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Its why people dont go to folk clubs....

SunrayFC 17 Jul 12 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,kenny 17 Jul 12 - 02:27 PM
Richard Bridge 17 Jul 12 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,Auldtimer 17 Jul 12 - 03:02 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Jul 12 - 03:16 PM
stallion 17 Jul 12 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Stuart Reed 17 Jul 12 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Stan 17 Jul 12 - 04:05 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Jul 12 - 04:47 PM
John MacKenzie 17 Jul 12 - 05:23 PM
Dead Horse 17 Jul 12 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Banjiman 17 Jul 12 - 05:38 PM
johncharles 17 Jul 12 - 06:47 PM
Leadfingers 17 Jul 12 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,999 17 Jul 12 - 07:49 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Jul 12 - 08:00 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Jul 12 - 08:02 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Jul 12 - 08:20 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Jul 12 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,999 17 Jul 12 - 08:30 PM
GUEST,Guest 17 Jul 12 - 09:02 PM
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MGM·Lion 18 Jul 12 - 04:53 AM
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GUEST,FloraG 18 Jul 12 - 05:29 AM
SteveMansfield 18 Jul 12 - 05:32 AM
Will Fly 18 Jul 12 - 05:50 AM
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the lemonade lady 10 Aug 12 - 05:01 AM
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GUEST,Don Wise 13 Aug 12 - 05:09 AM
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Subject: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: SunrayFC
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 12:41 PM

I wasnt quite prepared for the customary floor-singer.....doing Wild Rover. "

Beam me up Scotty".

All the dreadful cliches seemed to line up like dominoes.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 02:27 PM

Just curious - how many were in the audience, and how many objected ? Was it the song at fault, or the presentation ? Did they join in the chorus ?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 02:37 PM

I thought I'd explained why people don't go to folk clubs any more. It's sex. There isn't any. Back in the 60s there was.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Auldtimer
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 03:02 PM

I must own up. There was still a fair smattering of S*X in the seventies when I started going to folk clubs. Festivals? they were just weekend long parties. Ah .... the old days, where did it all go wrong.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 03:16 PM

I like the Wild Rover, in fact - I've been one for many a year..


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: stallion
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 03:24 PM

I remember it well!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Stuart Reed
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 03:30 PM

Better to go to a folk club than not all...

If you think your singer has potential encourage her / him and maybe suggest some other songs.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Stan
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 04:05 PM

I stopped going to folk clubs when I discovered sessions. !0 minutes spotlight or a night of no pressure playing every tune you recognise. For me there was no competition.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 04:47 PM

sessions, schmessions, folk clubs, schmolk club.....very similar sorts of places, aren't they?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 05:23 PM

Ah yes; the sex.
Can someone remind me what that means?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Dead Horse
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 05:24 PM

I had sex in a folk club just recently.
I sang "Wild Rover" - that f*cked 'em :-)


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 05:38 PM

"I had sex in a folk club just recently.
I sang "Wild Rover" - that f*cked 'em :-) "

Where's the "like" button on here?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: johncharles
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 06:47 PM

sex is for keeping coil in


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 07:42 PM

The Wild Rover is STILL a Traditional Folk Song , so whats the problem ? Badly Sung ? Out of tune Guitar ? Or just stupid prejudice ?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 07:49 PM

People who don't go to folk clubs vastly outnumber those who do. Most don't go because they have no idea what a folk club is. The others go because they do. The undecided who also don't go know little about either.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 08:00 PM

Bruce - your reasoning brings clarity to the situation.

And clarity begins at home.

And home is where the heart is.

Ergo the heart is where clarity begins.

On the other hand - Give me a home where the buffalo roam

And you'll have a home where the buffalo roam, where clarity begins and the heart is.....


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 08:02 PM

I haven't been to a folk club for about 17 years and I doubt that you'd you'd ever catch me in one these days. But you won't hear me knocking 'em. Had it not been for John and Cheryl and the supportive atmosphere of the Tree Inn folk club (near Bude) in the early '90s I would never have got started and would have been missing out on a ton of fun all these years.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 08:20 PM

I've not been to a folk club tonight, but I went to one the night before, the night before that, the night before that and the night before that.

Why are you trying to avoid me, Steve?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 08:24 PM

That word "Big".


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 08:30 PM

The last interchange between Steve and Al is the first time I have understood British humour.

Not bad.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 09:02 PM

"Give me a home where the buffalo roam" and I will steer (LOL) well clear of all that buffalo S H I T.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 09:14 PM

The original line was

Give me a home where the buffalo roam and I'll show you a house full of shit

At least it was when I heard it back in the late 1960s. It likely has roots that predate that.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 03:43 AM

I haven't heard 'The Wild Rover' for years ... and I don't miss it!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Acorn4
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 04:15 AM

Didn't the Anchor at Sidmouth impose a £10 fine for singing Wild Rover?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 04:17 AM

The Aran sweaters,the pewter tankards, THAT version of The Wild Rover..........??

Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

Don


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 04:53 AM

But now I'm returning~~~~

BEWARE


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,CrazyEddie
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 05:06 AM

"Give me a home where the buffalo roam and I'll show you a house full of shit"

I haven't heard that one since Granny burnt her arse whilst riding the range...



All together now:

I'll go to the session, take me shotgun along
And I'll shoot the next bastard who asks for that song.
And the hangman will say, as I drop through the floor
Now you never will hear the Wild Rover no more.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 05:29 AM

You can't do an irish ( ish ) pub without singing the Wild rover. Its a tune that lots of people know - and people like what they know. The germans do ' An der Nord see Custe' to it.
We did Dirty old town, wild rover, and grandfathers clock last saturday night as well as some more traditional stuff, and 50s rock and roll, to a mixed audience of morris and neighbours at a garden party, and were paid more than we had negotiated. Right tunes for the right audience, me thinks.
Anyway - who says people don't go to folk clubs. The good people of dartford do. Some even book the same seat at the same table every week. It has a main guest each week and is usually busy.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 05:32 AM

I've sung The Wild Rover for many a year
It's a song people want when they've had too much beer
But now I'm resolv - ed
That song's a real bore
And I never will sing The Wild Rover no more


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 05:50 AM

Bruce is right - it's nothing to do with why people do or don't go to folk clubs.

As for the Wild Rover, there's often a little, superior-than-thou social snobbery in musical circles. Like those guitar shops with notices on the wall saying, "No 'Smoke On The Water'". (I managed to get one like this put on the wall just for me in the old original Guitar Junction shop in Worthing - "No 'Apache'" - as I used to play it on purpose in different styles to annoy dear old Dave Crozier).

If some singer or other wants to sing "The Wild Rover" then let him/her. I too have my dislikes but I have to listen to them in patience. I can't, for example, stand Eric Bogle's "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda", which was churned out recently, with appropriate grimaces and closed eyes, at a recent singaround. The song - to me, I emphasise - now seems maudlin and pointless. I heard Eric B sing this at the Laughing Fish in Isfield when he first came to the UK (1982?), and didn't care for it then.

But then I don't care for 'protest' songs or songs with social significance. I like cheap, light-hearted drivel from the 1920s and 1930s. You know - stuff with no meaning whatever. Tosh.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 06:22 AM

I like cheap, light-hearted drivel from the 1920s and 1930s. You know - stuff with no meaning whatever. Tosh.

Hear Hear! It's the very essence of Trad Folk Song too. Little wee tales that just are what they are without bashing you over the head with bleedin' messages. Even the very bleakest of ballads are entirely without point or purpose - they exist purely to entertain the listener (even though I often feel like offering out help-line numbers afterwards, like the BBC do after a particularly rum episode of EastEnders - but after The Band Played Waltzing Matilda I'm usually ringing The Samaritans anyway). For sure, I like my music bleak, dark, experimental, droning, unrelenting, harsh, unforgiving, mimimal and wyrd as feck (i.e. Utterly Human) but there's no message, much less meaning behind any of it.

Of course, like all Great Art, we can attach our own meanings to things, indeed such personal significances & assiociations are inevitable & enrich our entire relationship with the music as a whole, but as soon as someone Prescribes what that association is by Writing Something Deep & Meaningful, then I'm out of there. Like the times I saw Ewan MaColl - expecting the master singer of traditional ballads & getting the puny political idealogue instead. I can't listen to Dylan, Billy Bragg or much of Robert Wyatt for the same reason. But when you listen to Dudu Pukwana, Johnny Mbizo Dyani, Abdullah Ibrahim, Kippie Moeketsi, you're hearing the politics of human beauty & experience loud & clear in jubilant affirmation.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 06:23 AM

What, Will? Even when it's me singing TBPWM!

~M~

See my youtube channel: guaranteed no grimaces or closed eyes...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Girl Friday
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 06:34 AM

They always swear that they'll play the wild rover no never no more... yet the next time you see them..... De ja vue.

We prefer to sing our parody "Wild Rabbit"

The other song that gets reviled is "Fields of Athenry".

We parodied that too "Thieves of Peckan Rye."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K06Wiwg1ATY


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 06:43 AM

You could have said Woody Guthrie too, Blandiver. Simple songs about ordinary people's experiences delivered without hectoring or bitterness, but never (not ironically I suggest) setting out to clout you over the head with a "message".


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 06:47 AM

What, Will? Even when it's me singing TBPWM!

Michael, anything you do is a pleasure - because you are a Nashnul Treshure. :-)


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 06:49 AM

Aw shucks, Will...!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:06 AM

Regarding grimaces and closed eyes - well... we all do it from time to time. At least I've managed to stop my tongue from waving from side to side when I'm engrossed in playing. What I was really referring to was the heartfelt 'sincerity' that some people put into singing stuff of which they have probably had no personal experience. As George Burns said, "Sincerity - if you can fake that, you've got it made."

To be fair, I'm sure that the singer I heard recently was doing his best as he saw it. But whenever I've heard a song of this sort in a folk club I've always asked myself, "Why?" Here you are, singing of the tragedy of war, how pointless it is, and how it kills people and maims people physically and psychologically - to a room full of people who know this anyway. "War is hell." No shit, Sherlock, I'd never have guessed that.

The horrors of Gallipoli as described in the song can, of course, be understood as a metaphor for all war. Fair enough, but if you really want to protest at what a modern government does in its warmongering, get yourself in amongst the people that make these decisions and sing it at them. No use preaching to the converted. When I was about 8 years of age, just before my grandfather died (my mother's father), he described to me what it was like to be an RAMC orderly in 1915 (at the age of 45), picking up the dead and wounded at Anzac Cove. He described it in a very matter-of-fact way and, though I was quite young (this was 1942), I remember what he said very well - and to this day. Makes ATBPWM seem very second-hand to me.

I'd rather hear Ian Dury singing "Jack Shit George" - you can draw your own inferences from that song.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:09 AM

Also, it is very long.
It can deaden a singaround.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:23 AM

I quite like ATBPWM and I really like really old really long trad ballads.

But I like to see any of them done well........ with life, passion and genuine emotion. This can mean closing your eyes and grimacing if this is required to get the guts of the story across.

I like music with a message ....... the more political the better. As for the old ballads/songs being about nothing important, I think that is b*ll*x. They were written/ conceived about subjects that were important to the people at the time...... and often with a moralor political message. If you choose to hear it.

Horses (not again!) for courses.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:28 AM

Stay on the line Banjiman I am sure you will soon be given a lengthy explanation as to why you are wrong.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:30 AM

with life, passion and genuine emotion

Life I can understand. Passion I can understand. I do wonder about the "genuine emotion", though. I think if you've written a song about your own personal experiences or beliefs, or if you've personally experienced them in other songs, then genuine emotion? - fair enough. I also understand the possibility of empathy.

I could probably sing an old ballad (short one for me, though) with life and gusto, but it would necessarily be as an impartial narrator. If there was "emotion", it would be that of an actor, and I'm no actor.

Just me being an old nit-picker, Banjiman - enjoy your ballads and political songs!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:32 AM

PS: johncharles - there's no right and wrong - just personal taste. :-)


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:38 AM

Will Fly ...... I'm sure there is documented evidence of you admitting to liking a really long/ really old/ sung with emotion/ grimaces/ closed eyes ballad etc on here somewhere :-)

I remember as it was one by my (much) better half.

But you did state that this was an exception.

I really like bits of fluff sometimes as well..... especially Old Time Tunes and Songs. Again...... done well is the important thing to me (and well doesn't always mean note perfect).


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:47 AM

Will I know that, but reading some posts one might think this was not the case.
Singing in local pubs we are often asked for the wild rover. We usually do our Reggae version.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:47 AM

I'm sure there is documented evidence of you admitting to liking a really long/ really old/ sung with emotion/ grimaces/ closed eyes ballad etc on here somewhere :-) I remember as it was one by my (much) better half.

Ah, well... the memsahibs... God bless them... :-)

I must confess that, in moments of idleness, I like to pull the pig's tail to see if it squeals. I'm a Bad Lot, really.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:54 AM

"I must confess that, in moments of idleness, I like to pull the pig's tail to see if it squeals. I'm a Bad Lot, really. "

..... and that probably sounds better than some versions of Wild Rover I've heard :-)

I quite like Wild Rover really, especially the bang your table bit. But I can't remember the last time I heard it in a folk club.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:55 AM

Me above.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 08:03 AM

We usually do our Reggae version.

I'm up for that!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 08:24 AM

My opinion for what its worth. The wild rover and other songs which were sung by so many people and made so popular back in the 50's and 60's have caused a lot pf people to consider them as "done to death" or hackneyed.

But I have to remind myself that when I started out on my journey through folk it was songs such as this which attracted me and many others to the folk movement. Through entering a folk club I became aware of the contributory natue of choruses which formed a base from which I moved forward. I, slowly at first, became interested in other forms of trad singing such as harmony, ballads and shanties together with forebitters. Had it not been for the Wild Rover I don't think I would have followed the road I did.

I would never be upset in hearing it but would try to encourage singers to look at diferent styles as well.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,joe
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 08:56 AM

Tell you what, if I had a quid for each time I've sung a 12-bar blues in a folk club I'd be a millionaire.And it is impossible to sing blues without being emotionally affected by it.Try it.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 09:06 AM

Had it not been for the Wild Rover I don't think I would have followed the road I did.
It was Dido Bendigo for me but I agree with George about "the contributory nature of choruses".

Why people don't go to folk clubs? Perhaps it is due to the music snobs who object to anything that the non specialist audience enjoy.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 09:23 AM

Why I don't go to folk clubs, and I imagine this is true for quite a few people, is because of the fundamental snobbery illustrated here.

My session is held in the bar of my local pub and we sing anything. If someone wants to sing a song, they do and we're frequently asked to sing songs, like "Wild Rover" that people in the pub know and like to hear.

Folk clubs in England are by-and-large populated by middle-aged middle class enthusiasts rather than by the people who traditionally played and sang - and still play and sing - music and songs in pubs.

We're still here. Join us if you can throw off your shackles of snobbery.

;-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 09:30 AM

I don't go to folk clubs because I live in Canada, where they are very few and far between.

Your mileage may vary.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 09:42 AM

As for the old ballads/songs being about nothing important, I think that is b*ll*x. They were written/ conceived about subjects that were important to the people at the time......

The subjects are still important today, Paul - their relavance & human interest is eternal. The difference is, is that they don't preach or else contain any extraneous agendas in the way a modern song would. One of my earliest experiences of folk was as an innocent 13-year-old trying to figure out what TBPWM had to do with The Plains of Waterloo, and why a singer (June Tabor) would give them equal weight in her repertoir. Even when I was 13 it was obvious that TBPWM wasn't 'real' - rather it was an excercise in mawkish propaganda and prescriptive correctness writen at several removes from its subject. The Plains of Waterloo, on the other hand, is very real - it simply tells a story emerging from the reality of human experience, not the fantasy hinterlands of subjective & self-righteous opinion.

When the protagonist of The Banks of the Nile sings Oh, cursed be those cruel wars, that ever they began, for they have robbed our country of manys the handsome man she does so from the agony of her broken heart in a plaint that few could fail to relate to by way of a broader empathy, or else direct experience - even the canny lasses who bared their breasts for the task force back in 1982 would have been weeping on the inside. Similarly: The Black Cuffs have gone away, and that will be a crying day. Remember, these songs were songs of the working people, not the intellectuals who would patronise such as idiotic misled jingoism, and write their 'Folk' songs about it accordingly.

The reality of actual experience is one of the things that define the nature of Traditional Song and tells us much about its function in a pre-Folk / pre-Revival context. Of course there are hundreds of actively political songs, ballads & anthems from pre-Folk / Revival days reflecting the issues of the day. To the historian such songs can operate as Primary Source material in a way TBPWM never could (unless as a more ironic commentary of the mores of the folk movement as a whole). It does good to look at such songs - be they Chartist, or Cornlaw, or even the more explicitly political songs of the master trad. balladeer, Mr Tommy Armstrong. Unlike TBPWM, such songs arise from a deeper sense of experience & relevance, thus do they offer us something very real.

Apart from anything else though, like a lot of modern anti-war songs, TBPWM as patronising as it is ultimately disrectful to those who gave their lives in good faith. I will not judge their sacrifice to be in vain even with the benefit of hindsight. To them - heroes all - I will doff my cap eternally & will wear my poppy with pride in the knowledge that war is a reality, and that it is thanks to such heros that I owe my very life and freedom to pursue happiness in the here and now.

Once again, as so often in Folk, it's a matter of favouring Description over Prescription. In Folk, from the 1954 Definition to TBPWM, prescription invariably obfuscates the beauty of the obvious.

IMHO, naturally...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 09:49 AM

there you go Banjiman


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 09:58 AM

"Even the very bleakest of ballads are entirely without point or purpose - they exist purely to entertain the listener"

Blandiver, I'm not sure how your post above and this quote from higher up the thread fit together.

But I'll accept your second explanation of the relevance of the old songs...... it's closer to what I think, so must be right :-)

We'll never agree about songs such as ATBPWM..... your view suggests to me that you don't think anyone is capable of empathy. Or certainly not in songwriting ...... and I really don't think that EB's intent (or impact) was to patronise war veterans.

It is quite possible to be fervently anti-war but still have huge respect for those who are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 10:02 AM

johncharles....... well it is a discussion board :-)

You gotta love Mr Blandiver (or whoever he is today)though......... his posts here have brightened up the dullest of days .


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 10:11 AM

There's more than just the one version of "The Wild Rover"- luckily!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 10:31 AM

You folks are lucky. we don't even have folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 10:33 AM

girl friday-i prefer "wild rabbit" too.
did you cook that one up at the "road kill cafe"


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 10:40 AM

leeneia, whenever I correspond with musician friends in the US - and they live everywhere from West Virginia to Oregon, from Baltimore to the Panhandle - and hear how far it can be to go to do anything, I thank my lucky stars that musically, at least, I'm in the UK.

A friend of mine in Willis Wharf, West VA, had to drive a round trip of 300 miles the other day - just to have his teeth checked! It's a big country, and I'm sure the opportunities for making music together can be limiting the further out you get from urban centres.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 10:45 AM

"I'm sure the opportunities for making music together can be limiting the further out you get from urban centres."


It would save the banjo disturbing the neighbours though.......


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 10:46 AM

Stay on the line Banjiman I am sure you will soon be given a lengthy explanation as to why you are wrong.

There are no wrongs or rights here, just different shades of opinion which often need a little clarification. All it takes is a little time really. We do it because we care about such things...

I'm not sure how your post above and this quote from higher up the thread fit together.

It all depends on how you view this business of entertainment. I'm not trying to trivialise anything here - far from it! Simply put, entertainment is collective catharsis through the common cause of narrative tradition. Thus I say the old ballads carry a similar potency to EastEnders, which deals in similar archetypes & provides a similar catharsis and yet is, despite the seriousness of the issues raised, still entertainment. This is the nature of vernacular narrative. When Jade Goody died, one of the immediate folkloric responses was a plethora of 'jokes' - I even opened up a thread here which touched a few righteous nerves, but only because they failed to get the nature of how folklore operates in terms of a broader need for collective healing. Same thing when Diana Spencer died, although there the response was a little different - I saw life-long Anarchist openly weeping on the streets. In such times our hearts are laid bare, collectively and individually.

Entertainment (films, stories, folk songs, paintings, documentaries, art, theatre, poetry, novels, myths, legends, ballads) can make us weep; in doing so it brings us closer to the common cause by letting us know that even in our darkest hours, we are not alone.

*

One of the things about storytelling that fascinats me is our inner need for narrative. Crime Novels are popular - as are TV cop shows & procedural dramas; these work in terms of causality and cunning, but also because they go for the common jugular (sometimes quite literally). In our old village we had a particular grisly murder of a young girl that caused quite a stir. As an isolated incident it was raw - too raw to cope will really; apart from the poor victim, a whole community was traumatised simply by not knowing the story. A few days later, a young man was found hanging in the woods. Another very grisly discovery but the relief in community was a collective sigh of 'Aha!'. The story is as old as humanity. Seems the British Media deliberately exploit the fears of our nation by reporting on such atrocities without ever providing the overall contex which is essential to not only the story, but the function of a story, even in real life (especially in real life) where closure is paramount.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 11:01 AM

"Even when I was 13 it was obvious that TBPWM wasn't 'real' - rather it was an excercise in mawkish propaganda and prescriptive correctness writen at several removes from its subject. The Plains of Waterloo, on the other hand, is very real - it simply tells a story emerging from the reality of human experience, not the fantasy hinterlands of subjective & self-righteous opinion."
.,,.
So Will, presumably, to hear you tell it Sean, shouldn't have written plays about ancient British or Scottish kings or Roman consuls' affairs with Egyptian queens, but only about the Spanish Armada or the Gunpowder Plot.

Shurrup!

Best

~M~


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 11:06 AM

Ah well, Michael - can we properly compare works of dramatic art, fashioned by sophisticated playwrights and usually with a multitude of complex themes and plots, to traditional tales which mainly tell just one story?

Mind you, I wouldn't have minded hearing a tale about Cleo told by one of her handmaidens...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 11:30 AM

poor old Plato can't get a look in thanks to Aristotle.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 11:36 AM

So Will, presumably, to hear you tell it Sean, shouldn't have written plays about ancient British or Scottish kings or Roman consuls' affairs with Egyptian queens,

Will? Oh that Will! Well, Will was using such historical subjects as media for another level of entertainment entirely, not as mere histories or browbeating. Same with - oh - Pasolini, whose Canturbury Tales simply zings with a similar mastery of spirit in the venerable tradition of art's agelong celebration of Human Nature, likewise Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Still, one good thing about TBPWM is that without it we'd bever have had Ron Baxter's Masterful Parody.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 11:45 AM

I could probably sing an old ballad (short one for me, though) with life and gusto, but it would necessarily be as an impartial narrator.

I've got no experience of incest or murder, but when I sing the Bonny Hind it's as much as I can do to get to the end without choking up. Can't see where impartiality comes into it.

For the message songs I'm with Bellamy, when he said that there are traditional songs saying "how terrible it is to be exploited like this, let's overthrow the master", but for every one like that there are ten saying "isn't life great, let's all work hard". Or words to that effect.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 01:33 PM

Not going to click on that link. There are things I had much rather not countenance or experience parodies of, thank you ~ 'masterful' or otherwise. I am old-fashioned enough to think there is such a phenomenon as filthy taste.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: autoharpbob
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 01:50 PM

When I first joined Mudcat about three years ago I made the mistake of starting a thread about "hackneyed songs" that maybe I should avoid singing in folk clubs. Nice to see it still going on!

I can listen to and enjoy Wild Rover, if it is sung well. I cannot listen to even my favourite song - which varies - if it is sung badly. I would prefer to listen to a good Wild Rover than even a good Bohemian Rhapsody - yes, all of it including the guitar solo - which I have heard in a club, or the karaoke clarinet playing Smoke gets in Your Eyes that I have also heard. Like others I have found that playing in sessions is more fun than most singarounds, though there have been lots of good nights to cancel out some of the toe curling ones.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,MrGrumpy
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 02:05 PM

I just hate anyone singing anything
I haven't gone a folk club for over 50 years because of it


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 02:07 PM

EXcellent, Mr. Grumpy! I'm very glad I haven't seen you in over 50 years. Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 02:08 PM

Not going to click on that link.

Oh, Michael - go on. The link is to a Mudcat thread about a song for which 'Sailor' Ron Baxter has used TBPWM as a blueprint for something else entirely. It's deeply affectionate of the original (I'm sure an old trooper like Ron doesn't agree with anything I have to say on the subject of Folk Song, Traditional, Revival or Otherwise, which only serves to enrich our friendship) & it's mastery lies in cunningly avoiding anything too obvious until quite late on. Like any other parody, it relies on the audiences familiarity (for good or ill) with the song to work; first time I heard Ron song it, I was flattened by its sheer brilliance.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 03:47 PM

One of the problems of singing to groups of folkies and folk music enthusiasts is that many of them tend to be a bit "spiky," and, I'm afraid I must say it, narrow-minded.

There are an awful lot of really good songs out there that used to be sung that now languish in song books. These were songs that audiences often asked for, and any singer of folk songs who aspired to singing in venues beyond his or her own bedroom was expected to know and be able to sing. They were considered to be the nucleus of any halfway decent folk singer's repertoire.

So of course you did hear them a lot, especially from newer, younger singers who were just starting up.

But soon, if some neophyte were to favor the audience with "Lord Randal" or "Barbara Allen" or "John Henry," there would be people in the audience who, rather than being disposed to be helpful and supportive of the newcomer, would roll their eyes and moan "Oh, God! Not THAT again!"

The result of this is that there is a whole long list of songs—songs that used to be considered "classic" ballads and folk songs (and, I might add, were the songs that got may people interested in folk music in the first place)—are never heard anymore!

From a number of points of view including the scholarly, I don't think that this is good. It tends to suppress perfectly good songs and discourages people from singing them, or even learning them.

Songs like "Wild Rover" and "Fields of Athenry" are excellent songs.

But judging from what I've read here on Mudcat, I can sing these songs here in the States with a good response, but I would never open myself to the hazards of trying to sing them in a folk club in Great Britain.

Now, in Great Britain, OUTSIDE of the folk clubs, they might be very well received.

This is one of the reasons I am currently more interested in singing for non-folk oriented audiences, such as, say, aficionados of Early Music.

Be careful that when you moan and roll your eyes, you're not shooting yourself in the foot.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 04:26 PM


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 04:47 PM

Its why people dont go to folk clubs....: Too crowded?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 05:59 PM

Bruce - your reasoning brings clarity to the situation.

And clarity begins at home.

And home is where the heart is.

Ergo the heart is where clarity begins.

On the other hand - Give me a home where the buffalo roam

And you'll have a home where the buffalo roam, where clarity begins and the heart is.....

Al - that's pure fucking Groucho. Brilliant. I hope you typed it it while wearing a Groucho nose/mustache/glasses combo, with a cigar in your mitt! Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Joe_F
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 06:25 PM

I think The Wild Rover is a funny song. It has some satire to it -- the twitting of the landlord with a pompous lecture, followed by a hint that the rover has gone thru this business before. I have heard it seldom enough that still enjoy hearing & singing it. Possibly that is because I do not go to folk clubs, whatever they are -- in turn, possibly because they do not exist in Boston or if they do I have not been invited to one, for good reason.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Tony Rath aka Tonyteach
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:16 PM

The reason I don't go to folk clubs is lack of time - inaccessible meeting rooms ie up 4 flights of dangerous stairs. Being a working musician it has to be someone special to drag me out of an evening or at weekend

I have to say that our local in E17 the Rose and Crown do go good stuff although I pass on the political or agitprop material


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:49 PM

Are you absolutely sure people don't go to folk clubs?

They look like people to me, i suppose they might be an alien life form - like in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, springing out of pods with a tankard and a concertina.....


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 08:54 PM

Yeh Groucho and Margaret Dumont.... where are you Seamus?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: melodeonboy
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 03:03 AM

"like in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, springing out of pods with a tankard and a concertina..... "

Ha, ha! What a wonderful image! :-)


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 03:51 AM

Joe - that IS Boston in America. There used to be one in Boston Lincolnshire. There must be a folk club ib Boston USA - home of the charles river valley Boys, etc. What about all those irish people - irish people without a session...its unthinkable!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 03:51 AM

The younger generation seem to be rediscovering the songs which had been written off by hte older generation as too hackneyed. They recognise that they're good songs (which is why they were sung to death in the first place) and because they weren't being sung, to them they're new and refreshing.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 04:51 AM

Went to the Faversham ( Kent) folk club last night with its famous 9 o clock pull. Quite full. A nice range of floor singers. Its a shep pub but they had black sheep on too. By finishing at 10.30 people have time to hang about and chat afterwards- a nice touch. In the past the committee have been the backbone of the Faversham Hop festival. Nobody sang wild rover - but there were some traditional and some new songs with join in sections. The main act was 2 young sisters from Devon doing blue grass type things, and doing them very well. All for £7.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 04:59 AM

its famous 9 o clock pull

Is that some sort of folkie speed dating tradition? People were moaning earlier in this thread that there wasn't enough of this sort of thing in folk clubs these days...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 05:18 AM

Not telling. You need to go to find out, but it does sometimes have a roll over.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 05:32 AM

I'd love to, but it's a long way from Fleetwood to Faversham... 301 miles according to Google maps, taking 5 hrs, 11 mins (though the way my wife drives we could shave that down to around 4). But in American terms I dare say that's not so far for a good sing, eh?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 05:50 AM

Chorlton FC last Thurs. Quite full - about 40 there, although more than half of those were performers. (Strictly one number each.) Insanely eclectic as per usual - mostly new songs, interspersed with Dylan covers, George Formby songs, poetry and (on this occasion) "Pop goes the weasel" in the style of Anthony Newley. I did "Anchor Song". Hardly anything unaccompanied and bugger-all traditional, until some friends of mine finished the night with a brilliant "Prentice Boy". Unaccompanied. In harmony. In parentheses. It started late and ran late, making for a rapid exit when the last act finished; not so much "hang around and chat", more "hang around and help stack the chairs". All for £1.50 on the door, incorporating free (or compulsory) entry to the raffle.

Beech last night. Rammed. Nice range of singers, many of them unaccompanied. Old songs, new songs, songs by the likes of Bob Watson & Keith Marsden and at least two Child ballads. I did the Holland Handkerchief, and the second time round I did Anchor Song (again - I think I was the only person in the room who'd been at Chorlton the previous week, which is odd considering they're less than a mile apart (and on different nights). Another late one - it finished some time after the bar staff rang Time, and people hung around chatting for a while after that (it's a good job I didn't have work in the morning). No 'act'. All for the price of the beer.

No 9 o'clock pull, though! (At Chorlton the MC hadn't arrived by then. Maybe that's what he was doing.)


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 06:00 AM

Concluding my previous witter: you could say, if you were feeling uncharitable, that this is why people don't go to folk clubs - who the hell wants to sit through two hours of sixth-form bedroom poetry and Dylan wannabes? Alternatively, this is why people don't go to folk clubs: who in their right mind would turn out on a weeknight to hear a bunch of amateurs murdering old songs they got off records?

Both very persuasive arguments, if you feel like being persuaded in that particular way. But they both have one big problem, which is that the premise is false: people quite clearly are going to folk clubs and singarounds, in quite substantial numbers, week after week.

The real reason why people don't go to folk clubs? There are too many people there.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 06:18 AM

Incidentally, SunrayFC, I seem to remember buying a Johnny Collins CD from you a couple of years back, just after his untimely departure. He didn't do the Wild Rover, but he did songs by Cyril Tawney, Harvey Andrews, Tommy Makem, Tom Lewis and quite a few other Revival singers, with only a handful of traditional numbers. I think some people don't go to some folk clubs because they'd rather hear traditional songs.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 06:51 AM

At Chorlton the MC hadn't arrived by then

The only thing that baffles me about Chorlton is the need for an MC. I respect Les as the Gaffer (just as I respect all clubs must have a Gaffer) but I'm all for open anarchy and people being civilised enough to sing in turn without waiting to be invited or introduced. That said, at The Moorbrook, it's a jump in song & music session that teeters on the edge of becoming a session proper when the diddle-de-dee lads are heaping tune after tune. There is, of course, only so much of this the soul can bear; at which point I'll switch on my shruti box and start improvising on my fiddle in prelude to a typically freewheeling rendering of Harry Cox's The Crabfish in rough antithesis of the accumulated muso slickness which needs regular exorcism least possession sets it (the resident musicians are of A1 calibre but always manage to avoid being simply slick).

Still, it's come-all-ye, all welcome, and great fun, and always rammed, and I'm more inclined to bitch about those who can't play than those who can, and that's all part of the general crack (not craic, which is something else entirely) of the occasion. Last week my wife sang The Bonny Boy, unaccompanied, silencing the noodlers by improvising a wordless melismatic prelude of tender virtusity. I know I'm biased, but it was so perfect that afterwards I felt there was nothing more I could add, and so we packed up and went home at around 12.30am leaving the diddle-de-dee lads in full swing & the locals deep in their cups. I've little doubt that some of them are still there.

In all my Folk Years (which must be akin to Ferret Years) I've never known anything like it. It is openly egalitarian, totally supportive with 100% idiomatic trad focus in both song & music. Indeed, many of our biggest chorus songs are written - like former (& sorely-missed!) resident Ron Malaney's humanist anthem Breathe with Me, which our resident canwr Cymru Vicky Lewis sang last week and we took it into realms of the Sacred Harp. People come into the pub to stand at the bar & savour it; when someone finishes a song the most applause always seems to come from outside the room, which is, I feel, exactly as it should be.

I've never been so happy in any Folk Context ever, with the possible exception of the old Colpitts glory days in Durham and the Woodbine & Ivy Band choral session at Limefield a couple of years back. When it's an honour to be there, you know it's the best.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 07:15 AM

It's all about those rows of chairs. Me: MC up here; you lot: punters down there; you: lucky performer who's going to come out of the audience to go on next, and go back into it when you've finished. Admittedly, the audience consists very largely of performers and their friends, making it more egalitarian in practice than it sounds. But I think the stage/audience room layout and the MC role go together - hard to have one without the other.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 07:23 AM

My loacl folk club is the one Phil describes above, Chorlton Folk Club. It's a fantastic club in lots of ways - loads of people turn out every week, loads of people want to perform and get to perform and some of the performances are done with talent, flair and passion. Me, I don't go: not because its rubbish, or because someone might sing Wild Rover, but because most of the music performed isn't really my cup of tea and my own urge to perform is verging on the non-existent. Am I complaining? Not on your nelly! Good luck to them - I'm glad so many people are getting to have so much fun for a measly £1.50 plus beer money. I suspect this also shows that a folk club is largely the sum total of what the people who go to the folk club want it to be.

Here's a thing. At the singaround last night somone sang a song they described as something they'd heard Kate Rusby singing and launched into "1000s or More". Did anyone make any sniffy comments about it being from the Copper Family? Did anyone sigh or roll their eyes because they'd heard the song a million times before? Of course not! Everyone came roaring in on the chorus and lifted the roof off. The singer nearly fell off her chair (in good way) and a fab time was had by all. I dunno what this means, but it says something good about that roomful of people at that moment...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 07:42 AM

The set up at the old Bridge Folk Club was worse - you got up, stood on the floor, faced the audience, yet you had the residents on a raised stage behind you (Ray Fisher, Pete Woods, Tom Gilfellon, Johnny Handle, Colin Ross...). Weird!

I'm not so keen on getting up to sing - I find it perverse & unnatural (unless it's a gig, when there's a whole different set of rules). PA systems just add to the horrors of that. Performing in festivals you can't avoid it, but having watched Jordi Savall & Hesperion XXI the other week playing live to an audience of 1000 in a concert hall with no PA, I see no point why people should insist on using one in the back room of a pub or other small venue. I really regret using the PA at a couple of recent gigs we did which really fucked things up.

I like using live electronics at an acoustic volume, and might occasionally dream of doing this in a singaround, though I'm never without my trusty electro-Shruti Box. I found it amusing one night at a PA-folk club when one resident objected to my electro drones as being offensive to purists (like him; for purist read tosser). If I could afford it, I'd get a set of Northumbrian small-pipes made sans chanter just to use as drones for my loops, FX & electronics. Could I play the fiddle with that too, I wonder?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 08:00 AM

You can get a great drone out of a concertina, with very little processing - I couldn't believe this the first time I played it back, the last 30 seconds especially. (All I did to it was stagger the two channels by a couple of seconds so the changes of direction aren't too obtrusive.)


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 08:26 AM

Nice. It's got a sheng thing going on, which is about right for free reeds. Is that the bontemi or the concertina?

It's figuring out how to do it live that's the thing. I did this the other week which is real-time acoustic level no edits, no dubs, though the FX / Noise quotient is maybe too high for Folk Fans (purist or otherwise) though on another level it works as programmatic sonic gloss on the events of the ballad.

Would I do this in a Folk Club? Not quite like this anyway, but I was reacting against the strum-along version by Archie Fisher on YouTube which stands in stark contrast to the Willie Scott original which he names as a source. Naturally, I regard the Willie Scott recording as definitive, so this is my reimagining of the thing on the outer-fringes of weird - i.e. too weird for weirdlore.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 10:22 AM

.......who in their right mind turns out on a weekday night to hear a bunch of amateurs in a karaoke session murdering songs you can hear every day on the radio..?

Don


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Joe Nicholson
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 10:40 AM

Personally I much prefer the folk club to the concert scene, you should bear in mind that the booked artist in a folk club will usually do two fourty minute spots which is more than you will get in a concert and cheaper.
    I also enjoy non guest nights where the atmosphere sociability and friendliness is I believe quite unique.

Joe Nicholson


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 10:54 AM

the booked artist in a folk club will usually do two fourty minute spots which is more than you will get in a concert and cheaper.

I can't argue with the cheaper part of that statement, but if I went to see anyone at Buxton Opera House or The Lowry in Salford and they only did two 40 minute sets I'd feel very short changed indeed!

A 7:30 start with two 40 minutes sets and a 20 minutes interval takes you to the witching hour of 9:10.

I don't think I've ever been out of a concert anywhere that early ...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Abdul in china on ifone
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 10:57 AM

Ah Steve but was your ticket cost under a tenner
Al


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 11:08 AM

"I did this the other week which is real-time acoustic level no edits, no dubs"

Wow! Willie Scott meets Tim Blake meets Greg Heat on a blasted heath. Go on, tell us how you did it!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 11:27 AM

you should bear in mind that the booked artist in a folk club will usually do two fourty minute spots which is more than you will get in a concert and cheaper

Aye. Never mind the taste, look at how many they can squeeze into the tin... ;-)


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 12:00 PM

Go on, tell us how you did it!

I've put it up on Soundcloud here - with notes & the obligatory Crawhall woodcut! Basically I'm putting the fiddle through my Kaossilator-Pro (which does short loops) and an FX loop which features a flanger (Behringer Flanging Machine - great for swoops) - & a filthy fuzz-box by way of muck & mire. That's all going in on a line; it's all happening 'live' so the vocal mics are picking up the fiddle too, but acoustically. A touch of reverb in the final mixdown and Bob's your uncle...

I accept the Tim Blake inspiration; I love his real time approach to his new age anthems - like the Live Webcast of Lighthouse for Hawkfest in 2009...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 12:02 PM

Oops...

Time Blake - 'Lighthouse - the Live Webcast'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyWe1Z4OsKY


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 12:29 PM

After a close reading of the thread, my only comment is to Will Fly.

Willis Wharf is not in West Virginia, it is near the tip of Cape Charles on the Delmarva Peninsula in Virginia, which is nearly surrounded by water(Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay). There are dentists close by, but not perhaps, dentists who participate in your friend's dental plan.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 12:39 PM

why should the wild rover not be sung in a folk club, it is a folk song.
if it is sung well and given respect instead of being turned into a piece of junk, it is a good song, basically the tale of the prodigal son. it is the one song that non folk enthusiasts recognise, in that sense it is truly a folk song.Iwould argue the opposite that it is precisely why people do not go to folk clubs because the wild rover is not sung , and when it is sung by non folk enthusiasts it is turned into a bit of junk, by idiots making silly noises and [right up your kilt tom foolery]


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 01:24 PM

1) we can't get anyone to push us in our wheelchairs
2) We won't be able to hear the music anyway
3) Doc says we can't drink taking our meds
4) All the hot women are as old as us
5) Forgot where the club is
6) Can't find the darn car keys
7)
:-)


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Joe_F
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 02:29 PM

Big Al: Yes, I should have said, Boston, MA, USA. It may well be that I just don't know what a folk club is. Certainly, I have frequently been in bars that periodically set aside a room for singing. I go to one once a month, in Waltham (MA, USA, a suburb of Boston! and you wouldn't believe how we pronounce the name). But we call it a pub sing.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 03:36 PM

I always thought folk clubs were an American import??


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 01:21 AM

"Iwould argue the opposite that it is precisely why people do not go to folk clubs because the wild rover is not sung"

We have a two venue evening. Starts off as an open mic in a non licensed premises and people basically play a couple of songs each. Normally what they've been preparing and it is a good eclectic mix where everyone is listened to. Then at 10:30 we go into the local and have an informal pub session which tends to be a mixture of singer/guitarists and traditional fiddlers/pipers etc against a vibrant pub atmosphere. You can guarantee that someone in the pub will request the Wild Rover and that it will go down a storm with everyone in the place singing. May not be for purists but people have good fun.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 07:01 AM

The Wild Rover

I sing The Wild Rover but not the standard version. I sing a version with has the same story but with a totally separate tune and significantly different words and an entirely altered but also very singable chorus. I sing it for two reasons:-

* It's a very interesting song and so different from the standard version that, in itself, it is a lesson in how oral transmission works.
* The song was collected from the very fine Lewes singer George Townshend by Ken Stubbs.... and where was it collected? In the pub called The Royal Oak in Station Street in Lewes that our folk club moved to a mere 22 years ago.

We booked Andy Turner at last year's Lewes Folk Festival and in his solo concert he sang a third version of The Wild Rover quite different again from the other two. I think I remember him saying that he learned it from Sam Larner.

Look beyond the obvious and you find some fascinating stuff.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 08:25 AM

"Michael, anything you do is a pleasure - because you are a Nashnul Treshure. :-) "
Tsk
You IS a nashnul treshiure


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 08:39 AM

Sorry Tim, my gramma got in the way - my granda din't help eever.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Girl Friday
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 08:03 AM

"the booked artist in a folk club will usually do two fourty minute spots which is more than you will get in a concert and cheaper."

There may be longer sets by really top artists at concerts. That's as maybe, and, you'd probably need to be a real fan of whoever that artist was, to enjoy any more than fourty minutes in one hit. Whoever the artist is, the promoters/ theatres/ concert halls must be raking it in at fiften pounds plus per ticket ! Folk Clubs are far better value for money.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Green Man
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 11:37 AM

I didn't go to a folk club for years because I don't like the stand up in front thing. My scene is the session where everyone joins in as occasionally the synergy is truly amazing.

Wifey and me and some mates ran a really successful folk around for a few years in Herefordshire. We only had to get bossy when a sound hog got greedy and tried to sing or play lots at a time otherwise 'folks' are well behaved and sensible.

So after a long rest we have started a folk club. If wer're successful we will have a relaxed 'join in if you can' culture which encourages new people. You never know we might discover the next big thing!

Eagle and Sun, Hanbury Warf, Worcestershire.. Lat Tuesday in the month from about 8:00 (Morris time).

GM


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 11:57 AM

If I could echo Allan Conn's point: I have been to his session a few times and it WORKS. It has a great friendly atmosphere and gets participants with a wider range of ages and backgrounds than any other I can think of. You CANNOT afford to be snooty about newcomers having a limited repertoire.

I would far rather go to a session where people sang the Wild Rover every time than one where they all felt they mustn't.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Tootler
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 06:19 PM

I think it is a pity that some people are so snooty about the Wild Rover (and one or two other songs). It's true that back in the day, it was sung to death so it's not surprising it fell out of favour, but the snooty attitude inhibits people from singing it which is a pity because it's a good song and there is no doubt that many enjoy it as it has a great chorus for joining in.

I have noticed that people are starting to sing it again and as long as it's not overdone, that's great.

I have a few songs that were very popular way back but fell out of favour which I sing from time to time and I find that if I choose my time and setting they always go down well.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 06:28 PM

Farewell Nancy has come back, I think.

Not many do Dives and Lazarus.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Bugsy
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 09:14 PM

Lazarus? There's another song raised from the dead.

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Bainbo
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 09:27 PM

Different Lazarus.

I bet they're always getting mistaken for each other.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Girl Friday
Date: 25 Jul 12 - 12:21 PM

As well as our regular Friday Folk Club, we run a session on Monday nights . It has picked up again after a bit of a quiet time. All styles of music feature from well performed traditional folk songs, through Irish music and self penned songs, to lounge jazz. The mixture seems to work well. We meet every Monday (barring Bank Holidays) at The Seven Stars, Foots Cray High Street, DA14 5HJ. Handy for transport from Orpington, Sidcup and Swanley Kent. Nobody minds if you do sing The Wild Rover, but please, not every week.Crayside Folk Club


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 25 Jul 12 - 06:20 PM

The Spendthrift Knight 16th c.-The Heir of Lynne 18thc.-The Wild Rover 19th c. not a bad pedigree at all. You learn things like that when you go to Folk Clubs and get introduced to the works of Bert Lloyd. useless info. maybe, but fascinating.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Chris Willey
Date: 25 Jul 12 - 11:30 PM

Only Jazzers KNOW..

60's UK was the next step from the Back Room to the Outside World..

Many people feel it was the wrong move for Chris Willey..attention seeker..

Eh Up..

CW


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 03:42 AM

Perhaps one reason people don't go to folk clubs these days is because of sea shanties.

When Bert Lloyd and Ewan MacColl made all those seminal sea shanty records, back in the 1950/60s, few of their efforts were more than half a dozen verses long (partly due to the limitations of LPs, I suppose). Now would be shanty singers seem to need to dig out every verse possible - 250 verse shanties are not uncommon (I exaggerate slightly for dramatic effect).

"I thought I heard the old man say,
Leave her, Johnny, leave her!
Just 249 more pulls and then belay,
It's time for us to leave her!"

Sooooooo booooorrrring!!!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Hesk
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 04:06 AM

Surely any song with an absurd amount of verses would be tedious.
As to shanties, it is all a matter of taste. I much prefer them to long songs recently written by very serious souls earnestly playing their guitars.
But I still listen, and I still go, because I love the concept of a group of people getting together to make music and sing.
We may be growing old together, but it is still fun.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 04:14 AM

Shimrod - you are right. Too much of anything can get tedious unless you are a real fan of the genre. Variety is the spice of life. The old wisdom has some merit.
A six verse shanty is about the limit you want unless there is something else with it.
Faversham folk club last night had a harp, 2 guitars, a mandolin, a hardanger and a keyboard,and several unacccompanied and accompanied singers and the famous nine o clock pull. The singers did a good variety of songs - many with join in sections. There was only one shanty which got everybody singing. A good mix.

FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 05:03 AM

Has anyone experienced both the pub sings that Joe talks about in America, and our folk clubs. Is there any difference?

In England - the term 'folk club' covers a lot of different sorts of places. Too many in some peoples opinions - but I like the all embracing nature of the term.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 06:28 AM

Al - I tend to think of a club as non profit making, with a defined membership list, and a committee including a treasurer. Any charges will cover expenses. Within that there is a wide variety of formats. In North kent England we have Dartford and Faversham. Dartford uses a fixed format - a paid guest each week supported by a limited group of residents. Faversham is more adventurous with a mix of singers nights and paid guests - the guests being supported by a variety of floor spots.
There are other events that happen in the area but more in the way of sessions.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 06:35 AM

Thanks, FloraG, the Faversham club sounds great! It's a pity that I live in the North West - otherwise I'd pay your club a visit.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Wood Z
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 09:54 AM

I thought Orpington Folk Club, Orpington Friday Folk and Crayside Folk were all in North Kent as well!!!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 09:58 AM

I always think of orpington as outer london - its not part of Kent for Administration though I think you are right - its probably Kent.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 10:26 AM


I thought Orpington Folk Club, Orpington Friday Folk and Crayside Folk were all in North Kent as well!!!

That is an ongoing discussion about the outer London boroughs which are not in London postal districts. Does changing the name on the administrative notepaper change the county?


Perhaps one reason people don't go to folk clubs these days is because of sea shanties.

Too few in my view.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 10:33 AM

I love shanties, but even the best become repretitive after a few verses.
Pick you favourite few, then let someone else have a go.
Do it again in a couple of weeks with a variation in the verses.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 12:53 PM

Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Shimrod - PM
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 03:42 AM

Perhaps one reason people don't go to folk clubs these days is because of sea shanties.

"When Bert Lloyd and Ewan MacColl made all those seminal sea shanty records, back in the 1950/60s, few of their efforts were more than half a dozen verses long (partly due to the limitations of LPs, I suppose). Now would be shanty singers seem to need to dig out every verse possible - 250 verse shanties are not uncommon (I exaggerate slightly for dramatic effect).

"I thought I heard the old man say,
Leave her, Johnny, leave her!
Just 249 more pulls and then belay,
It's time for us to leave her!"

Sooooooo booooorrrring!!"
ah, dear old shimrod, does not like shanties, neither does he like people singing the teapot song with the actions,shimrod has a catholic taste in dislikes


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 01:24 PM

> From: GUEST,Shimrod
>
> "Just 249 more pulls and then belay"
>
> Sooooooo booooorrrring!!!

I have an audio recording of the very first time I encountered this, some 20 or 30 years ago, and actually it's still quite funny. It was a singaround in the White Horse (?) at Beverley FF. A guy got up to sing 'Paddy Lay Back', and gradually it becomes apparent that he knows and is going to sing every single verse. By about the tenth the responses are becoming ironic - "Paddy Lay Back?!" as in "Yer don't say?!" - and, before he gets towards the end, his own mates are flinging empty cans and fag packets at him, but everyone else is laughing and still joining in. And, despite his mates' best endeavours, finish it he did!

Next year, he was there again, and as he entered to take a seat, a mate nudged me and said: "There, if I'm not mistaken, is the only man in the world who knows every verse of 'Paddy Lay Back'!", and we both laughed at the recollection.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 01:25 PM

Oops, forgot to sign the above ...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 03:45 PM

"Too much of anything can get tedious unless you are a real fan of the genre."

You are right Flora. and sometimes it is too much for a fan of the genre. Nothing worse than seeing someone of only moderate ability (and I'd include myself in that) get up solo and perform the whole of Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands, Highlands or some other very long Dylan song. And I like Dylan....imagine what it's like for someone who doesn't? Why sing 12 verses when 4 of them would suffice :-)


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 27 Jul 12 - 08:11 AM

"ah, dear old shimrod, does not like shanties, neither does he like people singing the teapot song with the actions,shimrod has a catholic taste in dislikes"

If you read my contribution above, GSS, you will nowhere find anything about me not liking shanties (in fact those old Lloyd/MacColl records formed part of my introduction to folk song). What I was objecting to was people who hog sessions by singing every verse of a shanty that they've been able to dig up.

As for my having a "catholic taste in dislikes", well, you may have point there ... But then I am an old git now - so I've got a full "grumpiness licence".


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 27 Jul 12 - 08:30 AM

I think we should have a four verse singaround-limit on ballads too; if you can't boil it down to essence of 3 or 4 central images then forget it. Storytelling? Forget it! I was raised by TV and my attention span can only cope with so much blasted narrative - it's the pictures we want. Cut the crap and keep that tempo brisk.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Jul 12 - 11:55 AM

i must learn a teapot shanty with actions for shimrod


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 27 Jul 12 - 12:01 PM

Is a little teapot telling me, GSS, that you sing shanties and that you sing every possible verse of those in your repertoire?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 08:50 AM

Somehow it's sad - all these poor sods with extremely limited spans of attention caught in a world of soundbites, channel zapping etc.....sad,sad


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 09:33 AM

its too bleeding 'ot...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 04:07 PM

This was not at a folk club, it was a gathering of a large bunch of people at a private party a few decades ago. Somebody started in on "What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?" and everybody joined in. When we ran out of the usual verses, people started making them up. Since all you had to come up with was one line, by the time it got back to you, you were ready with something.

And the verses kept getting raunchier and raunchier!

We kept that sucker going for over half an hour.

We should have had a tape recorder going.   But then again, maybe it's just as well we didn't!

Don Firth

P. S. I was kind of amazed that none of the neighbors called the police.

P. P. S. Some people just don't know how to have fun anymore!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 05:05 PM

generally speaking,I only sing about 5 or six verses of a shanty, Ihave beeter songs to sing than the teapot song


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 06:09 PM

And as well as being handsome, he's modest...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,redactatrix
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 07:18 PM

I'd go in a heartbeat if there WAS such a place. Here in Hawaii Folk Music doesn't exist ... unless you can sing in Hawaiian. Other than that it's generic rock or generic easy listening, depending on the time of day.

Yes, I've learned a number of songs in Hawaiian, but still ...

There are some Karaoke Clubs, and that's a lot of fun, but it ain't Folk Music. (Unless a drunk Japanese tourist singing "My Way" is your idea of Folk?)


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 12:48 PM

"generally speaking,I only sing about 5 or six verses of a shanty, Ihave beeter songs to sing than the teapot song"

I'm very glad to hear it, GSS! Who knows, I might even come to one of your gigs one day!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 06:25 AM

I'm a little teapot, short and stout!
Here's my handle, here's my spout!

That teapot song - with the accompanying actions....well it gets a reaction most places ....I'm told.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 12:37 PM

Unless a drunk Japanese tourist singing "My Way" is your idea of Folk

I think it would be to strict adherents of the 1954 Definition, although I very much doubt they be prepared to admit to it on open forum.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 01:26 PM

Wrong on several counts, but why am I not surprised?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Acme
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 01:36 PM

Don, that sounds like a great round of Drunken Sailor - and it is the type of thing that "you had to be there" - the recorder might have impacted or diminished it. It's like looking at a stunning view or amazing activity and not pointing a camera at it - you'll remember much more clearly.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 06 Aug 12 - 08:00 AM

Wrong on several counts, but why am I not surprised?

You lack the vision, Richard - much less the generosity of spirit - that would enable you to see just how bogus the 1954 Definition really is. It goes something like this...

(i) continuity which links the present with the past;

To our Drunken Japanese Tourist My Way is an icon of such an historical continuity. It is a sacred & solemn testimony of the functionalist dream of capitalist individualism his country seized upon as eagerly as the media of its post-war renaissance. He sees no irony in this, eagerly grabbing the microphone he gives golden-voice praise to the very heavens...

(ii) variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group;

As well as the backing track, he sings to an idealised definitive version embedded in his brain; this ideal is what he aspires to with all his heart and soul unaware of any shortfall which is not, naturally, inconsiderable. This is the measure of his creative impulse, as he, in effect, reinvents the song from the inside out.

(iii) selection by the community, which determines the form or forms in which the music survives.

The community roar their unreserved approval; they have determined the form in which this music survives; for, however so debased it might appear to the outsider, they are the triumphant masters of their vernacular art.

(The term can be applied to music that has been evolved from rudimentary beginnings by a community uninfluenced by popular and art music

As an aside I can say that no such community exists or has ever existed, certainly not in the West.)

and it can likewise be applied to music which has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community.

Unwritten? Well leaving that particular myth aside as plainly idiotic, we can see how My Way has been absorbed into the living tradition of our Karaoke Community, who demand and insist upon hearing not only that which they know, BUT would rather listen to in an impassioned living vernacular variation of same than a recording by an established artiste.

The term does not cover composed popular music that has been taken over ready-made by a community and remains unchanged

God knows that the song remains unchanged; in the case of the Karaoke Community, the song-meme exists as a conceptual fragment that manifests itself in a million different variations each night around the Karaoke bars of planet earth.

Now, imagine in a keen folklorist / ethnomusicologist was on hand to record all these variations...

for it is the re-fashioning and re-creation of the music by the community that gives it its folk character.

And there, in a nutshell, is the very essence of Karaoke Music: that these songs are re-fashioned and re-created nightly in a ceremonial celebration of the very essence of folk character. Cultural entropy is counterbalanced by a more occult level of inner-creativity that exists by means of the technological innovations that have necessitated a surfeit of nostalgia which, as a species, we're prone to anyway (how folk singers does it take o change a light bulb?). Thus does our Drunken Japanese Tourist experience My Way in precisely the same way Harry Cox experienced The Crabfish, and Richard Bridge experiences The Famous Flower of Serving Men.

The only difference, I'd have to say, is one of taste.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Aug 12 - 04:21 PM

You slide over at least one important point - the function of karaoke is to reproduce the recorded performance. The songs are not "RE-FASHIONED"


I mean "God knows that the song remains unchanged; in the case of the Karaoke Community, the song-meme exists as a conceptual fragment that manifests itself in a million different variations each night around the Karaoke bars of planet earth."

For Fuck's Sake - listen to yourself!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 06 Aug 12 - 06:33 PM

The song is RE-FASHIONED with each performance & even the ideal is a fragment of an earlier dream which we all hear differently anyway. There can be no reproduction - it is a different experience even from one set of ears to the next. This is the way of all things; the default state is such that not only does Nature never repeat itself, Nature can never repeat itself. Each fashioned thing speaks of its change; to say otherwise is to refute the temporal & transitory nature of existence in which all is flux.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: johncharles
Date: 06 Aug 12 - 06:57 PM

Aah did it mah whay!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 06 Aug 12 - 07:39 PM

> From: GUEST,Blandiver
>
> There can be no reproduction - it is a different experience even from one set of ears to the next. This is the way of all things; the default state is such that not only does Nature never repeat itself, Nature can never repeat itself.

What rubbish. Nature repeats itself all the time.

The whole of existence generally and life particularly is founded on repeatability. If nothing was repeatable, there would be no laws of nature generally, and physics and chemistry particularly.

Every event that had ever occurred from the Big Bang onwards would essentially have been random and unpredictable, and the universe would have remained entirely chaotic - the particular ordered arrangements that we call galaxies, stars, planets, molecules, and atoms would not exist, and that particular self-replicating (implying repeatability) arrangement of molecules that we call life, even at the very lowest level let alone the highest, could never have evolved, and therefore neither you or I would exist.

Suppose you are a lion hunting wildebeest, and you succeed in catching and killing one. Fine, from what we know, that's as expected. But tomorrow, randomly, the wildebeest that you had thought was prey catches and kills you the lion? How could evolution occur in such an environment?

> Each fashioned thing

Meaning what exactly?

> speaks of its change;

How? Are you saying that you're hearing voices?

> to say otherwise is to refute the temporal & transitory nature of existence in which all is flux.

If all was flux, I wouldn't be able to deduce anything about you, yet I can, even though I've never met you. I know that you are a type of animal that we call mammal, of the perhaps inappropriately named genus Homo Sapiens, and that at some time or other you were born, and some time later you will die. I can use averages to predict how long you are likely to live, the sort of things you are most likely to eat, etc, etc. From the fact that you are posting such idle rubbish here I can further predict that you must have access to at least one of a selection of possible pieces of electronic gadgetry - a mobile phone, a tablet, or a personal computer (without capital letters).

The whole scientific and technological man-made world that we are using to have this latter day equivalent of a discussion is based on humans being clever enough to understand that nearly all aspects of existence are to an extent predictable, to have worked out the laws of nature that govern them, and to have built devices that can manipulate these laws for our own ends. Without repeatability, none of this would have been possible.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 05:12 AM

What rubbish

How nice!

'Nature never repeats itself' is a quote from Sun Ra; 'Each fashioned thing speaks of its change' is a quote from Chris Cutler of the Art Bears (a song called The Slave from Winter Songs). Both concern the diversity of organic eventfulness & the general impermanence of things be it terms of growth, entropy or built-in obsolescence at all levels of material existence. We are all us changing; we are are all of us unique; we are all of us very different (thank god). This applies as much to the various lives & manifestations of Popular Songs as it does to trees, grass, crickets, solar systems, or personal computers.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 05:21 AM

I suggest a band name - "sesquipedalean tendency".

Or maybe "Never mind the Sex Pistols, here's the bollocks".


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 05:49 AM

Perhaps I go to the wrong places, but I can't recollect this matter being debated in quite these terms in any folk clubs I've been in.

Critics of my work seem to be more trenchant in their observations - phrases like 'this is bollocks' seem to spring readily to their lips.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 06:24 AM

people would go to folk clubs more frequently, if every professional and semi pro went out once a week and did a floor spot in a folk club


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 06:30 AM

That sounds more like folk to me, Al - as Richard and Charles have both demonstrated here. Your average folky scowls from his sactimonious den ready to denounce as bollocks any heresy to the prescriptive orthodoxies of their superior 'purist' 1954 faith (being born in 1961 I say it hardly applies to me).

Mind you, when I'm in our folk club (or any other folk club) I don't court controversy, much less question such terms as 'In the Tradition' or 'The Folk Process' that glibly pepper the conversation much less point out that the repetoir of many a self-respecting Traddy owes more to Martin Carthy than Harry Cox. That's a sort of Karaoke I suppose, like Richard's Famous Flower of serving Men, which is a wondrous piece of Idiomatic Balladry in itself however so derived, or contrived, or, indeed, RE-FASHIONED.

Like all music, the various idioms of Folk exist / existed within specific cultural & social contexts, outside of which they make little sense other than in terms of a generalised fundamentalist / escapist / eccentric romanticism which is the popular view of Folk in its various guises. But Folk is all things to all Folkies; by it's very nature it is changing all the time, even though the tendancy remains to write new songs that only sing about how good the old one was.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Musket
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 01:48 PM

Well, it took a long time and a good few posts for the 1954 definition to rear its head, but well done, you got there.

The sad bit is that I have been going to folk clubs for 30 odd years and still find I am one of the youngest in the room. Yet go to a large folk festival such as Cambridge and I am one of the oldest in the ruddy audience. Methinks many yearn for a lost youth and think they will get it at these odd evenings we hold in spare rooms of pubs, just like we used to....

Or maybe Bridge has a point when he reckoned you could get laid all those years ago at a folk club and can't now... The quality of what you hear may have varied too...

Still enjoy them mind. Just not so easy to get friends excited by what is fast becoming self indulgence for an ageing few.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 01:55 PM

> From: GUEST,Blandiver
>
> > What rubbish
>
> How nice!

I don't mean any personal offence, but I do believe in calling a spade a spade. There is a tendency these days to denigrate science & technology, applying disparaging terms like 'geek' to those who profess to understand it. This tendency is often accompanied by vacuous, meaningless, or, such as you have made above, simply incorrect statements which show a fundamental misunderstanding of the world and the way it works. The fact that these are quotes from others doesn't make them any less wrong logically and scientifically.

> Both concern the diversity of organic eventfulness

Read that aloud as though someone else had written it. It's pseudo-intellectual meaninglessness.

> the general impermanence of things be it terms of growth, entropy or built-in obsolescence at all levels of material existence. We are all us changing; we are are all of us unique; we are all of us very different (thank god).

All but the last statement is true - we are all of us more alike than we are different, so we really can't be described as being *very* different - but as they're a rather obvious points, and not really relevant to this conversation, they don't really add anything uselful to it.

> This applies as much to the various lives & manifestations of Popular Songs as it does to trees, grass, crickets, solar systems, or personal computers.

Not really, most people who investigate the subject rationally think that far too many popular songs are formulaic and repetitive. See the recent thread where scientific investigation showed that popular songs are becoming less and less varied and more and more alike.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 02:22 PM

There is a tendency these days to denigrate science & technology, applying disparaging terms like 'geek' to those who profess to understand it.

Never once have I made any such accusations; neither would I dismiss anyone as a 'geek' or anything else.

Read that aloud as though someone else had written it. It's pseudo-intellectual meaninglessness.

It is not psuedo anything - try readinng as if you had any sort of wit or intelligence at all, much less imagination and you'd see it makes perfect sense. All things BEING are also BECOMING; everything is change & eventfulness from the blooming of clouds to the unfurling of leaves and flowers. They come, they go, they are all alike, but different, hence the diversity of organic eventfulness.

but as they're a rather obvious points, and not really relevant to this conversation, they don't really add anything uselful to it.

It's what this conversation is about though; how all things are different & changing be it terms of evolution, or entropy. As individuals our value lies in our uniqueness, though of course the foundation of that uniqueness is similarity. You might say our uniqueness is defined by the diverse nature of the parameters of our similarity. It is that uniqueness, indeed, that defines our humanity.

See the recent thread where scientific investigation showed that popular songs are becoming less and less varied and more and more alike.

The same can be said of any musical genre. All musical idioms sound the same when you don't understand them, be it hip-hop, opera, baroque sonatas, Elizabethan consort music, folk song, gagaku, free jazz, or Irish jigs. Each idiom reveals its uniqueness in terms of its fomula.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 03:54 PM

> From: GUEST,Blandiver
>
> Never once have I made any such accusations; neither would I dismiss anyone as a 'geek' or anything else.

That was just an aside about people in general. The issue here is that, in the post to which I took exception, you made a logically and scientifically incorrect statement, in fact a wildly incorrect statement which was the exact opposite of the truth!

> It is not pseudo anything - try reading as if you had any sort of wit or intelligence at all, much less imagination and you'd see it makes perfect sense.

Well I went to a top English school, have a first class honours degree, and also have written a few songs and poems, which I think covers all those points, and to me, and I suspect to most other people, it's just meaningless mumbo jumbo.

> It's what this conversation is about though

Not as I've been reading it. I've been reading it as "Why people don't go to Folk Clubs".

> The same can be said of any musical genre. All musical idioms sound the same when you don't understand them.

While there are elements of some musical genres that tend to sound the same - to the extent that they become clichéd like, for example, the wailing steel guitar favoured by some country artists or the artificial vocal angst favoured by some soul singers - you could never just apply that to the whole of one genre. In opera, Bizet's Carmen doesn't sound anything like Verdi's "Aida", which in turn doesn't sound anything like Wagner's "The Ring Cycle". In turn of the century classical, Rachmaninov sounds very different from Debussy who sounds very different from Sibelius. In jazz, Miles Davis sounds completely different from Sidney Bechet, who sounds different again from Charles Parker. In country, Shania Twain, even her first least 'pop' CD, sounds very different from Johnny Cash, who sounds very different from his daughter Rosanne Cash.

However, that is all irrelevant here. Understanding doesn't enter into it. What the scientists did was MEASURE popular music to determine its variability, and showed that it is in fact becoming less variable.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 04:19 PM

> It is not pseudo anything - try reading as if you had any sort of wit or intelligence at all, much less imagination and you'd see it makes perfect sense.

>>Well I went to a top English school, have a first class honours degree, and also have written a few songs and poems, which I think covers all those points, and to me, and I suspect to most other people, it's just meaningless mumbo jumbo.

Curious. I went to a bog-standard school, have no degree in anything and have written nothing of any consequence, but I understood what Mr Blandiver was saying without any difficulty. Perhaps I'm a genius after all.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 05:01 PM

Trust me, it's meaningless mumbo-jumbo. If I can construe what the parliamentary draftsman creates, I can find meaning in agricultural slurry. But there is none there. There is less in there than meets the eye.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 05:03 PM

In fact, tell you what, try reading it out aloud during your floor spot as a folk club and see how fast it empties the room. Faster than the full length version of Sir Patrick Spens, read off the inside of your hand, and in imperfect pitch (by a long chalk).


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,raymond greenaoekn
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 05:08 PM


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 05:10 PM

Cor Richard – I wish I had a proper education like you. Can't even spell my own name...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 08:01 PM

> From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
>
> I understood what Mr Blandiver was saying without any difficulty.

Can you be certain of that? Perhaps, consciously or subconsciously, you put your own meaning to it? The trouble is with any statement of no, little, or ill-defined meaning is that it can mean just about anything that anybody wants it to, and will mean different things, often wildly different things, to different people; thus it fails as a means of communication of a single idea.

> From: Richard Bridge
>
> There is less in there than meets the eye.

And that's really the point. It reads suspiciously like someone using big words with the aim of sounding impressive, without actually having anything useful to say.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 05:50 AM

you could never just apply that to the whole of one genre.

A musical genre is defined by its specialised idioms which are always going to sound the same to people who don't understand them - as do languages to those who don't actually speak them. It's all very well saying Miles Davis sounds different to Sidney Bechet, but the casual listener won't even know who Miles Davis is, much less Sidney Bechet, much less the significance of their respective contributions or why their contributions were significant at all, much less that those for whom Kind of Blue represents some kind of apotheosis of the art will probably run screaming when faced with the radicalised street-funk of On the Corner - so imagine trying to explain that those who love On the Corner will also love Kind of Blue. All the casual listener will hear is 'JAZZ'; only the devotee gets, or cares about, the detail wherein dwells, of course, the very devil himself.

We could extend this to the various idioms and traditions currently known as POP MUSIC and (if we ever could be bothered) subject them to the necessary meta-analysis that would be sure to establish (once and for all) that they don't really sound the same either - just as all Harry Cox songs don't all sound the same, or all Seamus Ennis' piping doesn't all sound the same, or all John Coltrane solos don't all sound the same - though I bet some scientist would be willing to contradict me. In my defence I might offer them at least a dozen different recordings of My Favourite Things, from the original 1961 studio recording to the 50-minute epic recorded on tour in Japan five years later. Who else but those for whom Coltrane is the Redeemer would bother enough to care to trace the evolutionary continuity between them? Or know that on the Japanese recording Coltrane eschewed the trademark soprano to duet with Pharoah Sanders on plastic altos? And yet, it such details that make it all worthwhile to your average Jazzer.

Whatever scientists say up there in their ivory tower, to the millions of people out there listening, loving, creating, mixing, remixing, sampling and celebrating the Culture of Pop Music, it is (most demonstrably and empirically) a living thing of infinitely diverse beauty and wonderment. Same goes for the 'scientific' 1954 Definition - which has feck all to do with the songs, much less the lives & experience of the people who made and sang them.

I wonder, is science becoming the new fundamentalism? For sure its advocates are sounding suspiciously absolutist in their joyless pronouncements of late, daddy-o. At least they are on this thread, where a bit of fun over a Japanese Karaoke Singer unwittingly ticking the boxes of some prescriptive 'definition' of a music that was hatched in complete cultural, historical & socio-economic isolation from the music itself, is taken by our resident 1954-Bore as further evidence of The Sesquipedalian Heresy (now that is a band name!) necessitating the usual barrage of petty insults all backed up by them telling us how clever they are.

Lighten up, eh lads? Or I'll be forced to conclude the Equinophobia is contagious.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 06:34 AM

> I understood what Mr Blandiver was saying without any difficulty.

>>Can you be certain of that? Perhaps, consciously or subconsciously, you put your own meaning to it? The trouble is with any statement of no, little, or ill-defined meaning is that it can mean just about anything that anybody wants it to, and will mean different things, often wildly different things, to different people; thus it fails as a means of communication of a single idea.

Yes, I can, because Mr B was kind enough to give a careful paraphrase of the offending utterance. It's not just the words, not just the grammar: the context points you towards the meaning too. I guess I am a genius after all.

And what's the problem with big words, chaps? I'm told Shakespeare used a few...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 07:02 AM

"Big words" have their place - but not piled inches thick so as to provide a barrier to meaning, nor a pretence at meaning where there is none.

And, for those who will hear - folk is not a style. It is a product of a derivation, and of an adoption. The product must have been transmitted (orally or aurally). It must have been modified by or in that process. It may possess (in certain forms) stylistic traits but they do not define it. Jazz, conversely, for example, is indeed defined by stylistic traits.

Karaoke can never fulfil this requirement of variable form. The backing track is designed to reproduce a particular recorded version. The objective of the singing is to replicate a particular recorded version. The transmission is by a FIXED recorded form. There is no adoption within a community (unless the community be the world).


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 07:10 AM

And what's the problem with big words, chaps?

I have a problem with Sesquipedalian. It denotes long winded and is used (by Richard anyway) as a put down of same, and yet by its very nature it's the most - er - sesquipedalian word of all. Is this some sort of clever irony I wonder? I guess it must be.

*

The trouble is with any statement of no, little, or ill-defined meaning is that it can mean just about anything that anybody wants it to, and will mean different things, often wildly different things, to different people; thus it fails as a means of communication of a single idea.

I defy our boy MacFarlane to demonstrate a single instance in the present discussion, or any other, and without resorting to the usual lobby of personal insults and / or references to his oh-so superior CV, where this is actually the case. Everything I've said here is pretty basic stuff, and very much to the point.

'Folksong is the music of the uneducated and impoverished which is avidly collected by a particular egg-bound elite who consider themselves intellectually equipped to understand it, which, naturally, they believe is something the Folk themselves singularly failed to do. If they (The Folk) did, then they (The Egg-bound) would not be interested.' Col. Killingworth-James (to Hilda Cuckfield; Letters, Volume 85 (unpublished) August-October 1947.)


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 08:14 AM

folk is not a style. It is a product of a derivation, and of an adoption.

All musics are a matter of style; all musics are derived and adopted; but all musics are not folk. Folk music has only existed since the 19th century when the term was first coined; the 1954 Definition only compounds that with a prescriptive formulae entirely at odds with the context (culturally / socially) of the music. As such, it's a sort of musicological Intelligent Design; we all love trees, but only Creationists believe they were created by God. Similarly, we all love Folk Songs, but only the 1954 Orthodoxy believe they are somehow different from other musical styles because of their derivation (rather than their selection by a higher social elite).

The product must have been transmitted (orally or aurally).

Surely transmission is transmission? All human culture is generated by communication, oral, written or otherwise. Where does that leave the great folksong writers of the tradition? Tommy Armstrong, George Bruce Thompson, or the written traditions of the Northumbrian Smallpipe? All these people were masters of their respective IDIOMS. I think much Folksong thinking is misled by the myth of anonymity, feeling that these things grew on trees, rather than are the painstaking products of a very deliberate human mastery, albeit it one that was complete anathema to the egg-bound elite who wanted them to be different.

It must have been modified by or in that process.

This is a classic example of prescription. The simple fact is all music is the production of idiomatic modification and process. But of course, not all music is folk.

It may possess (in certain forms) stylistic traits but they do not define it. Jazz, conversely, for example, is indeed defined by stylistic traits.

As are the innumerable idioms of what we think of as Folk today. Each and every one of them is defined by stylistic traits, and yet their appeal as Folk is largely the consequence of the vestiges of 19th century romanticism & nationalism which is still very much part of the case today (certainly where the BNP are concerned).

Karaoke can never fulfil this requirement of variable form. The backing track is designed to reproduce a particular recorded version.

The backing track is in itself a approximate variation on a notional prototype, often highly debased & stylised, much like those old TOTP LPs that consisted of wonky cover versions of the originals. What the individual singer does against that backing track however (as I said earlier) is as idiosyncratic a variation of any given song as any sung by any traditional singer you could care to name. If a folklorist was on hand to record these variations it would make for an interesting study in the fluidity of popular song-form I'm sure.

The objective of the singing is to replicate a particular recorded version.

I think the main objective of the singing is to fulfil a ritualised social contract and strengthen community ties & identity. A study of the Ethnomusicology of Karaoke would no doubt reveal this.

The transmission is by a FIXED recorded form.

Any given recorded backing track is, I grant, fixed - to an extent anyway. I once heard some Karaoke singers diligently persevering a their machine skipped and looped of its own accord; the joys of digital technology, CDs anyway. What makes this really interesting is that people are singing live, often in a state of considerable inebriation, to a unforgiving recorded backing track.

Off the point perhaps, I used to work in a youth club where one of the kids used her Karaoke backing tracks for songs of her own composition. Bloody good they were too. She was in great demand in the community as a whole.

There is no adoption within a community (unless the community be the world).

Let me take you by the hand and lead through the pubs / front rooms / social clubs / wedding parties of Fleetwood... and I'll show you something that'll make you change your mind.

Or not. Because your mind's already made up. Mine isn't you see. I'm into description, not prescription. To me, Folk is as Folk does, which is why I find the pedantic religiosity of the 1954 folk orthodoxy such a pain in the arse because its got nothing to do with the vibrant creative empirical wonderment of working-class music making of the last 50,000 years.

And dare I point out (again! but it's always the first time for someone) that the International Folk Music Council who gave us the 1954 Definition in the first place, has now grown up into The International Council for Traditional Music whose aims are to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music — including folk, popular, classical and urban music — and dance of all countries.

So, for sure, define Folk Idioms by style & social / cultural context; describe their vastly diverse derivations & evolutions, but by way of demonstating the richness & complexity common to all human music making - not in the name of some perverse and blinkered dogma hatched from the God-given Paternalism of the Victorian Bourgeoisie who got off on the forelock tugging deferential anonymity of their authentic grubby Folk.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 08:49 AM

PS:

The product must have been transmitted (orally or aurally).

Implicit in this, is, of course, the notion that The Folk were cherished for being too impoverished to afford means of written communication AND entirely lacking in the education that would make them literate. However, one often encounters the testimony of Traditional Singers saying they got such-and-such a song when it was written down for them. Indeed, Jimmy Knights says he got Out With my Gun from a written source, and his 1975 rendering of same (VOTP 18) is little different from the Manchester boadside of 100 years earlier. On the same volume you'll hear Willie Scott singing the Kielder Hunt which was written by James Armstrong in the 19th century.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 08:57 AM

> From: GUEST,Blandiver
>
> > you could never just apply that to the whole of one genre.

> A musical genre is defined by its specialised idioms which are always going to sound the same to people who don't understand them

That is an absolutist assertion stated as though it were fact, and, unsurprisingly, it's wrong. When we look at the way genres are used in the real world, a musical genre is simply what the generality of the public think it is when they use it as a classification, nothing more, nothing less.

> as do languages to those who don't actually speak them.

I don't speak the majority of the world's languages, but nearly all that I have heard spoken without any understanding on my part, to me sounded noticeably different from one another.

> It's all very well saying Miles Davis sounds different to Sidney Bechet, but the casual listener won't even know who Miles Davis is, much less Sidney Bechet,

They don't need to. If they hear both in succession they will realise immediately that they are completely different despite being in the same genre.

> so imagine trying to explain that those who love On the Corner will also love Kind of Blue.

Or quite possibly not.

> All the casual listener will hear is 'JAZZ'

No, the *casual* listener won't even bother with genres, but simply like or dislike. If the former, they then may start to think along the lines of: "I wonder what this is? It seems to be some sort of Jazz, I must look out for the credit at the end of the number!"

> only the devotee gets, or cares about, the detail wherein dwells, of course, the very devil himself.

I think devotees can probably speak for themselves, and in many cases would probably answer differently from what either of us would expect.

> We could extend this to the various idioms and traditions currently known as POP MUSIC and (if we ever could be bothered) subject them to the necessary meta-analysis that would be sure to establish (once and for all) that they don't really sound the same either

As explained in the other thread, it's been done, and the results were opposite to what you claim here.

> Whatever scientists say up there in their ivory tower

THAT'S EXACTLY THE SORT OF DENIGRATION OF SCIENCE THAT I REFERRED TO ABOVE! While occasionally there is bad science, even rare scientific fraud, apart from this relatively small number of aberrations science increases our understanding of the world. Technology resulting from scientific progress made the man-made world most of us in developed nations inhabit today, get used to it. You may not like what science tells us about ourselves, but you'll have to do better than unsubstantiated assertions stated as though fact if you want to refute a given piece of scientific research.

> to the millions of people out there listening, loving, creating, mixing, remixing, sampling and celebrating the Culture of Pop Music, it is (most demonstrably and empirically) a living thing of infinitely diverse beauty and wonderment.

Another statement which is provably bollocks.

Firstly, human pitch sensitivity is limted to at best about 25Hz to about 25KHz and our ability to discriminate pitch accurately seems to be concentrated at the centre of that range. There are similar contraints with loudness and ability to discriminate two aural events temporally. These are fundamental limitations incompatible with the word 'infinitely'.

Further, as long ago as the Ancient Greeks, Pythagoras worked out that notes which sound pleasant together have a simple mathematical relationship to each other. Notes not having this simple relationship do not sound pleasant together. (We now know that the simple relationship is in frequency aka pitch.) This particularly limits the use of discordant notes.

Probably from the regular use of concordant notes and the need to tune instruments such as lyres able to sound more than one note at a time, natural scales evolved. When it became desirable to introduce more variety, modes using the notes of natural scales differently evolved. To acheived greater variation still, the compromise of the western tempered scale was invented, whereby some of the notes of a natural scale were made slightly discordant so that one could now base music on any note of the scale, without any one such 'key' sounding more discordant than another. Both natural and tempered scales further limit the notes available to be played.

Whether built to play a natural scale - tin whistle, melodeon - or a tempered scale - concert flute, accordion - with the major exceptions of guitars (string bending or fretless), viols, and brass, instruments are made to play notes from these scales, and cannot play others, which is a further limitation. Further, all instruments have a limited range.

So the constraints of our physiology, the scales and instruments that we use, all introduce limitations that do not allow infinite variation in music, even supposing the people making pop music were pushing these limits, which it has been shown that they are not, presumably because they are constrained further by the need to achieve commercial success.

> Same goes for the 'scientific' 1954 Definition - which has feck all to do with the songs, much less the lives & experience of the people who made and sang them.

See below.

> I wonder, is science becoming the new fundamentalism? For sure its advocates are sounding suspiciously absolutist in their joyless pronouncements of late, daddy-o. At least they are on this thread, where a bit of fun ... is taken by our resident 1954-Bore as further evidence of The Sesquipedalian Heresy.

No, if anything the new fundamentalism is denigrating science, believing, against all logic, that everything in life either can be answered by religion, or is just a matter of personal opinion, however uneducated and ignorant the person holding that opinion. Witness what has happened in this thread. You reply to one or two people about something that happened in the 60s, during the course of which you make a provably inane statement, whereupon I come in quoting science to put you right. In reply you make another untrue statement, whereupon I point to another thread which refers to a scientific paper which disproves your assertion. The 60s people have never mentioned science, and I've never mentioned the 60s, yet here you are lumping us together, blaming science for what you see as didactorialism of the 60s. Note just how eager you are to slag off science for something it didn't claim, and how unwilling you are to accept its statements of a truth that you don't happen to like and seem to find uncomfortable because it contradicts your previously held views. Whether you like scientific results or not is irrelevant to their truth. If you want to attack science you'll have to read and try and understand the papers, and find a rational scientific flaw in the research. Unsubstantiated contrary assertions stated as though they were fact won't do.

I have no interest in debating 60s didactorialism, and I don't suppose many others have either - something that happened in one, albeit influential, folk club 50 years ago has little or no influence on whether people go to folk clubs today. The determining factor is many times more likely to be the standard of entertainment on offer in modern clubs.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 10:38 AM

to me sounded noticeably different from one another.

What I meant was, if you don't understand a particular language all you'll hear are vocal noises without the meanings. If you didn't understand it, you'd be hard pushed to differentiate between the recitation of a shopping list or a love poem. This is what 'all Pop Music sounds the same to me' means - it is a confession that states: 'I don't understand it, neither do I wish to; I am better than that. I am vastly superior & very happy in my reactionary ignorance.'

Or quite possibly not.

Well, speaking empirically, evidence would suggest this to be the case. It certainly is with me. The one is enriched by the knowledge of the other, and all points in between, and beyond, & most of my Jazz pals (and Folk ones for that matter) are similarly thorough in their musical appreciations. It's all part of the fun, don't you know? People who love Milestones might not get Bitches Brew but I've yet to meet a fan of Bitches Brew who wasn't of the opinion that every utterance by The Dark Magus is worthy of our attention. This is how we learn. Same goes for Rahsaan Roland Kirk & Sun Ra, who for all their radicalism & experimentation schooled a whole generation on the importance of knowing what went before.

Another statement which is provably bollocks.

You obviously don't get out much, do you? You're picking it all up second hand instead of experiencing it for yourself. Fair enough when science tells us about the Higgs Bosun or water on Mars or cures for diseases, but I don't think this same methodology applies in any way to Art, high or low, Popular or otherwise, much less how we appreciate & experience such things either collectively or individually.

For sure, Scientists can tell us what an orgasm is, but it's worth noting that Kinsey and team went impotent as a consequence of their infamous studies of human sexuality.   And worse. Much worse.

As far as Pythagorean theory goes, I suggest you read (& maybe even listen to) Harry Partch, who in order to truly enjoy perfect mathematical intervals found he had to split the Octave into 43 divisions. What we accept as concordant in Western Music as a whole is always going to be a compromise of tempered intonation. Listen to one of Partch's pure thirds and compare it to that on a piano, or a melodeon. Otherwise, what sounds pleasant to one person will not sound pleasant to another - there is no law of pleasantness, which will always be a quality best left to the beholder. I love banjos, but I'm not much of a fan of melodeons (with significant exception); and Peter Bellamy's anglo playing is one of life's true joys. I love Jim Eldon's fiddle playing, yet the same instrument in the hands of Nigel Kennedy becomes mind-numbingly dull though I don't flinch at the eager virtuosity necessary to play Handel sonatas. Personal taste, right? In which we're all unique, despite what we may have in common. I'm also a lifelong fan of YES, though I limit myself to their first 6 albums (with reservations); my wife hates them. Guess what? She thinks it all sounds the same - maybe there's scientific data somewhere to prove she's right. To me however, I'm out there sailing the Topographic Oceans as happily as I did when I was 13. The first 2 sides anyway.

On another level aesthetics are derived from our biological sub-routines. So what? The manifestations of that are as vast & diverse as our capacity for languages (6,809 according to a review in the current number of Fortean Times), arts and (yes) sciences. But, I fear, you are responding to science as a means of prescription rather than description. Here's a thing - even in a belfry of 8 bells there are a possible 40,320 change variations; on 12 there are 479,001,600 (source - WIKI). I don't think the innumerable melodic, rhythmic, harmonic, textural & technological factors of the innumerable idioms & exponents (present, past & future) of popular music & song have to fear they'll be running out of material any time soon. Whatever the scientists tell us, Heaven and earth will pass away before human ingenuity and creativity grows weary from the lack of stimulation of new music, popular or otherwise.

Witness what has happened in this thread.

Okay. You've misunderstood pretty much everything I've said, but feel you have to disagree with it anyway. To do this you aggressively & insultingly confront me in an attempt to turn me into a fool instead of spending time actually attempting to understand or address anything I've written wgich you smugly (and wrongly) dismiss as someone using big words with the aim of sounding impressive, without actually having anything useful to say. In so doing you not only reveal your own somewhat superficial knowledge of a number of subjects, but a rather irate personal proclivity towards precriptive righteousness (a quality I regard as a complete anathema to a come-all-ye world view).

And who mentioned the 60s anyway, daddy-o? Despite the emergence of a possible Third Wave revival this past decade & a half or so, Folk is still very much a thing of the 50s. If people don't go to folk clubs anymore it's because they're just getting old, or they're not as thick on the ground as they used to be, or because the 50's Traddy vision has become diluted by an MOR tendancy towards idiomatic Dylanesque singer-song-writing.

So - come down from your high-horse and talk to me man to man. Otherwise I feel I've wasted enough time giving you the benefit of any number of doubts. As for the rest - well, what I have written, I have written.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 11:50 AM

I really don't think Charles or I need to say another word. The problem is there to see.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 11:51 AM

PS - yes the choice of the word sesquipedalian was intentionally ironic.    It was to denigrate what a learned judge once called "gratuitous philological exhibitionism".


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:02 PM

I really don't think Charles or I need to say another word.

We live in hope, Richard, we live in hope...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:50 PM

I'm reminded of the apothegm (big word, sorry) about two nations divided by a common language. Wilde, was it, or Sun Ra? Here we've got the Scientists and the Non-Scientists similarly sundered. Mr B uses the word "infinitely" in a perfectly acceptable, perfectly understandable colloquial fashion and Charles strafes him with a fusillade of factoids. Yes, infinite means "endless, boundless", but it also means "very great" (Concise Oxford). That is, not boundless, quite. When confronted by a word that has several shades of meaning, one looks to the context to work out which shade is intended. Doesn't one? Or is that not scientific?

I apologise for this gratuitous philological exhibitionism.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 03:23 PM

(2) (Of England and America) 'Two nations separated by a common language.'

Sometimes the inquirer asks, 'Was it Wilde or Shaw?' The answer appears to be: both. In The Canterville Ghost (1887), Wilde wrote: 'We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language'. However, the 1951 Treasury of Humorous Quotations (Esar & Bentley) quotes Shaw as saying: 'England and America are two countries separated by the same language', but without giving a source. The quote had earlier been attributed to Shaw in Reader's Digest (November 1942).

Much the same idea occurred to Bertrand Russell (Saturday Evening Post, 3 June 1944): 'It is a misfortune for Anglo-American friendship that the two countries are supposed to have a common language', and in a radio talk prepared by Dylan Thomas shortly before his death (and published after it in The Listener, April 1954) - European writers and scholars in America were, he said, 'up against the barrier of a common language'.

Inevitably this sort of dubious attribution has also been seen: 'Winston Churchill said our two countries were divided by a common language' (The Times, 26 January 1987; The European, 22 November 1991.)


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 03:25 PM

Sorry Sweeney - but you should note the conciseness and clarity of my remarks on this thread, in contrast to your own.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 06:20 PM

>        From: GUEST,Blandiver
>
>        If you didn't understand it, you'd be hard pushed to differentiate between the recitation of a shopping list or a love poem.

Well again this is just plain wrong. You'd almost certainly be able to differentiate between the two through intonation, style of delivery, etc.

>        This is what 'all Pop Music sounds the same to me' means - it is a confession that states: 'I don't understand it, neither do I wish to; I am better than that. I am vastly superior & very happy in my reactionary ignorance.'

AFAIAA, noone here has said "I don't understand it, neither do I wish to; I am better than that. I am vastly superior & very happy in my reactionary ignorance.", nor even just "all Pop Music sounds the same to me", while the referenced research said something different, but of course you couldn't be arsed to read it, perhaps because your arse was too busy saying: "I don't understand it, neither do I wish to; I am better than that. I am vastly superior & very happy in my reactionary ignorance." ...

>        Pop Music DOES All Sound The Same
>
>        > From: GUEST,Blandiver
>        >
>        > What utter rot [irrelevant and ignorant rant snipped]
>
>        > From: Jack Campin
>        >
>        > Somebody didn't read the article.
>
>        > From: GUEST,Blandiver
>        >
>        > True; I got bored after the first few words.

So, it's just as I said. You are denigrating a piece of scientific research without even bothering to try to understand it.

>        Or quite possibly not.
>
>        Well, speaking empirically, evidence would suggest this to be the case. It certainly is with me. The one is enriched by the knowledge of the other, and all points in between, and beyond, & most of my Jazz pals (and Folk ones for that matter) are similarly thorough in their musical appreciations. It's all part of the fun, don't you know? People who love Milestones might not get Bitches Brew but I've yet to meet a fan of Bitches Brew who wasn't of the opinion that every utterance by The Dark Magus is worthy of our attention. This is how we learn. Same goes for Rahsaan Roland Kirk & Sun Ra, who for all their radicalism & experimentation schooled a whole generation on the importance of knowing what went before.

The trouble with using selective criteria such as "it certainly is with me" and "most of my Jazz pals" is that it is almost always possible to find opposites. For example, punk was so self-obsessed that its exponents openly confessed to rejecting the entire preceding musical history of mankind. Even Billy Bragg, who now likes to think of himself as an advocate of folk music, was one of the leaders of Britain's "anti-folk" movement of the '80s (with friends like that does folk music need enemies?).

Hence "Or quite possibly not".

>        but I don't think this same methodology applies in any way to Art, high or low, Popular or otherwise, much less how we appreciate & experience such things either collectively or individually.

If you'd read and at least tried to half-understand the research referenced in the other thread - you don't have to understand all the parameters and statistics of graphical networks to get the drift - you'd realise what an ignorant ass you are making yourself appear.

>        For sure, Scientists can tell us what an orgasm is, but it's worth noting that Kinsey and team went impotent as a consequence of their infamous studies of human sexuality.   And worse. Much worse.

This is irrelevant to this discussion, but it is another unsupported assertion stated as though it were fact. Care to find a creditable reference for it?

>        As far as Pythagorean theory goes ... Listen to one of Partch's pure thirds and compare it to that on a piano,

You don't need to listen to Patch to hear a pure third, you can hear one simply by suitably tuning a guitar, which I've already done, and I've already stated that the Western tempered scale is a compromise. Your point is?

>        or a melodeon.

Being English I use the term 'melodeon' to apply to a diatonic instrument which plays in a limited number of keys rather than a chromatic instrument which can play in them all, which I call a 'button accordian' or simply an 'accordian' for a keyed instrument. As I've always understood it, though a search shows that hard facts are hard to come by, a melodeon is tuned to a natural scale, so should contain pure chords EXCEPT possibly for the tremelo which may or may not be deliberately introduced by voicing, while an accordian is tuned to a tempered scale. In fact I've heard some experts say that's where the latter's name comes from because it is in 'accord' with all the keys, though I've seen other reasons for the name on the web. This could easily be the subject of a whole new thread, and probably has already been, but I don't intend to go further than that here.

I merely used it as an example of an instrument that I believe is tuned to a natural rather than a tempered scale.

>         Otherwise [snip irrelevant wittering] anyway.

>        On another level ... Here's a thing - even in a belfry of 8 bells there are a possible 40,320 change variations; on 12 there are 479,001,600 (source - WIKI). I don't think the innumerable melodic, rhythmic, harmonic, textural & technological factors of the innumerable idioms & exponents (present, past & future) of popular music & song have to fear they'll be running out of material any time soon.

In the 1970s, someone said to me that you could never program a computer to beat a chess grand-master, but it has since happened. The number of moves in chess is huge, but it is finite, which is partly why this has come about. Similarly, even given the constraints I outlined previously, the possible number of musical combinations is huge, but is still finite. Further, for all your protestations, nothing like the full gamut of possible combinations have ever been used, and the number actually in use in pop music is decreasing, as the article you were too lazy to read showed. Therefore, your use of the word 'infinitely' was wrong whether you want to use the word exactly or loosely.

>        Whatever the scientists tell us, Heaven and earth will pass away before human ingenuity and creativity grows weary from the lack of stimulation of new music, popular or otherwise.

Another bland assertion stated as though it were fact. Neither of us can possibly know the truth or otherwise of this, so it's not a useful thing to say.

>        >        Witness what has happened in this thread.
>
>        Okay. You've misunderstood pretty much everything I've said

I don't believe that's so, but if it is so, whose fault is it? If you want to convey ideas unambiguously to other people, you must learn to put arguments in a rational way, not spout endless quotes plucked out of the air because they seem vaguely connected with the subject, or because you just happen to like them because you think they sound cool.

>        but feel you have to disagree with it anyway.

I'm merely trying to force you to be argue in a rational manner, rather than bullshitting.

>        To do this you ...

With remorseless rationality have just pointed out every mistake that you've made, and you sure have made plenty.

>        in an attempt to turn me into a fool

Really, I wouldn't go there if I were you, the reply - that I don't even have to try to do that for you, because you're an expert at it yourself - is from your point of view dangerously obvious and easy for me! The best thing you can do when you're in a hole like this, is stop digging.

>        instead of spending time actually attempting to understand or address anything I've written

Most of it has been one or more of illogical, irrelevant, not useful, or just plain wrong.

>        In so doing you not only reveal your own somewhat superficial knowledge of a number of subjects, but a rather irate personal proclivity towards precriptive righteousness (a quality I regard as a complete anathema to a come-all-ye world view).

Now THAT I would say is aggressive & insulting.

>        And who mentioned the 60s anyway, daddy-o?

Certainly not me, until you did. And I'm not your daddy - if I was unfortunate enough to be so, I hope I'd've managed to thrash some sense into you by now.

>        Despite the emergence of a possible Third Wave revival this past decade & a half or so, Folk is still very much a thing of the 50s.

If the current standard of performance of folk music was still at the level it was at in the 50s and 60s, I suspect that there would be many more people in the clubs. One of the pleasures of digitising all my vinyls last year was rediscovering just how professional, slick, and entertainingly good were many of the top folk bands of the era - for example The Clancy Brothers, The Dubliners.

In the late 60s, I used to go every now and then to a pub on the Isle of Dogs to see a band called The Levity Lancers who played a riotously eclectic mixture of Jazz, Music Hall, Vaudeville, etc, interspersed with double entendres, blue jokes, and ribald stories. Unfortunately, I don't believe they were ever recorded, let alone live. As long as they were playing there, that pub was always heaving, the moment they left, it died, and was never as full again. Even as late as the 80s folk scene, there were acts like Cosmotheka who used to pack them in, and again, although they produced a studio album, they were never recorded live.

If it wasn't for albums like ...
        The Dubliners - Finnegan Wakes (Live at the Gate Theatre, Dublin)
        The Dubliners - Live at the Royal Albert Hall
        The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem - Hearty & Hellish
        The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem - A Spontaneous Performance Recording
... AFAIAA of which only Hearty & Hellish was ever released on CD, and maybe not even that, it would be easy to forget just how massively popular folk music was at the time, and, more importantly, WHY!

If you want to get bums on seats, you have to entertain them.

>        If people don't go to folk clubs anymore it's because they're just getting old, or they're not as thick on the ground as they used to be, or because the 50's Traddy vision has become diluted by an MOR tendancy towards idiomatic Dylanesque singer-song-writing.

No, some of the above may be true, it's not worth arguing the toss either way because it's not why people don't go to folk clubs. If people don't go to folk clubs, it's because the standard of entertainment in them is not what it used to be to pull them in.

>        So - come down from your high-horse and talk to me man to man.

Oh, we're plucking phrases from a spaghetti western now are we?

>        As for the rest - well, what I have written, I have written.

And, believe me, it speaks volumes, but probably not in the way you intend.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 06:59 PM

but you should note the conciseness and clarity of my remarks on this thread, in contrast to your own.

Well, Richard, I was all ready to rock 'n' roll but your boy MacFarlane's just pipped me in the sesquipedalian stakes. I thought I was good, but - I managed maybe 30% of that last post before I felt my life just ebbing away. I suspect maybe that was his intention; let's hope so, eh? Either way I am, for once, quite lost for words.

See you on another thread sometime, old timer!

Happy trails, Jack Blandiver.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: johncharles
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 03:39 AM

who is right?
john


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 04:41 AM

I had a strange and troubling dream last night. I dreamt I was present (but out of sight) at an emergency meeting of the 1954 Club, that shadowy sodality dedicated to the worship and sanctity of the holy screed known only as The Definition. Chairman Richard Bridge called the meeting to order with a peremptory crack of his gavel on a bust of Cecil Sharp.

"Emergency meeting now in session," he intoned gravely. "Tonight's business: we gotta do something about this guy Blandiver. For years now under a range of implausible cognomens he's poured scorn on everything we hold to be inviolable and beyond refutation. We've sent the big guns in – Carroll, Gardham, Peters – but they just can't get a bead on him. What to do? It's time for the Final Solution…"

The sanguine faces around the table turned waxen at these words.

"You mean…?" croaked one.

"Yes," spat Bridge. "—The Prof. "

A shudder of nameless dread ran round the table.

"There is no alternative. He's the only guy with the guts to insist on a rigidly literal interpretation of Blandiver's every utterance. It's the only way — pure, lethal pedantry. It never fails."

"B..but…" stammered another, "it's never been done before on Mudcat. It could (gulp) destroy civilized discourse forever."

"That's a risk we gotta take," growled Bridge. "All in favour…?"

At that point I awoke, relieved that if was only a dream. Then I logged onto Mudcat…


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 05:02 AM

Well Charles, you have a thooughly incomprehensible way of expressing yourself - but there are some nuggets of insight hidden deep in all those words.

i doubt I could keep up a correspondence with you. (You should work for the tax people - everyone would just see the letter and say - ah fuck it! I'll pay.)

However I think you are in the right - particularly about the standard of entertainment in folk clubs.

This tradition business has been very selective and self important about what it has decided to sustain.

Very recently I watched Josh White Jnr's tuition dvd on his Dad's guitar style. And the strange thing - there was a style of guitar playing, I hadn't really seen ,anything like since Gerry Lockran retired. A style totally gone.

We thought Carthy, Jansch etc were Lords of everything they surveyed - technique wise - and of course they weren't. They were just very talented charismatic individuals.

Nic jones, Carthy, Jansch, Dylan even, were very dangerous people to try and emulate. their earnestness and brilliance at what they did sort of made it work for them. It absolved them from doing anything much in the way of presenting their work and explaining it. The minstrelsy of Seeger, derek Brimstone, Maccoll, Cosmotheka - people working from a more theatrical background are what made people understand and feel that folk music was their friend.

Nowadays every young playeryou see is so damnned earnest. You want to shake them and say - wake up smell the protoplasm! - you are not bringing down thetablets of stone from Mt Sinai. We are of the same flesh as yourself.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: johncharles
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 06:23 AM

people not going to folk clubs may have found something better to do.
john


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 08:16 AM

Sorry about this but Re-reading through Macfarlane's post of 08 Aug 12 - 06:20 PM whilst doing some tedious digital editing I find there are a couple of things that I would be remiss in not responding to...

Firstly:

Oh, we're plucking phrases from a spaghetti western now are we?

I was thinking more of Hollywood Westerns, sort of John Wayne style. If paraphrased in Spaghetti Westerns I can, off hand, think only of Tuco (Eli Wallach) in The Good, the Band and the Ugly who after shooting an vengeful opponent from beneath his grubby bathwater utters the immortal line: "When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk." It just happens to be a classic scene from one of my all time favourite films:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZXlhSgq7us

*

The second is more serious:

This is irrelevant to this discussion, but it is another unsupported assertion stated as though it were fact. Care to find a creditable reference for it?

This would involve trawling through the legacy of Kinsey's Team who were widely reputed to have numbed their own sexuality to such an extent they could only 'get off' by recourse to increasingly bizarre & self-destructive practices. Worse (much worse as I say) is that they drew much of their published data (i.e. the sexual responses of infants) from the paedophiles with whom they frequently colluded, and, by implication, encouraged. Yorkshire TV made a documentary about this in 1998; Hollywood made a biopic comedy in 2004.

As for its relevance to the discussion, I offered it as a precedence on the limits that human scientist have in gaining an objective perspective on any aspect of human behaviour / culture without losing sight of the fact that it's always going to be subjective anyway. I guess to believe otherwise takes real faith, huh?

"So what has all this to do with the 1954 Definition, Blandy?" I hear hapless reader ask. Well, The Pragmatist (like any linguist) observes and describes the mutability of language in terms of its living usage. The Pedant, on the other hand, prescribes grammatical correctness by way of enforcing a holy law in fear of the feral reality of the wilderness, innit? The Pedant will thus delight in the Oxford Comma, whilst the Grocer's Apostrophe will reduce them to blustering fits (we've seen a fair few of these from Bridge & Macfarlane I have to say). The Pragmatist, OTOH, will delight in the Grocer's Apostrophe as integral to the living lore of language, regarding with suspicion any correctness that insist language is anything other than mutable.   

The 1954 Definition is prescriptive musical pedantry that has nothing whatsoever to do with the entirely pragmatic musical usage it attempts to define. It's appeal is, therefore, always going to be to the more egg-bound Folk Enthusiast (those self-styled purists we're always hearing about?) for whom Taxonomical (and Taxidermic) correctness is paramount.

Perhaps Richard would like to paraphrase that for me so it meets with his exacting standards of conciseness and clarity.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 11:19 AM

Easy. There you go again.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 11:28 AM

>        From: GUEST,Blandiver
>
>        Firstly:
>
>        >        >        So - come down from your high-horse and talk to me man to man.
>        >
>        >        Oh, we're plucking phrases from a spaghetti western now are we?
>
>        I was thinking more of Hollywood Westerns ...

Again, you've completely missed the point, which is that you frequently pluck quotations and phrases out of the air and include them, presumably because you think they sound impressive and/or cool, without regard to their relevance, appropriateness, accuracy, or usefulness. The original quote from yourself about high-horses was an example - it was irrelevant both to the wider thread topics or the specific issues I raised against you. In other words, it was just more bullshit.

>        The second is more serious:
>
>        This is irrelevant to this discussion, but it is another unsupported assertion stated as though it were fact. Care to find a creditable reference for it?
>
>        This would involve trawling through the legacy of Kinsey's Team who were widely reputed to have numbed their own sexuality to such an extent they could only 'get off' by recourse to increasingly bizarre & self-destructive practices. Worse (much worse as I say) is that they drew much of their published data (i.e. the sexual responses of infants) from the paedophiles with whom they frequently colluded, and, by implication, encouraged. Yorkshire TV made a documentary about this in 1998; Hollywood made a biopic comedy in 2004.

You may be correct, or you may not, but either way you STILL haven't pointed to a creditable reference for it. Given the relative enormity of what you are claiming, I would have thought there would be something out there.

>        As for its relevance to the discussion, I offered it as a precedence on the limits that human scientist have in gaining an objective perspective on any aspect of human behaviour / culture without losing sight of the fact that it's always going to be subjective anyway. I guess to believe otherwise takes real faith, huh?

If you'd read and tried to understand the original research in the other thread, you'd know that this allusion of yours was completely irrelevant both to this thread topic and that research. Your further attempts to justify its inclusion merely further prove your ignorance and misunderstanding of scientific methodology.

>        "So what has all this to do with the 1954 Definition, Blandy?" I hear hapless reader ask.

I don't see or hear anyone ask that. I've never mentioned 1954. Seemingly, the people here most obsessed with that date are yourself and Raymond Greenoaken. Most, quite possibly all, of the rest of us couldn't give a FF about what happened in 1954. I have said as much, quite possibly more than once, yet you persist in bringing it up.

>        Well, [more irrelevant bullshit] mutable.

>        The 1954 Definition is [more irrelevant bullshit].

THE 1954 DEFINITION IS IRRELEVANT TO THIS TOPIC.

>        Perhaps Richard would like to paraphrase that for me so it meets with his exacting standards of conciseness and clarity.

I'll save him the trouble ...

BULLSHIT


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 11:58 AM

I couldn't help but note the following phrase from further up the thread:

"You might say our uniqueness is defined by the diverse nature of the parameters of our similarity."

Brilliant! Now, if only I could work out what it means ... ?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 12:04 PM

Crivvens! And to think my original quip about the Japanese Karaoke Tourist & the 1954 Definition (of 05 Aug 12 - 12:37 PM; my point of re-entry into this interminable thread) was actually meant to be a wee tease. Funny how things end up, ain't it?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 12:12 PM

You might say our uniqueness is defined by the diverse nature of the parameters of our similarity

Crivvens again! That's a wonky one even by my standards.

Well, I'd say our diverse individuality (subjectively / culturally) is that which defines our humanity. We all have finger prints (at least those of us with fingers) but no two sets are alike; genetics likewise. It is the differences that make us what we are as both individuals and as a species; and the fact that we may all see things a little differently, and how we share our opinions in a constructive & open hearted way in a spirit of wisdom, enlightenment, general crack & coloquy... You know the sort of thing - it's the Mudcat way!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,bouzouki bob folkestone
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 12:16 PM

hi richard   sad news bo foaks has just passed away overnight 9 aug 2012 will be greatly missed at tenterden folk festival and every event he lit up with his endless talent and warmth.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: SunrayFC
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 01:01 PM

I feel I should say something....


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 01:20 PM

Thank you Mr B. Have you copyrighted that phrase, by any chance?


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 01:34 PM

Nowt to do with me, Shimrod - I'm just channeling this stuff for a chap called Exeter from the planet Metaluna. Scientists? Schmientists! Forgive my bias (and curse my enthusiasm) but really things haven't been the same for me since they installed this wretched Interrossiter chip in the old amygdala.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 01:49 PM

>        From: GUEST,Blandiver
>
>        >        You might say our uniqueness is defined by the diverse nature of the parameters of our similarity
>
>        Crivvens again! That's a wonky one even by my standards.
>
>        Well, I'd say our diverse individuality (subjectively / culturally) is that which defines our humanity.

You probably don't realise it but that is actually ambiguous. By using 'that which' instead of 'what' - something I do frequently - you've given that statement two possible meanings. I'm pretty sure you mean ...

        "Our individuality defines our humanity"

... and if that's what you meant, why not just say that, instead of using the laboured, long-winded, and, as it turns out, ambiguous phrasing that you did? The other possible meaning is ...

        "Our individuality is whatever defines our humanity"
        
... which says something rather different.

Either way, it's wrong anyway ...

>        It is the differences that make us what we are as both individuals

Fine so far

>        and as a species;

The exact opposite of the truth. It's the commonality between us that defines us as a species.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 02:06 PM

If anyone wants any help with Mr Blandiver's pronouncements, ask me – I know exactly what he means. It's not hard – trust me.

>The exact opposite of the truth.

That's good enough for me!

By the by, I'm still waiting for Charles to supply the documentary evidence of my obsession with the 1954 Definition. I promise I won't eat or sleep until he provides it.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: johncharles
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 02:08 PM

"Dear Master Macfarlane,
little Jack's composition may be a little confusing at times. It's the bells you know; ring, ring, ring, he goes all hours of the day.
Yours, Mrs. Blandiver."
p.s. Jack there is no teasing some people.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 02:31 PM

>        From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
>
>        By the by, I'm still waiting for Charles to supply the documentary evidence of my obsession with the 1954 Definition. I promise I won't eat or sleep until he provides it.

Obviously, the remark was aimed rather more at Blandiver than yourself. So far, the phrase 1954 occurs 23 times in this thread, oops there's another one, but it is necessary to distinguish between original invocations in relation to the Definition, and those that are quoted in reply and the one that is coincidental. The score for original invocations is:
        Blandiver:        12
        Yourself:        1

So, you can see that noone else here is interested. It's just Blandiver riding his hobby-horse, or rather flogging it to death, and at one point you went along for the ride.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 03:02 PM

>and at one point you went along for the ride

Thank you for that illuminating definition of "obsessed". Now I can take to my bed a bit more knowledgable than when I left it.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 03:28 PM

Actually it's Richard who still has faith in the 1954 Definition - he'll frequently mention it in his posts when referring to 'real' (or Traditional) folk songs. It was his somewhat humourless contradiction of my wee jape over the 1954 Japananese Karaoke Singer fulfilling the 1954 criteria that caused the present unpleasantness, though for some reason Macfarlane thinks it has nothing to do with the discussion. Go figure.

It's the commonality between us that defines us as a species.

If there was such a thing as commonality, Macfarlane, you'd be celebrating our differences with sweet brotherly love instead of hurling your diarrhoea at me like an enraged baboon. It's the differences that matter, and the uniqueness, the diversity, and the blessed fact you are nothing like me, nor I like you. And for that fact alone you me count me a very happy bunny indeed.

*

It's the bells you know; ring, ring, ring, he goes all hours of the day

The days she can generally cope with; the nights, however, are a different kettle o' fish...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: TheSnail
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 03:38 PM

I'd just like to say that, having been around traditional music and song for about forty years, I had never heard of the 1954 definition before I joined Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 04:07 PM

ah,an appearance from The Snail,perhaps a voice of sanity is in this ocean of delusion


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 04:19 PM

>        From: GUEST,Blandiver
>        Date: 09 Aug 12 - 03:28 PM
>        
>        >        It's the commonality between us that defines us as a species.
>        
>        If there was such a thing as commonality, Macfarlane, you'd be celebrating our differences with sweet brotherly love instead of hurling your diarrhoea at me like an enraged baboon.

Again, you are quite simply wrong. You accuse me of "hurling your diarrhoea at me like an enraged baboon", but what have you been doing all this time? You previously accused me of being aggressive & insulting, but so have you in at least equal measure. Your very hypocrisy shows that we are much, much more alike than you care to admit.

>        It's the differences that matter, and the uniqueness, the diversity, and the blessed fact you are nothing like me, nor I like you. And for that fact alone you me count me a very happy bunny indeed.

Again, this is simply wrong, I am much more like you than different from you. You're confusing what distinguishes individuals in a species with what defines a species.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 04:40 PM

Raymond,
Thank-you for your offer of translation. I fear this is going to be a full-time job. Does this also cover material already posted?

I was rather amused at your idea of Jim and me on the same board. (I'm very definitely not a member of the '54' club, though I do find it useful when cataloguing). I actually agree with bits of what Jack says, which is often those few bits which I can follow.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 05:10 PM

,perhaps a voice of sanity is in this ocean of delusion

Come on in, GSW - the water's lovely!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 05:27 PM

>Thank-you for your offer of translation. I fear this is going to be a full-time job. Does this also cover material already posted?

Hmmm – let me think about that...


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Musket
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 04:01 AM

2012 definition

Still trying to change the world with three chords and a plan, after all these years.....


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 04:50 AM

Copyright arises automatically so nothing has to be "copyrighted". However the English law relating to works with no human author is murky - see Ssn 9(3) and 178 CDPA 1988.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 05:01 AM

Wild Rover is a bonus track on our live CD, but is very different.

Lol!

Sal


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 07:20 AM

In my dealings with Exeter over the years I've established that he is human, despite his extra-terrestrial status. Indeed, he insists (and who am I to doubt him?) that it was due to the intervention of extra-terrestrial intelligences some 50,000 years ago that humanity owed it's 'Great Leap' into the realms of culture & cognition without which we'd still be scrambling around in the primordial wilderness and the Arts & Sciences (much less the Folk Arts & Folk Sciences) would never have existed. In the murky realms of mythology, religion and folklore we find hints that this is the case, everything from The Bible to current UFOlore (and before & beyond), though I've seldom come across a positive spin on it. Even the brilliant Quatermass & the Pit is none too positive, and the long awaited (30 years!) Prometheus even less so.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 04:29 AM

Perhaps the answer is more obvious. and All we actually need are big signs outside the pubs saying FOLK MUSIC CLUB here!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 05:11 AM

I recall wandering into the back room of a certain pub back in 1979 with a friend, both of us post-punk / proto Goth Romantic, Marcia in heavy make-up, and dressed to kill, and being looked at in horror by the others who were making ready for the evening. They whispered amongst themselves and delegated one of their number to approach us.
'Er - actually - it's a Folk Club in here tonight,' he said, most put out as we sat at a corner table with out pints and fags.
'We know,' said Marcia. 'We've come to see The Watersons.'
'Oh - we thought - well - we don't usually get your sort in here - '
'Frost and Fire mate,' laughed Marcia. 'It's a f*cking classic. I was brought up with it.'
Of course back then your average folkie would have been in their late 20s (I was 17 / Marcia 15). Strange times, but typical of your friendly folk vibe, then as now.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 03:20 AM

I still think a big sign could be the answer.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 04:58 AM

To paraphrase the late great Julius Henry Marx - I would join no Folk Club that would have me as a member.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 06:39 PM

Another BRIEF insert - not as long winded as some posts - There are two 'Folk Clubs' within easy reach of my hovel that I DONT go to simply because NONE of the floor singers can sing without the Bloody Words, and often held up between the singer and the audience .
Where does THAT fit the 1954 definition ??


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 07:52 PM

Using words or otherwise has absolutely nothing to do with the 1954 definition.

Anyway, why shouldn't people have the words in front of them when they sing? As long as they make a decent job of singing the song it doesn't matter a damn how they they do it or what aids they use.

I know some very good singers who always have their words in front of them. It's a safety blanket.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 03:02 AM

Eye contact helps convey a song. Same in karaoke.

Words sit uneasily with the transmission mechanisms envisaged by the 1954 definition, but it is a part of it which I have argued should be altered.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 03:30 AM

Tootler, frequently they do not make a god job of it, because they do not know the song well.
for a trained actor the situation is different he/she has acquired a reading and interpreting skill, most floorsingers reading from words do not have that skill,I have come across one or two exceptions.
is it acceptable for paid guests to have words? if it is not , then it could be argued that the same standard could be applied to floor singers.
another point against floor singers having words is that it creates a small barrier between them and the audience.
part of the skill of performing [in my opinion]is the abilty to ad lib if there is a temporary memory lapse


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 05:09 AM

Speaking from experience.........

Learning the song or tune by heart so that you can perform it without a crib-sheet gives you a much more personal, intimate relationship with it. It's this which can turn an, on the face of it, trite or uninteresting song/tune into one which grips the listener.
    As far as tunes for dancing are concerned, a bandleader who learns his tunes can rescue a potentially shambolic ceilidh. One who is unable to see over the top of his/her music stand will play blindly on whilst chaos spreads across the dance floor.

Don


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: johncharles
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 05:50 AM

If I am doing a gig with our group then yes learning the words is essential. If i do a floor spot then sometimes I will have the words particularly if it is a new song.
Poets always seem to read the words do they have an exemption?
As for oral transmission I think this something of a lost art in our highly literate and technological society.
john


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 08:46 AM

I have NO problem with any performer at a Singaround doing a NEW (To Them) song having an Aide Memoire , but holding the Bloody Book in front of your face is (In MY Opinion) BLOODY Rude

This (NO offence to our Transpond Members) is a habit that has sadly crawled across the Atlantic - " I will now sing from Page 76 0f Sing Out" is the cue for MUCH page rustling as EVERYONE gets the book out !


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 12:48 PM

One who is unable to see over the top of his/her music stand will play blindly on whilst chaos spreads across the dance floor.
anarchy on the ukceili


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 02:44 PM

I've seen and heard Pete Seeger, Peggy Seeger, Ewan McColl, Joan Baez, Theodore Bikel, Richard Dyer-Bennet, Sandy Paton, and several dozen other well-known singers of folk songs live and in concert, and I have NEVER seen a singer in those lofty heights of professionalism use a crib sheet. I have also seen a number of what might be called "real" folk singers (grew up in the tradition) such as Lightnin' Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb, Mississippi John Hurt, and Almeda Riddle at folk festivals and in concert. And they didn't use crib sheets either.

I have never used them myself, nor did I have cue cards when I was on live television.

Anyone who aspires to sing for other people, whether professionally or just for fun should have enough respect for their audiences that they LEARN the song.

I once had a voice teacher who had me bring my guitar to the lessons, and after we had gone through the routine of vocal exercises and matters of vocal technique, he would have me sing whatever song I happened to be working on at the time. He would often stop me in mid-verse and ask me "What, exactly, does that line mean?" Now, he knew perfectly well what it meant, but he wanted to make sure that I knew what it meant and wasn't just singing it by rote—like, unfortunately, many people do. He wanted me to know what the song was all about, the better to be able to put it across to the audience.

It's an essential part of the minstrel's art.

Don Firth

P. S. Now, I might use a crib sheet taped to a microphone in a recording session, just to make sure I don't blow the words—which everyone does from time to time—and save having to do a re-take. When you're paying for recording studio time, retakes can get a bit pricey.

But in front of a live audience? Tacky!


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 03:11 PM

But what about blowing the words in front of a live audience?

Not good! But audiences are generally quite forgiving. Unless, of course, you do it a lot. One or two brief goofs per concert is generally forgotten when the concert is over. And everyone does it. The first time I heard Pete Seeger live, he forgot the words in one line of a song. But other than a brief hiccup in the rhythm, most people didn't even notice it. I did, because I knew the song. But Seeger covered it masterfully by making up the next line on the spot (one of the advantages of knowing the words and knowing what they mean and what the song is about, which is one of the reasons Mr. Street, my voice teacher, kept at me about knowing what the words mean and what the song is all about).

In classic guitar concerts, I've seen Segovia blow it a couple of times. I was very familiar with the pieces he was playing, one of which I had attempted myself. But he covered so smoothly that only another classic guitarist, who was familiar with the piece, would notice—and marvel at how smoothly he covered it!

On one occasion on the "Ballads and Books" television series, I was singing "The Gypsy Davey" and blanked out on the next verse. As I said, live, no cue cards. PANIC! I launched into playing the melody line on the guitar, and by the time I got to the end of the tune of the verse, I remembered the next verse. Careful questioning of a couple of people I knew watched the show established that everyone assumed that I had intended to do it that way.

You can't really pull shenanigans like that unless you know the song.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 03:55 PM

Its like a Shakespeare speech really - you can't get the intensity without knowing the words.

having said that Don - in this age of teleprompters. I think things are going the other way. Its like the times table - kids today they'll find a way of doing everything without knowing anything at all.


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Subject: RE: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: Northerner
Date: 15 Sep 12 - 05:52 AM

I was at a folk concert at my local town hall last night. We had Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick giving two one hour sets. They were good though I do prefer a folk club setting rather than a concert. It was well attended. I looked round the room and wondered why more of that audience didn't support the local folk clubs.


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