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Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!

GUEST,Banjiman 19 Jul 12 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 20 Jul 12 - 06:54 AM
matt milton 20 Jul 12 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 20 Jul 12 - 07:39 AM
matt milton 20 Jul 12 - 08:00 AM
Tim Leaning 20 Jul 12 - 08:17 AM
GUEST 20 Jul 12 - 08:33 AM
Ross Campbell 20 Jul 12 - 08:49 AM
matt milton 20 Jul 12 - 09:00 AM
Spleen Cringe 20 Jul 12 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 20 Jul 12 - 09:23 AM
Bernard 20 Jul 12 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 20 Jul 12 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,Peter 20 Jul 12 - 10:10 AM
matt milton 20 Jul 12 - 10:29 AM
IanC 20 Jul 12 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 20 Jul 12 - 11:09 AM
matt milton 20 Jul 12 - 11:19 AM
Spleen Cringe 20 Jul 12 - 11:29 AM
IanC 20 Jul 12 - 11:30 AM
Spleen Cringe 20 Jul 12 - 11:32 AM
Richard Bridge 20 Jul 12 - 11:33 AM
Will Fly 20 Jul 12 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 20 Jul 12 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 20 Jul 12 - 11:53 AM
Spleen Cringe 20 Jul 12 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,kenny 20 Jul 12 - 12:06 PM
GUEST 20 Jul 12 - 12:08 PM
matt milton 20 Jul 12 - 12:18 PM
matt milton 20 Jul 12 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 20 Jul 12 - 12:38 PM
theleveller 20 Jul 12 - 01:44 PM
Will Fly 20 Jul 12 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,Lin 28 Apr 16 - 09:18 PM
GUEST,Desi C 01 May 16 - 02:22 PM
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Subject: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 07:37 AM

I just had to get away fro the negatively titled thread...... which has turned so positive!

Here's a few posts from the "other" thread to get us started :-)

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: 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: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 06:54 AM

Well, Pip & I do anyway, Paul - and you presumably! Sadly many of my old folk friends are dying off, but that just makes it all the more precious. I'm caught between yearning nostalgia for the old days and hearty optimism that all is alive & well - certainly if KFFC is anything to go by, and Kit & Cutter in London, and the Robber's Dog in Sheffield and many others we've touched upon in recent years (The Moorbrook notwithstanding of course).

We have a mind that we'll start up The Sorrows Away Folk Club ourselves one of these days - in Manchester or Liverpool or maybe both. I'd like to pay John J. & a handpicked chorus from The Beach to kick off each night with a good old bawl, and feature all manner of guests from Suzie Kentell to Wendy Arrowsmith to Phil & Cath Tyler to Sproatly Smith (quite possibly on the same bill). And all unplugged! Could happen; it does in my dreams quite regulary...


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: matt milton
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 07:30 AM

London folk club scene seems to be pretty damn healthy. I could go to enough enjoyable sessions and singarounds most nights of the week without actually South London - let alone London as a whole.

My favourite is Sharps Folk Club at Cecil Sharp House, which I've only been to a few times, but I really must make more of an effort to attend. The post-Penguin New English Book Launch singaround at Sharps was a truly barnstorming evening: like listening to a Now That's What I Call Unaccompanied Folk Singing compilation tape.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 07:39 AM

I love the idea of The Sorrows Away Folk Club Sean. Sounds like my kind of place....... that would be a great bill to pull together as well.

As you know, I love unplugged. One of the reasons why I still love folk clubs, no "kit" to get in the way.

I've only been to a couple of London clubs (long ago when I lived down there). Wendy seems to like them though :-)


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: matt milton
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 08:00 AM

most of the London trad folk clubs are unplugged. Sharps is.

As is Cellar Upstairs, Goose Is Out @ the Magnolia, Musical Traditions and Islington Folk Club. I'm a fan of all of them. Albeit with a few minor reservations about Musical Traditions, where the atmosphere on my sole visit thus far struck me as overly conservative, almost bordering on self-importance.

I like Walthamstow Folk Club too, though that's amplified. But it'd be hard for Walthamstow FC to function unplugged, cos they use quite a big room.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 08:17 AM

Folk clubs are great places to hear folk music ...
Blues clubs ditto blues Jazz ditto ...etc etc
I prefer mixed ones where anyone can play or sing as long as there is no PA or Amps....


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 08:33 AM

I think, in the original thread, we were discriminating between Folk Clubs and Sessions/Singarounds.

If you insist on grouping the two together (and they aren't the same thing, nor even attended by the same people in general) then, sure, things look very healthy.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 08:49 AM

Ron Malaney? Haven't seen him at the Moorbrook for a while. Mind you, that Rob Baxter hasn't been there for ages either. Come to that, have they ever been seen in the same place at the same time?

Ross (also in absentia - send my apologies!)


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: matt milton
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 09:00 AM

"I think, in the original thread, we were discriminating between Folk Clubs and Sessions/Singarounds.
If you insist on grouping the two together (and they aren't the same thing, nor even attended by the same people in general) then, sure, things look very healthy."

I don't recognize that description. (I've already mentioned quite a few of the clubs I'm thinking of.) Innumerable folk clubs have both "Singers Nights" and "Guest Nights"; all the folk clubs I've been to have managed to cram in a lot of floorspots even on their "Guest Nights".

Maybe I've just been lucky in the folk clubs I've attended, but to say of singarounds and folk clubs "they aren't the same thing, nor even attended by the same people in general" quite simply isn't true of the places I've been.

(Tangent: I also, in principle, disagree with any kind of laying down of a law that a "Singaround" by definition is not a "Folk Club". Says who?! If I want to start a folk club that never has any extended, full-length sets, I reserve the right to call it a folk club! I'm anti the capitalization of such things; I prefer things lower-case and unstandardized)


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 09:08 AM

Matt - if you want to call a singaround a folk club, that's great and I'm with you all the way (and with you on the avoidance of capitalisation: I much prefer folk clubs to Folk Clubs). Last time I looked a club was a gathering of humans with a shared interest and folk was... actually let's not go there with that side of the equation!


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 09:23 AM

"I prefer things lower-case and unstandardized"

Wow, radical dude :-)


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: Bernard
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 09:46 AM

At Lymm folk club we run Guest Nights, Singers Nights and Singers Nights with a 'Big Spot'.

The audiences at Guest Nights differ significantly from those at Singers Nights - both in terms of numbers and actual attendees.

We have a relatively small nucleus of people who usually attend both - around 20 people. However, Singers Nights usually attract in excess of 40, at least half of whom are performers, whereas we are lucky on Guest Nights to achieve 30.

Unfortunately, the snotty, introverted 'that's not folk' attitude that still prevails at some clubs doesn't do the rest of us much good... frowning on someone because of their choice of song is not in keeping with the 'open to anyone' ideal.

Clearly, if someone's performance is below par to the point of embarrassment all round, then there is possibly an issue to be dealt with - but I can only remember such a thing many years ago which sorted itself out (I wasn't club organiser in those days, incidentally)... a bloke turned up for a couple of weeks with a guitar that sounded as if it hadn't even been tuned when he bought it... he sort of twanged at it whilst singing tunelessly - it was a complete mess. He received polite, apologetic applause on both occasions, and we haven't seen him since. I still, to this day, do not understand why he put himself in such a position - I cannot accept he wasn't aware of his lack of (for want of a better word) skill, nor could he have actually enjoyed it... I could be wrong, of course.

My belief (I took over running the club nearly two years ago) is that enjoyment is the most important factor. The performers should enjoy what they are doing, which in turn rubs off onto the listeners. One of our residents sang an unaccompanied version of 'Moon River' last night - everyone sang along with gusto, and nobody complained it 'wasn't folk'... even if they may have thought it.

My only gripe is that some performers tend to regard folk clubs as their rightful place to perform simply because they can't find anywhere else. Whilst, say, a jazz trio may provide a welcome and refreshing diversion on the odd occasion, perhaps they should be looking elsewhere for a venue more appropriate to their style of performance?

Have I just contradicted myself? No, not really - in the above example I have to say that jazz is not something I particularly enjoy, although I can appreciate and enjoy musicianship. People do not got to folk clubs to listen to jazz, nor do people go to jazz clubs to listen to folk.

The needs of the performer meeting the needs of the audience is the balance that defines enjoyment. It's almost impossible to quantify!


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 10:05 AM

Our Folk Club is upper case, well radical & far from standardised. Part session, part singaround, part debating society, part master-class in Traditional Balladry, part good old ceilidh (not the dancing sort), accompanied, unaccompanied, solo, tutti, with occasional cake, chocs, and pots of pure crack / craic or however you're spelling it. About the only thing we don't have is guests.

4 years we've been going now & by this time of a Friday I always begin to get a rush of excitement & butterflies just thinking about it. Shame we won't have Ross with us tonight though (who does a lovely Wild Rover that doesn't involve banging on tables) but we will have a kist o' sangs baith jimp an' sma, as well as a new one from the Pendle Witch show (words by Ron Baxter / music by Rachel), several Harry Smiths & some old chestnuts to give a suitable roasting - and quite possibly a Bowie cover too.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 10:10 AM

Innumerable folk clubs have both "Singers Nights" and "Guest Nights"; all the folk clubs I've been to have managed to cram in a lot of floorspots even on their "Guest Nights".

It might be anything totally amature open stage to a pro guest with pre-booked support but the unifying factor is the intention to perform to an audience. That is totally different to a singaround.

Both have their place and have different priorities and objectives.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: matt milton
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 10:29 AM

"It might be anything totally amature open stage to a pro guest with pre-booked support but the unifying factor is the intention to perform to an audience. That is totally different to a singaround."

Well that doesn't even seem "very" different to the singarounds I've been to, let alone "totally" different to them.

But then maybe I've never been to a singaround, because at the folk clubs I've been to I've always thought I was "performing to an audience", even when the atmosphere was very informal. I've always felt like the other contributors were also performing to an audience too

Don't get me wrong, I use the term "singaround" too - I know that it'll mean there won't be a headlining set and there'll be a bunch of singers generally singing one song each and going round the group as many times as there's time for. I know what a singaround entails.

It just strikes me as perverse and pointless to wall that off from "folk clubs". As a latecomes to folk, the singaround has always struck me as as the most "folk" thing about "folk clubs"!

As Kit&Cutter, already mentioned once in this thread, put it on some recent blurb, they found the participative nature of folk clubs "Brechtian".


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: IanC
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 10:39 AM

Sorry, I was the "Guest" above ... lost my cookie.

The sessions/singarounds I'm talking about (and sorry if I'm using the wrong words for anyone) are informal gatherings in a pub bar where people sing and play basically anything. The reason I tagged "singaround" on to session is that some people seem to think that "session" stands for instrumental-only evenings where everyone plays music at the same time and singing is not usually all that predominant.

Non-one ever pays anything (except for the beers) in these, there are no "guests" and there's no front or stage.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 11:09 AM

I agree, I think there is a material difference between sessions/singarounds and "folk (or Folk) clubs (Clubs).

I'm not saying I don't enjoy both....... but there is a difference. I do especially enjoy seeing "excellent" artists do extended sets in an intimate, preferably unplugged environment. That's why I run things like that..... we attract a mixture of "folky" and non-folky audience who expect extremely high standards. We charge a good ticket price as well.

I also enjoy having a play and sing myself, as an I don't fall into my own category of "excellent" I go to singarounds/sessions amongst my mates whose standards vary from barely competent to "excellent". I expect these evenings to be free of charge (except beer, obviously).

To me these things are best kept apart.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: matt milton
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 11:19 AM

ah, but what do you call a folk club when it is having a singaround, rather than one of its guest nights? is it no longer that folk club?

it certainly appears to be being organised by the same people, using the same website, in the same building, at the same time, with many of the same people in attendance...

and what is the difference between a "singer's night" and a "singaround"? Clearly, somebody needs to time-travel back to the early 1950s and establish a Strict Definition. (Note use of capital letters.)


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 11:29 AM

Matt, a Folk Club having a singaround is a folk club.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: IanC
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 11:30 AM

Well, I thought I had established a few pointers

() it's in the bar of a pub, not a private room
() Nobody is paying anything
() It's informal
() There's no control over what is played or sung (except possibly for requests by people in the bar)
() there's no stage or front

If all these are satisfied, it's a session(/singaround).

:-)


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 11:32 AM

Is a singer's night a singaround at a Folk Club?

The Beech crew here in Chorlton get around it by calling the night 'Songs and Tunes at the Beech' and tighten this up by referring to what is offered as 'mainly but not exclusively traditional'.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 11:33 AM

I am so glad to see modest English self-deprecation prevailing.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 11:39 AM

Fantastic! Not only do we debate the nature, taxonomy and types of "folk" - now we're also debating the nature, taxonomy and existence of folk clubs, Folk Clubs, singarounds, Singarounds, session, Session, Folk-singaround-sessions, FoLk ClUbS and sInGaRoUnDsEsSiOnFoLkClUbS.

Good old Mudcat - even MUDCAT! This is why I love it and you all so much. :-)


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 11:50 AM

Don't you love it!

I guess it only matters so people know what they are getting.

"ah, but what do you call a folk club when it is having a singaround, rather than one of its guest nights? is it no longer that folk club?"

No it's a folk club having a singaround...... simple really.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 11:53 AM

Whilst exceptions prove rules, I'm still happy to be rather quite exceptional.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 11:57 AM

Oi Paul, don't be a spoilsport! We want to call it something different. As far as I'm concerned, a folk club having a singaround is called a 'Prince Albert'.

Will, can you tell it's a slow Friday afternoon for us wage slaves?


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 12:06 PM

I expect to pay to get into a "folk club". I've never paid to get in to a "session" or a "singaround". My experience in Scotland anyway.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 12:08 PM

"Oi Paul, don't be a spoilsport! We want to call it something different. As far as I'm concerned, a folk club having a singaround is called a 'Prince Albert'."

Actually I'd argue fervently (there is a weight of historical evidence and it's defined in the 1834 definition) that it is a 'Prince Edward' not a 'Prince Albert'........ you're obviously ill - informed and know absolutely nothing. Fool!

Happy now Spleeny?

Anyway, much as I'd like to banter with you lot, I've got a folk (Folk?) festival to go to. Even that is contentious though as it was Scarborough Seafest..... and now it's Whitby. I'm especially looking forward to seeing Martin Carthy and Wendy Arrowsmith (might even play my banjo with the latter).


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: matt milton
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 12:18 PM

I'm going to need a bigger tongue, or a smaller cheek, or both, cos I'm not sure the spirit of some of my posts has successfully translated.

However, this thread is definitely making me want to go out to a folk club and sing some songs and drink some beer of the non-fizzy kind. Possibly while wearing my Birkenstocks.

Sadly, most of London's f**k c***s shut up shop for July.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: matt milton
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 12:20 PM

wow, just realised how naughty the words folk clubs look when you add fig-leaf asterisks...


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 12:38 PM

I only spotted this thread when it was in danger of slipping off the bottom; I revived it with a post o' my own but I think I'm rather beginning to regret it now. It started off positive, now it's revealing a darker heart which I'd like to think is anathema to folk but to be honest I've seen more shit go down in folk clubs than in any other type of music I've been involved with. Even a cheerful optimist like myself can depart utterly down-hearted.

A folk club is where folk music happens - and folk music happens best in an atmos of muso-free informality where egos are checked in at the door and all hell is let loose by way of communal celebration. No gaffers; and certainly no 'stars'. I've seen some canny turns in folk clubs, mind, where the key to the thing was an extension of that informality. Jim Eldon, Martin Carthy, Ivor Cutler, Peter Bellamy, John Kelly, seem to breathe the same rarefied air as Derek Bailey and Lol Coxhill.

If I want formality, I'll go to a classical recital. If I want overweening self-importance and ruthless backbiting ambition, I'll watch The Apprentice.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: theleveller
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 01:44 PM

"having a singaround is called a 'Prince Albert'. "

If that's the case, what's my piercing called?


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 02:00 PM

leveller, if you have an Albert piercing, I demand to see the photographs.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST,Lin
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 09:18 PM

There are no actual folk clubs in the area of Southern, California where I live. There are some clubs (not called folk clubs)that have open mikes on certain nights but not billed as a folk night or venue. You might hear blues, punk and a little of everything - by mostly amateurs and not necessarily folk at all.

There are house concerts (none in my area) in Southern, Calif. that do book known folk singers - but alas none near me.
The only thing that happens somewhat in my area is folk music get- together (singarounds) at different homes but not always that close to me either.

They are typically singarounds you might say where the chairs are set up in a circle in the living room and everyone can sing a song of their choice (or if there is a particular theme that night - the song will be close to that theme) If you are not a singer or guitar player then you can request a song and hopefully someone there will know it.

I can't sing unfortunately and only know a few chords on the guitar.
Hard for me to even really play guitar anymore because of pain in my right hand (I am right handed)and somewhat on left hand too. So on the rare occasion I might go to one of these get music nights at someone's home, I will just request a song. However, majority of people can sing & play guitar. It is very casual.
They usually are just once a month in different people's houses in various cities in the county I live (large county though)so even at that they are not always that close. You know everything here is so spread out to get places in Southern, California. No subways (in my area) and not much pubic transit buses at night in my area after 8 PM. (especially to residential areas) where these house singarounds are located.

I kind of wish there was a folk club near me that had folk/acoustic music on a regular basis. I just enjoy being a part of an audience with other people and listening to a folk singer on a stage.


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Subject: RE: Wow - People want to go to Folk Clubs!!!
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 01 May 16 - 02:22 PM

Folk music and folk clubs are at present at their most popular sine the 60's Folk redvival so they must be doing something right, maybe an alternative to the dreadful fake crap of XFactor and The Voice type shows


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