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Review: New book - Singing from the Floor

Jim McLean 15 Feb 14 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,michaelr 15 Feb 14 - 02:56 PM
GUEST 15 Feb 14 - 04:58 PM
GUEST 15 Feb 14 - 06:57 PM
Jim McLean 16 Feb 14 - 04:51 AM
The Sandman 16 Feb 14 - 05:06 AM
DMcG 16 Feb 14 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 16 Feb 14 - 06:01 AM
The Sandman 16 Feb 14 - 10:40 AM
GUEST 16 Feb 14 - 10:43 AM
Jim McLean 16 Feb 14 - 11:50 AM
RoyH (Burl) 16 Feb 14 - 12:51 PM
Jim McLean 16 Feb 14 - 02:07 PM
Jim McLean 16 Feb 14 - 02:13 PM
Big Al Whittle 16 Feb 14 - 02:30 PM
The Sandman 16 Feb 14 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,concerend 17 Feb 14 - 04:33 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 17 Feb 14 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,Peter 17 Feb 14 - 03:26 PM
The Sandman 17 Feb 14 - 04:16 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Feb 14 - 04:59 PM
Tattie Bogle 17 Feb 14 - 08:51 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Feb 14 - 09:51 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Feb 14 - 09:59 PM
Jim McLean 18 Feb 14 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 18 Feb 14 - 04:54 AM
Tattie Bogle 18 Feb 14 - 05:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Feb 14 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Gavin Atkin 18 Feb 14 - 08:53 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Feb 14 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 18 Feb 14 - 12:14 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Feb 14 - 12:59 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 18 Feb 14 - 06:01 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Feb 14 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 19 Feb 14 - 05:14 AM
GUEST,Topic 56 19 Feb 14 - 06:16 AM
The Sandman 19 Feb 14 - 06:33 AM
Will Fly 01 Mar 14 - 01:38 PM
Will Fly 01 Mar 14 - 01:39 PM
GUEST 01 Mar 14 - 02:04 PM
Gavin Atkin 01 Mar 14 - 02:12 PM
GUEST 01 Mar 14 - 02:26 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Mar 14 - 02:09 AM
Speedwell 02 Mar 14 - 10:43 AM
Tattie Bogle 04 Mar 14 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,matt milton 05 Mar 14 - 04:00 AM
Jim McLean 09 Mar 14 - 05:16 PM
Jim McLean 09 Mar 14 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Don T. 09 Mar 14 - 07:07 PM
GUEST 10 Mar 14 - 08:02 AM
The Sandman 10 Mar 14 - 11:50 AM
GUEST 11 Mar 14 - 06:39 AM
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Big Al Whittle 12 Mar 14 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Laurence Stevenson 13 Mar 14 - 09:15 PM
MGM·Lion 14 Mar 14 - 01:12 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 14 Mar 14 - 05:12 AM
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GUEST,Derek Schofield 14 Mar 14 - 07:52 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Mar 14 - 08:41 PM
The Sandman 15 Mar 14 - 03:32 AM
GUEST,matt milton 15 Mar 14 - 05:14 PM
Les in Chorlton 16 Mar 14 - 04:58 AM
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Les in Chorlton 16 Mar 14 - 06:52 AM
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GUEST,matt milton 16 Mar 14 - 06:21 PM
Will Fly 17 Mar 14 - 06:06 AM
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doc.tom 17 Mar 14 - 07:35 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Mar 14 - 09:07 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Mar 14 - 09:11 AM
Will Fly 17 Mar 14 - 09:27 AM
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Dave Sutherland 17 Mar 14 - 12:28 PM
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Richard Mellish 18 Mar 14 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,matt milton 18 Mar 14 - 06:36 AM
Dave Sutherland 18 Mar 14 - 09:00 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Mar 14 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,matt milton 18 Mar 14 - 11:09 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Mar 14 - 11:47 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 14 - 11:55 AM
doc.tom 18 Mar 14 - 11:56 AM
GUEST 18 Mar 14 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,matt milton 18 Mar 14 - 12:20 PM
Les in Chorlton 18 Mar 14 - 01:16 PM
The Sandman 18 Mar 14 - 02:06 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 14 - 02:17 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Mar 14 - 02:46 PM
The Sandman 18 Mar 14 - 03:07 PM
The Sandman 18 Mar 14 - 03:10 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 14 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 18 Mar 14 - 04:32 PM
GUEST 18 Mar 14 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,matt milton 18 Mar 14 - 06:00 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Mar 14 - 08:37 PM
The Sandman 18 Mar 14 - 09:31 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Mar 14 - 01:46 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 14 - 03:28 AM
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MGM·Lion 19 Mar 14 - 04:57 AM
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Will Fly 19 Mar 14 - 05:10 AM
Brian Peters 19 Mar 14 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 19 Mar 14 - 06:15 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Mar 14 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 19 Mar 14 - 07:08 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Mar 14 - 08:04 AM
GUEST 19 Mar 14 - 08:34 AM
ian1943 19 Mar 14 - 08:42 AM
Brian Peters 19 Mar 14 - 09:15 AM
Brian Peters 19 Mar 14 - 09:25 AM
Howard Jones 19 Mar 14 - 09:50 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 14 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,SteveT 19 Mar 14 - 10:07 AM
Will Fly 19 Mar 14 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 19 Mar 14 - 10:36 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Mar 14 - 10:51 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Mar 14 - 11:02 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Mar 14 - 01:12 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Mar 14 - 01:54 PM
The Sandman 19 Mar 14 - 02:14 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Mar 14 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 19 Mar 14 - 04:28 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Mar 14 - 06:01 PM
Tattie Bogle 19 Mar 14 - 08:07 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Mar 14 - 01:09 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 14 - 03:30 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 20 Mar 14 - 06:25 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 14 - 06:39 AM
doc.tom 20 Mar 14 - 07:38 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Mar 14 - 08:05 AM
Will Fly 20 Mar 14 - 09:33 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Mar 14 - 10:12 AM
Richard Mellish 20 Mar 14 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,guest 20 Mar 14 - 06:25 PM
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GUEST,Spleen Cringe 21 Mar 14 - 07:45 AM
Les in Chorlton 21 Mar 14 - 08:41 AM
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Jack Campin 21 Mar 14 - 11:24 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Mar 14 - 08:00 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Mar 14 - 08:53 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Mar 14 - 02:57 PM
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Big Al Whittle 22 Mar 14 - 06:33 PM
Phil Edwards 22 Mar 14 - 07:55 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Mar 14 - 12:05 AM
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Will Fly 23 Mar 14 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 23 Mar 14 - 06:19 AM
Jack Campin 23 Mar 14 - 06:24 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Mar 14 - 07:26 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Mar 14 - 01:52 PM
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GUEST,Lea Nicholson 07 Sep 14 - 09:46 AM
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Subject: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Jim McLean
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 11:03 AM

Singing from the Floor, by JP Bean is a new collection of comments and experiences from almost every Folk singer/writer in the British Isles and some from the USA from the fifties until the present day. Chapters cover probably every club in the UK, extremely interesting for old and new folkies. Published by Faber and Faber.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST,michaelr
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 02:56 PM

It's difficult to sing from a prone position; why would anyone do it? Much better to sing standing up.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 04:58 PM

Review
In smoky rooms above pubs, bare rooms with battered stools and beer-stained tables, where the stage was little more than a scrap of carpet and sound systems were unheard of, an acoustic revolution took place in Britain in the 1950s and '60s. This was the folk revival, where a generation of musicians, among much drink and raucous cheer, would rediscover the native songs of their own tradition, as well as the folk and blues coming from across the Atlantic by artists such as Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie and Big Bill Broonzy. Singing from the Floor is the story of this remarkable movement, faithfully captured in the voices of those who formed it by JP Bean. We hear from luminaries such as Shirley Collins, Martin Carthy, Peggy Seeger and Ralph McTell, alongside figures such as Billy Connolly, Jasper Carrott and Mike Harding, who all started their careers on the folk circuit. The book charts the revival's improvised beginnings and its ties to the CND movement, through the heyday of the '60s and '70s, when every university, town and many villages across the country boasted a folk club, to the fallow years of the '80s and '90s. The book finishes on a high note, with the recent resurgence of interest in folk, through such artists as the Lakemans, Sam Lee and Eliza Carthy. It is a joyous, boisterous and hugely entertaining book, and an essential document of our recent history stretching into the past.

Looks interesting

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 06:57 PM

Chapters cover probably every club in the UK

- Really!!!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Jim McLean
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 04:51 AM

Sorry, Tim, I should have said the fairly well known clubs, 32 actually, in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Hull, Bradford, Cambridge,Liverpool, Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh and many others. It deals a lot with the formation of these clubs in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s , who set them up and so they booked. I found it very interesting and educational, being reminded and sometimes surprised at who said what to whom.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 05:06 AM

The fallow years of the 80s and 90s?
In the 1980S,I do not recall anyone singing from books, standards of floorsingers and guest performance was high,musical experimentation with brass and woodwind was being introduced.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: DMcG
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 05:11 AM

I went to folk clubs before the 80's then stopped for around 20 years because of juggling demands of offspring, then started visiting again in the 2000's.

Clearly the definition of fallowness is based entirely on my personal life!


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 06:01 AM

An excellent read. I recommend it to anyone who has survived those times and enjoys a nostalgic look back and to all those who have joined since to find out how it all started.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 10:40 AM

why, do journalists right such crap "like the fallow years of the 80s and 90s",what is this inaccurate statement based on.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 10:43 AM

I note the list of clubs are not in the South. Hampshire was a hot bed when I first got involved in the 60's and 70's.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Jim McLean
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 11:50 AM

There's one in Cornwall although coming from Paisley, they are nearly all in the South.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 12:51 PM

Damn! This writer contacted me asking for info on the NTMC which I ran some years ago, a club that was well talked about , pro and con, at the time. Unfortunately I lost his address before I got the chance to reply, and although I made lots of enquiries I wasn't able to trace him, and he never came back to me. Now the book is out and I'm anxious to see what Mr Bean has written about the club, which was, and still is, the subject of several urban legends about it's strict policy. It was said that no guitars were allowed, not true, that floor singers had to audition outside the clubroom,not true, that we were anti-American, again not true, just ask Tom Paley, Hedy West, Michael Cooney for instance. There were others but I can't remember them all. I do hope thatMr Bean has not perpetuated these kind of stories in his book. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Jim McLean
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 02:07 PM

A quote from John Tams " ..... Roy Harris, the organiser, was one of the grat club organisers, but it was quite a tense space to be in when you'd got this back wall of luminaries sitting on the windowsill".


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Jim McLean
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 02:13 PM

By the way, Roy, the book has no specific agenda regarding clubs or people, but prints interviews with folk who have different opinions from each other. As I said, very illuminating.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 02:30 PM

I admit I was shallow
But I wasn't really fallow


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 05:21 PM

Tense, maybe Tams was a bit tense himself?
it has been my experience in the past when i have been to gigs to hear the person that i have enjoyed on a previous occasion, and i have not always enjoyed the second gig, it is not always the performers fault,it may have been my own mood., likewise maybe Tams was not in the best of form when he arrived at the club.
i have never heard the atmosphere at NTMC described as tense by members of the audience.
the standard of performance was always high[please note no music stands or feckin crib sheets], the fact is that the residents sat on the "sill" behind the performer, this gave an atmosphere of formality perhaps, but knowing Roy Harris and his abilty to emanate a relaxed atmosphere, I am frankly gob smacked by Tams remark.
NTMC had a high standard of residents and was a formal folk club, but I never experienced tension there.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST,concerend
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 04:33 AM

As usual you lot are to busy flaunting your own egos and you mickey mouse ideas to do something mundane as post a link..so I have e done it for you..enjoy


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Singing-Floor-History-British-Clubs/dp/0571305458


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 05:54 AM

I was only in the NTMC twice, and in both cases, they were a long time after Roy had ceased to run it. I can only say that I thoroughly enjoyed both occasions and I felt no pressure at all to conform to anyone's idea of a folk song (except perhaps my own), that I wasn't auditioned on the stairs or anywhere else, and that musical instruments were very much in evidence. What's more, the seating arrangements of the residents had no effect on me whatsoever.

Frankly I've found many middle of the road clubs to be far less tolerant of unaccompanied traditional style singers than "traditional" clubs were of middle of the road performers. So isn't it strange that, whenever someone opened a club with a traditional policy (NTMC, Singers Club, Grey Cock or wherever), they were immediately accused of elitism, narrow mindedness and the devil only knows what, by the very people who were busily denying the value of the traditions they were seeking to adulterate.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 03:26 PM

"fallow years" - in terms of audience numbers probably an accurate statement.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 04:16 PM

guest peter,no, not entirely accurate, some clubs were well attended in the eighties,there have always been well attended and not well attended clubs, i can remember a club i went to as member of audience in the sixties in south east london there were 3 people. i can also remember going to carrington club on a singers night about 1987 and it was packed. no peter that will not do at all, it is a complete myth, total bollocks.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 04:59 PM

some people seem to have read this book even though its not been released.

I went to ntmc a few times - like fred, after roy had departed. it was usually friendly -but a bit lacking in atmosphere. the room was big -too big. abit mucky and uncomfortable.

the grey cock was another kettle of fish entirely. homebase for every intolerant traddy smartarse that no one could stand the sight of down at the old crown, and other more tolerant places.

I saw peggy and ewan at both places. so I owe them both for staging those two.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 08:51 PM

I belong to EFC, NFC, BFC, AVFC, the TMSA and LFFA. I occasionally go to AFC, SFC and another SFC. But don't have a clue about NTMC. Please don't assume....... ;-)


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 09:51 PM

sorry Nottingham traditional music club. a rather conservative booking policy, but I saw some good stuff there. it had one or two really annoying residents, I remember my father once said, i'm notgoing there again if I've got to sit through that bugger with the whistle - he always forgets the tune half way through, and then starts again...


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 09:59 PM

still I bet he was in the tradition.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Jim McLean
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 03:55 AM

Bi Al, I have an advanced copy.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 04:54 AM

Also guilty of having read it, and enjoying it.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 05:46 AM

Thanks Big Al.

The book sounds interesting anyway.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 07:50 AM

ordered my copy today, the woman at waterstones said she was going to get a copy in anyway.

I wish the author well. we never really had a good chronicler of the times. most of the journalists had their agendas.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST,Gavin Atkin
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 08:53 AM

There were both pretty sad looking clubs and great clubs around in the 80s and 90s, just as there are now, and I remember there were both kinds in the 70s also.

However, the number of clubs around now seems much reduced - at one time there was usually one for every town, even for every small town, but there seem to be many fewer now.

I'm looking forward to reading the Bean book, but if he makes the argument that the scene is now thriving again (an argument that would make sense from the point of view of selling the book), I may well find I don't entirely agree. We'll see.

Gavin


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 11:31 AM

I agree completely with that Gavin.

the traddy/contemporary divide was so destructive. at one time it seemed like every hamlet in England had a folk club with john Denver/spinners type residents. one of the saddest things was hearing Wizz Jones say forlornly from the stage at Sidmouth last year - towards the end of the '70's and into the 80's - there was no work for singers like me in England.

we won't recover from an era of treating our major artists so shoddily in five minutes.

when a songwriter like Gaz Brookfield is not really reaching the folk clubs - I think the situation has gotten away from us. he reminds me of a young Harvey Andrews. quite brilliant in his way.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 12:14 PM

This book contains stories of the folk club scene from the horse's mouth. That is from the people who were there, and are there, from many, many well known and some lesser known performers from the 1950's onward including some of the "newer" arrivals.

Gavin, I would suggest you give it a read before you start to make assumptions. I must admit though that I was a little concerned when I saw that the foreword was by a Richard Hawley. Who he?


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 12:59 PM

this is who he is
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Hawley

no I didn't know either - born 1967 - he missed the best bits!


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 06:01 PM

As you rightly observed "he missed the best bits", and if that wikipaedia (is that a reliable source?)entry is a summary of his musical activity I don't see why he was chosen unless it's to hopefully get sales from the pop pickers or whoever his fans are. Anyway it's only one page out of over four hundred and it doesn't matter. One thing I would say is that in that one page he sort of blames the folk club scene "arguably" as being responsible for "Punk" and I for one deny any responsibility for that crap.
The vast majority of the contributors were there, and if you were there you are almost certainly going to get an entertaining read.

Finally just in case you feel I am pushing this book, I have absolutely no connection with it apart from having been able to read it a little early.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 07:51 PM

monsieur hoot - I have no doubt, all your motives in life are pure as the driven snow......as are my own. we are brothers in purity...the priesthood missed out when it failed to recruit us two.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 05:14 AM

Hootenanny said:
This book contains stories of the folk club scene from the horse's mouth.

Having flicked through it, I would say that is true - from the performers point of view. The voices that are missing are the audiences, and there aren't many club organisers in there either.

Richard Hawley wrote the one page foreword. The book is over 400 pages long. I bet the Wiki doesn't tell you that Richard is a neighbour of Martin Simpson and produced his latest CD... and a friend of the author.

Derek


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST,Topic 56
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 06:16 AM

As the book is adverised the contents are from the people interviewed over a number of years and there over 140 of these. You can only take at face value what you are told, but the people interviewed have a lot of credability. The story of only unaccompanied singers being allowed and being "interviewed" outside of the clubroom of the Nottingham Traditional Music Club was told to me in the seventies by Roy Harris himself. a few years ago I was talking to the surviving members of Knotts Alliance and asked about whay Roy had told me. They said it was not strictly correct but there was a havy influence of traditional unaccompanied singers. They also told me it could be an ordeal if it was the first time you were singing there as a floor singer. One story was that a singer had to sing with his back to the audience and when the song was finished and turned round there was nobody in the room, this apparently was considered a practical joke. I have only got part way into the book so far but from the things said by the people interviewed of their experiences it should be a very interesting read. There are some very interesting very old photographs of some of todays lumeneries there. Give the book a chance there has been nothing like it before and for that alone deserves to do well.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 06:33 AM

topic 56, they were notts alliance, not knotts alliance.
Subject: RE: Review: New book Singing from the floor
From: GUEST,Gavin Atkin - PM
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 08:53 AM

There were both pretty sad looking clubs and great clubs around in the 80s and 90s, just as there are now, and I remember there were both kinds in the 70s also.

However, the number of clubs around now seems much reduced - at one time there was usually one for every town, even for every small town, but there seem to be many fewer now.
absolutely spot on post Gvin, i can rember at least two towns having two clubs, i can remember getting booked every six months at clubs in the 70s, now its every 2 or 3 years with some,because they book fewer guests.
I bet one thing thats not mentioned in the book is the emergence of singers[in the 21st century] hiding behind piles of paper and music stands, who ocassionaly peer furtively at the audience, like frightened rabbits peering out of their burrows.
    Threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: 'Singing From The Floor' - book on folk
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 01:38 PM

Anyone read "Singing From The Floor: A History Of British Folk Clubs" by J.P. Bean? There's a review of it in today's "Guardian" "Review" section.

I can't comment on the book 'cos I ain't read it, but the review is interesting. One bit struck a personal chord: the author mentions Toni Arthur turning up to a prison gig in a miniskirt. She appeared with the jug band I was in - The Egbert Sousé All Stars - and, very wisely, we put her on first... The roar that arose when she walked on the stage was something to hear. The year, if I remember, was 1974, and the venue was Maidstone.


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Subject: RE: 'Singing From The Floor' - book on folk
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 01:39 PM

Apparently available from Amazon, etc. on 6th March...


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Subject: RE: 'Singing From The Floor' - book on folk
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 02:04 PM

There has recently been a thread on 'Singing from the Floor'.


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Subject: RE: 'Singing From The Floor' - book on folk
From: Gavin Atkin
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 02:12 PM

I've just got my copy (I won Living Tradition's Facebook competition) and have dipped into it a bit. Bean knows how to extract an illuminating anecdote - that much is clear.

On the Toni Arthur thing... I can't figure out who was exploiting who!

Gavin


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Subject: RE: 'Singing From The Floor' - book on folk
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 02:26 PM

thread.cfm?threadid=153720&messages=37


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 02:09 AM

my wife assures me I DO know Richard Hawley Apparently he is one of Patrick Walker's mates and he was always at the bar in Fagan's ,Sheffield.

its a bugger when you don't know who you know anymore.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Speedwell
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 10:43 AM

Great to see a new book on folk music appear. Living in a medium sized town of some 40,000 people I feel priviledged to have two folk clubs up and running.
Look forward to reading the book.
Also guardianbookshop.co.uk are currently offering it at £14.39 free p&p - cheapest I've seen.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 07:32 PM

Birthday coming up soon: if anyone should perchance remember, and then ask me what I want for a birthday present, this is it! Long plane journey too: it would surely be better than the in-flight movies!


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 04:00 AM

I finished reading it yesterday. The "quotes and nothing but" approach works pretty well in the main ? I was a good 200 pages in before my interest began to flag a little. It's the sort of the book you're unlikely to be gripped by and devour in one sitting, but on the other hand the multiple perspectives make it a more authoritative text - maybe even a definitive one. And it means you don't have to read the chapters in the right order; it's a very enjoyable book just to dip into.

If, like me, you're under 40 and a folkie, like me, this is a book that will make you feel very jealous indeed: it really does chart a bygone golden age for folk in this country, a scene that even Americans (like Tom Paxton) were envious of.

Anecdote after anecdote tells of people starting folk clubs that had audiences of 50+ on their opening nights, of folk clubs in out-the-way locations packing audiences in on a Monday night on a weekly basis, of performers telling of being able to quickly make a national name for themselves within months of playing their first floorspot.

Hence the rather elegiac tone of the last couple of chapters


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jim McLean
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 05:16 PM

Review in today's Observer.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jim McLean
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 05:20 PM

Sorry! here it is.

Observer review


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Don T.
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 07:07 PM

Though it wasn't the one mentioned, I, and my friend Chris Baker ran a club in Maidstone (The Dog & Gun F.C.) from the beginning of 1976 till April 1983, when I had to quit for work related reasons.

We ran on Saturday nights with a regular audience of 40 people, and booked a guest on every club night

We booked good quality guests ( Eddie Walker, Derek Smith, Dick Miles, Nick Dow, Jake Thackray, Martin Carthy, John Foreman, Adrian May, from across the pond Clive Gregson, along with the finest local stars), and we had good quality residents, though we welcomed, encouraged and assisted beginners to find their feet.

Chris Baker, for whatever reason, finally closed the club, still drawing the same audiences at the end of 1983, but I think it might still have been going today, had there been someone to pick up the reins.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 08:02 AM

To go into Hoots comments a bit further, the suggestion that Punk benefited from the folk scene may be true when looked at from the far left, typified by Billy Bragg and the Pogues, but was never true of the mainstream. As Program Controller of University Radio Loughborough in the days of the Lowbrow Folk Festival, we were far more associated with the concept album end of things the record producers so hated, because they couldn't get a three-minute single from them to cash in on. Think Sally Oldfield as an influence in Mike's work. That's why they closed that end of the industry down, swapping to exploit hip-hop and punk to the exclusion of almost all else.
Having been away for nearly 20 years overseas, two things have happened: firstly, you need more youngsters, and secondly, the audiences have definitely dropped. Places like Walthamstow used to get up to 200 on a night, you can't even find a venue in North London capable of taking that number now. The Wedding Industry has its own halls, charging the earth. Take over a cinema? Gut a fleapit? To give the Harrison in Kings Cross its due, they might be able to, if a club were interested in forming there, to give it credibility.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 11:50 AM

"Places like Walthamstow used to get up to 200 on a night",
not every week,more like 100 most weeks,Of course I am talking pre 1990,
I have been living in ireland since then.
Three blackbirds was a well attended club in the eighties and would get 100 on a very good night, but averaged more like 50.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 06:39 AM

"To give the Harrison in Kings Cross its due, they might be able to, if a club were interested in forming there, to give it credibility."

Coincidentally, I was thinking about doing exacty that once, putting on a regular traditional folk club there. Simply because they have so many well-attended sessions there: an American old-time, an Irish, a klezmer... seems like pretty much the only folk music unrepresented there is British folk song! Also, the one or two gigs that I have put on there have always been real successes in terms of unexpectedly good audience turn-outs.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 08:18 AM

I spoke to them when they were refitting nigh on two years back, looking for a venue for a CSH Choir boozeup. They are certainly up for it, so go ahead.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 01:47 PM

everyone agrees it was paradise. everyone agrees there were snakes in the garden.......

nearly finished the book


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Laurence Stevenson
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 09:15 PM

I'm halfway through. I only have experience of Canadian folk clubs, particularly Toronto's Fiddler's Green, but the whole thing seems to ring true. A great read for those of us who love this kind of music.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 01:12 AM

A poster once described my Pedantry as Legendary: so allow me, as another old enough to remember most of the book's incidents, to question the author's recollections on one important matter:--

The first prize at the competition at the first Cambridge Folk Festival, 1965, was not won, as he asserts, by Derek Brimstone, who took second prize; due partly perhaps to his having forgotten his capo and so being compelled, as he put it, to sing down in his boots. You'd have thought someone would have come forward with the offer of the loan of a capo, but nobody did.

First prize IIRC went to a young English concertina player from Bury, whose name I do not recall, but I remember sang, inter alia, The Leaving Of Liverpool -- not so very familiar a song then as it subsequently became: nor, indeed, the concertina so familiar an instrument.

The first 'group' prize went to The Strawberry Hill Boys, later the Strawbs.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 05:12 AM

Dave Laing and Richard Newman's history of Cambridge FF, published for Cambridge's 30th, states that Derek Brimstone won (according to recollections of judge Pete Sayers) but there were 6 categories.
Concertina players from Bury (assuming that's Bury Lancs, not Bury St Edmunds) in that era might have been Bernard Wrigley (actually, he's from Bolton), Lee Nicholson, Dave Brooks...
Derek


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 05:53 AM

No, Derek; it was not anyone who went on to make a name, I am sure of that. & the ones you name would probably have been a bit younger at the time. The category was Male Solo Singer. Pete Sayers is dead, alas, so we can't ask him. But I have a very retentive memory, & I am sure I am right.

Anyone else there? Remember anything of it?

I have lost track of Derek. He is still around, is he not? Could he be asked?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 07:52 AM

I'm still around Michael :-) but I presume you are referring to Derek Brimstone. There was a thread about him recently.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 08:41 PM

yeh he's still around - he phoned me up last week. he was stuck in the house, confined to barracks as Jeannie had had a fall and he had to take care of her - so he was phoning everyone up.

I finished the book. a bit depressing I thought. the folk clubs have gone down the tubes. all the stars have got their kids playing the festivals. everybody's happy as jam with the situation.

if it gets any better, we'll all be watching celebrity dancing on x factor.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Mar 14 - 03:32 AM

I finished the book. a bit depressing I thought. the folk clubs have gone down the tubes. all the stars have got their kids playing the festivals. everybody's happy as jam with the situation."
all the stars have got the kids, spot on nepotism is rife.
young english concertina player from bury, here is a wild guess lea nicholson, but the person who might know might be jean seymour, she used to run bury folk club and sang in a 4 part harmony group called the valley folk, with steve heap


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 15 Mar 14 - 05:14 PM

"I finished the book. a bit depressing I thought. the folk clubs have gone down the tubes. all the stars have got their kids playing the festivals. everybody's happy as jam with the situation."

Yes, that does sum up the last chapter, though I didn't get the impression at all that everyone (or even anyone) was happy about it.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Mar 14 - 04:58 AM

Just when I thought it was safe to join in the thread turns nasty:

"all the stars have got the kids, spot on nepotism is rife."

Don't understate your case - say what you really think.

The current collection of 'young people' who are popular in our little genre of music are hard working, talented and full of good ideas.

As for the book? I first went to a folk club in 1964 and have been going ever since. I have seen or read about nearly all the people who are quoted and so I am enjoying the narrative. The format suits the narrative. If I didn't know anybody it might not be so fascinating.

Thanks to JP Bean


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Mar 14 - 05:35 AM

you know, I hadn't considered that. what would it be like reading the book if you didn't know any of these people.

But then you'd be somebody else, wouldn't you....


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Mar 14 - 06:52 AM

i could have been someone - but so could anyone ................


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,m m
Date: 16 Mar 14 - 03:15 PM

"you know, I hadn't considered that. what would it be like reading the book if you didn't know any of these people."

I think the format of the book is such that you feel you know them all pretty well by the end,


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Mar 14 - 03:36 PM

difficult to say.....perhaps if you asked a foreigner. characters like Hamish Imlach.....you couldn't really imagine him.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Mar 14 - 03:36 PM

difficult to say.....perhaps if you asked a foreigner. characters like Hamish Imlach.....you couldn't really imagine him.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 14 - 04:21 PM

The answer is not to give a monkeys about the old established clubs who'd rather die than admit fresh blood, work up a repertoire and make your name in the newer ones. They exist: we have one in North London a year old, and another one discussed above. Why are new ones opening? Because the old ones have gone stale. Which is sort of the conclusion you've come to.
Should the old ones sort themselves out? I think the question is rather CAN the old ones sort themselves out? If most of your members are in their sixties, you deserve to rank as old-time dancing for the previous generation of pensioners, you've become exactly what you accused Cecil Sharp House of being back in the 1980s. The pop world wanted to pick the brains of the folk scene, but all of you were too old to go with them. Where are your teaching courses in your local schools? Yours, not the EFDSS' - such as they are/
I look at Scotland, where the Commun na Clarsach took the decision to put one folk harp into every school - and did it. I'm not talking a folk harp here, but something which would lead the kids using it into the clubs. A basic accordion or summat.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 16 Mar 14 - 06:21 PM

"we have one in North London a year old"

Hi guest. Which folk club are you referring to? I always like to know about new folk clubs in London to attend.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Mar 14 - 06:06 AM

Why are new ones opening? Because the old ones have gone stale.

A generalisation, of course, which - like all generalisations is only partly true. There are several long-established clubs in my part of the country (Sussex) and, yes, many of the attendees are grey-haired - but many are not - and a large proportion of the guests booked are up-and-coming youngsters.

What really pisses me off about many of the threads of this ilk is the stupidly artificial division of performers into "oldies" and youngsters" - as though some point has to be made and as though it matters. Music is for playing and it doesn't matter a tiger's tit whether you're 16 or 66 - as long as you can do it. You can gauge for yourself the stupidity of trying to make divisions by age when you look at the variety of good people on the scene. Young Sunjay Brayne performed in Lewes recently; the slightly older Carrivick sisters have been down here in Sussex a couple of times. We had the middle-aged'ish Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle down in Shoreham a fortnight ago and the fairly old Tom Paley has performed in Lewes on several occasions. Why would you want to "classify" these people by age when all that matters is whether they can do the business or not?

Seems to me too many people are bullshitting about the "politics" of the scene - whatever they might be - rather than getting down to some hard practice and concentrating on making the music. You see - if the music is good, people will follow it regardless of age, sex, class, etc.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Mar 14 - 06:07 AM

Apologies for the endless italics...


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: doc.tom
Date: 17 Mar 14 - 07:35 AM

Hi guest - who are you? Posting without revealing who you are or your interest is impolite.

Why are new ones forming? - because finally, and after a long time, younger people are actually doing somnething about it rather than just looking for 'I can make a living out of this' stage outlets. Good on them. About time too.

But I thiink you are wrong to suggest that 'the answer is not to give a monkeys about the old established clubs' - where would we be if the older clubs (who were young once) had 'not given a monkeys about' the old singers?


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Mar 14 - 09:07 AM

"Because the old ones have gone stale."
I've just been indexing some of the 100 or so recordings we have of folk club evenings recorded in London - some of them going back to the early 1960s.
What still leaps out is the enthusiasm and energy of the performers and audiences - as well as the skill and commitment of all concerned.
We may have been lucky but - they just don't make them like that any more - the proof of the pudding is in the listening.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Mar 14 - 09:11 AM

no use getting steamed up Will. people are only telling it as it is, and as its been brewing up since the traddies opened up hostilities - back in the1970's. you're gonna reap what you sow.....and they were dismissive of real English folk talent, because it didn't fit their bloody silly understanding of the phenomenon of folk music.

Sunjay Brayne I know very well. His Dad was on old folkie - thus he has measureless respect for the old guard.

but guys like Gaz Brookfield - they're just ignoring the old guard. the whole shooting match - the festivals, the awards, the old clubs - but his gig last month in Dorchester was standing room only. His albums bristle with originality.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Mar 14 - 09:27 AM

Well the point is exactly that, Al: what's the "old guard"? Is Tom Paley "old guard"? Are McGoldrick, McCusker and Doyle "old guard"?

In the long continuum from youth to age, at what stage do the "old guard" suddenly appear?

I've mixed with musicians of all ages, colours, habits, genders and styles over a period of 50 years - all that mattered was whether they could make the music.

Mind you, not all of it was in folk clubs...


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Mar 14 - 11:38 AM

one of my favourite albums that I bought from Ewan nd Peggy was the Tom Paley one with Peggy. And lets face, in her time she's said plenty to contribute to the present stand off.

call it guilt by association.

you don't need to convince me that Tom is bloody wonderful, and has spent his life doing great deeds.

the words have been said, the deeds have been done. frankly I don't see a way back -and as I said when talking about the book. the old guard are smug as bugs in a rug and quite happy with the situation. the public schoolboys on the festival stage, the dwindling numbers of youngsters attending clubs -well it vindicates their position. quality will out -and that leaves the rest of us nowhere.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 17 Mar 14 - 12:28 PM

"Since the traddies opened up hostilities - back in the1970's" I helped run two folk clubs throughout that decade and one of them (that I was involved with for eight of those years) was a folk & blues club which also attracted its share of contemporary singers. It was my opinion that during that said decade it was the traddies who were the more welcoming and the more open minded than all the other offshoots of the music.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Mar 14 - 08:35 PM

well as you know Dave, there were arseholes on both sides of the fence.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 06:18 AM

I haven't ordered the book yet but I think I should.

My local club, the Herga, has greatly changed in character since I was a regular attender in the 70s. Nowadays mostly oldish people but mostly recently made songs: make of that what you will. It's not much to my taste so I go there only on special occasions; but it IS still going strong, after over 50 years.

The only club that I attend regularly nowadays is Sharp's, at Cecil Sharp House. There we get a mixture of ages and a mixture of kinds of material, but with a good proportion of traditional songs. Occasionally there as many as three guitars in the room, other times none. (And on rare occasions Tom Paley brings his, and we're in for a real treat.)

Quality of performances ranges from dire to brilliant, with most being at least pretty good. I can put up with the dire because there's not a lot of that and because I can look forward to the next person probably doing something completely different and much better.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 06:36 AM

Richard, I've only been to Sharp's three times, but every time I thoroughly enjoyed myself and actually felt I learned something. In those three occasions I think I only heard one singer perform a self-penned song, everything else was trad. And every time I was introduced to at least one traditional song which I'd never even heard of before, let alone heard aloud.

On one occasion I sang one song accompanied by banjo and one song unaccompanied. Probably the greatest compliment I've ever had was Tom Paley saying he'd have liked to have heard more of me playing banjo. I say "probably" because of course he might just have meant I can't sing! :)

Of all the folk clubs I've been to (and I've only been to London clubs), I've found Sharp's to be the closest to what I imagine a "proper" folk club is.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 09:00 AM

That's true Al - you din't know which way to turn.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 09:37 AM

not only that - it led to the under valuing, an totally wrong classifying of artists.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 11:09 AM

One thing that rarely gets stated in discussing why folk clubs have declined in popularity, or in suggesting ways folk clubs could appeal more to the young, is that, quite simply, traditional music merely stopped being so popular.

Y'know, rather than looking for institutional reasons why folk clubs waned, isn't it bloody obvious that folk's popularity was a pretty unlikely fluke to begin with? It's fairly weird that the folk boom ever happened in the first place. One of those odd twists of fashion.

Rather than it being anything to do with traddies versus singer-songwriters, or the rise of comedy-type folkies in the 70s, or the lack of strong voices or whatever ... isn't it simply just that folk was always a bit square ... and so it was only a matter of time before its holiday in popular culture had to end.

I was talking to someone from an organisation that provides funding for specialist music genres recently. And they were calling for submissions of ideas of making folk (among other genres) more accessible to young people. I told them that I genuinely thought they were throwing their money away: you can only make folk cool by making cool folk music. And, face it, Sam Lee is never going to seem as cool as Fat White Family, Tyler the Creator or Micachu & the Shapes.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 11:47 AM

interesting ideas Matt.

I think we're talking about two different things.

organisations like Folkus in Lancashire do sterling work in introducing young people to folk music. and I'm sure there are other such organisation the length and breadth of the land.

but what conferred 'cool' status on folk was mainly to do with its espousal by left wing bohemia - playwrights like MacColl and John Arden, the Greenwich village set in America, revulsion at the cold war and the threat of nuclear war - all made it cutting edge.

when the Cecilites started insisting that what folk music was about was the ladies dancing at Whitsun, and the row between the cages - that was the start of the downward spiral.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 11:55 AM

"traditional music merely stopped being so popular."
Couldn't agree less.
The clubs emptied when they stopped presenting what it said on the label.
My last visit to a club I hadn't scrupulously checked out first was the night I returned home from a folk club without hearing a song that didn't remotely resemble a folk song.
Many of us stayed with the songs, but on a different level; some of the best researchers and writers on the subject are refugees from a folk scene that abandoned its roots.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: doc.tom
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 11:56 AM

Nearly finished reading the book. I can't remember the clubs declining that fast or that early - i.e. if you believe the quoted performers who went off into stage acts at about that time (QED). I think it is a very valuable book - I just had to keep reminding myself that it was suposedly about 'Singing from the floor' (although the quotes come from professional performers and organisers rather than floor performers!) and alledgedly about the folk clubs (althgough it includes about half of the diversity and completely omits swathes of really significant contributors to the scene.) So long as we recognise the huge gaps in the book - both in the history of the clubs and in the performers who made such wonderful music through the 70s and 80s, then it is a notable assemblage of anecdotes from some individuals. It lets a few of those who were there remember their own experiences - but no more.

So. Now. Who's going to fill in the gaps?


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 12:15 PM

The Welsh have the eisteddfod movement, the Irish flead, the Scottish their kids circles. And now you know where the gaps are. You begin with your grandkids.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 12:20 PM

@Jim, I'm not being facetious here, it's a genuine question: do you think the decline in the popularity of folk clubs really had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the decline of the popularity of folk as a popular musical genre then? Do you ascribe that to pure coincidence?

You think that if all folk clubs had continued to present nothing but traditional folk songs we would still have a thriving folk club scene, packing 'em in every week?


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 01:16 PM

As I remember, as best I can, we went to folk clubs for a range of reasons: the music, the venue, friends, beer, sex, politics, the feeling of being part of an obscure underground activity and more.

As I/we aged some of these features fell away either personally - friends/sex or socially - venues closed.

Few of the audience continued to go every week and so clubs closed. The 60/70s folk clubs were our generational thing - we have grown old and died together.

Now, back to the Book! I think it is an excellent read and a great way to explore a musical and social phenominon.

Thanks Mr Bean


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 02:06 PM

"The clubs emptied when they stopped presenting what it said on the label."Jim Carroll.
I want to make it clear I have never met Jim Carroll, and have no personal animosity,I find myself continuously disagreeing with sweeping generalisations made by him , which he rarely is able to back up with evidence, an example is his quote above.
Firstly no one on this forum has been able to define folk song, secondly, I am sure I visit folk clubs more often than jim carroll, and i can categorically state that in the folk clubs that i get booked in, my repertoire, and the repertoire of the performers I have heard in those folk clubs, are either traditional folk songs or songs by contemporary songwriters such as MacColl , Seeger,Twney, Lowe, Rosselson, Peter Bond, Bill Caddick.,PeteCoe, song wirters who are generally considered to be writing in a style based on the tradition. Jim you are clearly, out of touch with the english folk club scene, your one experience cannot be takenas the norm ,you are generalising from the particular.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 02:17 PM

Matt;
The folk song revival was never more than a minority interest.
Having said that, it involved a fair number of devotees who took it fairly seriously.
The people I knew who walked away did so, not because they lost interested in the songs but because of the rapid decline in the places where it was possible to hear them.
The period was marked by a long-ish running debate in Folk Review under the title 'Crap Begets Crap'
Earlier there had been a sharp decline in audiences when the Music Industry lost interest in 'erzatz' folk song and moved on to pastures new, but the blandness of 'The Smothers Brothers at the Purple Onion', Peter Paul and Hairy's 'Puff the Magic Dragon' and The Kingston Trio's cabaret-like performances never really counted in my book - though I did dabble in many of them (but I never inhaled!)
One of the great failures of the revival was that it never caught the imagination of a wide audience.
As Tom has suggested - lots of gaps to fill, lots of intelligent non-agenda driven research needed.
I set out gathering old articles from magazines like Fred Dallas's 'Folk Song Magazine, Tradition, Traditional Topics... all of which I regularly visit when I need some information.. or simply just cheering up.
I can't begin to tell you was re-listening to MacColl's The Song Carriers or some of Bert Lloyd's Third Programme offerings does for my morale it manages to remind me that maybe I didn't waste a half century of my life - good days!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 02:46 PM

you're a nice man. I am sure Jim.

but it saddens me that you can ascribe no value to a group like peter, paul and mary.

they taught folksongs to millions of people. I believe the watersons learned the soulin' song from them.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 03:07 PM

"One of the great failures of the revival was that it never caught the imagination of a wide audience."
There were in my opinion several reasons for this,
.1. The Establishment were frightened of a movement that had a political edge to it and so discouraged the media from promoting it.
2. Ewan MacColl.I am sure he had the best of intentions, but his influence upon the revival was, in my opinion, a double edged sword, he encouraged political song writing, which was good, at the same time he influenced people to look to their uk roots, in some ways that was good,but it was never going to be of interest commercially.
by contrast look at Pete Seeger and the Weavers, this guy was brilliant, because despite being ostracised during the MacCarthy years, and subsequently he was able to get on to the us media and present programmes that got beyond the folk afficianados, he was eventually able to present songs of social comment and songs of underprivileged people on the us media and get his message across to thousands of people., check out rainbow quest, and other you tube.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 03:10 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VucczIg98Gw
pete seeger showing where we all went wrong


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 04:01 PM

"but it saddens me that you can ascribe no value to a group like peter, paul and mary."
Didn't say I ascribed no value to them - I'm sure they gave many children many moments of pleasure - but their blandness had nothing to do with the folk songs that gave me half a century of pleasure - a little like filling a three quarter empty bottle of Highland Park with water to make it last longer.
No they did,'t "teach" many millions folk songs - they projected an anodyne image of folk song that did nothing one way or another.
As for teaching the Watersons their souling songs - I think you'll find Dorothy Furbar, Matthew Hollinshead and Phil Tanner and all that lovely crowd from the 1950s BBC recording project had far more to do with that - (please say who? Al.)
Some of these groups did lead on to higher things - I started off at the Liverpool Spinners Club - but most of them generated a taste for their own watered-down take on the genre which non-plussed many who were presented with the real thing - saw it happen dozens of times.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 04:32 PM

Someone above mentioned Folk being "cool".
Folk was never "cool", it has always been a minority sport. As I remember it the majority of performers in the late 50's into the 60's had "real jobs" and performed because they liked the music and enjoyed doing so. They didn't do it because they wanted be famous. I still see people like that at clubs although I must admit that I am not a regular club visitor.
If radio and television would have some real programmes on on a regular basis exposing the music more then it might generate wider interest but there ain't much chance of that.
I thought the book was a good read despite the fact that many clubs and performers were omitted, and it brought back many memories.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 05:39 PM

GSS, what actually killed it was a decision in 1975 within the music industry to kill anything which wasn't hip-hop or punk, for purely commercial reasons. It had nothing to do with folk, or heavy metal, or progressive rock, or concept albums, or...well, anything else was banned from Radio 1 and we nearly lost the folk shows on Radio 2. It's only because of people like Charlie Gillett that we survived as a subset of world music, other than in the clubs: we see it on Radio 3's Late Junction, about the only outward-looking program (as opposed to those where the fluff-gathering introspection led to this: Mike Harding being a case in point, a show so dedicated to insiders it never occurred to him to stretch beyond the boundaries of the club world).

Look at what's starting to happen outside your circle now. I came back into this courtesy of working with Stevie Wisheart, with whom I'd worked on a 2010 Proms composition, and Sheema Mukherjee at a mutual friend's Silver Wedding festivities. That was Early Music meets Indian. From Sheema I found myself sitting in on Martin Carthy's "arranging folk" seminar in the South Bank, which was almost entirely full of classical composition students from Uxbridge, one other folkie who was only there to adulate Martin, and me. From there I found myself singing with Cecil Sharp House Choir in Tapping the Source, last year's Southbank review of where we are going, alongside Martin, Pete Flood and Andy Mellon, and was borrowed by Mary King for their workshop. They've asked me back again this year to work again with half of Bellowhead in the Pull Out All The Stops festival currently taking over Radio 3, doing five gigs this weekend. It's new stuff written by Pete and Andy and somewhat arranged by the rest of us the performers, for example one piece of pure cockney taken from a basic idea of Andy's where he's had far more than he expected. A belly laugh, sure, but that's part of what folk should be about, getting out of the ivy-covered towers and into the real world.

I follow that next week with a performance of The Events with the Actors Touring Company, a deep examination of the Breivik killings on a Norwegian Choir. It's working in social reality in a way worthy of Ewan MacColl's Radio Ballads. We also have Oh! What a Lovely War back in Stratford. Yet all you're interested in is nostalgia and recreating the folkclubs of yore. Yawn.

The rest of the music world doesn't just live in specialist clubs, it gets out and gigs in pubs and clubs. Yes, the Sage does a lot for Northumbrian and Border, but when did any of you take over somewhere like the Sheffield Crucible? Unless you get out of your holy huddle, this genre will die in England. Don't expect them to come to you, go to them. As performers, you have a responsibility to perform, and although there may be material in the gander bag which is entirely applicable, add to it, ffs. There's enough going on in the world at the moment. You have an election coming up, why aren't you out there kicking? Or are you such lily-livered lummocks you're happy to go on as you are?


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 06:00 PM

The person above who mentioned the word 'cool' was me. If you re-read my post you'll see I basically agree with you. I was disparaging contemporary attempts to make folk cool. I was saying that you can't force young people to like folk music: all you can do is tell people about good folk music when you encounter it, and hope other people like it.

That said, folk music did have a huge youth audience back then. So, whether or not you like the adjective 'cool', it clearly wasn't something irredeemably fogeyish. It was part of youth culture in a way it has never been since, and never will again. Besides, being famous or being popular isn't usually a signifier of 'cool' anyway. I'd be surprised if anybody who saw Bert Jansch play in 1965 thought he was a right square.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 08:37 PM

the picture of Bert Jansch on the cover of the blue album - almost the epitome of cool.

Apparently not Jim, it was PPM, who furnished that song for the Frost and Fire album. They were very eclectic in those days. The first time I saw them, they sang High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire - a poem by Jean Ingelow.

Ring out! Ring out! you Boston bells

boston is my hometown - the reason I remembered it.

you know others of us have spent fifty years doing folk music - performing, teaching techniques, putting on folk clubs, turning up. with the best will in the world -why do you feel you have sovereign rights. Jesus said his fathers house had many mansions - why do you feel folk music is a one bedroom flat?


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 09:31 PM

"We also have Oh! What a Lovely War back in Stratford. Yet all you're interested in is nostalgia and recreating the folkclubs of yore. Yawn."
all I am interested in is people creating music, for their own enjoyment, without hype,
whoever you are you have made assumptions, I live in Ireland, and play in pubs, but Ido appreciate what folk clubs have to offer, which is..an oportuntiy for people to play in an environment where people listen, where people go specifically to LISTEN to music,not to treat it as background.
"You have an election coming up, why aren't you out there kicking? Or are you such lily-livered lummocks you're happy to go on as you are?"   
you feckin cheeky wanker, what do ytou know what i am doing or not doing, fuck off you pillock, as a matter of fact i have been out protesting, you fucking troll., piss off


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 01:46 AM

'I'd be surprised if anybody who saw Bert Jansch play in 1965 thought he was a right square'...
.,,.

Smarrerfack, I thought he was an absolute pain in the arse with the most intolerably affected delivery; just shows nobody can please everybody!

~M~


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 03:28 AM

"Apparently not Jim, it was PPM, who furnished that song for the Frost and Fire album. "
Do you have any proof for this Al - sound like one of those 'MacColl like urban legends to me?
I was never a great fan of the Watersons, but I have always respected the amount of work Carthy and the others put into researching their material.
All the songs that went on to their albums came from the BBC came from the material that the BBC 1950-55 recording project - I find it a little hard to believe that it had been regurgitated by anybody as anodyne as the same Tiresome Trio that astounded the world with 'Puff'.
Maybe I've overestimated them
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 04:47 AM

You can be as abusive as you like, GSS, but I have provided the links showing what the leaders of the folk world have done, how they are thinking, and what they are actually doing in the UK at the moment. Those are facts you cannot deny, and I am doing it with them. I'm not much known in the folk world, nor have I any ambition to be, because it's populated by bilious ill-tempered grumpy old men like you, who have done something in the past but don't seem to be doing anything to progress the world of folk now. You're only as good as your last gig is an old truism in music, and just as there's differences in the folk world between the UK and the US, you hardly need me to tell you there are also regional differences within the UK writ large. This book is about mainland UK clubs, and the conversation went to where mainland UK is going. I've shown you the thinking the top people are actually doing and if you don't like it, do your own thing and validate it by your efforts. Where are you going yourself at the moment?


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 04:57 AM

Could this opinionated but unidentified GUEST let us know who he is, please? I think we should be told.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 05:02 AM

the tiresome trio, as Carroll calls them, had hits [ in other words popularised the following songs to thousands] blowing in the wind. where have all the flowers gone, if i had a hammer, times they are a changing, all well written contemporary folk songs one of which was written by pete seeger.
we have to thank the likes of jim carroll,has collected songs from tradtional singers as did his chum Peter Kennedy, but neither of them have popularised folk song to the same extent as Peter Paul and Mary OR Pete Seeger,
Jim Carroll appears to be sneering at those who were succesful when it comes to introducing folk song to the masses,[i do not like his sneering at Peter,P,and M, it smacks of begrudgery],
volume wise, jim carroll as a collector pales in to insignificance compared to Cecil Sharp, or Tom Munnelly, or even for all his faults Peter Kennedy.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 05:10 AM

Yes, it's always difficult to respond to an anonymous GUEST - particularly one who thinks that "progress" is a transitive verb...

I hadn't realised that the folk world had leaders, and that the "top people" in it were doing things that one ought to follow. I live and learn.

As for the "you're only as good as your last gig" cliché, well, that's just what it is - a cliché.

Your original post, GUEST, posits a situation where folk has to move on, or to be seen to move on, to make some sort of progress if it has to survive - to be some sort of social force. What a far cry that view is from people just singing what they knew, or know; from people singing and playing and dancing for fun - at parties, at weddings, at social occasions in houses and pubs. Music for the hell of it - and who cares if it's not popular or mainstream or at the heart of cool culture. People will make music and they'll do just what they do.

I happen to play a lot of traditional tunes, jazz, ragtime, blues, music-hall, rock'n roll, southern funk. Why, I might even be a "top person" in my own village - a sort of legend in my own lunchtime.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 06:00 AM

Agreed Will, I find this unidentified 'GUEST' business a bit trying, especially from someone who finds him/herself mingling so much with all those "top people".

However, I think we can learn quite a lot about our anonymous GUEST from the fact that his/her idea of "getting out of the ivy-covered towers [aren't they usually 'ivory'?] and into the real world" involves Radio 3 and a roomful of classical composition students from Uxbridge.

As for the rest of the thread I rather agree with Matt Milton about the folk revival having been the 'fluke' result of a unique set of circumstances involving profound social changes and powerful movers and shakers.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 06:15 AM

Given the close involvement of Bert Lloyd in the Watersons' LP Frost and Fire, the inclusion of The Souling Song on the album is more likely to be derived from Lucy Broadwood's English County Songs than Peter Paul and Mary, although I suppose they might have heard the PPM version....
I suppose someone could ask Norma.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 06:32 AM

For full attribution where due:- Above named classic collection of English County Songs was made in 1893 by J A Fuller Maitland and Lucy Broadwood in collaboration. I agree with Derek that it was at least as probable a source as the PPM version, tho both may well have had their influence.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 07:08 AM

I was going to ask the question (but Will Fly beat me to it). Who are these top people in the Folk world? . A world in which I have been somewhat involved for more years than I care to remember.I think we should be told
In my world of folk music it's not the cliche referred to about last gigs, it's about how enjoyable was the evening you just spent singing and playing with a group of like minded people. Normally these days it is in a pub session or at a party and not a folk club although they do sometimes have their moments. Folk song and music has been around for ever and will continue in it's on small way. Folk clubs are comparitively recent.

Like MtheGM I also thought Bert Jansch was far from the legend that lives on. Being a good guitar picker is one thing but that doesn't make you cool or hip or whatever antiquated American phrase you wish to use.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 08:04 AM

Buy this book - it's a much better read than many of the 'contributions' on this thread.

If you are old enough to recognise the people quoted you will enjoy it more


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 08:34 AM

I rather think I named the leaders in my first post. Maybe Bellowhead are just in search of dosh, aren't we all, but it's not what I see from them and their peers as a wider pattern. The concept of The Imagined Village takes folk out of the clubs and into the wider world, not only of world music, but of music as a whole. There have been untold approaches from other forms as well of late, and you've dropped every ball which came your way, as far as I can see. It won't last forever, the music industry will soon come to the conclusion there's not a lot you can help them with. Sure I'm goading you, but you seem to need goading, or you'll miss the train. You have things to say, valid and interesting things, but they'll never be said if all you do is mumble in your beards. You've got to get out there and start saying them.

Of course the heart of folk is in the home, but only insofar as it's given scope in the home. How many of us have children who only know what Radio 1 and its ilk tells them is worth knowing, as if the X whoojit is all there is? This is exactly what the commercialisation of the music industry of the mid 1970s was intended to achieve, and it worked. It worked too well, in fact, it's a mine that's been worked out and they want fresh ideas. But hey, ho, none here, perhaps they'll find them from Bali or the Muslim world.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: ian1943
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 08:42 AM

I found 'Singing from the Floor' an excellent history but it contains a mondegreen on page 353 where the famed pub in Durham 'The Colpitt's' is called 'The Colditz'. It is where Durham City Folk Club spent 16 happy years until we were Sam Smithed. They were halcyon days and never a prison camp. Jon Boden was a regular and we taught him well!


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 09:15 AM

"you've dropped every ball which came your way"

Who is 'you' in this context, and does it apply only to people with beards?

GUEST, the people in this discussion might be prepared to take more seriously your ideas about future developments and links with other music if they weren't presented in such a precious, arrogant, condescending and disrespectful way. If attitudes like that are the future of this music, then god help us all.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 09:25 AM

"Sure I'm goading you"

Hmm, anonymous goading on an internet forum... Isn't there a word for that?


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 09:50 AM

In my opinion, what killed the folk clubs was punk coming along just at the time when the core folk club audience was getting bogged down with families and careers and had less time on their hands. The next generation for whom the folk clubs might have provided a natural outlet turned to punk instead.

I don't think the move to larger concert venues helps. It is probably a commercial necessity for the performers, but I don't want to sit in a large auditorium. Folk is intimate music, and I want to see the whites of their eyes. It also creates a barrier between the performer and audience, whereas in a folk club we are all together.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 10:05 AM

Did Peter, Paul and Hairy actually record wassail and Ritual songs - buggered if I can remember them
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 10:07 AM

A few random thoughts.

1.       I enjoyed the book as a bit of reminiscence therapy although I think the field is too wide to have been truly captured in just one volume. As has been said, with the title "Singing from the floor" it seems odd that the emphasis was not on the floor singers but those who made a living singing from the "stage". The book might be a valuable contribution as a starting point but by no means the whole story. (It would be interesting to find out why people really stopped supporting the clubs. (Families, jobs, other hobbies?) I don't think the best answer can be found by asking the "stars" of the era or by asking here on Mudcat where those with a (nostalgic?) interest still lurk. Those who need to be asked are those who we can't ask because they're no longer part of the scene.)

2.       Personally I don't really care though whether folk music is popular or not. What matters to me is whether it's good and whether I enjoy listening/taking part ? both subjective judgments. I sing, not because I want to be an entertainer or performer (I'm hopeless at both) but because I want to sing the songs as best I can; to keep them alive. Of course I hope that my "audiences", who are generally all singers who I respect, will appreciate my attempts but my first duty is to the song. (I'd much rather be good (one can but dream!) than be popular.)

3.       I do remember the days of big audiences in the late 60s and early 70s but I'm not sure that there were that many more singers/musicians then than now.   (True, there were more who could support themselves by performing because of the large audiences but many of them were fairly mediocre ? a bit like the way these days everyone seems to have a CD: it's not a measure of quality, just of feasibility.) Our university folk club used to have weekly audiences of 200+ but those people weren't at the nightly pub sessions; there we had around 20-30, all actively singing/playing. Coincidentally, last night's singaround that I went to had only 22, but only 3 didn't sing (except in the choruses) ? all the rest led at least one song. Tonight's "Irish" session will probably have about a dozen musicians and the rest of the people in the pub would be there anyway, they're certainly not there as an audience. So the "audience" has gone but perhaps not the performers. Is this linked to why it's easier to find singarounds and sessions now (full of participants but few "audience" members) than it is to find clubs which cater more for an audience?

4.       Most of the folk clubs I went to were in pubs. That was in the days when pubs had several smaller rooms and were looking for ways to fill them. These days it seems difficult to find a pub that isn't open plan with dining facilities and/or big screen TV sport. So where could clubs be these days? The open nature of a pub meant anyone could drop in; alternative, non-pub venues take a much greater commitment to visit. Prior to pub venues perhaps there were family gatherings, local fairs etc where people could gather and sing/play. Where are the open, informal venues now?   

My provisional conclusions (don't take these too seriously, the elements of truth are well hidden!!!).

a.        Folk clubs were a passing, fashionable trend dependent upon venue availability, the growing "youth rebellion" and, as with any fashion, pure chance. The music in them was home made (in a performance sense) by the members. There wasn't a huge mix of ages or even social groups in those clubs, the audiences were fairly homogenous just as they are now. After a relatively short time a new popular music emerged based on this music which was performed by someone who you were supposed to "follow" ? this music was not home made although many still classed it as "folk".   It didn't easily fit into the small-venue folk clubs that started the movement because it relied on audience rather than participants and, leaving its roots, it quickly evolved away from the folk club music to become various types of "pop" music.   The audiences moved on although the singers stayed, or returned after family/work took them away for a while, to form singarounds

b.        There's little point trying to recreate what was a passing fad. Some of those who lived through the fashion have clung to it with varying degrees of success. The "traditional" crowd have migrated to singarounds/sessions, now mainly populated by aging ex-folk club members who grumble about how singer-songwriters killed the clubs, reminisce about the good old days before singer-songwriters and wonder where the youngsters are. (How many old folk went to their clubs when they were youngsters?) The aging "contemporary" crowd grumble about how the traditionalists don't like them and how they could have been famous if only they weren't discriminated against, occasionally visiting singarounds, where both they and the "traditionalists" feel uncomfortable at their presence, or going to open mic venues where they try to recreate the days when audiences would actually listen and stay for the evening rather than arrive to sing their own songs and then leave again (not realising that no-one really listened to them in the good old days either, they were just there for rest of the songs!!)

c.        BUT ? we're still singing and the songs are still here. In addition, there are younger performers who are making their own music in their own way and at their own venues. Why should they want to or need to recreate folk clubs when they have their own cultural settings? It's not as though the clubs themselves were part of an ancient tradition, just some of the songs that passed through them. Thanks to recording facilities these young musicians will be able to pick out what is relevant to them from the material we leave behind just as the early revivalists picked out what was relevant to them from the material of the early collectors.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 10:29 AM

Good post, Steve, and lots of truth in it. In passing:

It would be interesting to find out why people really stopped supporting the clubs. (Families, jobs, other hobbies?) I don't think the best answer can be found by asking the "stars" of the era or by asking here on Mudcat where those with a (nostalgic?) interest still lurk. Those who need to be asked are those who we can't ask because they're no longer part of the scene.)

Well, here's an answer from one 'Catter who dropped in and out of the folk scene from time to time: In 1970 I bought a DeArmond pickup for my Epiphone Texan, got hold of a home-made amp and started to play jug band music and jazz in a Bayswater pub. The lure of improvisation, playing in a band, mixing with the likes of Diz Disley and Laurie Denise - and getting paid for playing (£2 each and a free pint) was too much to resist!


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 10:36 AM

Jim
they recorded "A-soalin", which perhaps indicates that their grasp on the genre was probably a bit limited!
Have a look at this ... amusing!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnbD3QLU5o4
Derek


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 10:51 AM

Actually, I hadn't heard them sing it before. I thought their performance, given with full acknowledgment to the N English source, rather charming; & of course enhanced by the appropriateness of the "One for Peter, two for Paul" [Wot! None for poor Mary?]. Where did they learn it? When did they first record it? Before of after the Watersons? Might they have got it from Broadwood & Fuller Maitland? Or even from Frost&Fire?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 11:02 AM

And why knock PPM, I wonder? They were much in the tradition of, e.g., Richard Dyer-Bennett as popularisers of the traditional; & I recall when he was much respected. They didn't wreck their versions with over-production, like some. Their somewhat prettified presentation was not to all tastes ~~ not particularly to mine, for instance. But I do not regard them as contemptible. They knew about the songs they sang. The late, highly revered, Sandy Paton sang with the force of his fine voice in a not dissimilar way. He was as scholarly a folksinger as ever I have met, but never tried to disguise the classic quality of his voice for any factitious 'folky' effect. And was not above compromising with commercial necessities either ~~ I recall his telling me, when I knew him over here 56 years ago, that he had regretfully had to learn that somewhat tiresome "Oh Dr Freud" song so voguish at the time, in order to maintain his cred in the venues where he then performed at home.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 01:12 PM

the one I never really got a handle on was John Jacob Niles. the films of him singing sound really bizarre to my ears.

but apparently he did big business.

I admit I can't remember where I heard the story about PP and M. would anyone bother to make up an urban myth of so little interest. the period we're referring to is long before Martin joined the group though.
I take you word for it Jim -they got it from somewhere else. I mean , really who care...!
I remember when the Spinners (another lot against the wall after your revolution) split up - I was saying to Martin Carthy that I'd seen them do a nice version of The Bleacher lass of Kelvinhaugh on Pebble Mill at One, and I would miss them.
He said, well I won't - I do that song....!
I said, yeh but they don't ask you to do Pebble Mill at One.
Perhaps they would nowadays - what with the MBE and everything.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 01:54 PM

Trouble with Niles is that he couldn't leave anything alone. He didn't just sing things his own way: he rewrote them first; invariably in an inferior version: and for some reason it would be his version which would catch on as the 'standard' version. Just compare his vile "Blackblackblackblackblackblack [cont p 94] is the color" with the delightful version that Sharp collected and published in his Appalachian collection from which he ripped it off. But as you say, Al, he did big biznis. One suspects some sort of jiggery-pokery somewhere...

~M~

i luv the ground i luv the ground i luv the ground i luv the grouhouhouhouhound...


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 02:14 PM

"Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 08:34 AM

I rather think I named the leaders in my first post. Maybe Bellowhead are just in search of dosh, aren't we all, but it's not what I see from them and their peers as a wider pattern. The concept of The Imagined Village takes folk out of the clubs and into the wider world, not only of world music, but of music as a whole. There have been untold approaches from other forms as well of late, and you've dropped every ball which came your way, as far as I can see. It won't last forever, the music industry will soon come to the conclusion there's not a lot you can help them with. Sure I'm goading you, but you seem to need goading, or you'll miss the train. You have things to say, valid and interesting things, but they'll never be said if all you do is mumble in your beards. You've got to get out there and start saying them.

Of course the heart of folk is in the home, but only insofar as it's given scope in the home. How many of us have children who only know what Radio 1 and its ilk tells them is worth knowing, as if the X whoojit is all there is? This is exactly what the commercialisation of the music industry of the mid 1970s was intended to achieve, and it worked. It worked too well, in fact, it's a mine that's been worked out and they want fresh ideas. But hey, ho, none here, perhaps they'll find them from Bali or the Muslim world."
to paraphrase Martin Carthy, who is this berk?


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 02:29 PM

who is this burka?


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 04:28 PM

Googling reveals that PPM recorded it (1963) before Frost and Fire came out (1965).


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 06:01 PM

Thank you, Derek. So it would appear that the debt, if there was one, was v.v. In probability, tho, both groups would have learned it from the book, or from some print source, and would surely have been singing it before recording. In that case, however, the misspelling of 'soul' does seem curious; but then that might just be down to a Youtube poster who misunderstood the meaning of the cake's name.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 08:07 PM

There seem to be a lot of GUEST posts on this thread, some of which are identified by a name after the word GUEST, but a good few are not. There may be several GUESTS out there, not just one! It would be good if those who have not yet got a Mudcat handle, or who have suffered a loss of cookies, would sign their posts, so that there is some degree of clarity and continuity.
I'll take LiC's advice and order the book.
Trish S


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 01:09 AM

you say a soalin', and I say a soulin'
you say paste egging, and I say pace egging


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 03:30 AM

There was another book published some time ago on the same subject by someone named Mike Brocken.
I read the pre-publication version put up on the Musical Traditions site and found it poorly researched - much of it coming from interviews carried out in bars after club sessions - I found it difficult to read because of the sound of axe-grinding it generated.
Came to the conclusion that 'someone should do this properly sometime'.
I wonder if anybody came across it and has an opinion on it.   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 06:25 AM

Mike Brocken is/was a senior lecturer in creative and performing arts at Liverpool Hope University. The book, The British Folk revival, 1944-2002, came out in 2003, published by Ashgate (usually very expensive books, but this is/was available in paperback.) May still be available. It was based on his PhD thesis. he is a Liverpudlian, went to West derby Comp in the 60s (according to book intro).
As part of the book research, he attempted a full discography of Topic records, which Rod Stradling completed on Musical Traditions website, though Brocken stuck to his incomplete listing.
I may be wrong, but I don't think the book created any waves...
Derek


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 06:39 AM

Thanks Derek - the bits I read didn't impress me.
"I may be wrong, but I don't think the book created any waves... "
Not entirely true - some of the self-serving vindictiveness contained in some of the closing-time interviews created waves of nausea in my nether regions.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: doc.tom
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 07:38 AM

Part of the problem is that each individual's experience of 'The Folk Revival' was different - and we then each argue from our own experience.

Where I came from there was no Political imperative to the revival (it existed in some performers, but it did not drive the movement); the extant tradition absorbed and encouraged the revival ('not bad, boy, but down here we used to sing it like this...'); there was no trad/comtemporary split, instead there were (traditional singers [and I don't mean singers who came to the revival and then sang traditional songs] who happliy sang contemporary songs).

I think the book - which is what this thread was about - is a perfectly valid comentary from the experience of those it quotes. And all it is is quotes. We still have the gaps.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 08:05 AM

which book is thst dr.tom - the brocken or the bean?


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 09:33 AM

Just finished the Bean book - it was OK. Patchy both geographically and anecdotally. I recognised and remembered some of the things narrated but, as others have said, there are a lot of other unspoken narratives - particularly from unsung club organisers and just ordinary, run-of-the-mill floor singers.

There may be more research to be done but, personally, I don't care if it's carried out or not. Let's just get on with making the music.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 10:12 AM

absolutely will -going to see renbourn/wizz , and my own gig the next nite. last nite I was floorspotting at swanage folk club, and the before then paddy's night and the night after, doing gigs.

I feel like its folk music. I play for folks. its not cecil sharp stuff - but I've seen films of cecil, prancing about doing folk dances. I don't think we'd have hit it off.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 05:56 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with the GUEST,SteveT 19 Mar 14 - 10:07 AM post.

Something touched on there is the crucial difference between getting together to sing and listen and performing for an audience. It is the difference between, on the one hand, the clubs as they were, some as they still are, and "singarounds", and on the other hand concerts, festivals and recordings. A hundred-odd years ago there was surely a similar split between home-grown entertainment in homes, pubs and bothies and commercial entertainment in music halls.

Yes of course there is some interchange between those worlds, but there is an essential difference between commercial and DIY;
perhaps a more important difference even than the trad v. contemporary one.

The commercial music "industry" (well named) moves on, churning out thousands of recordings in umpteen supposedly distinct genres which to me all sound equally dire, with percussion dominant and the time signature always 4/4.

Meanwhile some of us get on with singing and playing the stuff that we happen to like, in small gatherings or at home on our own. For some it may be exclusively "traditional". Most of us are happy to include modern songs that are more or less in the same mould (or perhaps I should say in one of the same moulds, there being big differences of character within the tradition). Other people play jazz, sing in choirs or whatever. Good luck to one and all.

Even at the height of the revival, folk music and song was a minority interest. Nowadays it's a smaller minority, with an aging demographic, but there ARE younger people involved, and they're not all going overboard with weird and wonderful cross-cultural stuff.

Time to stop rambling!


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 06:25 PM

Sing and enjoy it.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: doc.tom
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 02:14 AM

The Bean


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 07:45 AM

Guest sez: "What actually killed it (folk music) was a decision in 1975 within the music industry to kill anything which wasn't hip-hop or punk, for purely commercial reasons."

What an odd comment. Although the early punk bands were in existence by '75 (especially in New York), you didn't really get the first punk record releases till late '76. Hip hop came even later. From what I recall, listening to Radio One and commercial radio at the time, checking out the charts weekly and watching Top of the Pops, punk was a small minority of what was played. It was mainly the same mainstream pop that had been featured pre-punk: Boney M, Abba and so on. Oh and the odd folky monstrosity like "Day Trip to Bangor"... Culturally, punk had the excellent sense to point out that overblown prog-rock epics were a bit on the wanky side, but I'm sure Yes and Pink Floyd weren't exactly quaking in their boots!

Guest also talks about "the commercialisation of the music industry of the mid 1970s." Again, this is very weird. Is the suggestion that prior to 1975, the music industry was a bastion of DIY, anti-commercial bohemianism? If anything, it was punk (or at least its immediate aftermath) that enabled that to happen - wrestling the means of production out of the hands of big business, resulting in a plethora of DIY records, gigs, labels etc... and with it, the artists taking control of their music. Sure, folk had already been doing that for years, but that was the exception not the rule: the industry norm was all about the big business model, as it still is.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 08:41 AM

I suspect the drop in attendance and the drop in the number of clubs was related to:

1. The difficulty residents and floor singers had in finding and learning new songs & tunes
2. The Folk Clubbers having families and staying at home


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 09:04 AM

Most of the people mentioned here as featuring in the book are still performing after a career lasting decades. As well as inbalances of geography and professional/amateur status in the selection, is it also unbalanced in that it selected people who stuck with it?

If you're going to talk about decline, it would make sense to interview people who contributed to the decline by moving into a different career or resorting to a different kind of entertainment.

Just spotted this upthread:

Ewan MacColl [...] influenced people to look to their uk roots, in some ways that was good,but it was never going to be of interest commercially.

Sure about that? The Beatles developed a repertoire of pop music built on the British music-hall idiom (and perhaps to a lesser extent the songs of Noel Coward) - they were every bit as much an indigenous product as MacColl with the Radio Ballads. And it wasn't a liability for them.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 11:24 AM

And I see a Mudcatter is selling a copy of the Brocken book, if anyone wants to see if it's bad as other Mudcatters say:

Spleen Cringe's EBay link

The going rate seems to be between 15 and 20 pounds.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Mar 14 - 08:00 AM

one thing, I thought was missing in those early days of the folk revival, people didn't get around as much. there weren't the motorways and cars weren't as reliable.

so if you saw Johnny Handle, or Jacquie and Bridie or The Yetties - they were possibly from apart of the country you had never visited. same with Derek Brimstone - cockney with a real edge - so different from the cor blimey governor stuff we had seen on the movies.

I bought the Yetties first song book at the time - and at the start, there is wonderful thankyou to all the folk club for making it possible to see places they would never otherwise and seen places like Hull....

I still think it was abetter introduction to our country than Homes under the Hammer.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Mar 14 - 08:53 AM

I recall thinking that The Watersons weird harmonies sounded as though they came from some strange encampment at the edge of the world. Quite magical.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Mar 14 - 02:57 PM

They did


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 14 - 04:25 PM

"Sure about that? The Beatles developed a repertoire of pop music built on the British music-hall idiom (and perhaps to a lesser extent the songs of Noel Coward) - they were every bit as much an indigenous product as MacColl with the Radio Ballads. And it wasn't a liability for them."

Feel obliged to point out that the Beatles music-hall-type stuff only entered their repertoire after they'd become massively successful in the UK and US doing covers of US R&B songs like 'Twist & Shout'. Not to mention their own amazingly convincing own take on US R&B, like 'I Saw Her Standing There' or 'Baby You Can Drive My Car'. They'd recorded a good 6 or 7 albums before things like 'Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite', by which time frankly they could have just farted on record and would still have sold millions. The music-hallish stuff was only ever the occasional album track, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Mar 14 - 06:33 PM

yellow submarine was a single that went to number one.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Mar 14 - 07:55 PM

So there was "folk", which meant a set repertoire of songs, mostly involving milkmaids. Then there were "folk songs", which meant songs that ordinary people recognised as their own, whether it be Greensleeves or Auld Lang Syne or You Need Hands. Then there were "folk songs" meaning songs that expressed the radical strivings and yearnings of ordinary people, usually involving union representation. And then there were "folk singers", usually meaning beardless youths singing their diaries.

But that's not all. Then there was progressive rock, which made folk look ridiculous by opening up both musical and lyrical possibilities - strange chords, strange time signatures, strange metaphors, why would you go back to the milkmaids (or the trade unionists, or the singing diaries)? There should have been some common ground with milkmaid-folk - which is as weird as you like in places - but the opportunity was rarely taken. And then there was punk, which made folk look ridiculous all over again by privileging authenticity, spontaneity and anger: there should have been some common ground with both radical-folk and diary-folk, except that punk offered to do everything both of them were doing and do it better (and angrier).

And that's just the story up to about 1979. Folk has been left behind over and over again by the March of Trend - I've often wondered whether what did for Peter Bellamy's career wasn't the success of the Transports but the unpredictable coincidence of that succss coming in the year of punk. And traditional folk has been left behind over and over again by folkies who think their interpretation of folk is better suited to catch the wave. And yet we're still here, and the old songs still sound amazing.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 12:05 AM

'And yet we're still here, and the old songs still sound amazing.....'

perhaps you have a lower than average threshold of amazement than we do in our house.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 03:03 AM

Well, you've been in my house, Al; so you know that that is where the threshold is fixed here.

Surely the point about Phil's perceptive post above ("Folk has been left behind over and over again by the March of Trend -") is that Traditional Folk might well be occasionally [or even constantly] eclipsed by other genres; but like Tennyson's 'The Brook', it might (a tad inaccurately) proclaim that "Trends may come, and trends may go; But I go on for ever!".

~M~


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: SunrayFC
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 03:58 AM

Just started the book, thanx to Big Al, who features heavily here!


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 05:01 AM

"I recall thinking that The Watersons weird harmonies..."
Hardly "weird Al" - pretty run of the mill compared to polyphony or some of the part-singing found in general use all over the world - even as far out-flung as some of the church singing in the Hebrides - " way out foreign"
You really should try to get out more - take a break from the 'three-chord-trick' maybe
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 06:00 AM

Somewhere in my vinyl collection I have a 3-disc set of a German group singing polyphonic church music from the 13th century - recorded in a church in West Germany - and the harmonies are absolutely amazing.

I regularly get high on the nine minutes or so of "Spem In Alium" by Thomas Tallis - blows the mind.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 06:19 AM

I'll second that, Wiil!


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 06:24 AM

Then there was progressive rock, which made folk look ridiculous by opening up both musical and lyrical possibilities - strange chords, strange time signatures, strange metaphors, why would you go back to the milkmaids (or the trade unionists, or the singing diaries)?

Because sitting in the dark for two hours listening to fake surrealism in E minor and watching guys shaking mops of hair in red spotlights was an experience you didn't want to repeat indefinitely?


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 07:26 AM

You want harmonies - try the Genoese dockers singing Tralaleri - there's an entire album devoted to it in the Lomax collection
I remember dropping into Cecil Sharp House one afternoon when we were in the area and chancing on a concert given by the Placa Grandmother's choir from Bulgaria - sends shivers up the spine just thinking about it!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 01:52 PM

went to see a young duo from Bournemouth last night called Ninebarrow with a nice line in harmony. they have an album out soon.

harmony singing isn't really my cup of tea. I prefer more characterful approach to singing.

however i'd heard harmony singing before the Watersons in 1964, but yes I thought they were quite original. I admit I was young at the time, I still think they've something quite unique going on there. I suppose all the great harmony singers from Bach's B minor mass to the Everlys bring their own uniqueness of approach. And the Watersons sound to me is unmistakeable - and quite different.

three chords are enough for me Jim. when I've exhausted that approach - i'll let you know.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 02:01 PM

The Watersons were special as are The Wilsons, must be something about families.
I saw an intersting duo back in the 80s, Richard Grainger and Dick Miles what happened to them, are they mentioned in the book?


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 02:10 PM

"three chords are enough for me Jim. when I've exhausted that approach"
Good luck Al - never quite managed them - or the concertina - or the flute....
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 04:17 PM

I come from hoots with jigs and reels
I sound a complete wally
And yodel the hits of Christy Moore
Because it sounds quite jolly


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 22 Apr 14 - 03:53 PM

Just listening to the latest (20th April) Mike Harding Folk Show podcast where he plays tracks from, and reminisces about, the times recounted in the J P Bean book. Some wonderful tracks and worth a listen if you enjoy good music and/or nostalgia.

(P.S. I enjoy his show a lot more now he's away from Smooth Operations and the BBC)


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Lea Nicholson
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 09:46 AM

I was amused to read this.

MGMLion and Derek Schofield are correct on this: I won the Male Solo Section of the competition and Derek Brimstone was second. The prize was £5, quite a bit of money then and two of the judges were Jack Taylor, editor of the magazine Ballads and Songs and Dave Moran the editor of another folk magazine whose name escapes me and also a member of the Halliard with Nic Jones.

I was also in one of only three or four tents camping in Cherry Hinton Park.

By the time I left the festival I had been invited to join Jack Taylor's band back in Manchester. Quite good going for a seventeen year old schoolboy, I thought! In retrospect I'm not so sure that this precocity and early success did me a lot of favours :)

A further irony is that I now live in a flat overlooking Cherry Hinton Park.


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 11:31 AM

Hi, Lea Nicholson. Sorry I had forgotten your name. I sang in that competition too {Queen Eleanor's Confession iirc} but came nowhere. I wasn't camping because I lived in Cambridge itself then. Interested you now live there. I'm still out here in Haddenham, halfway to Ely, where I moved 37 years ago. Give us a call some time -- I'm in the Cambridge phone book 2ce, as Myer M Grosvenor, & Grosvenor-Myer M. Maybe you might drop around some time.

≈Michael≈


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 11:55 AM

... and (how about this for a filing system?!) I have just turned up my review of Horsemusic from The Times Educational Supplement of 1 October 1971.

Fortunately, I liked it ... I called your concertina playing"exceptional"!, & said your "send-up of some of the dafter aspcts of the electric folk fad" was "brilliant". Cor!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Review: New book - Singing from the Floor
From: GUEST,Lea Nicholson
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 03:14 PM

Impressive filing system. Impressive review ;)


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