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It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'

evansakes 08 Aug 12 - 11:27 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 12 - 11:42 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 12 - 11:50 AM
Richard Bridge 08 Aug 12 - 11:53 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 12 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,Peter 08 Aug 12 - 12:13 PM
evansakes 08 Aug 12 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 08 Aug 12 - 12:23 PM
evansakes 08 Aug 12 - 12:33 PM
johncharles 08 Aug 12 - 12:34 PM
The Sandman 08 Aug 12 - 12:50 PM
The Sandman 08 Aug 12 - 01:25 PM
The Sandman 08 Aug 12 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,999 08 Aug 12 - 01:46 PM
The Sandman 08 Aug 12 - 01:56 PM
Richard Bridge 08 Aug 12 - 03:20 PM
Don Firth 08 Aug 12 - 04:12 PM
The Sandman 08 Aug 12 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,999 08 Aug 12 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,Don Wise 09 Aug 12 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 09 Aug 12 - 05:21 AM
evansakes 09 Aug 12 - 06:33 AM
GUEST,Don Wise 09 Aug 12 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,999 10 Aug 12 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 10 Aug 12 - 03:04 PM
GUEST,999 10 Aug 12 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 11 Aug 12 - 04:43 AM
Hesk 11 Aug 12 - 05:20 AM
Jack's Rake 11 Aug 12 - 06:56 AM
GUEST 11 Aug 12 - 08:19 AM
GUEST 11 Aug 12 - 09:33 AM
Silas 11 Aug 12 - 09:38 AM
GUEST 11 Aug 12 - 10:26 AM
Richard Bridge 11 Aug 12 - 10:31 AM
Silas 11 Aug 12 - 10:37 AM
johncharles 11 Aug 12 - 12:36 PM
GUEST 11 Aug 12 - 01:54 PM
GUEST 11 Aug 12 - 02:00 PM
johncharles 11 Aug 12 - 02:53 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Aug 12 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Gibsonboy 11 Aug 12 - 06:28 PM
Leadfingers 12 Aug 12 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,999 12 Aug 12 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 12 Aug 12 - 12:52 PM
Richard Bridge 12 Aug 12 - 03:30 PM
Hesk 12 Aug 12 - 04:00 PM
Leadfingers 12 Aug 12 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 12 Aug 12 - 05:28 PM
Leadfingers 12 Aug 12 - 05:48 PM
Tootler 12 Aug 12 - 08:04 PM
Rob Naylor 12 Aug 12 - 09:18 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Aug 12 - 02:56 AM
Musket 13 Aug 12 - 03:29 AM
The Sandman 13 Aug 12 - 03:32 AM
Leadfingers 13 Aug 12 - 04:11 AM
Vic Smith 13 Aug 12 - 04:39 PM
Leadfingers 13 Aug 12 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 14 Aug 12 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Don Wise 14 Aug 12 - 12:50 PM
Don Firth 14 Aug 12 - 02:42 PM
Don Firth 14 Aug 12 - 02:46 PM
Leadfingers 14 Aug 12 - 04:49 PM
Rob Naylor 14 Aug 12 - 07:47 PM
SunrayFC 15 Aug 12 - 04:01 PM
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Subject: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: evansakes
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 11:27 AM

In another similarly titled thread the original posting was this....


Subject: Its why people dont go to folk clubs....
From: SunrayFC - PM
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.


That was Sunray FC's only contribution to the thread (though there's been the better part of 200 replies). He simply lit the blue touch paper and ran for the hills before the inevitable explosion of division, argument and insult.

I won't speculate on the reasons why he decided to post what he did but I can at least clarify they weren't his words.

Without any explanation or attributation he had simply copied a couple of lines from the editorial of the latest issue of Proper Music's 'Properganda' Magazine. They are the words of Proper's Simon Holland.

Holland's words fully deserve to be read in the context of the full article.

So here it is...

Propernda Issue 23

Click on the magazine cover, scroll to page four and zoom in...

Our venue at TwickFolk seems to have been the location where this floor singer opened the evening with 'Wild Rover' though none of us involved have any recollection of it (and it's highly unlikely we would have forgotten it in a hurry).
It's worth bearing in mind that the date of this visit was many years ago....the guests that night were Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman and it wasn't the most recent of their three visits....I will check the date but i suspect it was probably 2006 or 2007. Since then we took the advice of several trusted pros who had warned us that bad floor spots can kill any 'folk club' stone-dead in no time.

Simon Holland ends his editorial with this positive and glowing summary of his first 'folk club' experience......

"and the moral? Well.....cliches are for those who can't think past them. Open your mind, open your ears, open your heart"

These are the words SunrayFC could have chosen to cherry-pick if he was of honourable intent and not trying to ignite trouble.

Thanks for reading this chance to set the record straight.

Let's accentuate the positive. That night WAS thoroughly memorable. I don't remember the dodgy floor singer but I do remember many events that took place after that (not least the Peter Holsapple song Holland refers to!)

Cheers, Gerry (on behalf of all the TwickFolk volunteers)


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 11:42 AM

My God, TwickFolk,

Was it your intention to come across as a complete fool?


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 11:50 AM

Guest - Anonymous insults are not the act of a brave person and are best left in the head of the person issueing them!.Dennis


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 11:53 AM

"Since then we took the advice of several trusted pros who had warned us that bad floor spots can kill any 'folk club' stone-dead in no time."

I'd rather trust the instincts of wannabee performers than the judgement of those who would exclude them.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:02 PM

TwickFolk is a great Folk Club. Welcoming, organised, inclusive (in terms of the range of what can be termed "Folk" as a musical genre, rather than giving a forum to the untalented) and with great music (and good beer!) and importantly, supportive of good musicians.

Floor spots in any club certainly vary in quality - how could they not - the whole function of a floor spot is to give a few minutes to the untried and possibly undeveloped would-be performers - and some of these will grow and improve and hone their skills and some will not.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:13 PM

The function of a floor spot is depends on the ethos of the club and the purpose of the event being staged. There is no entitlement for crap singers to bore customers who have paid a premium to see major performers such as Roberts and Lakeman.

Singers Nights exist for the "untried" would be performer.
A floor spot on a guest night is to give those who have "developed" exposure to a wider audience.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: evansakes
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:15 PM

Just checked.

I was way out. This gig in question by Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman (and the dodgy version of 'Wild Rover') took place on the night of Sunday Nov 6th 2005.

No wonder we can't remember who the culprit was....

The opportunity to perform at Twickfolk is seen as a privilege not a right....we don't want to put anybody off coming back.

After all, something might emerge in seven years time to bite us on the bum....


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:23 PM

I think I'm kind of with Richard on this one.

In my experience people who do floorspots are quite happy to be people who do floorspots; few I've met have any aspirations to be anything else. Some of my favourite singers have no ambition to do anything else with their voices than share a few ballads over a few pints of a Thursday or Friday night. In our 'folk club' (essentially a session with jump-in singing which amounts to a sort of floor spot) we encourage musos & would be pros (and actual ones) to check their ambitions & egos in with the landlord. I'm of the opinion that the last thing you should be doing in a Folk Club (unless you're a booked guest) is performing. Music is worth more than that, and there is, God knows, a time & place after all. Otherwise - come-all-ye!


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: evansakes
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:33 PM

At TwickFolk no "wannabee performers" are judged or excluded.

That's why we still have well-attended 'singers nights' when everybody without prejudice is actively encouraged to perform. Those who are ready, willing and able then step up to other performance opportunities as outlined by Peter above.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: johncharles
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:34 PM

How good does one have to be to get a floor spot at Twickfolk?


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:50 PM

This is hilarious,
" There is no entitlement for crap singers to bore customers who have paid a premium to see major performers such as Roberts and Lakeman."
OK, The vast majority of people who go to a folk club know the format, if they do not want to see floor singers they can turn up later.
   the original quote was this,"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
which sounds like Sunray objected to the singing of the wild rover rather than how it was sung.
Sunray, runs a club so he must be used to floor singers, logic dictates he is talking about the choice of song not the performance.
quite frankly,I see nothing wrong with the song Wild Rover, I am more concerned about how it is performed.
by the way I would not pay 10 pence to see sean lakeman, he is definitely not my cup of tea, whereas I might pay see 10 pence to see a singer perform the wild rover.
might i finally remind everybody that folk music is not pop music, it is the music of the folk, that means folk clubs are there to encourage everybody to try and make home made music, without folk clubs giving floor singers an opportunity, we would not have some FOLKPOP music stars such as Barbara Dickson,Sean Lakeman plus many folk comedians, that does not mean that there should be no quality control, it means in my opinion, everyone should be given an opportunity, and encouraged to get better, that does not mean they have an automatic right to sing , it means it is at the discretion of the organiser, if the floor singer doesnt like it they can go somewhere else,if guest peter doesnt like it ring up the organiser find out when the guest is on and turn up when thethe guests are due to appear


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 01:25 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2TywvoqKFQ, another good reason


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 01:26 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2TywvoqKFQ


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 01:46 PM

People do go to folk clubs because they like the experience they have. When they no longer enjoy the experiences, they stop going. None of this is rocket science.

As for the following: "might i finally remind everybody that folk music is not pop music": really? It used to be. In fact, other than the songs sung at home or in one's neighbourhood, the only other songs were those brought by visitors from afar. Music used to contain the news and the histories of people, places and events. People, places and events, news and history didn't stop in 1954. IMO. If that offends anyone, just put it off to me being Canadian. Have a good day all.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 01:56 PM

999, what i mean is that unlike todays pop music it is not produced by a band or bands that have been artificially manufactured hyped and promoted, with the sole purpose of making lots of money, i believe The Monkees were the first of this genre.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 03:20 PM

To address the sage comment by JohnCharles above - and who decides how good they are?


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 04:12 PM

I post this here because I tried to wade through all the wise and otherwise wordage in the other thread, and came to the conclusion that the thread was going around in circles.

After attempting to hack through all the erudite blather there, the person that I am concerned for is the neophyte singer who may be singing at a folk club for the first time. May be singing anywhere for the first time, which can be a very intimidating experience, and one that can determine a future course of events, depending on how the singer's efforts are received.

I recall the first time I ever sang before a group of folk singers and enthusiasts back in the 1950s (shortly after the Big Bang). I had been playing the guitar for maybe six months and I knew all of about a dozen or so songs. I screwed up my courage and the first song I sang was "The Fox," straight off Burl Ives' Decca record. Everybody there knew the song and either sang the song or had heard it many times.

But—

This was a polite and encouraging group, glad to see someone, who may develop into a singer of some merit, try his wings for the first time—even if he was singing a song they all knew and had heard many times. Nobody rolled his or her eyes and sighed heavily. Several mentioned afterward that they liked the way I did the song and told me that I delivered it well. I was most encouraged!

The ultimate result of this was that I continued learning songs, and learning about the songs, and eventually made a very enjoyable and moderately lucrative career out of singing in clubs, coffee houses, in concerts, and on television.

Had people sneered, rolled their eyes, or generally given me the "thumbs down" at that point, I may have set the guitar and the songbooks aside and decided to become an accountant.

So everybody knows "Wild Rover." And everybody has heard it a lot.

And this person is doing it because he likes it (why else would anyone learn a song?), and he likes it because it's a good song! And at this point in his development as a singer, it may be one of the few songs he knows.

I mean, let's not be so bloody pompous and selfish—and think of the future. Give new singers a chance!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 04:35 PM

Give new singers a chance!
exactly, let us not forget that we were all given a chance


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 04:56 PM

Dick, I agree with you and thank you very much. Having heard songs with you singing, I appreciate hearing from a darned-good singer/musician. I hope someday I can hear you in person. There is a timbre in your voice that is quite 'centering', one I like very much.

All best wishes to you.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 04:55 AM

It strikes me that, as in so many walks of life, some people would be well advised to tone down the arrogance and remember how they got started in, in this case, the folk music 'scene'. Or did they progress directly from the cradle to (reasonably) well-paid 'Name' artist??

Don


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 05:21 AM

Don, I don't think anyone is suggesting that new singers shouldn't be given the chance. And if "The Wild Rover" is one of the only songs they know, so be it. The question is, should they be given the chance by supporting a professional act people have paid good money to see?

The folk scene is extraordinarily generous in allowing new singers the opportunity to perform, and is usually extremely supportive (perhaps even too uncritical) while they make their mistakes in public. In many genres you'll struggle to find the same opportunities to play to an audience, and you may even have to pay a venue for the privilege. And if you're no good, you'll be told in no uncertain terms. Whereas folk clubs offer repeated opportunities for the inexperienced (or frankly crap) to do their stuff in a welcoming and encouraging atmosphere.

Which is good. But it is not to say that those singers should have the right to perform on any occasion. In most genres, the opportunity to support a professional act is something which has to be earned, after you've paid your dues and gone through the learning process. As the magazine article demonstrates, folk music is in danger of doing itself a disservice by not exercising sufficient quality control when the occasion demands it.

As for "who should decide who is good enough", I suggest that should be the organiser of the event, who is the one who will stand to lose money if a paying audience is put off by poor performances.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: evansakes
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 06:33 AM

Thanks for those words, Howard. You put it in a nutshell.

As I said before (though some people above don't appear to have taken it on board) we DO give all performers a chance at one of our 'club' nights. There are various stages of development...performing for the first time in public might be best done seated within a throng of others with the words on a sheet at a singaround or in a public pub session. It probably shouldn't take place on a stage in a quiet darkened room in the full glare of a spotlight into a microphone and through a professional PA system in front of an expectant paying audience.

Clearly some would disagree though....


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 10:35 AM

Howard........

I've done my time on 'The Folk Scene'........until I fled Thatcher and moved to Germany 30 years ago.
Obviously things have changed since I moved away. Surely it depends upon how the club is organised? I can remember clubs where almost every night was a 'Guest' night and singers nights more or less happened only because the guest couldn't make it. Some clubs operated a 'residents and guest only' policy on guest nights. Others allowed a handful of floor singers selected on the 'first come first served' principle.Nobody ever told me back then,"Not tonight 'cos your not good enough (and you sing "The Wild Rover" to boot)!" Obviously audiences were more tolerant back then.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 09:18 AM

If as professionals or 'gifted amateurs' we have no time for newcomers then imo we ain't all that professional and w'ain't all that gifted. Someone somewhere sometime gave us all a bit of encouragement, tips on how to improve, remarks that made us look at our performance and delivery. As a result we learned and grew. There is nothing wrong with passing that on.

Club owners/organizers have not only the right but also the responsibility to provide good acts for audiences. If they do not provide good acts they will be ex-owners/organizers because the audience will go away. Part of newcomers learning the ropes is them finding out if a song they intend to do will conflict with another performer who may have already decided to do that song. I listened to "I'll Fly Away" three times one evening in an hour and a half at an open mike. I was the guest act and I had the greatest urge to start my set with the opening two lines of the first stanza--I knew I wouldn't have to do more because I'd have been laughing by then.

Another reason people go to folk clubs is the ambiance the clubs generate. I don't think there's a formula for that but there are necessary actions to take. Good guest acts, organized open mike, time for the audience to speak with each other, a place for musicians to speak separate from the room, and no bullshit from anyone on or off the stage. All handled politely, of course.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 03:04 PM

Part of the ambience of folk clubs comes from the contributions made by floor singers. A lot of people go there for the opportunity to perform as well as for the chance to hear the guest. Those of us who are used to it learn to take the rough with the smooth, but there is the danger that first-time visitors will be put off - as the magazine article suggested. I think there's a very difficult balance to be struck.

There are some folk clubs which are concerts by another name - they feature only professional guests supported by other professionals or semi-professionals, or the club residents. To me, that's not a folk club and I probably wouldn't give it the loyalty I would give to a club which allowed me the chance of a regular floor spot. However, I still contend that the organiser has the right to decide who will perform, and especially on a big occasion they are right to exercise some quality control.

I also feel that a budding performer should be self-aware enough to know whether or not they are up to performing on a particular occasion.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 03:34 PM

Makes sense to me.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 04:43 AM

Laugh all new singers off the stage - that's what I say! Humiliate them, so that they never try it again!

I doubt that there are many people who are actually suggesting wot I have writ above. All of this guff about encouraging new singers is blindingly obvious and all you lot seem to be doing is fighting to see who is the wisest, kindest and most compassionate.

So, it makes perfect sense to encourage new singers, and it's unlikely that anyone is suggesting anything else. On the other hand, what do you do about the singer who was new three years ago and is as dire and unlistenable to as when he started?


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Hesk
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 05:20 AM

There are many paid performers who have been singing and playing for years who are dire and unlistenable to, but that is why beer tents were invented, to get away from them. But these are the same artists who are revered and followed by others, so once again, it is all a matter of personal taste.
I am a lot more intolerant of booked artists who have not bothered to entertain their audience in a balanced and creative manner, than a few off key, or inaudible souls who have a go for nowt!


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Jack's Rake
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 06:56 AM

Good point Hesk!

A couple of years ago the missus and I went to see a currently very famous person, who plays in a band, do a solo evening at a local folk club.

When we bought our tickets the organiser, having had Jack's Rake at the club on a number of occasions, asked us to do a floor spot. We were mildly freaked at the idea of playing to a huge audience of the Sheffield Folk Gliterati and, indeed, to the famous person in question without the massed ranks of the rest of the band to hide behind but we accepted - always ones for a challenge!

So, we chose three Jack's Rake numbers: a pair of tunes, a trad. song and a cover version and rehearsed like billy-o to make sure we could do them justice with just the two of us.

Come the evening, we did our bit and, to be honest, I think we did a pretty good job though we were clearly bricking it - there were a lot of people in that audience I would pay good money to go and see - and the two other floor spots were impeccable.

The main act, on the other hand, I don't think I'm exaggerating in saying that at least half of the songs had very obvious mistakes and about a fifth of them had full on stops. It became clear that the performer, used to playing in a band, remember, hadn't bothered to do much, if any preparation for this low key gig. Perhaps the fact that it was a tenner a ticket had passed them by.

Don't get me wrong, it was still an enjoyable gig but, if I hadn't been part of it, I would have been mightily peed of by the respect the main act showed to the audience, in terms of preparation.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 08:19 AM

In the seventies, floor spots were often dire with out-of-tune guitars, 80 verse unaccompanied ballads with fingers in ear, all experienced through a fug of cigarette smoke and endless chat. Having not been to folk clubs for 30 years, the "survivors" all seem to be excellent standard overall and I go to a number of clubs. Maybe people expect a lot more these days for a similar amount of money and that's what concert folk, soundstages and festival have done for the humble folk club, kind of made an orphan of it. It's amazing the club scene is still here at all and provides a meeting point for making music that does not exist in many other countries.

pat


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 09:33 AM

Just in case anyone fancies giving us a song or a tune...
I'll mention my local club HaverFolk
We meet most Wednesdays of the year in the function room at The White Horse pub, 118 High Road, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Essex (I'd better also say it's in England for our international readers).
It's mainly a singers' club and all styles and stages are welcome - whether you're a first-timer or a more seasoned performer who wants to polish up a complicated piece in front of a sympathetic audience who won't jeer if you fall flat on your face.
We have 12 guest nights a year: six of these slots are given to professional/semi-professional or damned good amateur guests and the other six to club members who are taking the next step up from floor spots or who are establishing themselves as performers.
We like to grow talent where we can and I'm pleased to say that two of the guest nights will be going newcomers to the scene.
If you're round our way on a Wednesday night, please drop by.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Silas
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 09:38 AM

How many times or chances does a really crap floorspot get?


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 10:26 AM

Now there's a difficult question, Silas.
How do you define crap? We tend to be very tolerant, some might say over-tolerant.
The trick to being an MC there is making sure you get the spots of a lesser standard out of the way quickly and pleasantly and give more scope to those who are good. But that's the art of MCing at any club.
Only one person has been given the elbow but that had a lot to do with his attitude: he would come along and sit sneering at all the other acts, refusing to applaud, then haul out an electric keyboard and spend 10 minutes (it seemed so much more) droning tunelessly over three hammered chords. Polite applause at the end was taken as great acclaim for his "song-writing skills".
As one very talented performer said to me: "The best thing about folk clubs is the worst. The best thing is anyone can get up and sing. And the worst thing is anyone can get up and sing."
He felt his low point in clubs was when a man who'd had a tracheostomy stood up and whispered an interminable Irish ballad. But the locals, all friends of this particular chap, were so pleased that he was trying to sing again after his operation that they applauded him to the max. One man's best is another man's worst.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 10:31 AM

We are vaguely planning a visit to Haverfolk (that is to say the democratic republic of roger the chorister four is) after your kind remarks at Sweeps, was it Sweeps, this year.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Silas
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 10:37 AM

Crap is when a bloke who should know better gets out his guitar that he can barely play and sings with his (at best) very poor voice whilst playing in a very loud plectrum 'dum-ching-a'style 'She moved through the fair'. I kid you not.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: johncharles
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 12:36 PM

The good thig about folk clubs is the generosity of spirit exhibited by the kindly audiences. If your fingers got stuck in the guitar I guess you might still get a clap for your innovative technique.
Off to remove guitar from hand.
john


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 01:54 PM

Richard: I wasn't at Sweeps this year but a number of Haverfolkies were. If you went down well with them then please do come and see us. I'm intrigued. Are you part of a choir? Drop us a line at haverfolk@gmail.com
Silas: She Moved Through The Fair is not one of my favourite songs but I've heard it performed with a plectrum guitar accompaniment and it's gone down well with our audience. Sadly Haverfolk might be too crap for your taste.
JohnCharles: At Haverfolk sympathetic people would spring up to assist you release your poor trapped hand (although some evil bugger like me would endeavour to video the whole fiasco and post it on the web).


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 02:00 PM


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: johncharles
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 02:53 PM

Haverfolk a bit far south for our little group but if we do get down that way we shall be sure to pop in as it sounds so friendly
john


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 03:10 PM

Guest Haverfolker - I'm sure it was one of your organisers. My daughter did get back to him and a member of his family had been ill or something (or maybe even died) and it would have been rude of us to push at that stage. No, we are not even vaguely choirlike! More sort of - er - loud.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,Gibsonboy
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 06:28 PM

I don't believe Guest Artist equals better artist. Perhaps our club is different but many our floor singers are quite honestly better than many of the booked guests. Result we now only book four guests a year, attendances are up, and bank balance is healthy.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 11:16 AM

Back in the 'Bad Old Days' when I was between carreers I was on the committee of a small folk club which had a SERIOUSLY physically handicapped floor singer . At a Committee Meeting it was raised that as he could barely see , and and his diction was NOT perfect he should not be allowed to sing .
This was outvoted , and it was decided that he would be on the singers list very time he came , but would NOT be over used OR used as
an early spot every time .
One thing that struck me was that he was ALWAYS pitch perfect - If he sang a song in F , it was in F every time .
Encouraging people to 'have a go' is , IMHO , part of the appeal of the UK Folk Scene .


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 11:25 AM

And not just the UK, Leadfingers.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 12:52 PM

"There are many paid performers who have been singing and playing for years who are dire and unlistenable to "

Are there? Who, exactly?


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 03:30 PM

Well, if I can include the dead as well as the living - Dylan, Tim Rose (another copyright thief) and Johnny Cash.

I could also put up some youtube clips but that would be unmannerly.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Hesk
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 04:00 PM

Hello Shimrod.

By Quoting out of context, you may have missed the point, ie, that it is all a matter of personal taste.
I would not name the performers here, because I understand that given that thousands of other people like them, it is more likely to be my problem, not theirs.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 04:59 PM

On the button , Hesk !


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 05:28 PM

Hmmmm! "It's all a matter of personal taste" is a useful little phrase, isn't it? A wonderful device for shutting down debate. There are definitely "paid performers" who I would pay to listen to - and those I wouldn't. This is, of course, a matter of my personal taste.

But the point that I was trying to make, further up the thread, is that although we should give beginners every opportunity to perform, and do nothing to discourage their efforts, perhaps we shouldn't be so tolerant towards amateur performers who show no sign of improvement after a considerable amount of time has passed. I'm not convinced that this is primarily a matter of personal taste - more a matter of lack of talent, lack of practice and lack of self-awareness (on the part of the amateur performer).


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 05:48 PM

Shim - That IS a good point but not easy to operate as the poor floor singer is STILL a paying punter and may well have friends who only come as he is there !
I personally get wouund up if floor singers hold 'The Book' between them and the audience ! They should KNOW the lyrics in my opinion


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 08:04 PM

Why should they? As long as they do a decent job of singing the song does it matter?


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 09:18 PM

Guest,999: Part of newcomers learning the ropes is them finding out if a song they intend to do will conflict with another performer who may have already decided to do that song. I listened to "I'll Fly Away" three times one evening in an hour and a half at an open mike.

Surely it's elementary for someone planning to perform to prepare more songs than they're planning to sing, in case someone else pre-empts one of them? I'm still relatively inexperienced at performing but would never turn up at an event with only as many songs prepared as I thought I'd get time to do. If someone else does one of "my" songs before I get a chance to do it, I just switch to another. The only time I can recall this failing was when I turned up half-way through a singaround due to various delays and was told (afterwards) that the (quite obscure) song I'd just done had in fact been done earlier by someone else.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 02:56 AM

I find it a bit odd if one person does a particular song - then another says - Ah but have you heard the Scottish version and does it, then a third says, yes but what about he American version and does it - ALL before we can do our planned version (a different English version) of it!

Once upon a time "manners" dictated that if you knew another singer had been doing a song, you would not do that song (a) on his home turf or (b) where he was present. This did I think increase the variety of songs one might hear. Certainly I'd be headed for the bar at the start of the second "I'll fly away".


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Musket
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 03:29 AM

Why do I go to folk clubs?

Recapturing a lost youth I suppose. Oh, and everybody likes applause. Seriously.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 03:32 AM

Tootler, frequently they do not make a good 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: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 04:11 AM

Just what I was going to say Dick !! Apart from the inherent Lack of Politeness in CREATING a barrier (The Bloody Book) between the singr and the audience .
I have NO problem with an experienced singer having the lyrics of a NEW song (to them) available as an Aide Memoire when they are working on new material .
When EVERY floor singer is using a book , it certainly encourages me NOT to bother going back to that club .


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Vic Smith
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 04:39 PM

When did this awful business of people turning up at folk clubs offering to read the audience a song begin? It certainly was not the case way back when..... I suppose it is OK in singarounds where no money is changing hands, but surely it should not be the case when an audience is paying admission. How can you engage and audience and sing with expression if you cannot even remember the words?


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 07:32 PM

Vic - Its imported from USA . I have been at Singarounds in USA where Sing Out is held by nearly every body - The song title and page number are given , and everybody sings 'from the book' .
This is NOT the same way that the 'Good' pro and Semi Pro singers perform , just the less experienced .


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 14 Aug 12 - 05:17 AM

I strongly suspect that many of the people who sing from the book, in clubs and singarounds, desperately want to perform but are not prepared to put an appropriate amount of effort in. Many of them seem to be followers of that insulting, ignorant and pernicious 'philosophy': "It's good enough for folk".


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 14 Aug 12 - 12:50 PM

As an aside, no self-respecting busker would be seen dead singing or playing from a crib sheet.......unless of course they're playing classical music.

Don


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Aug 12 - 02:42 PM

Seattle's first "Song Circle" started in summer of 1977. The whole idea was that a whole bunch of people would get together and, size of room allowing, would sit in a circle or some approximation thereof.

Someone would start off. They would sing a song or ballad. Or they would lead a chorus song, such as a sea chantey and others would chime in at the appropriate times. Or they could request that someone else in the circle sing something. Then, the "IT" position would move to the next person in the circle, moving either clockwise or counterclockwise, and they would have the same options: sing solo, lead a song, or request something from someone else, or they could pass. And so around the circle.

This was a most enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday evening, which is when the Seattle Song Circle met. Sally Ashford, with peoples' permission, taped the sessions (as did several of us; I have about thirty cassette tapes of these evenings, containing some really great stuff!!) and self-published a song book containing words and music (Sally knows music and has a good ear) complete with annotations as to who sang what.

We got so good a singing chanteys that the whole group was invited to sing on the deck of an old schooner (the Wawona) during the Moss Bay Sail and Chantey Festival where she was moored in Moss Bay on Lake Washington, along with several other historical ships. We sang a bunch of chanteys in their natural habitat while a crew of Coast Guardsmen raised and lowered the sails (periodic check of the tackle to make sure everything still worked properly), and I got a chance to sing some fo'c'sle chanteys in a genuine fo'c'sle!

Then something came up and Barbara and I were unable to attend Song Circle for a couple of years. When we returned, we found the whole character of the group had changed. Drastically!

Many of the "old guard" were no longer there. And the new people came laden with song books and crib sheets. As we sat there listening and waiting for our turn to come up, we were treated to people who stumbled their way through some song they didn't know and were reading it out of one of their stack of books. And traditional songs were not a main item on the menu. We heard a lot of songs by Jacques Brel.

Our attendance was pretty sporadic from then on.

Then we heard that "The Blue Book" (Rise Up Singing) was the official "hymnal" of the Seattle Song Circle, and people sat around singing out of it.

For some strange reason, we lost interest. As, apparently the original Song Circle members did also.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Aug 12 - 02:46 PM

There are still "hoots" and song fests around Seattle and environs. But people are frisked at the door, and any song books or crib sheets are confiscated for the duration of the song fest.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Aug 12 - 04:49 PM

Don - I often think that frisking at the door would be a good idea over here now ! Except I would probably have my Banjo impounded !!


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Aug 12 - 07:47 PM

Vic: When did this awful business of people turning up at folk clubs offering to read the audience a song begin?

Dunno, but I find it irritating. Usually, the book or sheet is either held right in front of the face, absorbing about 50% of the vocal output, or placed on a table so that the singer has to sing into the floor, again reducing the output to a mumble.

I'm a relative newcomer to these kinds of events. I guess I probably know about 30 songs well enough to sing them with a reasonable level of confidence that I won't forget the words or accompaniment (but I still occasionally get a brain fart and forget something). I know at least the same number of songs again *less well* and wouldn't consider inflicting these on an audience until I'm confident that I won't forget them.

I was worse when I first started playing/ singing in public, as I'd often wheel a song out "before it was ready". ie: I had it down "pat" at home, but not "pat enough" for public performance. It took a while for me to realise that you need to have a song down to a level where you know it *unconsciously* before you should perform it in public.


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Subject: RE: It's why people DO go to 'folk clubs'
From: SunrayFC
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 04:01 PM

I feel I should say something...


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