - 05:21 AM
GUEST 22 Nov 11 - 05:23 AM
Musket 22 Nov 11 - 05:24 AM
greg stephens 22 Nov 11 - 05:34 AM
theleveller 22 Nov 11 - 05:45 AM
Silas 22 Nov 11 - 05:58 AM
Vic Smith 22 Nov 11 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,henryp 22 Nov 11 - 06:16 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Nov 11 - 06:28 AM
greg stephens 22 Nov 11 - 06:38 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 11 - 06:47 AM
The Sandman 22 Nov 11 - 06:49 AM
Vic Smith 22 Nov 11 - 06:57 AM
theleveller 22 Nov 11 - 07:15 AM
GUEST,Jon 22 Nov 11 - 07:16 AM
Vic Smith 22 Nov 11 - 07:18 AM
John MacKenzie 22 Nov 11 - 07:19 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 11 - 07:28 AM
The Sandman 22 Nov 11 - 07:43 AM
theleveller 22 Nov 11 - 07:48 AM
Howard Jones 22 Nov 11 - 07:48 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Nov 11 - 08:18 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 22 Nov 11 - 08:22 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 11 - 08:34 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 11 - 08:37 AM
Will Fly 22 Nov 11 - 08:49 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Nov 11 - 09:10 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 11 - 09:17 AM
BTNG 22 Nov 11 - 09:19 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 11 - 09:21 AM
theleveller 22 Nov 11 - 09:42 AM
Les from Hull 22 Nov 11 - 02:49 PM
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BTNG 22 Nov 11 - 03:29 PM
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stallion 22 Nov 11 - 04:06 PM
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Vic Smith 23 Nov 11 - 01:50 PM
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Tim Leaning 23 Nov 11 - 01:59 PM
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GUEST,Usual suspect 23 Nov 11 - 02:03 PM
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Tootler 23 Nov 11 - 06:30 PM
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Les in Chorlton 24 Nov 11 - 05:34 AM
Howard Jones 24 Nov 11 - 02:35 PM
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Tim Leaning 24 Nov 11 - 03:31 PM
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Les in Chorlton 25 Nov 11 - 05:40 AM
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Les in Chorlton 25 Nov 11 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Nov 11 - 07:09 AM
Les in Chorlton 25 Nov 11 - 07:28 AM
Vic Smith 25 Nov 11 - 07:29 AM
Pete Jennings 25 Nov 11 - 07:32 AM
EmmaHartley 25 Nov 11 - 07:33 AM
Vic Smith 25 Nov 11 - 07:37 AM
Vic Smith 25 Nov 11 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Ken 25 Nov 11 - 07:43 AM
Silas 25 Nov 11 - 07:47 AM
EmmaHartley 25 Nov 11 - 07:56 AM
Howard Jones 25 Nov 11 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,guest 25 Nov 11 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Nov 11 - 08:08 AM
Spleen Cringe 25 Nov 11 - 08:08 AM
Howard Jones 25 Nov 11 - 08:08 AM
EmmaHartley 25 Nov 11 - 08:10 AM
Spleen Cringe 25 Nov 11 - 08:12 AM
EmmaHartley 25 Nov 11 - 08:15 AM
GUEST 25 Nov 11 - 08:18 AM
johncharles 25 Nov 11 - 08:20 AM
EmmaHartley 25 Nov 11 - 08:27 AM
GUEST 25 Nov 11 - 08:39 AM
EmmaHartley 25 Nov 11 - 08:41 AM
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theleveller 25 Nov 11 - 08:55 AM
Silas 25 Nov 11 - 08:59 AM
Les in Chorlton 25 Nov 11 - 09:03 AM
EmmaHartley 25 Nov 11 - 09:08 AM
Howard Jones 25 Nov 11 - 09:09 AM
GUEST 25 Nov 11 - 09:12 AM
EmmaHartley 25 Nov 11 - 09:13 AM
Silas 25 Nov 11 - 09:15 AM
Ruth Archer 25 Nov 11 - 09:16 AM
johncharles 25 Nov 11 - 09:33 AM
GUEST 25 Nov 11 - 09:56 AM
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Silas 25 Nov 11 - 10:06 AM
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theleveller 25 Nov 11 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,David Owen 25 Nov 11 - 11:26 AM
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GUEST 25 Nov 11 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Ken Folknacious 25 Nov 11 - 12:10 PM
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Subject: BBC defends folk awards
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 06:00 PM

http://theglamourcave.blogspot.com/2011/11/bbc-folk-awards-raising-blood-pressure.html

A piece about some issues surrounding the folk awards, provoked this response from the BBC and Smooth Operations.

http://theglamourcave.blogspot.com/2011/11/smooth-operations-and-bbc-compliance-on.html

It's possible the folk awards are in breach of the BBC's "how to run an awards" code of conduct - the parts about transparency and business connections between judges and nominees.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 06:26 PM

thankyou.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 07:10 PM

Oh no! If Smooth Operations come clean, what will be left for us to speculate about?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 03:40 AM

Zackly. The reason why there's so much griping about the folk awards is the lack of transparency.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 03:44 AM

Smooth Operations ? come clean ? give us a break, from the above links it's fairly obvious they never will, Mike Harding says the judges names are not secret and John Leonard says they are, clear as f...ing mud, and totally dishonest.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 03:46 AM

I'm just surprised there are as many as 170 movers and shakers in the folk world to be judges.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:00 AM

What is interesting is that the list sent to the judges is based on what's been played on Mike Harding's show. That immediately limits it to a certain category of music which fits the SmoothOps/MHS remit. No one, not even SmoothOps, seems to think that the MHS is representative of the folk scene in general.

So when they call it the "BBC Folk Awards", what they mean is awards for folk who've been on the BBC. Not exactly inaccurate, but...

Despite this, I'm not one of the conspiracy theorists. The Folk Awards may be flawed, but they are a showcase for the best of folk music - some of the best anyway. No matter what the cynics say, it is real kudos and a definite boost for those who are nominated. I've got my ticket, and I'm looking forward to it immensely. I'll be cheering on my mates in Pilgrims' Way who are up for the Horizon award.

A bit more transparency would remove most of the grounds for carping and allow us to enjoy it for what it is.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:01 AM

Gemma Kidney's Glory Hole


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Banjiman
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:21 AM

Fascinating stuff.

It doesn't sound as if there is any representation from Folk Clubs at all on the voting panel......festivals, agents and record companies etc but not Folk Clubs.

Interesting that.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:23 AM

Howard Jones wrote:
What is interesting is that the list sent to the judges is based on what's been played on Mike Harding's show.

As one of the so-called judges, I can say that this statement is inaccurate.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Musket
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:24 AM

Awards for something as abstract as music are always going to be subjective.

The alternative would be the BBC joining in the idea of folk being something that weird beards with twigs growing out of their sandals and leave well alone unless Simon Cowell some day decides it is cool.

Be grateful for the easy access to good music each Wednesday night. I know I am. Sorry, I wouldn't allow my enjoyment of the awards to be subject to knowing who the judges are. To me, it's irrelevant. One person's enjoyment is another person's earful. With one hour a week, Mr Harding has a job on, and one minute he is accused of not showcasing enough talent, the next criticised for cutting songs short to fit more in. Poor bugger, should have stuck to being one of the most prodigious folk talents the scene has produced.

I enjoy the new music I may have never heard before and I for one particularly enjoy being taken back thirty odd years by him slipping in someone I last heard in the upstairs room of a pub that no longer exists.

Keep it comin' Mike & crew.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:34 AM

Interesting to see the statement about artists not being allowed on the voting panel. Smooth Operations public statements are notoriously changable, I recall this statement being made tyears ago. Yet everyone knows it's completely untrue, I recall at least one artist coming clean and writing about his experiences on the panel, and I believe there are plenty more. Though without a list to look at such an impression can only be speculation.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:45 AM

I really can't get my head round all this bitching and sour grapes. Of course judges are going to vote for people they like – duhhhhh, it's a no-brainer. But if there are 180 or so judges, it seems that there'll be a fairly representative consensus.

Looking at it another way: is there anyone on the list who doesn't deserve to be there? Well, not in my opinion – I may not like the music of some but they all deserve their place. Are there people who aren't on the list who deserve to be? Of course, loads, but that's the nature of awards – not everyone can be a winner and there's always next year. Awards are not a democracy – they're the subjective opinion of a group of people and the bigger the group, the more representative the choice, but there is a limit to how many people can be asked. Fine – disagree with the whole concept of awards (yes, inevitably they represent the commercial aspect of folk more than the grass-roots aspect) but I doubt if there's a totally fair way of selecting the winners at an acceptable cost. Strangely, you never hear the winners complaining about the selection process.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Silas
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:58 AM

I don't have a problem with the awards as such - they do at least promote some of the best folk music to a wider than normal audience. What I do object to is giving people like Donovan (a person who has none nothing for the past 40 years)a lifetimes achievement award just to get bums on seats, when people who would really deserve an honour like that are passed over. It devalues the award.

I also don't like some of the tossers they get to present the awards - would love to know who picks these cretins out of the woodwork.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:14 AM

Your complaints don't go deeply enough! It is not the CONDUCT or the SYSTEM of the Folk Awards that is wrong, it is the whole CONCEPT of the folk scene acting like some minor league Oscar ceremony with its sad self-congratulatory behaviour.
When artists or agents contact me and say that they have won some award and therefore I ought to book them, I always point out how meaningless these trivial things are in the grand scheme of things. How I wish that the folk scene would stop aping the celebrity-led mainstream music industry with its false attitudes and values. If a person is good as a singer or musician then let them prove it without a panel of "experts" telling us what is good or bad.
VIC SMITH


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:16 AM

Honours would be spread more widely if each artist could win just one award.

They would be spread even further if winners were not considered the following year, or perhaps for the next two years.

These measures would make the BBC Awards more of a showcase for folk - if that is the intention.

I think it's a good thing to bring in presenters from outside the world of folk. It shows that folk does have a wider appeal.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:28 AM

I think the thing is Vic, that folk is part of the music and entertainment industry. A relationship that has had some benefits for both parties.

Cool it. You can't have sex without having the odd accident. Its not like those of us not involved are going to catch anything - not dangerous diseases, not awards. Its their game - not ours in the folk clubs.

The recording and broadcast industry want it. Let them have it, by their own rules - so it does what THEY want.

Nothing to do with us lot, Thank Gawd!


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:38 AM

There is a lot wrong with Smooth Operations and the Folk Awards( also with folk awards in my opinion but that's another story) but I dont think it's very fair to start being suspicious of Alan Bearman's stable of acts getting an excessive amount of awards(as happened earlier in the thread). Alan Bearman is an agent in the business of representing succesful folk acts. Given those aims, is it surprising that a lot of his people get a lot of awards? That's the kind of people he represents, and he's obviously very good at it. Nothing odd about that( except perhaps that finding an efficient folkie with a bit of nous is an odd thing in itself?)


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:47 AM

Vic: "I always point out how meaningless these trivial things are in the grand scheme of things"

Most things are "meaningless these trivial things are in the grand scheme of things"

But the music played by most people who win awards is worth hearing. You either like it or you don't, that's it. It doesn't matter to anybody else what anybody likes.

The awards seem to bring some kind of 'folk music' to a wider audience. Who can be against that?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:49 AM

Vic, I agree with you one hundred percent


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:57 AM

Les wrote:-
"The awards seem to bring some kind of 'folk music' to a wider audience. Who can be against that?"


The problem with that, Les, is the words some kind. Take the "Lifetime Award", How many times has it been given to a tired, past it American performer who just happen to be in the UK at the time?

What about the self-seeking "personalities" who are trundled out to present the awards? Would you say they are there because of their love of folk music or because it will give them publicity in various media?

I wonder why the "Folk Club Of The Year" award was removed a few years back. I reckon that it was because it was just that little bit more transparently ridiculous than the rest of the silly circus.

It is a stupid game and I don't want to play it.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:15 AM

"Vic, I agree with you one hundred percent "

Dick, are you saying that if you were up for an award you would reject it on principle?

I just think that if you don't like the awards, simply ignore them instead of getting hot under the collar. Like Vic says, they're meaningless in the grand scheme of things - but a nice pat on the back for those who win.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:16 AM

Bunny Rabbits to the folk awards.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:18 AM

Can anyone give me a serious explanation of what Musician of the Year actually means? What tests and credentials are applied?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:19 AM

I agree with Silas, on the presenters thing. Last year they had Tamsin Greig as one of the presenters. Now I love her as an actress, and she will always be Debbie Archer in my mind. However she waffled on about nothing, tried and failed, at being funny, and generally was an embarassment to herself and the Folk Awards.
If they want someone funny, there's Richard Digance, John James, Noel Murphy, and a host of others, who are folk performers, and amusing too. People the audience can relate to more easily.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:28 AM

Ok Vic,"The problem with that, Les, is the words some kind" - well we have been around that can of worms a few times on here and many contribitions have been ................ I can't be bothered.

Life time Achievments have gone to 8 English, 3 Irish, 2 Scots and 7 from the US. So, yes the US is over represented. But to descibe Steve Earle, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Tom Paxton, James Taylor, Judy Collins and Nanci Griffith as "past it American performer(s)" is clearly your opinion but not everyones.

I can imagine another end of this discussion in which some civilian goes to a singaround and dies of boredom or someone takes a whistle or guitar to a tunes session and gets frozen out.

That is just about as representative of the state of English folk as the Awards but it happens.

Gregs comments about the managment and promotion of our kind of live music by people in the awards is more crucial. It seems that currently loads of younger and not so young people are making great music that is trad or close to it. Are they getting some kind of equal or fair access to audiences that would enjoy their music - probably not.

Best wishes

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:43 AM

leveller, i would reject it on principle, but i would also make surethat everyone knew i was rejecting it and why.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:48 AM

H ha ha - the best of both worlds, eh Dick?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:48 AM

Howard Jones wrote:
What is interesting is that the list sent to the judges is based on what's been played on Mike Harding's show.

As one of the so-called judges, I can say that this statement is inaccurate.


I was simply paraphrasing what Emma had reported John Leonard had told her:

"There is a list, he explained, of new music sent out to all the judges every year, based on what's been played on the Mike Harding Show (which is also produced by Smooth Operations)." Perhaps the judges are not expected to limit themselves to what's on that list, but it's bound to focus their attention.

I think the value of the Awards is that they briefly give our music a higher profile than it usually gets. It would however be good if we could understand better how the nominations are arrived at and what the criteria are. Otherwise I think there's a great danger that the folk scene will become too cynical about them. As theleveller pointed out, everyone on the list deserves to be there. We can all think of other nominations who are equally deserving of recognition, and I can understand Vic's point of view if someone feels entitled to gigs just because they've won an award, but on the other hand it does at least suggest they're worth listening to, if only to make up your own mind.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 08:18 AM

The BBC need to get rid of Smooth Operations, they run the awards, where the only music and songs eligible for an award are the music and songs played on a show they produce and choose what is played or not and they won't tell anyone who the judges are, if that's not the definition of corruption I don't know what is.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 08:22 AM

The SmoothOps/MH residency at the BBC is the living epitome of a sinecure. A genial old fart Harding may be, but the John Peel of Folk he sadly is not.

But thanks to the internet noise now being generated, I have discovered Emma's Glamour Cave - a great resource, and really well done - and through that The Destroyers.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 08:34 AM

Peter, "A genial old fart Harding may be,"

- singer of songs both trad and written, pretty good instrumentalist, songwriter of some excellent songs, one of the funniest people I have seen, playwrite, advocate of cycling and rambling, creator(?) and front man of some excellent TV progs. advocate of all sorts of music generaly recognised hereabouts as folk music.

A bit more than an old fart wouldn't you say?

Best wishes

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 08:37 AM

Of course all the critics of Mike, The Awards, Smooth Opps, The BBC clearly do so much more to create, perform and promote our kind of music than any of the above list ............... erm

Best wishes

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 08:49 AM

Sorry to butt in, Les, but that's a bit of a false premise.

The fact that A may have less impact than B on something doesn't invalidate A's right to criticise B.

And, in fact, several of the posters in this thread are working far harder to propagate and promote the music they love in their area - including your good self.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 09:10 AM

Mike Harding is a pretty good singer, brilliant songwriter,comedian and instrumentalist, he could be a really good radio presenter, but he just does what Smooth Ops tell him.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 09:17 AM

Hi Will,

the "folk music world" is a small but surprisingly diverse one. Who "create, perform and promote our kind of music" most?

It's not a competition but the major and lesser known festivals, whoever they are, the EFDSS - and that has a far amount of critics on here, weekly folk clubs sessions and singarounds, dance clubs?

I don't know and I bet most people have no evidence that would stand up.

So, "Mike, The Awards, Smooth Opps, The BBC" in their way do a good job. Not perfect and not promoting the kind of 'folk music' that some would like to hear and criticism and suggesting for improvemnt may well be ignored, we would never do that would we?

It's a point that has been made before - the tone that comes across from the keyboard in to a blank space is perhaps more agressive than was intended.

Where's me banjo?

best wishes

Les


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 09:19 AM

"but he just does what Smooth Ops"

Well biting the hand that feeds you is not a useful course to take at all. If Mike Harding weren't hosting, I've a feeling that the programme wouldn't exist at all, then you'd have one less, in an ever shrinking field, outlet for the music; then where would you be?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 09:21 AM

So "but he just does what Smooth Ops tell him." One M Harding?

So, when I was employed I did what the management told me to do, what about you Dave, were you in a better position.

For what it's worth I ssuspect Mike has more than a little say in many things in the programme and in Smooth Opps

L in C


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 09:42 AM

"If Mike Harding weren't hosting, I've a feeling that the programme wouldn't exist at all,"

It was brilliant when Ralph McTell was presenting it.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les from Hull
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 02:49 PM

Welcome to the Annual Bitch-fest! People will always complain if their particular favourites aren't chosen. What a actually matters is that someone is being chosen that represents the music that we all sort of like, and if that helps to improve the profile of folk music, then we all sort of benefit. There's a useful cd issue as well that gives us an opportunity of listening to artists we might not have heard that someone must like. So let's agree that on the whole it's a good thing. You'ld have a lot more to winged about if the BBC stopped supporting folk music completely.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 02:52 PM

It was pretty good when Jim Lloyd was the host too.

I was the Union Branch Secretary at my last long term job Les, so I did more arguing with management than saying yes sir no sir three bags full sir.



Dave H


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 03:29 PM

Was Ralph NcTell doing what Smooth Ops told him?

a simple yes or no will suffice


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Ralph NcTell
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:00 PM

No


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:02 PM

much rolling of eyes and the thought of "typical Mudcat response"


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: stallion
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:06 PM

Who gives a flying f**k? Week last monday at Herga is where the soul is, and numerous other venue's across the UK and wider world. The awards are what they and attach what value you want to it, Mike Harding does his job, a nice gig if you can get it. I suppose it is galling if one works ones butt off and someone else breezes in for accolades on the back of a record label and their promoters but really it is just a marketing game, now lets get on with the serious stuff!


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Usual suspect
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:06 PM

Like the earlier Guest, I am also on the panel. First, we're not restricted to the list sent out by Smooth Operations - it's supposed to act as an aide memoire for the folk albums Smooth Operations is aware have been released during the eligible period. This helps to ensure that the albums nominated are actually eligible. There is NOTHING in the agreement judges sign which asks them not to reveal that they are on the panel. Given that, why do I choose not to say who I am? Mostly because I don't want any group of fans or record company lobbyists, not to mention the malcontents of Mudcat on my back. Third, the blog at the top of the page looks like someone who probably thinks they ought to be on the panel themselves. I wonder why they have never been asked?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Rain Dog
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:29 PM

They are what they are. Their main purpose is to promote the music, hence the guests from outside the 'folk' world who might draw others into this dark and mysterious world.

I read the following extract in the Guardian newspaper yesterday. It is from Srephen Sondheim's book 'Look, I made a hat' He has something to say about awards.

Stephen Sondheim on being igonred by the BBC Folk Awards


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:31 PM

that's your opinion, stallion and yours alone, and some people do care and that's their choice, and who are you to say what you do is serious and nothing else is?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:53 PM

If you read the blog you will see that she has been invited to submit her name for inclusion as a judge.
This is the time honoured principle of inviting people into the tent to piss out. As it stops them being outside the tent pissing in.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:59 PM

"not to mention the malcontents of Mudcat on my back"
who is this berk?some fantasist who probably lives in east cheam


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:54 PM

I'm thinking that GUEST and GUEST,Usual suspect haven't a thing to do with Smooth Ops


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 08:45 PM

Awards by panels of judges are generally speaking subjective. To give a fair representation of subjective opinions it helps to have a lot of judges.

I remember whilst on holiday in Scotland the wife and I bought some award winning black pudding. Needless to say we didn't agree with the judges!!!! It was (to our tastes) gopping to say the least. That said, someone must have liked it.

I could agree somewhat with stallion in that awards are there as a marketing tool to boost sales of so and so or who ever.

I personally don't care who gets nominated or who wins the awards, it will not affect who I listen to or who's music i'll buy. That will always remain my choice.

In truth I rarely listen to or agree with critics or judges as whether I like something or not is a personal thing.

If people want to have awards why not leave them to it. If you don't agree with the nominees or winners, so what. Listen to who you prefer instead!

After all you are entitled to your own opinion. However, if you are allowed to have your own opinion you should concede that everyone else is entitled to theirs as well.

We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon. ~ Konrad Adenauer

CC


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 09:15 PM

Mike Harding was at one time all the things attributed to him and quite brilliant at times. One suspects he also was making a fair old living from it as he always struck me as nobody's fool.

So why did he give all that up and settle down to presenting a not very accurate programme supposedly depicting the "folk scene"?

Ran out of ideas? Found the pressure too much?

Only he knows.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 10:29 PM

what insight GUEST Guest; could you do better?

A Yes or no answer will suffice.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 10:43 PM

OH crap is it nearly christmas again?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 03:14 AM

I think most things have been said and some many times and Mike needs noone to defend him but:

Dave H

"I was the Union Branch Secretary at my last long term job Les, so I did more arguing with management than saying yes sir no sir three bags full sir".

Good point Dave, more power to you and anybodyelses elbow doing such tricky work.

Mike brings more than a little experience to the show and I feel sure he doesn't simply do what he is told.

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 04:33 AM

I think most of the complaints are about the "usual suspects" cropping up time and time again. But if they're among the best acts around, they're going to keep getting nominated.

It's easy to disagree with the nominations and say "so-and-so should have been nominated" but that's ultimately a personal opinion. I'm sure many of the judges disagree with some of the final list. What would be of concern would be if there were any evidence that so-and-so had been excluded from oconsideration - so far as I'm aware there's been no suggestion, let alone any evidence, of a blacklist. If someone has evidence of actual corruption, let's sse it. Otherwise, a lot of the dissatisfaction is just the usual grumbling which we all seem to enjoy indulging in.

The problem arises because of distrust in the folk world of both the BBC and SmoothOps. However, they're the only ones in the game. I think their PR surrounding the awards could be better, instead of appearing to reluctantly release snippets of information about the process under pressure. In particular, I'd like to understand the criteria used to judge the performers by.

Ultimately, it's a bit of fun, it's good for those who are nominated, and it's good for folk by raising its profile. It could be done better, but what couldn't?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 05:00 AM

Well said Howard

L


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 05:03 AM

Is Len Goodman one of the judges?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Len Goodman
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 05:26 AM

I am sworn to secrecy!


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Brakn
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 05:34 AM

So........has anyone got a couple of spare tickets?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 05:51 AM

I `ad that Mike `arding in my cab the other day. `e `ad just come from a meeting with the Awards production mob.
I said, " Morning Mike. I see that annual Mudcat discussion about the Awards is up and running again. Are you gonna do anything about changing it ? Cos you know that Vic Smith `as got a point. Just `ow do you decide on The Musician of the Year?"
`e said, "No worries Jim. Next year the winner will be one `oo can play the most notes and sing the most words in three minutes. Just like the `lympics!!"

Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 06:21 AM

Xlnt Mr knowledge

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Usual suspect
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 06:42 AM

You're right, I don't have anything to do with Smooth Operations. If I did I don't think I would be eligible for the voting panel.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 07:02 AM

I am Guest. I do not have anything to do with Smooth Operations ...


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 07:58 AM

Howard Jones is correct, if they are the best musicians around they are bound to keep getting nominated, only...............they are the best from a very small list chosen by Smooth Operations.

A few years ago, just like the way the pop charts work, we got to saturation point with Kate Rusby [ as much as I love her ] on the Mike Harding show, this is the way it works and until Smooth Operations give more clarity it will always appear to be corrupt.

As the BBC is a public funded body it may be worthwhile asking them to name all the judges under the freedom of information act.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 08:22 AM

But they're not chosen from a list nominated by SmoothOps. John Leonard said they send around a list based on what's been on Mike Harding's shoe, but one of the judges has confirmed that they are not restricted to this list, it's just an aide-memoire to what might be eligible.

This is what I mean by poor PR. If SmoothOps were more open about the processes and criteria, there would be fewer opportunities for assumptions and misunderstandings.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 08:23 AM

That should be "what's on Mike Harding's show" but some might think what I put was right first time :)


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 09:18 AM

"but some might think what I put was right first time"

aye, the usual suspects, those who also criticise the BBC Folk Awards, simply because THEIR favourite(s) haven't been nominated in some category or other.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 11:03 AM

I am very pleased that Blair Dunlop has reached the final 4 in the young folk award. He is a very good musician and songwriter indeed, and he admits that the standard of musician he was up against was awesome. I'm sure that the other finalists are of the same standard.

I also understand that the lead up to the final 4 being chosen must be the folk equivalent of training to be a Royal Marine!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 11:24 AM

Blair Dunlop has more to live up to, I think, than most, considering who his parents are.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 12:09 PM

Guest here again.
Some clarification is needed.
When the voting form is sent out, there is also a list of CDs that have been released during the qualifying period. This time, there were 135 CDs on the list. Not all of these CDs have been played on Mike Harding's show.
It is made clear that choices (for best album) need not be restricted to this list.
There is no other list of artists.

Regarding the same names being nominated each year ... assuming that is true (I've not done an analysis) ... it's not surprising. This isn't the Oscars - new films each year - or the Brit Awards (pop music subject to fashion). It's folk music ... artists tend to stick around for more than a year or two.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 12:13 PM

no clarification is need, I don't think, I think we're all aware of how it all works., "GUEST". Obviously don't want to reveal who you are, so why is it we should take you seriously?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 12:37 PM

>Obviously don't want to reveal who you are, so why is it we should take you seriously?<

Well, good manners might be one reason. As another of the shadowy figures who comprise the "panel", I can confirm that what GUEST says is true in every detail.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 12:40 PM

Oh right "the panel" all of a sudden appears out of nowhere....pull the other one sunshine, it's got bells on it


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 01:08 PM

Does BTNG have a gold medal for talking rubbish??


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 01:10 PM

Maybe a special BBC Award?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 01:24 PM

Look...Uncle Boko and Uncle Les Chorlton, let me explain it slowly to you, all of a sudden we have a rather large number of "guests" appearing, all claiming to be a member of some panel or other and claiming to have inside knowledge of how The BBC Folk Awards work. It seems rather odd to me, as I said, that all of a sudden this "panel", should, en masse
Now, Uncle Bko, I gather you're the world's leading expert on rubbish, usually of the right wing variety, so you have little or no room to speak (I mean barred from fRoots..come on!! *LOL* loser)

Les in Chorlton I have nothing say to you as I don't know you.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 01:50 PM

I sometimes think that there ought to be a guide to reading Mudcat threads - something like:-

Posts 1- 25 Information exchanged, positions taken up
Posts 25-50 If discussions, continue they become more heated.
Posts 50 + Increasing appearance of posts simple given as 'GUEST'. Strong challenges to any stated position, insults start to be exchanged, withdrawal of most posters, combatants left to slug it out.

I ought to add, sadly, that this only applies to threads that are on British subjects and are dominated by British members of this most erudite and considerate of notice boards.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 01:57 PM

Have we reached the stage where the moderators need to put the Warning inverted commas around the title of this thread?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 01:59 PM

"Blair Dunlop has more to live up to, I think, than most, considering who his parents are. " ?
Whom ?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 02:00 PM

No dont bother.
As I posted earlier it must nearly be christmas
I hope some of you get the other pressies you were wanting .


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Usual suspect
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 02:03 PM

I can confirm that what Guest says is true. BTNG, I don't really care whether you believe anything I've said. I don't think I have said anything particularly controversial or unexpected. Sorry if it isn't helpful to the conspiracy theorists to find out that it's all pretty straightforward and above-board.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 02:07 PM

Tim Leaning asks

"Blair Dunlop has more to live up to, I think, than most, considering who his parents are. " ?
Whom ?


At http://www.folkicons.co.uk/ashlink.htm it says:-

Blair Dunlop - Ashley (Hutchings) and Judy Dunlop's son. Encouraged to take to the stage since a young age, he has now blossomed into a greatly admired singer, guitarist and actor.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 02:14 PM

Yes Vic, as an actor the TV series, Rocketman and as the child Willy Wonka in Tim Burton's production, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) The confrontation scene featuring Blair and Christopher Lee is still incredible to watch!


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 02:25 PM

I just watched some bits and pieces from one of the BBC Folk Awards shows, can't remember which year, not important anyway, and if it hadn't have been for the title telling me what I was watching, I would swear I was watching the (fill in the appropriate music genre) awards show, or something close.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 03:54 PM

If anyone would like to contact the guy at the BBC whose job it is to make sure the awards are compliant with the BBC code of conduct - transparency being a key thing - his name is Fergus Dudley. Email fergus.dudley@bbc.co.uk

http://theglamourcave.blogspot.com/2011/11/folk-awards-couple-of-things.html


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 03:55 PM

Dang. I meant

http://theglamourcave.blogspot.com/2011/11/folk-awards-couple-of-things.html


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Tootler
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 06:30 PM

After following the equivalent thread some years ago, I actually bought the Folk Awards CD. Very much a curate's egg with some excellent stuff and some pretty trite stuff, but interesting listening, nevertheless.

It doesn't pay to take these awards too seriously. I see them as an exercise in mutual back patting by whichever glitterati are dishing out the awards. The recipients are only bit players in the whole exercise really.

That said, for those nominated it's useful publicity and the awards do help to raise the profile of folk music, so there is that to be said for them.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 04:38 AM

>all of a sudden we have a rather large number of "guests" appearing, all claiming to be a member of some panel or other and claiming to have inside knowledge of how The BBC Folk Awards work.<

I've often suspected I'm not who I say I am. Looks like I was right. Thanks for that.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 05:34 AM

Xlnt Mr G, me neither.

Althoughs rich young folkies swanning around the UK in Limos playing crap music and staring in Bollywoodesque DVDs aintche sick of em?

On the road in crappy camper vans playing for peanuts in lousy rooms above smelly pubs - breaks your heart

Glenda in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 02:35 PM

A vigorous defence from Mike Harding:

Mike Harding's blog

It is a bit alarming that what started out as a combination of the usual grumbling about the "usual suspects" from people whose favourites had been missed off, together with largely idle curiosity about who the judges are and what are the criteria for the different categories, has turned into a witchhunt in pursuit of some imagined scandal. Now those of us who are Mudcat regulars will recognise this as par for the course, but to outsiders, especially in the BBC, it may appear very different. If folkies appear to be so outraged by the Folk Awards, the BBC may ask themselves why they should continue to fund it.

Much as I enjoy Emma's blog, I think she's got this one wrong, and pestering the BBC's compliance department over a supposed breach for which there's no real foundation could do more harm than good.

The folk awards are a golden opportunity - pretty much the only opportunity in fact - for folk music and folk artists to get briefly noticed by the wider world. The shortlist won't please everyone, in fact it doubt if it entirely pleases anyone, but all the acts on it deserve to be there. Yes, there are other acts who perhaps also deserve to be there, but if they are good then they stand a chance of being there some day - if the Awards don't get scrapped in the meantime. Now that would be a bad day for folk.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 02:41 PM

well jolly good for you raymond..


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 03:31 PM

Thanks for the info Vic Smith..
Some nice songs there,the guitaring is good if a little overly percusive for my tastes lol
(Curse his young fingers)


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 03:59 PM

The folk awards are a golden opportunity - pretty much the only opportunity in fact - for folk music and folk artists to get briefly noticed by the wider world. The shortlist won't please everyone, in fact it doubt if it entirely pleases anyone, but all the acts on it deserve to be there. Yes, there are other acts who perhaps also deserve to be there, but if they are good then they stand a chance of being there some day - if the Awards don't get scrapped in the meantime. Now that would be a bad day for folk."
hilarious, Mike Harding, the sooner this kind of tomfoolery is scrapped the better, you will be advocating Comhaltas competitions next


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 04:01 PM

I think anyone making any contribution to this thread should read MH's blog on the subject.

He has got it about spot on right IMHO


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 04:08 PM

Of course Harding is going to support the awards, that goes without saying, don't mean the rest of us have to.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 04:18 PM

Howard said of Emma's blog I think she's got this one wrong, and pestering the BBC's compliance department over a supposed breach for which there's no real foundation could do more harm than good.

And I'm posting his comment again because it sums it up nicely.

And Mike Harding's robust rebuttal of his critics makes for excellent reading.

Neither Smooth Ops nor Mike Harding nor the Folk Awards are representatives of some sort of evil empire and it does none of us any credit when they are singled out as if they were. Folk music is a many headed beast and long may it remain so.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 03:25 AM

Wow the shine from the tin foil hats in this thread is blinding.

Yes questions needed to be asked about the R2FA but there are ways and means. The questions a lot of people wanted asking have now been asked and more than answered by MH. Anyone with an ounce of reasoning and broad reading skills can garner enough information about the whole thing to see the bigger picture.

Isn't it obvious what this debacle is? A thinly veiled but seemingly successful attempt to drive traffic to a try-hard journo's crappy blog and some nobody's Geocities-esque podcast site.

Well done. Polish those (s)hit counters.

Whatever happened to getting some actual facts together and making a reasoned assessment before pasting your colon all over the Internet and stirring up a shit storm. Some people obviously missed that lesson in 'being a decent human being school'.

As for the sour grapers and armchair snipers, spend as much time practicing your craft as you do on message boards arguing the toss and feeding the trolls and maybe you'll be up for an award sometime.

Jus' sayin'.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 04:02 AM

"Folk music is a many headed beast"

And, fortunately, when you chop one off it grows another three.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 04:09 AM

There's an old story about two people who go to see a talking dog at a theatre. As they are leaving, one person says, "That was rubbish - you couldn't hear half of what the dog was saying and its vocabulary was very limited". To which the second person replied, "You're missing the point. The point is not whether the dog talked well or badly, the point is that the dog talked at all."


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 04:21 AM

There's a fine feature about talking dogs in the current number of Fortean Times.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 05:40 AM

I really admire Mike's patience and generosity with time. The Blog really is worth reading at least twice:


Mike's Blog

Thanks to Howard, no relation, for the above post. Sorry for those who can't get this in perspective.

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,keith price
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 06:11 AM

In the middle of the Leveson press inquiry and after the antics of MPs and Bankers Mike Harding can't understand why we don't let the BBC and Smooth Operations get on with the job. We should ask questions of all who spend our money and speak on our behalf.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Shining Wit
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 06:30 AM

It's soooooo easy to sit and snipe from the sidelines when you don't have to get off your arse and actually do anything about it. If everyone feel's that strongly about it then set up your own folk awards and put into practice what you preach. Or perhaps it's a case of all mouth and no trousers?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 06:35 AM

Do I know the names of the Oscar Judges? Booker Prize judges? Nobel Prize judges? Emmy judges?
Nope.
Do I care....Nope!
Why should I know the names of the Folk Awards judges? What difference would it make anyway?
I'm sure that the people who do have a vote, are basically well balanced individuals who have a working knowledge of the music. (That's why I'm not one of them!)
The thought of opening the voting as a free for all is just bonkers IMHO. I might select artist A or B, and give them 1 Vote. Vested interest groups would fill the Beebs In Boxes with thousands of votes for their particular favourite acts...And so the same people would win every year...
In general, It's an interesting hours broadcast. Am I influenced by it? Nope. But it's preferable to the X Factor. At least the artists play Live, and don't mime!


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 06:51 AM

Good point from Keith above, no surprise there, but I think Mike addresses most of what people have said.

Only those residing with The Peoples Front for the Liberation ........ Oh you know what I mean

Best wishes

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 07:09 AM

Do other award ceremonies attract this sort of hullabaloo? Or is it just the folkies who routinely feel the need to tread their sour grapes with such righteous vigour at the perceived unfairness of it all? A fine vintage this year I'd say!


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 07:28 AM

Hi sean,

it's a bit like political parties, the smaller they become the more they seek 'purity' and the more they purge or seek to purge the impure.

The far right and the far left go in for this kind if thing all the time - hence the current disintgration of the BNP and probably the EDL.

No pruges currently in the EFDSS so I guess it's all happening around the BBC Awards?

L in C#
The Peoples Front for the Preservation of The Beech (Anarch-syndacalist Collective)


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 07:29 AM

Shining Wit wrote:-
"If everyone feel's that strongly about it then set up your own folk awards and put into practice what you preach."


Except, of course, that this would simply be replacing one piece of nonsense with another.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 07:32 AM

After reading Mike Harding's blog, it strikes me that this thread is now totally redundant. I'm off to play some folk music.
Pete


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 07:33 AM

http://theglamourcave.blogspot.com/2011/11/bbc-folk-awards-and-freedom-of.html

Round three... and this time there's a freedom of information request. But that really shouldn't have been necessary.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 07:37 AM

Mind you, I used to enjoy The Alternative Miss World contests that were on Channel 4 quite a few years ago now. Who remembers "Miss Aldershot" - a cross dressed soldier marching as part of a well drilled squad of military men? It was a really effective piss-take of the original. I would support an Alternative Folk Awards if that were form it was to take.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 07:40 AM

or even "that was the form it was to take."


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Ken
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 07:43 AM

this time there's a freedom of information request. But that really shouldn't have been necessary.

Nor is it wise. Or proportionate. If you manage to p*** the BBC suits off so much that they wonder "is it worth it?" and drop the whole thing, you will have single handedly cost one of the few things which gets the folk world some badly needed attention in the mainstream once a year. How stupid, idiotic and self important would that have been? You right-wing newspaper journalists . . . you're all the same.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Silas
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 07:47 AM

Ken, you are SO right.

Methins ms hartley has lost the plot.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 07:56 AM

FoI requests are not a big deal. They're a tool in the box for getting info from people. If you have a look at the piece you'll see that the BBC has an internal department for handling them.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 07:57 AM

this time there's a freedom of information request. But that really shouldn't have been necessary.

It wasn't necessary.

The interest in who the judges might be is no more than curiosity. Anyone who knows the folk scene can make a guess as to who might at least be on the list. There's no serious suggestion of any skullduggery, or evidence that the nominations have been rigged. With apparently around 170 judges involved, that would be quite hard to do.

If Bellowhead hadn't been nominated for anything, then that might have been cause for an investigation, but this seems to be stirring for the sake of it. It's one thing doing that on Mudcat, that's within the family, but quite another taking it outside.

When we do see the list, so what? Some of them will be well-known names, others may be known only within a certain region or field of activity, but that doesn't mean they don't have the knowledge to act as judges. I suppose it will create another pointless discussion about who should or should not be on it. What it could well do is discourage some well-informed and knowledgeable people from being judges.

What I was more interested in was how acts are put forward for consideration and what criteria are used for judging. That has largely been answered, partly by John Leonard and mostly by Mike Harding. As I've said before, their PR could be better but like most things in the folk world it's due to cock-up rather than conspiracy.

If you don't like the Folk Awards, then ignore them. They do some good and little harm. On the whole, we're lucky that the BBC pays for them.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:02 AM

Well, Ms Hartley possibly just killed the Awards. The Beeb won't bother if it's hassle.
Shall we start the thread about how terrible it is that there are no Folk Awards now?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:08 AM

the smaller they become the more they seek 'purity' and the more they purge or seek to purge the impure.

Is that what's at the bottom of this? The very idea of 'purity' brings me out on hives, let alone this notion of 'authenticity' and 'correctness' that many folkies get off on. Folk (in common with every other genre) is the music of What Happens, not what Ought to Happen. My mantra for years now: let 'authenticity' be the reserve of the model railway enthusiast, who would, one hopes, at least have the nous to recognise a REAL train should ever they see one - and for the sake of our collective humanity let 'purity' be the concern of the dairymaids. In music (as in culture, as in people, as in language, as in life) Contaminants are Very Good Things - and, Glory Be, we're all post-revival now, peeps - so do what thou wilt with Unfailing Joy, Unimpeachable Sincerity and f*ck the detractors. As Stan Laurel said, life just isn't short enough... too short by far.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:08 AM

The thing is- if Twitter's anything to go by - there's basically one blogger/journo, one podcaster and one hospital radio presenter up in arms about this. I wish they'd just let it lie.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:08 AM

Emma's conveniently given a link on her blog to the BBC's own guidelines for awards. It's here.

I'm struggling to understand what Smooth Ops are supposed to have done, or not done, to fail to meet these. In particular, I can see nothing to say that the panel of judges must be made public. Am I missing something?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:10 AM

It would be nice if you used your whole, real names on here, since the discussion is about transparency.

Why do you think that knowing who the judges are would kill the awards?

A freedom of info request is a routine matter, intended for use on bodies receiving public funding to force them to do the thing they are supposed to be doing anyway.

Isn't it more likely that greater transparency will enhance the standing of the awards and inject new life into them? That's the way these things usually work...


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:12 AM

Let purity be the concern of dairymaids

Now there's an album title if I ever heard one...


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:15 AM

Howard. The guidelines about transparency in awards ceremonies organised by the BBC are here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/page/guidance-interactivity-awards

There's lot in there about transparency.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:18 AM

Silas, you assume Ms Hartley ever had the plot to begin with. Her blog has been a poorly researched series of non-stories from the off, with no real purpose other than fuelling Ms Hartley's self-sought reputation as a folk "insider". Its bare-faced cheek and hilarious inaccuracies, not to mention "stories" that no one else really much cares about ( a whole blog about a musician's cuddly toy? Really? And her attempts to unmask the FLK, something no one else in the world even gave a stuff about, were just laughable), could only have been shat out of the bowels of Fleet Street. With the old "something is rotten in the state of the Folk Awards" chestnut, she's finally got what she wanted, as an earlier contributor pointed out: traffic for her website and causing a bit of a shit-storm. No matter if damage is ultimately done to folk music, Emma Hartley won't be handled in this way. Pathetic. I prefer the much more serious musings of Gemma Kidney anyway.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: johncharles
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:20 AM

I wonder if mike harding still has the same feelings about Emma Hartley's blog now?
""A blog unlike all others on folkie stuff - well worth a gander" Mike Harding, BBC Radio Two
john


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:27 AM

Hi Joanie ;-)


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:39 AM

Transparency. Transparency...

The ironically beautiful transparency here is exposure of Ms Hartley's selfish and cavalier self serving, thinly and poorly disguised as investigative 'blogging'.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, putting said foot in your mouth and hoisting yourself up on a massive petard. Hilarious.

The biggest non story there ever was.

Fin.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:41 AM

Joanie. Why don't you log in as yourself and tell everyone what impulse it is that leads to write the spoof of my blog and the history of it...

I'm afraid you're still not my type.

E
x


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:46 AM

I agree that the use of psuedonyms does tend to invalidate comments, whether they are pro or anti.
While many of the aliases used here are those that particular person usually uses, there are others which have been invented for the purpose of stirring the pot.
I was always under the impression that this practice wasn't encouraged on Mudcat, but then Mudcat rules are as elastic as the definition of folk music.
Remember this, WE fund the BBC, and they pay Smoothiechops, so by extension we fund them too. They should be fully accountable for actions carried out on our behalf.
Inform, educate, entertain!


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:55 AM

Blimey - the thot plickens.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Silas
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:59 AM

Well Emma dear, some of use an alias here for very good reasons. This is the only forum that I do use one.

Anyway, time for you to get off the high horse now and realise that you need to dump this silly little campaign.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 09:03 AM

So, having failed to show any dark secret plot at the heart of the Awards the OP turns on people on here who don't use theie own names - clearly we would all know everybody else then

L in C#

Les Jones in Chorlton as if anybody knows or cares who this is. But I offer the content as it appears


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 09:08 AM

Dear Silas,

What reasons?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 09:09 AM

It says the rules must be clear and transparent. Specifically, it says:

Awards can only be judged fairly, either by the public or a panel, if clear criteria are established at the outset. These must be outlined in the terms and conditions so that entrants, nominators and judges are all clear as to the purpose of the award and how it is to be decided.

My emphasis. Transparency is for the benefit of those involved, not the audience, unless it's a public vote. Now you may think the public has a right to be involved too, but that's not what the guidelines appear to say.

There's nothing that says the panel of judges must be made public. What is the supposed problem that identifying the judges is meant to solve? Your persistence in pursuing this is starting to look self-serving.

I agree that an FOI request is of no great consequence, and the BBC probably receives a considerable number of these. Encouraging an email campaign addressed to a senior manager is a bit more provocative. Funding a folk award isn't one of the things the BBC are "supposed to be doing anyway". It's a bonus. If I were a senior manager in the BBC looking for areas to save money, an award which does not appear to be appreciated by its (presumably) intended audience might be an obvious target to cut.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 09:12 AM

"Oh but I'm running this campaign for the good of Folkies everywhere. Oh the huge manatees! Think of the children! Did I mention my blog? Here's a link to it. I'm earning a piss poor amount from clickthrough and could do with some traffic. If you could just click on an advert on your way out? Ta. I'd see you out, really, I would, but all of this one handed surfing whilst I gorge on the folky schadenfreude I've orchestrated unfolding in front of me makes it somewhat difficult for me to leave my chair. Nnneah"


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 09:13 AM

Howard.

"Criteria for judging or nominations must be transparent, clear, fair and consistent."


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Silas
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 09:15 AM

Well Emma, in my case it was found that as soon as I posted with my real name a number of other members would log on and attempt to start a flame war, possibly my fault due to some previous provocative posts I had made, so to keep the peace and sanity of other catters I now use this alias. Other people will have their reasons too.

I would have thought this pretty obvious really, but then....


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 09:16 AM

Emma, I am very happy to tell people the story of how you rang me up earlier this year demanding to know who was writing the Gemma Kidney blog. When i admitted that I knew who the authors are (as do a number of other people) but refused to disclose their names to you, you said you would tell everyone that it was me unless I told you what you wanted to know. Are these the investigative practices you learned at the Telegraph?

I'll give you a hint: there are two of them. They are male. Neither of them is in the KLF. Nor are they Simon Emmerson. I realise that doesn't give you many contacts left to pursue, but given your journalistic background and skills, I'm sure you'll get there eventually.

By the way, this is my first post to this thread - I don't really post to Mudcat any more. It's too prone to cranks and nutters, their weird conspiracy theories and unprovoked public attacks. Nice to know you've found your level.


Joan Crump


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: johncharles
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 09:33 AM

The Gemma Kidney blog. Excellent!
john


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 09:56 AM

was about to post that, as a friend of Joan's, I know she's at work.
Leave her out of this.

But I wholeheartedly agree with this -
Silas, you assume Ms Hartley ever had the plot to begin with. Her blog has been a poorly researched series of non-stories from the off, with no real purpose other than fuelling Ms Hartley's self-sought reputation as a folk "insider". Its bare-faced cheek and hilarious inaccuracies, not to mention "stories" that no one else really much cares about ( a whole blog about a musician's cuddly toy? Really? And her attempts to unmask the FLK, something no one else in the world even gave a stuff about, were just laughable), could only have been shat out of the bowels of Fleet Street. With the old "something is rotten in the state of the Folk Awards" chestnut, she's finally got what she wanted, as an earlier contributor pointed out: traffic for her website and causing a bit of a shit-storm. No matter if damage is ultimately done to folk music, Emma Hartley won't be handled in this way. Pathetic. I prefer the much more serious musings of Gemma Kidney anyway.

whoever wrote it.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 10:03 AM

Awards can only be judged fairly, either by the public or a panel, if clear criteria are established at the outset and approved by a number of wankers on Mudcat. These must be outlined in the terms and conditions so that entrants, nominators, Mudcat wankers, and judges are all clear as to the purpose of the award and how it is to be decided.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Silas
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 10:06 AM

Well Bonzo, when it comes to wankers, you have better qualifications than most.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Silas
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 10:19 AM

Just found this;

http://gemmakidneysgloryhole.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/is-morris-dancing-homophobic-i-dont-know/

Thanks for the heads up Joan - it's bloody hilarious!


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 10:49 AM

Emma, read my post at 25 Nov 11 - 09:09 AM

It doesn't say that transparency is for the benefit of the audience. Perhaps it should, but that's a different matter.

But what is the issue here that justifies this level of agitation? Even if we know who the judges are, how does that help? And why have you encouraged people to pester the compliance manager at the BBC, rather than making an FOI request in the first place?

I don't suppose that this alone will cause the BBC to stop funding the awards. But it might raise questions next time awards in general are reviewed, as I'm sure they must be from time to time.

If there were a real problem with the awards, as opposed to the usual carping, then what you are doing might be justified. In the circumstances, it appears self-serving. Others have expressed that view rather more strongly.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 11:19 AM

"Thanks for the heads up Joan - it's bloody hilarious!"

Really? Personally I thought it was puerile crap. Am I missing something?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,David Owen
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 11:26 AM

the leveller.....

it's meant to be puerile crap - that's the whole point....... Irony is lost on some people......


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 11:31 AM

If you were a judge would you want some of the people above 'communicating' with you?

Criteria for awards? In the opinion of the judges Bellowhead are the best live band. They may not be judged so by a different collection of people.


Criteria for awards? In the opinion of the judges 'Any category' you like is in the opinion of the judges the best whatever. That's it folk

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 11:32 AM

Well there's certainly no humour in it, that's for sure. Errr...how is it ironic? Is there some in-joke that I'm not getting? Sorry, I'm not one of the self-styled folk intelligensia inner circle.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Silas
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 11:35 AM

Hi leveller

Are you looking at the right thing? The one that Joan pointed to was Gemma Kidney a spoof of Emma Heartly's blog. I can't believe you don't find it even slightly amusing?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 11:38 AM

What, the one about female morris dancers?

No, sorry, definitely a Red Arrows scenario.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Silas
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 11:42 AM

Yes thats the one. Gay morris as well.

Ah well, we all have different senses of humour I suppose, I can't stand Ricky Gervase or that slimey wanker Carr.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 11:46 AM

Just been watching this. Now this is funny (but nothing to do with folk awards).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtS2Ikk7A9I


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 12:09 PM

If you were a judge would you want some of the people above 'communicating' with you?

Absolutely not! Stock up the safe room now. What the stupid, publicity seeking person is demanding is actually freedom to invade some innocent people's privacy. Just imagine if you were a revealed Folk Awards judge and woke up in the morning to find some of those scary scary people above drooling through your letterbox. Though to be fair, they probably don't go out much. Christ, imagine if Emma Hartley knew where you lived . . . she'd be camping out on your doorstep demanding to know how much Mike Harding had bribed you to vote for somebody whose music you liked. Shudder . . .


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Ken Folknacious
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 12:10 PM

That was me above. No cookie a twork


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 12:33 PM

Yes that is very funny leveller, and I'm so pleased I'm not the only one who finds Mr Gervais totally unfunny.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 02:58 PM

Guest at 12:09 PM

I've never heard such puerile chidish nonsense, do your parent's know what you are doing ?

Dave H [ real name ]


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 04:55 PM

Anyone who writes blogs about other people, or who encourages others to do so should be ashamed of themselves.
I agree with Dave Hanson, a lot of puerile nonsense.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 05:32 PM

Try "Fly Fishing" by J R Hartley. It's nothing to do with folk however its probably more interesting than a journo's blog.

Chris C


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