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Do singers make a good audience?

Paul Reade 30 May 13 - 05:39 PM
GUEST 30 May 13 - 06:36 PM
melodeonboy 30 May 13 - 06:46 PM
The Sandman 30 May 13 - 06:51 PM
GUEST 30 May 13 - 07:29 PM
Deckman 30 May 13 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 31 May 13 - 06:34 AM
Mo the caller 31 May 13 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,sciencegeek 31 May 13 - 09:12 AM
Ron Davies 31 May 13 - 09:14 AM
Ron Davies 31 May 13 - 09:32 AM
Les from Hull 31 May 13 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,sciencegeek 31 May 13 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,CS 31 May 13 - 11:24 AM
Ron Davies 31 May 13 - 11:58 AM
Jim Carroll 31 May 13 - 12:26 PM
The Sandman 31 May 13 - 12:36 PM
gnu 31 May 13 - 01:04 PM
Jim Carroll 31 May 13 - 01:08 PM
sciencegeek 31 May 13 - 01:14 PM
Deckman 31 May 13 - 01:22 PM
Marje 31 May 13 - 01:50 PM
Ron Davies 31 May 13 - 01:51 PM
GUEST 31 May 13 - 02:18 PM
The Sandman 31 May 13 - 02:25 PM
John Routledge 31 May 13 - 02:35 PM
sciencegeek 31 May 13 - 02:43 PM
Ron Davies 31 May 13 - 02:51 PM
Ron Davies 31 May 13 - 02:53 PM
GUEST 31 May 13 - 02:58 PM
Marje 31 May 13 - 03:21 PM
sciencegeek 31 May 13 - 03:25 PM
Jeri 31 May 13 - 03:27 PM
Ron Davies 31 May 13 - 03:47 PM
Artful Codger 01 Jun 13 - 10:39 AM
Ron Davies 01 Jun 13 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 01 Jun 13 - 11:09 AM
GUEST 01 Jun 13 - 11:45 AM
Tattie Bogle 01 Jun 13 - 08:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Jun 13 - 08:17 PM
GUEST 01 Jun 13 - 09:33 PM
Mooh 02 Jun 13 - 10:14 AM
The Sandman 02 Jun 13 - 06:31 PM
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Subject: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Paul Reade
Date: 30 May 13 - 05:39 PM

Went to a very crowded singers' night recently, where there were loads of singers (and a few listeners).

What we noticed was that no-one seemed to go down very well, although some of the performers were very good indeed. We had the impression that most of the audience were far too wrapped up in their own performances to really listen to, or appreciate, anyone else.

Any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 13 - 06:36 PM

Some rude people by the sounds of it.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: melodeonboy
Date: 30 May 13 - 06:46 PM

Fortunately, this is not a huge problem at the folk club that I regularly attend. but we do have the occasional case of someone expecting attention for their song and then yakking through the songs of other singers. Annoying!


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 May 13 - 06:51 PM

perception of an event is always difficult, different people can perceive things in a different manner much can depend on the mood of the performers or even the observers mood,
perhaps the singers were subconsciously competitive, perhaps the mc did not realax people enough, all possibilities, interesting


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 13 - 07:29 PM

Folk club singers will be a better audience than song session attendees who will often fidget with their volumes of song/crib sheets

Folk club audiences will probably be more responsive to joining in choruses


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Deckman
Date: 30 May 13 - 08:34 PM

I gather the frame of reference of this thread is Europe? All I can add is to speak from my own experiences here in the northwest corner of the U.S.

I've recently sung several concerts where there were many experienced singers in the audience. I was thrilled to see them from the stage. I was even more pleased to observe as they became a very, very good audience. They were watching, and listening very carefully. I could see as they took in the little nuances that only experienced stage performers notice. After these concerts, to a person they all made comments about the little things they'd picked up on.

Give me an audience of performers any day .... CHEERS, bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 31 May 13 - 06:34 AM

I am a singer who really does listen to other performers.
I'm interested in what a singer is doing right and/or wrong... from an audience reaction perspective.
What's his/her patter like.
Does their choice of song grab the listeners attention.
It's all part of the great learning experience.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 31 May 13 - 08:49 AM

The first post was about an event where everyone was waiting to perform, so gearing themselves for that.
I've been to dance events like that -
Morris teams outside a pub, all getting ready for their 'turn'
Whitby workshop showcase where everyone had to be ready to go on and show what they'd learnt in the week.

Singers as 'audience' in a concert would be different (possibly)


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 31 May 13 - 09:12 AM

the answer may be "it depends"...

good singers are always on the lookout for good songs they don't know yet. but many open sings, singarounds can have a large number of "singers" who can't remember or carry a tune, forget the verses or read from the Sing out songbook the same tired songs they did the last time they sang. I've been to so called open sings where the 'gang" only wanted to play the same songs they've done since the 60's or '70's and actually resented if someone did a song they didn't already know. And playlist never changed...

Then there are other monthly singarounds where the same songs get repeated over and over, but they have no problem with hearing new things and sharing a good time.

what tends to bug me most is the instrumentalists who insist on playing along with your song... in the wrong key... and loudly to boot.

so, I can't really say that any given session or singing group is identical... the makeup of folks attending is the big factor.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 May 13 - 09:14 AM

As others have noted, the problem appears to be that it was a "singers' night"--just about everybody there was planning to sing at least one song themselves--and probably preoccupied with their own upcoming performances.   Maybe even mentally comparing their own songs to what had gone before.

The thread title implies a broader question:    do singers make a good audience in general?

I'd expect the answer to that question is:   absolutely.

As long as singers feel no personal pressure to perform later, they'd be an excellent audience;    very appreciative of the song selection, possibly looking for songs they can add to their own repertoires, noting the stage patter, performance style, etc.   More than willing to sing any chorus the performer wanted (in my area, loaded with singers, the problem would be to get them to not sing along--and very likely throw in harmonies on the chorus-- and they might feel frustrated if given no chance to join in vocally.)


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 May 13 - 09:32 AM

I do certainly agree with sciencegeek about open sings or singarounds infested with Rise Up Singing---I've not been to our open sing for years (ever since that book made its appearance at an open sing).

But I'm pretty sure a singers' night would be only for people who don't read the words off a page--they'd actually know the songs.

And it's definitely not a situation where people sit around and wallow in the 60's--or sing the same songs month after month.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 31 May 13 - 09:38 AM

A lot of sense from posters here. If you want others to listen you have to be worth listening to.

At a folk concert or in a folk club an audience of singers is invaluable. To hear a good chorus well sung is a treat. I recall the old days at Folk Union One at the Bluebell, Hull when guest singers would be startled by how quickly the audience could pick up a chorus and add harmonies to it.

As for pub singarounds of course they are going to vary as to who's there. Some singers will listen and join in choruses and some won't. And some non-singers will listen and some will just have loud conversations that become louder if the singer increases volume.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 31 May 13 - 10:57 AM

I will admit to using Rise Up Singing ina pinch... the song was requested and noone was confident in the verses, but didn't want to disappoint. But before my turn, I will hide in a far corner or other room to go over a song if the oldtimers is acting up.

has anyone else encountered the lyrics read for the smart phone yet???

The younger singers will whip out their phone and read the verses as they go... gads do I feel like a dinosaur... lol


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 31 May 13 - 11:24 AM

Mm, I'm possibly quite critical as a listener as I'm critical as to what I do, so you can't turn that off. However I think I've also a good ear for a good performance and will really listen closely and appreciate beautiful or well delivered singing. I'd prefer it if others didn't talk through other people's performances, though if on the ear end of a convo, it;s not easy to ask the vocal party to be quiet! I have to confess that if the singers are genuinely bad however, I tend to care somewhat less..


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 May 13 - 11:58 AM

"whip out their phone".    Yup, I've noticed that--at a doo-wop sing yet.   Not on my watch.   If I have any say whatsoever I will discourage that too.   They only did it once, and I couldn't stop it.

Let's hear it for cantankerous dinosaurs--who actually believe in learning songs.   Fortunately there are still a fair number of us extant.   We may eventually be extinct--but not for a while.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 May 13 - 12:26 PM

Slightly off topic
A friend of ours, a brilliant fiddler, told us how an old musician once gave him a tune, following which, each time they met the old man asked him to play the it; so often in fact that he became quite pleased with himself.
After the dozenth occasion he said to the old man, "it's your tune; why do you keep asking me to play it?"
The old feller replied, "I'll keep asking till you get the ******* thing right".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 May 13 - 12:36 PM

, what a ridiculous comment, there is no such thing as right, what might be right to one player is not right to another, it is the sort of idiotic attitude that comhaltas have with their competions, what might be right for larry o murchu is not likely to be right for jim carroll


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: gnu
Date: 31 May 13 - 01:04 PM

Mo nailed it... "The first post was about an event where everyone was waiting to perform, so gearing themselves for that."

I have found such an audience far "better" at both listening and appreciating. Now, I am talking about a small number of small venues.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 May 13 - 01:08 PM

"is not likely to be right for jim carroll"
No intention of belabouring this Dick, but I think you'll find most of the old singers had a strong sense of what was "right" and what was "wrong" - whether we agree or not.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 31 May 13 - 01:14 PM

LOL... heck, even when we write the tune, neither hubby or I is sure to play it the same way twice in a row... at least without plenty of practice to get it set semi-firmly in mind.. :)

And given how long it takes Mike to settle on just how he wants the verses to go, he may still use an earlier line... can you actually "folk process" your own song???   LOL

and on a tangent line... I can't get past one line in Tennesee Stud that just irks me to no end... his eyes are bloody well NOT green...

your choices are brown, blue or pink (albinos)!!! grrr .. if you have to make it scan, then his eyes are keen. It's a horse not a cat! Sorry... it's just that annoying to a horse person, well this horseperson anyway.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Deckman
Date: 31 May 13 - 01:22 PM

Speaking of reading the words during a concert: About a year ago, I attended a small house concert performed by a popular trio. They actually used a music stand, placed a laptop puter on it, and read the words from the screen as they sang. I was simply astounded. I left at the intermission! bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Marje
Date: 31 May 13 - 01:50 PM

In most traditional-style clubs and singarounds (I'm talking about the UK here) I think singers are generally pretty appreciative and attentive as an audience. The kind of club where I've noticed inattentiveness veering into rudeness was an "acoustic night" set-up with a stage and a PA that attracted almost exclusively the man-with-guitar type of acts. There were too mnay big egos, and very few songs that required or even permitted participation by the audience. The performers tended to chat loudly at the bar before and after their own spot and showed little interest in the other acts.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 May 13 - 01:51 PM

"NOT green".    I always thought green eyes was an interesting touch.   But it does seem that this is a somewhat apocryphal horse anyway.   And after all the eye color has to change to blue by the end of the song.

I don't think you can ask too awful much verisimilitude from folk songs--or even would-be folk songs (I had no idea Jimmy Driftwood wrote it).


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 May 13 - 02:18 PM

I would suggest that one of the talkers be hanged by the neck and displayed just outside the entrance to the performance area--as a warning to the rest.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 May 13 - 02:25 PM

just because someone thinks they are god it does not mean they are, some of the old singers players may have had strong opinions , that does not mean they were right, take for example neilidh boyle and his jungle music attitude, he might have been a good player, but that does not make him right to be so dismissive of his contemporaries.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: John Routledge
Date: 31 May 13 - 02:35 PM

A singaround with 15/20 singers and a few non-singers can be magical.
Try to find one and discover why they are so magical.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 31 May 13 - 02:43 PM

Ron... chalk it up to the "geek" in me regarding eye color... and I can deal with the blue as poetic license for sorrow... and I consider the song to be "country"... whatever that really is.

It's a dumb mistake that could have been easily fixed, but wasn't. After all... who cares anyway?

You can break or bend the rules of grammer to make a point, but you still need to know the rules. Fact/reality should have its own value and then when you do somthing like refer to eyes turning blue - you are doing it to make a point. Not making something up because you need a word to fit the rhyme. I can't make myself sing it because I know that it is wrong, anymore than I can say 2 plus 2 is equal to 3 as if I mean it.   Overall, it's a fun tune and amusing story that mostly makes it into the "willing suspension of disbelief" that is critical to all fiction. Like I said... it is that one line that irks me.

Over reaction? Maybe.... but....

There is too much ignorance in the world... and in farming I deal with folks who honestly have no clue where their food comes from... and in my profession as an environmental analyst, no concept of human impact on the world around them... or anything relating to what I grew up thinking was commonsense.

most kids today can't cook a meal from scratch, repair their own clothes - never mind trying to make them, build or repair much of enything... and then they read something on the internet or see it on TV and it becomes the gospel truth. Facts become what someone else says, not what can be observed and verified. Then they turn 18 and have the power of the vote... it scared me in 1969 and it still scares me today.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 May 13 - 02:51 PM

OK, but it's just a song. And it's not the most realistic horse in the world. Folk and country songs may not be the best vehicle to combat ignorance of the natural world.

This is just a really really special horse.

I'm curious, given that it has to be a color, what color would you prefer ( while keeping the rhyme)?


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 May 13 - 02:53 PM

After all, Jimmy even warned us:   "There never was a horse like the Tennessee Stud."

See, he knew all along.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 May 13 - 02:58 PM

Ecru.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Marje
Date: 31 May 13 - 03:21 PM

For what it's worth, Christy Moore also writes about a green-eyed horse in "Ride On" - "True you ride the finest horse I've ever seen / Standing sixteen-one or -two, with eyes wild and green"

Marje


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 31 May 13 - 03:25 PM

LOL... I couldn't make a color fit, though most palominos or golden duns have brown eyes... that's why I would use the term keen - sharp eyed- and a fitting trait for this special horse.

everyone has their pet peeves, and mine seems to be sloppy facts... especially when mixed with wishful thinking.. but then again, I've had the too sad experience of having to clean up the mess caused by poor attention to detail.

"the devil's in the details" can end up in a "hell of a mess".

and as I would try to drill into the kids around the barn... of course he won't hurt you on purpose... that's why we call them accidents.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Jeri
Date: 31 May 13 - 03:27 PM

Sciencegeek, that always bugs me too. Maybe he had contact lenses.

I was just talking to a friend the other day. O said that I'd been at an event where there were a lot of pros and accomplished musicians. Everyone was so supportive of whoever was leading, it was a real pleasure. It's an obvious joy when people are in it for the love of the music. I think maybe that gets squashed when egos interfere, and I think that us more likely when people are unsure of themselves or treat music as if it were a competition.

Luckily for me, I've hardly ever seen that happen.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 May 13 - 03:47 PM

poetic license--he definitely wanted a color

And as he said "There never was a horse like the Tennessee Stud."

Which we all agree on.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 10:39 AM

Emphasis on "never". Though I'm sure the gene-splicers are working on it.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 11:05 AM

Absolutely.    Interestingly enough, the accent in that line does in fact fall on "never".


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 11:09 AM

For what it's worth, Christy Moore also writes about a green-eyed horse in "Ride On" - "True you ride the finest horse I've ever seen / Standing sixteen-one or -two, with eyes wild and green"


Christy Moore may have sung it, it was Jimmy McCarthy who did the writing.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 11:45 AM

I'm always surprised when performers and their cronies talk through other people's sets or leave as soon as their own set is over. But then no-one would want to listen to me!

RtS


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 08:00 PM

They are some of the worst offenders, RtS, and should know better, them and their roving support. They do themselves no favours: unlikely to get booked again if they can't show a little respect for other musicians.
And (once the cause of a big row in one of our mixed sessions) - singers who expect everyone to hang on quietly to their every breathy note, but then talk all the way through any tunes being played!


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 08:17 PM

Actually there are horses with green eyes. Scroll down on this link and you can see one. It seems to be more or less restricted to champagne coloured horses. I suppose the sun sometimes has a champagne sotrt of appearance...
...................

Nice bit of drifting. As for the original question, I suppose it's down to whether the singers are gearing up as performers trying to sell themselves or just comfortable with sharing songs. Generally speaking in singarounds it's the latter, and the best song presenters (which isn't the same as the best singers often enough) are the best listeners generally.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 09:33 PM

Kevin, you nailed it in one, as usual.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 10:14 AM

A house concert series I have attended has one audience member who fancies herself a better singer than she is. There are ample singalongs so she gets to exercise her passion often, but she seems to think that means she can sing along to everything she even remotely knows, too loudly, and usually with her idea of harmony. I generally get to sit as far away from her as possible, but it's often not far enough.

I think it's a matter of personality. Polite, sensitive people will know when to shut their mouths and open their ears. Others may have trouble with the concept.

There are always a few singers in my bands' audiences. No problem unless booze makes them roudy. In fact, they are often more appreciative of the opportunity to enjoy live music.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Do singers make a good audience?
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 06:31 PM

I love being in the company of good singers, which is part of the reason I organise a festivalhttps://sites.google.com/site/thefastnetmaritimeandfolkfest/
singers include jim mageaan, andy kenna, cork singers club,andrew mckay and carole etherton, capyan full strength, devils water, tony and pearl oneill, verna connolly, jimmy crowley, the shanty crew, baggyrinkle shanty group, tom and barbara brown, michelle reynolds free spirit jim bainbridge, hookes and crookes.


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