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House concert etiquette

GUEST,Lurking Lil 28 Oct 14 - 03:40 PM
GUEST 28 Oct 14 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,Grishka 28 Oct 14 - 04:35 PM
gnu 28 Oct 14 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,Lurking Lil 28 Oct 14 - 05:57 PM
Anne Lister 28 Oct 14 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Oct 14 - 10:10 PM
Phil Cooper 28 Oct 14 - 10:45 PM
wysiwyg 29 Oct 14 - 08:25 AM
Mo the caller 29 Oct 14 - 08:50 AM
Mo the caller 29 Oct 14 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Oct 14 - 09:01 AM
Jeri 29 Oct 14 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Des C 29 Oct 14 - 10:57 AM
Jack Campin 29 Oct 14 - 11:37 AM
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Subject: House concert etiquette
From: GUEST,Lurking Lil
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 03:40 PM

I've been invited to a house concert - woo and may I add hoo!

This is a first for me, so I'm wondering what the drill is. I know the time date place identity of guest and suggested donation, but I'm wondering what to expect apart from all of that. Should I bring a bottle? Should I eat beforehand? Basically, how much like a concert (which happens to be in someone's house) is it likely to be, and how much like a "party" ( I believe that's what they're called) which happens to involve a well-known folkie?

And no, I can't ask the person who invited me - behave. I'd be mortified.


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 03:57 PM

You don't say which culture is involved, US, Irish, Swazi and English might expect very different behaviour. Not to mention the flavour of folk, Blues or Diddley_D, electric or gas, singer-songer or smokerdoper.

I'd take a discreet bag containing a bit of portable but eligible grub that won't be harmed by being taken home again, a bottle of something nice likewise, a tin whistle or inflatable grand piano in case there's a sesh afterwards, and only bring them out if that's what the Romans do.


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 04:35 PM

If you cannot ask the host, perhaps you know someone else who has been invited and may know the routine?

With as little information as you gave us, the only safe advice is to eat something beforehand, but not too much.


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: gnu
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 05:18 PM

Eat before hand. And, bring as many bottles as you wish but leave them in the vehicle for backup. Bring a nice bottle of wine to gift the host but no grub. Make a grub excuse unless it's in the invitation or if you make the best "whatever" on the face of the earth. Bring instruments but leave them in the vehicle with the booze. In other words, be a Boy Sprout... always prepared.

Oh, and a change of clothes. Ya never know, eh? >;-)


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: GUEST,Lurking Lil
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 05:57 PM

With as little information as you gave us

Thems the info I gots, I'm afraid. I don't know anyone else who's definitely been invited; I could make a calculated guess, but there be serious potential for fox paws.

The culture is English traddish singer-songwriter-ish, -ish. More to the point I'm in England, wondering how people do this sort of thing round here - your kilometrage may vary.


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: Anne Lister
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 06:06 PM

When we've run (or I've performed at) house concerts in England (and Wales) the usual form is that people invited will have eaten beforehand but the host/ess will provide refreshments, teas and coffees and maybe some alcohol. By all means take a bottle of wine and a cake or some snacks if you would be happier doing that. Normally if there's some other requirement they'll tell you that when they tell you the venue, time and suggested donation. Expect it to be a less formal kind of concert - some time to talk and mingle first of all, then the concert, normally (as in a folk club) in two sets of around 40-50 minutes. Sometimes there are some other singers but not always - they will have been fore-warned. Sometimes there's a session afterwards but not often, in my experience - it's more likely to be a friendly chatting session.
If on the other hand the suggested donation is large enough (over £15) or the event starts early enough (prior to 7:30 pm)there may be more significant food on offer. You really would need to ask in that case to be sure either way.
And I don't know of many circumstances where there could be any serious fox paws involved, especially if it's a first for you. They're normally very friendly evenings and I love playing at them.


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 10:10 PM

I've been numerous house concerts. There are few differences between a house concert and any other. However:

1. Walk in the door with your admission money ready, and promptly pay your way in. Don't make a friend have to ask you for the money.

2. If I were the host, opening my house to strangers, I would not appreciate people bringing alcohol in. I would want to control the amount of booze available.

3. Don't worry about bringing food. It's your first house concert, after all.

4. People are expected to stay quiet and listen during the music, but you can expect informality, with the performer conversing with you, and performer and audience members engaging in questions and a little banter between numbers.

5. Tell the performer you enjoyed the music, even if you didn't. You will be in closer contact with him than at a concert hall.

6. Take along some money in case you want to buy a CD.

7. Ditto an instrument, in case there's a session.

8. When you leave, thank the host for volunteering to do all that work.

9. I forgot - sign up for notification of future house concerts.


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 10:45 PM

Leeneia's advice is spot on. Like Anne, I've played at a lot of house concerts. It is, indeed, a concert in a small space, and not a free for all party. If you have not been to one before, come in with an open mind and have a good time.


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 08:25 AM

An extra pair of hands is always appreciated, if you want to ask the host(ess) if you csn help move chairs, set out a snack, help clear up after, etc. Another help will be not to bring your largest purse or wear your bulkiest coat-- space will be tight.

~S~


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: Mo the caller
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 08:50 AM

I don't see why you can't ask the person who invited you - say how thrilled you are and that it's your first house concert, so you'd like to know what the drill is. Then if people usually bring food she can tell you.
Obviously she won't say 'people usually bring/don't bring a gift' but do what you think and then next time you can do what most do.


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: Mo the caller
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 08:57 AM

The other alternative is to ask who else is coming (and if you can give anyone a lift), then ask them.


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 09:01 AM

Thanks, Phil.

Wysiwyg, yours are good suggestions.


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 09:34 AM

As it's your first house concert and you don't want to ask about particulars, I think your best bet would be to expect what's on the invitation and nothing more.

House concert venues are so varied here in the US, that you really have to go there to figure out what else can be expected by you or welcomed/desired by your hosts. I'm guessing it's probably the same there.


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: GUEST,Des C
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 10:57 AM

Well, it'd be a very poor host who hasn't explained ayy that already!


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Subject: RE: House concert etiquette
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 11:37 AM

Bear in mind that nobody ever lets on about the live goat, the sharp knife and throwing the car keys in the guitar case before you get there and they've locked the door.


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