Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Why the increasing urge to perform?

Johnny J 10 Sep 12 - 04:39 AM
theleveller 10 Sep 12 - 04:56 AM
RichM 10 Sep 12 - 05:39 AM
Jack Campin 10 Sep 12 - 05:40 AM
GUEST,OldNicKilby 10 Sep 12 - 06:01 AM
Johnny J 10 Sep 12 - 06:08 AM
Johnny J 10 Sep 12 - 06:19 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 10 Sep 12 - 06:38 AM
Girl Friday 10 Sep 12 - 07:13 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Sep 12 - 07:27 AM
Kara 10 Sep 12 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,SteveT 10 Sep 12 - 09:53 AM
Leadfingers 10 Sep 12 - 10:10 AM
Johnny J 10 Sep 12 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,tony Rath aka Tonyteach 10 Sep 12 - 10:31 AM
Acorn4 10 Sep 12 - 11:18 AM
Richard Bridge 10 Sep 12 - 11:21 AM
Kara 10 Sep 12 - 12:38 PM
Johnny J 10 Sep 12 - 12:50 PM
selby 10 Sep 12 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,Tony 10 Sep 12 - 06:12 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Sep 12 - 07:30 PM
Bobert 10 Sep 12 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Stim 10 Sep 12 - 10:21 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Sep 12 - 10:36 PM
Johnny J 11 Sep 12 - 04:10 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Sep 12 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 11 Sep 12 - 06:45 AM
Henry Krinkle 11 Sep 12 - 07:06 AM
Richard Bridge 11 Sep 12 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,Stim 11 Sep 12 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,FloraG 12 Sep 12 - 04:18 AM
Will Fly 12 Sep 12 - 05:41 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Sep 12 - 06:07 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Sep 12 - 06:21 AM
Howard Jones 12 Sep 12 - 07:50 AM
Girl Friday 12 Sep 12 - 08:03 AM
Johnny J 12 Sep 12 - 08:32 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Sep 12 - 08:39 AM
Johnny J 12 Sep 12 - 08:44 AM
Phil Edwards 12 Sep 12 - 10:05 AM
cooperman 12 Sep 12 - 10:26 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Sep 12 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Stim 12 Sep 12 - 02:33 PM
Little Hawk 12 Sep 12 - 03:26 PM
MikeL2 12 Sep 12 - 03:35 PM
Joe Offer 13 Sep 12 - 01:58 AM
theleveller 13 Sep 12 - 03:42 AM
Howard Jones 13 Sep 12 - 04:08 AM
Charley Noble 13 Sep 12 - 08:33 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Johnny J
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 04:39 AM

In recent years, I've noticed that there is an increasing tendency for folkie singers and musicians to "show off" rather than share their music.

It might not be a global or even a national phenomenon but it seems to be much more common in Scotland.
Of course, the performance aspect has always been there and we have always had professional full time musicians gigging for a living alongside an amateur scene. There certainly is a place for this and I wouldn't be involved in helping to run a folk club if I thought otherwise.

However, I've noticed that there is an increasing tendency towards "Open Stage/Mic" events along with pre arranged and organised "free" music at festivals these days. There seems to be no shortage of people willing to perform at these either to assist in self promotion or achieve their moment of glory.

There are still sessions and singarounds, of course, but again they are frequently home to those people who just wish to be the centre of attraction. So, instead of sharing a few songs and tunes with friends and fellow musicians, they prefer to give a performance to impress whoever else is there including, possibly, any non musician punters who may be present. So, the quality of music inevitably suffers in these situations as everyone is trying to push themselves forward to get attention whether it be dancing on the table while playing the fiddle, seranading helpless and captive diners and drinkers with "dualling banjos" or clarinet solos etc.

I noticed too that musicians and singers increasing seem to favour large sessions when, really, the ideal number is probably somewhere between 6-10 people. Think about it, singers would get a chance to do more songs this way and tunes sessions will be much tighter.

The only reason I can see why people increasingly seem to prefer large unwieldy gatherings is that they want to be heard by as many people as possible. Certainly, they don't appear to be that interested in listening to their fellow musicians and singers when they are there. Most of the time, it's just "Me, me, me".

Rant over.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: theleveller
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 04:56 AM

I think you've got a good point, Johnny. 'Twas never thus in my early days on the folk scene - there does seem a propensity, nowadays, to adopt a 'professional' style, even amongst those who are not. Don't get me wrong, there are some truly excellent amateurs around who are at least equal in talent to many pros - but there are still plenty who prefer the informal singarounds, sessions and sharing their music with friends. I count myself amongst this latter group. I like the idea of performing to a big audience on a stage but, tempramentally, it doesn't suit me. I'm a confident person, well-used to standing up and giving presentations, but stick a microphone in front of me and any pretence of professionalism drains away. What works best for me is listening to and performing songs in context - that is in the location that they are about, and I know several singer/songwriters who also enjoy this.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: RichM
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 05:39 AM

There are all sorts of group activities; some cater to the kind of close knit sharing you prefer, others like the excitement of performance.

Don't like a specific style of gathering? Start your own, and monitor it. I did this thirty some years ago with a few friends: we started bluegrass sessions, which eventually morphed into a formal organization -still going strong- There are monthly open jams like you prefer, and sponsored concerts with invited (paid) guest bands.

Something for every taste, you could say. Why not initiate your own gatherings? I'm sure you could find a local pub that would be happy to let you use a back room. I do this now with a weekly session at a local pub for about 6 of us (for ten years,and going strong). Go around the table, play a song of your choice when it's your turn.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 05:40 AM

Some kinds of music need to be performed solo to make their effect. Complicated showpiece strathspeys, for example. I'd rather they got performed than left on the shelf.

How are the open mike spots you're describing different from a floor spot at Edinburgh Folk Club? The only difference I can see is that it's easier to walk out of an open mike spot (and a lot of club floor spot acts really know how to exploit that to their advantage).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: GUEST,OldNicKilby
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 06:01 AM

Start your own Session or Singaround , we did 8 years ago and November will be our 100th Second Saturday. It may be thought elitist but we invite people who we reckon to be good singers and /or Concertina players to an event at our Home once a month.
If you are unable to find what you want start your own. I am hesitant to use the word "Dud" when a) following Jack Campin, or b)When describing some singers or musicians, but it is good to have an evening with folkies with talent


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Johnny J
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 06:08 AM

RichM,

This seems to be a fairly common response to any observation or complaint... i'e' "If you don't like somthing, then start your own..."

Fair enough, many of us do this and there are STILL actually many good arrangements to be found but this doesn't alter the general trend which seems to be direction which I've indicated.
It is also a different matter if you are travelling and visiting another town or festival although it is always possible to start a session yourself. However, most people will usually tend to gravitate to where they regard "the hub" to be even although the room is cramped with an excessive number of musicians, drunks, noisy punters and everyone getting jostled about all the time.
Quite often too, there is ample space in adjacent rooms or nearby pubs along the scope for several more(and better) sessions to flourish.

Jack,

There certainly are times when songs and some tunes need to be performed solo but, not necessarily, as a "show/party piece".

I'm only too aware of how some floor spot performers exploit the situation to their advantage and many of them will also behave the same way in singarounds etc by either deliberately choosing exceedingly lengthy songs or, in less formal situation, ensuring that they "get as many songs in" as they can whenever there's a break in the proceedings. Certain musicians can be just as bad with accordionists, banjo players, and singer/strummers being among the worst offenders.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Johnny J
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 06:19 AM

Old NicKilby,

Please see my response to Richard above.

Private sessions either at home or elsewhere are not the way forward either although there is a place for them too. Also, the same applies for novices and/or less able musicians.

My main concern is that it is increasingly the case that folk and traditional music seems to be something which being "done TO other people rather that WITH other people" regardless of the level of musical ability involved.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 06:38 AM

It seems to me kind of selfish to exclude playing TO an audience. Could this be part of the reason for folk music being marginalised.

By all means handle your music making in a way that suits your needs, but it's a bit arrogant to suggest that others should adhere to that strategy.

It takes all sorts, and there is as much merit in giving good performances as there is in the more introspective scene which appeals to you.

Don T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 07:13 AM

If you are a writer of songs, it is much better to perform to an audience. Be that, at your local folk club, in a mixed session, or an open mic. All have their merits, provided that the audience is receptive. Often at open mics the audience consists of your fellow performers. Sometimes, we are just wallpaper in a noisy pub. We don't go back to those open mics.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 07:27 AM

One's reaction is very personal, isn't it...? Of course we all sit through some dreadful stuff, but by and large - it's the diamonds and the train crashes you treasure in your memories.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Kara
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 09:21 AM

Having spent alot of this summer playing at a large variety of folk clubs. sing around sessions, and open mics this summer with The Senile Delinquents I found there was certainly room for people who wished to perform,and sell our CD which was our main intention.

As an unknown band finding gigs is not easy, most of the venues that we contacted said that they would not book an act that they had not seen perform and recomended that we play for free at thier free amateur nights.

This gave as the great opertunity to meet loads of great singers and folk lovers all of whom had thier own tale to tell there own song to sing and a willing ear for others.

Each club had a different format for the evening, but although informal very organised with a set proceedure and someone in charge who made sure that the evening went smoothly and that everyone got thier fair shout.

I especially liked the session at The Hatch near Taunton, where a very small sing around of about 8 people with a huge range of levels of talents made us feel very welcome and not only knew some lovely songs from a wide reage of styles but also know thestories behind the songs.

I also really liked the Open Mic at the Vintage Cafe in Yeovil, which has a good PA and a very friendly vibe.

So I don't really know what your moaning about Johnny J as far as I can see there is an amazing folk scene in Britain that you should be proud of.
So


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 09:53 AM

I was saddened last night when a "performer" came to one of my local folk clubs. It's a fairly informal club but it does have the usual "go to the front and do two songs" format of a club rather than being a singaround. He was put on just before the interval/beer break and proceeded to give us three of his own compositions. Immediately afterwards he left. I'm left wondering, did he not notice the two songs each format that all the other floor spots stuck to, did he not want to listen to (and learn) from other floor singers? I'd partly excuse his failure to follow the two songs format by saying he was obviously unused to folk clubs (certainly if his songs were anything to go by) but he had not picked up anything from the five or six who went on before him and didn't stay afterwards. I don't enjoy every singer/musician when I go out but I can learn something from all of them - even if it's only what not to do.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to do justice to your material (does that make it a performance?) but the trend that worries me is that one where the performer comes before the material. (In my prejudiced old mind I think of it as open-mike syndrome.) Thankfully there are several singarounds nearby which are flourishing in the "old style". (I still miss the second Saturdays though!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 10:10 AM

Johnny - are you suggesting that trying to give your best performance is Wrong ?
Surely , there HAS to be a level of Ego and Self aggrandissment in any one who essays to be a performer , and agree that too much Ego is NOT a good thing in many cases .
However , suggesting that we should all 'Dumb Down' our performance to a lowest common denominator is only going to be destructive . Or is that NOT what you are suggesting ? Please elucidate .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Johnny J
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 10:19 AM

Nobody is suggesting that one shouldn't play or sing at his or her best. Nor am I advocating "dumbing down" in any way.

I am just commenting on what now appears to a significant trend towards performing TO people including fellow musicians and singers as opposed to sharing our music with each other.

There will always be a place for solo artists and bands who wish to gain exposure and experience in performance and there should be outlets for this purpose... rightly so. It's not the be all and end all though and for every "planted" or "staged" band which a festival decides to promote in a pub or similar venue, then it's one less opportunity for a good session.

I'd also add that there is a different between playing and performing(if you must) a tune or song to the best of your ability at a session s opposed to "taking over" or constantly trying to steal the limelight.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: GUEST,tony Rath aka Tonyteach
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 10:31 AM

As a lifelong attender of folk clubs and also as a performer I want people to perform for me
That is be as professional as possible in their approach Excusing a beginner who is nervous is one thing, inadequate preparation is another


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Acorn4
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 11:18 AM

If everyone does as the performer described by Steve T, we'd all end up playing with ourselves, if you'll pardon the expression.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 11:21 AM

Why perform? Groupies! I haven't had any luck since about 1968, but I'm still hoping.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Kara
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 12:38 PM

"I am just commenting on what now appears to a significant trend towards performing TO people including fellow musicians and singers as opposed to sharing our music with each other."

I really don't get what you mean by this, are you suggesting that every song sang should be an all in just like we did it last week. I think this would seriously stunt the natural progression of folk music that keeps it alive and relivant.

By going there and playing you are sharing your music are you not?

Steve T

Don't let it get you down babe, if he had stayed he might have got round to having another go.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Johnny J
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 12:50 PM

"are you suggesting that every song sang should be an all in just like we did it last week?"

When did I ever suggest that?

One might hear a new song or a tune in a session and someone might say ..."Oh that's a nice song!"
Someone else might say "Yes that's one of Kara What's her name's".

So, your music is even more widely shared and, who knows, someone might even come to one of your gigs as a result?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: selby
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 01:04 PM

I have seen it happen in a session where someone started playing a classical type tune spoke over his playing to tell us what it was called and then gave a long concert performance of said tune, they then waited and then did the same again and second time round totally killed the session musician started packing up and leaving. Their ability and skill could not be questioned their social graces and awareness unfortunately was nil.
Keith


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 06:12 PM

I know a lot of retired or semi-retired people who are very keen on performing. I think many of them dreamed of a career as a professional musician when they were younger, but either their music wasn't the kind that sells or else they had to concentrate on a non-musical career that could provide immediate support for a family. And now they have free time and don't have to worry about money, and they have ten or twenty thousand dollars worth of guitars and PA equipment to justify in some way. And this is their last chance.

The ratio of these aspiring performers to people who want to hear their music is about ten to one, so the audience usually consists mostly of other performers in a system of reciprocal support. A shame, since the music is often truly delightful.

Considering all that, the singaround makes more sense to me. But I never had that dream of being a pro, nor the talent that most of these people have, and people in general usually cling to their dreams in defiance of reality.

Also, there's a thread in contemporary culture that says nothing has any real value if it's not associated with money, so they may feel their music has no value unless they're paid to play it. Even if it's only fifteen dollars, or a free latté and a muffin, at least they're being paid.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 07:30 PM

I like it when someone has considered me as the listener and tried to make a good job of a song.

Surely that's not wrong, is it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 07:38 PM

Back when I was in Virginia (and Wes Ginny before that) I had lots of opportunities to perform so...

...I worked on stuff... Some folks call it practice...

When I moved to NC it was all but impossible to get booked because I was new and didn't push enough so...

...I didn't work on stuff... In other words, I didn't practice...

So...

...I'm back to doing free festivals (did one this past Saturday) and open mics hoping that will make me...

...work on stuff, i.e. practice, get known and hopefully get some bookings???

We'll see??? So far I'm getting some serious networking going...

B~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 10:21 PM

I think I know what you mean, Johnny J--it has nothing to do with the goodness or badness of the music itself. It isn't even about whether they are entertaining or not.

Instead, it is a certain artificiality of manner-as if they were on some sort of talk show, "just back from a wonderful series of shows somewhere, and just dropping in to say "Hi!" to all the wonderful folks, as we get ready to do another series of shows for some wonderful folks somewhere else."

Perhaps it is because times have changed; it seems everyone has a CD, a Facebook page, a business plan, and talks incessantly about their "product". It was not ever thus...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 10:36 PM

I don't see so much of that in the UK but yes it is very irritating since folk music is not "product". The English word for it is "bragging".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Johnny J
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 04:10 AM

"it has nothing to do with the goodness or badness of the music itself."

Guest Sim has almost got it right. The music isn't necessarily better or worse... and it may be either.... regardless of the situation where it is found. However, some posters here appear to suggest that a more formal or deliberate "performance" of the music is likely to be superior and/or more effort is made by the musician and singer. This is not necessarily the case. I've seen many a shambolic performance on stage while many session musicians and singers take what they do very seriously (I'm well aware that many of the participants are interchangeable, of course!)

As Sim also suggests, the trend now seems increasingly to be for musicians etc to promote and push themselves as opposed to just enjoying music for its own sake. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, there now also seem to be far more "performers" even in the session scene itself whose main goal seems to become the centre of attraction.

Now there is nothing really new about any of this as such and, really, I'm quite content that all sorts of arrangements should exist. It's just that I feel the balance has been shifting a bit too much in the wrong direction in recent years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 05:29 AM

if they've got a business plan - good luck to 'em!   i wish i had.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 06:45 AM

I don't see so much of that in the UK but yes it is very irritating since folk music is not "product".

In its natural habitat I don't suppose it ever was, but can any revival singer say this is still the case? I have a dream that we Traddies bask in the numinous glow of Traditional Folk Song & Ballad until it moves us to do our own thing with it with our guitars, shruti boxes, fiddles, laptops, telecasters, concertinas or whatever. This we do in the name of Folk - in reverence of The Tradition - and it's a product of sorts (Cottage Industry CD-Rs, Soundcloud / YouTube pages & Blogs notwithstanding) although more of a craft piece, homespun by way of Folk Art, which is a new way of looking at something very old.

If the Folk Movement was about anything, then it was about democratisation and I think we're seeing that now. These days I rarely meet a Folkie who doesn't play or sing, and take their music very seriously indeed which is only right & proper.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 07:06 AM

Got to have that moment in the spotlight before you die. Or it will be like you never lived.
(:-( ))=


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 07:24 AM

Mither - any revival amateur should be able to say that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 02:06 PM

If you want a business plan, Big Al, you, and anyone who intends to play music to earn money (or do anything for money) should have one. This is a good place to start: Template for Writing a Music Business Plan .

That said, when you go to a session or sing-a-round or such thing, no matter how focussed you are on your business efforts, just play and sing as you would for friends in your own home, where, hopefully, you do not push your CD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 04:18 AM

Do you think the increase in folk music degree courses has increased the desire to perform rather than share?
FloraG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 05:41 AM

I'm not going to grumph and humph about changing musical standards here, but there does seem to be a trend for people to get up and perform in public before they're really ready to do so. When I was learning to play and perform - a long time ago (when Pontius was a pilot) - we got together in each others' houses to make music, swap ideas and techniques, etc., before we ever thought of getting up to perform in public. And in my area (north-west Lancashire) in those far-off days, sessions as we know them now, or open mics, just didn't exist. To make communal music, it was either a sing-song round a piano in a pub, or playing together with friends in someone's house.

Added to that, cheap instruments of a reasonable quality were not as plentiful, and money wasn't as forthcoming for us youngsters, as now. My first guitar cost me £5 in 1964 and was total crap. My first decent guitar was a s/h 1964 Epiphone Texan, bought in 1967, which cost me £9 a month for 10 months to buy on the HP from a music shop in the Leeds County Arcade - a lot of money in those days. So I think we regarded persons performing on a stage using decent instruments with much more awe than we do now.

In short, there was a divide between individual public performance and communal music-making which has blurred since then. Shows like the "X-Factor" and "Britain's Got Talent" also promote the idea that everyone has some talent in them - which I think is true; and that it doesn't take much to get up and do something with it - which I don't think is true.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 06:07 AM

""It's not the be all and end all though and for every "planted" or "staged" band which a festival decides to promote in a pub or similar venue, then it's one less opportunity for a good session.""

And therein lies the basic flaw in your argument.

There is always a finite number of singers and musicians at any festival, and if you had applied a little genuine observation, you would have noticed thaat, in even the largest festival, the same performers will show up at most, if not all, of the session venues at different times.

The pubs which showcase folk acts, do so because they draw in audiences who buy drinks and contribute to the licencee's living.

If the numbers of performers rise beyond what can be accommodated in existing sessions, then new venues are found (e.g. The Black Horse at Sidmouth which, until 2006, didn't have sessions as such.

There are plenty of informal, introspective, one might almost say navel gazing, sessions about. The problem is that they tend to be insular and closed to outsiders which, to me, dosesn't equate to "sharing" music at all.

Don T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 06:21 AM

I can't help wondering, Johnny J, whether you can actually tell the difference between an attention seeking performer and one who sings with passion because the songs mean something to him.

Can you say, hand on heart that you are always able to do so?

Because after 57 years singing in and organising folk clubs, I would not make that claim.

Don T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 07:50 AM

Singarounds/sessions and folk club-style performances are quite different things and serve different purposes. For one thing, singarounds often tend to be more participatory, with many if not most of those attending being performers, while a folk club/open mic may attract a larger percentage of non-performers who are content to listen. Not everyone wants to "share" music, many are happy simply to be audience.

What you seem to be complaining about is that your preferred type has to compete for space with different types. Some might equally complain that every session is less opportunity for a club-style event where people can simply sit and listen without feeling pressured to perform themselves.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 08:03 AM

"Some might equally complain that every session is less opportunity for a club-style event where people can simply sit and listen without feeling pressured to perform themselves."

Not at all. Certainly not at my sessions at Crayside Folk Club. We ask if they would like to sing, or play, but never pressure anyone to do so. Audience is always welcome. If at some point (be it the same evening, or at a later date), they feel that they'd like to, that is very welcome.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Johnny J
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 08:32 AM

Don
"the same performers will show up at most, if not all, of the session venues "

That's not my experience and if they do it's usually to grab another moment of glory. Increasingly, the trend also seems to be that "booked" musicians have become more aloof and/or prefer to start their own sessions.

Howard,

"Some might equally complain that every session is less opportunity for a club-style event where people can simply sit and listen without feeling pressured to perform themselves"

They aren't obliged to perform in a session or singaround either. Most of these are held in pubs where other customers are welcome to listen or not.

There's actually more pressure if it's set up as an "open Mic" affair or having to perform in front of an audience and everything is much more controlled.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 08:39 AM

I think that's a false distinction Don made there. Thereis many a performer who "sings with passion because the songs mean something to him." And there are others who are going through the motions.

A nd it is perfectly possible for someone who is a perfromer on a stage to be a sharer in a session. In fact it happens all the time. I'm sure many of us can all think of times when a "star" has sat in with us and listened as well as shared, and made sure that it didn't turn into a mini-concert with the others as audience. In fact that has been one of the things that has made the folk music world different and precious.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Johnny J
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 08:44 AM

"And it is perfectly possible for someone who is a perfromer on a stage to be a sharer in a session"

Yes, this still happens but I feel it's less so these days.


Flora G asks

"Do you think the increase in folk music degree courses has increased the desire to perform rather than share?"

To a point, yes. Not only degree courses but courses and classes in general, I'd suggest.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 10:05 AM

I can see this from both sides. A couple of times a month I go to a singaround where people simply take turns in singing a song from where they are (you can stand up if the song demands it, but mostly people don't bother). It's a brilliant environment, the nearest thing to the supportive, immersive feeling of a tunes session you can get with songs. (If anything I find it more supportive than tunes sessions, but I'm generally more comfortable singing than playing.) And you can tell when people are more accustomed to singing from a stage to an audience - there's a certain kind of hi-how-are-you performance which can go down very badly at a singaround.

On the other hand, I'm also an occasional floor singer at a club with a stage/audience setup, and there's no denying that singing like that is an enormous buzz. And it does help if you bring along a bit of stagecraft as well as the ability to hit notes. So maybe the answer to the OP is "because it's fun". I wouldn't be without the singarounds, though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: cooperman
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 10:26 AM

I think Will's point about the X factor is a good one. I did a street party event with my PA set up. I said who fancies singing (meaning singing along). Next thing there was a queue of kids all wanting to sing into the mic! We let them have a go and it became like a talent contest. It actually went down really well and I had a break from singing! It's the times we live in I think.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 02:22 PM

""I think that's a false distinction Don made there. Thereis many a performer who "sings with passion because the songs mean something to him." And there are others who are going through the motions.""

Never said there aren't McGrath. Since Johnny J seems to be of the opinion that people who "perform" somehow spoil his experience of a singaround/session, I was checking whether he recognises the difference between attention grabbers and those who put their hearts into it.

Where's the false distinction in that, pray?

Don T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 02:33 PM

I join in with Will and cooperman (incidentally, I Iove that story) on the X-Factor factor. Many times, it strikes me that whatever they start out singing, the song we hear is "My Elusive Dreams".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 03:26 PM

I prefer small sessions, Johnny, meaning up to about 7 people in the circle. Some like to play alone. Some like others to play along. I have no problem with either approach, and will adjust to their wishes. Sometimes I'd prefer to play alone, but it can depend on which song I'm doing, and how people are accompanying it.

I always try my utmost to do the very best performance I can of the song I'm doing, same as I would if I was in front of 5,000 people. I don't regard that as "showing off", I regard it as respecting the song and the craft, honouring the process...and giving it all I've got.

When I was 20, I wanted to be famous. ;-) Now I thank God I'm not, because I enjoy being left alone by people and living a quiet life! Funny how one's perspective changes, isn't it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: MikeL2
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 03:35 PM

hi

I can identify with Will about the non-availability of affordable quality instruments for young people way back then.

I went through the same process of buying a cheap piece of crap and only when I could afford it bought a Hofner President on the "drip".

Also agree with Will about trying to become proficient before playing in public.

We used to play in my dad's shed. He even had it "sound-proofed" so as not to disturb the neighbours too much.

But also back then there were always guys who wanted to show off and tried to horn in without being invited. Perhaps this has increased lately but I think it was ever so.

cheers

Mikel2


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 01:58 AM

Why the increasing urge to perform?

I sing to impress the chicks. It never has worked for me, but I keep trying....

But seriously, there is something wonderful about doing a good performance and "connecting" with one's audience. And when that connection happens, I think it's selfless. The performer forgets the self and experiences the unity of the whole, and that's about as good as it gets. What appears to be self-centered in a preformer, is often self-consciousness and fear.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: theleveller
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 03:42 AM

Good post, Joe. I'll totally go along with that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 04:08 AM

Of course people are welcome to listen to a singaround, just as they are at tunes sessions. But both situations often seem to be principally for the benefit of the participants, rather than an audience, and will usually go ahead whether or not there is an audience. They are really about singers/musicians entertaining each otherrather than performing to an audience. If you're not one of the singers/musicians you can easily feel a bit of an outsider. If you are a performer, as others have pointed out singing or playing at a singaround/session has a very different feel from performing in front of an audience.

I'm not saying that one is better than the other, but they are different and there should be room for both. And of course there are many variants within these broad types - some sessions are very open to audiences and some clubs are very cliquey.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why the increasing urge to perform?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 08:33 AM

I think a good music community provides individuals many ways to enjoy music. Some will do the hard work of being audience, and sing on the refrain or chorus. Others will take their turn at the music circle or session. Some will sharpen their skills and go for floor spots and opening acts, and a few more talented ones will achieve featured performer status. They are all good roles. It is rare that someone shifts through the steps from audience to established featured performer without exceptional ability.

I don't see any problem if someone wants to perform at a higher level, as long as they can sustain that performance. If they can't, it will be embarrassing but not necessarily fatal to all concerned.

Of course some music communities have an established group and it is difficult for anyone, talented or otherwise, to break in. That is sad.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 October 9:53 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.