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guest nights and singaround clubs

The Sandman 12 Oct 14 - 06:45 AM
Girl Friday 12 Oct 14 - 09:31 AM
jacqui.c 12 Oct 14 - 10:52 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 14 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 12 Oct 14 - 11:17 AM
Ian Hendrie 12 Oct 14 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,# 12 Oct 14 - 12:51 PM
Leadfingers 12 Oct 14 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 12 Oct 14 - 01:45 PM
Jack Campin 12 Oct 14 - 02:02 PM
Musket 12 Oct 14 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,# 12 Oct 14 - 02:09 PM
The Sandman 12 Oct 14 - 02:50 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 14 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,FloraG 13 Oct 14 - 04:00 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 14 - 04:05 AM
The Sandman 13 Oct 14 - 04:26 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 14 - 04:36 AM
Musket 13 Oct 14 - 05:25 AM
GUEST 13 Oct 14 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 13 Oct 14 - 05:35 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 14 - 06:09 AM
Musket 13 Oct 14 - 06:14 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 14 - 06:19 AM
The Sandman 13 Oct 14 - 07:19 AM
johncharles 13 Oct 14 - 07:19 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 14 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 13 Oct 14 - 08:02 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 14 - 08:42 AM
rosma 13 Oct 14 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 13 Oct 14 - 09:04 AM
Jack Campin 13 Oct 14 - 09:22 AM
Musket 13 Oct 14 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,ST 13 Oct 14 - 09:50 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 14 - 10:18 AM
Musket 13 Oct 14 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 13 Oct 14 - 12:00 PM
Dave Sutherland 13 Oct 14 - 12:23 PM
The Sandman 13 Oct 14 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Desi C 13 Oct 14 - 02:14 PM
Jack Campin 13 Oct 14 - 03:05 PM
growler 13 Oct 14 - 03:33 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 14 - 04:03 PM
Phil Edwards 13 Oct 14 - 04:57 PM
Musket 14 Oct 14 - 03:28 AM
GUEST,FloraG 14 Oct 14 - 03:28 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Oct 14 - 04:14 AM
Rob Naylor 14 Oct 14 - 04:18 AM
The Sandman 14 Oct 14 - 04:24 AM
Phil Edwards 14 Oct 14 - 04:35 AM
johncharles 14 Oct 14 - 06:00 AM
Rob Naylor 14 Oct 14 - 06:26 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Oct 14 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,# 14 Oct 14 - 09:30 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Oct 14 - 09:59 AM
GUEST 14 Oct 14 - 10:02 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Oct 14 - 10:34 AM
Musket 14 Oct 14 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,Desi C 14 Oct 14 - 01:42 PM
The Sandman 14 Oct 14 - 02:50 PM
Musket 15 Oct 14 - 03:06 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 15 Oct 14 - 03:29 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Oct 14 - 03:58 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Oct 14 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,LynnH 15 Oct 14 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 15 Oct 14 - 04:35 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Oct 14 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,shezinaussie 15 Oct 14 - 05:41 AM
GUEST,Desi C 15 Oct 14 - 05:54 AM
The Sandman 15 Oct 14 - 06:13 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Oct 14 - 09:37 AM
Rob Naylor 15 Oct 14 - 10:23 AM
The Sandman 15 Oct 14 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 15 Oct 14 - 03:20 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Oct 14 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 16 Oct 14 - 12:11 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Oct 14 - 12:43 AM
GUEST,Bignige 17 Oct 14 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 17 Oct 14 - 06:02 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Oct 14 - 06:30 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Oct 14 - 07:41 PM
Musket 18 Oct 14 - 01:57 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Oct 14 - 01:58 AM
Hesk 18 Oct 14 - 02:27 AM
GUEST,Bignige 18 Oct 14 - 05:02 AM
GUEST 18 Oct 14 - 05:48 AM
GUEST,Bignige 18 Oct 14 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Oct 14 - 06:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Oct 14 - 06:50 AM
Bounty Hound 18 Oct 14 - 07:41 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Oct 14 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Oct 14 - 08:21 AM
GUEST 18 Oct 14 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,Derrick 18 Oct 14 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Bignige 18 Oct 14 - 10:06 AM
GUEST 18 Oct 14 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Bignige 18 Oct 14 - 04:42 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Oct 14 - 05:06 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Oct 14 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 19 Oct 14 - 02:34 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 19 Oct 14 - 03:57 AM
GUEST,Bignige 19 Oct 14 - 05:21 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Oct 14 - 05:38 AM
The Sandman 19 Oct 14 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 19 Oct 14 - 09:04 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 14 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 19 Oct 14 - 05:40 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 14 - 05:52 PM
Musket 19 Oct 14 - 06:38 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 14 - 06:47 PM
Bounty Hound 19 Oct 14 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 20 Oct 14 - 01:28 AM
Musket 20 Oct 14 - 02:18 AM
AlbertsLion 20 Oct 14 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 20 Oct 14 - 04:06 AM
r.padgett 20 Oct 14 - 04:39 AM
Musket 20 Oct 14 - 05:13 AM
Bounty Hound 20 Oct 14 - 05:19 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Oct 14 - 06:04 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 20 Oct 14 - 07:45 AM
johncharles 20 Oct 14 - 07:55 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Oct 14 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 20 Oct 14 - 08:57 AM
The Sandman 20 Oct 14 - 09:37 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Oct 14 - 09:46 AM
Bounty Hound 20 Oct 14 - 10:07 AM
Bounty Hound 20 Oct 14 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 20 Oct 14 - 11:24 AM
GUEST 20 Oct 14 - 11:28 AM
Bounty Hound 20 Oct 14 - 11:47 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Oct 14 - 12:05 PM
johncharles 20 Oct 14 - 12:30 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Oct 14 - 12:36 PM
The Sandman 20 Oct 14 - 12:48 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Oct 14 - 02:35 PM
Howard Jones 20 Oct 14 - 03:17 PM
The Sandman 20 Oct 14 - 04:09 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Oct 14 - 04:44 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Oct 14 - 05:23 PM
GUEST,DTM 20 Oct 14 - 05:43 PM
The Sandman 20 Oct 14 - 06:08 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Oct 14 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 21 Oct 14 - 04:51 AM
The Sandman 21 Oct 14 - 05:09 AM
Bounty Hound 21 Oct 14 - 05:52 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Oct 14 - 06:19 AM
johncharles 21 Oct 14 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 21 Oct 14 - 07:35 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Oct 14 - 07:47 AM
The Sandman 21 Oct 14 - 07:49 AM
johncharles 21 Oct 14 - 07:54 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Oct 14 - 08:31 AM
Bounty Hound 21 Oct 14 - 08:53 AM
johncharles 21 Oct 14 - 09:15 AM
Bounty Hound 21 Oct 14 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 21 Oct 14 - 09:49 AM
Jack Campin 21 Oct 14 - 10:19 AM
GUEST 21 Oct 14 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,Bignige 21 Oct 14 - 11:11 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Oct 14 - 11:12 AM
Bounty Hound 21 Oct 14 - 11:35 AM
Jack Campin 21 Oct 14 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,ST 21 Oct 14 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Bignige 21 Oct 14 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 21 Oct 14 - 01:07 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Oct 14 - 01:16 PM
melodeonboy 21 Oct 14 - 01:30 PM
Big Al Whittle 21 Oct 14 - 02:21 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Oct 14 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Bignige 21 Oct 14 - 06:17 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Oct 14 - 02:09 AM
Musket 22 Oct 14 - 03:05 AM
Dave Sutherland 22 Oct 14 - 03:13 AM
GUEST,FloraG 22 Oct 14 - 03:46 AM
Teribus 22 Oct 14 - 04:48 AM
GUEST 22 Oct 14 - 05:09 AM
Teribus 22 Oct 14 - 05:48 AM
The Sandman 22 Oct 14 - 05:50 AM
johncharles 22 Oct 14 - 05:58 AM
Musket 22 Oct 14 - 06:49 AM
Teribus 22 Oct 14 - 06:50 AM
johncharles 22 Oct 14 - 07:12 AM
Teribus 22 Oct 14 - 07:29 AM
Jack Campin 22 Oct 14 - 07:44 AM
Musket 22 Oct 14 - 08:00 AM
Teribus 22 Oct 14 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Bignige 22 Oct 14 - 09:39 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Oct 14 - 11:28 AM
Musket 22 Oct 14 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,Bignige 22 Oct 14 - 12:43 PM
The Sandman 22 Oct 14 - 12:50 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Oct 14 - 02:14 PM
The Sandman 22 Oct 14 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 22 Oct 14 - 03:32 PM
The Sandman 22 Oct 14 - 03:45 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 22 Oct 14 - 04:36 PM
Dave Sutherland 22 Oct 14 - 04:56 PM
GUEST 22 Oct 14 - 04:59 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Oct 14 - 05:22 PM
Airymouse 22 Oct 14 - 05:28 PM
The Sandman 22 Oct 14 - 05:47 PM
The Sandman 22 Oct 14 - 05:56 PM
Musket 23 Oct 14 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 23 Oct 14 - 04:09 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 14 - 04:29 AM
The Sandman 23 Oct 14 - 04:46 AM
The Sandman 23 Oct 14 - 05:58 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 14 - 05:59 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 14 - 06:04 AM
The Sandman 23 Oct 14 - 07:46 AM
Teribus 23 Oct 14 - 07:47 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 14 - 08:36 AM
The Sandman 23 Oct 14 - 09:48 AM
The Sandman 23 Oct 14 - 09:54 AM
johncharles 23 Oct 14 - 10:41 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 14 - 10:51 AM
The Sandman 23 Oct 14 - 11:30 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 14 - 12:10 PM
The Sandman 23 Oct 14 - 12:30 PM
Musket 23 Oct 14 - 01:40 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 14 - 01:41 PM
Vic Smith 23 Oct 14 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Bignige 23 Oct 14 - 03:37 PM
The Sandman 23 Oct 14 - 03:42 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 14 - 06:27 PM
Musket 24 Oct 14 - 03:11 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 14 - 03:47 AM
r.padgett 24 Oct 14 - 04:30 AM
GUEST,Derrick 24 Oct 14 - 05:07 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 14 - 05:15 AM
The Sandman 24 Oct 14 - 05:24 AM
Musket 24 Oct 14 - 05:26 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 14 - 07:35 AM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Oct 14 - 07:41 AM
Dave Sutherland 24 Oct 14 - 07:43 AM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Oct 14 - 07:44 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 14 - 07:53 AM
Musket 24 Oct 14 - 09:29 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 14 - 09:47 AM
TheSnail 24 Oct 14 - 11:19 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 14 - 11:28 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Oct 14 - 04:21 PM
Richard Mellish 24 Oct 14 - 05:30 PM
TheSnail 24 Oct 14 - 05:39 PM
Musket 25 Oct 14 - 05:36 AM
The Sandman 25 Oct 14 - 06:37 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Oct 14 - 08:37 AM
Musket 25 Oct 14 - 09:28 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Oct 14 - 09:52 AM
Musket 25 Oct 14 - 11:24 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 14 - 02:38 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 14 - 02:42 PM
Musket 25 Oct 14 - 04:19 PM
Richard Mellish 25 Oct 14 - 05:44 PM
Jack Campin 25 Oct 14 - 09:04 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Oct 14 - 02:15 AM
Musket 26 Oct 14 - 02:37 AM
TheSnail 26 Oct 14 - 07:00 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Oct 14 - 09:15 AM
Vic Smith 26 Oct 14 - 09:59 AM
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Subject: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 06:45 AM

In my opinion and my experience the standard[with a few exceptions] in UK Folk clubs is higher in guest booking clubs than at singaround clubs.
there are less people using crib sheets, very few of the paid guests use crib sheets and most of them are professional in their approach.yet singaround clubs appear to be popular and some of the singers AT THESE VENUES only seem to be interested in themselves and not in listening to others, has anyone any idea what is responsible for this situation.
I do not understand how people can improve if they are not interested in listening to other performers.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Girl Friday
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 09:31 AM

Hello Dick. This subject got talked about at Tenterden last week. I think we are mostly talking of Open Mics here. There are more of them than anyone can cope with, yet it seems to be a circuit. The same people go everywhere. We only go to ones that attract an audience, and where the players DO want to listen to each other, though there is a lot of background chat. They aren't Folk Clubs. It is totally rude of performers to only stay for their spot, and not listen to their friends/ fellow performers.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: jacqui.c
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 10:52 AM

It seems fairly obvious to me - guests are generally paid and therefore are expected to be professional or semi-professional and held to a higher standard than amateurs.

Singarounds give ordinary folk the opportunity to sing out the songs they love, mostly to the best of their ability. Granted there are some who don't sing very well or who tend to rely on crib sheets and there are a very few who make no effort to improve or to try a song with a piece of paper in front of them, but the idea is to get together and share a love of traditional music. The majority of venues I have been to everyone listens to whoever is performing, whatever level they are at.

I have been in the position of sitting next to someone who just wants to chat through other people's performances, but I think there are some people who just like the sound of their own voices and there is very little anyone can do about that, other than ignore them and make it clear that you are there for the music, not to talk.

I would also confess that I have been at venues where one or two performers were not my cup of tea - maybe doing non folk stuff at what is purportedly a folk session and not even doing that well. I will quite often use there turn as a good time to go to the loo, or to get another drink, so that I don't miss the people I really want to hear.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 11:08 AM

In the past, the best clubs were those that you field a team of their own residents good enough to take a whole evening to themselves
Singers from the floor spots gave visitors a chance to be heard and, if good enough, be invited to perform regularly.
The most imaginative clubs were those that ran workshops to enable new or inexperienced singers to develop and gain confidence.
The clubs I was involved with had a conscious policy of only having one guest night in every four - none of them ever really needed more than that as the residents were competent to take full evenings themselves, that way, we could use the door-takings for publicity and projects such as research and producing song books.
Too many guests always seemed to me to be counter-productive - far more valuable to establish a strong home-base
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 11:17 AM

some of us feel safer having the words and music, even if only as a precaution. it would be nice if everyone was the perfect performer, but making a bit of an effort will do for me. those "professional" performers must have learnt their craft somewhere......maybe those allegedly lower standard singarounds ?.
like girl Friday, I find it rude when some performers don't listen to the other participants, and sometimes those who don't listen are the paid guests. but at the end of the day, we live and learn, and gravitate more to places where at least some people listen.
the worst one I went to, was when the audience were watching football, and the other performers talked most of the time. I have not been back to that pub so far.
the other thing about singarounds , is that there is obviously more opportunity to participate, than when a guest takes most of the evening. there is also more variety, and unless the guest has great drawing power, it might be the less popular option.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 12:40 PM

I don't disagree with anything said so far but would just make a few comments.

There are a few clubs in the Manchester area which manage to run good singers' nights (or singarounds) AND regularly put on good quality guests on nights which are well attended (though not necessarily by those who attend the singers nights). The quality of guests and the 'home grown' support acts both encourage good attendances. In addition the people running these clubs make those attending feel welcome. Good communication, via regular e-mails, helps people feel involved.

The range of ability in singarounds is wide and I have found them generally very supportive of those of lower ability (I include myself in that category). Confidence or lack of it can make or break a performance and it should not be underestimated just how daunting it can be to perform in public or in front of musicians of much greater ability. The use of a safety net (i.e. crib sheet) can be invaluable to someone whose performance in their own home is good but who 'goes to pieces' in the public arena. Many with crib sheets sing with their eyes closed anyway!

Just how you get more of the people who attend singarounds to attend guest nights (and maybe learn something which could help them improve) is the problem. One local club offers tokens on singers' nights which give a discount on guest nights. I can't say if this works but it seems like a good idea.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,#
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 12:51 PM

Open mikes expose people to lots of very mediocre talent and the odd gem every now and then. Get too many mediocres for too many weeks or months in a row and the audience will get smaller and smaller.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 01:20 PM

When I started attending Folk Clubs in the mid sixties No One used crib sheets , though this has become more and more common of late , a trend than one can only frown on . At American song sessions it would seem to be 'The Norm' , with the majority singing from "The Book"


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 01:45 PM

There was an English guy one time who used to come a session which I was prone to visit. This guy spoke German. For reasons unknown to everyone but himself, he used to insist on singing incredibly long German songs, in German, out of a book.

There was a fair bit of carpet chewing went on when that guy was around, I can tell you. But even he wasn't as bad as Kenny, who used to sing Beatles songs and play the instrumental breaks on his anorak!!

I'm glad to say that time has drawn a veil over most of the other nutters I had to endure. However, I was living in Northern Ireland in those days. Brother was I glad to get back there.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 02:02 PM

Just how you get more of the people who attend singarounds to attend guest nights (and maybe learn something which could help them improve) is the problem.

I can think of quite a few regular guests on the folk club circuit that I'd much prefer nobody tried to learn from.

Being a professional means only that you've figured out how to make money out of the tradition. It doesn't mean you're a resource for it.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 02:02 PM

I spent a number of years going to folk clubs where it was arranged as stage with audience facing. Even singers nights were of this style, two songs at a time usually and It remains my personal favourite style. I genuinely didn't know any other format. (Singarounds were things I experienced at festivals.)

The standard of entertainment for those wishing to be purely audience was fairly high generally, and young musicians found themselves in an environment where striving to achieve a performance was the norm

However, it isn't the most inclusive way of organising things and is more of a folk concert than a folk club, to be fair. In recent years, singarounds of the "this way round" have become far more prevalent. I can easily enjoy both and I get huge pleasure over seeing somebody's confidence rise and the entertainment value of their contribution increase. I would say though that a singaround is less of a spectator sport and casual onlookers sometimes wonder what the attraction is.

I do have two pet beefs about the singaround format.

Reading or sorting what you are going to do next, shuffling through folders and books whilst somebody is singing. If this is acceptable then singarounds are about self expression rather than entertainment.

I served my apprenticeship introducing songs, giving the provenance of traditional songs or why I decided to write this particular song, or why I like a song. Usually with the odd joke thrown in. I learned at the feet of masters of that art, and that is as much a tradition of the UK folk club scene as fair-isle sweaters. Nobody seems to call order in most singarounds till somebody actually starts singing. It isn't hard and fast rule fodder, but introducing songs is more of the norm at the more concert orientated folk clubs.

I am lucky in that the local clubs I try to get to and support, whilst singaround in nature are nice friendly places with a wide range of musical styles and abilities. They must think it odd that I insist on standing to play and never use a book, but thirty five years of standing to play and practicing till I know the words beforehand is me and something I will always do. (A piece of paper stuck to the guitar with first lines and key of a few songs helps these days though....)

I wrote down just about every song I know from memory and would be happy to sing at a level I considered entertainment recently. Its over 200, with plenty more ready with only a couple of hours working on them. I am sure that was typical years ago?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,#
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 02:09 PM

"Its over 200, with plenty more ready with only a couple of hours working on them. I am sure that was typical years ago?"

It was standard, that's for sure.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 02:50 PM

ubject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 11:08 AM

In the past, the best clubs were those that you field a team of their own residents good enough to take a whole evening to themselves
Singers from the floor spots gave visitors a chance to be heard and, if good enough, be invited to perform regularly.
The most imaginative clubs were those that ran workshops to enable new or inexperienced singers to develop and gain confidence.
The clubs I was involved with had a conscious policy of only having one guest night in every four - none of them ever really needed more than that as the residents were competent to take full evenings themselves, that way, we could use the door-takings for publicity and projects such as research and producing song books.
Too many guests always seemed to me to be counter-productive - far more valuable to establish a strong home-base
Jim Carroll"
Yes very good points,
but if the club does not have good resident singers, or only a couple of good residents it is better to have guests who are professional in their attitude and are good competent performers, rather than having MANY singers who are unprepared, shuffling though papers etc, most people will tolerate the occasional duff unprepared performer, but not half a dozen or ten of them.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 03:45 AM

There is no reason in the world why a club shouldn't be able to get together enough singers to hold decent singing evenings as long as people are prepared to make the effort - if they are not - why bother?
I believe that, with few very rare exceptions, anybody can become at least a proficient singer is they are prepared to work at it
Professionalism doesn't necessarily mean good - enough evidence of this to be found, god knows.
The best guest evenings I ever attended were by non-professionals anyway - Sam Larner, Harry Cox, The Stewarts, Joe Heaney, Kevin Mitchell, Walter Pardon... hardly card-carrying members of the M.U. but far more entertaining that most of the professionals I ever heard sing.
If there are enough people locally to make setting up a singing session, it is inconceivable that there aren't enough people capable of forming a good team of residents if the incentive is created without having to rely on the services of outsiders.
All too often, relying on guests became a reason for not making sure that a club developed its own quality performers - if a club is going to be of any value whatever, it has to be on the basis of a strong resident team and not having to rely on outside help.
There's nothing wrong with booking guests, but the democracy of the early folk clubs which allowed us to make our own music, sing our own songs and become aware of our own traditions without having to have them sold to us by professionals was what made folk song unique, just as being able to scratch together a group with tea-chest bases and guitars and sing and play skiffle was equally unique.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:00 AM

I think its only polite that the guests listen to the floor spots too( apart perhaps from tuning up time). One guest at Dartford recently invited one of the young floor spots to join him for a tune. What a nice touch.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:05 AM

i think there are so many variables, its difficult to generalise. as i get older i often wonder how i managed to sit so long on uncomfortable wooden chairs.

nowadays, i'd rather watch other people play and sing than do it myself in singarounds. i like seeing younger peoples enthusiasm. but if you don't sing - just sing at home - you do lose the edge somewhat. performing for other people is a skill you can't neglect.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:26 AM

"There's nothing wrong with booking guests, but the democracy of the early folk clubs which allowed us to make our own music, sing our own songs and become aware of our own traditions without having to have them sold to us by professionals was what made folk song unique, just as being able to scratch together a group with tea-chest bases and guitars and sing and play skiffle was equally unique."
I do not disagree, but my point is that those people practised,and performed without shuffling through crib sheets, is that not correct Jim? did they or did they not perform without words in front of them?
"Professionalism doesn't necessarily mean good - enough evidence of this to be found, god knows"
yes it does, it means good performance, please do not insult professional musicians, who practise hard turn up on time deliver an entertaining evening,and remember their words without crib sheets, play and musical instruments with a high level of competence, a professional musician may not necessarily be to your taste , that is a different matter.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:36 AM

"but my point is that those people practised,and performed without shuffling through crib sheets, "
Are you suggesting that residents and local singers do these things - a bit elitist, don't you think?
I woldn't get up from in front of Holby City to go and see most of the guests on the scene nowadays - but I would walk over broken glass for a night of good local singers - any day
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 05:25 AM

Excellent Jim! You and Holby City make an accurate comparison.

Holby City looks a bit like an NHS hospital but falls short on reality, detail and real life credibility.

Your narrow interpretation of folk falls short on reality, detail and real life credibility.

I see why you prefer to watch it rather than enjoy the wide wonderful genre of music the rest of us recognise.

😂😂

Hang on, that deserves a third one.

😂

There you go.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 05:32 AM

"Confidence or lack of it can make or break a performance and it should not be underestimated just how daunting it can be to perform in public or in front of musicians of much greater ability."

That is self-evident, but was always the case. Everyone who performs in public has had to face that when starting out. Even an experienced performer should still feel a frisson before facing an audience, and some would say that a touch of that helps to deliver a good performance.

The point is that in the old-style folk clubs it was clear from example that performing from songbooks or sheets was not an acceptable standard of performance. Aspiring performers knew they had to prepare themselves thoroughly. It isn't easy, but the only way to gain confidence is by standing up and doing it, and reading the words does not help with that. If you need a prop, then a discreet note taped to the guitar or held to be referred to only in an emergency might just be acceptable. Far better to learn and rehearse the song thoroughly.

When an evening regularly comprised a professional guest supported by expert residents (possibly semi-pro themselves) it set the bar high for other floor singers to aspire to. Most achieved it, or they wouldn't be invited to sing on guest nights. A singaround which accepts low standards encourages low standards - why bother to learn the skills when there is no need to?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 05:35 AM

One of the (many) disadvantages of crib sheets is that the really bad singers can now painfully bore us with longer songs. I don't go to folk clubs to endure excruciating 'recitations'!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 06:09 AM

oh bugger ! musket -cut it out, not another Tom and Jerry type thread!

don't say a word Jim, please!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 06:14 AM

With apologies to whoever wrote this, and they may be a Mudcatter.. I heard someone sing this last week and they emailed me the words, (although I actually asked for the words for something else they sang, however...)

Galway Drawl


At the local folk club, in fairest Barnsley,
One pleasant evening in the month of May,
There stood a singer, of neenah breeding
And his singing fairly took my breath away:

Ch: He had no talent, or sense of rhythm
No ear for music, no none at all….
But he sang for ages, went on for pages,
And he sang them slowly, in a Galway drawl.

He sang of Ireland, as if he'd been there,
He sang of troubles and war and pain.
He stopped eventually, we clapped politely,
So he stood and sang them all again:

He sang of rebels and Irish rovers,
The lakes, Coolphin and Ponchitrain
He sang each note, like an Irish setter
And the tears stood in our eyes with pain.

He kept on singing, we started walking,
Till the road to Dodworth came into view,
Says he to us, 'mates, all back to my place,
Where I've got another book of songs or two:


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 06:19 AM

Nice one Muskie - an attack on fellow performers - your talent is wasted talking to us lesser mortals
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 07:19 AM

I am suggesting everybody should practise so that they can perform to the best of their abilities, that they should have rehearsed and be familiar with their material, that is not elitist it is showing respect for ones material and respect for those that have come to listen.
Traditional singers like Fred Jordan who were good performers understood this, I do not recall seeing Fred ever perform with a crib sheet even when he was quite old.
here is Jim Carrolls quote, basically more Carroll Codswallop
"Are you suggesting that residents and local singers do these things - a bit elitist, don't you think?"
what is elitist about trying to perform well?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: johncharles
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 07:19 AM

Hardly any irish songs sung at Barnsley in my 30 years of going there.
john


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 07:35 AM

"what is elitist about trying to perform well?"
Your suggestion was that if we didn't want "MANY singers who are unprepared, shuffling though papers etc, most people will tolerate the occasional duff unprepared performer" we should call in the experts.
Your suggestion is both elitist and patronising.
Any club that has to do that is not doing its job properly.
"Carroll Codswallop"
You're doing it again - you talentless moron - stop fucking up threads with your arrogance and ill manners.
If you don't learn to behave you shell be sent to bed without any tea.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 08:02 AM

We've had our fun with arranging guest nights. We have two sessions every Friday evening. That is basically 104 sessions a year. We would have guest nights only 4 times per year which only affected the earlier session anyway. People still got a chance for a spot prior to the guest and the later session in the pub was always on anyway which many of the guest would also come along too. There was a minority core though who really objected to the guest evenings. They objected to the cost even though they tended not to go to the pub session where the money is collected for bringing guests; they objected to losing part of their evening even though it was only 4 times per year; they objected to the quality even though they didn't go along anyway and the quality has been consistently good. ie for instance Wizz Jones, Allan Taylor, Steve Tilston, Sarah MacQuaid, Ivan Drever etc etc. It got so that last year we suspended having guests for a year. Luckily this year we have reasserted some kind of common sense and we now have a budget again (and funding was never an issue as we have plenty of funds) for 4 perhaps 5 per year. I just don't understand why supposed musicians wouldn't want to go and see good performers really close up and intimate! I mean we're talking about audiences of a couple of dozen at most. We're a small town where the alternative is to travel distances to see anyone of note bar Ally and Phil's regular jaunt here to play in the big hall. No cost to club members for our guest nights!!! Wizz Jones even agreed to do a guitar workshop the following day as did Sarah with a dadgad workshop. Why would you rather hear the same old same old playing the same old same old week in week out?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 08:42 AM

You seem to be describing a rather tired club Allan and turning it into simply a venue for booked acts is going to turn it into just that - a venue for booked acts.
I tend to go with those who object to increasing the number of guests - if there isn't local talent enough to run a club, fair enough, but you will end up not having a club.
Developing a reliable team of residents as always been the secret wherever we were involved - it takes imagination and work.
Wherever we had a club we had a workshop run by seasoned performers to help and encourage newer singers.
We had separate non club nights where performers could work on accompaniments and again, give help to those less experienced
We developed archives of contributed material to be dipped into for building repertoires.
One of the ways we encouraged residents to add material to their repertoires was to establish a practice of singers being asked not to repeat the same songs over a set period - three months worked for us, but that would depend on the size of existing repertoires.
We encouraged projects, such as researching local songs - nights of those could be a draw to non-involved local people if advertised properly, especially in small towns.
Feature evenings of these, along with poetry and prose readings can make for great nights if done with a degree of ability.   
Feature evenings of any sort can be a great incentive to look out new songs on specific themes - Battle of the Sexes, Gone for a Soldier, Go to Sea No more.... loads of themes to think about
Even within an ordinary evening, having themed spots can work wonders.
One of the great audience-catchers for us was the 'You name it, we'll sing it' nights - audiences being asked for subjects of songs rather than specific titles - still remember the feller who passed up a slip which read "Unpaid brickie goes ape and slaughters family" - he was 'hinting' at Lamkin - magic nights, but needing work and dedication to pull them off.
For us, guest evenings were never a necessity, they were the icing on the cake.
You should onl;y book guest because you want them, not because you need them
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: rosma
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 08:52 AM

While I like a good guest night, my best folk club experiences have been at singers' nights and singarounds, whether I'm singing or not. One of the first clubs I went to had some excellent residents and I don't know how you would get onto the list as a newcomer (I wasn't even up to trying at the time).

Eventually I was persuaded to sing at another club and I've been doing so on and off since. In truth I had a few years off, and my return was not at folk clubs at all, but at sessions organised by a friend at various pubs. At some venues everyone in the pub would be listening to every word and note, in others no one but our core performers maintained an interest. It was in these sessions that I developed what performing confidence I have - and the ability to sing loudly where the atmosphere (or the song) demands it.

I'm not saying that y performance is amazing, and I know it can occasionally be dreadful, but when I do OK I think I manage to entertain and when I don't, things soon move to the next performer.

The club I attend now is purely a sing-around. While there is various ribbing about using words and playing guitars (Oh no!), neither of these props is actually ripped from anyone's hands, and they are always asked to perform next time round ;-)

It's all to do with inclusiveness; not in an "everyone's a winner" sort of way but in that the enjoyment of the evening is in the combination of performing and listening. We have some excellent regulars, and when a newcomer or visitor turns up it's always exciting to see what they perform and sometimes a real jewel emerges. Everyone who turns up is encouraged to perform - you may even be asked two or three times, but there is no compulsion, and pure audience is always welcome - in fact the organiser almost never performs!

From my past experience it wise to encourage those who aren't maybe quite as good as might be hoped, because with encouragement they may (and sometimes do) blossom into worthwhile performers.

Simon (http://dragonfolkclub.blogspot.co.uk/)


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 09:04 AM

On threads like this, the usual 'bleeding heart' excuse for crib sheets is that they are a useful prop and aid for new, inexperienced singers. But I've noticed that many 'crib-sheeters' are no better performers 5 or 6 years after they started inflicting themselves on us - and they STILL use crib sheets! I've also noticed that the use of crib sheets, by one or two people, can actually serve to lower standards at singarounds - because then other idiots thinks they only have to supply themselves with a bundle of crib sheets in order to 'have a go'.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 09:22 AM

You seem to be describing a rather tired club Allan and turning it into simply a venue for booked acts is going to turn it into just that - a venue for booked acts.

Did you actually READ Allan's message?

I fail to see how anybody could interpret it that way.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 09:24 AM

Come to think of it John, I never saw a folder come out all my years popping occasionally to The Wheatsheaf.. Must be nearly thirty years since they knocked the bugger down? Plenty of Irish songs though..

Jim knocks the idea of singers who he may not like before hearing them, but I suppose the rest of us turn up at clubs and have a good time. I am an ex performer in rock but a bloke with a guitar who does the odd floor turn in folk clubs and enjoys singarounds as per my earlier post, although I've had my moments I suppose in bands. That's why I tend to be a wee bit more comfortable in the more concert style folk clubs that are becoming few and far between.

Still, I suppose its better than watching Holby City in order to get your rocks off..


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 09:50 AM

I don't recognise the situation described by the OP as describing the scene where I live.   The difference is not so much between singarounds and "guest clubs" as between singarounds and clubs in general. True, well paid guests themselves should be more proficient than the average performer (though there are many "professionals" that I'd go out of my way to avoid) but the heart of my "folk world" is the fact that it belongs to us ordinary folk, not to a set of paid entertainers and, within us ordinary folk, the singarounds tend to come out on top of the clubs if you're looking for quality (paid guests excluded).

I don't tend to class the singarounds I go to as clubs becuase they're not private, they don't have a membership as such, they don't have an admission charge etc etc. The singarounds happen when groups of friends get together, usually in the bar or an open side room and take it in turns to sing. Anyone is free to wander in or out and, usually, newcomers are asked if they sing.   Only very occasionally does anyone have words written down and they soon pick up that it's the norm to actually know your material rather than read it. In some of the singarounds the songs are sometimes interspersed by comments and questions about a song's origins and background while in others it tends to be just songs with no discussion. I think they all work though because they have a core of people who work to know and respect the songs they sing and who sing them to the best of their ability.

I occasionally go to folk clubs (which may or may not book guests as often as once a month). Most folk clubs however seem to cater for a wider range of tastes than the mainly traditional singarounds, including Americana, blues, 60s/70s songs etc. I find these songs less to my personal taste so go less frequently. It's also these places that tend to have the "go to the front and perform two numbers" set up which seems to encourage those who like their music stands and words in front of them. I also get the feeling that they're more concerned with the image they present as entertainers (despite needing prompt sheets) than with the actual material they're singing. Professional or amateur, for me, if a singer respects the song it's likely to work; if they're just using the song as a vehicle to promote themselves it doesn't.   Not learning a song is no way to respect it.

I have a feeling that the OP may be referring to open mic events though. These I do my best to avoid entirely. Not only are they likely to have word sheets and music stands but PA systems and even spotlights. Again it seems the performer takes precedence over the songs and often once they've done their turn they'll leave. I don't personally think these events and performers have anything to do with the "folk" world that I know: I see them more as role players in a fantasy gane where they're imagining being famous pop stars.

I believe the OP makes or made a living at least partially as a paid guest at clubs. It's possible that he rarely found/finds the singarounds I've described as, unlike the clubs and open mics, they are very local sessions in out of the way places, often not advertised except by word of mouth. They'd probably be of little use to someone who needed to make money out of bookings but I'm sure he wouldn't be disappointed in the quality if he found some of them. (I believe even Messrs Carroll and Edwards might enjoy an evening at one or two (though perhaps not on the same night as GSS) as they are definitely within the "traditional idiom" even when they occasionally stray from "true folk".)


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 10:18 AM

i used to gig the irish pubs and clubs in barnsley, that would be 1998, or so.

i think the parody was pretty good musket.

i seem to remember a version they sang at The Poets Corner in the meadows part of nottingham...that was the place they set fire too when a mate of mine as gigging it.

she wore no knickers.....


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 11:39 AM

A fiver says I was in The Clinton Arms at the time, not folk music but plenty of folk watching the entertainment of Nottingham....


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 12:00 PM

Thanks Jack yes the idea was not to turn it into a venue for booked acts but just to re-establish the number of booked acts we had previously. Only 4 per annum and we meet every week at two different venues so it is only a small number of gigs. Actually we've even bent further than that in that the guest nights are now going to be on a Sunday evening so not eating in to the normal Friday nights at all. We had the first several weeks back, the American duo Hungrytown, which went off well.

We put the bottle round during the Cobbles session and part of that money goes to funding the guest nights. Members of the club, and by that we mean anyone who regularly attends and contributes to the bottle whether players or listeners, then get into the gig free. Bringing music to a small community whilst in our own small way helping professional musicians make a living. Can't see the problem.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 12:23 PM

Singing in Poets Corner?? I wouldn't even dare go drinking in there....


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 01:47 PM

"Your suggestion was that if we didn't want "MANY singers who are unprepared, shuffling though papers etc, most people will tolerate the occasional duff unprepared performer" we should call in the experts.
Your suggestion is both elitist and patronising."Jim Carroll
I said
"MANY singers who are unprepared, shuffling though papers etc, most people will tolerate the occasional duff unprepared performer"
I saidSubject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:26 AM

"There's nothing wrong with booking guests, but the democracy of the early folk clubs which allowed us to make our own music, sing our own songs and become aware of our own traditions without having to have them sold to us by professionals was what made folk song unique, just as being able to scratch together a group with tea-chest bases and guitars and sing and play skiffle was equally unique."
I do not disagree, but my point is that those people practised,and performed without shuffling through crib sheets, is that not correct Jim? did they or did they not perform without words in front of them?
"Professionalism doesn't necessarily mean good - enough evidence of this to be found, god knows"
yes it does, it means good performance, please do not insult professional musicians, who practise hard turn up on time deliver an entertaining evening,and remember their words without crib sheets, play and musical instruments with a high level of competence, a professional musician may not necessarily be to your taste , that is a different matter.Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 07:19 AM

I am suggesting everybody should practise so that they can perform to the best of their abilities, that they should have rehearsed and be familiar with their material, that is not elitist it is showing respect for ones material and respect for those that have come to listen.
Traditional singers like Fred Jordan who were good performers understood this, I do not recall seeing Fred ever perform with a crib sheet even when he was quite old.
here is Jim Carrolls quote, basically more Carroll Codswallop
"Are you suggesting that residents and local singers do these things - a bit elitist, don't you think?"
what is elitist about trying to perform well? Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 02:50 PM

ubject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 11:08 AM

In the past, the best clubs were those that you field a team of their own residents good enough to take a whole evening to themselves
Singers from the floor spots gave visitors a chance to be heard and, if good enough, be invited to perform regularly.
The most imaginative clubs were those that ran workshops to enable new or inexperienced singers to develop and gain confidence.
The clubs I was involved with had a conscious policy of only having one guest night in every four - none of them ever really needed more than that as the residents were competent to take full evenings themselves, that way, we could use the door-takings for publicity and projects such as research and producing song books.
Too many guests always seemed to me to be counter-productive - far more valuable to establish a strong home-base
Jim Carroll"
Yes very good points,
but if the club does not have good resident singers, or only a couple of good residents it is better to have guests who are professional in their attitude and are good competent performers, rather than having MANY singers who are unprepared, shuffling though papers etc, most people will tolerate the occasional duff unprepared performer, but not half a dozen or ten of them.
please stop quoting me out of context.
And please stop suggesting that Iam saying things that i have not said


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 02:14 PM

Bit of a daft post, bookiung clubs hire Pros, so of course you'd not expect them to use crib sheets. But very ftew use tham at Open Mic clubs anyway. It's worth pointing out though that artists such as Hank Williams Snr, Johnny Cash, and Jim reeves nearly always had crib sheets on the music stand. And having hear several Folk acts forget their words I have no problem with that!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 03:05 PM

Somebody even bigger-time than them:

The Concert Sinatra


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: growler
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 03:33 PM

At the Good Intent Rochester, singaround nights are open to everyone. We have accomplished musicians, trad folkies, those with crib sheets and anyone else who wants to contribute. Everyone listens or joins in and we make room for every ability. We also have a monthly guest night, for those who just want to listen


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:03 PM

isn't it possible to enjoy both sorts of clubs?

the problem has been inflation. in the early 70's, for my first teaching job i was getting thirteen quid a week. folk club acts were getting twenty five to thirty five quid for a gig.

to get three times a probationer teachers weekly wage nowadays - you would be wanting between five or six hundred quid.

the case is altered. altered considerably.

the other thing is the traddy/entertainer dichotony that sprung up in the 70's. the Carthy/Carrot wars. woe betide anyone who wasn't keen on either label. a few like Bernard Wrigley managed the situation with skill. others like Wizz Jones and Gerry Lockran went into exile. many performers who could only accomplish the high level technical skill necessary by working full time as a musician started exploring by ways of the folk world - folk rock groups, session work, etc. most traddies became semi-pro.

as Jim Carrol said - it became something of a lottery turning up at a folk club - you never knew quite what to expect.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:57 PM

I believe even Messrs Carroll and Edwards might enjoy an evening at one or two (though perhaps not on the same night as GSS) as they are definitely within the "traditional idiom" even when they occasionally stray from "true folk".

Ha! I'm a regular at two singarounds, both of which I enjoy very much indeed. And I don't only listen to traditional songs - I don't always perform traditional songs, even. I do prefer it when I'm not quite the most traditionalist performer in the room, though - I like to feel I've got a standard to live up to.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 03:28 AM

I doubt Johnny Cash or Jim Reeves flicked through books and said "I'll sing this one" having never practiced it for an audience, stopped to turn a page and half way through, give up and start again with a different song. Or ignore others, reading and sorting whilst some poor bugger is doing their bit. Maybe backstage but not sat next to them...

Like I said, I think the difference is between entertaining and self expression. Do you go mainly to hear others? Then you expect them, regardless of technical ability to make an effort or at least have practiced a song. Do you go to hear yourself? Singarounds are an excellent outlet then, but sing with your eyes closed to avoid disappointment.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 03:28 AM

have you been to ' a young persons' pub'? its crowded, the TV is on but silent, there may be flashing lights, different music is on ( live or otherwise), most have a bottle in hand, most are standing, some are dancing, many are having a conversation.
- and we expect them to have listening skills?
FloraG


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 04:14 AM

"yes it does, it means good performance"
Not always - we've argued before about a 'very professional' performer who occasionally vomited over the audience - he had an alcohol problem and unfortunately many audiences encouraged his behaviour and it became part of his act.
Good entertainment of any sort does not make good folk singing, no matter how professionally done - can't remember the number of time I've turned up to hear a 'name' I'd never heard sing before and gone home thinking "what was that all about?"
The Singers Club committee was inundated by publicity flyers from 'professional folk singer agents advertising 'their boy', who wanted to get into 'the folk scene' - we never booked any without hearing them and those who had the forethought to send recorded samples were quite often either poor performers or nothing to do with folk music whatever.
Agents are paid to promote eve when what they are promoting is crap.
"I do not disagree, but my point is that those people practised,and performed without shuffling through crib sheets, is that not correct Jim?"
You harp on this as if it is the general practice of us mere non-professionals - it is not and to suggest other wise is elitist nonsense.
"I am suggesting everybody should practise so that they can perform to the best of their abilities"
So am I - what the **** are you on about.
"basically more Carroll Codswallop"
And this is more of your gratuitous insulting - if you can't address people properly - go and learn some manners
Don't know about cl;ubs, but I'd never bother my arse to listen to such an ill-mannered lout.
You really aren't good enough as a performer or as a debater to insult anybody
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 04:18 AM

FloraG:

Usually, in that kind of establishment, there isn't a TV. TV isn't really relevant to "young persons" these days. None of my 3 have a TV in their own flats, and neither do most of their friends. Any programme watching they do, they do through their notebooks or tablets, but mostly they just don't watch it at all.

Anyway, I go to that kind of pub sometimes, usually with rock climbing or Military Fitness friends, who are (both groups) all ages from early 20s to mid 70s (I'm 59 myself). Yes, we stand around talking (loudly, above the music), holding bottles or glasses in hand. Usually bottles as they're less likely to spill than a glass, in a crowd. The music (live or otherwise) isn't "folk" by any stretch of the imagination.

However, I reckon I have "listening skills" and several of the people I attend this kind of venue with are accomplished musicians, some in their 20s or 30s, who also have "listening skills", and play/ sing/ listen at other venues. Just because you go to a noisy, crowded pub sometimes doesn't mean you can't also appreciate a different type of event.

Strangely, when I was young I also went to pubs/ events (including noisy/ crowded Led Zeppelin/ Who/ RollingStones gigs, with flashing lights etc) AS WELL as going to see local acoustic performers in upstairs rooms of pubs, where I managed to refrain from dancing around with a bottle in my hand, and sat quietly, listening.

I still enjoy both scenarios....and the odd classical concert!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 04:24 AM

"Not always - we've argued before about a 'very professional' performer who occasionally vomited over the audience - he had an alcohol problem and unfortunately many audiences encouraged his behaviour and it became part of his act."
a generalisation from one particular case, something that you do on occasions.
the vast majority of professionals are just that, professional , they turn up on time, they are well practised, they are skilled and their performance is of a high standard.
I know of only two cases of performers vomiting on audiences one was an IRISH FEMALE TRADiTIONAL SINGER AND THE OTHER WAS THE PERSON YOU ARE REFERRING TO.
2 occasions in 40 years.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 04:35 AM

One of the first things that hit me when I started going to singarounds was how much higher the standard of performance was, compared to the friendly anything-goes amateurism of the floor-singers' folk club I was used to. I don't think FCs are teaching performance skills, if they ever did.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: johncharles
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 06:00 AM

Audiences clapping politely no matter how bad the performance, and the unwillingness of people to give negative feedback or the performer to accept it; result continued poor performances.
john


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 06:26 AM

Apart from the session at Ditchling, where the standard of musicianship is superb, and generally higher than any other event I've been to, I'd say the "order of musicianship standards" of events I attend (highest to lowest) goes:

- Open Mics
- Singarounds/ Sessions
- Folk Club Floor nights

Of the two open mic sessions I attend semi-regularly, both tend to be welcoming to newcomers or the less accomplished (me included) while at the same time having generally high standards of musicianship overall, although in a variety of genres (ranging from folk, unaccompanied sometimes, too, to beatboxing).

I don't get to as many singarounds/sessions as I used to, but those I frequented regularly/ still frequent occasionally, had/have a pretty good standard generally.

I rarely go to "proper folk clubs" now but was often disappointed with the quality of the floor singing at those I did attend.

People had obviously practiced their performances much more for the open mic/ singarounds/ sessions than for the FCs, and it showed.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 06:35 AM

"a generalisation from one particular case, something that you do on occasions. "
No, unfortunately, many professionals were known as 'characters' who insulted audiences, farted around on stage, were notoriously late turning up, or when they did, arrives somewhat worse for wear - it was part of their persona and they were regarded as 'an act' rather than a singer or musician.
One of the worst tendencies was when people would pull out of a booking at the last minute, sometimes for the worst of reasons.
I was on the Singers Club committee when we were faced with replacing one extremely well-known singer who contacted us at the last minute to tell us he wouldn't be performing because he had been offered a more lucrative booking which he "felt he couldn't afford to turn down" - unprofessional professionalism, so to speak.
To be fair, this was not general, and it wasn't confined to professionals - the point I am making is that being a professional doesn't guarantee anything other than you have to pay them when they finished.
Many professionals were known for their reliability and dedication, but so were many volunteers who just did it for the love of the music.
It doesn't matter who chucks up on stage or where they come from - it is unacceptable behaviour and in the case I a referring to, a regular occurrence
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,#
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 09:30 AM

"I was on the Singers Club committee when we were faced with replacing one extremely well-known singer who contacted us at the last minute to tell us he wouldn't be performing because he had been offered a more lucrative booking which he "felt he couldn't afford to turn down" - unprofessional professionalism, so to speak."

I trust the performer was never hired by the club again.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 09:59 AM

"I trust the performer was never hired by the club again."
To be honest, he was such a respected and important singer on the scene that he was, though we made our opinions clear
Sadly, he died not too long after and is sorely missed
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 10:02 AM

Typical mudcat, lots of cross purpose arguements when one side is referring to "professional" as an attitude towards the performance and the otehr just talking about being paid.

No names - no pack drill but too many people here just can't be arsed to read the posts that they supposedly reply to.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 10:34 AM

I think we are both referring to musicians who are paid - my point is that a paid booking does not necessarily mean either a good performance or a responsible attitude from the performer.
This, as far as I can see, is perfectly relevant to the subject in hand.
As far as I am concerned, the priority for any club is to develop a half decent resident set-up.
If that means you can book guests, fine, but I don't believe it should ever be the aim of any club.
Guets can be the icing on the cake, but they should never be a necessity
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 11:24 AM

Singarounds by definition are singarounds, I suppose. A more concert orientated format is where you can cram in the punters who have heard of the act and help pay by turning up but wouldn't necessarily enjoy the wide spread of folk.

We get people who love sitting in turn hearing traditional and other songs, orally or otherwise yet wouldn't dream of paying to go to a concert and we have those who love concerts but fail to see the attraction of a singaround, whether they would join in or otherwise.

Its a broad world out there. The last time I saw Vin Garbutt, I was speaking at the bar with a couple who had seen him at a charity concert, having never heard of him and were hooked, buying his records. They heard he wss on at a more "folk club" venue, and they had never been to one before... They were complaining in the bar that the "support" as they put it were "crap" and "is that the best the promotors could find?"

I wasn't angry with them. They paid to go to a concert with no preconditions and commented on the entertainment value of what they heard.

That is perhaps the thing about guest nights.. A departure from the inclusive sharing of song, living the oral tradition dream and into the world of entertainment.

You might encourage Doris to sing it tonight but tomorrow afternoon, its back to June Tabor on your HiFi.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 01:42 PM

Re : Musket
No, of course Cash & co never did that, but then I've hardly ever seen an Amateur at an open Mic night di it either! Perhaps at the odd Singaround but Singarounds are for beginners to learn. Quite honestly the initiator of this post gave the strong impression that 'Amateurs' en masse were a bunch of crib sheet weilding idiots, FACT is the majority of Open Mic singers are as good if not better than many Guests, and usually a lot more with current trends!
p.s I went to a very busy* most entertaioing Open Mic last week and no one used crib sheets!
* The Candela Club every Wed at Coseley Working Mens club near Wolverhampton


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 02:50 PM

"In my opinion and my experience the standard[with a few exceptions] in UK Folk clubs is higher in guest booking clubs than at singaround clubs."
I never mentioned open mics, neither did I say anyone was an idiot.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 03:06 AM

"Singarounds are for beginners to learn."

A good place for it to happen, but learn what? How to "entertain?" A circular argument.

Many people at singarounds are sharing their love of song. Whether there is a striving for personal improvement depends on the person singing. Practice is a requirement of perfection but it is a huge mental leap to say singarounds are the folk kindergarten.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 03:29 AM

Personally, I don't want to spend my evenings listening to several people 'practicing'! Those people should be practicing at home - before they even think of singing to an audience - even if it's 'just' a singaround audience.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 03:58 AM

i think you can practice at home, but eventually you have to apply yourself to performing. the first time i played in public in a virtually empty club - my knees were knocking, and my picking fingers turned to jelly.

i was lucky - the people who ran the club were very friendly and encouraging, and you owe such people a great debt. i have always tried to help and encourage others even if their style wasn't my cup of tea.

the guy running that club has been one of my best friends for nearly forty years now. being dismissive and snotty about other peoples' tastes doesn't prove your expertise.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 04:04 AM

"Those people should be practicing at home"
This shud be framed and hung up on the wall of every club and open session.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 04:31 AM

Laptops and tablets now augment the crib sheets resulting in interesting contortions as the singer bends over to try to read whatever is on the screen..........The things don't sit on music stands and there isn't always a spare stool or table available.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 04:35 AM

Al, I think your experience has been echoed by anyone who has stood up to perform before an audience. I was just the same for my first time, and like you I received support from the organizers and audience. I doubt I gave them a very good performance, but they were kind and forgiving. However the rest of the evening was made up of more experienced and far better performers, so they could cope with a few minutes from a nervous novice. A full evening of it might have been another matter.

I should add that this was at a singers-only club which never booked a guest, but the standard was generally high and I knew I would have to improve to match it.

Far too many singarounds now seem to be made up largely of nervous novices with performances to match (even if they have in fact been singing for years). I think these provide a refuge for singers who rather than try to achieve higher standards to perform in a 'proper' folk club huddle together for support. Maybe that's a good thing, but it's not a club I want to go to.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 05:00 AM

One of the things I have never understood is how people who don't know a song well enough to sing it without some sort of a prop can possibly enjoy it - surely, the pleasure from singing comes from making it work, for yourself and for the audience.
This, from an extended interview we did with Ewan MacColl over a six month period in 1978 - apologies to those who have read it before.
Jim Carroll

"Now you might say that working and training to develop your voice to sing Nine Maidens A-milking Did Go or Lord Randall is calculated to destroy your original joy in singing, at least that's the argument that's put to me from time to time, or has been put to me from time to time by singers who should know better.   
The better you can do a thing the more you enjoy it.   Anybody who's ever tried to sing and got up in front of an audience and made a bloody mess of it knows that you're not enjoying it when you're making a balls of it, but you are enjoying it when it's working, when all the things you want to happen are happening.    And that can happen without training, sure it can, but it's hit or miss.   If you're training it can happen more, that's the difference.   It can't happen every time, not with anybody, although your training can stand you in good stead, it's something to fall back on, a technique, you know.   It's something that will at least make sure that you're not absolutely diabolical……………
The objective, really for the singer is to create a situation where when he starts to sing he's no longer worried about technique, he's done all that, and he can give the whole of his or her attention to the song itself, she can give her or he can give his whole attention to the sheer act of enjoying the song."


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,shezinaussie
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 05:41 AM

I was just sitting here, reflecting on my time in the UK.
I so miss the 'singaround clubs' - you have something so special - guest nights are fine, and in intricate part of the overall presentation, but the 'singaround' nights are about the contribution of everyone, which in it's self, keeps the music alive - we have some left in Aussie, but very few! Just been watching 'Sting' in his show about the shipyards - there was the Wilson boys, singing away with the gusto that has been honed by the opportunity to sing, everytime they came to a club - performers are developed from these nights - albeit, not all will develop into performers, but like any art, it is a pyramid, and there isn't a lot of room at the top, but the strength and width of the base is what gives the stability!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 05:54 AM

I do have to agree re cribbing off Lap tops and even worse recently a woman using her mobile phone! Might sound hypocritical given my views on cribbing. But I'm not actually saying crib sheets are a Good thing. But they can be left on a music stand or on a discreet stool, and having started that way myself I regularly advise others to spend more time practising at home and wean themselves off the crib sheets. But Lap Tops and mobiles I suggeet is a step way too far.
I well remember my first time in front of a live audience, and the sheer terror of it! And I died more than once on some very good stages. But I try to remember more that first time, when I got it right ish, and instead of that awful sympathy Clap, there was real warm applause, I still think perfprming is a form of madness, but it's for those satisfying moments we do it ;)


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 06:13 AM

Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 05:00 AM

One of the things I have never understood is how people who don't know a song well enough to sing it without some sort of a prop can possibly enjoy it - surely, the pleasure from singing comes from making it work, for yourself and for the audience.
This, from an extended interview we did with Ewan MacColl over a six month period in 1978 - apologies to those who have read it before.
Jim Carroll

"Now you might say that working and training to develop your voice to sing Nine Maidens A-milking Did Go or Lord Randall is calculated to destroy your original joy in singing, at least that's the argument that's put to me from time to time, or has been put to me from time to time by singers who should know better.   
The better you can do a thing the more you enjoy it.   Anybody who's ever tried to sing and got up in front of an audience and made a bloody mess of it knows that you're not enjoying it when you're making a balls of it, but you are enjoying it when it's working, when all the things you want to happen are happening.    And that can happen without training, sure it can, but it's hit or miss.   If you're training it can happen more, that's the difference.   It can't happen every time, not with anybody, although your training can stand you in good stead, it's something to fall back on, a technique, you know.   It's something that will at least make sure that you're not absolutely diabolical……………
The objective, really for the singer is to create a situation where when he starts to sing he's no longer worried about technique, he's done all that, and he can give the whole of his or her attention to the song itself, she can give her or he can give his whole attention to the sheer act of enjoying the song."
Jim, an excellent post.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 09:37 AM

hmmmm......just rently i saw a woman plug her mobile phone into the PA. This supplied a backing track and she read the words from the display - but she had to keep stopping because the words were written down so small.

more puzzling still is the singer who has been singing the same song for forty years and still needs the words written down ....

its an odd business.

i suppose its a bit like King Lear when his cruel daughters told him he couldn't keep his retinue of 100 knights. what do you need them for, they asked the old king. and he said, reason not the need.....

why people need to perform, i have no idea. but i think its better theydo, than watch big brothers celebrity ballroom x factor on ice.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 10:23 AM

Had a young lass at an open mic recently plug in her phone which supplied a backing track *and* some looped vocals in the song chorus. Unfortunately she'd forgotton to turn off the ring tone and halfway through the song the phone started ringing.

Worse still, she answered it!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 02:29 PM

Rob, sign of the times, great story


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 03:20 PM

"Al, I think your experience has been echoed by anyone who has stood up to perform before an audience. I was just the same for my first time, and like you I received support from the organizers and audience."

I hate to repeat myself but here's what I said further up the thread:

"On threads like this, the usual 'bleeding heart' excuse for crib sheets is that they are a useful prop and aid for new, inexperienced singers. But I've noticed that many 'crib-sheeters' are no better performers 5 or 6 years after they started inflicting themselves on us - and they STILL use crib sheets! I've also noticed that the use of crib sheets, by one or two people, can actually serve to lower standards at singarounds - because then other idiots thinks they only have to supply themselves with a bundle of crib sheets in order to 'have a go'."

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we should support beginners, blah, blah, blah - but ONLY if those beginners are obviously making an effort to learn their material and to sing it well.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 08:03 PM

i take your point Shimrod, i have never used a crib sheet. even as a rookie. for me , performance is sacred, its what i do, what i take seriously. even before i knew i took it seriously - i took it that seriously - gave it that much commitment.

however this business of odd buggers turning up at your club. i'm sure i've told you about the guy who came up to the stage, took a ghetto blaster out of a grubby carrier bag, and proceeded to play a cassette of of a Jack Hudson song. then there was the character who had some words on a fag packet sized piece of paper - and he read out the words of Charlie Pride's Crystal Chandelier.

you can either react with compassion, or not.

its the society we've been given. you can either spend your time wishing we all worked down the mines, and ploughed the ocean waves. or you can get on with it.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 16 Oct 14 - 12:11 PM

right on, al. i'll go with the compassion, but then I like to have a music stand too !. but that don't stop me putting passion and expression into my performance.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 12:43 AM

good for you Pete!.. As Hughie Green used to say, WE WANNA HEAR HIM!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 12:09 PM

I just love to hear the self righteous crowd banging on about "crib sheets", how good they all must be because they sing a song from memory. Err Bullshit bullshit bullshit. If a song is performed well then it doesn't matter a toss whether a crib sheet is used or not. The instances described above are all about bad performers, and the world of Folk has armies of them. Anyway who are all these self appointed guardians of Folk Music who say what we can and can't do.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 06:02 PM

" Anyway who are all these self appointed guardians of Folk Music who say what we can and can't do."

I am NOT a "self appointed guardian" and I have NEVER ordered anyone either to do something or not to do something. I have an opinion which happens to differ from yours, 'Bignige', and that's all!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 06:30 PM

If you go to a play, you don't expect to watch actors read their lines - but then again, folk music is not as important and a play.
Tis is beyond me how a singer can get any form of interpretation from a song they don't know well enough
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Oct 14 - 07:41 PM

some people reckon they can. apparently Tony Hancock never learned his lines. Marlon Brando apparently never learned a single word of the script of Julius Caesar.

anyway, personally i wouldn't want to actually refuse someone who actually wished to perform with a cribsheet.

the strange thing is - i once went into this club and a bloke was singing from a kindle thing, that he had bought a special tray to attach to the mic stand. and he had rigged up a footswitch to turn the page of the kindle.

you can't help thinking -surely it would be easier to learn the bloody thing.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 01:57 AM

I think bignige is confusing crib sheets with crib sheets here.

My beef is those buggers who sit reading and sorting whilst others are singing. You would assume they reckon everybody in the room is just waiting in quiet anticipation for their next recital.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 01:58 AM

It seems to me that the advent of crib sheets has coincided with lower standards of singing at singarounds. Has one led to the other? Well, possibly.

All I can say is that there's a bloke who comes to one of the singarounds that I attend and every time his bundle of crib sheets gets bigger and bigger and he sings longer and longer songs. His voice hasn't improved though! He still mumbles and croaks tunelessly through these increasingly epic ditties. When its his turn, I contrive to head for the bar or the gents!

The other week, another bloke turned up with a guitar. He put his crib sheet on the seat of a chair in front of him and recited from it whilst bent over his guitar. His chosen material was a 27 verse ballad. All that I could hear was a Nic Jones guitar riff, repeated 27 times, accompanied by more, barely audible, tuneless mumbling!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Hesk
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 02:27 AM

If you remember lyrics to songs, or words for a play, easily, you may not understand that others find this more difficult than you, or in extreme cases, virtually impossible.
This does not mean that they do not wish to sing, or that they are any less interested in doing so than you.
Is it possible that you may come across as smug, or "holier than thou" in your entrenched position?
A little bit of give and take might go a long way to make the singarounds a less intimidating experience for the nervous, but nevertheless, keen performer.
In my limited experience I have seen intolerance and bad manners expressed in looks, actions and comments at singarounds and festivals over the years. They would have been happier and better places without it, in what is after all, a hobby for most.
However, these occasions are infrequent. Most go just to have a good time enjoying the fun of singing and playing together in an acoustic setting.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 05:02 AM

Shimrod, Thats exactly what you are, trying to tell others, with if I might say so, a slight air if disdain, that the use of Crib sheets would not be acceptable to any serious performer.

Musket, I think you maybe confusing crib sheets with bad manners. Of course the rustling papers, and come to that, any other form of disrespectful behaviour is unacceptable. That's not the fault of the crib sheet, that's the fault of the individual concerned and their lack of consideration for others. I would accept this situation has worsened over the last few years, but that merely reflects the way society has become more intolerent.

Folk has got to accept that if promote sessions and singarounds, quite often advertised as "come along sing and song or a tune play", then you will have to accept the rough with the smooth, whatever that may mean.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 05:48 AM

If someone has learnt a song but suffers nerves or is easily put off when others join in I don't see that a nearby crib sheet (in case of mental melt down and blind panic) should be a problem.

This is quite different from someone singing from a book or whatever, having made no effort to learn the song in the first place.

Having said that, not everyone can remember song lyrics effectively and I don't see why, if a performance is good, why the performer should be condemned because they had to read the words. What happened to tolerance?

What's the difference between reading words and reading a musical score (apart possibly from the degree of difficulty in remembering the latter)?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 06:02 AM

Agree 100% it shouldn't be a problem. Folk Clubs are maybe the only venue where ordinary people can get a platform to perform, some good some not so, just the way it is.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 06:45 AM

Well, call me old-fashioned, but I believe that its all a matter of rights AND responsibilities. Obviously everyone should have the right to sing at singarounds but with that right comes a RESPONSIBILITY to entertain your audience and fellow singers - not subject them to an excruciating ordeal! Often that comes down to putting the work in beforehand. I think that the MINIMUM effort that a singer should put in is to learn the words of his/her song(s). And please don't give me that crap about poor/defective memories! Often the excuse of a 'poor memory' hides a bad case of 'lazyitis'. If anyone turns up at the singaround that I attend with a crib sheet, I just assume that they're a lazy git ... unless, of course, they produce a doctor's note ...


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 06:50 AM

dunno about that...seems like Shimrod has a lot to put up with.

what i generally do in the circumstances is this...you see these people aren't completely stupid. they see that you know what you're doing - they see that your spot is well received, and that that theirs isn't.

start off by complimenting him on the nic jones riff. then say - look i think i can help you put together a stronger performance, and make some constructive suggestions. show that you CARE and you've thought about ways forward for him.

alternatively you could tip him the black spot.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 07:41 AM

Are we over complicating this?

I personally have never viewed singarounds as performance, but are more about self entertainment, a group of (hopefully) like minded people singing and playing for the pure pleasure of doing it.

The singarounds I've attended have always been friendly, welcoming and inclusive, if someone is not of a particularly good standard, or needs to use a cheat sheet or whatever, that's not an issue as they are not 'performing', they are 'taking part'.

A 'performance' is a different matter altogether, where one is 'playing' to an audience, who have probably paid for the privilege of being there, I would expect, even at an amateur level, that the 'performance' had been rehearsed and the material properly learned.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 07:51 AM

well yes BH, but Shimrod's got this situation to deal with. he could find himself with an empty club. every folk club presents its own challenges, and you have to try .....


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 08:21 AM

In the past, I have been moved and inspired by singers at singarounds ... but that seems to happen less and less these days.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 09:19 AM

In the past, I have been moved and inspired by singers at singarounds ... but that seems to happen less and less these days.

I suspect that may be partly due to familiarity,as you get older and more experienced there is less new and different material to enjoy,in a nutshell "you've heard it all before"
There have always been new and weaker performers,some have failed to improve,some have eventually blossomed.
I think also many clubs may be more forgiving to some weak performers because they are long standing attendees and regarded as friends.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 09:21 AM

Guest above is me


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 10:06 AM

Good performers bad performers, its all subjective. The only rule for me is no rules. Guest Derrick talks the most sense.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 01:01 PM

Which is why the clubs are dying, if not dead.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 04:42 PM

Why because of bad performers?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 05:06 PM

"The only rule for me is no rules."

So you're in favour of chaos and anarchy are you, Bignige? All human societies and organisations rely on rules - both explicit and implicit - in order to function properly. If you don't believe me, just try driving down the motorway, at 90 mph, against the follow of the traffic ... err ... on second thoughts, don't try that! Rules are just one of those aspects of life that you just have to learn to live with.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Oct 14 - 06:18 PM

of course u try and formulate a club policy. but you have be prepared to do whatever to make it work. after all its about people, and people are unpredictable - i have found!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 19 Oct 14 - 02:34 AM

" ...against the FLOW of the traffic" - not "follow" - shouldn't post just before bed time!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 19 Oct 14 - 03:57 AM

We have one member who has a repertoire of only about four or five songs yet always uses a crib sheet and not only that he never takes his eyes of the sheet. I think it is maybe a device to get over nerves and forget the audience is there. I've seen others need no crib sheet at all yet give poor performances. However we have a performer who always uses a crib sheet (freely admits he struggles to learn words) yet gives great performances engaging with the audience. In fact you don't even realise the sheets are there. So he only makes the occasional glance or maybe it is more a crutch in case he needs to glance! So I don't think it is impossible to give great performances with a crib sheet!

Of course there are plenty of types of performers where having music or words (ie choral singers) is the norm!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 19 Oct 14 - 05:21 AM

"Only rules are there are no rules",

Shimrod, I think you know very well what I mean! My whole argument is that in singaround/session environments each performer has the right to perform in whatever way they like without people like you telling them this isn't right or that's not acceptable. However, I would concede that any Guest artist who is being paid, and entrance fees being charged should take the trouble to learn their material. If they don't your answer is simple, don't go to see them.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Oct 14 - 05:38 AM

this mate of mine was sitting next to this bloke who was embarked on singing i tell me ma!.....a song he had been singing for about forty years, from a cribsheet.

being of a jovial turn of mind, he turned over the cribsheet. whilst singer was occupied strumming his guitar.

unbelievably the guy stopped singing. and shouted -why did you do that....! outrage!
its just an odd business....


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Oct 14 - 06:03 AM

It is all a question of balance, music is about enjoyment, but enjoyment for both the performer and audience.
I would consider a get together in someones house where there is no charge and no money being paid to a performer as a different situation from a public place where there is a cover charge or a collection,
i have seen one or two performers perform well from crib sheets but generally my experience has been the opposite., those that i have seen perform well are probably those that have practised a lot with a crib sheet, that is better than not practising when using a crib sheet. practising with a crib sheet in my opinion means not just rehearsing the words but practsing looking up at the audience from time to time[ momentarily looking away from the sheet etc], a good idea peerhaps is to practise in front of a mirror   
finally it is not up to me to dictate what should happen, if someone does not like what is happening they can leave, unfortunately in my experience this generally means that the more practised performers who dont use crib sheets tend to leave.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 19 Oct 14 - 09:04 AM

"My whole argument is that in singaround/session environments each performer has the right to perform in whatever way they like without people like you telling them this isn't right or that's not acceptable."

But, Bignige, I am expressing an opinion - not dictating to anyone. Whether crib sheet users pay me any heed is down to their individual consciences.

In addition, I think that the distinction that you and others make between a paid performance and a singaround situation is a false one. Surely, every singer should give of his/her best whatever the situation. After all, does a professional like Martin Carthy (or GSS for that matter) deliberately give a poorer performance when singing to members of his family?

Traditional singers, like Harry Cox, Sam Larner, Caroline Hughes etc., etc., etc. would often sing to their mates in the local pub or to their families. Did they deliberately lower their standards if they weren't being paid, I wonder?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Oct 14 - 09:24 AM

"but enjoyment for both the performer and audience."
There is no reason why a bunch of people should 'enjoy' poor, ill-prepared singing and I can't imagine why a singer should enjoy singing badly.
This argument only seems to be applied to folk song, as if it is somehow of less value than any other form of music or performing art.
Imagine a singer turning up to sing Tosca and saying, "I haven't learned this yet, so, if you don't mind, I'll read it off my phone".
Practice is essential, but not in public - you wouldn't get away with it anywhere else - why should folk singing be an exception?
We all have trouble remembering words - just wait till you reach 70-odd, but there are tricks to learning and remembering songs and if you can't manage to tackle something as basic as that, I don't thing, for yours or the listeners sake you really shouldn't be singing in public.
Every club I've been involved with, certainly over the last 3o years, has had a facility for helping new singers to overcome the basic hurdles of being a singer - in some cases, we have gone much further.
It shouldn't be just a matter of wanting to sing, certainly if you're no prepared to put in the work.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 19 Oct 14 - 05:40 PM

I am assuming that Tosca is an opera piece. if correct I imagine the musos and singers are reading from music. I also imagine that if it is opera it will cost a few bob to go see it. a singaround is mostly keen amateurs. and I guess that they wont be to sad to see the elitist performers go off and start their own club. it might be as well for any elitist club to say upfront, at the door, that only star quality is allowed !
I hear that a by invitation festival this year was a bit of a flop.
maybe no one applied, lest they be turned down !.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Oct 14 - 05:52 PM

"I imagine the musos and singers are reading from music"
The musicians aare, th singers are not
The accusation of 'elitism' is always a cop-out; if you want to sing, fine, get around someone's kitchen table and sing your hearts out - we do anyway.
If you intend to open your club to the public, you take on the responsibility towards anybody who comes through your door, whether they pay or not, and if they do, however much you charge them - they have taken the trouble to leave the tele and go out to hear some singing.
If you are involved in any particular form of music, you also take on a responsibility not to allow the performance of that music to fall below competent, otherwise it becomes a target for mockery and abuse, as folk song too often is.
It is not "elitism" to ask that a singer can sing in tune or remember words - nobody is suggesting virtuoso standards, just basic competence - achievable by any individual with a minimum amount of work and dedication.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 19 Oct 14 - 06:38 PM

Claiming contemporary folk isnt folk is elitist though, to be fair..

😎


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Oct 14 - 06:47 PM

Take your argument to where it belongs and don't nause up another thread
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 19 Oct 14 - 07:25 PM

I'm still struggling a bit with this one. Is everyone saying that taking part in a singaround is a 'performance'?

Surely the pupose of a singaround is to join with friends and like minded people for one's own enjoyment, there is no 'audience' as such, and as I've said before, the singarounds I've been to are friendy and inclusive, and encourage people who want to sing for their own pleasure, but may not be people who would 'perform' in the sense that I would understand.

Is my understanding and expectations from a singaround different to everyone else?

John


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 01:28 AM

"Is everyone saying that taking part in a singaround is a 'performance'? "

Basically, yes. What else is it?

"Is my understanding and expectations from a singaround different to everyone else?"

Sadly, no.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 02:18 AM

On balance I'm with Shimrod, notwithstanding recalling the first time I got up in a folk club to sing a folk song. I was a teenager who to be fair was used to performing albeit in a rock band hiding behind effects and PA system, or in a youth orchestra where second violin could easily hide mistakes and nobody was staring at me.

The welcoming applause for my efforts is something I still remember.

But I also remember thinking that regardless of the polite applause, people prefer to be entertained if possible and to try and up my game each and every time I get up and sing.

I'm not convinced of singarounds as an evening of passive entertainment for the listeners as it is not always easy to introduce a song, the provenance of a traditional song, the context of a radio ballad, why you or Vin Garbutt or whoever wrote this particular folk song. Often it's starting to sing that makes others stop talking over you.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: AlbertsLion
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 03:02 AM

interesting thread having just realised I've been 'folk singing' in one form or another, for fifty years (more if you count compulsory 'singing tohether' in junior school). My introduction to grown up folk clubs, no entry when singer on etc was the early revival Wigan FC circa 1966 and I haven't stopped since. I started and ran a couple of clubs along the 'traditional' format in the past but in my part of the world (SW Wales) time has moved those sort of clubs on and what is left are acoustic sessions and 'open mic' nights. Various people have tried to reintroduce the old style folk club but it hasn't worked. Society has changed but for me the important thing is to play/sing with a bunch of like minded friends who can play their instruments and mostly remember the words but also welcome beginners and even folk with words on paper if necessary. An audience is a bonus (feedback and ego boosting) and free beer is doubly welcome!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 04:06 AM

If you are singing to other people then it is a performance, no matter how informal the situation. Surely when you sing to other people you hope to entertain them (and to be entertained when they sing) otherwise why do it? Seriously, what is the point? If you want to sing, that's what bathrooms were invented for.

Being able to memorise a song isn't a gift, it's a skill which has to be learned and practiced. Using a crib is an obstacle to both.

Neither is amateurism an excuse. All around the country people are playing and singing in amateur orchestras, choirs, brass bands etc many of which demand, and achieve, the highest standards of musicianship. Many of the performers at folk festivals are amateur, in the sense that they don't make a living from it. 'Amateur' shouldn't mean low standards.

Claims about professionals using cribs, or performers who successfully engage with the audience despite using a crib, miss the point. These are exceptions - the sad reality is that in the majority of cases singers who rely on cribs don't engage with the audience and don't show adquate preparation.

It's not really about the format. Folk clubs should welcome those who wish to sing, and a singaround may be a less intimidating format but also more likely to tolerate the practice. Encouraging participation isn't the issue, and if a group of people wish to give that aspect priority that's up to them. It's the lack of incentive then to improve, both by encouragement and example, which is the complaint. Folk music deserves better.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: r.padgett
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 04:39 AM

Totally agree with Howard above!

Singarounds for me help with live practice for the more intimidating

folk clubs where people pay money to hear a "guest" even floor singers

need to be good and practiced ~ sing from memory as soon as you can and use mnemonics to remember verses and any others tricks

songs should be meaningful, entertaining, comic, historical, and the usual sort of categories which we sing about ~ if it means nothing I personally can't learn it!

Ray


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 05:13 AM

Now we're cooking on gas!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 05:19 AM

So from the comments, it does look as though I have a different view of singarounds to most. To be fair, I don't get to as many as I probably should, but just to say again, my experience of singarounds in this part of the world is that they are about 'taking part' rather than 'performing' and are friendly and inclusive.

I don't see sitting round in a group of friends taking turns to sing as a performance, but taking part for the pleasure of doing so.

Performing, to me is being in front of an audience, not other singers, who may or may not have paid to be there, and should expect a polished 'show'

John


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 06:04 AM

when you think about it. everywhere you sing is different. each venue imposes its own disciplines.

the effectiveness of your performance is conditioned by all sorts of things - the shape of the room, the cleverness of the sound man, the carpetting, the way the chairs have been laid out, your position on the bill.

as you get more experience, you will know which instruments to choose, which song to pick - and generally the craft of performing. that's why its important for more experienced players and singers to set an example, and pass on the craft. no one comes into this business fully formed as an artist. the more experienced performer will usually be able to maximise the situation to his advantage.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 07:45 AM

"I don't see sitting round in a group of friends taking turns to sing as a performance, but taking part for the pleasure of doing so."

But whose pleasure? If it's only for the singer's own pleasure it's just self-indulgence. It should also be for the pleasure of the listeners. That requires proper preparation to think about the song, work out the best phrasing, and deliver it to the best of one's ability. That's all I mean by 'performance'. Shouldn't a group of friends be entitled to expect that from each other? And is it really too much to ask from people who apparently love the music and enjoy singing?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: johncharles
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 07:55 AM

Given what has been said here it would seem there are large numbers of people who routinely use crib sheets, plus large numbers who perform at an unacceptably low level. How do people propose to remedy this without losing a significant proportion of the current folk club participants.
john


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 08:22 AM

I think if it has been a long standing practice to allow their use it is difficult to call a halt to the practice overnight, but I think a campaign of 'discouragement'by drawing attention to is is in order - a simple statement that you are intending to try and phase it out.
I noticed on a London singaround website a gentle slap on the wrist to a couple of regulars - not unpleasant enough to give offence.
The ideal would be to offer help to singers who wished to develop - often a two way street in drawing in volunteers.
I have never understood the active support for the practice - do people actually believe that those who persist are incapable of learning songs - are the songs not worth the effort?
Beyond me
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 08:57 AM

"I have never understood the active support for the practice -"

Unfortunately, Jim, the excuse, "I've got a poor memory" is often taken at face value - at least it is at the singaround that I occasionally attend (it has to be said, less and less regularly these days). I'm afraid that, if I was the singaround organiser, I would probably make myself very unpopular by asking any crib sheet using participants to bring a 'doctor's note' to the next session!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 09:37 AM

Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: johncharles - PM
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 07:55 AM

"Given what has been said here it would seem there are large numbers of people who routinely use crib sheets, plus large numbers who perform at an unacceptably low level. How do people propose to remedy this without losing a significant proportion of the current folk club participants"
practise, even practising with a crib sheet is better than not practising with a crib sheet, it must be possible to perform to a good standard with a crib sheet if it is practised, personally i would prefer if people practised and got to a good standard without a crib sheet, but practising with a crib sheet has got to be better than not practising with a crib sheet, turning up to perform unpractised.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 09:46 AM

the thing is - sometimes they have massive ringbinders, several volumes and they have this sort of professorial air as they delve amongst their papers to find out what will inspire them.

a slap on the wrist would be a dreadful impertinence.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 10:07 AM

'But whose pleasure? If it's only for the singer's own pleasure it's just self-indulgence

Perhaps it is self-indulgent Howard, surely that's exactly why people go to singarounds, because they want to sing for their own pleasure. That's exactly why I would go to a singaround, and when I go, I would be supportive of those who are doing the same, but are not the world's best singer/musician.

I go to 'perform' elsewhere.

John


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 10:25 AM

Just a further thought to my previous post, and to hopefully clarify where I'm coming from, when I go somewhere to perform, it is by invitation from someone else, club or festival organisers, local event organisers etc. When I go to a singaround it is because I choose to myself.

John


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 11:24 AM

If you want to sing for your own pleasure then I recommend the bathroom. If you're going to sing in the presence of other people, and especially if you expect them to listen, then surely you have a responsibility to them to try do it sufficiently well that they will want to listen. Otherwise its just plain rude.

It appears to me that whilst some singarounds are keen to encourage people to sing (which is entirely commendable) they don't want to take the responsibility to encourage them to improve, and provide them with an environment in which they don't need to, and perhaps don't even see the need to. I'm sure they and their audience would enjoy it even more if they could be encouraged to gain the skills and started to get real, rather than sympathy, applause.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 11:28 AM

"when I go somewhere to perform, it is by invitation from someone else ... When I go to a singaround it is because I choose to myself. "

I understand the distinction you are making, but I think its a false one. In my opinion, in both cases you owe the same 'duty of care' to the people you're singing for to sing the song to the best of your ability. Whether they're lined up in rows looking at a stage or gathered informally in a back room shouldn't matter.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 11:47 AM

So how about the old boy the Howard, who pops up from time to time at a singaround near me, who in his day was a competent singer, but now struggles with memory, so does sometimes refer to words, and his voice is old and croaky, obviously there is no chance of encouraging him to improve, should he be denied the opportunity to join in?

I still don't see singarounds as singing to an audience, those participating are there because they choose to go because they want to sing themselves, and only to be 'entertained' in the sense that they are part of the evening, and if the singaround takes place in an open building like a pub, chances are those not there to take part are there in spite of the singaround and not because of it.

I've been singing in the shower for years, good place to learn words for new songs, but I find the instruments tend to get a bit soggy :)

John


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 12:05 PM

One of the great problems with weaker and less experienced performers (crib sheets are an indication of these) is, of course, that they can impact on the performances of others as far as the audience is concerned.
Get a run of three - for reasonable to well performed songs followed by a poor performer, and the atmosphere in the room plummets, leaving the better performers to have to lift it again.
I'm not suggesting that people should be disqualified through lack of experience, but the fact that there are such people who wish to sing has to be recognised and catered for - this can be done by thoughtful M.C-ing.
In recent years in Ireland, 'singing circles' have become very popular, basically bar-room gatherings where the night it turned over to singing - County Clare has a dozen of them, I'm told.
The best of them are the ones with a firm but friendly hand running th proceedings.
Our nearest one is run by the landlady, who, while she isn't a singer herself, is an enthusiast with a good ear.
If things fall into a rut, he will nod or point to a singers who she thinks will lift the proceedings.
Democracy is all very well, but..... 'a camel can be a horse designed by a committee" as they say!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: johncharles
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 12:30 PM

"folk gatherings" are, by and large, polite and forgiving audiences, an individuals, best, may still be a poor performance but the audience will clap and move on.
I suspect we all have some degree of self-delusion with regard to our performing ability. It harms no one.
john


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 12:36 PM

all very well - but pulling the audience together, after they've been rent assunder by the over indulgent and over ambitious egos - its not usually what you had in mind for a night out.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 12:48 PM

Jim, I agree with you an excellent post. a good MC knows his stronger singers or what kind of songs his singers tend to sing and arranges the running order in a precise way.
even if people are singing from crib sheets, presEntation is important, be prepared, have options of songs sorted in your mind, have the songs readily accessible, and if you are going to use crib sheets practise with them, practise PERFORMING., IT IS POSSIBLE WITH LOTS OF PRACTICE TO PERFORM WELL WITH CRIB SHEETS,I think it is often a barrier between an audience and performer.
here I am with some other bods using music a in 1985, of course this music is very complicated and would be difficult to play without musichttp://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/5148


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 02:35 PM

"over indulgent and over ambitious egos"
Which come in all shapes and sizes, those who are proficient singers and those who couldn't get two notes to relate to each other
the Singers Club did not follow a singaround policy - we had a strong team of residents and it was those the audience came to hear, so we restricted the large number of floor singers to one song each, always in the first half, just before the interval.
One regular was a woman who literally couldn't hold a tune, invariably forgot the words and selected long, difficult songs.
She made a point of getting there early and sitting in the front row, knitting like M'm Lefarge and apparently taking no interest in the proceedings.
Things got so bad that residents would ask the doorkeeper "is C... in tonight?", before they steeled themselves to come in.
She often had problems establishing the tune and would ask the audience to help her out, and on the regular occasions she forgot words she would stare at the ceiling for long periods until they came back to her - 'Nightmare at The Union Tavern'.
Eventually she stopped coming, but shortly afterwards the organising committee received two letters, one from her, one from her feller, saying they were resigning their membership because of our one-song policy.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Howard Jones
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 03:17 PM

Bounty Hound, it's a question of semantics, I regard anyone who is listening to a song as audience, even if only for the duration of that song. Whatever you like to call it, surely you agree that the people listening are entitled to the same level of performance from you as a 'proper audience'?

I'm not suggesting anyone should be banned from singing (although I can think of one or two... !). Each case on its merits. However very few people have genuine problems with memory, in most cases where they have difficulty memorising words it's because they haven't trained their memory.

It's about normalising behaviour. When I started it was not normal to use books or cribs, at least not openly, and as a novice singer it was obvious to me (and to other novices) without being told that I was expected to learn and understand the song, think about how to deliver it, and learn to control my nerves. Now it seems that all too often those messages aren't coming across. By trying to be kind and inclusive there's a danger of holding people back by not encouraging them to build their skills and confidence. It may help to get them started but it's not doing them favours in the long run.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 04:09 PM

on the subject of the Singers club, there were a lot of people who would not go near the place because of their singing policy, and that was nothing to do with people being allowed one song.
Jim Carrolls post is interesting because he criticises a singer who could not remember her words, he criticises her for asking for help with the tune, he criticises her for knitting.
A night at the Singers Club, Jim makes it sound like a bundle of laughs.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 04:44 PM

the woman sounds as if she could do with a cribsheet. or a gag, or something. with a cribsheet, it would have cut down on the time she was staring at the ceiling.

its that business of when the organiser singles you out to lead the company out of the slough of despond. at some level -its abit flattering. on another - you think, well i won't be able to do the song i want to do.......


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 05:23 PM

"A night at the Singers Club, Jim makes it sound like a bundle of laughs."
"On the other hand, it was the longest running well attended policy in Britain with residents who remained dedicated to folk singing (proper) throughout their lives - Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger, A. L. Lloyd, Seamus Ennis, Joe Heaney, Dominic Behan, Sandra Kerr, Frankie Armstrong, Bob Blair, Terry Yarnell..... and the guests, Sam Larner, Harry Cox, The Stewarts, Jeannie Robertson, Lizzie Higgins, Walter Pardon, Bobby Casey, Willie Scott, Kevin Burke, Kevin Mitchell, Paddy Tunney, Ravi Shankar, The Batish Family, Kali Das Gupta, Mike Seeger, Tom Paley, Peter Bellamy.......
And the legacy, The Long Harvest, Blood and Roses, Feature Evenings, Folk Theatre, The Festival of Fools, The Critics Group, how did we put up with it?
But there again, I was only a regular for nearly twenty years.
Beats what's happening today as far as I'm concerned and left an indelible record of what could happen when you set your mind to it and you'd never hear a Buddy Holly Wannabe
Give us a break Dick...... those who can't criticise - always the way.
I assume by your comments that you approve of the lady who fucked up dozens of evening for the many hundreds of people who filled the place throughout her visitations.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 05:43 PM

I use crib sheets now and then when I'm trying out a new song at the local sessions. It's better than having that long pregnant pause trying to remember the next line or missing out a few verses.
For me, songs need to be honed in front of a live audience. No matter how much I practise a new song it's never really broken in till it's sung before two or more people.

I rest my case, your 'honer'


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 06:08 PM

"I assume by your comments that you approve of the lady who fucked up dozens of evening for the many hundreds of people who filled the place throughout her visitations."
why, would you assume that?
I said your description made it sound like a bundle of laughs.
, might i point out there are a number of clubs who have definite booking policies and those clubs include Southport bothy , swindon, stockton,st neots,bodmin, faversham, Lewes[ sat]lewes Thursday that have run for much longer[fact] Than the SINGERS CLUB, some of those clubs have run for fifty years
i happen to now Jim, because i have played 7 out of the 8, and six of those seven many times, A few facts, as regards Stockton folk club [established 1962] I have been the performer who was booked the most in fifty years 25 times, Swindon folk club established 1960 at least a dozen times, Bodmin folk club 1968, 5 or 6 times,I speak from experience, there are a sizeable number of clubs with definite booking policies who have been in existence for longer than the lifetime of the singers club.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Oct 14 - 06:35 PM

"I said your description made it sound like a bundle of laughs. "
Surprising enough, I found myself sorry for both her and the audience, her because she obviously not the full shilling and the audience because of their having their evening fucked up - but there again, I'm not a professional folk singer and don't understand the subtleties of entertaining an audience!
The Singers Club was either the first or the second established folk clubs (depending o whether you count the sessions run with Alan Lomax at The Theatre Royal, Stratford - mid-to-late 1950s) and unwavering dedicated itself to traditional music throughout its existence (fact)
Throughout that time, it pushed the boundaries out to exploring every aspect of the music without having to resort to the pop music industry because the audience numbers were falling.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 04:51 AM

So, let's sum up then:

My primary reason for trudging to my local singaround, on a cold, wet night in January, should be to listen to, and be nice to, 'beginners'(who often never seem to get any better)and the souless, tuneless recitations of lazy gits who can't be bothered to learn the words to their songs ... Oh, I'm sorry, that last bit should have read, "unfortunate people with impaired memories" - silly me!

Now me being a nasty, selfish piece of work, would prefer to be entertained, moved and inspired by my fellow singers - but that's just me! What am I like?! I also confess to an almost irresistible urge to punch the numpties described above, hard, in the face! Sadly, though, the dreary, bureaucratic, 'killjoy' society in which I live has rules (huh!) against that sort of thing (huh!).


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 05:09 AM

"Surprising enough, I found myself sorry for both her and the audience, her because she obviously not the full shilling and the audience because of their having their evening fucked up"
I am pleased to hear it, during your last post it occurred to me that her lack of confidence might not have been helped by to quote you "Things got so bad that residents would ask the doorkeeper "is C... in tonight?", before they steeled themselves to come in." it is in my opinion possible that she picked up on this atmosphere and it made her more nervous.
I understand that handling that kind of situation is not easy, but maybe the residents should not have had that attitude either?
To return to the original post, perhaps what is needed are workshops on performance and workshops on how to improve performance when using crib sheets.
I have seen the occasional good performance with crib sheets so it is possible, I prefer to see people not using crib sheets and performing well, but it has to be preferable to see a good performance with crib sheets rather than a bad performance with crib sheet.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 05:52 AM

I'm still very much of the opinion that people go to singarounds because they want to join in, and sing themselves, and the 'entertainment' is from being part of the crowd and taking part.

If I want just to sit and listen and be 'entertained' I would book tickets to see a performer who I know will achieve that for me.

I go to a singaround (as I did last night) with the expectation that the standard will be varied, as I know full well there will be people there to take part who have no illusions of wishing to be the polished professional performer, and just want to sing for the fun of it. I know there will be the old chap with failing memory who once was a good singer, but now relies on cheat sheets, I know there will be those who are still learning, and I know there will be those who are confident and well versed in performing skills.

In short, I see a singaround as 'self entertainment' and none of us are in a position to judge who can take part.

Are singarounds so very different in other parts of the country?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 06:19 AM

"her lack of confidence might not have been helped by to quote you "
Her lack of confidence should never have been on display in the Singers Club in the first place and had she not been so persistent and those involved so concerned about hurting her feelings, it never would have - a far cry from your finding her like "a bundle of laughs" - not my idea of the way a club should be run, obvious yours.
It is understandably that singers should prepare themselves in advance to deal with her behaviour - some of them, having forewarned themselves, managed to minimise the damage on a could of occasions.
Her bad singing was not nervous - she was asked on a number of occasions would she like to join 'London Singer's Workshop' and she said she didn't feel she needed to - she was totally unaware that she couldn't sing, that's why she choe long songs and difficult tune - it was more a case of over-confidence, if anything - something several singers not a million miles away need to be aware of
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: johncharles
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 07:10 AM

Perhaps some of the more critical members on this thread could point us to online examples of their performances so that we can see what level we should be aspiring to.
john


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 07:35 AM

Bounty Hound, I entirely recognise your description of a singaround. I am not suggesting that people should be prevented from participating, and it is in the nature of these things that the standard will be varied.

The point I am trying to make is that by allowing people to rely on books and cribs they are not being allowed the opportunity to improve, to train their memory and to gain confidence. I'm sure that even among those who just want to sing for the fun of it there are many would like to get better, and to know that the applause they get is genuine and not just a sympathy vote.

I'm not suggesting being prescriptive, but by establishing that the norm should be to perform without prompts if possible, and by offering gentle encouragement and help towards that, many people will find that their singing improves and their confidence increases without them. Of course, you can't reach everyone, and I'm not expecting everyone to achieve professional standards, but everyone should be encouraged to achieve their best. A culture which accepts the lowest standards unquestioningly may be encouraging to novices singing in public for the first time but offers them no incentive to improve.

My other point is that when it comes to one's own turn to sing then the other participants in a singaround deserve the same level of performance from you that you would hope to deliver to a more formal audience. In both cases the singer should be aspiring to produce their best performance.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 07:47 AM

"Perhaps some of the more critical members on this thread could point us to online examples of their performances so that we can see what level we should be aspiring to."
Not in a position to do this, but I dn't feel it is necessary anyway - surely anybody knows when a singer is constantly out of tune or cannot sing without a crib sheet - it really is as simple as that, the ability to give forth articulately and in tune - nothing more
You might hope that all siners seek to improve themselves, but that is no part of this discussion
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 07:49 AM

Jim, i said
"A night at the Singers Club, Jim makes it sound like a bundle of laughs." I did not say I found her " a bundle of laughs", please stop misquoting me.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: johncharles
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 07:54 AM

"surely anybody knows when a singer is constantly out of tune" - except in many cases the singer themselves.
john


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 08:31 AM

" except in many cases the singer themselves."
If this is the case, you have to decide what you, as a club member or even just as a listener, do about it.
I believe that that below standard singing is one of the factors that helped empty the folk clubs - the decline in attendances was marked by a series of articles and letters in The Folk Review entitled, 'Crap Begets Crap' as far back as the eighties.   
There were many voices raised at the time claiming that if standards weren't maintained, clubs would suffer - whether it was this that caused it, suffer they did.
Now there seems to be open support for abandoning a lower level of expectation for anybody who sings in public.
I am totally at a loss to understand why people are prepared to encourage singers who haven't even mastered the most basic of skills to sing in public - it's been said enough hear - it isn't doing anybody any favours to encourage them to make an eejit of themselves in public, and it certainly does neither the club nor the listener any good.
Is it so wrong to expect a singer to come prepared?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 08:53 AM

I do understand where you are coming from Howard, but it seems to me that there are a large number of people who would attend a singaround who are motivated purely by a love of folk song and the desire to sing, but have no aspirations to 'perform', and therefore welcome the chance to get together with a group of friends (or at least acquaintances) where they can do so in an un pressured environment.

From a personal point of view, I would never perform a song to a 'formal' audience that I was not 100% confident of,(although, like even the consummate professionals I'll make the odd slip and forget words!) but I would feel quite comfortable to 'test run' a song I was in the process learning, or drag out an old song that does not normally feature in my current repertoire at a singaround where I was known.

John


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: johncharles
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 09:15 AM

Jim - see last years thread "criticism at singarounds" Don't want to go there again.
john


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 09:17 AM

Prompted by what Jim has just said, and a comment from Howard on another thread, I've often expressed concern about being too accepting and encouraging people to 'perform' who are not actually good enough.

As you will have gathered, I'm very much of the opinion that the 'singaround' situation should be inclusive and accepting, but I've seen numerous instances of people performing, (floor spots, open nights etc) who really have not yet mastered their craft, but are then told how wonderful they are, whereas perhaps there should be more honest feedback.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 09:49 AM

Bounty Hound, singarounds are of course very different from concerts and I am not suggesting putting anyone under pressure. And on reflection I take your point about using singarounds to test-drive new pieces, although in general I think my point about trying to produce your best peformance regardless of the setup still applies.

'Performance' and 'audience' appear to be loaded words for you. To my mind, if you sing to someone else you are performing, and they are audience. When I use them they carry no additional connotations. However I still maintain that you should always try to achieve one's best, and I believe that even those who do it just for fun would still want to do that. I am not dictating what level their best should be.

When I began singing there were three clubs I visited regularly - two had regular guests with the occasional singers' night, the other was floorsingers-only but in a concert format. In all cases it was the norm that songbooks would not usually be used. No one was prevented from using them, but it was clear by example that you were expected to learn your material.   The standard was generally high, but anyone who wished to sing was encouraged to do so, and encouraged to improve (not all did). The incentive was to be invited to do a floorspot on a guest night. Perhaps this was too intimidating for some, but there was nevertheless a steady supply of people wishing to sing. These clubs gave me the opportunity to enjoy both singing myself and listening to others.

A large number of folk clubs now appear to be singarounds where relying on prompts has become the norm. No doubt this is attractive to novice singers lacking in confidence, and perhaps this is a good thing. But with no incentive for them to develop skills and build their confidence, the result is an evening of poor performances interrupted by people shuffling through their books to find their next song. Perhaps for you the social element makes up for this. I'm afraid for me they're a turn-off, and I'm not prepared to put myself through that for the chance to do a couple of songs myself.

Ironically, this is happening at a time when the performance standards and technical skills of those young musicians and singers who do put in the work are extraordinarily high.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 10:19 AM

Ironically, this is happening at a time when the performance standards and technical skills of those young musicians and singers who do put in the work are extraordinarily high.

Agreed. The problem with the age gap in the folk scene is that there aren't many opportunities for older people to learn from and be inspired by younger ones - not the other way round.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 10:31 AM

As one who sings unaccompanied, I have the same contempt, (expressed by many here against song sheets,) for guitars, banjos etc. that many people use as props for an inadequate voice. I've sat through many an evening of poor performances, of people spending an inordinate time tuning up and then singing at their instrument in utter disregard of their audience.
Maybe, rather than spending a lot of time learning words, people should spend all their practice time in learning to sight-read. That would, at least, increase their repertoire from a couple of dozen or a couple of hundred songs to an infinite number of songs.

Ged


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 11:11 AM

As Guitar skills improve, Folk becomes a very unsatisfactory form of music. It is dull,repetitive and offers the player limited ways to develop. I couldn't care less if people use crib sheets or not, as long as what comes out is well constructed, innovative, an musically stimulating, all too often with Folk it's not.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 11:12 AM

"Don't want to go there again."
Don't remember that John, sorry - I do know that the threads I have been part of have never answered the question I have just asked.
It seems a fairly basic one to me.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 11:35 AM

'Perhaps for you the social element makes up for this'

Actually Howard, you have probably hit the nail bang on the head as far as I'm concerned, I do look at singarounds as more of a social thing, which would also explain our different opinions on 'performance' and 'audience'.

I would also hope that you are right and those taking part would strive to do their best, but at risk of sounding judgemental, I see a lot of folks at singarounds who either lack the technical ability or the skill to improve, (or perhaps the motivation, if it is something they just pop along to once a month) so they are what they are, and we either have to accept that or choose not to go to that particular singaround.

John


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 11:58 AM

For the people who preen themselves about always singing from memory: how many songs can you do it with?

There are hell of a lot of floorsingers whose repertoire is something like 10 songs, total.

You're boring. Go away and find more. If using a book is what it takes, fine.

A minute repertoire of highly polished stuff is what they invented CD players for.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 12:19 PM

I think one probably has to accept that you can't have a singaround/club that both expects and achieves high performance standards and consistently lets anyone sing/play anything they want regardless to of ability and application.

If it's concerned with the songs, good standards, people having learned songs before they try to perform them and people constantly trying to improve their performance then some will be excluded in some way. They may simply feel left out or, if the singaround has an MC, they may not get asked to sing, or given fewer spots. I think that's fair enough, I wouldn't expect to go to a blues club or a jazz club and expect to be asked to perform.

If your singaround is primarily a social gathering, then such standards matter less, you're not primarily there for that. However, singarounds and clubs are "public" places so, personally, I don't think that any of them can escape from the need to consider what is done there a "performance" to some extent at least.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 12:21 PM

Well said Jack Campin. I suspect some of these self righteous gaurdians of whats right and wrong may not be as intesting as they think. My experience of singarounds and sessions, which admittedly is not great, is that most attendees are there to sing themselves and are not particulaly interested in what others do. In short its a rather narrow world of singers, singing to singers.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 01:07 PM

in my own experience, though I have the music stand, there are some songs which, because I have been singing them a few year, I don't need any aid. but not wanting to sing the same songs all the time, to regulars, I keep writing, and eventually those songs might not need the aid either.
I wonder whether it might be the case that songs that are traditional are memorized over the years, and very little new material gets added.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 01:16 PM

"how many songs can you do it with?"
I stopped singing regularly around 20 years ago and within the last couple of years I decided to re-start as the opportunity has now presented itself
At the height of my singing I had a repertoire of 300 plus songs and a basic repertoire of about 50 which I could pull together after a quick couple of sing-throughs - the rest took a little more work.
Those I never got to sing regularly (say once every year), I virtually had to re-learn each time, but I found they came back easily enough.
When I restarted, I found I had all but forgotten most of them, so I made myself a working repertoire of around twenty, which I worked up ober a couple of months, kept them as stand-bys and set to work on the rest - I'm now back to around 100 from my old repertoire and have added about a dozen new ones which I found I half knew from listening to others sing them on albums or way back in the clubs.
I have a test piece yet to tackle, a superb, longing Irish version of Banks of Newfoundland which I have only heard sung a couple of times - the acid test.
My short-term memory is not of the best, but my long term ability to recall seems to have shortened considerably.....now where was I?
I was still going to see MacColl whenever he sang, right up to the point where he stopped singing altogether.
Uncharacteristically, he had begun to forget words, but whenever he did he managed to bluff convincingly.
When we asked him about this, he said that the secret was to learn the song then learn the story of the song so you could re-tell it in prose, while using some of the verse lines interspersed - this could be done while you were not actually working on the song - in the car or around the house.
There were all sorts of other tricks, the favourite being to sing a song you wanted to sing publicly at double speed.
I don't believe there is any set method, it's just a matter of finding out what works best for you.
The Singers Club committee asked the main residents not to repeat a song over a set period (depending on the size of their repertoire - sort of like a golf handicap I'm tole (hate the game)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: melodeonboy
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 01:30 PM

"As Guitar skills improve, Folk becomes a very unsatisfactory form of music. It is dull,repetitive and offers the player limited ways to develop."

Really? Ever heard of Martin Carthy, Martin Simpson or Dick Gaughan, to name but a few?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 02:21 PM

all really great singers inhabit the song, and know how they can sing every note and every word. then they surprise themselves and the audience with unexpected flashes of creativity.

however singing is a natural function like walking. a lot of the people singing are not great singers.

we have to face that fact. it brings problems.....life is never simple.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 02:41 PM

People who are not "natural singers" (never sure about that one) just have to work at it a bit harder, unfortunately
I was one of those who was told at school that I wold never make a singer while I had a hole in my arse -I grew up believing that util I got in with the wrong crowd
There really is nothing to beat a friendly ear prepared to listen to your and comment on your efforts AND NOT TELL YOU YOU ARE THE NEXT BEST THING TO A DOUBLE JAMESON 12-YEAR-OLD.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 06:17 PM

Melodeonboy, I think your examples illustrate my point exactly. All the people you mention are open tuned players, a very limited formatt for playing the guitar. They are all really only accompanists not guitarists.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 02:09 AM

bignige. your ignorance on the subject of guitar playing and guitar players is profound.

on one level, its a bit silly arguing with opinions delivered from such a lofty height of unreality.

on the other hand - you should fit in well with Jim and his pals...


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 03:05 AM

Singer? Guitarist? All relative.

I am told I can sing. However I could never sing opera as I freely admit that there is a difference between following a tune and leading it a la opera or baroque for instance. My voice is a wee bit flat but no matter because those who like my singing mean the tone not the pitch.

If you listen to ten different recordings of Vivaldi's Gloria, you could never tell the difference between the soloists in Et in Terra Pax but each would be wonderful and pitch perfect. Whereas some of our favourite folk singers would never get through first audition for a professional choir, yet we recognise their voice immediately.

All relative and to say folk is limiting..,. Well, you've been reading those for whom folk is a narrow traditional field.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 03:13 AM

Well said Jim. I am starting to get a bit worried the more these type of threads perpetuate that singing from memory seems to come across as a sign of arrogance. Over the last forty odd years, having been a resident at four clubs and a weekly regular at a couple of others, and more than often been asked to start the night, if you take things seriously you can amass a fair amount of songs over the years. Although I don't sing out these days anything like I used to do I still reckon that I could perform a couple of hundred from memory and if I thought about it for longer maybe a few more. Is that being boastful? - I don't thinks so; actually it is a paltry return for the number of active years and the opportunity for learning songs.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 03:46 AM

Back to the title of the thread.
I think one of the developments of technology has contributed to the change of attitude to guest nights.
We used to go each week regardless - and trust the judgement of the organisers. Now - we look on Utube and see if we like the guest - and sometimes we don't go.
last night - I looked on utube - a perfectly nice singer - but each of his clips sounded the same. A stay at home night.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Teribus
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 04:48 AM

Of course the greatest fallacy believed by many is that everybody can sing, sorry but the sad fact of life is that that is patently untrue. People who cannot hold a note should not sing and should not be encouraged to do so anywhere other than in their own homes and if they are considerate on their own. On that score I totally agree with GUEST,Howard Jones - Date: 20 Oct 14 - 11:24 AM

Encouraging someone to sing in public, in a folk club setting at a "sing-around" or sing-along" is one thing, but if the product is dire then that has to be faced with honesty and dealt with - people in a public place (i.e. A Pub, be it function room, snug, lounge or public bar) will not come back if the standard is poor and the singing and/or playing is dire, you will not get "new-blood" in through the door. So in that I disagree totally with johncharles - Date: 20 Oct 14 - 12:30 PM when he says that applauding and encouraging low standards "Harms no-one" it does significant and long term harm as Jim Carroll has pointed out (Jim Carroll - Date: 21 Oct 14 - 08:31 AM) - Crap DOES indeed beget crap.

As far as crib sheets and folders stuffed full of lyrics go, there is no evidence at all that they serve as aids. To most, as has been pointed out in this thread by others, it stems from pure idleness, indicated by the fact that there is over weeks no signs of any improvement, even although the same songs are repeated, nothing seems to stick and the quality of rendition remains "crap" - If you do not know the song then don't bloody well sing it - sing along with it by all means but do not try to "lead" it or perform it solo, to do so is an insult to the company, and a dis-service to "your" club.

Totally agree with the sentiment expressed by GUEST,Shimrod - Date: 21 Oct 14 - 04:51 AM

Another point taken up by GUEST,Howard Jones - Date: 21 Oct 14 - 09:49 AM related to the level of skill of "young musicians":

"this is happening at a time when the performance standards and technical skills of those young musicians and singers who do put in the work are extraordinarily high."

How many of those extremely skillful "young musicians" are studying their art on a university course? Where oddly enough, your performances throughout your course are critically examined and commented on, and you do have to constantly practice, show improvement and where you are not allowed to "perform" (i.e. play in front of anyone) until you have reached a certain standard.

To Jack Campin who remarked on this in his post of 21st October - 11:58 AM - If the older people you are referring to are the "crib sheet entertainers" only interested in satisfying their own need to "perform" then as they cannot be bothered to learn from their "crib sheets", how the hell can you expect them to learn from these budding and blossoming "young musicians"?

Totally disagree with Jack Campin - Date: 21 Oct 14 - 11:58 AM when he implies that the majority of those who sing from memory only have a limited repertoire - that accusation is more likely to be leveled at the "singer/songwriter", a number of whom who take an arrogant pride in ONLY singing their compositions and find that most of their output is not really all that well received and then have to trot out their own "ten greatest hits" time and time again - they then complain about difficulty in getting bookings in clubs and festivals - primarily because of their own self-restricted repertoire that everyone has heard time and time again - very boring.

From GUEST,ST - Date: 21 Oct 14 - 12:19 PM we got the following which raised a fairly important point:

"If it's concerned with the songs, good standards, people having learned songs before they try to perform them and people constantly trying to improve their performance then some will be excluded in some way. They may simply feel left out or, if the singaround has an MC, they may not get asked to sing, or given fewer spots. I think that's fair enough, I wouldn't expect to go to a blues club or a jazz club and expect to be asked to perform."

The point being that if you would, as an amateur, pay that respect and acknowledge your own limitations with respect to a "Blues" or "Jazz" club then why not a "Folk Club"?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 05:09 AM

"For the people who preen themselves about always singing from memory: how many songs can you do it with? There are hell of a lot of floorsingers whose repertoire is something like 10 songs, total. You're boring. Go away and find more. If using a book is what it takes, fine."

I'll stay anonymous because I don't want to be accused of "preening" but I think you can't be going to the right singarounds!   I've been keeping a note of what I've sung so that I don't repeat myself too much, particularly at the same venue. I started the list at the beginning of 2013, so far 238 different songs (though I've repeated a few as well). I've got a list of 75 waiting to be sung – but then there may be others: last night I sang one that someone reminded me of that wasn't on any of my lists. I've never sung from a crib sheet in my life. There are plenty more like me at the singarounds I go to.

True, there are those with a repertoire of 10 songs but they're at least as likely (probably more likely) to be those with a ring binder of plastic-wrapped songs that they leaf through before finding the same song they sang last month which they put on the table or music stand in front of them and then murder. They lack confidence because they don't know their songs so first they rely on the crib sheet and then they also rely on "tried and trusted" material. I tend not to go to those clubs any more. Variety is good but it's not an alternative to quality and knowing your material. If you can't be bothered to learn a song, don't sing it. Why not just make an effort sometimes?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Teribus
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 05:48 AM

Jim Carroll - Date: 21 Oct 14 - 02:41 PM

Great post, particularly liked the last bit:

"There really is nothing to beat a friendly ear prepared to listen to you and comment on your efforts AND NOT TELL YOU YOU ARE THE NEXT BEST THING TO A DOUBLE JAMESON 12-YEAR-OLD."

Invaluable.

Also agree with the uncertainty over the classification of "natural singer" Or should that actually be someone with a "natural singing voice"?

To me there are those who have been "trained" to sing and those who have not but can "naturally" hold a note and hold a tune in their head - If you have to accompany yourself before you can sing anything - then you are not a singer.

No idea of the circumstances but singing in school "music lessons" tended to be fairly rigidly structured the basic form being singing in unison from a book, which would then lead on to performances as part of a school choir for those selected. That does not suit many, which could possibly account for the opinion you received. It also depends upon your early environment and upon whether or not you as a very small child happened to be subjected to listening to another person actually singing (Mostly Mothers here, my own having been a very good Gaelic singer). By environment I refer to how much singing was natural/normal in the community, in Scotland there are local festivals with "town songs" that are sung and expected to be sung by all each year and the old style of New Year Hogmanay "First Footing" where, if you crossed the threshold you were expected to "entertain" the company. It all helps you to find out fairly early if you can in fact sing or not.

A "natural voice" to me is someone who can sing unaccompanied, can hold a tune in their head, someone who can sing in key when accompanied and someone who sings in their own natural voice without feeling the need to put on fake accents when singing a song. That to me is a "natural singer".

I also liked the post that followed from Dave Sutherland - Date: 22 Oct 14 - 03:13 AM

I am a great fan of singers sessions/sing-arounds/sing-alongs as they provide great places to pick up new songs and hear different styles and genres of song - quite happy to just sit there and listen and they are far, far better "fishing grounds" than listening to big-name acts at festivals where they will do their thing (Which you can get from listening to their CDs).

As to songs I know off the top of my head I would say that I could rattle off somewhere between 150 to 200 without the need of a crib sheet, but there again I came to it late, and that is not being arrogant, merely stating what to me is a matter of fact.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 05:50 AM

I was still going to see MacColl whenever he sang, right up to the point where he stopped singing altogether"
MacColl was a very good performer, someone whose presentation is worth studying, and someone we can all learn from.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: johncharles
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 05:58 AM

Interesting ideas by Teribus. However, he/she provides no solutions to the problems identified.
john


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 06:49 AM

Dick makes an interesting point. MacColl was a performer and entertainer. He did many of the things some here feel is wrong in a folk club setting, such as false accents that were not his own. He gave a performance because he could. An accomplished actor from his time with theatre workshop.

His style wasn't Jim from Salford singing a Scottish crofting song. He tried to put over how a crofter might have sung it. That is a wee bit different to what we would expect friends to sing in a pub. If you want to live a musical dream, put on a stetson and a drawl and go to a country and western night.

John. Our friend Teribus is good at telling us their opinion but not very good at identifying whether it is based on understanding the issue.... Form will out eh?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Teribus
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 06:50 AM

My apologies Mr. Charles I thought I had:

1: If you can't sing don't
2: If you are going to sing in public have the decency to actually learn the song.
3: To those who aspire to act as MC at singing sessions within a Folk Club setting then accept responsibility for "Quality Control" in allocating slots, if asked afterwards, "Why wasn't I given as many opportunities to sing as A or B?" answer truthfully, "Because your performance needs improvement - more practice at home."

Folk Clubs who operate by incorporating "Guest Nights" with floor spots ARE the life blood and support system of the genre of music we all say we enjoy and support. There must be an MC who on "Guest Nights" must ensure a standard. The "professional" Guest shows the standard that "should" be aspired to and that "professional" Guest "should" be "man" enough to stick around and talk to his/her audience - it is after all only showing respect, consideration and good manners. As someone else stated the singaround sessions run by these clubs should be viewed as the audition settings to showcase your talents for selection to support "Guest Artists" if "performing" is your thing - If not then sit back and enjoy, listen, observe & learn.

"Folk Clubs" who operate solely as "singaround" performance venues to provide opportunities for anybody and everybody irrespective of material, talent/ability are basically doomed from the start, because they are inspiring no-one, they are teaching nothing, all they are doing is celebrating mediocrity.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: johncharles
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 07:12 AM

people who sing usually believe the can sing. I can think of several on this and other threads, who I have either heard or seen, and who in my opinion would not get a turn if I was MC , yet they feel free to criticise others.
Of course my opinion could be flawed I may be a crap singer myself, who is to say.
As Burns said
"Oh, wad some Power the giftie gie us,
To see ourselves as others see us!"
john


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Teribus
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 07:29 AM

"MacColl was a performer and entertainer."

He most certainly was - a natural singer however - he wasn't - compare:

Dirty Old Town - Ewan MacColl

Dirty Old Town - Luke Kelly

Dirty Old Town - Paddy Reilly

James Henry Miller came up with some great songs, powerful songs, written in the traditional folk idiom - he never purposely wrote a "folk song" in his life (said so himself), he wrote songs about folk and many of his songs were taken up and became "folk songs" in exactly the manner that Jim Carroll has described as "the process" (Which has nothing to do with the song writer, but everything to do with how the song is received by others), his most critically acclaimed song, "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", is most definitely NOT a "Folk Song". Not the first or last songwriter to have his own material performed better by others - Bob Zimmerman is another icon who produced great material but was no great shakes as a singer.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 07:44 AM

The "professional" Guest shows the standard that "should" be aspired to

Why? Chances are they know less about the tradition they're making a living from than some of the floor singers.

Being a pro means you can put on a show that people are willing to pay to see. That doesn't mean you're doing anything worth emulating for someone whose main focus is continuing a tradition.

God help us if everybody aspired to Martin Simpson's "standards".


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 08:00 AM

Oh I don't know. I am sat in a cafe in Scunthorpe. I reckon that's how Martin Simpson started....

The rest becomes rather tricky.

There certainly are better singers of MacColl songs than he and Peggy at a technical level, but as I said above, folk is an excellent example of putting character over pitch and other musical requirements. For my wedding a few years ago, we wanted to walk out to First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Now, nostalgically for me, Peggy would be wonderful but for our guests and to provide good musical value, we played The Stereophonics version (with Jools Holland and his rhythm and blues orchestra.)

This gets to the nub of sharing songs as opposed to entertaining others. Or singaround v guest nights.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Teribus
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 08:07 AM

"Professional" in as much as he/she is good enough, competent enough and entertaining enough to actually be able to make their living from doing something that they obviously love. Not all "Guests" booked will be regarded by the entire audience as being the bees-knees, different strokes for different folks, but in general a professional performer is someone that can teach us amateurs a thing or two.

Oh by the way Jack, it is the fault of the so-called "Folk Clubs" that have allowed anything to be played that this "tradition" that you are on about (And obviously care about as do both Jim Carroll and myself) has become so diluted as to now be almost irrelevant.

"People who sing usually believe the(y) can sing."

Of course they do, and many of those you go on to describe probably think so because they have read their way through a crib sheet and received the "sympathy-thank-f**k-that's-over" applause at some singaround.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 09:39 AM

Well Big Al, I'll ignore the abuse,its a little harsh I thought especially when you can't know the first thing about me or my guitar playing. For your edification however,let me list a few guitarists, who I think might blow away the three names mentioned above, Brooks Robertson, Tommy Emmanuel, Joe Robinson, Richard Smith, Buster B Jones, Martin Taylor, Earl Klugh, Frank Vignola, Doyle Doykes, Pete Huttlinger, Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Steve Hicks, and these are just the ones I can remember. All the above are instrumentalist pure and simple. I'm sorry but Messrs Simpson, Carthy and Gaughan are not even on the Radar.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 11:28 AM

Steve Hicks is one of my oldest friends. he's actually a pretty damn good accompanist - ask Lynn Gouldborn.. Richard Smith is also a good chap - although i haven't seen him since moving south.

Still we can all put together lists of names. don't i beg you, ignore the abuse. your comments richly deserved it. you were talking tripe, making yourself sound a fool.

guitar playing has many byways in which to express genius. strangely - none of the great re-imaginers of the guitar Django, Hendrix, Jansch, Scotty Moore, not to mention Robert Johnson (what a loser -user of open tunings he was) -none of them were really orthodox good. too busy being brilliant to follow a metronome and give a dotted crotchet its full value.!

we are so lucky to have lived in an age that has shown such a marvellous flowering of talent.

breathes there a soul so dull whose heart doesn't skip when Wizz Jones plays Weeping Willow Blues. acompanying is an area of guitar playing worthy of your appreciation, awe, and dedication.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 11:55 AM

"Simpson, Carthy and Gaughan are not even on the radar."

I'd get the Rediffusion bloke out to check your radar mate...


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 12:43 PM

Big Al, Steve Hicks is a great player and a damn good accompanist, but he could if he wanted earn a living as an Instrumentalist, he is that good. Richard Smith actually went West, Nashville to be exact, saw him only a few months ago. If you read my original comment I merely point out that Folk and Open Tuning is limiting as a direction for instrumentalists. As someone who started out playing Folk and then graduated to Jazz, I happen to think it's a valid point.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 12:50 PM

your opinion big nige, but not my opinion


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 02:14 PM

well it depends what you want to do......

an in depth study of the rev gary davis won't help you to become Doyle Dykes.

on the other hand -check out Scott Ainslie masterly analysis of Robert Johnson' technique. you will become wise to the rhythmic complexity of the pieces.

the blind alleys are in ourselves. its up to us to get out of them, whatever discipline we are immersed in. johnson is a good case in point. he was immersed in a tradition, but he saw that as the basis of a creative opportunity.

my dad (who knew everything) always reckoned segovia could piss rings round hank marvin. and andres could do what the shads did - if only he wanted to.
however old age and wisdom has made me realise that dad was possibly wrong on this subject at least, you get good at doing what what you do by practicing. and there ain't time enough in one lifetime to mess about with two things as a musician.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 02:29 PM

"there ain't time enough in one lifetime to mess about with two things as a musician."
do not mess with Jim Carroll, it wastes a lot of time, you are much better off practising music.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 03:32 PM

" ... and many of those you go on to describe probably think so because they have read their way through a crib sheet and received the "sympathy-thank-f**k-that's-over" applause at some singaround."

And as the years go by the, so aptly described, "sympathy-thank-f**k-that's-over" moments seem to be happening more and more frequently - to such an extent that I've begun to think: F**k this! I'm sure that there are better things for me to be doing on a Thursday night!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 03:45 PM

aye, shimrod life is short and we have a long time to be gone


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 04:36 PM

someone[s] above thought that others thought them arrogant because they were able to sing from memory. I don't recall that being said. however, it might have been suggested that the arrogance consisted in demanding that everyone else be able to, or do a lot of practising to attain ,to do the same. I certainly would like to always do so myself, but it is not the be all and end all of a convincing song delivery.
I also am not impressed by participants spending a lot of time looking through their binders or whatever while others are singing, and I agree that they would be better participants by some preparation beforehand. however, people are rarely just as we want, and a heavy handed approach seems counterproductive to me. you could have a club that only accepts a certain standard, but I suppose the higher you set it, the fewer there might be......and eventually some of the complainers might fall foul of it themselves !


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 04:56 PM

Actually I said it (the feeling of arrogance)but it wasn't in response to anything anyone has said on this thread, it was just a notion that I had felt from personal experience after some clubs/singarounds that I had attended over the last coupe of years.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 04:59 PM

"Brooks Robertson, Tommy Emmanuel, Joe Robinson, Richard Smith, Buster B Jones, Martin Taylor, Earl Klugh, Frank Vignola, Doyle Doykes, Pete Huttlinger, Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Steve Hicks," - do what they do.
" Messrs Simpson, Carthy and Gaughan" - do something entirely different.
A bit like saying Tiger Woods is better than David Beckham -- ie, pure horseshit.

" God help us if everybody aspired to Martin Simpson's "standards".
If they did, the folk clubs would be full, not dying on their arse.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 05:22 PM

There's a bad case of inverted snobbery here - we'd be pissed off if a 'professional' stood up with a crib sheet - it's already been claimed by the Skibbereen Stalker that you get a better evening from a paid guest than you do from one of residents.
If the is now the case, it is a sign of deterioration in the clubs.
The club scene I came into was one of night after night of good resident evenings of the type a paid guest was incapable of giving us, even the best of them - feature evenings were probably the best examples of these.
The clubs survived on their residents - the guests were to give the residents an occasional break, and to catch someone who perhaps wasn't a ful time professions - great artists like Kevin Mitchell (industrial painter) or Walter Pardon (rural carpenter), spring to mind.
Folk singing was never a 'profession' it was an art created and performed by working people.
If these egotistic people who tell us that in order to have a good night you have to book him, her.... whoever, then we have lost an important platform for the talents of those of us who have to do proper jobs to earn a living - that was why the clubs were set up in the first place.
Professional has never meant best.
"do not mess with Jim Carroll, it wastes a lot of time"
What a coincidence - I was just talking about you!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Airymouse
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 05:28 PM

"As Guitar skills improve, Folk becomes a very unsatisfactory form of music. It is dull,repetitive and offers the player limited ways to develop."
At first I thought melodeonboy was just trying to stir up trouble, trolling, to use fishy internet slang. Having read some of the responses, it seems to me that there really is a schism in your singarounds. The singarounds I have attended have all been at someone's house, where all participants are invited guests. Is it true that at the English public singarounds there are two types of participants: accomplished musicians (guitarists, not accompanists; trained singers who have sung for decades in choirs, chorales, musicals and so forth) and others, like me, who have grown up singing songs Cecil Sharp would have collected had he had the chance, but who have no significant musical training? I'm not saying that no true musician learned traditional music from its source. Clearly Benjamin Britten was an accomplished musician, and I would guess that he had first-hand knowledge of traditional English music, but insisting on both criteria will result in song circles of small radius. Obviously someone on my side of the divide can learn from listening to true musicians, so I guess the gedanken experiment is this. Imagine the 13th singer in the singaround is Mary Lomax. Would you be put off if she accompanied herself badly on her Lone Ranger guitar and sang, let's say, William Bluett?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 05:47 PM

" God help us if everybody aspired to Martin Simpson's "standards".
If they did, the folk clubs would be full, not dying on their arse.    very good point, because Martin is professional talented and well practised, professionalism is not just about being paid it is about practised, well presented, performance.McColl was another eample of professionalism.
Jim Carroll semms to be confused about the interpretation of professionalism, but then he appears to be frequently confused, he also frequently attempts to make out people have written something that they have not written.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 05:56 PM

fr the record, I think the striving towards good performance is important,I believe good performance may be possible with crib sheets, but I have seen it achieved only occasionally, but I am sure it cn be achieved if people are willing to practise and work at it.
I feel that music stands can act as a barrier between the performer and the audience, but I can think of exceptions,I would say that eye contact and looking at an audience is even more important if the performer is using words on a music stand


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 03:19 AM

And we keep wandering into entertainment v a hobby of filling a folder with words and sharing them. Many people get entertainment from the latter whilst performances can also share interpretations of the same songs.

There is an overlap. Which is why people who go to singarounds to listen to others and share their performance (as used in other venues) get irritated when people are too busy flicking through their bloody folders to give a rats arse about the poor bugger singing or playing, regardless of ability.

There is another active thread on Mudcat at present where someone with a quiet instrument is asking for views on particular battery powered speakers to use to get their instrument to the same loudness as others. A couple of people have pointed out they dont go down well at some Singarounds.

This reminded me of a bloke recently with a rather loud chest expander who happily listens to a lady who, when her "turn" reads out the latest email joke circulars someone sends her yet he says he would leave if the poor bloke who recently bought a semi acoustic jazz guitar brought an amp.

As our American friends would say, go figure.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 04:09 AM

Guest clubs and singarounds serve different purposes. However in both cases they are there for people's enjoyment, and the enjoyment comes both from singing oneself and from listening to others. It seems to me that for singers to be poorly prepared and unrehearsed is putting their own pleasure in singing over that of the people they are inflicting it on.

The people who attend singarounds presumably enjoy them for what they are. Of course, 'singaround' does not in itself mean low standards, but in my experience all to often that is what you find. The examples offered in this thread and others are not isolated incidents.

It seems to me that the majority of folk clubs now operate a singaround format, and that guest clubs, and especially those offering more than the occasional guest, are very much a minority, no doubt for financial reasons. When I first started going to folk clubs some 40 years ago I could go to any club with some confidence that I could expect to hear good music performed to a good standard, from both floorsingers and guests. I no longer feel that is the case when a random folk club is more likely to be a singaround, and that a newcomer to folk is more likely than before to encounter poor singing and poor preparation. Is it any surprise that the folk clubs are in decline and in particular struggling to attract younger people?

These days I spend most of my time in tune sessions, where similar issues arise about playing from music. However there are now far more learning materials to teach technique and there are beginners' "slow sessions" where they can learn tunes and build confidence. As a result, whilst good playing cannot of course be guaranteed, my impression is that overall the general standard of playing on all instruments is far higher than it was 40 years ago - the reverse of the position with song.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 04:29 AM

" God help us if everybody aspired to Martin Simpson's "standards".
First step should be raising your own rather than aspiring to anybody elses
Clever-clever guitar work has ****** up more good folk songs than it has actually helped to accompany
"Jim Carroll semms to be confused about the interpretation of professionalism"
If you spent more time telling us how I and others you make personal attacks on were "confused" about what we believe and a bit less on snidey sideswipes, you might have something to say.
I have asked you many times to stop stalking and will continue to do so until you go and get help.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 04:46 AM

have you heard martin simpson, Jim, listen to his accompaniment to masters of war.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 05:58 AM

jim,
you seem to be confused about professionaliam,since you have asked me, here is my opinion, it is not just about being paid, it is about being well rehearsed, turning up on time, having competence in performance.
These are qualities that Martin Simpson has, he is in my opinion a good singer and a fine guitarist and banjo player who generally speaking accompanies his songs tastefully , just my opinion.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 05:59 AM

"have you heard martin simpson"
Yes I have - do not attempt to impose your own questionable tastes on others.
My point is - not particularly with Simpson but all those 'superstars' who made instrumental accompaniment an object in itself rather than what it what it claims to be - 'accompaniment'
I couldn't count the number of times I've wondered whether I had time to nip down for a quick pee while the singer is getting it off on those long, interminable and unnecessary guitar breaks, before getting on with the next verse.
I particularly remember one of the electric groups (Steeleye maybe) playing a reel in the middle of a long, narrative ballad - utterly ludicrous!
I find this obsession with superstars very reminiscent of all those somewhat pathetic talent programmes designed to get youngsters to emulate Justin, or Robbie or whoever happens to be the flavour of the month.
The clubs began to career downhill when they filled with Waterson wannabes, or Joanie clones or Martin mimickers and when singers stopped trying to sound like themselves.   
The joy of folk singing is giving your own interpretation of a song and not somebody else's - that was the privilege performing in clubs gave us.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 06:04 AM

Cross-posted
"it is about being well rehearsed, turning up on time, having competence in performance."
Nothing to do with being professions - it's what we expected of every resident in the clubs we helped to run - most times we got it without having to pay for the privilege - wee called it commitment
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 07:46 AM

"The joy of folk singing is giving your own interpretation of a song and not somebody else's - that was the privilege performing in clubs gave"
I am well aware of this., no one can accuse me of being a copyist, whether you like what i do or not does not concern me, but ido not sound like a copy of anyone else I sound like myself.
once again you have confused an interpretation of someone elses post here
"Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 04:59 PM

"Brooks Robertson, Tommy Emmanuel, Joe Robinson, Richard Smith, Buster B Jones, Martin Taylor, Earl Klugh, Frank Vignola, Doyle Doykes, Pete Huttlinger, Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Steve Hicks," - do what they do.
" Messrs Simpson, Carthy and Gaughan" - do something entirely different.
A bit like saying Tiger Woods is better than David Beckham -- ie, pure horseshit.

" God help us if everybody aspired to Martin Simpson's "standards".
If they did, the folk clubs would be full, not dying on their arse."   
guest poster is not saying anyone should copy martin simpsons style, but should aspire to his standards of competence and being well rehearsed and well practised, which seems to be what both you and I are trying to say.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Teribus
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 07:47 AM

Some great lines in this that I most heartily agree with:

Jim Carroll - Date: 23 Oct 14 - 05:59 AM

1: My point is - not particularly with Simpson but all those 'superstars' who made instrumental accompaniment an object in itself rather than what it what it claims to be - 'accompaniment'.

2: I particularly remember one of the electric groups (Steeleye maybe) playing a reel in the middle of a long, narrative ballad - utterly ludicrous!

3: The clubs began to career downhill when they filled with Waterson wannabes, or Joanie clones or Martin mimickers and when singers stopped trying to sound like themselves.

4: The joy of folk singing is giving your own interpretation of a song and not somebody else's - that was the privilege performing in clubs gave us."


WELL SAID!!!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 08:36 AM

"no one can accuse me of being a copyist"
Nobody has, as far as I know, but the thrust of your, and other arguments seems to be that in order for clubs to improve they should rely on professional gusts rather than their own home talent.
If clubs are to have any future, they have to develop a basis of local performers rather than become mini-concerts for superstars.
The best clubs in the past, London, Manchester and Birmingham in my experience, used traditional songs as a foundation and developed from there, extending into songwriting, folk theatre and local research - not in flapping and saying "Ooooh, there weren't enough people here last week, lest book a few 'names' to boost the numbers" - there is no future for that sort of policy.
It should never be about putting bums on seats alone.
Head counting has apparently taken the place of everything, including definition (it can only be a folk song if it's in the top twenty)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 09:48 AM

no jim, you have misunderstood me, I am arguing the same as you for high standards professionalism or attempts at that.
i agree with you that the best sorts of clubs are clubs that have a good core of high qualityy singers such as the Wilsons club[ which just for the record I have been boooked at a number of times ,
what i have said that if that if the club does not have a lot of good residents perhaps only one or two then a professional guest will help bring the standard up, if you go back and check my posts you will find that is what i said.
I said "that if they did not have much in the way of home grown talent", not that booking professional guest was better than having a lot of good residents.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 09:54 AM

this is what i said,
Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 02:50 PM

ubject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 12 Oct 14 - 11:08 AM

In the past, the best clubs were those that you field a team of their own residents good enough to take a whole evening to themselves
Singers from the floor spots gave visitors a chance to be heard and, if good enough, be invited to perform regularly.
The most imaginative clubs were those that ran workshops to enable new or inexperienced singers to develop and gain confidence.
The clubs I was involved with had a conscious policy of only having one guest night in every four - none of them ever really needed more than that as the residents were competent to take full evenings themselves, that way, we could use the door-takings for publicity and projects such as research and producing song books.
Too many guests always seemed to me to be counter-productive - far more valuable to establish a strong home-base
Jim Carroll"
Yes very good points,
but if the club does not have good resident singers, or only a couple of good residents it is better to have guests who are professional in their attitude and are good competent performers, rather than having MANY singers who are unprepared, shuffling though papers etc, most people will tolerate the occasional duff unprepared performer, but not half a dozen or ten of them.
And AS YOU AND EVERYONE CAN SEE i also said you made very good points, when you say something i think is good i say so.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: johncharles
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 10:41 AM

So why is it that clubs with great residents and guests e.g. The Singers club closed?
john


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 10:51 AM

"but if the club does not have good resident singers,"
If a club does not hve a team of competent ("good" is too loaded a term) turning it into a venue for guests is not a viable alternative - you may as well abandon running a club and just hold concerts, it ceases to be a club.
I suggest (or I hope) that your description of "half a dozen or ten regulars shuffling papers" or being "unprepared" - in which case an army of paid guests isn't going to make a happorth of difference
Unless club organisers get up off their collective bums and change that situation, they may as well just run concerts - I'm sure local councils would be happy to co-operate in such enterprises.
Personally, I'd rather there was a good local scene up and running before you embark on paying out for guests.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 11:30 AM

I agree clubs are different from concerts, people go there to socialise as well, more so than they do with concerts.
why did the singers club close?
"I suggest (or I hope) that your description of "half a dozen or ten regulars shuffling papers" or being "unprepared" - in which case an army of paid guests isn't going to make a happorth of differenc"
i disagree it makes a lot of difference as does having ten good residents.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 12:10 PM

"people go there to socialise as well, more so than they do with concerts."
NO THEY DO NOT - this is the arrogance of the professional performer - that singing of any worth cannot take place unless they are present.
THEY SHOULD GO THERE PRIMARILY TO SING - socialising is, or should be, subsidiary to this.
I can go down to the pub to socialise, and if the landlord is tolerant enough, we might even get a few songs in.
"i disagree it makes a lot of difference as does having ten good residents."
Are you suggesting that paper=-shuffling is the norm?
Why did the clubs close - been through that - probably because too many clubs decided not to tell the potential punters what they were likely to hear when they turned up at a folk club - it's why me and my mates stopped going.
Some of the best singers on the scene did a runner when that became the norm.
I couldn't give a toss if Boomtown wannabes are virtuosi or have to read from crib-sheets - it's not what I want to hear at a folk club - not the organisers of some clubs nowadays, apparently
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 12:30 PM

"people go there to socialise as well, more so than they do with concerts."
NO THEY DO NOT - this is the arrogance of the professional performer - that singing of any worth cannot take place unless they are present"
no, people go to socialise at folk clubs they always have done, that is what a club means, they also go to listen to folk music, they got to meet other people who are interested in the same kind of music., and also listen to that music.
you are the one that has said singing of any worth cannot take place unless they are present, i certainly have not said it, i believe anyone can sing well provided they practise, it is about having a professional approach , not being paid for it.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 01:40 PM

Jim reckons good technical guitarist skill has fucked up many a folk song.

No, you daft twat. It has made some crap songs listenable...

I wish you understood music as well as you do cataloguing and noting.


😂


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 01:41 PM

"no, people go to socialise at folk clubs they always have done,"
In the clubs you go to maybe - the ones I was involved in where the people wanted to sing or listen to singing
It's bloody nonsense to organise a singing club for any other reason - you may as well stay down in the bar and "socilalise"
"They also go to listen to folk music"
No - they primarily go to listen to songs or sing them.
They may meet other people, but they can do that down in the pub
This is grotesque
"you are the one that has said singing of any worth cannot take place unless they are present"
No I didn't - you can stay home and sing in the bath.
"provided they practise, it is about having a professional approach, not being paid for it."
Now you are prevaricating - we are discussing booking paid performers, which you have advocated BECAUSE, ACCORDING TO YOU, THE STANDARD OF SINGING IN SINGAROUNDS IS SO BAD - SHUFFLING PAPERS, ET AL.
I have asked you a couple of times now to state whether this is your position - perhaps you might care to do so now.
"The Singers club closed?"
Sorry John - missed a bit - the Singers Club closed shortly after the death of Ewan, basically on the departure of Peggy to the States.
Earlier, it had tried to cope with a crisis when the Critics Group broke up acrimoniously
It continued for a while as Ewan and Peggy's club, with the support of a few others
When Ewan died, Peggy continued for a while, but when wshe went, there weer not enough people of skill and experience to make a go of it.
I was saddened when one of the Lewes Clubs closed when Vic and Tina Smith retired - not an unsimilar situation
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 03:08 PM

I was saddened when one of the Lewes Clubs closed when Vic and Tina Smith retired
Well, we had to sometime and my 70th birthday and with the club still vibrant and financially viable, it seemed to be a good time to pass on to someone else. We gave 12 months notice of our intention to stand down after 50 years of running a weekly folk club - and we both had and still have many regular commitments to the folk scene including the Lewes festival. We tried to groom younger residents to take more responsibility but all to no avail. The person who showed the most interest in taking over was three months younger than me! Sadly. when we went through the list of things that we did on a weekly basis to ensure that there was a sizable audience and enough quality performers each week, I'm afraid that we frightened him off.
Yes, Jim, it is sad; I feel it too but the alternative was for us to plod on and become less effective with age and see a decline set in. As it is we can both look back with a sense of achievement and pride.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 03:37 PM

I know of quite a few clubs in our area with the same problem, ie ageing organisers, no young blood interested in taking over, dwindling audiences. Meanwhile Festivals appear the thrive, the King is dead, long live the King.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 03:42 PM

"no, people go to socialise at folk clubs they always have done,"
In the clubs you go to maybe - the ones I was involved in where the people wanted to sing or listen to singing"
correct, they do both,i have not said they did not go there to sing or not to listen to singing.
"you are the one that has said singing of any worth cannot take place unless they are present"
where have i said this? i have not, stop making things up.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 06:27 PM

"I feel it too but the alternative was for us to plod on and become less effective with age and see a decline set in"
I was sorry to see your club Vic - I know we valued you as someone we could approach when we had a guest's tour to organise (and of course, to lose another principled club).
I am sorry to have involved you in this, but I thought your own position was not unsimilar to Peggy's after Ewan's death - close or see the club run down after a long and pretty proud history
I think we've had enough of this nonsense Dick, don't you?
You think folk clubs are social clubs were people sing - I think they are clubs set up to sing and listen to songs - silly me.
Let someone else have a go, shall we
"Meanwhile Festivals appear the thrive"
Takes the 'local' aspect out of the scene for me - and excludes too many people, particularly the less well off and those with families - no comparison, I'm afraid
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 03:11 AM

Whoa betide any poor bugger who just goes for the fun and entertainment. We can't have the committee proposing a vote of censure on people who go to see their mates, can we?

I apologise on behalf of thousands of people who over the years have misinterpreted the rules of Jim's hobby and thought it was entertainment. If only Jim had sent us all a set of standing orders and memorandum and articles of association, then we wouldn't be so confused over the rules.

No bloody wonder the folk revival taking place under our noses is happening everywhere other than in folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 03:47 AM

"No bloody wonder the folk revival taking place under our noses is happening everywhere other than in folk clubs."
Where is it "taking place under our noses" if not the clubs
You've been telling us that the clubs are doing fine - now you're saying that nothing is happening there - consistency boy, consistency
Who do you think you are telling us what we should be interested in and what we should be discussing?
You've already demanded we turn folk music of to the pop music industry- now you're telling us how we should enjoy it - books next!!
THE FUTURE FOR FOLK CLUBS
Do you really mean to troll this thread to death as you have the last two?
Kindly mind your own business and let those of us who are interested get on with it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: r.padgett
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 04:30 AM

we do seem to be going round in circles

I posted this on a mudcat thread recently:

""I have recently had a long fb argument re Folk21 which I will not start here!""

However we have now got Concert clubs booking guests regularly weekly or monthly etc with quality guests costing money and needing audiences

Folk clubs are different and may book say once a month guest doing say 2 x 45 mins and other weeks with a singaround sort of set up and some who will not go when a guest is booked as they want to play/sing etc or Hot Spots of say 40 mins

Voices singarounds which meet say once a month (like Birstall and Lincoln) no instruments singarounds

Sessions which are music only (Celtic sessions) for example

Mixed sessions catering for song/instruments and accompanied and unaccompanied

Fragmentation, but the scene could be said to be the better for it, (or not!!)

The scene has moved on and different set ups require different "folk" from "book" singers to concert artists and everything in between, soem work some don't

Ray


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 05:07 AM

What ever you call your gathering,folk club,session,or open mike night,or any other title you have an idea of what policy and content you want to present.
You advertise said gathering and hopefully give an indication of what your policy is.
If people are interested they will come and try out your gathering.
Continued success will depend on you attracting sufficient numbers to make it viable.
This applies to any form of policy,be it a club of the sort that Jim believes it should be,or Musket,Al or Gss or anyone else would prefer to see.
Clubs,sessions or any other gathering only work if enough people in your neighbourhood have a common interest.
If you are the only person who has that particular vision it will fail.
That's life.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 05:15 AM

"depend on you attracting sufficient numbers to make it viable."
I agree, and attracting and keeping them depends on presenting evenings that do not fall below a certain standard, not necessarily particularly high, but at least competent - certainly not embarrassing, as some I have attended, have been.
In my opinion, the success of any club depends on local participation, not jut as bums on seats, but as singers and organisers - you can stay at home and watch the 'professionals' on tele.
The 'grass-roots' nature of the folk scene is what made it unique.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 05:24 AM

folk clubs are places where people go to listen to folk music to sing and to socialise.
Folk club organisers particularly those like the organisers of LWES THURSDAY CLUB who have done it for 40 or 50 years, have done a great job.
I find it sad when no one is prepared to take over a long running club, there are probably a host of reasons, but it is still sad, and those people who have run clubs for many years deserve a lot of praise for their work.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 05:26 AM

Folk clubs are doing fine Jim. The popular revival of the genre just isn't part of it.

The folk clubs doing best seem to be those who recognise all folk and welcome all styles within the genre. The others will sadly fade.

Generally speaking, those that would dismiss your main stance as irrelevant are growing, not that they gave ever heard of you that is. If you say Walter, they say "pardon?" There is usually one stickler for a club that never really existed in every club, but Jim and likeminded seem to have developed a commune on Mudcat.

The saddest part being that Father Time will play a game of last man standing if the evolution of folk is held back by reckless old farts who like to play time capsules.
😴


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 07:35 AM

"reckless old farts who like to play time capsules. "
Can I make a request here.
Can I ask that, out of common decency, if nothing else, this ends here.
I have no objection to beinf g rgued against or disagreed with - I'm quite prone to losing my own rag on occasion.
What has developed among a couple of of people is deliberate insulting and stalking - insults and invective instead of argument.
It is a form of bullying in order to silence opposition.
Dick has made around twenty insulting postings, mainly directed at me, but others have pointed out his insulting behaviour.
Muskie has now begin stalking from thread to thread with sneery insults and very little content, sich as above.
Isn't it about time this stopped?
If it doesn't, maybe a site regulator can have a word in the right ear.
Enough is enough - the pair of you, you are deliberately nausing up argument.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 07:41 AM

You live in a vet glassy house Jim.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 07:43 AM

"The folk clubs doing best seem to be those who recognise all folk and welcome all styles within the genre"
The folk club that I help run in Long Eaton is called "Traditions at the Tiger (Tigerfolk)" which suggests that you could expect to hear traditional folksongs, music and stories there. Last time I counted we had been running for twenty three years and we are booked up until this time next year.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 07:44 AM

very not vet!


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 07:53 AM

"You live in a vet glassy house Jim."
I may lose my rag but I am never gratuitously abusive, as has happened time after time on the last three threads.
Perhaps you have something to say on the subject, or perhaps you want to just join in the kicking match?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 09:29 AM

I've been many times Dave and was made welcome. It is a club that infers traditional music, so that's what I sang and presumed others would be singing. A long time since I got down and great to hear it is still going strong. If it were other than a traditional club, I would have geared my songs to fit. I recall my mate Mitch getting a good reception mind, and he has only ever sung songs he wrote..

Jim. If you are never gratuitously abusive, a good start would be to stop being gratuitiously abusive. As ever, I started laughing at you and dismissing you as daft as a result of your attacks on any view other than yours. You insist that you know what is folk, what is expected by the word and what is wrong with it.

Having lost credibility, your posts now just attract the attention of pomposity bubble prickers, of which I have a long service medal.

Your move.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 09:47 AM

"If you are never gratuitously abusive, a good start would be to stop being gratuitiously abusive"
Once again - show me where I have
I have responded to your bullying strongly, but I have continued to put forward my case, despite your constant misrepresenting of it and my requesting to do so.
You have set out to inslt those who oppose you, you have derided traditional song and the old people who sang them and those who like them - your behaviour has been one of a bully.
If I have lost credibility, as you claim, show me where I have.
Personally, I have had enough of your behaviour and ham happy to leave you to wallow in it - in which case, you have won - in your way.
I hope that gives you a degree of satisfaction.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 11:19 AM

Jim, I don't know if you have noticed but you have managed to piss off an extraordinariliy diverse range of people. Time for a little self analysis perhaps?


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 11:28 AM

"Jim, I don't know if you have noticed but you have managed to piss off an extraordinariliy diverse range of people. Time for a little self analysis perhaps?"
And then there were four
Time for a change, I think
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 04:21 PM

well Jim, would it were four.

one decent gentle guy, earlier in the year asked me how to deal with an avalanche of nasty abuse you had heaped on him because you felt you had superior knowledge about some topic.

i explained that you were greatly respected on the English scene. but things hadn't really worked out for your faction of the folkscene. MacColl had expected to be the big cheese, but had been cruelly supplanted by younger fresher talents. and the bitterness and vitriolic anger that spewed out from you was in some way forgiveable because of the feeling of rejection that you laboured under. so we all cut you an awful lot of slack, and just walked away when the nastiness got too intense.

you have a real talent for abuse. a real deafness and blind eye for any opinion that doesn't chime in with you. characters like musket and myself have developed hides like rhinos - after a lifetime in northern clubs, and amongst the mining villages of notts, derby and yorkshire. but others find your abuse very very hurtful.

stop using folk music as an excuse to be nasty to people.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 05:30 PM

None of us is perfect, but I take exception to some of Musket's recent posts, particularly
"Jim reckons good technical guitarist skill has fucked up many a folk song.

No, you daft twat. It has made some crap songs listenable."

Jim has an opinion. Musket has a different opinion. No problem there: we're all entitled to our respective opinions. I happen to share Jim's, but many people evidently share Musket's, and demonstrate it by themselves indulging in instrumental playing that smothers the words. That's their choice in a free country. (I have done it myself, but only rarely and definitely not intentionally.)

Now, what do the words "you daft twat" add to that discussion? Hint: they don't advance the case of the person using them.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 05:39 PM

Now, what do the words "you daft twat" add to that discussion?

About as much as "arrogant little pratt".


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 05:36 AM

No problem with calling a spade an earth inverting horticultural implement.

Or calling Jim a daft twat for that matter. I suppose that if someone says you don't love the music you love and questions your intelligence all for pointing out that folk music carried on after the old men Jim revered isn't folk. Point out the lack of logic in his stance and you are suddenly a goose stepper.

From then on, I treat him as a foolish old man with no credibility and nothing to offer. Taking the piss is far better than debating with pork.

So daft twat isn't too bad after all. Cathartic and surprisingly accurate.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 06:37 AM

I was called a talentless moron.
There are very few people who do gigs, whose instrumentation smothers the words.
I get booked consistently because [live] I have good voice projection that is not smotherd by accompaniment a number of people also like my concertina acompaniments, a remark was made by Jim about a clip of John of dreams, in fact the words are very clear, even with poor recording equipment [one cheap microphone], obviously for commercial recordings I would use more sophisticated recording equipment., but these clips are not commercial recordings. Jim has never heard me live, but insults me by calling me a talentless moron.
[fact]
I sang the song last night live [it was very well receieved] at least 3 people complimented my singing, this is not bragging but a statement of fact.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 08:37 AM

This will be the last posting I make here; I want no part of a set-up which indulges in attacks on Travellers (knackers) and who allows open insults of elderly singers, no matter what mealy-mouthed excuse is given for doing so.
There is a great deal of whingeing taking place about my insulting people.
Muskett, who has consistently attacked everyone who disagrees with him, often in abusive terms and has now swamped three discussions with his persistent abusive bullying – behave like a bullying thug if that's what turns you on, but don't be surprised when you become identified as one.
By the way – you were not called a "goose-stepper" because of your ideas, but because of your 'Flashman-like' behaviour – don't suppose this will stop you from hiding behind your dishonest claims, though.
Bryan the Snail, who appears to be incapable of addressing an arguments without couching his postings in supercilious and unfriendly terms, and whose dishonest claim of my "going into clubs brandishing a copy of '54", and "selective reading" elicited my response of "arrogant little pratt"
I have always found his attitude on this forum reminiscent of all those teachers way back, who felt that their role in life was to make us understand that our opinions were worth nothing and the sooner we understood that fact, the better we would make our way through the adult world – "arrogant pratts all".
Then there's Al, who took his harp to a party and nobody asked him to play.
In revenge, he started off by describing The Grey Cock as unfriendly (debatable, but credible), then warmed to his theme by claiming the residents to be talentless messers dressed in fishermen's smocks – an utterly ridiculous invention about a group of artists and enthusiasts with an enviable track record to show otherwise
I bothered to respond, eventually angrily, to this nonsense because I was familiar with the club, I visited it on numerous occasions and I guested there once as a singer – I knew many of the people involved personally, mainly as accomplished singers and musicians who dedicated a great deal of their time to the music I love.
I find the public denigration of any fellow devotee of music distasteful at any time, even when deserved (unless, of course, their behaviour damages that music in any way), but Al's unmerited attack was beyond the pale as far as I'm concerned.
He topped of his accusations off by quoting the supposed support of one of the leading figures in folk music, Martin Carthy, by claiming to quote something he had been told IN CONFIDENCE – I wouldn't buy a used car from someone so prepared to break a confidence – but that's me!
Last but not least, we have Dick, who is still whining about my calling him a talentless moron.
Dick has stalked me throughout at least ten threads now with around a couple of dozen abusive postings offering virtually nothing else other than abuse – included in these was a threat in the finest "Stay out of Tombstone stranger" tradition.
I have requested him not to stalk, even to the extent of threatening, to report his behaviour to the thread administrators, in an effort to make him stop, which he did for a period - now he is back, larger than life and twice as inarticulate.
I'm finished with this rather unpleasant slanging match – I'll leave it with those with stronger stomachs than mine to continue, if they find any value in it.
If this is a sample of what the folk scene has to offer nowadays, I want no part of it.
Have a good day, y'all – I'm off to do a couple of day's work on recordings of people who loved the music enough to throw open their house to aspiring young singers like me (way back when) once a week for ten years of their busy lives – they are the people I like to remember as being part of the folk music scene – a million miles from all this!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 09:28 AM

Flashman?

I suppose that term is in keeping with living the dream. I assume it is an insult mind.

You know, if I were to read my contributions to this thread, I doubt you will see anything other than observation and personal predilection.

Not that it stops Jim.

We are supposed to be discussing The UK folk scene. I suppose my next observation would have Jim calling me a goose stepper again. 😄. Out of interest I have never called diddycoys knackers. 😇


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 09:52 AM

Flashman
"Flashman is a fictional character created by George MacDonald Fraser (1925–2008), but based on the character "Flashman" in Tom Brown's School Days (1857), a semi-autobiographical work by Thomas Hughes (1822–1896).
In Hughes' book is portrayed as a notorious bully at Rugby School who persecutes Tom Brown, and who is finally expelled for drunkenness".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 11:24 AM

You don't say.

Good job I've got you to teach me what we thick buggers are too poorly educated to know. Were you that condescending to your diddycoy mates?

Give it a rest Jim. You just keep digging your grave with your gob when it comes to credibility.

😸


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 02:38 PM

Jim - you would make the first fifteen in any league of sneering . belittling. abusing team of bullies. your claims to have been bullied are bloody ridiculous,

you could bully for the small minded nations cup.

i always found Ewan and Peggy to be quite reasonable - however seeing you in action , has made me realise some of the criticisms of them might be justified. you must have picked that technique up somewhere.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 02:42 PM

Jim - you would make the first fifteen in any league of sneering . belittling. abusing team of bullies. your claims to have been bullied are bloody ridiculous,

you could bully for the small minded nations cup.

i always found Ewan and Peggy to be quite reasonable - however seeing you in action , has made me realise some of the criticisms of them might be justified. you must have picked that technique up somewhere.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 04:19 PM

I'd echo that but Al beat me to it
😄







Ithankyouverymuch


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 05:44 PM

Much of this thread has been a mixture of reasoned debate and playground name-calling. Latterly the reasoned debate has largely dried up, and what little remains has been repetitous; while the name-calling is going stronger than ever.

I'm out of here too. The trolls can go on feeding each other if they wish.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 09:04 PM

Nobody used the word "knacker" in this thread until Jim brought it up.

News to me that it had anything to do with Travelers - in the language I speak, it either means a glue factory or a pair of testicles.

Come to think of it, I can't see where anybody alluded to Travelers in this thread until Jim did, either.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 02:15 AM

"Come to think of it, I can't see where anybody alluded to Travelers in this thread until Jim did, either."
Sorry, my mistake, I should have said 'diddy' (diddycoy) referred to in his usually disparaging way by Muskie - equally objected to by the Travellers w know.
Apologies
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Musket
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 02:37 AM

Or the term for travellers as used by travellers round these parts. Diddycoys.
💤

You really know how to kill a good thread Jim. Once you work out that your view is not definitive no matter how many times you name drop people from the past, you might even have something to contribute. After all, looking to the future is helped by understanding the past.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 07:00 AM

Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 25 Oct 14 - 08:37 AM

This will be the last posting I make here


He's only posted twice since then so he's not doing too bad.

His attitude to me seems to be mellowing. He now only compares me to his old teachers. He once compared me to Goebbels.


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 09:15 AM

I responded to two questions directed at me (I was taught it was good manners)
I dropped out so as not to spoil another thread with our bickering and back-biting - suggest that everybody else does the same.
You want to continue this, open a thread.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: guest nights and singaround clubs
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 09:59 AM

I dropped out so as not to spoil another thread with our bickering and back-biting - suggest that everybody else does the same.

Hoo-bloody-ray!


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